Fundamental British Values
In accordance with The Department for Education we actively promote British values in school to ensure young people leave St George’s prepared for life in modern Britain.
Our children are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
How do we teach British Values?
At St. George’s, we take very seriously our responsibility to prepare children for life in modern Britain. We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through our curriculum and programme of personal development, which infuses the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, our RE, PSHE and RSHE lessons provide excellent opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. Children embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives. Their strong-rooted values-based understanding gives them an excellent platform for embracing difference.
‘British Values’ have been identified as:
The ability to communicate is one of the most important area of learning. At St. George’s, we ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate and to understand that their voice matters. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each ‘voice’ and by listening and responding to that voice, we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty.
Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country are reinforced in everyday school life. We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping them to make the right decisions and choices. We encourage children to take responsibility for their actions and the impact they might have on others and how actions do have natural consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure and provides a positive learning environment.
Pupils at St. George’s are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘No’ when appropriate. Pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles as they progress through the school. This teaches them to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We support others by participating in local community events and charitable events on a local, national and global scale. We believe that by engendering a caring and helpful environment and by learning to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
We promote each pupil’s inclusion, with adaptations where necessary, in all aspects of school life. Every member of the school community is valued and we treasure everyone’s uniqueness. It is important to facilitate opportunities for St. George’s to be part of their unique communities as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Trips to different places of worship are organised annually and we celebrate the multi-cultural society in which we live through real life experiences. We place great emphasis on providing experiences and participation in events and celebrations which broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others so that they understand everyone should be respected and valued equally, irrespective of their ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.
Here are some specific examples of how British Values are embedded in our curriculum across each year group:
Finally, here are some general examples of how British Values are embedded in our day-to-day curriculum:
- We teach children to be kind, helpful and respectful of others;
- We teach children to be an active part of their local community;
- We plan to celebrate festivals and mark special days from the world around us;
- We teach the children about compromise – that some of us believe one thing… some of us believe something totally different… but we can all play together in the same house (or group setting) and respect each other.
- We teach children to work together – we provide them with projects that involve everyone in the provision and we plan group times, where children learn to listen, take turns and value contributions from others. This type of planning is a very important part of British values: teaching about shared values and working together towards a common goal;
- We teach children about the world in which they live – the world on their doorstep and the wider world – through books, posters, planned activities, resources, outings and much more;
- We teach children to listen and respect others…
Here are some ways in which we can teach children about life in modern Britain:
- We teach children about the world around them and use the seasons, weather, special days etc to plan meaningful learning experiences.
- We teach children about Britain, showing them the work of sculptors and artists to inspire creativity, listening to music to promote dance and drama (and listening skills of course).
- We extend teaching, using the library and online sources of information and support them as they learn to respect others by introducing music, dance, art etc from around the world.
British Values and the teaching of the Catholic Church
The government set out its definition of ‘British Values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), which aims to address extremism and religious radicalisation of young people. British values are considered to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and 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.
“We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds.”
Paul Barber (Catholic Education Service 15 December 2014).