British values have been defined by the Government and are taught and experienced through our work with our children. These are values which underpin a modern, civilised society. These core values are: democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance towards those with different faiths and beliefs. As a Catholic School we enshrine these values in our everyday life as we attempt to follow the message of the Gospel, to love God and love each other.
At Holy Cross School we uphold British values in the following ways:
Pupils are encouraged to contribute to School life in a wide variety of ways. Pupils in Key Stage 2 elect class representatives for the School Council each year after listening to the manifestoes of those who wish to put themselves forward for the position. Every pupil takes part in class council meetings where they are able to raise ideas and concerns they have. We visit the Houses of Parliament annually to see the democratic process in action. The Head Boy and Head Girl are elected on a termly basis from our Year 6 class. The planning of lessons encourages pupils to discuss and justify their opinions and, even if they do not agree with other people, to respect them. Pupils discuss and help to develop their own classroom rules. The School has a clear and fair behavioural policy to deal with anyone breaking the rules. Children are taught that their behaviour impacts on those around them both positively and negatively.
The rule of law
At Holy Cross we respect all people; teachers, support staff, pupils and visitors. We uphold the rule of law in our every day lives; we show tolerance, we advocate freedom of speech and the right of opinion and we demonstrate appropriate leadership qualities. To encourage excellent behaviour and a positive attitude to learning, we reward the efforts and achievements of children in our weekly Praise Assembly which reflects our love and care for others around the School.
At Holy Cross we ensure that School rules are clear and fair. This is achieved through our behaviour policy ‘It’s Good To Be Green’. All incidents are investigated thoroughly, with the opinions of all parties listened to and all pupils are treated equally. Bullying is not tolerated and is dealt with immediately and effectively. Children are able to distinguish between right and wrong. This has also meant that they have learned about the value of forgiveness.
Throughout the School we have various visitors who come in and teach us about respect for the law and being a responsible citizen. Visitors include the police and firefighters. The Mizen family talk about the effects of crime and the importance of law enforcement, the cycling proficiency instructors teach the children the importance of the law of the road. Our local MP Heidi Alexander talks to the children annually about democracy and the importance of voting.
At Holy Cross pupils are encouraged to understand that individual liberty is bound by the responsibility to make sure that our liberty, to do as we choose, does not impinge upon the liberty of others. We aim to educate our pupils to make reasoned decisions about their work and to critically evaluate it, challenging themselves at all times to do the best they possibly can. In this way, we aim for pupils to leave Holy Cross with the best skills possible which will afford them the individual liberty to choose their own path in the world.
In our School, children are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights. They challenge stereotypes. The children are supported to develop self knowledge, self esteem and self confidence through our Catholic ethos and the way we treat others.
Individual liberty is linked to freedom of speech. The meaning of it is different for every child. This value allows us to be free as long as we do not break the rules or the law. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. For many, individual liberty is a freedom to express themselves without causing harm.
Children are able to interact with staff and pupils without hesitation, while knowing they are safe in the environment of School. In class knowledge is shared through raising hands when a question is asked; this builds confidence and a resilience to try anything. Courage is gained to speak in front of a class, a larger audience and to share thoughts and feelings. Staff ensure that all children have a voice and support is given to those less confident to enable them to express their ideas and opinions publicly.
Good manners embody mutual respect and pupils are expected to treat others as they would like to be treated at all times. As a School we promote respect for individual differences through assemblies, Mass, other faiths’ week and visits to other places of worship. The children acquire an understanding of, and respect for their own way of life and those belonging to other cultures too. In class they discuss and celebrate the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability and gender. Our School has an inclusive environment of which we are proud.
Tolerance of individuals with different faiths and beliefs
Our School family is enriched by the fact that our pupils come from diverse backgrounds and speak a wide range of languages. We believe that a strong foundation in the Catholic faith gives a compass for pupils to understand other faiths, to recognise similarities and respect differences. Pupils are reminded that most people of all faiths respect other people of different faiths.
Mutual respect and tolerance is at the heart of our aims and ethos. Pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
As a School we remember our mission statement;
May God’s love shine in our lives
as we care and share and learn together.