Gotherington Primary School

The Lawns, Gotherington, Cheltenham, GL52 9QT

Our School  »  British Values

British Values at Gotherington
Promoting British Values at Gotherington Primary

At Gotherington, British Values are promoted and celebrated in so much of what we do, not least during our school assemblies, Religious Education and PSHE sessions. The values are an integral part to our ethos and vision. 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.

Being part of Britain
As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody in our school family. Alongside this, we value and celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms, this means that we celebrate traditions, such as customs in the course of the year; for example, Harvest festival during the Autumn Term.
 Furthermore, children learn about being part of Britain from different perspectives:
  • Through our Geography themes children learn about Britain’s capital cities and counties, its rivers and mountains as well as studying the local environment in which they live. They also learn where Britain is in relation to the rest of Europe and other countries in the world.
  • Through our History themes children learn about important events that have shaped our country such as the Victorians & World War II.
Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Gotherington Primary. Democracy is central to how we operate. An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote. Made up of two representatives from each class, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes. The council has its own budget and is able to genuinely effect change within the school; in the past, the School Council has purchased play equipment for the school; been part of interviews for staff; been part of presentations to parents and even voted for and recruited our school dog, Hero. 

One of our Year 6 children represented Gotherington Primary school brilliantly in a virtual ‘parliamentary’ session held  in a House of Commons-style 'virtual chamber’. The Children's Parliament gives children a voice on the topics that matter such as Climate Change.

650 British children, matched to their MPs in the British Parliament, were part of the virtual children's parliament on the eve of COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Charley reported, “In the parliament we discussed problems linked to climate change such as deforestation and general waste production. We were given the opportunity to vote during the parliament about which problems we felt were most influential-not everyone was able to speak but everyone was able to vote.”

Thank you so much to Charley for representing our school and the Eco-Committee so brilliantly.

Other examples of ‘pupil voice’ are: 
  • Children take on the role of learning ambassador when showing prospective parents around our school
  • Children have 'pupil conferencing' opportunities with staff, governors and external partners in order to ensure their voice is heard and they feel empowered throughout their learning journey at Gotherington. 
  • Through the annual ‘Pupil Questionnaire’ children are asked to respond and reflect on a wide range of areas pertaining to school life.
Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. We encourage pupils to take ownership of not only their school but also of their own learning and progress. This encourages a heightened sense of both personal and social responsibility and is demonstrated on a daily basis by our pupils. 

(Learning about the importance of following rules and celebrating the people that help us)

Rules and laws
The importance of rules and laws, whether they be those that govern our school or our country, are referred to and reinforced often, such as in assemblies and when reflecting on unsafe choices. 

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:
  • Visits from authorities such as the police and fire service.
  • During Religious Education, when rules for particular faiths are thought about.
  • During other school subjects, where there is respect and appreciation for different rules – in a sports lesson, for example.

(Fundraising organised by pupils and parents to support  families in Afghanistan)

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. 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.

(Learning about different cultures - Kenya Visitors and visit to Cheltenham Hindu Temple)

Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
At Gotherington Primary, we aim to develop an understanding in every pupil of respect for a wide range of religious values, languages and cultural traditions and different ways of life. Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect. The curriculum is used to maximum effect to enhance pupil’s understanding and respect for different faiths and beliefs:
  • Through Religious Education, PSHE and other lessons where we might develop awareness and appreciation of other cultures
Defining spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC)

In addition to the promotion of British Values, the school also seeks to promote SMSC as we believe that it is a fundamental part of preparing all pupils to take their place in modern Britain.

What is SMSC?
The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:
  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences
The moral development of pupils is shown by their:
  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues
The social development of pupils is shown by their:
  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance and engagement with 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 pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain
The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:
  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities
SMSC Policy