British Values at St Bede’s Catholic Middle School Academy
St Bede’s Catholic Middle School Academy actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and we show respect for the uniqueness of the individual as reflected in the Gospel values and the mutual respect and tolerance of those from different ethnicities, social backgrounds, faiths and beliefs. As a Catholic school we promote Catholic Values, we cannot fail to promote “British” values- all are created in the sight of God; all are encompassed by human rights which are set out in documents such as Pope St John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris; we teach that all should contribute to the common good; other faiths are accorded full respect e.g. in words of Nostra Aetate (1965): “The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race colour, condition of life or religion.”
Through our competence curriculum which runs alongside our traditional curriculum, pupils learn a variety of Modern British Values in a variety of subjects. Our competencies focus on being a young person in Modern Britain and help to make pupils aware of the society that we live in. Our competencies each run for a term and include values such as; Diversity, Making a Difference, Teamwork, Leadership, Coping with Change and Relating to People.
This means that pupils/children at age appropriate stages:
- Have a knowledge of democracy and how it impacts on their lives in modern Britain. (This includes an annual visit to the Houses of Parliament for the School Council to further enhance these British Values)
- Within our Life Skills lessons pupils study many aspects of modern life including a unit of work specifically designed to examine National Identities.
- Are able to distinguish right from wrong and respect civil and criminal law.
- Understand what the ‘Children’s Charters is and the importance of rights and responsibilities and know what freedoms and entitlements are and why they are so important.
- Consider the rights, freedoms, entitlements and responsibilities of pupils within school.
- Take responsibility for their behaviours and understand how they can positively contribute to school life, the lives of those in the local community and society in general.
- Examine the effect the media has on society and how it can influence our opinions.
- Understand the different issues that we face in this world and to know how to help and prevent a range of world issues.
- Inform others of issues that we have to face in this world and what they can do to help.
- Promote tolerance and harmony between differing cultural traditions.
- Show respect for other people and understand that they should not discriminate or show prejudice.
- Are actively encouraged to be involved in artistic, sporting, linguistic and cultural activities.
The following is not an exhaustive list, but provides some examples as to the different actions and provision that we have in school:
- We ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for annually by the pupils. The election of the School Council reflects democracy in action. Further examples of pupil voice include School Council meetings with the Senior Leadership team; pupil consultation on the quality of teaching and learning (through the use of pupil focus groups during reviews of curriculum provision, teaching and learning evaluations): and through formal and informal consultations with pupils on issues which affect them directly.
- We promote pupil leadership through the appointment of a Year 8 prefect team/ Sport & Art Leaders and KS2 Playground Leaders enabling them to lead and support other members of the school community.
- We use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources across the whole curriculum (and particularly in English, RE, Geography, History and Life Skills) to help pupils understand a range of faiths, beliefs and attitudes, whilst emphasising British Law and tolerance.
- We provide regular opportunities for spiritual, student reflections which have sought to identify and foster British and Gospel values through a process of consultation and collaboration.
- We take great pride in the sense of belonging and welcome, which is a characteristic hallmark of the British culture.