British Values

We have had the privilege of developing the minds of future generations of Lowestoft for over one hundred years. It is our ambition to ensure that our students flourish as individuals but also understand their place on a local, national and global scale.

As part of this, we provide opportunities for students to learn and demonstrate the values expressed by their country.

All students can contribute to school leadership through the student council, either sharing their views and concerns, becoming a form representative, leading an action group and being a student ambassador. Senior students can contribute to student leadership by applying to become a prefect or school leader exemplifying the school values of Aspiration, Aspiration and Respect.

In Year 7 and 8, through Religious Studies and PSHE lessons, students are encouraged to reflect on who they are, how British values affects them and their role in being a member of a school and local community.  In Year 9, through our PSHE programme, we help students to explore their obligations to their country in the form of politics, economics and charity. This course has been designed to respond to the issues that our students have asked for help with.

In KS3, through our humanities curriculum, students also develop an understanding of the story of Britain and of the world around them. This is reinforced in the English studies and the ODA Read-Aloud curriculum where students engage in wide range of texts that enable discussion of our British values and protected characteristics.

In all years, students are given opportunities to reflect on the key British values, as they are experienced within our academy. Whether this is through our bespoke assembly programme or form time programme, student training days, enrichment offer and activities days, trips and key speakers, reinforcing the high-quality curriculum which has been tailored to the needs of our students. For example ‘Votes for Schools’ introduces students to current topics and allows them to experience a democratic process and share their opinions weekly. Students can see how their votes compare to the local and national picture as well as seeing a response from prominent figures within the field in question.

The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Ormiston Denes. Democratic processes are regularly used for important decisions within the school community, from selecting our student leadership representatives to having the final say in the colour of our new school uniform. The principle of democracy is also explored in the history and religious studies curriculum, as well as in form time, including a weekly Votes for School session, and assemblies.

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Ormiston Denes. Students are taught the rules and expectations of the school which are reinforced through consistent expectations, regular assemblies and the student code of conduct.

Students are also 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. Our PSHE programme, History and English curriculums explicitly supports this, and we engage external speakers to reinforce our message.

Students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. In all curriculum areas, lessons offer students space and freedom to discuss and debate current issues and world-influencing literature and ideas.

Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely, for example through digital safeguarding (online safety), form time sessions and under the guidance of expert teachers and pastoral teams.

Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.

Respect is one of our three core values at Ormiston Denes. Students learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the academy community treat each other with respect, and this is reiterated through its teaching and learning environments. In doing so, each form has a kindness ambassador who supports the anti-bullying lead in the kind point system, where students through kind word, support of other and respectful actions can be awarded kindness points.

Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment through frank, open discussions in all curriculum areas, our wider curriculum enrichment and after school enrichment offer.

Tolerance is taught through 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. Students benefit from many international visitors, including students from other continents and cultures. This is reinforced regularly through our bespoke assembly and form time programme.

Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the school and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year.

Specific Examples of students’ curriculum experience that demonstrates a focus on British Values.

Prevent and the teaching of British values is embedded in suitable parts of the curriculum, as appropriate for the age of pupils, material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries. Additionally, all PSHE lessons with every year group contain a starter question that asks about the British Values (naming or explaining, or considering what life would be like without one).

Year  7

  • Community (community cohesion and tolerance – positive steps to support my community).
  • Personal Identity – values and how these impact behaviour.
  • Stereotypes – common stereotypes and the negative implications.
  • Is everyone treated equally? (examples of inequality, prejudice and discrimination).
  • The Equalities Act – (who does it protect, how is it used).
  • Can young people make a change?
  • What is Parliament?
  • How are political parties different?
  • What do MPs do?

Year 8

  • Forms of Extremism (being involved in a religious community does not automatically mean extremist).
  • Grooming and Extremism.
  • Where do laws come from?
  • Who is involved in the legal process?
  • Crimes – knife, hate, county Lines.

Year 9

  • The law on drugs.
  • Debate about the legalisation of cannabis.
  • Democracy.
  • Other forms of government.
  • What is he Cabinet?
  • What advice would I give to the Cabinet?
  • Political parties in the UK.

Year 10

  • Religion and social justice.
  • How do citizens become involved in the legal systems?
  • How do courts decide sentencing?
  • International law.

Year 11

  • Tax and government spending.

Student Leadership

At Denes we ensure that all pupils within the academy have a voice that is listened to and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a student leadership team whose members are voted for by the students. Each form can select 1-3 form representatives on a biannual basis with elections held democratically.

Form representatives are not the only form of student leadership within the academy – we also have Subject Ambassadors, who work with head of department, to represent student voice in different curriculum areas, and Regional Student Voice ambassadors who attend half-termly meetings with OAT and feedback to the Prefect team. The links to democracy are reinforced in assembly with feedback on how the school leadership ensures student voices are heard and represented.


We have considered the role of extra-curricular activity, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values. At Ormiston Denes, through the student leadership teams, students have set up four committees. The Equality and Diversity Committee was set up by student leadership collectively and has identified key dates which represent different cultures and groups to enable the celebration of diversity and equality. The Pride Committee was set up by a Year 9 student and is exploring whether the school can move towards any awards for LGBTQ+ representation. The Eco-Schools Committee was set up by student leadership, intending to work towards the Green Flag award (or other environmental awards). The Prom Committee was set up by Year 11 students to provide an opportunity for all Year 11s to meet and discuss their ideas about the prom, so that suggestions and decisions could be made democratically.


Due to the local context and community we serve – the nature of the Prevent responsibility is mainly focused on the beliefs and actions of the Far Right. In terms of safeguarding and the Prevent duty, we have trained the whole school staff on the Prevent duty as part of their continuous professional development (CPD) entitlement. All staff completed level 1 and DSLs completed level 1-3. We have a Prevent risk assessment and action plan in place and use the Suffolk Summary Dashboard to keep up to date with the locality – referrals by concern, groups in the area of concern and the different prevent foci.   To further support the Prevent agenda we:

  • Work in partnership with multiple agencies and professionals.
  • We have robust filtering and monitoring systems, in line with KCSIE 2023
  • Use web filtering, provided by Smoothwall and this ensures Home Office terrorism block lists are used to identify potential issues – these are updated daily.
  • Respond to the built-in report feature alerts the E safety team and our IT team allowing ODA to monitor and report on all user access.
  • The additional SENSO package recognises and reports key words.
  • Use CPOMs to record and track and monitor on an individual level and to report/ sanction/inform home. The IT team completes regular tests to check the voracity of the systems and we have a Safeguarding Governance team who quality assures this provision regularly.

Throughout all elements of an Ormiston Denes education, we aim to help students to:

  • Develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Distinguish right from wrong and to respect English law.
  • Accept responsibility for their behaviour.
  • Show initiative and contribute positively to society.
  • Acquire a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, English public institutions and services.
  • Appreciate and respect their own and other cultures.

Our students therefore have:

  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process.
  • an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety.
  • an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law.
  • an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.
  • an understanding of the importance of identifying and combatting discrimination.