Gospel Virtues

At St. Mark's Catholic Primary School we strive to actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils' character and moral perspective, through the teachings of the Catholic Church.

We are confident that our continued focus on the Diocesan Virtues will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed in them the building blocks of a successful future whereby all children fulfil their potential.

Our whole school assemblies, key stage assemblies, prayer services and school Masses continually reiterate this. It is embedded throughout our curriculum themes and daily school experiences.

Through our weekly Collective Worship, RE lessons, PSHE lessons, various creative curriculum projects and promoting The Beatitudes and Diocesan Virtues we are able to make real links between the values of our pupils and the lives of others in their community, country and the world in general.

Through our Creative Curriculum we teach our children about democracy, responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and importantly, respect of other world faiths.

Gospel Virtues

Jesuit Virtues

Pupils at St. Mark's Catholic Primary School are growing to be... Staff at St. Mark's Catholic Primary School help pupils grow...
Grateful for their own gifts, for the gift of other people, and for the blessings of each day; and generous with their gifts, now and in the future. By encouraging them to know and be grateful for all their gifts, developing them to the full so that they can be generous in the service of others.
Attentive to their experience and to their vocation; and discerning about the choices they make and the effects of those choices. By promoting the practice of attentive reflection and discerning decision making: in teaching, in the examen, prayer and retreats; and through the practice and example of school leaders and staff.
Compassionate towards others, near and far, especially the less fortunate; and loving by their just actions and forgiving words. By being compassionate and loving in the way pupils are treated, especially when a pupil is in trouble; and by opening pupils' eyes to those who suffer poverty, injustice or violence.
Faith-filled in their beliefs and hopeful for the future. By passing on the living and faith-filled tradition of Jesus Christ; by having persevering faith in the pupils, and by encouraging them in turn, to have faith and hope in themselves and others.
Eloquent and truthful in what they say of themselves, the relations between people, and the world.  By developing an eloquent language which pupils can use to understand and articulate their emotions, beliefs, and questions, encouraged by the example of their teachers to be truthful in the way they represent themselves and speak about the world.
Learned, finding God in all things; and wise in the ways they use their learning for the common good. By the breadth and depth of the curriculum; by excellence of teaching, and the creation of opportunities to become more learned and wise.
Curious about everything; and active in their engagement with the world, changing what they can for the better. By leading pupils to be curious about the universe and all human activity, and to take increasing responsibility for their own learning, and by providing opportunities for them to be active in the life of the school, the Church, and the wider community.
Intentional in the way they live and use the resources of the earth, guided by conscience; and prophetic in the example they set to others. By being a school community which is intentional in its way of proceeding to build-up quality of life; and which is prophetic in the way it offers an alternative vision of education and the human person rooted in the gospel.

Our Virtues Trees


Jesus is the Light of the World.

Each half term, children at St. Mark's Catholic Primary School develop their understanding of two new virtues and strive to apply these to their everyday lives.

Each class has a Virtues tree whereby children have the opportunity to write how they have applied some of the virtues in their everyday life.

British Values

The government set out its definition of 'British values' in the 'Prevent Strategy' (2011). At St. Mark's these values are regularly promoted through learning and teaching, a rounded programme of assemblies and a positive behaviour policy allowing pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

The promotion of 'British values' is central to Catholic education because British values have their origin in the Christian values of our nation.

"We are proud that Catholic schools promote values that are both Catholic and British, including: respect for the individual, democracy, individual liberty, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness. Our schools promote cohesion by serving more ethnically diverse and poorer communities. Catholic schools provide high standards of education which are popular with parents from all social, economic and faith backgrounds." Paul Barber (Catholic Education Service 15 December 2014).

At St. Mark's we provide an education that focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our vocation and purpose in life. We are guided by our mission statement 'Proudly and Joyfully, we Love, Live and Learn as God's children' and by the Christian values of vocation and service, respect, compassion, co-operation and stewardship as we reflect on our place and purpose in the world.

We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the Common Good, in the service of others. Our Catholic ethos, which includes explicit reference to Christian and British values, makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities. Within this framework it would be impossible to overlook the government's view of British values expressed as 'democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.'

The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at St. Mark's Catholic Primary School and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list. At St. Mark's we recognise, not only the importance of helping pupils to flourish academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, so that they are fully prepared for life in British society and for their role as citizens, able to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all. We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it means to live a good life, within a framework of Catholic Christian Values. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important. Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example of Jesus and his welcome and inclusion of all, which is developed in Catholic Teaching.

British Value Some of the ways we promote this at St. Mark's

Democracy

Gospel Virtues: Discerning, eloquent, intentional, prophetic
School values:  Responsibility, inclusion, equality, contribution, honesty, trust, freedom, tolerance, integrity, community and achievement. 

  • Elections for positions of responsibility in school.
  • School Council
  • Eco-buddies
  • Circle Time
  • Class Debates – dealing with different viewpoints
  • Writing balanced argument in Literacy
  •  Behaviour Policy – resolving conflict positively and fairly.
  • Citizenship – volunteering to help others in the local, Parish, wider and global community.

The Rule of Law

Gospel Virtues: Truthful, generous, learned, active. 
School values: Equality, challenge, contribution, responsibility, integrity, trust, community, teamwork and honesty.

  • School Behaviour Policy
  • Visits and talks from PC Sam O'Dell (our police community support officer)
  • Cop Swaps initiative
  • Internet Safety training
  • Ethos / Gospel Virtues – helping children to distinguish between right and wrong.
  • Teaching of Gospel Values and Biblical Stories – model to children people making the right choice, even in difficult situations. 

Individual Liberty

Gospel Virtues: wise, curious, faith- filled, grateful  
School values: Honesty, humility, courage, freedom, teamwork, perseverance, determination, curiosity, growth and spirituality. 

  • Work on Vocations – we encourage children to recognise their talents and fulfil their potential.
  • All children are treated equally, fairly and given the same opportunity to take part in activities and experiences.
  • Behaviour Policies and Procedures put emphasis on children being responsible for their own actions.
  •  Pupil Voice – allows children to express their own views about school and take action.
  • Stereotypes are challenged throughout school.
  • Freedom of speech is modelled through pupil participation in class discussions, dialogue with staff, pupil questionnaires and the knowledge that children can speak freely and openly to staff members (open door policy).

 

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs

Gospel Virtues: loving, hopeful, compassionate,  attentive  
School values: Inclusion, equality, tolerance, communication, courage, appreciation, teamwork, understanding, perseverance, determination, loyalty, acceptance, faith, confidence, determination, family, spirituality, achievement, community, charity. 

  • Multicultural Week – Children explore different faiths and visit other places of worship. They also learn about other celebrations (ie. Diwali and Chinese New Year.)
  • Children experience and learn about music from all over the world (African drumming and Indonesian music workshop).
  • Children learn about the lives of people from other places in the world.
  • RE programme of study includes work on different faiths.
  • Children in Key Stage 2 are learning to speak Greek.
  • Children have access to a range of books which explore other faiths and cultures.