Our School

Dignity of Work

Also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3:13

At St Joseph’s we promote the dignity of work in all we do. Work is an essential part of our human dignity so everybody should be able to participate. People should always come before profit. Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good and workers must always be respected and valued.  The economy has to serve people not the other way around.

Work is more than a way to earn a living it is a participation in God’s creation and therefore the dignity and the rights of those who work must always be protected. Supporting the rights of workers to safe and dignified working conditions, to a work-life balance that ensures the promotion of the human person, the right to be represented by a union or similar organisation and the right to a just wage have always been a part of Catholic Social Teaching.

As we become more aware of our global responsibilities, there is need to consider whether the goods and services we buy exploit other workers in different parts of the world or prevent an equitable distribution of wealth.

Where is it seen in our curriculum?


Dignity of Work


In RE we look at the dignity of work across KS3 and KS4 when we study Genesis.  Here we find God as a divine worker. He produces what is useful and beautiful and gives existence to all that is part of His divine plan. In Genesis 2 work is central to fulfil our potentials as human beings.

In Y7 and 8, the dignity of work is emphasised when looking at the life of St Joseph, patron and protector of all workers. His vocation as a carpenter provides a strong, positive model that can inspire students.

In Y11, the rights of workers are emphasised in the section about Human Rights. Students learn that the Catholic Church promotes the rights of the individuals, regardless of status, race of religion. In the same section, students learn about the responsibility of wealth. Wealth is a gift from God and must be used wisely and responsibly.


Much of English Language is focused on the dignity of work and preparing for work, teaching students the importance of writing letters, articles and speeches, giving them an opportunity to present themselves in order for them to achieve a future career. We also focus on different opportunities of work, through exposing students to a range of viewpoints in literature by examining various autobiographies and speeches.


This is seen in the harmony, patterns, and structures of numbers and forms – classical ideals of balance and symmetry – as it is reflected in nature so should it be in the workforce and life style. Basic numeracy around salaries, wages and earnings are likewise an important aspect of understanding equality and dignity.


From KS3 to KS5 science students are guided in understanding safe lab practice and how to work safely with dangerous equipment. This begins with students understanding basic lab safety symbols and culminates in them eventually being able to plan and write risk assessments for experiments. This is a crucial skill for working life as they can understand how to identify risks and mitigate them.


In History, we look at the Dignity of work when studying Migration to Britain and the Peasants' Revolt

Years 8 and 9 students look at how individuals gained the vote and how this transformed the workplace. When studying the Civil Rights Movement we examine how African American were not allowed to have dignity of work and campaigned tirelessly for this.


In Geography students learn about different types of social development and linked jobs and discover how these have changed over time with development.


In French students learn about the Dignity of work discussing about jobs and following instructions at work.

At Key Stage 4 students to applying for jobs.

At Key Stage 5 students look at multiculturalism and immigration as well as social exclusion and inclusion.


In Spanish students learn about the Dignity of work when studying working in a restaurant and talking to family members and their jobs.
Students in year 9 will learn about reporting the news and in year 11 students learn about work experience.
At Key Stage 5 students learn about the plight of illegal immigrants in Spain, their life and experiences as well as Mexican immigration to the United States and its consequences. Lastly students will learn about the problem of youth unemployment in Spain and Latin America.


Students during PSHE explore lots of different topics that look at the dignity of work such as:

The Role of Trade unions in the workplace. Multiple Incomes and State Benefit System. The UK Tax System and what it means for workers. Different Insurance types and assurance. Mobile banking and Personal Finance as well as Human Rights in the UK vs the World


In PE, we explore the differing roles that are associated within the sporting world and share the understanding that all roles hold value to uphold the rules of any sport. We look at how to create a safe working environment so that all pupils can excel in their abilities.


In yr7 Students study Quentin Blake and his work in hospitals and hospices linking to the call to family community and participation along with the dignity of work. At KS5 this is extended into investigations into Russian art movement constructivism.


In Design and Technology dignity of work is explored through topics such as Fairtrade, human rights, workers' rights, health and safety.


In drama, we look at The Pied Piper of Hamlin this looks at the morals within the story and what is right and wrong. In year 9 students devise their own Theatre in Education piece based on a current issue of their choice aimed at teaching others through theatre.


Through KS3, students develop their understanding of the living and working circumstances of musicians and how music is accessed in the world. Aside from songs that focus specifically on working conditions and working lives, we also explore how music transforms over time and through the industry. For example when exploring dance music, film music and popular music. Through KS4 student, develop their understanding of the industry be studying set works and developing crucial performance and composition skills. In KS5, students study the functionality of the music industry in further detail, and complete a variety of assignments, which demonstrate skills for a wide variety of real-life scenarios. For example within event management, health and safety, education and law.

Business and Economics

Students learn about employee, and human rights which ensures that they understand the importance of treating others with dignity irrespective of their differences.


In Law, students will study Vicarious Liability and the responsibility an employer has to their employee in an accident. Also in Year 13 students will study Article 11 – the right to assembly and this will examine the role of Trade Unions


Dignity of work is discussed in Year 12 psychology when examining Economic Implications of Psychological Research


Dignity of work is discussed Year 12 Sociology when examining Functionalist and Marxist Debates over Social Mobility or Reproduction Year 13 - Gender, Class, Ethnic and Age Inequalities in the Workplace