How are British values taught?
Teaching British values to children improves their spiritual, moral social, and cultural (SMSC) development. The British values underpin what it is to be a British citizen in what is a modern and diverse Britain, and promote moral and cultural understanding that celebrates the diversity of the UK. Promoting these fundamental British values will usually occur as part of SMSC development.
What are these 5 British values?
- The rule of law;
- Individual liberty;
- Mutual respect;
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
Teaching British values in school can occur in the following ways:
Pupils, parents, and staff should have the right to have their voices heard. This can be achieved through a pupil-elected school council, where class representatives raise issues and suggest ideas for improvement. Parents and guardians should also be given the opportunity to express any concerns or queries through parent societies and parents' evenings.
The rule Of law
The importance of law and rules should be referred to and reinforced to teach students to distinguish between right and wrong. This will teach children to take responsibility for their own actions. Students should be taught the reasons behind rules and laws, how they govern and protect us, and the consequences of what happens when these laws are broken. Invite guest speakers to the school and allow children to get involved in workshops to reinforce this teaching.
Promote the freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs in a safe environment. Teach children to take responsibility for their behaviour. They are supported to understand that they have rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely. Pupils should be supported to become as independent as possible. This can be demonstrated through Ten:Ten lessons and assemblies.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths or beliefs
Students should be taught to show empathy and understanding of people from different backgrounds. Give pupils regular opportunities to learn about different cultures and beliefs to reinforce messages of tolerance and respect. This will allow them to understand and respect values that differ from their own.
The main teaching principles for students learning British values
- 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.
- Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
- Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem, and self-confidence
- Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and 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