Values and Citizenship
Although there is currently no separate curriculum subject labelled ‘citizenship’, Our Lady’s is confident that the cross curricular and extra-curricular learning that takes place in the school gives our pupils the best possible foundation of British values.
Our Lady’s was graded ‘Outstanding’ at its last faith inspection and to become an outstanding Catholic school the pupils have had to learn and be able to think and act in accordance with Christian values which are synonymous with British values:- tolerance, respect, caring, honesty, responsibility, effort, forgiveness and charity.
These qualities are taught extensively throughout the RE syllabus which every pupil follows and are reinforced by whole school charitable activity for example supporting and visiting South African and East African schools, community work, regular fair trade stalls etc. One of the highlights of the 2014 Calendar year was the trip to Uganda where teachers and pupils travelled to remote parts of the country and delivered lessons to African children, talked to African educators about some of the best practices in Britain and raised sufficient money to be able to take an enormous quantity of sorely needed resources with them. In total the Our Lady’s community raised over £25,000 to enable this to happen and the pupils will continue to raise money to ensure there is a lasting legacy of the visit. Despite the focus recently on Uganda the pupils also managed to raise £6377 in the calendar year 2012, £4079 in the calendar year 2013 and £2878 in the calendar year to date for other charities as diverse as CAFOD, Help for Heroes, Cystic Fibrosis and the local hospital baby ward.
One of our pupils was recently chosen to take part in the International Citizens Service Programme and travel to Kenya to help disadvantaged children. We also teach our pupils to reflect on the price previous generations have paid to enable us to enjoy the freedom and privilege to be able to help others. Our pupils were encouraged to enter this year’s Western Front Association’s Armistice Competition and one of our year 10 pupils won for the whole of the North of England region.
Quotations from the Diocesan Inspection 2013:
Pupils treat others with high levels of respect. Care and mutual support are palpable. Pupils demonstrate their faith in action by showing a real concern for the world community by raising large amounts of money for both local and world communities.Diocesan Inspection 2013
Democracy is not only taught but practised by the pupils when they vote for the school council members and Head Girls and Head Boys and supplemented by visits to Westminster and Mayor Making so that they can begin to see politics in action.
Pupils are taught to embrace diversity and are delighted to welcome many pupils from other countries who either come to England specifically to study or who accompany parents working at the University. Exchange students from other European countries totalled 29 in 2013 and 2014 and the experience students from other countries can gain is exemplified by Max Klingel’s story. Max achieved ‘A’ grades in Maths, Biology and German and a ‘B’ in Business and Economics and stayed to go to Lancaster University to study Economics and Politics. Max had been at Our Lady’s only a few weeks when he extended his visit to two years because he enjoyed the friendly atmosphere so much. At the beginning of his second year he was voted Head Boy.
Our students are taught to respect and consider colleagues and members of staff with disabilities and these members of our community flourish in our inclusivity and equality.
Quotation from Diocesan Inspection 2013
The school is a haven for the pupils it serves.Diocesan Inspection 2013
Quotations from Ofsted Inspection 2012
Case studies demonstrate how a few students with very specific social, behavioural and/or emotional needs have been very well supported by the college so that they have settled down well and learned how to manage their own learning and personal development and improve their academic progress.Ofsted Inspection 2012
Pupils take part in ‘Days with a Difference’ throughout their life at Our Lady’s. These days enable the students to move away from the normal curriculum and concentrate on what makes them, their community, their country and their world better and fairer. Themes for Drop Down Days recently have included:- What is Freedom; Global Development – Rich and Poor; Respect for each other; Persecuted brothers and sisters; Anti-bullying week including a Police hate crime Assembly; Holocaust memorial and Respect for our world/Fairtrade.
Occasionally the success of our teaching has a critical and immediate impact. One evening not too long ago one of our Year 10 pupils on his way home realised that someone on the bridge was about to throw themselves into the river. He intervened immediately and saved them. A very young person cared enough to act decisively in extraordinary and challenging circumstances and saved a stranger’s life.
Perhaps most effective of all in the promotion of values is something simple but pervasive. Our Lady’s insists that all the teachers and support staff in its employ show unstinting respect and care for all other members of the community, pupil or adult and this is a strong and constant model that the students absorb and copy.