* Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural 

The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on 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.”

The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated this in 2014. At Hadley Wood these values are reinforced regularly in the following ways directly and through daily experiences and interactions with staff, parents and pupils and through as many aspects of the curriculum as possible.

 What are ‘fundamental British values’?

Schools are required to provide for the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. As part of this requirement, we are expected to actively promote fundamental British values.

The government defines these as:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

What does this mean for my child?

At Hadley Wood our efforts to promote fundamental British values are designed to prepare children for life in modern Britain.

Ultimately, we aim to help pupils understand:

  • The importance of combatting discrimination
  • How we can influence decision-making by taking part in democratic processes like voting and petitioning
  • Our freedom under British law to choose different faiths and beliefs
  • That the law is there to keep us safe

What does this look like in school?

Children also engage with the values through the curriculum, in ways that are suitable for their age and context. For example, in some subjects there are opportunities to think about traditions from different cultures and religions.

Extra-curricular activities such as games teach children about the importance of rules. Pupil votes, questionnaires and councils are other ways that your children can have their voices heard and learn about democracy.

Our duty to actively promote fundamental British values means that we always present political views to children in a balanced way. We are also responsible for challenging prejudiced or extreme opinions and behaviour.

As part of this responsibility, we have put measures in place to protect children from exposure to extremist views. Please feel free to contact the school if you would like more information about this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child still be able to express his/her faith at school?

Yes. One of the fundamental values is respect and tolerance of people with different faiths, and we teach our children that British law protects their freedom to hold their own beliefs.

Any prejudice or discrimination towards pupils on the basis of their faith goes against the fundamental British values and will not be tolerated in our school.

How will this affect my child’s lessons?

The curriculum provides lots of opportunities to look at fundamental British values. Your child will already have some experience of this in lessons such as religious education (RE) and personal, social and health education (PSHE).

In each subject, our teachers will look out for these opportunities and encourage children to think about how the values link into the topics they are studying.

How does this impact on the school’s ethos?

Hadley Wood’s ethos already includes many aspects of the government’s fundamental British values. For example, we expect our children to follow the school rules and show respect and kindness to one another.


At the beginning of the school year all classes in school work collaboratively to decide on a set of class rules/ a Code of Conduct. These are displayed in all classrooms and are regularly referred to throughout the school year.

Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class circle time and to focus on whole school projects. The children who represent classes on our school council were nominated and voted for by pupils.

Our school values are revisited at the end of each year during our whole school parliament. Children work together with parents, staff and governors to outline our school values for the year ahead. These guide whole school assemblies and PSHE lessons.

 The Rule of Law

The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reason behind the laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Individual Liberty

Within school pupils are actively encouraged to make choices knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for pupils to make safe choices through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms for example through assemblies, PSHE and online safety lessons.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the heart of all our values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own right and the rights of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect. Staff are expected to be good role models at all times.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

We are extremely lucky at Hadley Wood in that the school community has a wide range of diversity, which we celebrate in many different ways.  Assemblies and the curriculum are planned to address this issue directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our PSHE and RE teaching reinforces this. Children experience visits to places of worship that are important to different faiths.  Another key way that we show tolerance of others is reflected in how the children work and play positively with each other.

 As a school we actively promote the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) of our pupils.   This includes the promotion of British Values.

This is central to our aims, values and ethos of the school and takes place throughout the school day including during curriculum sessions, promotion through the learning environment, assemblies, playtimes and interactions between people in school.

SMSC in school aims to promote these through:

  • Learning how to apply these values in life
  • Understanding the difference between right and wrong
  • Becoming lawful citizens
  • Developing skills so that pupils can contribute fully to the British way of life
  • Understanding and respecting the range of different cultures in / beyond school

 At Hadley Wood we will actively challenge pupils, parents or staff expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including extremist views.