St. Mark's British Values Statement
The Department for Education has recently 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.”
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 are confident that our continued focus on the Gospel Values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.
The government has set out its definition of British Values as:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At St Mark’s these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:-
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Chaplains, School Council, head boy and girl, prefects and pupil questionnaires. In this way they learn about decision making and the input they can have. The children have the chance to elect a representative from each class that they feel will represent their classes views. We also have Sports Ambassadors and play leaders. Every week a child in each class is voted ‘citizen of the week ‘by their peers and awarded a certificate in assembly. They are chosen because they have been seen to try to live out the mission statement of
St Mark’s ‘We believe all people matter.’
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Police Community Officers, Fire Service; etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. Our school behaviour policy is based on
mutual respect for all.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safety, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and learn how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety teaching and PHSE programme. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of activities in the classroom, of participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Our culture of anti- bullying is strong and children are constantly encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
Our school ethos is based on the Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ, summed up in His command ‘to love one another as I have loved you.’ This is at the core of our school and we expect all to adhere to this teaching regardless of their background, faith, or race. Everyone is treated with respect in our school and pupils are frequently part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. Children are positively praised and rewarded for expressing this value in their words and behaviour. They welcome opportunities to show this e.g. Fundraising for charities both close to home and around the world; singing Christmas carols at the local day care centre for adults with disabilities; taking part in our Christmas party for senior citizens (singing, chatting, and serving food). Children’s successes and achievements are always celebrated, none more highly than their demonstration of their respect for all.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and respect for individual differences e.g. through masses, assemblies, RE curriculum, Geography Curriculum, multi-faith study, through our Catholic ethos. Children discuss and celebrate the
differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability; gender and different family situations such as looked after children, young carers. Our Catholic teachings, which are the bedrock of all we do, show Jesus’ tolerance and love for all e.g. the Good Samaritan.