Promoting British Values

British Values at Leigh Academy Tonbridge including Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development 

Leigh Academy Tonbridge is committed to serving its community.  It recognises the multi-cultural, multi faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom.  It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the academy are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.

It follows equal opportunities’ guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. Leigh Academy Tonbridge is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its students.

The five British Values are:

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

The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

We actively promote these values through our:

  • Academy ethos
  • Weekly assemblies
  • Student voice activities and Student Council
  • Enrichment activities and clubs
  • Sporting events and Sports Leader opportunities
  • Educational visits and learning outside the classroom
  • Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme


The principle of democracy is consistently being reinforced at Leigh Academy Tonbridge, with democracy processes being used for important decisions within the academy community, for instance, deciding the termly enrichment programme, student voice through our elected Student Leadership Team including their involvement in the election of the Head Students and Prefects. The principle of democracy is also explored in the academy’s curriculum where applicable such as during Citizenship and History lessons as well as in tutor time and assemblies. Students also take an active role in senior staff recruitment, participating in student panels on interview days and also sharing feedback about interview lessons for other teaching positions.

We promote learning by: working collaboratively, enabling students to respond to teacher feedback, questioning students carefully and encouraging student dialogue.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the academy, or the country, are consistently reinforced at Leigh Academy Tonbridge. Students and parents are taught the rules and expectations of the academy which are highlighted in the home academy agreement, as well as the student class expectations. Students are 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. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service reinforces this message. 

Our behaviour policy is transparent, and our classroom expectations are fair and just, with clear procedures if they are not adhered to. Our academy wide expectations are aimed at preparing our young people for the wider world, encouraging organisation, professional appearance (uniform) and punctuality.

Individual Liberty

At Leigh Academy Tonbridge, students are actively encouraged to make independent choices, with the knowledge that they are in a safe, secure and supportive environment. Staff within the academy educate and provide boundaries for students to make informed choices, through a safe environment and an empowering education. We work hard to make sure that students feel safe to be themselves, working on LGBTQIA+, relationships, mental and sexual health issues, as well as identity and body positivity

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 e-safety and Tutor Time activities. Students have a range of opportunities to engage with our careers and futures programme, including the chance to practice their interview techniques. Leigh Academy Tonbridge has a robust anti-bullying culture and has in place a clear and effective Behaviour for Learning Policy.

Our students are supported in competing outside of Leigh Academy Tonbridge, whether that is in a creative field, sporting or another field. Our students are celebrated every day with achievement points and end of term assemblies with certificates and awards. Students are taught the knowledge and skills to broaden the choices they are empowered to make about future work, travel and education and student viewpoints are integral to the option process for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5.

Mutual Respect

Respect is a strong part of Leigh Academy Tonbridge and is part of our core values of integrity, courage and imagination. Students learn that their behaviours have 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. We ensure our young people understand that it is okay to have a difference of opinion and that it is important to listen to others. We have a restorative justice system in which a student and a member of staff (or student and another student) will have a conversation if a situation has arisen, allowing both parties to communicate and resolve the matter.

Mutual respect is embraced throughout the curriculum by providing the opportunity for students to express their views in a safe environment. We share a thought for the week with the students to promote discussion and reflection in Tutor Time and our academy reading book read in Year 7-10 Tutor Time is selected to encourage thought and increasing the students’ awareness of others.

Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

This is achieved 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 academy community. Through our PSHCE curriculum, students will develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. Study and develop an understanding of their place locally right through to internationally through the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme. Students benefit from a number of international trips, as well as international visitors. All students study Spanish until the end of Year 11.  Additionally, students are actively encouraged to share their faith and beliefs within the academy and celebrate festivities throughout the calendar year. 

Leigh Academy Tonbridge strives endlessly to ensure that its students leave with the strongest foundation of values upon which to build a successful life and a successful contribution to our society.

SMSC: Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Through a range of activities and learning opportunities we aim to encourage our students to develop their:

  • Self-confidence, self-knowledge and self-worth
  • Acceptance of responsibility for their behaviour
  • Respect for other people
  • Respect for democracy and encourage future participation in the democratic process
  • These skills, attitudes and attributes will allow the students to participate fully and contribute positively to life in modern Britain as a global citizen


We encourage the spiritual development of our students to enable them to develop their:

  • Ability to be reflective about their own beliefs and inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • Use of imagination and creativity in their learning, including through music, drama and students involvement in our Christmas Service
  • Opportunity to be reflective about their experiences as they grow and develop as young people
  • Annual carol service in St Stephens church in Tonbridge


We encourage the moral development of our students to enable them to develop their:

  • Ability to identify the difference between right and wrong
  • Apply an understanding of respect for the civil and criminal law of England
  • Understanding of the consequences of behaviour and actions with restorative justice
  • Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, whilst being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues


We encourage the social development of our students to enable them to develop their:

  • Use a range of social skills in a variety of contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Willingness to volunteer and cooperate well with other members of the academy, local and global community, including fundraising for charity
  • Awareness of the importance of E-Safety and the effect of technology on society
  • Acceptance and engagement with British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance


We encourage the cultural development of our students to enable them to develop their:

  • Knowledge of Britain’s democratic system and its role in shaping our history and values
  • Willingness to actively participate in and respond positively to creative, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • Understanding and acknowledgement of the wide range of different cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others