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Personal Development and Well Being

Values and Ethos


Values are principles that guide behaviour and choices.  At Burnside, adults model values and give time for reflective practices. We believe that this empowers individuals to be effective learners and good citizens.


The Values that we teach help pupils develop their character, to know that individual differences should be valued, to be resilient, reflective, to have empathy and respect for one another.

Our values philosophy underpins our work to actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures.  A rounded programme of assemblies and events promote children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.


Our Core Values

We have three core school values that guide children's choices, behaviour and learning.  These values are the basis of all our values teaching and will help children understand connected values.

Our core values are:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Smart
  • Be Kind


How we teach the core values

Children in the early years start by focusing on just the core values. As pupils move through key stage 1 and 2  we begin to teach linked values. widening the pupils understanding of each core values by connecting with similar values. The focus with every value is what the value looks like to us and how it looks in action. Teaching of values is cyclical, we return to each core value frequently to deepen understanding. 


The value of sustainability also underpins our wider curriculum, this is demonstrated our Eco Schools Award.


Fundamental British Values

British Value Development Opportunities

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 government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 ‘Prevent Strategy’ and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Burnside Primary, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:



Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and Pupil voice questionnaires. Pupils regularly consult with their class to find out the views of all pupils and these are represented at School Council meetings. The elections of School Council as well as pupil nominations for other important roles in school always involve pupil voice.

Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which actively promotes pupils and pupil voices. We use open questioning to encourage and develop these skills through class discussions and problem solving.


The Rule of Law

The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day, as well as when we are dealing with behaviour and delivering assemblies. Pupils are taught the value of and reasons behind laws; that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences of breaking laws within the National Curriculum. Visits from the services and other agencies such as the police and fire service are regular aspects of our calendar and reinforce this message.


Individual Liberty

We believe in empowering our pupils to make their own choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We work on this through our PSHE scheme. Following behaviour issues children are supported in making better decisions through restorative communication with adults and the behaviour policy. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. As teachers we advise pupils how to do this is a safe way for example through the promotion of Internet Safety, citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education. 


Mutual Respect

At Burnside we are: Safe, Smart and Kind. We use this as the basis for our choices and our behaviour. This has really helped us to foster a mutual respect for each other in school and helps the children think about showing and receiving respect. This is reiterated through our classroom rules as well as our school environment.


Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

At Burnside we aim to work beyond tolerance into acceptance – we accept all individuals as part of our school. This is achieved through enhancing pupils’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience diversity. Our RE scheme covers other faiths which the children learn about and the experience of pupils, parents and staff is utilised through this. We promote an acceptance of everyone’s beliefs, and our children enjoy learning about other cultures and faiths as part of their learning across the curriculum.


Our commitment to wellbeing teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness.  Pupils learn about their emotions and the benefits of reflective practices resulting in self-regulation of behaviour and the ability to mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success. 


What is personal development?

A wide range of additional opportunities enrich learning taught in Early Years and through the National Curriculum. Our core values we help pupils develop their character, to know that individual differences should be valued, to be resilient, reflective, to have empathy and respect for one another. We help pupils understand and deepen their knowledge of the British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance.


Through our taught curriculum for Relationships, Sex and Health Education , we teach pupils to recognise and manage online and offline risks. We teach them about healthy relationships and that sexual harassment of any kind is not tolerated. Our personal development curriculum supports pupils to be ready for their next stage in education, it weaves its way through every part of what we do at Burnside. 


Our Co-curriculum

Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of experiences and opportunities within and beyond the school day. Our golden time programme is designed to link with and enhance the school curriculum children from Year 2 to Year 6. All activities are run by teachers, HLTAs or  coaches who have a passion to inspire pupils and help them develop new skills. Our golden time program is a broad offer and includes sports, art, music, computing and many more, ranging from Lego to Minecraft,  we aim to have an activity for everyone.


Residential visits

Residential visits in year 5 and 6 build children’s independence and provide opportunities for learning within different contexts and settings. 


Trips and visits

Trips and visits take place throughout the school year, in all year groups linked to our learning challenges. If appropriate we also invite external speakers to deliver talks and workshops.



Assembly programme

A programme of assemblies based on our values-based ethos helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance for pupils on how to grow up to be the best person they can possible be. As well as the values assemblies, each term pupils also take part in:

  • safeguarding assemblies,
  • sports celebration assemblies

PE & Sport competition and healthy lifestyles

We provide pupils with  a wide range of PE & Sport opportunities beyond the school day. 



Pupils take part in a wide range of musical activities beyond the National Curriculum.  Pupils in Years 2 -6 are invited to learn to play a musical instrument. We also have a choir.  Pupils in the choir take part in an annual Christmas concert.  Those who are learning a musical instrument, or sing are asked to perform in our regular music assemblies, showcasing their talent.  


Outdoor Classrooms

Outdoor classrooms are designed to provide opportunities for outdoor learning in a natural environment.  As a school we are very fortunate in having our own outdoor classroom areas and a teachers have received training to deliver the learning outdoors.


Pupils as Leaders

Pupils have many opportunities to become a leader in school. These include elected head girl and boy, prefects, representatives on our eco & values committees and leadership roles such playground friends, school councillors, digital leaders and sports leaders.


Our Inspirational People

As a school, two of our key intentions are to develop our children as lifelong learners enabling them to be aspirational. A further intent is to develop the character of our children so they are  tolerant and respectful. To inspire our children we will expose our children to a wide range of inspirational people (historical and current) who come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We also want children to learn about inspirational people as they learn throughout our curriculum. This exposure and learning will enable children to have an understanding of people’s range of careers.

Each class has an inspirational person who they will select at the start of the year.


Inspirational Groups (linked to British Values, SMSC and Aspirations):

Nursery – Monarchy

Reception – Musician

Year 1 – Local Heroes

Year 2 – Artists (include sculptures etc)

Year 3 – World Leaders

Year 4  – Paralympians

Year 5 – STEM

Year 6 – LGBTQ

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