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Promoting British Values

At St Matthew’s C. E. Primary School, we provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own culture and have a clear understanding and appreciation of a wide range of cultural influences that have shaped modern Britain.  We encourage all children to be tolerant and respectful to those of different faiths and beliefs. This is done by providing the children with an understanding of main festivals and key dates of significant to British Culture. e.g. Remembrance Day, the Queen's Birthday and major political events, such as elections.

We ‘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’. We also recognise that these values are not solely exclusive to Britain and that these values have developed in Britain through a process over a substantial period of time. We also recognise that these values can only be maintained and developed by active engagement of citizens in democratic, lawful and respectful institutions and processes, of which our Primary School is one element.

The British values are embedded throughout all teaching across the curriculum.  It is supported through our five school values and our school vision.  It is further emphasised through theme weeks such as anti-bullying week.  Key events in British government, such as the general election and Brexit, are promoted through themed activities.  Pupils have opportunities to practice democracy through electing school councillors and electing the leader of learning weekly.  In upper Key Stage 2, children have the opportunity take part in workshops on anti-radicalisation and extremism; and anti-modern slavery.  Cultural development is achieved through ‘one world day’ where children celebrate different cultures on an annual basis.  A partnership had previously been set up with Kamwezi Primary school in Uganda and children shared letters and artwork, as well as raising funds for equipment such as a laptop. A new international link is presently being forged.  Each classroom celebrates the cultural and religious diversity of that class.  Bi-lingual books reflect the languages in the classroom. A new PSHCE curriculum is now embedded and fulfils our statutory obligations for PSHCE. Various additional opportunities are in place to support children developing cultural capital, such as Brexit and General Election theme days, trips to places of national interest including St Paul’s Cathedral, a range of sports clubs such as tennis and football, as well as additional clubs such as History of Art and Origami. The impact of this is evidenced through the children’s behaviour and pupil voice. The school achieved the RE Quality Mark Silver Award in 2018, which assessed the spiritual ethos.  The Recent SIAMS inspection highlighted that “children treat one another respectfully, regardless of difference”.  


Children, parents and Staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at St Matthew’s.

An obvious example of democracy in action is our School Council. Each year, the election of School Council members takes place.  This reflects our British electoral system;  the prospective candidates make speeches; all pupils reflect on what personal characteristics are important for their class representatives to have.  Following this, they vote and the individuals with the majority are elected. In the past the School Council has decided on playground equipment for both indoor and outdoor, and have given feedback to curriculum leaders on the curriculum.

Other examples of how we promote the values of democracy, including ‘pupil voice’ are:

  • Children agree the school values for the year
  • Children take part in a questionnaire so that they can put forward their views of the school
  • Children are given the opportunity to vote on specific issues e.g the choice of films to watch, how their class will spend their Golden Time, to choose appropriate rewards for their class.
  • Children take part in enterprise projects which support democracy skills.
  • Children’s opinions are sought on the extra areas of study as part of our creative curriculum.

Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they may be those of each class, the school, or our country are referred to and reinforced, such as through Worship and when reflecting on behaviour choices.  Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind decisions, and the consequences if they are broken.

This is reinforced in different ways:

  • Each class discusses their class rules, clearly understood by all to ensure that they have a safe environment in which all pupils have a right to learn
  • The whole school behaviour policy is clearly structured and publicised and followed by all. 
  • Pupils have regular opportunities to reflect, for example, on their choices during Collective Worship.
  • Collective Worship covers national and International events
  • In RE lessons, Pupils have the opportunities to explore the rules of particular faiths
  • During other subjects, their respect and appreciation for different rules e.g. in sports lessons, competitions.etc
  • We have links with the local Police and Fire Stations
  • Visitors to the school such as the police and during Careers Day – lawyers, magistrates etc

Individual Liberty

Within School, Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices; including the right to respectfully express views and beliefs, knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.

We promote individual liberty through:

  • Choices about learning activities and challenges
  • Building Learning Power
  • Choices about their participation in extra-curricular clubs and opportunities
  • Opportunities to reflect, in their reflection books
  • Godly play, where pupils choose how to record their learning in a way that suites them.
  • Empowering children to make safe choices through E-Safety, PSHE, Road Safety and Fire Safety lessons
  • Vision statement and yearly values for our school spread our vision.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of what we believe.  Children learn that their actions have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.

We promote this through:

  • Collective worship on core themes such as respect, patience, tolerance, understanding etc
  • PSHCE and Circle Time sessions
  • Anti-bullying activities
  • RE curriculum
  • Positive relationships are encouraged and modelled by staff
  • Buddy System and Sports Leaders allow pupils to care for others

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and beliefs

St Matthew’s has a diverse community and as such we place emphasis on sharing and promoting this diversity.

We do this by:

  • Through RE, PSHCE and other lessons, pupils have the opportunity to develop their awareness ad appreciation for other cultures
  • Collective worship, although predominately Christian in theme, is inclusive and allows all children to be part of the worship and take a lead in the prayers etc
  • Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within their class
  • The school has an annual ‘One World Week’ to enable a detail focus on a particular religion or culture.

As well as promoting British Values, we would actively challenge pupils, staff, or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values including ‘extremist views’.