Our school values of family, faith and excellence run through everything we do and compliment the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, tolerance and mutual respect. The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.
- An understanding and respect for democracy from our students is nurtured throughout all key stages of our community both through the curriculum we offer and extra-curricular provision.
- There are three student leadership teams and a School Council to reflect the views of students and enable them to have a voice in the direction of the school.
- There is a comprehensive PHSCE programme that educates pupils about democracy and the importance of democracy
- The importance of democracy is also addressed through many subject areas within school
Rule of Law
- Our community rightly has high expectations of our learners and positive behaviour choices are constantly reinforced in the classroom as well as in school assemblies. We have very clear and positive behaviour policies which are designed to ensure each learner is safe, supported and free to reach their potential in our community. If students fail to comply with these policies this necessarily results in the application of our ‘restorative justice’ disciplinary policy. Through our promotion of the rule of law students have a clear understanding of the behaviour expected of them and the responsibilities each member of our community has.
- The development of the legal system, the role of Parliament and the application of the rule of law are taught to all students within PHSCE and other subject areas.
- The school has received educational visits from different agencies to highlight to pupils the importance of the rule of law.
- The implications of not following the rule of law are covered within PHSCE and other subject areas.
- The RE curriculum (and other subjects) focus on moral choices which enable students to develop their understanding of the rule of law.
- Our Catholic ethos leads us to value each individual as a child of God. It is important therefore that as a community we encourage our students to be independent learners and that they have the freedom to make choices and form opinions in a safe nurturing environment. 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 e-safety.
- Our RE and PHSCE curriculum encourage students to investigate both their rights and responsibilities
- Mutual respect is a key element in our understanding of being a good community. The respect individuals have for one another in our community allows our learners to flourish in a safe nurturing environment. Therefore the need to respect oneself and others is constantly reinforced in every subject area of the school. Respect and tolerance of others is promoted through assemblies and form time. All of our school staff also fully understand the need to promote the behaviours needed to form positive relationships and constantly model these behaviours for our students.
- Form time and assemblies reinforce the need for mutual respect
- A positive behaviour management policy and reconciliatory behaviour policy is in place in order to establish clearly to students, staff and parents that there is an expectation of mutual respect in our community.
- Students are able to report instances where others may have displayed behaviour not acceptable to our school community.
- As a Catholic school, students within our community are taught the beliefs of the Catholic church found through Biblical scripture and the Catechism of the Church. Equally, students are taught that we live in a culturally diverse society, and there is therefore also a focus on the beliefs of others in order to provide a broad and balanced learning experience. When moral issues are raised in Religious Education alongside learning the teachings of the Church, students are challenged to examine issues from different viewpoints including the view of those with other religious beliefs and from a non-religious viewpoint
- In RE, students study several different world religions at KS3; at KS4 students are expected to know different viewpoints concerning modern ethical issues.
- All staff have had training on the importance of British values and the combating of violent extremism. This is also fully embedded within the PHSCE curriculum.
St James’ is committed to upholding the values of equality and ensuring that pupils have the opportunity to have their voice heard. All pupils and staff are invited to join the Equality Group which meets every Thursday lunchtime.