British Values are intrinsically linked to the school’s mission statement, “learning together as a community in Christ”. By this we mean that the values of tolerance and consideration are embedded in our school community. The five identified values are:
• Rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
The school supports democratic values in various ways – both as part of our school curriculum and in an extra-curricular capacity. For instance, we have an active and purposeful school council that is comprised of elected representatives from all forms and year groups. Pupils’ views from this forum are valued and have impacted on change within the school. Each year, a mock election day takes place during which a whole year group explore the workings of the British democratic process, leading to a vote to determine the most effective party.
Rule of Law
In school we have an inclusive behaviour policy to which pupils are held accountable. Rules and regulations are enforced consistently across the curriculum and pupils are aware of the consequences of failing to meet agreed expectations. Standards cards help to reinforce these expected behaviours. The school also recognises, through its rewards system, those who exhibit exemplary standards since it is important their contributions are valued. Additionally, the school works closely with outside agencies to ensure that pupils are aware of what is expected of them as British citizens in the wider community.
It is our firm belief that all pupils should be given the opportunity to make appropriate personal choices and we offer the support and guidance to enable them to do so. For example, pupils, after individual learning conversations, have the ability to make option choices in Year 9. The school’s ethos supports pupils to be independent, resilient learners. Furthermore, pupils have the freedom to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including school productions, sports teams and whole school clubs. Within our collective worship programme there are opportunities for pupils to participate in discussions and debates during which they are encouraged to consider and express their own individual viewpoints.
St. John Fisher’s mission statement recognises that we are all learners in the image of Christ. Inclusion is at the heart of our ethos and we make every effort to support all our pupils and in particular the most vulnerable – both within our school and the wider community. Our charitable endeavours include supporting Cafod, the Brick Foundation, and Cancer Research UK among others. Bullying – in all its forms – has no place within our school and it is our priority to ensure that pupils feel safe and nurtured. The recent Kirkland Rowell surveys identified our efforts to eradicate bullying based on the positive, respectful relationships between our staff and pupils. They were seen as outstanding strengths of our school.
Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
The school’s ever-increasing cultural diversity has enhanced our community and we go to great lengths to ensure that everyone is respected and valued. Tolerance towards those of other faiths features strongly in the R.E and Humanities curriculum, and cross-curricular activities (such as our annual Holocaust Day) contribute to ensuring that our students are aware of the injustices of the past in order to encourage a tolerant outlook for the future. Elsewhere in the curriculum, literature and poetry from other cultures and traditions feature prominently in English lessons and the modern foreign languages department offers students the chance to explore the traditions of other countries, both within the curriculum and on trips.