Promoting British Values
All schools are required to promote British values as part of the ‘Prevent Strategy’ (2011), and the more recent Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST) 2018 both of which are designed to prevent the extremism and religious radicalisation of young people. The government defines British values as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’ At St Peter’s we teach the importance of British values within a broader framework of Catholic values epitomised in our school values of love, achievement, responsibility and diversity. Drawing on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, we are guided by our mission statement ‘Stay with us Lord on our journey’ and by the Christian values of honourable purpose (vocation and service), respect, compassion, co-operation and stewardship.
The following examples show some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St Peter’s:
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws is consistently reinforced through our behaviour policy. Our citizenship curriculum teaches students the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Opportunities for pupils to explore ideas around these issues include assemblies, Form Periods and regular educational visits from a wide range of partners including the Police and Fire Services.
Students are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. We encourage them to see themselves as unique individuals able to make a unique contribution to their community. Students receive advice about how to exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms safely through E-Safety classes and form time activities; they also make personal decisions about their own future during one-to-one meetings with our onsite careers advisor and when choosing their Key Stage 4 options.
Respect for others is a core value at St Peter’s and is modelled by students and staff alike. We celebrate individuality and difference within our community and emphasise our calling to work for the Common Good in the service of others. Our RE, PE and Citizenship curriculums teach students about fairness, justice and healthy relationships and encourage them to look out for those who might be marginalised or disadvantaged. The school has taken a very strong stance on social inclusion and anti-bullying and the values of respect and responsibility are reinforced through our Behaviour Code. Pupil leadership groups such as Prefects, the I Matter Council and Chaplaincy group all help to ensure pupils have a voice in shaping the strong loving community of St Peter’s.
Students are always able to voice their opinions at St Peter’s. We encourage them to validate their opinions and understand the value of co-operation and consensus, while also fostering an environment where they can debate ideas and are safe to disagree with each other. Our citizenship curriculum educates our students about how Britain is governed and other forms of government. Students also take an active role in democratic processes through the national Make Your Mark Programme, our School Council system, attendance at Manchester Voicebox meetings as well as regularly elected Eco Councillors and Form Representatives. All pupil groups have the opportunity to present to staff, pupils, parents and governors on a regular basis ensuring their voices are heard.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefsSt Peter’s is an extremely diverse community and this is why the school value of diversity is at the heat of the school. Our students speak over sixty first languages and as many heritage nationalities. Our Religious Education and Citizenship lessons, assembly opportunities and specific curriculum activities encourage an understanding of and respect for people of other faiths or none and other cultures and lifestyles, while our annual International Evening celebrates our diverse community through music, dance, costumes and food from many cultures. We also maintain strong educational links with schools in China, Ghana as well as support more local charities such as Revive and Cornerstone.