British Values at WSE

At the heart of our approach to British Values at WSE is the aim to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to be able to function in a diverse society. This is underpinned by our school vision in that we encourage our students to strive to be the best version of themselves which can be achieved through repsonsible citizenship and service to others and their communities.

All schools are required by law to promote the fundamental British values of: democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty.

We are required to ensure students should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. 

We aim to develop: 

  • An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
  • An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
  • An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.

What are ‘fundamental British values’?

Schools are required to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their students. As part of this requirement, schools are expected to actively promote fundamental British values. 

The government defines these as:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

What does this mean for my child?

Our programme for learning about fundamental British values is designed to prepare children and young people for life in modern Britain. This includes helping students understand:

  • the importance of combatting discrimination
  • how we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting and petitioning
  • our freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs
  • that the law is there to keep us safe.

What does this look like at WSE? 

  • British Values are expressed in our Christian ethos of service to others and our core values of generosity, respect, aspiration, courage, and empathy.
  • British Values are embedded across our taught curriculum, promoting different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of their own and other cultures. We also ensure they understand that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
  • Worship, Thought For The Week and assemblies promote British Values and tackle intolerance and discrimination.
  • Students have a weekly opportunity to debate a topical issue and vote on their views using VotesforSchools. This allows them to see democracy in action and compare their votes to other students nationally.
  • Students have a voice through their year group councils to debate concerns and vote on key decisions that affect them.
  • Students have regular opportunities to vote to elect student leaders to represent them and their views.
  • Students are supported in their understanding of the importance to challenge opinions or behaviours that are contrary to fundamental British values
  • Mock elections are held in line with national elections, to enable students to experience democracy in action.
  • Our wider curriculum teaches about tolerance and the importance of combatting extremist views.
  • Anti-bullying ambassadors are trained students who, supported by trained staff, promote our ethos to combat prejudice and discrimination and provide a forum for students to discuss concerns.
  • All staff are fully trained in safeguarding and The Prevent Duty and understand their responsibility in modelling the behaviours and attitudes that upholds the school’s ethos and British Values. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child still be able to express his/her faith at school?

Absolutely. One of the fundamental British values is respect and tolerance of people with different faiths and of no faith. This is in line with Church of England’s inclusive vision for education. British law protects people’s freedom to hold their own beliefs. 
Any prejudice or discrimination towards students, on the basis of their faith, goes against the fundamental British Values and will not be tolerated.

How does this affect my child’s lessons?

The curriculum provides lots of opportunities to look at fundamental British Values. Your child will have experience of this in lessons such as religious education (RS) and personal, social and health education (PSHE). 

How does this affect the school’s ethos?

Promoting fundamental British Values reinforces and compliments, not changes, our ethos.