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British Values

Schools have a responsibility to promote British values to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. The Department for Education defines these values as:

  • Democracy and the rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Respect and tolerance
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

British values are promoted in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education, social and emotional aspects of learning, and personal, social and health education. As well as actively promoting British values, the opposite also applies: we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views.

We value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Bankside. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. This means that we celebrate traditions and festivals such as Easter and Christmas. What could be more British than a trip to a pantomime at Christmas?


Democracy is central to how we operate. Children are given the experience of participating in democracy through our School Council, which meets weekly. The children are involved in electing their school councillors but also using their voice to contribute to the meetings through their representatives. You can read more about Pupil Voice here.

Rules and laws

The importance of rules and laws, whether they govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, each class discusses and sets its own Class Charter, the school’s Golden Rules and a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.

Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws: that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. These values are reinforced in different ways: from visits from authorities such as the police and fire service; in Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about; during other school subjects such as Physical Education, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules.

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 environment and empowering education, we provide boundaries for our young pupils to make choices safely; for example:

  • choices about what learning challenge or activity
  • choices about how they record their learning
  • choices around participation in extra-curricular activities

Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to exercise these safely, such as in our e-safety and PSHE lessons.

Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

Bankside is in an area which is culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our aims and ethos: to develop understanding of and respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life and the key phrase we expect the best for everybody and from everybody.

Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, whether it is a school resource or a religious belief. Children learn that their behaviour choices have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.