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Medeshamstede Academy

British Values

British Values

What are ‘British values’?

According to Ofsted, ‘fundamental British values’ are:

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

School Inspection Handbook from September 2015

What must be taught?

The guidance advises schools to:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • encourage students 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 students 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 students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures
  • encourage respect for other people, and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.
  • encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

We promote British Values through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education, which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’.

We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils.

The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. They are strongly supported to be as independent as possible, to think for themselves and to fully contribute where appropriate to their person centred review of their EHC plan. Skills are developed through class based discussion, independent work in lessons, evaluating their work, community activities, attendance at reviews and key stage assemblies. We endeavor to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to ideas or activities. We encourage pupils to be enterprising whilst considering the effects of their decisions upon others.

Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We use specialist resources and access arrangements so that pupils can fully participate in learning and activities.  We engage in many activities to support others by participating in charitable events such as Red Nose Day/Comic Relief/Sport Relief and Children in Need.  We believe that engendering a caring and helpful environment and to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.

individual liberty

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith

We are part of a multi academy trust which extends wider than the local community.  Each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. We encourage our pupils to understand their own needs, unique strengths and talents and those of others.

Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others. Key stage assemblies, PSHCE, SRE and R.E. encourage this in our pupils. The themes cover areas such as: friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths, cultures and world events.

Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our extended curriculum. They access the city farm, museum, cinema, theatre, places of worship and other city amenities.  We actively promote sport and take part in inter-school competitions and events to develop the pupils understanding of competing and fair play.

We encourage and support our pupils to articulate their feelings and concerns and to manage their anxieties.    

The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Medeshamstede are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.
tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

Mutual Respect

We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually to meet their needs. Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted. School residential trips for older pupils gives them opportunities for learning to get along with others in different contexts. The curriculum is bespoke and pupils are supported to consider pathways linked to life beyond school aspirations. They are encouraged to access and share a range of resources and places on the site and to go into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include: sports events, community events and shared participation with other schools/colleges.

We believe it is important to facilitate and encourage opportunities to be part of the community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.


The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning in our setting.  We ensure that pupils are supported to learn how to present their individual views and opinions in a respectful manner.

We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important.

We create many opportunities for them to learn how to co-operate as pairs, in small groups as well as larger gatherings like assemblies. They are supported to turn take, to develop an understanding of fairness and ways of working effectively as a team.

The Rule of Law

We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children and pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind our expectations (rules). We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour and class rules; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. 

Pupils are helped to learn to self -regulate and manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions.  Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predicable environment within the school and beyond, in which pupils feel safe and secure.

the rule of law

Impact of promoting British Values in our school are considered and reflected upon when:

  • We observe staff and pupil interactions and pupils are believed to have high levels of self-esteem and confidence
  • We hear our pupils voice
  • Pupils show that they understand and follow the schools rules and expectations
  • Engage with other schools, the trust, families and the community. Over time we want to observe pupils progress to show a deepening understand of our societies’ culture and laws.
  • Complete observations and learning walks
  • Monitor and review pupil behaviour and tracked behaviour shows few incidents or a reduction in negative behaviours
  • Pupil’s books, curriculum and assembly plans shows that British values are fully embedded in our school practice
  • Very good pupil attendance
  • Pupils state that they are proud of their school environment, achievements and wear their uniform with pride
  • Pupils can talk to others about their values and beliefs