Fundamental British Values

The Department for Education’s five-part definition of British Values is:

  • Democracy
  • The Rule of Law
  • Individual Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Here at Bridgewater School, we value the diversity of British society and undertake a variety of lessons and events to celebrate these. Across the entire curriculum, both academic and pastoral, and through many extra-curricular activities, fundamental British values are actively promoted. The examples below describe some of the ways in which Bridgewater works to promote these values through the ethos and life of our school, for example through a broad and balanced curriculum, and through social, moral, cultural and spiritual development.


We encourage opportunities for students to have their voices heard. We value the importance of ‘pupil voice’ when making decisions within the school and have a School Council for both the Prep and Senior departments, where pupils representatives discuss issues and questions put forward by their peers. The Council organise many activities including fundraising for the new EYFS playground.

Student surveys about issues such as bullying encourage them to share their views and opinions with the confidence that they will be listened to. Suggestion boxes are also available within school where students can post any questions or wants anonymously. These are then considered by the Pastoral Team. All students across the school participated in the formation of the recent Anti-Bullying Policy and revised School Rules.

Prep Head Boy & Girl election is an initiative that began on General Election Day in May 2015 and continues on national election days each year. During this process, Prep V children prepare presentations and campaign for election. All students then participate in a vote on polling day.

Extra-curricular activities such as Model UN and the Debating Society also promote democracy.

Examples within the curriculum:

  • History, KS 3: The English Civil War, Chartist Movement, the Suffragette and Suffragist movements
  • History, KS 4: The growth of parliament / King vs Parliament / Civil Wars
  • History, KS5: The American Revolution as well as A Study of Britain 1945-1997
  • MFL, KS4-5: Look at political issues and sovereignty, The Spanish Civil War, exploring social discrimination in France
  • Economics & Business A-level: The areas of democracy, governing of markets, BREXIT and distribution of wealth are fundamental topics which are covered within the course
  • PSHCE: Discussion on topics such as MPs, voting systems, combating bullying and discrimination, as well as contemporary political issues.

The Rule of Law

The importance of rules and laws are consistently reinforced through our School Rules and through assemblies. Students are taught about the value of rules and the importance of rules in our society, we well as the consequences of not following laws or rules. Visits from the local police and fire brigade, as part of the PSHE/PSHCE curriculum, help enforce these ideas.

The responsibilities we have were demonstrated recently when students were involved in re-writing the School Rules. A clearly structured behaviour policy is in place, which all students understand and follow. Behaviour expectations are displayed in each classroom and pupils are clear on what the school’s expectations are of behaviour and consequences for misbehaviour.

Assemblies throughout the year make links to The Rule of Law, with sessions delivered for students of different age ranges. For example, School Rules, E-Safety and Anti-Bullying Week reinforce how to stay safe and how students should behave towards others.

Examples within the curriculum:

  • English, KS3: Students study the novel ‘Holes’ which is set in a juvenile detention centre in the US. Through this text we explore the moral and social issues of child incarceration
  • RS, KS3: Study of prejudice and discrimination including the study of segregation laws in the USA
  • RS, GCSE: Human Rights, laws, justice and punishment are studied
  • ICT: Copyright laws, E-Safety
Individual Liberty

We promote a safe environment at Bridgewater School, where choice and freedom are encouraged and students empowered. We have clear behaviour and anti-bullying policies to help support this environment.

In lessons, pupils of all ages are actively encouraged to make choices – educating and providing boundaries for children to make choices safely. In lessons we encourage students to choose a learning task which will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning

We offer a range of clubs which students have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests and passions. These include sporting opportunities such as football, netball, basketball and rugby. There are also clubs such as debating, Japanese, film clubs and Lego club for senior students looking for opportunities outside of the sporting arena and students regularly participate in events with other schools such as sports matches, quiz competitions and debating challenges.

The Prep department have Prep Councillors, Form Captains, Sports Team Captains, prefects, Deputy Head Boy & Girl and Head Boy & Girl, all of whom are either nominated or elected. Whilst older students are provided with the opportunity to apply to be a prefect or become part of the school’s student leadership team.

Examples within the curriculum:

  • English, KS3: Study ‘Of Mice and Men’ – wider issues of race in the 20th century following the abolition of slavery are explored. Class system and economic and social inequality are also discussed through the study of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’
  • RS, KS3: Unit of prejudice and discrimination, including a case study of Martin Luther King
  • History, KS3: Study of the Suffragettes / Chartists / Factory legislation and the slave trade, and The Norman Conquest
  • History, KS5: Study of Civil Rights between 1865 and 1980 – African Americans / Native Americans / Women / Trade Unions as well as the American Revolution
  • MFL, KS5: Look at social change following war, changing role of Spanish / French society.

Mutual Respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our school ethos. Students and staff treat each other with respect and partnerships between school and home are positive and supportive.

Respect is embedded within our whole School Rules and Code of Conduct. The school has clear expectations of good behaviour and promotes students taking responsibility for their actions and behaviour, including the impact of negative actions on themselves and others. Our PSHE / PSHCE curriculum embodies values of mutual respect through units of learning such as relationships and being a responsible citizen.

Annual Prize-Giving allows students to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. In addition, throughout the year achievements in sports and individual effort within the senior school are recognised through Form Tutor, Pastoral Coordinator and Headteacher awards.

All students are encouraged to participate in a range of charitable initiatives throughout the year in support of communities both in the UK and overseas. These include Cancer Research, PEAS, Young Minds and Comic Relief.

Examples within the curriculum:

  • PSHCE, across Key Stages: Opportunities to develop understanding of issues such as personal identity, prejudice and discrimination, relationships, human rights and mental, emotional and physical health
  • RS, across Key Stages: Developing an understanding of the world we live in and the impact of religion and beliefs on society. Continual development of tolerance and mutual respect for all
  • PE, across Key Stages: Promotion of ‘fair play’ in lessons and matches. Following and developing rules, inclusion, celebrating and rewarding success, being magnanimous in defeat, and participation in activities that promote kinship and affiliation with others
  • ICT: Discussion of mutual respect when using technology and social media.
Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs

At Bridgewater School we believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our school curriculum, especially RE / RS and PSHE / PSHCE, a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures demonstrates the necessity of tolerance and encourages students to explore different beliefs and ideas in a safe and enriching environment.

Senior school trips to a local Gurdwara and Hindu Temple, in addition to visits from the Humanist Association, are examples of extra-curricular activities enhancing this. The RS department also runs a monthly SMSC competition, encouraging students to find out more about key events and festivals each month.

Through a rich and challenging humanities curriculum and through a focus on key events in British history, pupils are encouraged to reflect upon their role in a diverse, multicultural and multi-faith society.

Examples within the curriculum:

  • History, KS5: Study of Civil Rights for African Americans, Native Americans, Women and Trade Unions
  • Business Studies, KS4: Cultural differences between different customer groups
  • Music: The study of World Music and cultural aspects of musical styles. Year 7 study Samba and we look at the community and origins of Samba and Brazilian music. Year 8 study Gamelan and Indian music and Year 9, The Blues and Reggae. The Blues in particular centres around the slave trade and how music originated from within
  • Art, KS3: ‘Cultures’ topic – discussion of various cultural beliefs and focus on costume masks. Connections with different societies and respect for their beliefs and traditions and how these are portrayed visually
  • MFL: Across the curriculum we strongly promote cultural traditions and values of other countries, promoting the concept of global citizenship
  • RS: Across the curriculum – gaining a greater understanding of religious diversity and practices, which covers key religions represented in the UK and within our school.

The freedom to be yourself is the greatest freedom of all

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