Ledbury Primary School

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Values-based Education

Enhanced Values-based Education Quality Mark


What is Values-based Education?

Values-based Education is an approach to teaching that works with values. It creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic achievement and develops students' social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives.

The positive learning environment is achieved through the positive values modelled by staff throughout the school. It quickly liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.
It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school
 and throughout their lives.  Find out more and visit




At Ledbury Primary School it is our aim to raise standards by promoting a school ethos which is underpinned by core values. These values support the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a calm, caring, happy and purposeful atmosphere.


Values-based Education IS British Values, PSHE and SMSC

Values-based Education (VbE) is truly transformational, providing a structure for a positive ethos that impacts on the whole school community. It has a direct influence on the entire curriculum, and most specifically on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), and of course on the teaching of British Values.


Values-Based Education and Spiritual, Social, Moral and Cultural Education (SMSC) 

The framework of VbE offers an assured foundation for the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of pupils. School assemblies and lessons focus on the values progressively so that pupils deepen and challenge their understanding. Through exploring a selection of positive values in depth, pupils learn what these mean to them and their lives, and what application they have for other people and the wider world. The enactment of these values in shared behaviours, shared language and spiritual reflection across the school enables pupils to develop both their cognitive understanding and their personal ‘Inner Curriculum.’ Moreover, the practice of VbE infuses the ethos and culture of the school, meaning that a child’s entire school experience furthers their spiritual, social and cultural development

Values-Based Education and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) 

VbE provides a welcome structure for teaching the non-statutory PSHE curriculum at Key Stages 1 and 2. The exploration of a school’s chosen values easily facilitates the teaching and learning requirements in this curriculum area. Through considering a range of values, pupils learn about healthy lifestyles, developing relationships and respecting differences between people, playing an active role as citizens and developing confidence and responsibility to make the most of their talents and skills. Pupils at a values-based school find PSHE accessible and enjoyable because of their well-developed ethical vocabulary and reasoning skills.


Values-Based Education and British Values

Schools are required to teach pupils about the British Values of:
Individual Liberty
The Rule of Law and




Children are taught how their school values underpin everything their school does and this gives a meaningful context for British Values, supporting their understanding of how they underpin our society. Values-based schools ensure that British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the wider values-based philosophy that infuses the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts so that pupils can embrace these concepts with enthusiasm and demonstrate a good understanding of their application to their own lives.

The skills and attributes developed through the teaching of values are known to enhance the curriculum and pupils’ learning behaviours, and raise attainment, attendance and pupil wellbeing.


Values-based Education works through:

  • Values Consciousness
    Teachers think more deeply about their teaching and the values that they model both in and outside of the classroom. Pupils report how a values consciousness impact on their behaviour and actions, which become more altruistic.
  • Wellbeing
    In thinking about and enacting values, students develop self-worth, empathy and responsible personal behaviour. Evidence shows that Values-based Education has a very positive effect on pupils who are ‘at risk’, marginalised or disadvantaged. There is compelling evidence that the impact of wellbeing is experienced by teachers, parents and families, in classrooms and across whole schools.
  • Agency
    Agency is the capacity of individuals to be self-led, to act independently, to make choices and act on them. The evidence shows that Values-based Education strengthens pupil agency when it involves various forms of giving, outreach and working in the community. For instance, through values action projects that allow students to enact their values in a way that is personal, real and deeply engaging.
  • Connectedness
    Values-based Education builds positive and wide-ranging connections between teachers, pupils and parents. It supports pupil engagement in learning, improves parent engagement in their children’s learning and allows teachers to develop new relationships with their pupils, each other and the parents and families in their school community. This is done through shared goals and practices in Values-based Education, which leads to the development of mutual feelings of respect, trust and safety; and varied opportunities for collaboration. The research findings show that the values lead to improved behaviour in the classroom, school and home.
  • Transformation
    Change and transformation are at the heart of Values-based Education and is the result of teachers and pupils being urged to engage in continuous reflection on the actions they implemented in their schools. Key changes are seen in professional practice as well as personal attitudes, behaviours, relationships and group dynamics. Transformations are experienced and observed by teachers, pupils and parents alike. The data points to profound transformations in pupil learning. Pupils develop deeper understanding of complex issues and how these pertain to their own lives. Pupils and parents experience personal change and report changes seen in others.
  • Achievement
    As a result of the above, many schools report improvements in a wide range of individual achievement and academic attainment. Pupils report a deeper engagement in and connection to their learning and demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities this entails for themselves and others.



Children’s Needs


In order for the school’s purpose to be effective and for the values to be meaningful to the pupils, the staff understand that the basic needs of children are:


  • To be loved.
  • To feel secure and know clearly what is expected of them.
  • To be valued.
  • To have a balance of activities – active/passive; quiet/talking; communicating/reflective; taught skills/exploratory work.
  • To have help to develop relationships.
  • To develop self-awareness and a knowledge of the world outside of themselves.
  • To have creative experiences, including external exploration and internal reflection.
  • To be fully involved in the process of education.


Teacher Behaviour


In order to try to meet the needs of children, staff try always to be consistent in their own behaviour and in their expectations of the children. They:


  • Value all the children.
  • Display great patience and listen carefully to children.
  • Focus on and emphasise the positive.
  • Face reality and help pupils to come to terms with difficult issues as they arise, such as death.
  • Only disapprove of poor behaviour, never the child.
  • Try to make time for one another.
  • Are mutually supportive.
  • Speak quietly and avoid shouting.
  • Are valued by the governors and the community.
  • Have a good sense of humour.
  • Communicate with parents to ensure that they appreciate the school’s values and to ensure that there is a common understanding.


Pupil skills


Throughout the school the development of the following skills which contribute to reflective thinking about values are encouraged:


  • Displaying helpful politeness and good manners to everyone in school.
  • Speaking quietly and politely to others.
  • Listening carefully to and thinking about what others are saying.
  • Reflection.
  • Empathy and tolerance.
  • Using imagination.
  • Visualisation techniques.
  • Stillness.
  • Being able to express feelings constructively, thereby learning to manage feelings and resolve conflicts through discussion, understanding and practise.
  • Articulating thoughts clearly in order to enhance communication skills.
  • Walking quietly about the school building.
  • Developing positive attitudes to work and play.
  • Accepting personal responsibility for actions.
  • Care and respect of other people’s property.


Activities that promote Reflective Thinking


Teachers are especially mindful of the activities that promote positive thinking and incorporate these into their teaching as much as possible. These include:


  • Creating a peaceful climate in the classroom and on the school site.
  • Taking children to beautiful places to experience peaceful places and encourage them to value them.
  • Pupils setting their own targets for their work and behaviour.
  • Pupils involved in the assessment of their own work.
  • Giving opportunities for decision making.
  • School’s behaviour policy that clearly defines how the school puts emphasis on behaving well and positive thinking.
  • Giving time in class for pupil to respond to some of the basic needs within us: friendship, love co-operation, to clarify their understanding of values.
  • Allowing children to sit and work in silence to think through their own thoughts.
  • Helping children to be relaxed and unstressed but focussed on their activities.
  • Including visualisation as a teaching technique to help in the development of imagination and memory.
  • Opportunity for role-play so that skills associated with negotiation, co-operation and assertiveness are developed. This helps children to understand the potential consequences of giving way to peer pressure.


Appendix 1


Implementing the Values-based Education Programme


  • Values are introduced in assembly each month children become familiar with the language and ideas.
  • Lots of basic training is needed, especially in the early years: manners, routines, picking up the positive and giving praise when children show respect etc.
  • We have high expectations and clear boundaries: the foundation of good values require good discipline.
    • We aim for a calm, reflective atmosphere which facilitates contemplation. Then the children get to know themselves better and develop a sense of responsibility for their own lives and happiness.

    • At the start of the year class rules are decided with the children: the rules are then real and meaningful for the children.

    • Opportunities are taken to discuss values throughout the curriculum.

    • As teachers, we try to live the values: we teach best by being role models.



      Appendix 2


      Spiritual, social, moral and cultural values are taught in assemblies and in discreet lessons but also permeate the whole of the curriculum.




      Literature, including story and poetry that explores human experience and response to life and death.

      Use of stillness and imagination in drama and other subjects to develop inner awareness.

      Expressing feeling and emotions through verbal and written communication, knowing that words can influence feelings.



      Enjoyment of and fascination by numbers, including the idea of infinity.

      Reflecting  on pattern and order as well as a sense of mystery and space.

      Exploring the relationship of numbers, shape and objects and the possibility of inter-connectedness.

      Sense of achievement and self-worth at appropriate levels of understanding.



      Scientific links with a spiritual interpretation about the universe and life.

      Using the school grounds for reflection on relationships between people and their environment.

      Reflecting on the mystery of the natural world and physical worth, life cycles and growth.

      Awareness of physical self as wonderful.


      Design Technology

      Sense of worth in human potential and achievement.

      Designing cards for religious festivals.

      Making holy books and other artefacts/special objects pleasure in physical constructions.

      Art in design: taking


      Information Communications Technology

      Connectedness with people all over the world through the internet.

      Using programmes to create poems and pictures.

      Becoming independent and developing self-reliance.



      Ideas of change and development and re-creation.

      Understanding the importance of tradition to a community.

      Sense of time and awareness of personal place within it.



      How things came about, and a sense of wonder at the earth’s variety and order.

      Developing self-awareness and relationships with other cultures and environments.

      Appreciation of natural features e.g. lakes, woods.



      Idea of beauty in art.

      Appreciation of colour, shape and texture.

      Religious and spiritual ideas expressed in, e.g. stained glass windows. 

      Art as a means of expressing feelings, imagination and expressive thought.



      Making music by singing together, songs and hymns with instruments.

      Listening to specific chosen pieces, and why people write music, e.g. Hallelujah chorus.

      Identifying feelings and emotions associated with different types of music.

      Using music as a background to times of quiet and reflection to develop awareness of the inner self.


      Religious Education

      Knowledge of religious reflection, humanist ideas and spiritual practices, e.g. worship.

      Providing opportunities for experiencing space and silence to allow skills in reflection and awareness to develop.

      Meeting others who belong to other traditions.

      Providing opportunities for experiencing awe, wonder and transcendence.


      Physical Education

      Spiritual awareness of body, its beauty and potential through activity and observation.

      Movement to express feelings and emotions including dancing for joy.

      Developing inner determination to do one’s best and recognise and develop one’s inner potential and strength.


      Modern Foreign Languages

      Awareness of the beauty inherent in another language.

      The use of a different language to express thoughts slightly differently.






      Circle time skills in speaking and listening.

      Social interaction through play.

      Writing for and communicating with an audience.

      Group drama work, reading and discussion of social issues in literature.

      Stories to create awareness of a variety of life experiences, e.g. deafness.



      Maths games for social interaction, taking turns and sharing.

      Working in pairs and groups to gather information and solve problems.

      Recognising maths skills as a tool for society.



      Investigation in groups, sharing skills and expertise.

      Science as a cooperative activity requiring communication and interaction.

      Science related to issues in society, e.g. alcohol abuse.


      Design Technology

      Designing with others.

      Using technology to benefit others, e.g. handicapped.


      Information and Communications Technology

      Working co-operatively.

      Using data-handling skills to promote understanding of social issues.

      Poster design for safety.



      Exploring structures of society, including institutions, e.g. hospitals, hospices, work houses.

      Looking at children past and present.

      Understanding the influence of the past on the development of society today.



      Local studies to raise awareness of different homes, communities and family groupings.

      Local amenities: who are they for?

      Human influence on the landscape/local economy.

      Group fieldwork opportunities.



      Art as a means of learning about people and society.

      Group collage.




      Taking part in performances.

      Collaborative work and sharing resources.

      Group singing and composition.


      Religious Education

      Knowing about and understanding the importance of family and traditions within religious faiths and social groups.

      Study of ideas of community in humanism religions.

      Researching charities and other religious and non-religious forms of social caring and responsibility.


      Physical Education

      Participation in traditional and creative dance and pair and group work in gymnastics.

      Enjoyment of team games, showing co-operation, respect for others and their needs.


      Modern Foreign Languages

      Comparing lifestyles and attitudes.

      Recognising similarities and differences between cultures, in terms of language use as well as social behaviour and issues.

      The ability to communicate directly with someone who speaks a different language.







      Discussion of right and wrong – moral issues exemplified in children’s literature.

      Skills of listening and forming evaluative judgements in discussion.

      Circle time discussion of behaviour and relationships.

      Dramatising situations which raise moral questions.



      Encouraging a sense of personal responsibility for their own learning in class and through homework.

      Encouraging honesty, not cheating.

      Awareness of manipulation of data statistics.



      Thinking about experiments and investigations and their outcomes for humans.

      Caring for living things.

      Discussing issues raised by scientific discovery and progress, e.g. genetic engineering.


      Design Technology

      Learning co-operation with others through activities.

      Technology as helpful and constructive as well as potentially destructive.


      Information Communication Technology

      Independent working to develop a sense of integrity and trustworthiness.

      Discussion of moral issues, e.g. correct information, pornography.



      Developing awareness of local, national and world issues.

      Encounter with ideas and encouragement to think through  a moral stance on issues, e.g. war and peace.



      Developing moral responsibility to care for the environment.

      Awareness of human exploitation, e.g. child labour in developing countries. Poverty amid affluence.

      Awareness of misuse of earth’s resources and human responses, e.g. recycling and deforestation.



      Interpreting pictures which put a moral point of view.



      Appreciation of music and respecting the ideas and judgements of others.

      Learning about and from the lives of composers.


      Religious Education

      Stories with a moral message from other world religions.

      Ideas of right and wrong behaviour in world religions.

      Individual and corporate  responsibility within religious and other communities.

      Developing skills of listening, respecting and evaluative judging.


      Physical Education

      Taking part in team games and obeying rules.

      Awareness of others’ needs, particularly physical.

      Encouragement to cheer, celebrate achievement and shake hands at the end of a game.

      Developing a sense of fair play, not hurting anyone.


      Modern Foreign Languages

      Stories with a moral message from other countries.

      Current affairs and human responses to them within different countries.

      Awareness and understanding of fellow human beings living different lifestyles in different countries.







      Stories and literature form other cultures.

      Awareness of issues such as stereotyping and equal opportunities in literature.

      Language and meanings in different cultures.



      Creating Islamic patterns, rangoli patterns and using Roman numerals.

      Careful choice of resources and examples to include references to other cultures.

      Counting in a different language.



      Differences and similarities between groups of humans.

      Animals from different countries.

      Creation stories from different cultures alongside current scientific thinking.

      Role of science in different cultures and religions.

      Scientific development in relation to others – water supplies, new varieties of flowers and food crops.


      Design Technology

      The effectiveness of very simple technology in some cultures.

      Instruments from different countries, e.g. cooking utensils.

      Designs for different climates, e.g. sun hats.


      Information Communication Technology

      Assessing information about cultures by using CD Roms, etc.

      Direct contact with children in other cultures through internet.



      The story of development of other cultures.

      Stories of religious leaders and their influence on cultures, both positive and negative.

      History of contribution of other cultures to science and maths.



      Study of people – especially children living in different countries and comparison with own cultural context.

      Developing an awareness and appreciation of different styles of everyday life.

      The influence of environment on societies.



      Pictures from different cultures, e.g. African art.

      Visiting galleries and exhibitions to view art from different cultures.

      Art as an expression of culture, e.g. Nativity pictures on Nativity cards.



      Music from different cultures, e.g. Calypso songs.

      Listening to and using instruments from other cultures.


      Religious Education

      The study of different religions as part of a cultural tradition.

      Meeting people from a variety of faiths and cultures, and visiting places of worship.

      Exploring how religious and humanist ideas are expressed in different cultures, e.g. food, dress, festivals.


      Physical Education

      Dance as an expression of culture, e.g. Indian folk.


      Modern Foreign Languages

      The study of different food and eating habits, literature, leisure pursuits, fashion and life styles as part of a cultural tradition.

      Comparisons of attitudes, e.g. to schools and schooling in different countries.










For any paper copies requests for any of the documents on the website free of charge, please contact the school office.