Ethos and Values

Southwold Primary and Early Years’ Centre has the ethos that every child matters.  We celebrate cultural diversity and recognise that every child is different and yet they all are entitled to a meaningful, visual, aspirational, broad and balanced curriculum.

Pupils at Southwold Primary say that they belong to a big ‘family’ and we instil respect for and understanding of one another.  Pupil leadership is growing to enable children to have a say in their school and their learning experiences.

Our context is that many of our pupils enter our school without English language, without wider experiences that help them make connections across the curriculum.  Pupils need to make these connections in order to understand what they are reading, what they are writing about and to have greater knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live.  Pupils have so many opportunities to take part in exciting experiences, from trips out to visitors in, from Forest Schools to ’50+ Things To Do At Southwold Before You’re 11¾’.

We never veer away from high standards in English and Maths teaching and learning, but we ensure that our curriculum and wider curriculum are stimulating and engaging.  Our project based curriculum makes sure that pupils are investigating and asking questions about their learning.

Promoting British Values at Southwold


Democracy is embedded at our school.  Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard.

Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our Pupil Leadership Teams and regular pupil questionnaires and interviews.

 The elections of the Innovation Team members and House Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.  In weekly assemblies, current affairs are addressed and often news items discussed link to British democracy, as well as democracy, or lack of, in other parts of the world.

 The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced.  Our school has seven school rules around which reward systems are in place, which are deeply embedded in our work every day.  Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment.  Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

The pupils collaboratively drew up and agreed the school ‘Learning Charter’, displayed around school and referred to regularly, which reflects the ethos of the school and behaviours that are expected.  Six core values drawn from the Learning Charter set further principles that pupils follow and help reinforce how the school is driven.  Again, rules of law are discussed in weekly assembly when the need or opportunity arises through current affairs discussions.

Southwold Primary School has a close link with our local member of parliament who visits the school regularly and meets, talks with and answers questions from pupils.  The school has its own School Parliament and pupil members of parliament meet to evaluate school practice and discuss how best to improve school, leading to a clear plan of action.

 Individual Liberty

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.  As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education.  Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and P.S.H.E. lessons.

There are also opportunities to debate topical issues within focused project and English sessions.  Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra- curricular activities, our pupils are given the freedom to make choices.

 Mutual Respect

Respect is one of the core values of our school and it is constantly reinforced within school.  The pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.  Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others.  The core value of Respect at Southwold Primary School underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.

Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs

Southwold Primary is culturally very diverse and we ensure it is a place that places great emphasis on promoting diversity with the pupils.  Our core value of Respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs.

Southwold Primary School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies; P.S.H.E. work; celebrations such as Diwali, Eid and Chinese New Year; visits to a range of places of worship that are important to different faiths; focused assemblies and through enjoying a depth of study during project based learning.  Through this our pupils gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society.

At Southwold Primary, we will actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

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