Promoting British Values at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School
The DfE, with the publication of ‘Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools – November 2014’, has 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.”
At Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School we seek to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words and deeds, and Catholic doctrine and practice therefore permeates every aspect of the school’s activity. We provide a Catholic curriculum, which is broad and balanced, recognizing that every child is unique and created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable every child to discern their vocation and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world. We also provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected. These values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
- Children are encouraged to decide upon and agree their class rules at the beginning of each year, including the rights associated with these;
- The school has a School Council which meets every half-term. An election process is established at the beginning of each year enabling children to stand as a candidate, to present the reasons why they would make a good school councillor, and elections take place to vote for a boy and a girl to represent each class. Councillors are responsible for presenting the views of their peers in School Council meetings and to feedback on outcomes to their class. The School Council has recently been involved in assisting with the lunchtime developments with the aim of providing children with more play opportunities – and more play time – at lunchtime;
- The Year 6 children study Democracy as one of their topics. This has included a visit to the class by the local MP and a visit to the Houses of Parliament;
- Children receive other opportunities to vote during the course of the year (e.g. during assemblies, choosing classroom activities, voting for head boy and head girl);
- Children complete an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.
The rule of law:
- The importance of laws (i.e. rules), whether they be those that govern the class, the school, the country, or the Catholic Church are consistently reinforced to the children at our school;
- Through our RE curriculum children are taught the rules of the Church and God;
- Children are taught from an early age the rules of the school. They are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules are broken, and why sanctions exist in the school.
- Children at our school are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment;
- We educate our children to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education;
- Children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety practices in computing, road safety training, bikeability, etc;
- We encourage our children to be independent learners.
- All members of our school community are expected to treat each other with respect in line with our school mission statement: “We worship learn and play together in the love of Jesus, helping one another to become the people God has created us to be.”
- We encourage our children to be supportive of each other and to treat others in the way we would like to be treated.
- We encourage our children to support local, national and international charities and raise funds for a range of charitable associations throughout the year.
Tolerance of those of different faiths, beliefs and cultures:
- “Our Parish School of Our Lady of Lourdes welcomes everyone in the community to share with us the joys of our Catholic faith.”
- Our Religious Education programme provides children with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them (for example, our Judaism workshop for each class);
- Children learn, through the stories of Jesus, the importance of tolerance (e.g The Good Samaritan, The Women at the Well);
- Members of different faiths in our school community are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning in classes;
- While the majority of our children share the Catholic faith, our community is very diverse and an appreciation of the diverse nature of our school is celebrated during assemblies and other events, including APF events, and in school displays (e.g. Language of the month, dual-language lending library).