The Department for Education states that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools:
Democracy – Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process
The rule of law – respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
Individual liberty - support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
Mutual respect – respect for all
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs – tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs
At St Peter’s these values are promoted as part of everyday school life:
Democracy is richly embedded within the school. Pupils have many opportunities to have their voices heard through our School Council, pupil questionnaires, discussions with the Headteacher, and the Senior Leadership Team and through general class debates. Pupils are listened to and are taught to listen carefully to others. They are taught to respect the right of individuals to have their voices and opinions heard and are taught to discuss issues in a calm and balanced way.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the regular school day at St Peter’s. A consistently applied Behaviour Policy is shared with the children and is applied in all areas of the school. Expectations are reinforced regularly and opportunities are sought frequently to praise positive choices. Pupils modelling behaviour consistent with the school’s high expectations are recognised and used as role models to others. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service are a regular part of our school calendar and help to reinforce this message.
Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. As a school we provide boundaries for our children through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Time and care is taken to know each child as an individual. Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. They are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour, as well as knowing their rights, and to exercise their rights and personal freedoms safely, for example through our assemblies, PSHE curriculum and e-Safety teaching. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, such as taking part in extra-curricular activities and supporting fund raising
Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. All pupils and staff are expected to treat each other with respect, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, however big or small. Pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.
Toleration of those of different faiths and beliefs
At St Peter’s we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which major religions are studied and respected. We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.
The curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that it promotes British values. It also ensures that pupils are taught about key events and figures in history. Events during the year celebrate culturally diverse occasions and memorable events taking place in the country.
At St Peter’s we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Part of our vision at St Peter’s is to prepare the children of the future to become valued members of society. Promoting British Values enables children to develop a sense of community and begin to understand their responsibilities and role within it.
Useful information available via the links below:
Preventing extremism in schools and children's services
Telephone 020 7340 7264
If you are concerned about extremism in a school or organisation that works with children, or if you think a child might be at risk of extremism, contact our helpline.
Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm (excluding bank holidays).