At St Bernadette's, our school vision and ethos drives all that we do, including the promotion of British Values. Our welcome to families and visitors, support of all our pupils and the work we do to reach out to others is key to our school’s inclusive ethos. We want people to experience and see Christ within our community and our pupils. We promote gospel values of faith, tolerance, forgiveness, kindness and respect of others and want our pupils to grow up to be hardworking, independent in thought, have a developed understanding of what is right and wrong, be good citizens and find Christ in everyone.
The DfE has recently reinforced the need for schools to “promote the fundamental British values of:
• The Rule of Law,
• Individual Liberty,
• Mutual Respect and
• Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs.
There are many practical examples of how this happens every day in school:
• Children learn about the democracy in history and PSHE lessons and throughout the year classes will discuss and then vote on different choices eg which book to read as a class.
• Children who serve on the School Council are nominated and voted for by their class mates and make decisions about the life of the school.
• Elections are held annually for the posts of house and vice house captains and all children are eligible to vote.
• At local and national election times, classes will engage in discussions around topics which promote the common good of all people.
The Rule of Law
• We consistently reinforce our high expectations of all pupils along with developing their understanding of the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules).
• Pupils are taught that everyone has a responsibility to behave well and that there are consequences when rules are broken.
• Pupils are taught about the reasons and values behind laws, including the responsibilities which accompany them. When necessary, we liaise with the police and fire services to reinforce these messages.
• Within school, children are actively encouraged to make informed choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
• Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, for example through our RE curriculum, online safety and PSHE lessons. They also understand that with rights come responsibilities.
• Children are supported to develop their personal awareness and self-esteem to enable them to grow in confidence and achieve their potential.
• All members of the school community treat each other with respect and are reminded of this through class charters, schools rules, our behaviour policy and our staff code of conduct.
• Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
• We actively encourage the children to discuss how we can demonstrate mutual respect during class liturgical prayer and assemblies.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
• While it is our primary intention to show children how to develop their own spirituality and their relationship with God, we also explore the teachings and philosophies of other world faiths.
• Children understand the need for tolerance in all aspects of life and we always seek to find similarities rather than differences through the teaching of different faiths and cultures. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others.
• We also explore the diversity in our school community. Children of different faiths and religions are also encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within our classes and the school.