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.”
British Values at Sacred Heart RC Primary School
At Sacred Heart RC Primary School we uphold and teach pupils about British Values which are defined as:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.
At Sacred Heart we provide an education that focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We are guided by our mission statement ‘Where every heart is sacred’.
We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the Common Good, in the service of others. Our Catholic ethos, which includes explicit reference to Christian and British values, makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities.
At Sacred Heart we recognise, not only the importance of helping pupils to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens, able to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all. We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it means to live a good life, within a framework of Catholic Christian Values. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important. Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching.
At Sacred Heart RC Primary School we are committed to serving our community and local area. In so doing we reinforce British values regularly and in the following ways:
Democratic values are an explicit part of the ethos at Sacred Heart and Pupil Voice has a high profile. All adults listen to the views of the pupils and respect their opinions. Pupils are actively involved in agreeing classroom rules and understand the rewards of following agreed rules and the consequences of failing to adhere to the rules that have been agreed. Every child is given the opportunity to feed ideas into our School Council. Each class elects School Council representatives at the start of the year. Classes discuss key issues and then agree on class proposals that are presented during the School Council meeting by their class representatives. The School Council minutes are discussed within each class. Our commitment to a democratic approach runs through all aspects of school life. Further elections of Head boy and girl, Chaplaincy Team members are the result of pupil votes.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced in the classroom, as well as through school assemblies. Pupils are taught to understand the need for laws – that they are there for individual protection, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Pupils follow a positive behaviour policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used. Assemblies and discussions in class focus on recognising right from wrong and visits from the Police, Fire Service and local councillors help to reinforce these messages.
Pupils within Sacred Heart Primary are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We encourage pupils to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a unique contribution to building community. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through discussions of E-Safety and whole school responsibilities. All pupils are keen to support charities, whether local, national or global. They are taught consideration for others through our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons in particular.
Pupils and staff alike model respect. The school promotes respect for others and this is reinforced through assemblies, our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities such as sport. Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. In line with our commitment to democracy, pupils are always able to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where they can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other. We encourage pupils to communicate honestly and openly and to understand the value of co-operation and consensus as well as decision making through voting. Our emphasis on fairness and justice means that we ask our pupils to ensure that they look out for those who might be marginalised and disadvantaged. We work hard to promote anti-bullying through a focus on strategies to enable respect for difference and tolerance.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
As a Catholic worshipping community, pupils are equipped with the ability to develop positive values and understand their own beliefs within a culturally diverse society. We give our pupils the opportunities to experience such diversity within the wider community through visits, for example, to the local Jewish synagogue and through members of different faiths or religions being invited to school to share their knowledge and enhance learning within assemblies and in class. Assemblies and class work promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.