British Values

St John Fisher Catholic High School recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever- changing nature of the United Kingdom. We also understand the vital role the school has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

The school follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.

The Government emphasises that schools and academies are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools.  The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The school is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it actively promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The School Mission and Values

As a school with a distinctive Catholic Christian ethos, the key drivers for British values of mutual respect, understanding right from wrong; and the need for laws and tolerance are integral to all that we do. We therefore believe that British values and Gospel values and are not mutually exclusive. By upholding and educating our students about British values, by living out our Mission statement we ensure our school is a place where everyone is equally respected and unconditionally loved.

Commitment to Developing the Whole Child

The school is fully committed to developing the whole child including their faith formation and social, moral, spiritual, and cultural development. We want our students to be able to contribute fully to the society in which they live and to bear witness to Christ in the modern world. We promote this by.

  • A strong Catholic ethos underpins and pervades everything we do
  • The successful integration of all students into our school community
  • The promotion of equal opportunities for everyone
  • A strong and supportive pastoral structure which supports all students
  • Coherent and consistently applied behaviour and anti-bullying policies
  • Strong collaborative partnerships with our partner Catholic partner primary schools, local schools, Academies, and post 16 providers
  • A strong and active Christian commitment to support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our school, diocesan family of schools and communities from which our students are drawn
  • Daily collective worship, weekly assemblies, liturgical calendar and a PSHCE programme through which our distinctive Christian ethos, British values and individuality are promoted and celebrated
  • Providing opportunities for students in all year groups to plan and lead daily collective worship and assemblies
  • Providing opportunities for students in all year groups to plan and lead fundraising events and to support those less fortunate than themselves through charitable work
  • Providing opportunities for students in all year groups to raise funds for a variety of diocesan, local, national, and international appeals e.g., CAFOD, Good Shepherd Appeal, I-CAN appeal, and Children in Need
  • Providing opportunities for students in all year groups to assume ‘leadership roles’ e.g., head boy/girl, junior leadership team, prefects, Chaplaincy reps
  • A comprehensive enrichment programme which includes cultural visits in Britain and abroad


Examples of how we actively promote, and model democracy

  • Providing our students with a broad knowledge of and promoting respect for public institutions and services e.g., MP visits into school, visits by the Police, Fire Service, Local Councillors etc.
  • Educating students as to how they can influence decision making through the democratic process and providing opportunities for them to be involved in decision making processes to influence school developments e.g., Head boy/girl, Junior Leadership Team, Prefects, and student Chaplaincy groups.
  • Ensuring students views are listened to and used to inform whole school developments e.g., student voice groups, student consultation groups, student questionnaires and involvement in conversations with parents/carers
  • Providing opportunities through the curriculum, e.g., English and Religious Education, for students to develop the skills of debating; and through membership of the College debating club to enter competitions with students from other institutions
  • Modelling how perceived injustice can be peacefully challenged by teaching about inspirational figures such as Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King and Maximillian Kolbe
  • Facilitating enquiries around “The Big Questions”, “Matters of Life and Death” and contemporary moral issues through Philosophy and Ethics sessions in Religious Education


Examples of how we actively promote and model the rule of law

  • 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 PSHCE programme e.g. all students sign an ICT Acceptable Usage Policy
  • Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This is reinforced by the interaction between the school SSPO and students and their families
  • Ensuring our school rules and expectations of behaviour and conduct are clear, fair and applied consistently e.g., through our behaviour and engagement policy, hierarchy of sanctions and RRS system
  • Helping our students to distinguish right from wrong e.g., by using the example of Christ and Gospel teachings when dealing with behaviour that is not acceptable
  • Promoting respect for the law and the basis on which it is made e.g., the school has a named SSPO who promotes the rule of law by outlining how some behaviours constitute criminal acts
  • Helping students to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals e.g., through the PSHCE curriculum e.g. e-safety and anti-bullying and inputs from external speakers
  • Having a behaviour and engagement policy that is linked to restorative justice and based on the Christian value of forgiveness e.g. ensuring reintegration meetings following exclusion include restorative meetings led by trained pastoral staff and including the SSPO where appropriate.

Examples of how we actively promote, and model individual liberty

  • Within the school, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand, and exercise their rights and personal freedoms as well teaching them that how they act can impact positively and negatively on others.
  • Students are advised how to exercise these freedoms safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHCE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, how they record work or participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, students are given the freedom to make choices.
  • Supporting students to develop their self- knowledge, self- esteem, and self- confidence e.g., through our Catholic ethos, our way of treating people, by investing heavily in meeting the needs of all the children, by providing equality of opportunity, by knowing and understanding the needs of all the children.
  • Encouraging students to take responsibility for their behaviour as well as knowing their rights e.g., through linking rights with responsibilities, by having a fair and consistent behaviour management policy, by ensuring opportunities are provided for students to engage in restorative practices and demonstrate the Christian values of being sorry, forgiveness and penance
  • Challenging stereotypes e.g., visitors into school

Examples of how we actively promote, and model mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

  • Respect for each other, for our school premises and for others in our local communities is an integral part of our school ethos and Behaviour and Engagement Policy. Students see staff model this by treating each other with respect and courtesy and we promote this in the way our students interact with each other in their classes, around the school site and at off-site activities
  • Promoting respect for individual differences e.g., through assemblies, Collective Worship, Masses, the RE curriculum, welcoming students, and visitors of all faiths, meeting the needs of our EAL students, through our Catholic ethos.
  • Helping children to acquire an understanding of and respect for their own and other cultures and ways of life e.g., through the curriculum e.g., Religious Education and Geography, cultural trips and visits, retreats, and pilgrimages
  • Openly discussing and celebrating the differences between people such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender, and different family situations such as looked after children, young carers and the different countries and cultures from which our students are drawn
  • Sporting activities promoting an attitude of equality and fairness. We celebrate awards and achievements gained from both school and outside school activities during award assemblies.
  • Inviting visitors to school to illustrate to our children different life experiences.
  • Taking part in the Leeds Diocesan Steering Group which defined the policy and approach for Catholic schools to positively engage and welcome members of different faith communities.