Children’s Lives in Modern Britain

At St. Michael-in-the-Hamlet Primary School we prepare children for life in modern Britain by upholding and teaching pupils about values, which are shared and held by the people that live in our diverse and rich community. These can be described as ‘British Values’ and are defined by the government as:

  • democracy
  • rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • respecting those of different faiths and beliefs

We teach these values through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education (SMSC) and Religious Education (RE). We also explore this within our broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery relects the diversity of our school community. We actively promote these values through our whole school systems and structures and through our whole school assemblies.


Democracy is an important value within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our Pupil Council, Eco-Council, e-cadets, Young Entrepreneurs and through the annual Pupil questionnaires. The election of Pupil Councillors, as well Eco-Councillors and Year 6 Captains and Vice Captains are determined solely by the pupils. Once the candidates have prepared and presented their speech, pupils then vote for their chosen representatives. The prestigious Permewan Awards, presented to Year 6 pupils during the Year 6 Leavers’ Celebration, are also elected by the Pupils who, along with Year 6 Teachers, vote for the recipients of the award. Pupils are also involved in Pupil Interviews, where they are encouraged to give their views on all issues related to school-life.

The Rule of Law:

The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship. We have a whole school behaviour system with rewards and consequences, which is consistently used by all staff. Through the curriculum children 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty:

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety, PSHE and Philosophy for Children lessons and through our work towards achieving the Rights Respecting Schools’ Award. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.

Mutual Respect:

Part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy has revolved around Core Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. The Curriculum promotes respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy.

Respecting those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:

This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE, PSHE and Philosophy for Children. During RE lessons children are given the opportunity to explore and celebrate a range of faiths, religions and cultures. The school has developed friendship-links with a school in Nepal, which has helped develop pupils’ understanding of similarities and differences in our cultures.