At St. Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School we recognise that all children need a broad and balanced education which develops them academically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, in preparation for a life in British society. The promotion of ‘British values’ as set out by the Government in its 2011 Prevent Strategy and defined by the DFE document ‘Promoting fundamental British values through SMSC’ in schools is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation. We are committed to serving our community and local area. In so doing we reinforce British values regularly and in the following ways:
Democratic values are an explicit part of the ethos at St. Bernadette’s. All adults listen to the views of the pupils and value their opinions. Pupils have further opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil Voice interviews. The elections of School Council and the GIFT Team are the result of pupil votes and these groups canvas the opinions of their peers.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws and rules are consistently reinforced in the classroom, as well as 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 laws 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 recognising right from wrong and visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service and other local community representatives help to reinforce these messages.
Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners, constantly making choices, within a safe 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 our Religious Education curriculum and PSHE lessons in particular. E-safety teaching enables them to make choices in a safe manner.
Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Assemblies constantly promote respect for others and the importance of good manners. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions. Through focus days, such as our Hand of Friendship Refugee Day or Anti-Bullying Days, we aim to highlight all of the things we value as a school that promotes equality and respect for all who serve in our school community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through our 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. We celebrate the differences between all people and cultures and aim to recognise what is good in everything we do and learn about. Members of different faiths or religions are invited to school to share their knowledge and enhance learning within assemblies and in class. Through events such as our ‘ Hand of Friendship Refugee Day’, all children experience a connection with other cultures and beliefs.
Lisa Nandy, Member of Parliament for Wigan, recently visited St. Bernadette's to speak to the children about the importance of citizenship and democracy.