British Values

This year we continue to expand one of our many school focuses: British values and the Jesuit Virtues through their pupil profile - see how:


At St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, we recognise that all children have rights as outlined in the UN Convention. As duty bearers, we have the responsibility to respect these rights and are committed to supporting our children through their education and to ensure that they are rights-holders. Our children have the right to a good quality education (Article 28), the opportunity to use education to develop talents and abilities (Article 29) and the right to special education (Article 23). At St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary, we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that both adults and children learn new things every day. We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for everyone; it should be fun. Through our teaching we equip children with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives.


The DfE reinforce the need;

“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote 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 government originally set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. These values fall into the following broad areas:


∙  Democracy

∙  The rule of law

∙  Individual liberty

∙  Mutual respect

∙  Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs


As a Catholic school we have always had a set of values which forms our school’s mission and underpins and is integral to every aspect of the life of the school. These are based on the teachings of the Catholic Church and the promotion of Gospel values. At St Joseph’s School our Gospel values are rooted in the Beatitudes, the proclamation of Christ’s Sermon on the Mount: ‘Blessed are…’ Whilst not definitive, the core values based on the Beatitudes are:


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” Value: Dignity and Compassion


“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Value: Faithfulness and Integrity


“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” Value: Humility and Gentleness “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Value: Forgiveness and Mercy “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” Value: Purity and Holiness

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God” Value: Tolerance and Peace


“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven” Value: Service and Sacrifice

At St Joseph’s School we actively promote these values by:


∙  Working with parents and Holy Trinity / Sacred Heart Parishes to give the children in our care a knowledge of their faith and to guide them in the practice of their faith.

∙  Encouraging the growth of a community based upon Gospel values, where each member has the opportunity to explore their faith.

∙  Providing an environment where each child is valued as an individual and has the opportunity to develop to their full potential.

∙  Developing a community where every members’ needs, talents and qualities are appreciated.

∙  Encouraging the development of a professional, motivated and mutually supportive staff who hold high expectations of our pupils.

∙  Setting and maintaining high standards of discipline, courtesy and general moral values which allow the whole school community to function effectively. Our aim is that each child can, in due course, take on a responsible role in society.

∙  Providing a non-sexist, non-racist atmosphere which engenders tolerance and respect for other races, religions and life-styles.

∙  Fostering links between home, school and parishes for the benefit of our children.

Ensuring that the children understand that the Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the nine protected characteristics that we all have:


To summarise, as a Catholic School we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Church. Our continued focus on the Gospel values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a future successful and productive life.

Through our RE, PSHE and foundation subjects we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general. At St Joseph’s, these values are reinforced regularly.


Promoting British Values at St Joseph’s School





At St Joseph’s School we will:

∙  Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and promote respect for, public institutions and services.

∙  Teach pupils how they can influence decision-making through the democratic process.

∙  Include in the curriculum information on the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and how it works in Britain.

∙  Encourage pupils to become involved in decision-making processes and ensure they are listened to in school.

∙  Hold ‘mock elections’ so pupils learn how to argue and defend points of view e.g. when electing representatives to the School Council for each class.

∙  Help pupils to express and present their views

∙  Model how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged.

Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil voice.

Each year, elections are held and children engage in the democratic process by completing and returning ballot forms in a formal election procedure. Children, parents and staff are given regular opportunities to give feedback on school life. This is done through pupil interviews, Parents' consultation evenings, parent/staff/pupil questionnaires, individual meetings, pupil suggestion boxes and School Council Meetings.

The Rule of Law 

At St Joseph’s School we will:

∙  Ensure school rules and expectations are clear and fair and that pupils understand the reasons for having rules.

∙  Help pupils to distinguish right from wrong.

∙  Help pupils to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals.

∙  Teach pupils aspects of both civil and criminal law and discuss how this might differ from some religious laws.

∙  Develop approaches focused on reconciliation and justice to resolve conflicts.

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. Our school rules apply from FY to Yr6 and children are reminded of these on a regular basis. We adhere to a well- considered and effective behaviour policy and children are disciplined appropriately when rules are broken. This is always within the understanding of mutual respect and that we are all made in the image and likeness of God.

We constantly remind the children about the Gospel Values and emphasise that we all need to follow and demonstrate them as part of our Catholic Life.


Individual Liberty 

At St Joseph’s School we will:

∙  Support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.

∙  Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.

∙  Implement a strong anti-bullying culture - as enshrined in our policies for Anti Bullying and Behaviour.

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Developing their self-esteem and self-confidence is very important.

As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and we discuss how to exercise these safely, for example through our Computing (ICT) – E Safety, R.E. and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.


Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs with Mutual Respect 

At St Joseph’s School we will:

∙  Promote respect for individual differences in all areas of learning and interaction.

∙  Help pupils to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life.

∙  Challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.

∙  Learn about religions different from that of our Catholic faith.

∙  Discuss differences between people, such as differences of family situations, such as looked-after children or young carers. Our school’s ethos and behaviour policy are based on Gospel values, with the important commandment being, ‘Love one another as I have loved you’. Assemblies constantly promote respect for others and the importance of good manners and promote the diversity of society and the right for each person to be respected and valued equally regardless of ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. All pupils are taught the importance of self-respect, honest and open communication with others and fair play. Pupils work collaboratively and value others’ opinions. Resources around the school remind the children of Gospel Values and pupils are reminded of their place in a culturally diverse society. Our Charitable works also strive to develop the understanding of different faiths and beliefs as these are focused on at times through the year.


We will do this through the following types of activities: 

(FY to Year 1)

-Children democratically select class Bear names and child lead activities etc.. links made to the voting system and school council higher up the school.

-  Children commemorate Remembrance Day understanding the symbol of the poppy. -Children use opportunities to discuss British values as significant occasions or events arise e.g a royal wedding.


 (Year 2 to Year 4)

-  Children commemorate Remembrance Day understanding the significance of the poppy and the importance of reconciliation.

-Children use opportunities to discuss British values as significant occasions or events arise e.g a royal wedding.

Children democratically select class representatives for their school council.

-Children debate and make decisions about their school through their school council. -Children study Florence Nightingale and her impact on modern nursing.

-  Children study Nelson Mandela and the civil rights movement in South Africa.

-Children study local democracy in Britain to include an interview with a local councillor. -Children campaign on a local issue writing to the local council on an issue which they feel is important in their community.

-Children prepare and take part in a debate with other schools.


(Years 5 & 6)

-Children commemorate Remembrance Day understanding the importance of reconciliation and the lessons to be learned from history (linked to work on Anne Frank).

-Children use opportunities to discuss British values as significant occasions or events arise e.g a royal wedding, a general election etc.

Children democratically select class representatives for their school council.

-Children debate and make decisions about their school through their school council. -Children democratically select class representatives for their school council.

-Children study the suffragette movement and women rights.

-  Children study Martin Luther King and the American civil rights movement.

-  Children study democracy in Britain at a national level to include an interview with their MP (if available). -Children study the history of Parliament and how it has changed over time.

-Children study various Catholic Martyrs and the persecution of the Catholic church, to include a visit to places of Catholic Heritage.

-  Children study the justice system in Britain and the role of a jury.

-  Children study the work of the magistrate court, to include a visit from a local magistrate.

-Children study the Cadbury family in order to develop a sense of the importance of philanthropy.


Pupil Profile - The Jesuit Institute

The Jesuit Pupil Profile has its own logo which shows the virtues we will be focussing on. The tree is symbolic of the growth of the virtues. Within its branches comfortably resting is the goldfinch which has been used in art since medieval times to symbolise Christ and the Passion.

All schools in the diocese have adopted an approach similar to the Jesuit Pupil Profile. In the profile are eight sets of words which have been paired together because of their complementary and harmonising relationship to one another: from the development of one virtue springs another.

Each half term we award various children as demonstrating specific virtues in their daily school life.