British Values at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs
The Department for Education states that there is a 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 Key Values as defined by the Department for Education are:
- rule of law
- individual liberty
- mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs
At Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, we ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos, values and work of the school.
As a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective through the teachings of the Church. We follow the example of the Good Samaritan where we are called to love and care for our neighbour. We ensure that through our school vision, ethos, agreed rules, curriculum and teaching we promote respect and tolerance for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular Quest, RE and PSHE as well as assemblies and collective worship which provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.
British Values are also promoted through areas of our Quest Curriculum.
At Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, we also uphold and actively promote British values in the following ways:
- We have our own school council.
- Children are able to put themselves forward to their classmates. A ballot is held and pupils are voted for.
- All children are encouraged to debate topics of interest, express their views and make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve pupils.
- The Headteacher reports to Governors about the activities of the School Council.
- The children were responsible for the promotion of our school values.
- Pupils also have the opportunity to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires and pupil conferences.
- The principle of democracy is explored through aspects of the Quest curriculum (History in particular) and RE curriculum as well as in assemblies.
Rule of Law
- The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our system for behaviour is based on agreed expectations.
- Class and school expectations are clear, fair and regularly promoted. At the start of each academic year, each class discusses and sets its own expectations that are clearly understood by all in the class, and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.
- Pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong.
- Through PSHE and other areas of the curriculum, pupils are helped to respect the law. They are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
- Pupils are helped to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals.
- Visits from authorities such as the RNLI, Police, Fire Service etc. help to reinforce this message.
- The Behaviour policy encourages the restorative justice process to resolve conflict.
- We are committed to praising children’s efforts. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but also for behaviour and living out the Gospel values. Children’s efforts are recognised in the form of house points, praise cards and during Celebration Assemblies.
- Within school, pupils are actively encouraged, and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
- For example, by choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and becoming increasingly more involved in child-led learning.
- As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education.
- Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour,.
- Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, e.g. through e-safety teaching and PSHE lessons.
- Freedom of speech is modelled through encouraging pupil participation in all aspects of the curriculum, and through enrichment opportunities.
- Vulnerable pupils are protected and stereotypes challenged.
- A strong anti-bullying culture is embedded in the school and this is given a particular focus during Anti-Bullying week.
- Pupils have key roles and responsibilities in school e.g. School Chaplaincy Team, Mini-Vinnies, School Council, Eco-Team, Lunch buddies, House Captains.
Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs
- Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our pervading ethos in school. The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.
- The school strongly promotes respect for individual differences.
- Pupils are helped to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life, through our Quest curriculum, PSHE and RE.
- Staff and pupils are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour - and we have seen examples of children putting this into action.
- Actively promoting our values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental values, including ‘extremist’ views.
- Links and visits are promoted with local faith communities and places of worship.
- Through the PSHE and RE curriculums pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked after children or young carers.
- We offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum which explores other faiths and cultures, and teaches children about the historical aspects of discrimination and prejudice, and how we can learn from this to live in a world where differences are respected and celebrated.