For Promoting British Values in Slough Secondary Schools please click on the title.
At St Bernard’s, we believe that Citizenship education is an essential part of our students’ overall curriculum. Its focus is to ensure that all students grow in their understanding of the cultures and laws that exist in the UK and the key elements of democracy and the structure of government. Through learning about these key aspects of British life, our students will become aware of themes such as human rights, multiculturalism, diversity, justice and liberty. They will come to appreciate that the Catholic viewpoint is that all people are created equally and in God’s image irrespective of culture or faith perspective. All cultures and faiths therefore deserve the same respect and opportunities in our democratic nation.
In Year 7 there are dedicated Citizenship lessons with a SOW which covers all the key ideas. From Year 8 upwards a cross-curricular approach is adopted.
Much of the Citizenship curriculum is covered in other subjects. RE deals with the range of religions and beliefs that are in the UK today, History looks at the events that have shaped this countries democratic system and English helps to formulate various skills, such as debating and creative writing. Perhaps the most important skill that we wish our students to acquire is the ability to take action on issues that matter most to them. We run Citizenship days in key stage 3 for this, and there is overlap with other skills days that occur. St. Bernard’s has been influenced greatly by students who are willing to take action, and as a result there is now a Student Council and an Eco-Committee which has led to the development of the eco-garden and the school’s recycling system.
Most importantly, Citizenship teaches our student’s to continue to carry out St. Bernard’s aims and mission statement. It teaches the core values of love, forgiveness and acceptance. It enables them to understand the ever developing world and to have the courage and will to make a difference in peoples’ lives. It entices them to understand peoples’ rights and the responsibilities they have as individuals to ensure those rights are adhered to.
At St Bernard’s there is strong emphasis upon serving the community, and many of our students are active both within the school community, but also the home parish community and the local Slough community. There are many activities whereby our students give freely of their time and we get to hear about some of these through their participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (about 90% of our students participates). In addition, the school organises some activities for the local community including an OAP’s Christmas Party, music events in Langley Library and participation in Young Enterprise with other schools. The school is also developing its involvement with the local community through inviting in representatives of non-Christian world faiths to talk to students in order to deepen further our understanding of the cultural and faith tradition of Britain.
St Bernard’s recognises and acts upon its obligation to educate and act against any form of extremist behaviour and viewpoints, no matter from what faith or cultural tradition they originate.