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British Values at WCS

From 2014 maintained schools have been required to actively promote British Values in Schools as part of their SMSC provision. But what are British Values? 

With the school population representing the different ethnic groups in Eastbourne and Polegate, finding commonality and building a collective sense of community is vital for a cohesive co-existence. These are particularly important in an area of the country which is 94% white British where the diversity that occurs in other areas of the country is perhaps not always well understood. British Values recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  All schools, including Willingdon, have a vital role in ensuring that our young people are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

Government guides schools towards ‘promoting the fundamental British values’ of:

  • Democracy

  • The rule of law

  • Individual liberty

  • Mutual respect

  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

These values are not, however, uniquely British, nor should it be assumed that everyone understands them. Willingdon students’ appreciation of British Values has to be arrived at through mutual exploration and understanding. Therefore, our focus at Willingdon is on helping young people understand how things in British society work and how to challenge and change society for the better. At Willingdon these values are also promoted through focused assemblies, school displays, integration into subjects and drop down days. We also promote the sense of pride we should all have in our shared British heritage. The British Values also tie in well with our ‘Personal Excellence’ values of Ambition, Respect, Courtesy, Compassion and Honesty which underpin everything we do at Willingdon Community School.

Below are some of the other ways Willingdon students are guided in developing an understanding and appreciation for these British Values.


The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Willingdon, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the school community, such as through the Student Leadership teams in each year group.

The rule of law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Willingdon. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are highlighted by the behaviour policy. Students are taught the value and the reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This is part of the RSHE programme as well as playing a crucial part in several subject areas.

Individual liberty

At Willingdon Community School, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff at Willingdon Community School educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education.

Mutual Respect

Students learn that their behaviours has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect and this is reiterated through our teaching and learning.

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

This is achieved though equipping students with the ability to understand their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving the opportunities to experience such diversity within the school community. The Religious Studies curriculum (which we call Ethics and Philosophy), is compulsory for all students up to the end of KS4 and provides a broad and balanced education on a range of faiths, religions and cultures.


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