The government set out their definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, which were reinforced in November 2014 as a result of recent events.
These new regulations sit alongside the requirements of the Equalities Act, which also applies to all types of school. Schools are expected to focus on, and be able to show, how work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values.
At Cardinal Newman and Newman College we agree with the Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values:
the rule of law
tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our mission is for all our students to be effective citizens, equipped with the values, knowledge and behaviour which will enable them to become a full member of our society and democracy in the United Kingdom. This is expressed through our Mission Statement.
“God is love, and he who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him” (1 Jn 4:16)
Our mission is to provide an excellent Catholic education for all our students which enables them to respond to the call of Christ throughout their lives.
Caritas – the love which is God – is the golden thread running through everything we do. We welcome and accept all our students and staff as unique individuals created in the image of God. We treat one another with kindness and respect. We are a community of Caritas where everyone feels safe, supported and inspired to make a difference in our local, national and global communities.
We strive for the highest quality of learning and teaching that inspires us all to discover and develop our God-given gifts and talents, to excel in the present and aim high for the future.
We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that our children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. In lessons, learning tasks may be left for the student to decide upon. We encourage students to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning. Through our E-Safety, anti- bullying and Personal Wellbeing PHSEE sessions, we educate students on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely. At Cardinal Newman and Newman College we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives.
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident when walking around the school and in the classrooms. Our motto is “Caritas”- (The Love of God) and this is seen throughout the various relationships between students and staff.
As a Catholic Christian community we seek to live out this mission statement in partnership with the home and parish. We have embedded learning to develop self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence in our curriculum, through regular acts of worship and in extra-curricular opportunities. Knowing how to behave appropriately, whilst accepting responsibility for their actions whether in school or not, forms part of regular discussion with all our students. We stress the importance of active learning in our curriculum through which all students are given opportunities to develop effective leadership and team working skills. Students are given the opportunity to practise the skills needed to collaborate with others.
Every student participates in acts of worship, year group assemblies and tutor time prayer which also incorporate quiet moments of reflection. Such acts of worship, which are regularly led by students, include consideration of our responsibility to others and to ourselves.
Students take part in a wide range of extra-curricular activities which aid the development of leadership skills and promote learning how to be part of a team. These activities provide opportunities for students to develop their God-given gifts and talents, to excel in the present and aim high for the future. Such activities include music groups and ensembles, sports teams and individual events, art, drama, humanities science and computing clubs, Duke of Edinburgh, environmental responsibility and action groups in addition to engagement with local, national and international communities through BBC News Schools Report and Mary’s Meals campaign
How we reinforce the knowledge of our laws
We reinforce knowledge of our laws, public institutions and services in PHSEE lessons and weekly Year group assemblies through visits from a range of diverse topics and speakers and discussions in tutor time and lessons.
Our students will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.
The involvement of our students in the creation of the simple school ‘rules’ – ‘Be Prepared, Polite and Punctual’ helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken. Through enquiry in our tutor times and lessons we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that all our students can recognise the importance of these for their own protection
Our PHSEE curriculum ensures that all students have access to knowledge about our public institutions. Students learn about the role of government and our monarch. Students learn about how laws are made, that they are created to protect us and the rationale behind them. Being involved in such programmes as “Speakers for Schools”, provides students with the chance to hear from and speak to influential members of our society.
The Police School Liaison Officer is a regular visitor to our school, speaking to our students about a range of law and order matters. BBC employees have regularly visited us to help with media work, including BBC News School Report, whilst the Sixth Form Question Time gave our students contact with local MPs and prospective candidates from across the political spectrum. Throughout the year we welcome several visits from members of the wider community including police, war veterans, the fire brigade and many more. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.
Since 2008 we have held the International School Award in recognition of our work with people in other countries and how we encourage respect for different cultural traditions and faiths; indeed this is at the heart of our work being inspired to make a difference in the global communities, as well as at at a local and national level. In September 2013 we were awarded Global Learning Programme Expert Centre coordinated by the Geography Department focussing with other partner primary and secondary schools on issues such as sustainability, social justice and poverty. We stress the importance of rejecting and combatting racial or other discrimination, with the knowledge that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
Our partnerships with many European and African countries provide our students with direct links to their peers in other countries, some of whom are members of a different faith group. In the past working with our British Council Connecting Classrooms partnership countries in Senegal and Tanzania enables our students to learn about the similarities and differences in their daily lives.
Visits to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Iceland give our students the opportunity to experience life in other countries at first-hand. Visiting teachers from other countries, including Uganda, Iceland, Poland, Spain and France discuss life in their own country.
The Gospel values of showing love for your neighbour are at the heart of all we do. Through assemblies, tutor time and lessons all are reminded that everyone is unique, valuable and deserves to be treated as such. Students are reminded of the meditation by John Henry Newman, our Patron.