At St. Bernadette’s, we recognise the importance of preparing children for life in modern Britain and promoting values that are an integral part of 21st century British society.
The core British values are: mutual respect and beliefs, tolerance of those with different faiths, democracy, rule of law and individual liberty. These values are promoted and reinforced in school in a number of ways.
Our school Mission Statement is to grow in the light of life. Therefore we aim to love one another and value the uniqueness of all members of the school community. We encourage children, parents, governors, teaching and support staff to show respect, kindness and consideration to all. We learn with and from one another; creating a school environment which nurtures the whole child and enables each one of us to realise their full potential. We also aim to live and grow in faith through our weekly assemblies, class liturgies, Prayer group and regular school masses; offering opportunities for prayer, worship and liturgy; creating a strong friendship between home, school, parish, diocese and the wider community.
As part of the RE curriculum throughout KS1 and KS2, children study the Christian faith and its core values. We also study other world faiths. There are displays around the school showing current world affairs and RE themes. People of other faiths have been invited into school to speak to classes about their faith and culture and children have had experience of visiting places of worship.
In Year 5-6, as part of the “Stepping Up Together” PHSE programme, children study aspects of law, including anti-social behaviour and their role in shaping society. They share their learning with KS2 in an end of topic assembly.
In lessons, children are encouraged to be independent learners and to make informed choices. At the beginning of each year, children work together with the teacher to agree class rules. Children regularly review the reasons for particular rules and the importance of adhering to them. Regular class debates and discussions through PSHE, RE or curriculum linked topic work are evident in lessons. E-safety sessions promote the importance of children making informed choices for safety reasons.
KS2 assemblies are related to current affairs. We aim to widen the children’s knowledge and experience of what is relevant in today’s society and multi-cultural issues in order to support them in making informed choices. Themes we cover include: racism, politics, equality, justice, poverty, natural disasters and war.
School Council representatives are democratically voted for by their peers. Also, a group of Year 5 children apply to be trained as Friendship Builders by two teaching assistants. The Friendship Builders support children who are experiencing difficulties in the playground. They meet regularly with the two trained teaching assistants to discuss how to resolve problems.
Children at St Bernadette’s are very aware of how fundraising can support the lives of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. They are encouraged to bring their own money in each week which is collected in green plant pots for CAFOD, providing World Gifts for the needy. We also support various different charities. In recent years, we have raised money for Every Heart Matters, Zoe’s Place and the St Vincent de Paul homeless charity. Each Christmas, we support the CAUSE campaign. Children bring in gifts which are placed into hampers and delivered to worthy families across Middlesbrough.
We have also recruited a group of children to become ‘Mini Vinnies’. This group of enthusiastic and conscientious volunteers work hard in school to ‘turn concern into action’. They support the parish St Vincent de Paul group wherever possible.