Promotion of British Values
At MSM we recognise not only the importance of supporting students in their academic progress, but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for adult life beyond the school curriculum – ensuring that they are ‘work ready’. Part of our responsibility in that preparation is the promotion and reinforcement of British Values to our students.
In its 2011 Prevent Strategy, the Government defined the following as key British values:
- Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
At MSM these values are strongly linked with our whole school approach of embracing, respecting and celebrating the nature of our diverse community.
The British Values are promoted throughout our curriculum through some subject specific content of the courses that our students follow, but also through our PSHCE curriculum (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education).
Beyond the course content of our academic subjects, there are examples of what we do in school to promote these values:
At MSM the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced, with the democratic process being employed for important decisions within the school community, for instance, elections being held for Head Boy and Girl. The principle of democracy is explored in History and Religious Studies as well as in tutor time and assemblies. Student Councils meet regularly and have been consulted on key whole school issues such as our behavior management system, rewards and consequences, and the change in our lesson timings.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Students 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service, together with organisations such as ‘Prison Me No Way’ are embedded within our school calendar and help reinforce this message. Our Safer Schools Police Officer regularly meets with students and parents to support key messages, and delivers assemblies to complement topics from the PSHCE curriculum such as drug and alcohol misuse.
Within the MSM community, students 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. 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 Online Safety PSHCE and their tutor time activities.
Respect is at the core of our school ethos and is modelled by students and staff alike. The school promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments. In line with our commitment to democracy, students at MSM are always able to voice their opinions and we foster an environment where students are safe to disagree with each other. Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum from the concept of ‘fair play’ in PE to the student mentoring programme which promotes mutual respect and support between students across different year groups within the school. We operate a restorative behaviour system with the emphasis on how to ‘fix it’ when something goes wrong; this key message is reinforced to both staff and students alike as part of a shared responsibility.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. We also run trips and visits throughout the academic year from which our students gain valuable experience of other cultures and languages. Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school. Our Religious Studies curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.
Questions or Concerns
Should you have any further questions or concerns about the teaching of British Values at Mount St Mary’s, please contact the school and request to speak to Mr Mark Wylam, Deputy Headteacher.