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What we teach

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 2018 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 £18,000 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 £8567 throughout the school year for other charities such as Olive Branch, LDHAS, St John's Hospice and Neuro DropIn.


Quotations from the Diocesan Inspection 2018:

Pupils take pride in their school and believe that they are better people for attending here. Pupils gain a great deal from the solid and positive role models among staff and sixth form students.

Diocesan Inspection 2018

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. We welcome a number of foreign exchange students from other European countries who attend Our Lady's 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.

There is a sense that each whole person is being formed, not just his or her intellect. Pupils of all ages are able to articulate that they feel valued for who they are. This was borne out in three separate inspirational interviews with groups of pupils from Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. Pupils show pride and belief in the school and what it stands for.

Diocesan Inspection 2018


Pastoral leaders and support staff with responsibility for pupils who have learning needs or are vulnerable are faithful and trustworthy in their delivery of Christian values. They demonstrate unstinting and compassionate commitment to pupil welfare. There is a strong sense of justice and reconciliation within the pastoral system which is not diminished by the reasonable and firm approach to pupil behaviour.

Ofsted Inspection 2018

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.