British Values Statement
The government set out its definition of ‘British values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011) and these values were reiterated in 2014 by the Prime Minister. The Department for Education has recently reinforced the need for schools to actively promote fundamental British values to their pupils, both in lessons and in extracurricular activities. British values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At St Dominic’s the promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation. As a small Catholic primary school our ethos is to uphold the values of the gospel: love and compassion, forgiveness and mercy, humility and dignity, respect and love of others, justice and peace.
At St Dominic’s we recognise, not only the importance of helping students 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. In doing so, British values are reinforced in the following ways:
At St Dominic’s democratic values is an explicit part of our ethos. All adults listen to the views of the children and value their opinions. Pupils are taught to listen to and respect the views of others. Pupils have further opportunity to have their voices heard through the School Council and the Chaplaincy Team. The election of the School Council is the result of pupil votes and these groups canvas the opinions of their peers. These elections help the children to understand the importance of democracy in securing a fair society where everyone has a voice.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced in the classroom, playground and 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 rules 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 recognizing right from wrong and visits from the Police, PCSO’s, Fire Department, Child Line and other local community representatives help to reinforce these messages. They also emphasise that we are all equal under the law and that it is not only wrong, but illegal to discriminate against others on the basis of characteristics such as disability, gender, race or faith.
Within St Dominic’s pupils are actively encouraged to be independent learners constantly making choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Developing their self – esteem and self – confidence is very important. Pupils are encouraged to understand their personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to best effect. All pupils are keen to support charities whether local, national or global. They are taught consideration for others through the Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons. E-safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
St Dominic’s ethos and behavior policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Our assemblies and Collective worship constantly promote respect for others and the importance of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honesty and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions.
Respect of those of different faiths and beliefs:
This is achieved at St Dominic’s by teaching the children about positive values, understanding their own beliefs and their place in a culturally diverse society. This is achieved through the Religious Education curriculum and the spiritual life of the school. 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.
When pupils leave St Dominic’s Catholic primary School they will:
- Be aware of their responsibilities as citizens of a democratic society.
- Have an awareness of how they can maintain the underpinning core British Values.
- Maintain an awareness and respect for the culturally diverse society in which they live.