9th January, 2020

British Values

This policy is written with reference to the Trinity Catholic School Mission Statement:

“To the Glory of God we build our school on faith, love and respect.“.(Mission Statement)

At The Trinity Catholic School we seek to promote and uphold the primacy of Christian values such as love, forgiveness, acceptance, justice and hope.  We regard these values as universally and timelessly true.  These are reflected in our school Mission Statement, ethos, faith practice, charity work, assemblies, news focus on Fridays, academic and pastoral work, and general approach to SMSC.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.  These values are:

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The aims are to:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to 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 of and respect for their own and other cultures
  • encourage respect for other people
  • 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.

Extract taken from: ‘Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools’ (November 2014)

These values are not taught as discrete subjects or topics but are interwoven throughout the academic and pastoral curricula of the school. In a more subtle sense, they are embedded in the ‘hidden curriculum’ through our personal dealing with the students.

Below is a summary of the areas and ways in which British values are taught. This list is not exhaustive:


The school actively promotes responsible decision making through the School Council elections. Each form has an elected representative who contributes to setting priorities for the whole school council meetings in which the elected yeargroup representative meets with the Headteacher, members of the senior leadership team and other interested (or appropriate) parties, depending on the agenda items. The council has made several important changes to the school and maintain a dialogue between students and school leadership.

In the pastoral curriculum, in Years 7, 9 and 10 there are units of study which explicitly cover school council, democracy, voting, government and justice. Furthermore, issues concerning democracy are regularly discussed in our Friday morning pastoral input which addresses items recently raised in the news.  In Year 12, the History A level also examines British democracies in change. In English ‘The Demon Headmaster’, a play for Year 7 and ‘Girl Underground’ a novel in Year 8 explore rights and responsibilities.

The Rule of Law

The importance of rules is routinely impressed upon the pupils, who have a clear appreciation of the role of good behaviour and respect for authority. In the pastoral curriculum, law is discussed through a focus on personal responsibility (Year 9), rights and responsibilities (Year 10), and the impact of substance abuse (Years 8, 9 and 10). The role and use (or abuse) of the law is also discussed in the Humanities subjects, such as RE, History and Geography.  This is done in History through the study of Medieval History and the Magna Carta (Year 7), Crime and Punishment in Year 8 and wherever it appears through thematic study of various historical issues. Similarly, the aims and morals of punishment (including the morality of capital punishment) are studied at length in RE (Year 11) and moral decision-making is studied in Year 9. The impact of the law and government policies upon environmental issues are taught as appropriate throughout the Geography curriculum.  In Year 8 English through the study of ‘Holes’ a fictitious detention centre or correctional facility raises questions about the aim of punishment.

Individual Liberty

Liberty, and the responsibilities that go hand-in-hand with such a right, are studied in the pastoral curriculum, with particular regard to internet safety and internet abuse, as covered in Year 7 and 8.  This is furthered routinely reinforced in the study of ICT, particularly in Year 7 where the rules of internet use and the dangers of cyberbullying are investigated.  Children’s rights are covered in the Year 9 pastoral scheme, including what abuse is and how it can be reported.  Liberty is covered in History through the study of the feudal system and Black Peoples of America unit (Year 8), Nazi Germany (Years 10 and 11) and the Holocaust (Year 9).  Social justice and freedoms are explored in RE in Year 8 through the study of poverty and CAFOD.

Mutual Respect

Respect is at the heart of the Christian message as we are all created in the image of God.  Our SRE curriculum underpins the conviction that we must respect each other’s bodies and values. These values are expressed and reinforced continuously through our assemblies programme.In the pastoral curriculum Year 7 study manners and bullying, Year 8 focus on relationships and friends, Year 9 look at peer pressure, and Year 10 examines romantic and long-lasting loving relationships.  In Year 11 we cover diversity and tolerance for differences. Immigration is studied in History (Year 9), and the beliefs that we are made in God’s image and that human life is sacred are studied in RE (Years 7 and 11).  The Year 10 and 11 poetry anthology in English is based on the theme of conflict.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Pupils are encouraged to accept differences between one another and reconcile with those of differing beliefs.  Understanding of different faiths is promoted through the study of other religions in the RE curriculum. Hinduism (Year 7), Judaism (Year 8) and Islam (Year 9) are explored as differing belief systems and we hope to promote not only tolerance but respect for other people’s beliefs in the transcendent.  Similarly, pupils are encouraged to recognise and show tolerance towards those with no belief in a deity and are expected, as part of the discipline of the RE course, to be able to fairly represent these views. ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ studied in Year 8 English explicitly questions the treatment of Jews in the Holocaust and ‘Boy Overboard’, a Year 7 novel, explores life in Afghanistan. Within History the impact of the Reformation, the reign of Elizabeth I and the effects of intolerance (on both sides of the religious debate) are covered in Year 7. Furthermore, terrorism and its effects are discussed in Year 9 History and Year 11 RE.


Date: July 2017

SMSC Guidance for Maintained Schools