Promoting fundamental British Values

What is meant by “British Values”?

We believe that in promoting our Catholic Values, we cannot fail to promote ‘British Values’ of respect for the law, democracy, equality and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs. We are all created equal in the sight of God and we teach that all should contribute to the common good; other faiths are accorded full respect.

“The church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men or harassment of them because of their race, colour, condition of life, or religion” (Aetate, 1965)

British values derive from the Christian values and are at the heart of what we teach in Holy Trinity Catholic School. Our belief that all are made in the image and likeness of God explicitly vales the equality of all, rejects discrimination of any kind, and by extension welcomes diversity of culture. At Holy Trinity we do not focus on ‘what ‘we are but focus on ‘who’ we are. Everyone in our community is unique, special and made in the image of God. We apply the theology of Catherine of Siena and use her metaphor of the reflection in the mirror. When we look in the mirror we see the reflection of God, This does not matter if it is Boy, Girl, Muslim, Jew, Heterosexual, Homosexual, Transgender or any societal named group that is looking in that mirror. We are all inclusive and Holy Trinity teaches all ways of life, providing pupils with the facts needed to make informed decisions. Pupils find their own path but learn to respect all people who may choose to travel another way. All paths lead back to God, Sola fide. When speaking of the greatest commandment, Jesus stated that it was simply to ‘love thy neighbour’. There is no caveat to or any kind of differentiation in this statement. We simply love one another as emphasised in our school mission and motto: ‘Learn to Love, Love to Learn’. The ‘who’ we are is determined by our ability to act with kindness, to love one another and to treat uniqueness with peace, respect and tolerance.

As Pope Francis wrote:

“What we are called to respect in each person is first of all his life, his physical integrity, his dignity and the rights deriving from that dignity, his reputation, his property, his ethnic and cultural identity, his ideas and his political choices. We are therefore called to think, speak and write respectfully of the other, not only in his presence, but always and everywhere, avoiding unfair criticism or defamation. Families, schools religious teaching and all forms of media have a role to play in achieving this goal”(Pope Francis to Muslims ref: Ramadan, 2013)

The following list exemplifies some of the British values:

  • Democracy
  • Respect of the rule of law
  • Appreciation of the rights of other citizens
  • Individual liberty
  • The promotion of opportunities for all
  • Support for those who cannot, by themselves, sustain a dignified life-style
  • Religious tolerance and respect for cultural diversity
  • Treating others with fairness
  • Participation in community life
  • The contribution to, as well as the benefit from, cultural and economic resources

British Values and SMSC

Spiritual development encompasses students’:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.

Moral development encompasses students’:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect  the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

Social development encompasses students’:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with students from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the students develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Cultural development encompasses students’:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities
  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others