British Values

last updated: 13/06/2019

“The task of a teacher is not simply to impart information or to provide training in skills intended to deliver some economic benefit to society; education is not and must never be considered as purely utilitarian. It is about forming the human person, equipping him or her to live life to the full – in short it is about imparting wisdom.”
— Pope Benedict XVI

St. Mary’s is proud to be a Catholic School, building on universal Christian values of the dignity of each life and the equality of all people. Gospel values and the teachings of the Catholic Church underpin all aspects of our life. St. Mary’s aims to:

  • Teach the beliefs, doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic religion

  • Instil respect for moral values and tolerance of other religions, races and cultures

  • Give the satisfaction of achievement to all pupils and develop a sense of vocation

  • Encourage good habits of work, appearance and healthy living

  • Support each pupil to ensure their academic, social and spiritual development

  • Promote community cohesion within and beyond the school

Following Jesus’ example, we strive to live out our Mission Statement each day by encouraging all students to live out a vocation of putting Christ at the centre of all that they do. Our Mission Statement is;

The work of the school is the spiritual, moral, intellectual, aesthetic and physical development of each pupil. It seeks to put Christ at the centre of every activity, worship, learning and service to others.

Our Values

Our Values are based on the teachings of Christ. We are inspired to learn and bring these values into our everyday lives in the service of each other, the parish, diocese and society.

It is our hope that pupils who pass through our care leave the school ready and willing to be fine examples of the Christian values, which form the solid foundation for St. Mary's. At St. Mary’s, we not only recognise the importance of providing an academically enriching curriculum, but we also embrace our wider role in preparing our students for life in modern Britain.


The DfE, in 2011 reinforced 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.”

Pupils at St. Mary’s have the opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of British Values through the work they complete during PHSE as well as in many other areas of the curriculum.


A system of government based on the belief in freedom and equality between people. Great Britain is a democracy - the lawmakers (MPs) only have the power to make laws if the general population choose them in elections.

At St. Mary’s the principle of democracy is consistently reinforced. Students have the opportunity to explore and deepen their understanding of democracy through the work they complete during tutorial as well as in other areas of the curriculum such as history lessons. We also provide our children with a broad knowledge of and promoting respect for public institutions and services e.g. MP visits into school, visits by the Police. Students are educated in how they can influence decision making through the democratic process by providing opportunities for them to be involved in decision making processes to influence school developments. For example, Sixth Form students take part in elections for head boy and girl and all students have the opportunity to elect student council representatives. We also ensure student views are listened to and that they are used to inform school developments through the use of student voice groups, student questionnaires and involvement in conversations with parents/carers.

The rule of law

The law is what we are all to follow and is the same for everyone. Included in this are three key beliefs: No one is above the law - everyone, even those who make the laws, have to follow them; laws protect everyone; everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

At St. Mary’s the importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are reinforced during the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through assemblies and the PSHE programme. An important part of our work at St. Mary’s is enabling students to distinguish right from wrong.

Individual liberty

The freedom and right to act, believe and express yourself in a manner of your own choosing. This must be understood within the values of rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance- individual liberty gives you the right to believe and act as you want, but not if it is intolerant of, disrespectful or damaging towards others. 

Students at St. Mary’s are encouraged to make independent choices and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms. They receive guidance on how to do this safely, through work in ICT lessons considering e-safety as well as assemblies throughout the year. Students are also encouraged to submit ideas for change to their student councillors, who take issues to school council meetings.

Mutual respect

Mutual respect of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. 

We strive to support our children in becoming well rounded and positive British and Global citizens. All members of our school community are taught to have respect for each other, for our premises and for others in our local communities. We also help our children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life e.g. through the curriculum, cultural trips and visits.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

This involves having a fair and accepting attitude to those whose faith, background and/or beliefs may differ from your own. 

As part of our school ethos, we place value on the importance of preparing each person for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life which includes the ability to understand their position in a culturally diverse society. Students are given the opportunity to travel abroad through the academic year, where our students gain a wider understanding of other cultures and languages. Religious Education lessons and PSHE lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others. These themes are celebrated and promoted through the Gospel values during whole school worship and form worship.