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Gunnersbury Catholic School

SMSC Education

"Gunnersbury Catholic School is a thriving, vibrant and caring learning community within which pupils are stretched intellectually and foster a love of learning, whilst feeling valued, happy and safe" (OFSTED)

Our Citizenship and PSHE programme of study is known as Living Faith and this supports the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and skills pupils need to manage their lives now and in the future.

Gunnersbury Catholic School is committed to encouraging students to respect British values and our curriculum is consistent with the expectation of maintained schools, described in Ofsted’s revised inspection handbook in September 2014. Paragraph 133 of the handbook explains that the social development of pupils will be shown, in part, by their acceptance of and engagement with fundamental British values, developing and demonstrating the skills and attitudes ‘that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.’

The government set out its definition of British values as follows :

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

As a Catholic and Christian community, we are proud of the education we offer our pupils. Through a broad and balanced curriculum, pupils explore the British values by way of cross curricular themes and through our PSHE programme, Living Faith. We actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values and seek to promote a positive approach to the areas named above, using strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for pupils.

Democracy is promoted through a student council, pupil voice and the election of a senior prefect team and student leadership team.

Our ‘Behaviour for Learning’ Policy centres on ‘respect’ as a core value, and discussions and assemblies focus on what respect means and how it is modelled. Through collective worship, liturgies are held to mark specific events throughout the school year, such as Armistice Day.

Collectively, year groups support a wide range of adopted charities and local charity workers have spoken in assemblies to promote their work.

Our curriculum prepares pupils for life in British society; this includes developing the understanding and use of money, effective reading and writing skills, collaboration and discussion to research ideas and concepts. Curriculum themes include historical and geographical study in the context of the United Kingdom as well as national and international comparisons. 

Our Religious Education curriculum equips pupils with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community and beyond.  It provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.  Pupils across all Key Stages look at faiths from around the world and explore the similarities and differences between their faith and that of our own. Pupils gain an appreciation of the faith differences and able to develop a mutual respect for the differences in culture. We also celebrate the religious traditions of a range of faiths in assemblies and in our PSHE programme, Living Faith.  Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in all subjects.  Regular visits, including abroad, enhance pupils’ perceptions of the world around them as well as of their local area.

Our co-curricular curriculum offers plenty of opportunities for pupils to learn about the importance of British values; for example, through Mock Trial Competitions, debating, Rotary Club Youth Speaks, the  Lionheart Challenge, the BskyB Future Leaders Challenge, Eton College Engineering Challenge and the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, pupils are able to explore issues relevant to modern Britain.  Pupil voice panels teach pupils to uphold democracy and appreciate the rule of law, and the range of opportunities embedded in the school’s co-curricular ethos encourage pupils to develop the mindsets and attitudes necessary to adopt core British values.

Through a broad and balanced curriculum and the opportunities that lessons create, the staff and Governors of Gunnersbury Catholic School believe pupils are able to demonstrate:

  • an ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and respect the civil and criminal law of England.
  • an acceptance of and engagement with the 'fundamental British values', and demonstrating the skills and attitudes that allow them to participate and contribute to life in modern Britain.
  • an understanding of the range of cultures within the school ‘and further afield’ as preparation for life in modern Britain.