Fundamental British Values
The government set out its definition of ‘British values’ in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), which was designed to prevent the extremism and religious radicalisation of young people. British values are considered by the current government to be:
- Rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
All pupils take part in PSHE lessons on British Values as well as delivering training to other schools and professionals. It is covered in RE and assemblies and the pupils really own the issue and drive it forward at St Ambrose Barlow. The promotion of ‘British values’ is not only central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values but also to our nation. At St Ambrose Barlow High School we recognise, not only the importance of helping pupils to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, so they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens, able to make the strongest possible contribution to society. We provide an education which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. Our students are encouraged to be the best version of themselves which they can possible be.
As part of our daily life in school we promote the importance of democracy across the school and the importance of making decisions together. The Leadership team and staff encourage young people to see their role in their community, encouraging students to know that their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings. This can be evidenced via regular Student Voice opportunities-the heads 5-a-day, the School Council, and in discussions with students as part of IAG events. We have many visitors in who work with our pupils including local councillors, local unions and GMP.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country are consistently reinforced every day, through assemblies and our behaviour policy. The curriculum is designed to ensure pupils 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. Opportunities for this can be found as part of specific topics in certain subject areas or as topics covered as part of the PSHE/Careers programme. Visits from public services and our local PCSOs also support the reinforcement of this message.
At St Ambrose Barlow RC High School pupils 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 safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education.
We encourage students to see themselves as unique individuals, able to make an individual contribution to building community both within school and the local community where they live. 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, the PSHE programme and school assembly presentations.
Respect is one of our core school values and a key element of our daily life in school, which is modelled by pupils, parents and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities. In line with our commitment to democracy, students are always able to voice their opinions as we foster an environment where students can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other.
Our elected Student Council represents the views of the school community and work hard to ensure that ‘Student Voice’ is integral to the life of the school. We encourage students to substantiate opinions and to realise the value of co-operation and consensus as well as decision making through voting. Our emphasis on accepting responsibility means that we ask our students to ensure that they care for those who might be marginalised and disadvantaged and ensure that they are made to feel valued members of our school community. We have a wonderful prefect team led by deputy and head boys and girls who are a credit to our communities.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs:
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to develop positive values, understand their own beliefs and their place in a culturally diverse society both locally and globally. We give our students opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community and the wider community. All students experience a connection with other cultures and beliefs through our RE curriculum, aspects of the PSHE and Citizenship programme, assembly presentations. The emphasis on enterprise, working with others, and learning other languages directly contributes to the appreciation of others’ perspectives on life. Our Religious Studies curriculum follows the teaching of the Church in providing a broad and balanced education, which includes an understanding of and respect for people of other faiths or none and other religions, cultures and lifestyles.