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St. Mary's Catholic High School

Our Core Values

The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.

St Mary’s Catholic High School is committed to serving its community.  It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. St Mary’s Catholic High School is dedicated to preparing our students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

The five key British Values are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

 

The school uses strategies within the National Curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways St Mary’s Catholic High School seeks to instil British Values.

Democracy

Student voice is a significant part in our school life.  Our democratically elected school forum is used to drive our school forward and to make the daily life of St Mary’s better for our students.  As a student at St Mary’s, you will have the opportunity to take part in the interview process of new and existing members of staff; you will be a key part of our quality assurance process and you will become a major stakeholder in deciding what curriculum we offer. Student questionnaires will be used throughout the year to gauge your views and opinions and the information we receive will guide us in making key changes for improvement.  As a student you are the heart of our school community and we value your say.

The rule of law

As young adults you will encounter rules and laws throughout your entire lives.  As a pupil at St Mary’s we ask you to understand and respect that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the local community or the country, they are set for good reason and must be adhered to.  The importance of abiding by school rules will be reinforced through assemblies and through the wider curriculum we deliver. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of our community including police officers, war veterans, the fire brigade and motivational speakers.  We strongly believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the rule of law for our pupils.  St Mary’s has also established a police cadet programme, which further adds to the understanding of the gospel values of truth and justice.

Individual liberty

At St Mary’s we invest a great deal of time creating a positive culture in our school, so that you are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.  In lessons tasks and discussions are often led by students and we will encourage you to direct your own learning.  St Mary’s also offers a varied range of extra-curricular activities and clubs so that you have the freedom to explore areas of interest.  Through our e-safety and social media assemblies and evenings we will educate you on your rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting you in recognising how to exercise your freedoms safely and appropriately.  At St Mary’s we strongly believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as you embark on your adult lives.

 

Mutual respect

Mutual respect is a core value that underpins everything we do at St Mary’s.  As a student at our school you will learn how to treat each other fairly and with great respect.  You will also be able to show respect to our local community through various events such as the senior citizen's party and the service programme we run.  In the classroom at St Mary’s it is clear that there is a mutual respect between student and teacher and this creates a positive learning environment that we are proud of.  As a student you will also have the opportunity to become an Anti-Bullying ambassador for St Mary’s and have an active role in promoting our caring ethos.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At St Mary’s we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected.   At our school we strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding.   Through our catholic vision people of diverse identities are recognised, welcomed, respected and cherished within our school community.  Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help pupils to become more knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.  The gospel values we teach aims to harmonise faith and culture and pursue the common good.