Promoting British Values at St Bernadette’s
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.”
The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year. At St Bernadette’s these values are promoted regularly in the following ways:
All children have the opportunity to put themselves forward for the role of class representative on one of the school’s important committees, which include: Healthy Schools committee, School Council and RR (Rights Respecting) Committee. At the start of each academic year, Year 6 pupils put themselves forward for the role of House Captains/Vice Captain. All of the children are voted for by their peers. The School Council meets every month to discuss issues or concerns raised by their peers.
The Rule of Law
The children learn about the importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the wider community. The children are taught from an early age the rules of the school. These include Playground Rules and Safety Rules. Children are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws and the responsibilities that come with choice. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
The children are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for our children to make informed choices. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHE lessons.
St Bernadette’s Vision Statement places great importance on mutual respect (Everyone is made in the image and likeness of God). Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy. We actively encourage the children to discuss how we can demonstrate mutual respect during our Class Worships and assemblies.
Tolerance of those of 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.