British Values

Promoting and Teaching British Values at Upton Westlea

What are British Values?

In the document ‘Promoting Fundamental British Values as Part of SMSC in Schools’ (DfE 11/2015) and ‘The Prevent Strategy’ (DfE 2011), British Values are defined as:

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

The Prevent Strategy also includes:

  • equality of opportunity
  • freedom of speech and
  • the right of all men and women to live free from persecution of any kind.

The school should actively promote these values, which means challenging opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values.

The Teachers’ Standards expect teachers to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school. This includes not undermining fundamental British values.

At Upton Westlea, as part of our SMSC, we will, in an age appropriate manner, promote British values to:

  • enable pupils to develop their selfknowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  •  encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
  • enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people; and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

As a result of promoting fundamental British values, we aim for our pupils to have:

  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decisionmaking through the democratic process; 
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
  • an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
  • an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
  • an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.

Through the EYFS Curriculum, National Curriculum and beyond, the school promotes and teaches British values. Below outlines some key features of how British values are promoted and taught which represents only some of the activities the school undertakes.

Democracy

Pupil voice is highly regarded at Upton Westlea as we believe that, even at this young age, our pupils’ have valuable contributions to make. There are a range of ways pupils’ voice is heard, such as through pupil questionnaires and regular discussions about their learning, special events and school improvement.

Weekly ‘Star of the Week’ pupils are also voted for by their peers, and these pupils are celebrated in our Friday achievement assemblies.

All pupils vote for the School Council, Learning Champions, Behaviour Champions, Art’s Council, E-Safety Officers, Sport’s Council and Eco-Council. The School Council meet every three weeks, take on specific responsibilities, collect information and opinions from their peers, give their views and report back to their peers. The other councils meet at least every half term.

Pupils are listened to by adults and taught to listen with care and concern for others. Children respect the right for all to have an opinion, which is regularly modelled in Philosophy for Children debates.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class or school, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, within PSHE/SEAL/RE/RSE/P4C/Prevent lessons, as well as part of the Behaviour Policy and throughout our Collective Worship.   

At Upton Westlea, we discuss and democratically agree with the pupils the class and school rules. We discuss what is ‘right’, ‘wrong’ and ‘fair’, the reasons for these to protect us and the rewards and sanctions associated with them.

As appropriate, visits from various authorities help to reinforce these messages, such as from the PCSOs, Fire Service, St John’s Ambulance.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely.

Pupils are encouraged to take on areas of leadership and responsibility, such as the various councils, playleaders, taking care of our school dog, Bobby, and school guinea pigs.

Where appropriate, children have a choice over the level of challenge in their learning and how they record their work so as to enhance creativity.

Children are taught about a range of family units and relationships through our Relationship and Sex Education lessons. Our children are actively encouraged to challenge stereotypes and develop their own sense of critical thinking.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of our SMSC teaching both inside and outside of the classroom. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others through our Religious Education, Behaviour Policy, our Collective Worship and class lessons in PSHE, RE, RSE, Prevent and P4C. We teach and reinforce respect for all living things through discussion and role plays, what it means and how it is shown.

We show respect to all those who serve and have served our country, as well as to everyone in the local community. We have close ties to the Army and always honour and commemorate Remembrance Day and other significant events.

We expect every person in our school and those connected to our school to demonstrate respect for themselves as well as others.

At Upton Westlea we also actively encourage children to fundraise and support charities throughout the school year.

We also promote a respect for our country, it’s history and the planet as a whole, through explicit Prevent teaching to value the cultural aspects of ‘Britishness’, holding Harvest festivals, explicitly teaching sustainability, inviting British athletes into school for fundraising events, engaging with local and national news, holding pantomimes on British Values, celebrating key events relating to the Royal Family, valuing the wider family by holding family to school days, learning about the War, and acknowledging that British Values are not all unique to Britain but can be found as integral values throughout the world and in a range of religions, non-religions and cultures.

Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

At Upton Westlea we value the range of different faiths, beliefs and cultures and see these as an asset to our school.  We aim to give our pupils opportunities to experience diversity and develop an understanding of the range of cultures in our society.  As part of our Religious Education and Collective Worship, our pupils, their families and members of different faiths or religions, are encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences.

We celebrate a range of viewpoints, faiths and outlooks in an annual ‘Inter-Faith Day’ which encourages children to explore, question and respect a multitude of religious and non-religious standpoints. We further enhance this learning through trips to different places of worship.

As a ‘community school’ the Collective Worship we encourage are non-denominational and recognises that those attending may have a wide range of faiths or none.  It is however, as required by legislation, “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”.

It is not necessary for schools or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable for schools to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background

Should any member of the school community feel at any time that the school does not act in accordance with the DfE guidance or that a pupil has or is vulnerable to the opinions, viewpoints or suggestions of those in or out of school, that may be deemed political, social or religious radicalisation, please contact the Headteacher.

Other relevant school documents:

  • Collective Worship Policy
  • Religious Education Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) Policy
  • Behaviour Policy
  • Race Equality Policy
  • PSHE Policy
  • Equality Scheme
  • Online Safety (ESafety) Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • AntiBullying Policy
  • British Values Policy

Other relevant DfE documents:

“Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools” (11/2014)

“The Prevent duty” (06/2015)

N.B

“Radicalisation” refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism. During that process it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being drawn into terrorist-related activity.

“Extremism” is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.

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