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Poynton High School

and Performing Arts College

01625 871811

British Values at Poynton High School

British Values at Poynton High School

We are proud of the work we do as a school to promote fundamental British values.  As a school we promote tolerance and respect for people of all cultures, lifestyles and of all faiths and none.  Within the school and the wider community we work to prepare young people positively for life in modern Britain.

This is work we have done for many years, for example in December 2012 we achieved the SSAT’s Gold Cultural Diversity Quality Standard.

 This work has been recognised externally in recent years.

·         Achieved Educate and Celebrate Gold Level Best Practice Status.  As part of this we have a Youth Pride network and a have led LGBT+ work with the LA

·         September 2016 achieved the Secondary Geography Quality Mark

·         July 2015 achieved the Career Mark

·         November 2014 reaccredited by Investors in People

Fundamental British values include:

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

Our students will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life, both in and out of lessons. 


Student Voice

This is used widely at our school. Members of the Strategic Leadership Team meet ‘Talk and Toast’ focus groups regularly from all years.  Student questionnaires and Focus Groups are also used in the Quality Assurance Team Visit programme.  Our students were also involved in the Cheshire East Safeguarding Children Policy in Practice Review and this model has been adopted by the LA.

Recently the student voice has led to the following changes

·         An improvement in provision of facilities outside for students to use at lunchtime

·         Changes in the organisation of options at Year 9 to provide more information about subjects not delivered at KS3

·         Improved promotion of where students can go to seek support in school

·         Improvements in the restaurant for students

·         Policies have been reviewed by the school’s Pride Youth Network as part of our drive to celebrate diversity

The Curriculum

A wide range of subjects promote democracy and democratic values.  We have retained a three year KS3 to ensure that all students experience study of the Humanities, a language and the arts subjects.  All students have to study a language or a Humanities subject at KS4.  Examples of relevant topics include:

·         History – students study the development of democracy in KS3 with lessons on Magna Carta and the campaign for the right to vote in Britain.  In Year 9, students study democracy and dictatorship in the 20th century and also study terrorism in the modern world. At GCSE students study the civil rights campaign in the US.  A level students study Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union as a case study

·         Religious Studies – in KS4 all students study RS and this includes units on Religion and Prejudice and Religion and the Multicultural Society

·         Key Stage 4 Student Development lessons include a unit on politics, including lessons on extremism and preventing extremism

·         Citizenship Day for Year 12

Extra-curricular activities

·         Mock Election

·         Talks from Members of Parliament and peers (William Wragg and Andrew Stephenson who are both former students have spoken as has our local MP, David Rutley.  We were also pleased to invite Lord Goddard in to talk about his work in the House of Lords)

·         Debating Society organised by Sixth Form students

·         Student leadership through the House System and Prefects.  We have Student Leaders who speak at parental events.

·         Parliament visit

·         Headteacher for the day competition

The Rule of Law

The rule of law is important in the context of school and the wider community, locally, nationally and globally. 

The Curriculum

·         History – students study the evolution of trial by jury and the debate over the death penalty at KS3.  Students also study international law with the evolution of the United Nations.  In KS4, law and order in the American West is an important case study.  Students have a chance to understand the contrast between law in a democratic society and the arbitrary systems in dictatorships

·         Geography – students study Crime as a topic in Year 8

·         Student Development Days – these are very well supported by Cheshire Constabulary with sessions on personal and online safety, drugs and driving safety

Extra-curricular Activities

Individual Liberty

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged.

Students learn about individual liberty and the ideas of rights and responsibilities through assemblies, lessons and through the behaviour system.  It is also shown in practice through our gender neutral uniform policy.

The Curriculum

·         History – students study the struggle for liberty in the past.  At KS3, these include Magna Carta, women’s right to vote and African American civil rights


Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with great respect. This is evident in lessons and outside.   It is also seen in the very positive relationships that exist between students and staff.  The House system which promotes healthy competition between Houses and co-operation with other students also reinforces these good relationships.

The very successful anti-bullying song performed jointly by PJS and choirs from our feeder primary schools in the summer of 2015 was a great example of how we encourage mutual respect.  We also run competitions such as the Black History Month Competition run by History in 2017.

Students are also encouraged to volunteer in the school and outside. 

·         In-class support

·         House Captains

·         Buddy Reading

·         Duke of Edinburgh Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold Award levels

·         National Citizen Service

·         Sports Days at primary schools

·         Work experience for Year 12

·         Open evening tours

·         Year 11 ‘SatNavs’ guiding Year 7

·         Sponsored walk and other charity activities.  In 2017 our students raised money for a range of charities and our Christmas Food Bank Appeal was a great success.


Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The Curriculum

At Poynton High School we provide a broad and balanced curriculum, delivered by skilled professionals, so that our students are enriched, understand and become tolerant of difference and diversity and also to ensure that they thrive, feel valued and are encouraged to question and understand the wider world in which we live.  

·         Religious Studies is a compulsory part of the curriculum and students study six world religions at Key Stage 3.  From September 2015 all students in Key Stage 4 have studied full course GCSE Religious Studies.  This enables students to have a much greater understanding of faith and gives the opportunity for a wide range of issues to be discussed.  At GCSE, units include Religion and Prejudice, Religion and the Multicultural Society, Human Rights and War

·         History and Geography have six hours a fortnight in KS3.These subjects broaden the horizons of our students and are very popular at GCSE and A level.  In Year 9, students in History study Conflict including the Civil Rights struggle in America, political extremism in the 20th century and terrorism in the modern world.  In Geography, students study units on Africa, Brazil and China in Key Stage 3.  At GCSE, students study population, migration and globalisation

·         Modern Foreign Languages provide real opportunities to engage with the wider world. Students study one of our three languages at KS3 and many continue to GCSE.  Through the celebration of the International Day of Languages and participation in our long-running exchanges students are encouraged to celebrate diversity

·         English promotes discussion and debate and all our students study both English Literature and Language to GCSE

·         Performing Arts subjects play an important part in promoting a questioning approach and an understanding of the wider world.  All students study Drama and Music in Key Stage 3

·         The Student Development Days cover a range of issues that broaden students’ minds and enable them to challenge prejudice

o    Global Citizenship (Years 7 and 8)

o    Media Safety (Years 7 and 8)

o    The Community and Me (Year 9)

o    Peace Day (Sixth Form)

·         Key Stage 4 Student Development lessons include a unit on politics, including lessons on extremism and preventing extremism

·         Career Mark Award


Extra-curricular activities

Beyond the classroom students also engage in a wide range of activities that broaden their horizons and encourage them to respect diversity.  Much of this is through our successful House System.  Examples that are particularly relevant to building British Values are:

·         Play in a Week 2017 – #sheepislife

·         Exchanges and study visits to France, Germany and Spain

·         The Battlefields Trip (History), visits to Iceland and Italy in Geography

·         The India Project which raises money for the India Direct charity and has enabled groups to go to India over recent years to engage directly with children in India

·         Camps International expedition to Ecuador in 2017

·         Working towards becoming a Rights Respecting School

·         Auschwitz Visit and Holocaust Assembly.  In 2018 students were invited to attend Parliament as part of this work.

·         Student leadership opportunities through the House system, prefects and subject leadership

·         We are a gold level best practice Educate and Celebrate school as part of our LGBT+ equality promotion strategy to ensure that we celebrate the diversity of our school community

·         Christian Union led by Sixth Form students

·         Christmas Assembly.  In 2017 we were pleased to invite the local vicar and the local Methodist minister to our celebration.