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British Values

Catholic Values, British Values

The promotion of ‘British values’ is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation. British values are considered by the present government to be:

  • democracy
  • rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

At St Bernadette’s we recognise, not only the importance of helping pupils to develop academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Our aim is that they are fully prepared for life in British society, to take their role as good citizens, able to make the best possible contribution to the Common Good. Within a framework of Catholic Christian Values, we teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it is to live a good life. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important.

Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Social Teaching. At St Bernadette’s we provide an education which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the Common Good, in the service of others.

Our Catholic Ethos makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities. Within this framework it would be impossible to overlook the government’s view of British values expressed as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’

The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St Bernadette’s and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.


  • School Council
  • Involving pupils in decision making.
  • Taking part in debates
  • Highlighting the development of democratic ideas in history lessons
  • Ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults
  • Inviting speakers to the school
  • Holding mock elections
  • Participating in the Bristol City Youth Council.

The Rule of Law

  • Having a clear behaviour policy that is explained to all
  • Organising visits from outside speakers, including the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong
  • Highlighting the rules of the Church and God in the RE curriculum, for example the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church.

Individual Liberty

  • Encouraging pupils to be independent in their learning
  • Providing pupils with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility to discerning their vocation
  • Mutual respect
  • Having a mission statement that is inclusive
  • Constantly promoting respect for others as good manners
  • Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class debates
  • Having an effective anti-bullying policy
  • Emphasising in RE and other lessons that every person is unique and “created in the image of God”
  • Having educational links with other schools
  • Remembrance Activities and visit to Battlefields
  • Supporting charitable works.

Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

  • Religious Education provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as awareness of the faith and traditions of other religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them
  • Showing how Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and The Women at the Well
  • Marking Holocaust Memorial Day
  • Focusing on rights and responsibilities
  • Having a freely accessible chapel which is open for all faiths to use.