British Values

At Costello we value the diversity of backgrounds of all students, families and the wider school community.

The Department for Education states that there is a need:

“To create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

The Department for Education defines British Values as follows:

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

Our school reflects British values in all that we do.  We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world.

At Costello, we actively promote British values in the following ways:


  • Election of School Council
  • Student voice is addressed through student focus groups and questionnaire
  • There is explicit consideration of democracy within SMSC lessons and Tutor periods.
  • The principles of democracy are explored in the whole curriculum e.g. turn taking, sharing and collaboration, as well as during assemblies and special projects.
  • School Council  is very well established and is working on a ‘student development plan’
  • Achievements are celebrated in assembly, on the school website and in ‘Costello Together’ and rewards are embedded into our school culture and ethos
  • We promote a school environment where questions are valued and encouraged.

The rule of law

  • The school’s ethos promotes and encourages respect and helps students to distinguish right from wrong.
  • The Behaviour and Anti-Bullying policies set out a zero tolerance baseline for any form of aggression, abuse or violence, which extends to students, staff and parent and carers. We raise awareness of bullying by being part of the National Anti Bullying Week and Internet Safety Day
  • The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies
  • Through PSHE lessons students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.  Occasional visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message

Individual liberty

  • We pride ourselves on a school culture and ethos that builds respect, tolerance and resilience
  • Both in and out of lessons students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment
  • Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons
  • We have a robust anti-bullying culture
  • Our school environment is one that promotes independence and individual communication. Our aim is to work towards pupils having full independence
  • We all work to promote students’ self-esteem and positive sense of self throughout the school day and in the wider community
  • From the Year 7 through to Year 11 are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and are supported to learn to make safe choices that enable them to grow as individuals and reach their own potential in all aspects of their learning
  • As students move up through the school they are supported to understand their rights and personal freedoms and are given appropriate advice to enable them to make independent decisions
  • Vulnerable students are supported to make appropriate decisions and staff ensure that adults supporting them are doing so with the students best interests
  • We conduct annual student and parent surveys and use the results to inform the coming year’s  school development plan

Mutual respect

  • Respect is one of the core values of our school.  Our students know and understand that it is expected that respect is shown to everyone, adults and children
  • School assemblies address what respect means and how it is shown
  • Displays around the school promote ‘respect’ for others (through our Values statement) and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy
  • Both in and out of the classroom students are helped to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other opinions, cultures and ways of life
  • Staff and students are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour. All such incidents are recorded

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

  • Discussions about prejudices and prejudice-based bullying in tutor time.
  • Recognition and discussion of religious celebrations in lessons, tutor times and assemblies. 
  • Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school eg. a discussion of fasting during Ramadan.
  • Through the PSHE and RE curriculum students are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations.
  • Links and visits are promoted with local faith communities and places of worship