Skip to content ↓

British Values

At Woolwich Poly we have embedded the DFE guidance on promoting British values in school and ensuring our young people develop a strong sense of moral and social responsibility and leave Woolwich Poly prepared for life in Britain.

We actively promote the five elements of British Values:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Central to our curriculum, extra-curricular activities and our policies and practices is the right of each person to be respected regardless of race, gender, faith, ability or heritage. We celebrate the uniqueness of every individual and we are committed to empowering our students to develop into responsible citizens in the community and country in which they live.


At Woolwich Poly students have a voice and their opinions are valued. The Student Council ensure students have opportunities to have their voices heard. Learning mentors and Peer Mentoring and the ‘family’ ethos of the school encourages students to share their views with stakeholders.

We have a wide range of leadership roles which our students are encouraged to partake in, including: School Council; Prefects; Student Ambassadors; Head Boy and Girl and Peer Mentoring. Students holding these posts of responsibility seek the views of their year teams and peers and represent these views to staff. In Citizenship students learn about our Democracy and the Government. They understand how budgets are managed and how MPs are voted for. They create their own political parties.

The Rule of Law

Woolwich Poly is a diverse community whose members are committed to upholding Poly and Proud statements. Our community is well aware of the need for rules and regulations in society to keep safe, they know their responsibilities in maintaining a safe and well-ordered environment both within and outside of school. In Citizenship students learn about UK law and their rights and responsibilities within the rule of law.

Individual Liberty

Students are encouraged to be independent learners and to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are taught how to use these rights to be the best they can be. We promote a safe working environment and ensure the safe guarding of all within our community. This is also promoted through events such as Anti-bullying Week.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Rights and responsibilities of others is highly valued at Woolwich Poly. Our assemblies promote respect and tolerance of others and the monthly themes embed these values further. Students are taught the importance of self-respect, togetherness, diversity and community. Through the EBC curriculum students are taught about the faiths and traditions of other belief systems. There are many diverse members of staff and students who play a full part in the life of our school and wider community. We celebrate our diversity, faith and cultures through, for example, themed events such as Black History Month, through assemblies and through our themed canteen menus.




  • The art curriculum delivers British values through having a sense of enjoyment and passion in learning about the world around them through actively encouraging pupils in artistic and creative activities.
  • We promote tolerance through different peoples’ ideas, creative responses and understanding of different cultures and styles of art.
  • Students are encouraged to question and explore sensitive, controversial issues, whilst maintaining tolerance and respect for the views and beliefs of others.
  • Discussing and working in the style and using techniques of a wide range of artists and creative people, British art is promoted through all of the year groups.
  • Extends beyond the classroom through visits, workshops and alley visits.
  • Pupils have the opportunity to work independently or as tams to build resilience, tolerance and self esteem.
  • Pupils often share ideas through group crits (KS4&5) or group work in all the key stages encouraging pupils to support each other and to be tolerant and respectful with each others views and opinions.

Business and Economics

  • Students learn about the moral and ethical issues that a business has to face.
  • Businesses also have to abide by the many laws that are set by government.

Design Technology

  • Sustainability and looking after the environment all year groups, an element of successful design.
  • How different graphic communications are understood across a variety of cultures and the connotations that imagery can have. Year 7 Soma Cube Project - understanding aesthetics as a visual language.
  • Group tasks - learning to work alongside others both stronger weaker and equal to ones self. All year groups
  • Giving feedback in an understanding and positive light. All year groups
  • Inclusive design. Year 12


  • Y10 scheme of work on protest which includes references to suffragettes, mining strike and Tiananmen square protest
  • Y9 looking at case of ‘Craig & Bentley’ and capital punishment
  • All lessons include peer feedback which is founded on mutual respect. All lessons are differentiated and students work with others of all abilities.
  • Y11 work looks at homelessness within the UK and in particular teenage homelessness within the UK
  • Y7 and Y8 look at the history of theatre which includes Shakespeare, Greek Theatre, Commedia Dell ’Arte and Pantomime


  • Within English, British values are promoted and explored in a variety of ways. The study of non-fiction texts provides students and teachers with the opportunity to address topical issues and consider different social, political, religious and cultural attitudes and contexts. The department ethos is always to respect the views of individuals and provide a learning environment in which students feel able to express themselves freely yet respectfully.
  • KS3- non- fiction unit- analyse of the language used. In these non- fiction units we study a vast variety of topics such as Brexit, arranged marriages, influence of media, current affairs.
  • KS4- Language Paper 2- Non- fiction texts- we address all topics (politics, religion, current social issues etc.)
  • KS5- Language analysis of non- fiction texts.
  • The study of literature goes hand-in-hand with exploration of different people, places and social groups and as such promotes understanding and tolerance. Being able to empathise with others and examine situations and settings outside of our individual experience is an explicitly taught skill.
  • KS3- Novels such as to Kill a Mocking Bird.
  • These units of work promote exploration of different cultures and tolerance.
  • KS5- Othello, Poetry from other Cultures.
  • KS4- Conflict Poetry- Belfast Confetti, Out of the Blue based on 9/11, Half Caste dealing with different cultures etc.
  • In addition to curriculum content, the methods employed in English lessons encourage tolerance and respect. Students are expected to listen to and respect each other during group discussions and debate, and to work co- operatively in pursuit of common goals.
  • Common use of Socratic discussions and speaking and listening activities as is part of our Curriculum across all Key stages.


  • At KS3, the importance of individual liberty and mutual respect is woven into topics such as settlements and coasts, where we discuss why different people may have different opinions on how a particular area should be used, and how any conflicts are best managed. By exploring lives and landscapes in different parts of the world, for example in units on development and population, students develop an understanding of lives different to their own, which helps promote tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • At KS4, understanding of concepts such as democracy and the rule of law is enhanced by looking at topics such as 'The Economic World' and 'Urban Environments'. Through a study of global ecosystems in 'The Living World' and a unit on Global Resources, students come to see that importance of mutual respect extends beyond the individual and so consider their and our responsibilities to the planet and its people as a whole.
  • At KS5, British Values take centre stage in units investigating Superpowers and Global Migration, and individual liberty is considered in the light of our freedom to engage in behaviours that can either help or harm fragile environments, such as Glaciers, and in the choices that we make in an increasingly globalised world.


  • At KS3 students study the development of government and the relationship between monarch, Parliament and the people. In addition they look at the role of protest movements in expanding democracy, e.g. the women's suffrage movement
    At KS4 students study the contrast between liberal democracy and communism and the challenges to single party rule with the collapse of communism. In addition they study the impact of civil rights movements.
    At KS5 students compare different types of democracy (British vs US) and the roles of the executive, legislative and judiciary
  • The rule of law across the key stages, students are challenged to consider the role of a citizen in following and challenging the rule of law and the impact of legislation on freedom and the individual experience.
  • Students are encouraged to reflect on the importance and responsibility of individual liberty across the key stages. At KS3 this includes consideration of how and why we began to value the concept of individual liberty, how individual liberty has been curtailed (for example, through the establishment of a Nazi dictatorship) and the experience of those individuals denied their individual liberty. At KS4 students consider the limitations on liberty experienced under communist dictatorship, while at KS5 the concept of liberty is central to their study of the relationship between crown and Parliament.
  • Mutual respect is embedded throughout the curriculum, which seeks to challenge pre-existing stereotypes through the exploration of diverse experience.
  • At KS3 students are introduced to migrant groups over time, representing faiths from the pagans of Scandinavian Viking invasions, the Jewish immigration under the Normans, the Protestant immigration seen through the Huguenots, to Muslim, Sikh and Hindu immigration from South Asia after WW2. Students are encouraged to see explore the role of people of different faiths and beliefs in creating our modern British society and culture. At KS4 students are encouraged always to consider the ramifications of a failure to tolerate through the impact of the Cold War on the world and, similarly, at KS5 their exploration of the Civil War highlights the tragic consequences of intolerance.


  • Students at KS3 & 4 complete activities related to e-safety and safe use of computers and smart devices, this includes social media.
  • Students at KS3-5 learn about the different laws and regulations relating to the use of ICT, for example the Data Protection Act and Computer Misuse Act.


  • The mathematics curriculum promotes the British values of tolerance and resilience on a daily basis through problem solving and understanding of complex concepts, encouraging students to persevere and try different methods to arrive at a correct solution. Students are encouraged to builds on and learn from their mistakes in maths lessons.
  • Teamwork through peer assessment and group work underpins the schemes of learning in the maths faculty. Students work together in all areas of the maths curriculum to support each other and build mutual respect for one another. Students are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them in all maths lessons. This fosters confidence and builds self-esteem, it encourages students to take risks and become lifelong learners whilst using their mathematical skills in all aspects of life.
  • Students consider and debate the consequences, advantages and disadvantages of things such as ethical decisions relating to Maths, business and economies, and how maths is used and abused as well as how data can be used to change perception, opinion, action and cause reaction.
  • Opportunities to discuss viewpoints are encouraged whilst ensuring students are respectful to others. At the same time, students are reminded of an expectation of respect for all others. Through various forms of mathematical issues, freedom of speech is discussed.
  • Values such as respect, tolerance of other opinions and positive criticism are embedded in Maths. An underpinning drive to develop students who are resilient, respectful, determined and respectful creates a positive set of values to apply to all areas of life and help develop student’s character.
  • Adhering to rules and laws of privacy and understanding how such legislation is applicable to life in school and the community in helping to make the community safer.
  • At all times within the subject, students are encouraged to recognise an individual’s strength and support their development. Students are encouraged to embrace diversity and treat all others with respect, both in and out of the classroom. We encourage equality and diversity at every opportunity.



  • KS5 – study of women’s rights, the setting up of democracy, issues of democracy vs non democracy
  • KS5 – discussions around the effectiveness of measures to reduce crime and alternatives to imprisonment. Government responses to environmental issues
  • KS4 – family and individual rights
  • KS4 – charities and voluntary work
  • KS3 to KS5 – topics related to identity and culture
  • KS4 and KS5 – study of topics such as inequalities
  • KS3 to KS5 – topics related to identity and culture
  • KS3 to KS5 - Learning of different languages, different backgrounds
  • KS5 – study of LGBT rights, Immigration issues, multiculturalism
  • KS3 to KS5 – topics related to identity and culture


  • Students are strongly encouraged to work as teams and the main teaching room is set up with small “pods” of 5 students. An aspect of assessment in KS3 music is teamwork and teachers actively encourage and assess the students’ ability to listen to each other’s ideas and to make democratic decisions as to their merit. Pod arrangements and performances are inherently democratic.
  • At KS5, students learn about British and international copyright laws and the importance of respecting another’s work and the law of the land.
  • the idea of improvisation is key to our KS3 teaching. This ties in with the concept of individuals being able to express themselves freely within a given framework.
  • students learn that every culture makes music and are encouraged to learn and appreciate what makes different musical cultures the same and yet unique. Students study and make music from most continents during KS3.

Physical Education

  • Students in KS3 complete competitive tasks which encourage students to challenge their opinions around winning and losing. This develops mutual respect for each other and cultivates an environment which is tolerant of different peoples strengths and weaknesses
  • Students all complete a 6 week water sports course in KS3. During this unit of work students will problem solve to overcome challenges. To do this successfully students must work as a team and learn to allocate roles appropriately.
  • In KS4 students complete a unit of work focused on world sports. In this area of the curriculum students will learn about the development of alternative activities and the cultural rituals associated with each activity.


  • Through the study of social Psychology we teach students the importance of being aware of our actions how these might impact others, it also teaches students to develop an internal locus of control, which encourages students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, actions and show initiative.
  • Through the study of research methods students study ethics and adhere to moral guidelines of how to protect participants from psychological harm.
  • The study of gender, promotes mutual respect between men and women and teaches tolerance of those who are different, combating discrimination.
  • Through studying aggression, more aware of how to deal with frustration and promotes tolerance between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of their own and other cultures.
  • Through the study of attachment, we identify that not everyone has had a secure attachment as a child and therefore we are more tolerant on the differences of others and how these may affect later relationships.
  • The relationships topic explores cultural differences in how we express love, this teaches students respect for what is acceptable in other cultures, regardless if we hold these beliefs.


  • Scientific decisions about issues such as cloning, GM crops and nuclear power are debated by Parliament, so that all opinions are listened to and respected. When we learn about in vitro fertilisation we consider the ethical impact of the process and how it can lead to differences of opinion.
  • As Scientists, we critically examining moral judgements behind stem cells research and how this may benefit people who are suffering from illnesses or are paralysed.
  • Scientists have to obey the laws of the country they are working in, this means that we can’t just go off and do something which is considered unethical such as creating designer babies. We have to make sure our work is ethical, and won’t cause harm others or cause divisions in the population.
  • Science in Key stage 3 promotes British values through the study of cells, Students study cell structure and organ systems
  • Sense of fascination about learning about themselves, others and the world
  • around them. They learn the rule of law through the study of legal and illegal drugs, and the effect these have.
  • Students write articles for teen magazines on how to deal with issues which occur during adolescence to make them empathetic with others.

Contact Us

Hutchins Road
SE28 8AT