At St Mary’s we promote ‘British Values’ in all aspects of school life in order to ensure that all members of our community respect one another and embrace religious, cultural, racial and sexual diversity. We recognise that it is our responsibility to keep our students safe and to prepare them for life in modern multi-cultural Britain and globally. We empower our community to be informed and resilient against all forms of extremist behaviour that seeks to undermine our ‘British Values’. There are five key ‘British Values’ that underpin all aspects of the education we provide at St Mary’s:
British Value 1: Democracy
The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at St Mary’s, with democratic processes being used for important decisions within the school community. For instance, elections are held for the School Council, Prefects positions. The principle of democracy is explored in English, History and Religious Studies lessons as well as in form time and assemblies. Student surveys and interviews are conducted throughout the year to seek their views on school developments.
British Value 2: Individual liberty
At St Mary’s, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We empower and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to value, know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety and Form Time work. We have a robust anti-bullying culture to protect students from any form of discrimination and prejudice. Our safeguarding team provides outstanding support and guidance to protect the rights and interests of all students in the school.
British Value 3: The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at St Mary’s. Students are taught the value of and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Road Safety reinforce this message. Students are encouraged to respect the rules and expectations of the school as part of our 4R’s system. The involvement of students in the review of school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind rules. As a result, students at St Mary’s fully understand their role in adhering to rule of law to protect themselves and all members of their community.
British Value 4: Mutual respect
Respect is at the core of our ethos and is modelled by staff and students alike. Students learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are encouraged to treat each other with respect irrespective of their race, religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation. Our curriculum provides regular opportunities for pupils to express their views in a safe and mutually supportive environment. As part of our new extra-curricular system students from different year groups now engage positively in learning and social opportunities on a daily basis. Our Anti-Bullying policy reinforces the importance of valuing friendships and building positive relationships in school and in the wider community.
British Value 5: Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As a multi-cultural school, we empower students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society. We have over 55 different languages spoken in the school and students actively and independently learn from each other on a daily basis. Students are free to share their faith and beliefs as well as the school allow students to celebrate their different religious believes by authorising absences for Diwali, Eid and Ramadan etc.