What are British Values and the Prevent Strategy about?

You may have heard about the government's Prevent Strategy and be wondering what it is about. Download our leaflet or pop into the school office for a copy.
We actively seek to promote and uphold British values through our ethos, curriculum, liturgy and assemblies. We aim to educate and engage with pupils about equality, human rights and inclusion in a positive and pro-active way because we all firmly believe that ‘God made me as I am’ no matter who we are.  Our school motto: Act justly, love tenderly, walk humbly with your God is at the heart of all we do.
The Government set out its definition of British Values in the Prevent Strategy 2011 as part of its overall counter- terrorism strategy, CONTEST. The introduction of Part 5 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 gives the Prevent strategy legal status in schools and colleges in England and Wales. In guidance for maintained schools, issued by the Department for Education in November 2014, ‘Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC in schools: Departmental advice for maintained schools’, a list was provided that describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.
These were: 
  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process; 
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety; 
  • an understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence; 
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law; 
  • an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
  • an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.
 At  Holy Cross, these values are promoted in the following ways:
  • Having an active school council and allowing pupils to elect their school councillors by holding elections 
  • Highlighting the development of democratic ideas in history lessons 
  • Ensuring all pupils are listened to by adults and encouraging children to listen to one another 
  • Inviting speakers to the school from a variety of cultures, beliefs and organisations 
  • Learning about our political system and those in other parts of the world 
  • Annual pupil, parent and staff questionnaires
 The Rule of Law
  • Having a clear behaviour policy that is explained and understood to all 
  • Involving pupils in creating policies 
  • Organising visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong and to teach about keeping safe 
  • Participating annually in Junior Life Skills programme 
  • Highlighting the rules of the Church in the RE curriculum and in other religions
 Individual Liberty
  • Students are encouraged to be independent, reflective, resilient learners. 
  • Pupils are given the opportunity to suggest and organise fundraising events (e.g. Fairtrade, MacMillan)
  • Class debates and discussions take place in various curriculum subjects 
  • Opportunities for pupils to learn about their rights and personal freedoms and how to exercise these safely (e.g. e-Safety lessons and CEOP resources, PSHE lessons) and the responsibilities that these bring 
  • Opportunities to join a number of extra-curricular activities at lunchtimes or after school 
  • Opportunities to take on additional roles and responsibilities (e.g. school captains, librarians, buddies, peer mediators)
Mutual respect
  • Having a mission statement that is inclusive and which was written by the school community and is regularly discussed with the children and on display and valuing it through our weekly Witness of the Week award 
  • Constantly promoting respect for others as good manners 
  • Reinforcing the value of everyone’s opinions in class debates 
  • Having an effective anti-bullying policy 
  • Emphasising in RE and PSHE lessons that every person is unique and created by God 
  • Supporting charitable works (e.g. fundraising events held regularly for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Jeremiah’s Journey, Shekinah Mission, CAFOD, Save the Children)
 Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
  • Religious Education provides pupils with a deep understanding of their own faith as well as an awareness of other faiths 
  • Themed weeks exploring other cultures and faiths including visits ie Plymouth’s Synagogue 
  • Visitors from other faiths invited into the school and membership of Plymouth Centre for Faith and Cultural Diversity 
  • Opportunities to explore cultural celebrations through art and music 
  • Assemblies focussing on other important festivals and events across the year 
  • Regular opportunities to share our wide and diverse backgrounds, including engaging with parents and families