Catholic Values, British Values
he promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.
British values are considered by the present government to be DEMOCRACY, RULE OF LAW, INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY, MUTUAL RESPECT AND TOLERANCE OF THOSE OF DIFFERENT FAITHS AND BELIEFS.
At St Michael’s Catholic High School we recognise, not only the importance of helping students to develop academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Our aim is that they are fully prepared for life in British society, to take their role as good citizens, able to make the best possible contribution to the Common Good. Within a framework of Catholic Christian Values, we teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it is to live a good life. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important.
Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Christ and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching. At St Michael’s Catholic High School we provide an education which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the Common Good, in the service of others. We also reflect on the traditions of the Dominicans with their accent on the promotion of the education.
Our Catholic Ethos makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities. Within this framework it would be impossible to overlook the government’s view of British values expressed as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St Michael’s Catholic High School should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
- Taking part in debates.
- Highlighting the development of democratic ideas in history lessons.
- Extra-Curricular fieldwork and visits
- Allowing KS5 students to vote for senior prefects.
- Ensuring all students are listened to by adults.
- Inviting MPs and other speakers to the school.
- Visiting parliament.
- Holding mock elections.
- Participating in the Diocesan Youth Council.
- Senior Prefects and Head Boy/Girl meet the Head Teacher and Director of sixth form regularly.
The Rule of Law
- Having a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all.
- Organising visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong.
- Highlighting the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the 10 commandments and the Precepts of the Church.
- Teaching about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created uniquely in a Catholic England, inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world.
- Encourage students to be independent in their learning.
- Provide students with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to discerning their vocation.
- Mutual respect.
- Having a mission statement that is inclusive.
- Constantly promoting respect for others as good manners.
- Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class debates.
- Having an effective anti-bullying policy.
- Emphasising in RE and PSHEE/CC lessons that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”.
- Having active educational links with other schools.
- Year 7 buddies.
- Supporting work for Justice in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Lourdes.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Religious Education provides pupils 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.
- Show how Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and The Women at the Well.
- Visits from Holocaust survivors.
- PSHEE/CC inputs on tolerance and Human rights.
- A freely accessible chapel which is open for all to use.