British Values and Christian Values
By law, schools are required to adhere to and educate children about the British values that prepare them for modern life. These are:
- the rule of law.
- individual liberty.
- mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
These values, together with our Christian values of compassion, courage, friendship, generosity, thankfulness and perseverance provide the foundation for the social, moral, spiritual and cultural growth of our pupils.
Church schools have long been familiar with the need to articulate their fundamental Christian values. Both sets of values overlap as the government’s stated British values are likely to have emerged from Britain’s long history as a Christian nation.
The key Christian beliefs that underpin both Christian Values and British values are that:
- God is a God of order, and that his world should reflect a sense of purpose, not chaos
- Every person is made in the image of God, known, loved and valued as a unique creation.
- Humans are designed to be interdependent, supporting others and being supported, like a body with many parts.
- The Bible provides laws to govern human affairs, but these also show up human weakness and the need for forgiveness
- The greatest command is to LOVE – God, oneself, one’s neighbour, and even one’s enemy – and, for a Christian, to love as Christ loved us.
The Bible and British Values
The following Bible passages and stories can be seen as linked to the British values.
- “See I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction now choose life that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30 v.15‐19
- Calling the disciples Matthew 4 v.18‐21
- The quarrel about who should sit at Jesus right and left hand in heaven Matthew 20 v.20‐23
Rule of Law
- “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” Romans 13 v.1
- Jesus teaches about the law Matthew 5 v.17‐20
- Paying taxes to Caesar Luke 20 v.21‐25
- Be “in” the world not “of” the world ‐ Isaiah 2,3,11
- The wisdom of Solomon 1 Kings 3 v.16‐28
- Zacchaeus Luke 9 v.1‐10
- Moses and the Ten Commandments Exodus 20 v.1‐20
- Jesus’ new commandment John 13 v.34
- Christ has set us free - Galatians 5 vs 1
- The truth sets us free ‐ John 8 v.32
- Adam and Eve – free to do wrong ‐ Genesis 2 v. 3
- Ten Lepers freed from the constraints of their illness Luke 17 v.11‐19
- Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane debating duty ‐ Matthew 26 v.36‐46
- The rich young man imprisoned by his own riches ‐ Matthew 19 v.16‐22
- The two builders and choosing your lifestyle ‐ Matthew 7 v.24-27
- Zacchaeus ‐ Luke 19 v.1‐10
- Be devoted to one another, love one another above yourselves ‐ Romans 12 v.10
- We are made in the image of God ‐ Genesis 1 v.27
- Good Samaritan freely helps his enemy ‐ Luke 10 v.29‐37
- Creation is good ‐ Genesis chp 1
- The soldier’s unexpected faith in a “subject” teacher ‐ Luke 7 v/1‐10
- Mary and Martha, the importance of listening to others ‐ Luke 10 v.38‐41
- Jesus washed the disciples feet like the lowliest servant ‐ John 13 v.1‐20
- Story of Ruth, respect for relatives and for the poor ‐ Ruth 1‐4
Tolerance of different cultures and religions
- Do not judge others and you will not be judged ‐ Matthew 7 v.1
- Naaman learns respect for other nations ‐ 2 Kings 5
- Good Samaritan ‐ Luke 10 v.29‐37
- Jesus and the children his disciples tried to push away ‐ Matthew 19 v.13‐15
- The woman at the well, despised by her village yet Jesus got into a theological debate with her ‐ John 4 v.1‐26
|In a C of E school, British Values should cause us to ask:||
Teaching aboutBritish Values relates to our growing understanding of Christian Values such as:
Remembering what Christians believe, and putting it into practice, helps usunderstand British values better…
Here are some examples of things we do in school which help develop understanding of British Values.What would you ‘lose’ or ‘add’? What specifically Christian things could be included?
Democracy:How do we give everyone an equal right to be heard and a shared responsibility to play a positive part in our school community?
||Humans are designed to be inter-dependent and everyone has a role to play. For Christians, the role is to be part of a body, working together and governed by Christ, the head of the ‘body’.||
The Rule of LawHow do we help all members of the school community understand the idea that the right rules permit well-being, safety and harmony?
||Christians respect the Ten Commandments, and other laws in the Bible, which model right ways to live. They know rules are hard to keep and that they reveal a human propensity to sin or shortcomings. They speak of God’s mercy and forgiveness but know they should not use this as an excuse to break laws.||
Commandments, Jesus’ two great
commands (love of God and neighbour), in relation to everyday events
LibertyHow do we enable every individual in our school community to act on the belief that they have dignity and freedom as a unique and valued individual?
||The Bible portrays humans as individuals free to make their own choices about life and behaviour; this includes the ability to choose to do wrong. Humans are not robots but made in the ‘image of God’, able to make decisions, to choose to love and do right; this freedom brings risks and responsibilities.||
independent and creative in their learning
express personal aspirations and goalscreating opportunities for pupils to know they are significant, unique and precious individuals
RespectHow do we reward the ability to see the good in others and the use of positive words, attitudes and actions which build up all in our school community?
Jesus said the two great commands were to love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself. It is important to understand our own value as those created and loved by God; and then to realise that others are also created in God’s image and valued by him. We should strive to see not just the best in others but to see ‘God’ in others. We should love one another as Christ has loved us. St Paul encourages Christians in his letters to use our words and actions to build others up, not pull them down or apart.
Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
How do we actively celebrate diversity in our school community, modelling tolerance, and the ability to listen with respect and todisagree without rancour?
The Bible teaches that we are all unique creations loved by God. It follows that because we are unique, we are not all alike and have to learn to live with difference.
Everyone has a right to
dignity and respect as a
human being but that does not mean that all ideas are equally right or good.
Christians should speak up for what is right and do not
tolerate injustice.Where people differ in culture, there is room for joy in diversity. Where there is difference in belief and faith, there is always room for love and respect even if agreement is not possible.
communities as a basis for
understanding and respecting them
promoting it with staff, pupils and parents, and resourcing it well
teachings (Parables including The Good
variety of people from differentcontexts and sharing experiences with them e.g. picnics, sports events, art days