BRITISH VALUES – PERMEATES THROUGH EVERYTHING WE DO AT SAINT AUGUSTINE'S CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL
At Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School we recognise that each student is a member of God’s family and as such, is a unique person at his/her own point in the journey of faith. We provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment with a warm and welcoming atmosphere in which to live and learn. In order to achieve our mission to be committed to development of the whole person we recognise not only the importance of allowing students to flourish academically but we also embrace our wider role in preparing them for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum. Part of our role in that preparation is ensuring that we promote and reinforce British values to our students and that they proceed to adulthood with dignity and confidence. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and considered them to be democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At Saintt Augustine’s Catholic High School these values are reinforced in a pervasive manner and permeate the school community at every level.
At Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School 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 the School Council, for our Prefects and for our numerous leadership roles for students. The principle of democracy is explored in History, Citizenship and Religious Education as well as in tutor time and assemblies. 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 are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message. In addition ‘Rights and Responsibilities’ are an integral element of our curriculum.
Within Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School, 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 E-Safety in computing and their tutor time activities.
Respect, personal behaviour and self-discipline are at the core of our school ethos and these are 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 St Augustine’s Catholic High School 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.
Tolerance of those of different Faiths and Beliefs
Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School is a Catholic School for All. Our strong Catholic ethos is inclusive of all faiths and those with no specific faith and we promote a strong sense of community. 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. Students are given a plethora of opportunities to be of service to the local community, the Church and society in general irrespective of race and creed. We also run a number of trips abroad 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 Education curriculum provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures, while we provide an extensive and valuable induction to all staff and students who are non-Catholic. The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Saint Augustine’s Catholic High School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list. Our students’ pathway through their school career at Saint Augustine’s is celebrated in our weekly Newsletter. Should you feel that the school is not meeting this requirement, you should contact the school office and request to express your concerns with the Principal. Likewise, if you feel that anyone working at the school is undermining these values you should report this to myself.
Mr G T O'Connor, Principal