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Promoting British Values in School

Access our free British Values display poster here.

Since 2014, the UK government has instructed that schools must promote and uphold the British Values: democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance.

It is thought these values summarise what it means to live in British society today, and offer guidance for how to participate as productive citizens.

As an educator, you’ll know it’s essential to cover the British Values for your pupils’ development. What’s more, Ofsted inspectors are keen to observe how schools are promoting the British Values.

Covering British Values falls alongside an array of terms and requirements teachers must communicate in the classroom – PSHE, SMSC, RSE, Protected Characteristics, UN Rights of the Child, to name a few. As a team of teachers, we know first-hand this demand can be overwhelming.

So, this blog looks to help you. We offer our top tips for meaningfully covering British Values in school, and give you peace of mind that you can do a fabulous job!

British Values in the classroom
A Picture News British Values assembly

Ways to implement British Values in school

Teach the values in a real-life context
The British Values can be quite abstract and complex, especially for young  minds to comprehend.

To tackle this, show the values in real terms.

Why not try:

  • Exploring news stories to see values reflected in the real world. For example, news stories about parliament can reflect democracy and rule of law; an organised protest can demonstrate democracy and individual liberty. You’ll notice overlap here, helping you cover an array of values per topic or story.
Picture News British Values

Get your free Picture News pack here, which includes a meaningful link to British Values!

  • Encouraging pupil participation to demonstrate the values. Getting children involved lets them experience the values first-hand. Holding class votes for rewards, or organising a petition for a cause the children are passionate about, are great places to start to embody the values with real consequences.

Reflect the values in school

  • Culture

Intertwine your British Values teaching with the school culture to boost children’s awareness and understanding of them.

Ensure your practices in school create a respectful and welcoming environment for all.

Aligning the British Values to your school’s values can help children develop skills and awareness to be productive citizens, by encountering and abiding by the values daily.

Encourage children to exercise these values, by developing their voice, self-expression, esteem and respect for others, as part of the school’s culture priorities.

  • Cross-curricular British Values

Beyond specific sessions for British Values and citizenship, find opportunities to integrate British Values with other subjects.

Doing so will remind children of the extensive presence and applications of British Values.

For example, a history lesson based on the Suffragette movement can incorporate all of the values – democracy, individual liberty, rule of law, and mutual respect and tolerance – by exploring the ways women gained the right to vote.

Also take the time to schedule British Values assemblies, to consolidate children’s values learning across the curriculum.

Reinforce learning with a British Values school display
An eye-catching, informative display is a create way to highlight and promote the values for all to see.

Some things to consider when creating your British Values display:

  • Define your focus. Will your display reflect all the values, or zoom in with detail on one in particular?
  • Involve the children. Will you include British Values work created by children, to celebrate their knowledge?
  • Choose your location. Get as many eyes on your display as you can to promote the values. For the biggest impact, place your display in a communal area of school, for all the children, staff, parents and governors to see!
  • Use our Picture News mnemonic. Our Education Consultants coined the phrase ‘I Really Do Matter’ to show children their role as citizens and the positive impact they can make by reflecting the values. Get our display poster with this mnemonic here.

Extend learning at home
Take British Values home, by informing guardians of your values coverage and the practical ways you are demonstrating them in school.

Encourage families to extend children’s learning in the real-life context at home. Parents and carers may wish to look for opportunities to highlight examples of British Values in action beyond the school gates.

Remember, you can access a free British Values poster here.

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