How Shared British Values Boost Community, Culture and Kindness in Kids
The Early Years curriculum is all about giving kids a nurturing environment that supports not only their educational needs but their social, emotional and cultural ones too. At Practically Family we know that when kids can voice their opinions freely, express their individuality and feel a strong sense of belonging, we are setting them up for a positive future at school and beyond.
Creating a joint sense of identity and community is the ethos behind British Values - a section within the Early Years curriculum that promotes ‘community spirit’ through the idea of shared values. The term British Values refers to four areas: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Mutual Respect and Tolerance, and Individual Liberty. These definitions can sound a bit stuffy but at their core, these shared values (or friendship glue as we like to think of them) help to create an environment where everyone feels safe, supported, and valued. British Values aren’t a set of rules per se, they are concepts that encourage a community to work together.

When it comes to The POD, Preschool or Holiday Club, these ‘values’ translate to behaviours like being kind and respectful to everyone, playing fair, sharing toys, and taking time to listen to each other. It’s the kind of stuff that helps to make Practically Family so welcoming and inclusive. Here’s a few ways we include these shared values into everything we do!

British values early years

1. Democracy - Having a Voice and a Vote!

Making sure everyone gets their say is at the heart of what democracy is all about. From small decisions like what to grow in the POD garden to deciding what games to play, understanding that everyone’s opinion matters, is what democracy represents at this age. Making decisions together and upholding them is incredibly important.

Developing the ability to ask questions or to feel comfortable sharing our opinions (from the books we read to the crazy science experiments we conduct) means we’re cultivating children’s individual voices and being respectful and understanding of other people’s views. Whether we are learning to share our toys or working together to achieve shared goals (like building a tower or creating mud pies in our outdoor kitchen) we’re giving children the ability to choose what they do plus helping them develop important skills to work in unison with each other.


2. The Rule of Law - Things that Keep Everyone Safe and Happy

Everyone follows rules of some sort daily. For our children, understanding rules is an important way to help them develop their emotional intelligence. Rules help kids to understand how they should conduct themselves and how they, in turn, can expect to be treated by others.

At The POD, Preschool and Holiday Club, we have a handful of ‘Golden Rules’ that our children know are there to protect them and keep them safe. These rules are not about restricting freedom but are guidelines that teach our children to play fair and treat everyone with kindness and respect. Our rules are simple but important. They are “Kind Hands, Kind Feet and Kind Mouths”. Our children understand and embrace these fully.

We see this kindness demonstrated daily. PODders instinctively rush to meet and greet new starters with big smiles. Holiday Clubbers naturally include new Crew members to games and activities. Kind words, kind actions and inclusivity are upheld with gusto. So, when we talk about rules, what we're really talking about is teaching kids how to be team players and all-round good citizens, something we know that will 100% set them up for success both in and out of the classroom.


British values early years

3. Mutual Respect and Tolerance - Understanding the Diverse World Around Us.

The world is wonderfully bright and brilliant. There’s nothing we love more than deep diving into different cultures, religions and celebrations. Not only is it super fun but its massively important for our kiddos. Understanding cultural differences is a big part of our children’s emerging Cultural Capital - a crucial part of the curriculum that teaches kids about the rich culturally diverse word we live in.

As part of this education, we naturally build our understanding and respect of different faiths, beliefs and traditions and the wonderful role they play in making our world so diverse. Our POD celebration calendar is always bursting with international festivals, religious events and national days. From learning about the Hindu story of Rama and Sita and the religious festival of Diwali, dancing a traditional Scottish Ceilidh as part of St Andrews Day to flipping pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, we’re constantly cramming in the fun (and cultural understanding!).

Holiday club activities are often inspired by cultural events or occasions and are a super fun way of bringing to life different themes. From February half term folklore that explores myths and legends from across the world to Octoberfest’s spooky inspired Halloween activities, we’re always creating opportunities to immerse our children in the world around them.


British values early years

4. Individual Liberty – The Freedom to Explore, Experiment and be Your Best Self!

At Practically Family we don’t believe that one size fits all when it comes to learning. We love finding out exactly what makes our kids tick, working out what sparks their curiosity and understanding what makes them ‘who they are’. This pretty much sums up what Individual Liberty is about. Giving children the freedom (and independence) to explore and learn at their own pace.

Giving kids freedom is a wonderful thing. Not only does it grow their self-esteem and confidence, but it boosts their resilience too. Our children are given the opportunity to constantly try new things, to explore topic areas they are interested in, to take measured risks, and are even given the freedom to fail. This all helps them grow into healthy, happy, independent learners.

Our child-led approach to learning, whether in The POD or at our Holiday Clubs, means our kids are encouraged to explore and experiment to their hearts content. Whether they are climbing trees, independently exploring nature with our Practically Wild crew, or experimenting with materials or paints, we are actively encouraging our children to overcome obstacles, make choices and explore their interests fully. By promoting the values of Individual Liberty, we aim to instil in our children a sense of autonomy and responsibility, that will see them developing into confident resilient children who embrace their unique personalities to the max.

British Values are values everyone can share. They are an important part of who we are and what we stand for. Developing shared values in the early years – by promoting mutual respect and tolerance, nurturing individual liberty and instilling the rule of law, means we're paving the way for a future generation that will embrace diversity and enrich our communities. And when you think about it, what could be more valuable than that!
If you’d like to find out more about the practical magic we can bring to your family please get in touch.
Call 07581 156684 or email