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British Values

In line with our “No Outsiders” Philosophy we would actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British values, including ‘extremist’ views. This is in line with our Behaviour & Relationship Policy.

British values can play an important role in education. British values are promoted in so much of what we do at Thomas Hickman School, not least during our School Assemblies, Religious Education and PSHE Lessons.

Being Part Of Britain

As a school, we value and celebrate the diverse heritages of everybody at Thomas Hickman School. 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, Remembrance during the autumn term, Black History Month and Harvest Festival.  Many other traditions, customs and religious events (of all denominations) are acknowledged throughout the year.


Children, parents and staff have many opportunities for their voices to be heard at Thomas Hickman School. Democracy is central to how we operate.

 An obvious example is our Pupil Parliament. The election of our Pupil Parliament Team reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from each class, the Pupil Parliament meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.

 Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other.  By attuning to each other, the children are 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.

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 behaviour choices. At the start of the school year, a class discuss and set its own Class Charter, a set of principles that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.

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

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; for example:

  • choices about what learning challenge or activity

  • choices about how they record their learning

  • choices around the participation in extra-curricular activities

 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, Living in the Wider World.

Something which is clearly not part of any British or European value is extremism. It is important to remember that threats can arise from all areas of the population within the UK or outside and whilst the group known as the Islamic State has been a focus in the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, the Prevent Duty is clear that extremism of all kinds should be tackled too. In England, far right groups such as Britain First and the English Defence League need to be tackled too. Extremism is not a new topic in education, but schools have a relatively new statutory duty to pay “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”.

Read the government’s Prevent duty guidance and its guidance for schools.

Mutual Respect And Tolerance To Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs

Thomas Hickman School is in an area which is greatly culturally diverse and we are proud to promote and celebrate our different backgrounds and beliefs. Mutual respect is at the heart of our philosophy – We are “No Outsiders” 

 Our pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone.  This is part of our Behaviour & Relationship Policy.  Children learn that their behaviour choices have an impact on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community should treat each other with respect.