Promoting British Values at Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy

Teaching British Values at our Academy is an important way to enable students to embrace the key values that they need to be equipped for life in modern British society. Students develop self-knowledge, are better able to make the right choices and make contributions to the wider school and their community by studying and promoting the British values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect; and acceptance for those with different faiths and beliefs.

At Our Lady & St Chad Catholic Academy, these values are regularly reinforced in the following ways:

The Wellbeing curriculum

British Values are taught as part of the Wellbeing Curriculum.

  1. Democracy

The Academy has a student leadership council which meets regularly. There are two students from each tutor group on the leadership council, ensuring that there is a breadth of experience and opinions. Election of the student leadership council reflects the British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action to our students.

As a result, students take ownership of not only their school but also of their learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility.

How we influence and shape democracy is explored in many ways, though lessons, current affairs, themes of the week and assemblies. These themes are often connected to national or international celebrations and commemorations such as: International Day of Peace; Martin Luther King Day; and Remembrance Day.

  1. The rule of law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced at our Academy, and consequently our students possess a strong sense of equality and understanding of what is right and wrong, developing their own moral compass.

We have a rigorous Behaviour and Rewards Policy that is understood by all staff, parents and students.

Students are taught the ‚Äėrules‚Äô¬†of the Academy along with the value and reasons behind rules and laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when rules and the law are broken. An integral part of our Behaviour and¬†Rewards Policy is the use of restorative justice. It aims to increase student awareness of how their actions affect others in the community and ensure students are better able to make the right choices.

We have a local Police officer who works with our students both in assemblies and small group work to educate them on how young people can be affected by crime and how to stay safe.

  1. Individual liberty

Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries so that students can make informed choices and respectfully express their views and beliefs.

Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and are advised how to exercise these safely and respectfully, for example through our assemblies, wellbeing curriculum, current affairs and tutorial activities. Students can also make individual choices by choosing from a varied programme of extra-curricular activities.

Stereotypes are regularly challenged and we are working hard to raise the aspirations of all of our students with regular discussions about potential career possibilities and providing opportunities to experience different career and further education opportunities. All students have equally high aspirations for their futures.

  1. Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Staff and students treat each other with the utmost respect and courtesy. Students learn that their behaviours affect their rights and those of others. All members of the school community are required to treat each other with respect; this is a high profile message that is communicated to students. Our Behaviour and rewards policy means that students know that their choices affect their rights and those of others. We also provide a model for civil resolution of conflict through restorative justice.

Anti-bullying has a high profile within the school and is addressed through the tutorial programme, assemblies, surveys and our Anti-bullying Policy. We celebrate Anti-Bullying week with a series of tutor activities and whole school events delivered by external agencies to promote difference and equality in our school. Students are also taught about respect and bullying in the online world though our curriculum and e-safety lessons.

  1. Acceptance of those of different faiths and beliefs

Our Lady & St Chad Academy is rich in cultural diversity and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Students learn that all members of the school community deserve to be treated with respect and that differences are to be accepted.

Religious Education is taught in KS3 and KS4, which promotes mutual respect and understanding between those of different faiths or beliefs.

Assemblies and tutorial activities actively challenge stereotypes and reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others no matter their ethnicity, beliefs, gender or disability. House Tutor activities cover a variety of topics, including Yom Kippur; International Day of Peace; Black History Month; Ramadan, Diwali; International Day for Tolerance; Hanukah; Martin Luther King Day; Chinese New Year; and Passover.