Life in Modern Britain
Blessed William Howard Catholic High School is a school which seeks to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words and deeds, with Catholic practice permeating throughout every aspect of the life of the school. We provide a Catholic curriculum that is broad and balanced and recognises that every student is unique and created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Our curriculum is designed to enable all students to discern their vocation and to be well-equipped to follow it as active citizens in service to the world. Catholic Religious Education is the “core of the core curriculum” (Pope St John Paul II) and the foundations of the entire educational process. We also provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.
The revised Governors’ Handbook explicitly states: “Every effort should be made to ensure the school’s ethos promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs; and encourage students to respect other people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010. The governing body should ensure that this ethos is reflected and implemented effectively in school policy and practice and that there are effective risk assessments in place to safeguard and promote students’ welfare. The Department for Education has produced advice for maintained schools on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, which includes references to promoting British Values.”
In response, The Painsley Catholic Academy Directors are committed to actively promoting the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This is done through the effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of students, including through our extra-curricular activity and work within our local community. Tolerance is at the heart of our RE curriculum as it explores other faiths and appreciates the views of those with no faith.
Democracy: This is achieved through our distinctive purpose of serving the Common Good. Regular student voice, Student Council, and charity work, all contribute to serving our school, local and national community.
Rule of Law: Within Blessed William Howard clear rules are adhered to both in and outside the classroom with an understanding of the need, and respect, for the law. Students actively engage in and participate with the promotion of rights and their associated duties. The Home/School agreement promotes this understanding to beyond the school gates. The pastoral citizenship programme also contributes significantly to the education of the importance of the rule of law as well as an adherence to the RRS charter. These are underpinned through our rewards and sanctions system with half-termly rewards assemblies.
Individual Liberty: Students at Blessed William Howard are encouraged to make individual choices knowing that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to realise their full potential as cherished children of God who have a purpose and meaning in this world.
Mutual Respect: Respect lies at the heart of our mission statement. From our anti-bullying pledge to our Sports Leaders, valuing all in our community underpins who we are as a Catholic community, with fairness and justice being at the core of our curriculum. Acts of worship are planned and delivered by all members of the school community and reflect God’s call to “Love one another as I have loved you”, with the weekly Gospel being at the heart of each meeting.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs: Through providing our students with the knowledge of the world they are integral to, and the capacity to develop positive relationships with all in our local, national and international community, we enable our students to see that all are made in God’s image. Diversity of culture and religion is encompassed in our RE and citizenship curriculum through the study of Islam and Judaism at key stage 3, along with a deeper exploration of Judaism in the GCSE course. These follow the words of Pope Francis to “think and speak respectfully of other religions and their followers, and to avoid ridiculing or denigrating their convictions and practices.” The broader curriculum and charity work that is prevalent throughout the year encourages all to have an empathy with those from all parts of our world.
Safeguarding children and adults and providing early intervention to protect and divert people away from being drawn into extremist activity is a key aim of a British curriculum and BWH supports and actions this view.
The risk factors that support an assessment of vulnerability are (for students/staff):
- Spending increasing time in the company of other suspected extremists.
- Changing their style of dress or personal appearance to accord with the group.
- Their day-to-day behaviour becoming increasingly centred around an extremist ideology, group or cause.
- Loss of interest in other friends and activities not associated with the extremist ideology, group or cause.
- Possession of material or symbols associated with an extremist cause (for example the swastika for far right groups).
- Attempts to recruit others to the group/cause/ ideology.
- Communications with others that suggest identification with a group/cause/ideology.
The Principal of BWH will seek advice from the police if any of the above signs ever become evident at the school.