Promotion of British values
At St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students.
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school community.
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
At St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for Head Boy and Girl and our Senior Team. The principle of democracy is explored in History and Religious Studies as well as in form time and assemblies. The House and Student Councils provide students with an outlet to share ideas, interests and concerns through meetings with staff. Student Forums encourage young people to share their voice on matters such as Teaching & Learning, Anti-bullying, School Food etc.
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. Students are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Within St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safety, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice about how to exercise these safely, for example through our exploration of E-Safety in computing and their form time activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy students at St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student reading programme which promote mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the school.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. We also run a number of trips abroad throughout the academic year from which our students gain valuable experience of other cultures and languages. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our Religious Education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
At St Cuthbert’s we will actively challenge students, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values including “extremist” views.