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British Values

British Values

At Birchwood Primary School, we recognise and value the need 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 Department for Education defines British Values as follows:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process                        
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs


We ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and experienced through our school ethos and through our broad and balanced curriculum, which provides a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, RE, PSHE and assemblies which provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. We seek to incorporate the fundamental British Values into school life and encourage our children to be unique, open-minded, creative and independent individuals, who are respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. 


At Birchwood Primary School, we strive to embed and uphold the fundamental British Values in the following ways:


We have an active and driven School Council who meet frequently to discuss school matters and who are responsible for making numerous decisions about the way in which their school is run. Each class has a nominated School Councillor and Vice Councillor who will share the outcomes of meetings with their classmates and will seek ideas and opinions from their peers to share at future meetings.

Children have numerous roles and responsibilities within school, including House Captains, School Council, Eco Council, Digital Leaders and Science Councillors. All children are welcome to put themselves forward for these roles and are chosen by their peers through a ballot-style vote.

All roles are selected purely by pupil vote.

Pupil Voice is highly valued and children are able to share their views in surveys and pupil interview.

Democracy is explored further within our History, RE and PSHE curriculums and in designated assemblies.

Rule of Law

The importance of rules and laws within class, school and the wider community and country is embedded through the running of our school.

Behaviour expectations are high and children are clear about these expectations and their importance from the Early Years all the way up to Year 6. This is achieved through our simple approach, with ‘One School Rule’ of Consideration and Respect. This underpins the way staff and children behave in school and place the way we treat others at the centre of our approach to behaviour.

Children are able to recognise and manage unwanted behaviour with our use of ‘stop it please’.

Considerate behaviour and positive learning behaviours are celebrated every day with our rewards system.

Our school policies encourage the use of restorative justice to resolve issues and conflicts.

Children are also taught about the rule of law with PSHE and history lessons.

Individual Liberty

Children are Birchwood Primary School have equal and equitable opportunities. 

All children are encouraged and supported to put themselves forward for roles and responsibilities in school.

We ensure that our school provides a safe and secure environment in which children feel able to take risks and make choices.

Children are able to choose their own rewards in our weekly BASE Academy, choose how to spend their free time and are able to choose their level of challenge within some lessons.

We highly value the promotion of children’s self-esteem, self-awareness and self-confidence and work hard to encourage children to develop as confident and self-assured individuals. We monitor children’s mental well-being and provide interventions to support this for individual children when necessary.

Through our Protective Behaviours and PSHE curriculums and through our approaches to teaching our children how to stay safe – e.g. water safety, fire safety, road safety and online safety – children are aware of their rights and responsibilities and ways in which to exercise these safely.

We take a strong stand against bullying and stereotyping, which are challenged at all levels.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

We recognise the significant importance of developing our children’s awareness of other cultures and beliefs.

Respect is a core value of our school and part of our ‘One School Rule’: Consideration and Respect. Our children know and exercise this throughout the school day, and challenge the rare incidences when they feel that respect is not being shown. It is embedded in our school ethos and an expectation of everyone who enters our school site.

We aim to go beyond tolerance to value and celebrate individual differences.

Children are taught about different cultures and beliefs within all areas of our rich and varied curriculum, for example, all children learn about a range of different religions in RE. Furthermore, children explore different cultures when learning about geographical locations and historical events, and when preparing and tasting food in D&T.

Children visit numerous religious places of worship while at our school, and are encouraged to pose questions to deepen their understanding and awareness.