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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 respect for people of all cultures, lifestyles and of all faiths and none.  We actively celebrate diversity.  Within the school and the wider community we work to prepare young people positively for life in modern Britain.


Fundamental British Values include:

• democracy
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect
• tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.  We are an inclusive school and celebrate diversity.  These are our fundamental values.

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.  This has led to improvements such as neutral decoration in the toilets and a review of our Trans students are identified on registers and in reporting systems

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 the struggle for power between the crown and parliament 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 and the Magna Carta in England.  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 Crime and Punishment, Human Rights and Social Justice, Peace and Conflict. At KS3 RS, students look at topics such as Religion and the community.

.          MFL - at A level students study young people's engagement in politics

.          English - students are encouraged to debate and elect group leaders when studying the GCSE texts

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

·         Citizenship Day for Year 12

.          Year 8 Student Development Day on Elections and running a local election 

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

.           RS – Crime and Punishment in Year 10 as well as the topic of people who have changed the world in Year 8, where students look at the evolution of law due to individuals such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks.

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

.          English - In Year 8 the Term One Mystery Unit offers opportunities to explore police work and crime investigations

.           Business and Enterprise students learn about UK Employment Laws, Consumer Laws and Health and Safety Law.   At KS5 they develop this understanding and learn about data protection, competition regulation, intellectual property and taxation

·         Student Development Days – these are very well supported by Cheshire Constabulary with sessions on personal and online safety, drugs and driving safety.  Both Year 7 and 9 have days on law and order

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

.          RS – Religion and Equality at KS3, looking at how religion can be used as a vehicle for liberation and expression of self-identity for in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.


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.

We also run competitions such as the Black History Month Competition run by History.

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 8 and 9 ‘SatNavs’ guiding Year 7

·         Sponsored walk and other charity activities.  Our students raised money for a range of charities and our Christmas Food Bank Appeal has been a great success in every year since 2017.

.        The Pride Youth Network also runs assemblies each year on the topics of Black History Month and LGBT+ History Month to encourage that we treat each other with mutual respect.


Inclusion and Celebration 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 inclusive 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.  Through celebration of diversity we aim that all feel welcomed and included regardless of their identity and situation

·         Religious Studies is a compulsory part of the curriculum and students study six world religions at Key Stage 3, as well as including a key focus on Religion and Equality and Religion and the Community in Year 7.  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 Relationships and Families, Human Rights and Social Justice, Religion and Life, Peace and Conflict

·         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.  In GCSE one of the topics is customs, festivals and traditions from different countries

·         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

.          At KS4, Business and Enterprise students learn about how legislation prevents discrimination based on religion.   At KS5, Business students learn how businesses often “glocalise” their products to adapt to the different cultures and religions around the world.

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

o    Diversity (Years 7 and 8)

o    Peace Day (Sixth Form)

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

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.  The Plays in a Week always focus on challenging themes that require Year 8 students to think.  The most recent examples are Private Peaceful which looks at the issue of conscientious objectors in World War I and Animal Farm which explores issues of democracy and equality

·         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 2019

·         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. This has led to the creation of our Pride Youth Network, our group of students that works to ensure all staff, students, governors and visitors at PHS are treated equally and fairly. This work has spread beyond the walls of the school and has resulted in the Pride Youth Network editing policy documents for groups such as the Cheshire East SCiES team and being asked for feedback and support with the Cheshire East website. All these endeavours have modelled the school voice on promoting inclusion and supporting all individuals in line with the Equality Act of 2010

·         Christian Union led by Sixth Form students

·         Christmas Assembly.  We are pleased to invite the local vicar and the local Methodist minister to our celebration.