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 present government to be: democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Christian education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.  

St Vincent's Nursery is owned by the Governors of St Vincent's Catholic Primary School.  Whilst we are not a Catholic Nursery we care for and educate our children in a broadly Christian way and we share a similar ethos to the School.  Where appropriate we participate with the school in celebrating our spiritual ethos.

The School states:

“We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds.” 

Paul Barber (Catholic Education Service 15 December 2014)

At St. Vincent's we recognise that every child needs a broad and balanced education that develops a child academically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, in preparation for a life in a British society.

Outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development offers pupils varied opportunities to reflect on emotions and experiences. Pupils are considerate, show a keen sense of right and wrong and clearly understand that their actions have consequences.

OFSTED October 2011

Catholic Christian Values rely on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching.  Through this, we teach the importance of British Values through a deep meaning context and what it means to live a good life for yourself, your family and the community whom you serve.

The school ethos is extremely warm and welcoming, setting high expectations. Parents and carers are overwhelmingly supportive of the school. One comment succinctly summarises the many positive views expressed: ‘This is a fantastic school where children are happy, progress well, and where respect for others underpins everything that is done!’

OFSTED October 2011

Through our School Mission ‘Let Your Light Shine’, we aim to develop in each child, the whole person and their vocation and purpose in life. We are guided by the Christian values of respect, compassion, co-operation and stewardship as we reflect on our place and purpose in the world:

The school believes each pupil is unique and can succeed, and does everything possible to ensure that they do. As one parent/carer commented, ‘This is a wonderful school that celebrates each child as an individual.’

OFSTED October 2011

Our Catholic ethos, which includes explicit reference to Christian and British values, makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities.

Pupils take their responsibilities very seriously and willingly carry these out. They make an excellent contribution to the school community.

OFSTED October 2011

Within this framework it would be impossible to overlook the government’s view of British values expressed as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’ The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St. Vincent’s and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.

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 every day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through assemblies. The curriculum is designed to ensure 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 are regular parts of our learning programmes and help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty 

At St. Vincent’s we actively encourage children 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 a unique contribution to building community, for example through our School Council, Junior Leadership Team and our Youth Parliament. 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.

Mutual Respect 

St. Vincent’s underpins all education through respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning environments as well as extra-curricular activities such as sport. 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. We encourage students to substantiate opinions and to realise the value of co-operation and consensus as well as decision making through voting. 

Through focus weeks, such as Friendship Week and Courtesy Week, we aim to highlight all of the things we value as a school that promotes equality and respect for all who serve in our school community. 

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.  We celebrate the differences between all people and cultures and aim to recognise what is good in everything we do and learn about.  

Through Multi Faith weeks and special events such as United Nations Day, All children experience a connection with other cultures and beliefs. St. Vincent’s promotes collaboration as a rich source of learning, with an emphasis on working with others and learning other languages which directly contributes to the appreciation of others perspectives on life.

Our Religious Education 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.

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