British Values Statement
Promoting British Values at Our Lady and Saint Benedict Catholic Academy
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 were reiterated again in 2014. At Our Lady and Saint Benedict Catholic Academy these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
The school council meets half termly to discuss ideas and issues on a given agenda or issues arising. We also look for our school council to get together with other school councils within the Collegiate. The meetings are supported regularly by members of the school Senior Leadership Team. Children have a say in matters and vote to decide on things such as new menus for lunchtime and breakfast, playground equipment and classroom resources. The school council also play a part in recruitment of new members of staff, interviewing candidates and voting for who they feel would best suit the job. The children have also helped to review policies providing feedback from their point of view and what they feel works well and how it could be improved. Each year the council is invited to take part in the Local Democracy (Mandate for change) at the local town hall, where they discuss issues arising with other local schools. Year 6 also visit the Houses of Parliament annually, where they get a real understanding of British values and how decisions for the country are made. The children have written letters to the local councillors about issues that concern them such as refugees and councillors have responded and even visited the school to discuss the children’s concerns.
The school Curriculum makes links to British Values and displays are regularly updated with current issues arising in the news. Children have taken part in elections including Brexit, national and local and school council elections.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws is consistently reinforced at Our Lady and Saint Benedict through our clear positive behaviour policy, which children of all ages understand and follow. They know that they have choices to make about their behaviour and that with their choice there are consequences. Children from Foundation stage are taught the school rules –‘STARS’ and understand that they must follow the school rules in order to gain rewards and sanctions occur if the rules are not followed. Each class create their own ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ and all children sign into the class contract. Children understand that they have rights but with those rights comes certain responsibilities. Children help and encourage one another to follow the school rules and they help to distinguish right from wrong, often encouraging each other to ‘make the right choice’. Visits from local Police and fire service help to reinforce the message of needing to follow the rules.
At Our Lady and Saint Benedict Catholic Academy pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to challenge themselves in their learning and are encouraged to develop self-knowledge, self - esteem and self-confidence knowing that they are in a safe environment. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices in many aspects of school life including choice of challenge or extra-curricular clubs. We have developed an understanding of rights and responsibilities within school and this links to our positive behaviour policy. At Our Lady and Saint Benedict we promote the freedom of speech during assemblies and class discussions. We challenge stereotypes and implement a strong anti-bullying culture.
Part of our Academy ethos is respect and this is discussed in depth in classes and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The school aims to promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and school rules. The Academy takes part in anti-bullying week each year and each class completes related tasks which are displayed around the school and presented in assembly. E-Safety week revisits anti- bullying with a focus on online bullying. We encourage pupils to not only have respect for others but also themselves and strive to be the best that they can be.
Respect of different Faiths and Beliefs:
Our Lady and Saint Benedict is a Catholic Academy. We are proud of our religion and its teachings. Jesus taught us to “Love one another as I have Loved you.” Due to this we have respect for all regardless of religion or background. Running alongside our RE scheme of work, each year group has another Faith to learn about and this is delivered at key points of the year on the curriculum map. Each year group plans and presents an assembly about their other faith and share their learning. Through weekly Gospel assemblies key themes are discussed such as love, understanding and tolerance. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge. We have responded to Acts of Terror with discussion and displays which enable children to demonstrate their understanding that ‘Terrorism has no Religion’. Pupils have responded well to this and have challenged stereotypes held by others. In upper KS2 Literacy texts have been chosen that provide discussion points about stereotypical beliefs and historical events that have influenced change in the world.