Skip to content ↓

SMSC and British Values

Promoting British Values at The Priory Ruskin Academy

Every effort is made to ensure the school’s ethos promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs; and encourage students to respect other people, with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The governing body aims to ensure that this ethos is reflected and implemented effectively in school policy and practice and that there are effective risk assessments in place to safeguard and promote students’ welfare.

As part of the SMSC programme, we:

  • Actively 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

  • Ensure that principles are actively promoted which -

    • Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence

    • Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England

    • Encourage pupils 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 in which the school is situated and to society more widely

    • Enable pupils 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 pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures

    • Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010

    • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England

  • Prevent the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school; and

  • Take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views. This should be:

  • While they are in attendance at the school

  • While they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised by or on behalf of the school; or

  • In the promotion at the school, including through the distribution of promotional material, of extra-curricular activities taking place at the school or elsewhere;

At the Priory Ruskin Academy, British Values is broken down in to five parts:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law (religious law and criminal law)
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At our Academy, students encounter these principles throughout everyday school life.    Listed below are some examples of how we promote these values in our school community:


Student voice is significant in regard to life at the Academy.  Our student elected school council plays a strong role in our school.  They are elected by their class peers and are involved in making the Academy a better place to learn.  Students have a great amount of input in regard to what and how they learn, which promotes student voice.

Student questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year.  We know that the formation of the school council and the active participation of our students will sew the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.

The Rule of Law

Our students encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives including both criminal laws and religious laws.  We want our students to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons and must be adhered to.

This understanding of the importance of rules is consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum.  The involvement of our students in the creation of the school rules helps them to understand the reasons behind the rules and the consequences if they are broken.  Through philosophical enquiry in our philosophy lessons, we allow opportunity to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that the students can recognise the importance of these for their own protection.  Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including Police, Army, local Magistrates and many more.  We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our students.  

Individual Liberty

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that students are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.  In lessons, learning tasks are often left for the students to decide upon.  We encourage students to choose the task that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning.  We offer a range of extra-curricular clubs which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.  Through our Personal Development days, we educate students on their rights and personal freedoms as well as supporting them in recognising how to exercise these freedoms safely.  At the Academy we believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the students embark upon their adult lives.

Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our school life.  Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect.  This is evident when walking around the Academy and in classrooms.  Our Academy motto is "Aim High, Show Respect" and this is evident in lessons and throughout the various relationships between students and staff.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At the Academy, we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected.  We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding.  Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help students to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future.

Embedding values in school life

The Priory Ruskin Academy believe that `values` education has a crucial role in education because it plays a part in raising achievement and it encourages students to be self-disciplined active learners.  Values education supports quality teaching and learning, whilst making a positive contribution to the development of a fair, just and civil society.

The values the school has chosen to include tolerance, cooperation, respect, understanding and responsibility, though it does not refer to these specifically as British Values.

The school explains that teaching and learning about values takes place in the following ways:

  • By teachers explaining the meaning of the value

  • By students reflecting on the value and what it means to them and their own behaviour

  • By students using the value to guide their own actions

  • By staff modelling the value through their own behaviour

  • By ensuring that values are taught implicitly through every aspect of the curriculum

  • Through the work of the school council

  • By involving all staff, governors and parents in the values programme, through newsletters which explain how school and home can work together to promote positive values

Rights and responsibilities

At The Priory Ruskin Academy we promote the importance of rights and responsibilities amongst our students.   Students have:

  • the right to be heard

  • the responsibility to listen to others

  • the right to be safe and healthy

  • the responsibility to keep myself and others safe and healthy

  • the right to learn

  • the responsibility to do my best at all times and look after equipment

  • the right ot have friends

  • the responsibility to be kind to others

  • the right to be myself

  • the responsibility to respect others` differences

Community Cohesion

The Priory Ruskin Academy plays an important part in the Community.  By community cohesion, we mean working towards a society in which:

  • There is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities

  • The diversity of people`s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued

  • Similar life opportunities are available to all

  • Strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools and in the wider community

We contribute to community cohesion by:

  • Promoting diversity and shared values in teaching, learning and curriculum

  • Ensuring equity and excellence for all students

  • Engagement and extended services to provide opportunities for students of different backgrounds to come together

Our Citizenship curriculum fosters students` keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld.  Teaching equips students with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.  It also aims to prepare students to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.