The DfE have recently reinforced the need
“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
Here at St. Bernard’s British values are regularly promoted through curriculum design, high quality teaching, a rounded programme of class-led whole school assemblies and through our positive behaviour policy. We address the different aspects of British values as follows:
As a school we listen to children’s and parent’s voice and regularly seek their views through questionnaires using Google forms. Our ‘Open Door’ policy enables all parents to express their views on the school and through our positive partnerships, we work closely to bring about effective change.
Our children are taught about the importance of democracy through our curriculum and the right to have a voice in the world. Each year the children in each class set up a class charter to which they all contribute and sign up to. Each year, classes decide through an election who will represent them on the school parliament and meetings are held throughout the year. The children all complete lessons that teaches them what democracy is and then they apply. The short-listed candidates then deliver a speech to their class-mates and they are then voted in. House teams run throughout our school; the children vote for the nominees to ensure that their team is focussed and striving forward.
rule of law
The importance of law, whether that be those that govern the class, the school or the country are constantly reinforced throughout the school day. Pupils are taught the values and the reasons behind laws which govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
From entry to school pupils are continually taught to recognise the importance of all children having a right to learn, a right to feel and be safe, and all teachers having a right to teach. We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught about Gospel Values and reasons behind our expectations (rules) that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. We acknowledge that mistakes and wrong choices are made in life and endeavour to coach children to learn from them and use their experiences to choose the right paths in life.
Throughout the school year we welcome visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong, the fire brigade (fire safety) and PCSO (community safety etc) which all aid the children and support us in our teaching of right and wrong.
Within our school children are encouraged to use their Building Learning Power (BLP) capacities which leads to making their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment to enable them to do this.
Through our curriculum delivery, lesson design and Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) sessions, we discuss different choices that the children can make and encourage them to make the right choices.
We always encourage pupils to reflect on their choices and the effect that it has on both their peers and adults. They are given opportunities to resolve conflicts effectively and fairly.
Through E-safety we teach the importance of staying safe and acting responsibly online.
Throughout our RE lessons children are taught that every person is unique and created in the image of God.
Our whole school ethos is built around our mission of: ‘To grow, love and learn following Jesus’ and vision of ‘striving for excellence’.
With this comes a high expectation for mutual respect and we believe that respect for others is a vital component of moral development. We believe that everyone is unique; everyone is valued and has a contribution to make to the school and the wider community. We encourage open discussions through all lessons.
Through our lesson design we make links to the values and expectations we have of all our children. Our staff at St Bernard’s pride themselves on the relationships that they build with the children ensuring that all children are respected and their voices are heard actively supporting all to develop their own reasoned views about moral and ethical issues.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and beliefs
St Bernard’s is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse, therefore we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with the children. As a Catholic School, we teach our children to respect all Faiths and Beliefs and embrace the different cultures, beliefs and moral values which make up our school. Our curriculum incorporates teaching and learning opportunities for children to explore aspects of the wider world and an appreciation of cultural diversity.
A range of religions and festivals are explored by the children and these often are the focus of our whole school assemblies. We will always ensure that we equip our children with the knowledge which will enable them to understand the diverse nature of people’s beliefs. We help them to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. Connectors celebrating different faiths and beliefs are planned throughout our curriculum; Team 5 focus in depth on prejudice gaining an understanding into how our actions and words can be perceived.
At St Bernard’s we will challenge any member of staff, child and parent expressing any opinion contrary to fundamental British Values including extremism and radicalisation