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Fundamental British Values

What are the Fundamental British Values?

The DfE has recently reinforced the need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation for all schools 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.’

So that's the official answer: Democracy, Individual Liberty, Rule of Law, Tolerance (remember them with the acronym DIRT). Most reasonable people would ask exactly what is distinctively British about those - but the DfE are not looking for philosophical debates.


Nor is it much of a rallying cry, when compared to the French "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity"or the USA's Equality, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Anyhow, we have to promote them and that is that.

How does Wotton House School promote Fundamental British Values?

We promote values which ensure our pupils develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility which will prepare them for life in modern Britain. Here are some of the ways we promote these values.



The School values pupil voice and the role pupils have in bringing about improvements. We ask the pupils about their learning, their concerns and ideas about how we can make things better. We do this by using pupil questionnaires and through our School Council. At the start of each year, children vote for their nominated House Captains through an election process. Through their class representatives children have the opportunity to have their voices heard and through pupil conferencing with staff at different points within the year

Individual Liberty

Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Through the provision of a safe, supportive and nurturing environment, we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely. Here are some ways in which we do this;

  • Choices about what learning challenge or activity to do.

  • Choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities.

  • Choices about lunchtime options.

Our Behaviour Policy is built on the principle that children are responsible for their own actions and choices and that these have consequences. The school provides reflection time where pupils are able to think about the impact of their choices. During PSHE, E-Safety lessons and Assemblies, pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe whilst they exercise their rights and personal freedoms. Safeguarding is embedded in every aspect of life at the school.

The Rule of Law

The school has a comprehensive Behaviour Policy which sets out clear expectations and outlines the School Rules. Children understand the school rules and what happens if these rules are broken. At the start of each year classes discuss class rules and agree a charter to abide by. During PSHE lessons and Assemblies, children learn about the importance of having rules and how these relate to laws. We use a range of PSHE resources to promote moral, spiritual, social and cultural awareness among our pupils. Our children have a well-developed sense of justice and are able to discuss why there needs to be consequences for those who break the rules or laws. 

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

Our School promotes the values of respect, compassion and friendship. Adults actively model respect with one another and with the children. This is shown through how we speak to and treat one another. Through our curriculum, we promote an awareness of different faiths and we encourage our pupils to recognise and understand these faiths. Our pupils naturally show tolerance for others and have a curiosity to find out and understand cultures and faiths that are different from their own.

British Values through the Curriculum

Planned opportunities to teach the values of our society are interwoven into the curriculum. Some examples are:

  • PSHE: How we influence democracy is explored though PSHE and Assemblies. This includes looking at historical figures and exploring the effectiveness of different approaches. The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school, or the country, is consistently reinforced. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely.

  • Geography: We ensure that children have a better understanding of Britain through learning more about its capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains, where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.

  • History: We ensure that children develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and local history. They should know how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world, whilst recognizing the lives of significant individuals and specific events.

  • Music: The study of British composers and their influence worldwide.

  • Art: The study of how British artists influence others around the world.

  • Religious, Moral & Spiritual Education: Gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practice. We actively promote diversity through celebrations of different faiths and cultures.

  • Physical Education: Promotion of the concept of “fair play” through following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others.

  • Computing: Children are taught about respect and bullying in the online world though online safety lessons interwoven into the curriculum.

  • Pupil Leadership: This is taught through the promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns. Key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of influence and authority.

  • Educational visits: Our broad range of educational visits and experiences outside of the classroom, equip our children with the skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

  • Community Events: We work closely with a variety of charities and  we encourage our children to interact with children from other schools though organised activities and events. 

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

Mahatma Gandhi

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