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Teaching the Protected Characteristics

Promoting the nine protected characteristics

 The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Everyone in Britain is protected. This is because the Equality Act protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics that we all have.

Under the Equality Act, there are 9 Protected Characteristics:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Race - including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  5. Religion or belief
  6. Marriage or civil partnership
  7. Sex
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Pregnancy and maternity

At Nene and Ramnoth, we actively promote these in our curriculum and work to embed them into our school community ethos:

  •     Our school core ethos and values.
  •      Nene and Ramnoth School Behaviour Policy.
  •      Conscious role modelling by all adults in the school community.
  •      Active engagement and communication with parents and carers.
  •      Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) lessons,
         following the Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development Scheme     
         (Appendix 2) and school assemblies.
  •     Religious Education lessons using Discovery RE (Appendix 1).
  •     RSE lessons following Cambridgeshire Primary Personal Development scheme.
  •     Discussion within curriculum subjects, taking a cross-curricular approach.
  •     Promoting articulation by building appropriate language and a coherent 
  •     Educational visits.
  •     School Council and Pupil Voice.
  •     Extra-curricular activities, after-school clubs and charity work.
  •     Promoting British Values in our school life.
  •    Developing a love of reading and actively promoting a range of authors
       and genres.

Embedding the Protected Characteristics into the whole ethos of Nene and Ramnoth School

  • Self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence

Our curriculum promotes building on these as children travel through their school years. We prepare our Year 6 children for their transition to Year 7 with support from other agencies, careers events and secondary school visits.  Our outdoor learning areas help children develop their confidence and promote self discovery.  We encourage our children to become leaders as School Councillors, Playground Leaders, Eco Warriors and Wellbeing Warriors.

  • Understanding that everyone is wonderful and everyone has different talents and attributes 

We celebrate the talents and achievements of our children through, for example, sports events and arts awards and share them on social media and our website for the community to see.  All classes perform for their families and Year 6 present a showcase at the end of the school year.  We have a range of after school clubs, including sports, crafts, science, choir, caring for our environment, drama and dance,  where children can further develop their talents.

  • Respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process 

Children take part in the democratic process of electing a school councillor. Elections are held in classes from Year 1 to Year 6 for representatives for school council and every child votes.  Each pupil who would like to be considered for election must produce a poster explaining their vision and their qualities and make a short presentation to their class.  School Council act as representatives of their classmates, discussing identified issues with the staff and Executive Principal while spearheading their own campaigns.  Children are taught how the British democratic process works and consider how their work reflects the values of democracy, the rule of law, respect and tolerance and individual liberty. 

  • Acceptance of responsibility for their own behaviour and teaching children to make good choices 

Our School Behaviour Policy states we have high expectations of pupil behaviour.  This  robust policy lays out our expectations and management of behaviour and supports children to take responsibility and learn strategies to manage their own behaviour, based on positive choices.   Our Wellbeing Warriors are there for children when they need extra help to resolve issues.  Our PSHE curriculum explicitly teaches children how to be responsible for themselves and those around them and our assemblies are based on our inclusive ethos so that pupils have respect themselves and others.

  • Respect for their own and other cultures

Our whole school RE coverage, based on the National Curriculum, encompasses  global religion and cultures as well as themes of respect through our PSHE curriculum.  We have themed weeks and days where different cultures are celebrated.  Our school is taking part in the Cultural Champions programme to improve and evolve the strategic direction of creative and cultural learning in our school.   We celebrate cultural diversity with 50% of our children and their families having English as an additional language (EAL).  To help these pupils we have EAL ambassadors in each Key Stage.  

  • Understanding of how children can contribute positively to school and home life and to the lives of those living and working in the locality and further afield (Appendix 1 & 2)

We believe that teaching an effective Personal, Social and Health Education curriculum is vital in helping our children develop many of the skills and abilities needed for modern life, such as emotional resilience, staying safe and managing finances.  We take part in the FareShare scheme which aims to relieve food poverty and promotes reducing food waste.  We also collect food at our Harvest Festivals for FareShare.  We work with 20Twenty Productions and Blackfield Creatives (both local charity groups) which nurture social cohesion in our community through enabling access to the arts, culture and heritage.  We have links with local care homes where our children perform for the residents.  We take part in the Social Impact Schools Award which recognises  the efforts of our school to have a positive impact and make a difference in the world.

  • An understanding of Equality, Human Rights and Protected Characteristics

Protected characteristics are interwoven throughout our curriculum and taught specifically in PSHE lessons.  Leaders attend rigorous training.

  • An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety (Appendix 2)

We promote the understanding of democracy through specific PSHE lessons and through our School Council elections.  Adults in school promote this through modelling, as an expectation in our Behaviour Policy.  In December2022, our school met the criteria and was presented with the 'Wellbeing Award for Schools' which is a national standard for positive mental health and emotional wellbeing.

  • An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law 

Our RE curriculum ensures that not only are different faiths taught, it also offers pupils the opportunities to discuss and question the meaning of faith and belief. Children learn about major world religions and Humanism.

  •  An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour (Appendix 1)

This is modelled and taught within RE lessons. PSHE lessons focus on tolerance to difference and understanding acceptance of it.  Our Behaviour Policy explicitly states that all members of the school community should be free from discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

  • An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination (Appendix 1 & 2)

Our school believes in the importance of inclusivity and celebrating everyone for their differences.  We have an inclusive ethos which helps our pupils to understand the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.  We teach diversity and inclusion through PSHE units with all year groups,  learning about disabilities, diverse families and accepting difference.  Our library has its own inclusion and diversity corner where children can read books about the subject and access resources.

  • Parents taking an active part in identifying barriers and informing school leaders of actions that can be taken to eradicate these (Appendix 2)

Our school sits at the heart of our community, working with families to ensure our children have the very best possible start in life.  Through working alongside parents we help our children to grow into confident, happy individuals.  We welcome parent communication, through end of day discussions, appointments with staff, open parent visits and specific parent consultations. 

 From parental surveys we know that families are happy working together with our school:

“The teaching staff seem dedicated and committed to the children and school.”

“All the staff takes great care of my child and they are very happy to go to school all the time. “    

“Friendly, approachable staff and fantastic education.” 

Appendix 1: Religions and when they are taught

Year Group: Religions Taught:
EYFS Reception Christianity & stories from other religions
Year 1 Sikhism
Year 2 Sikhism
Year 3 Judaism
Year 4 Islam
Year 5 Hinduism
Year 6 Humanism and Buddhism

Appendix 2: PSHE Overview

23 24 pshe overview.pdf

 The following books are in our classrooms to encourage positive and guided discussion of the protected characteristics.  We strive to create a reading environment where children can share their opinions and ask questions.



 Embrace   difference


 Fitting in, being 
 different and
 finding friends

 Celebrate our
 families and all
 the different
 varieties they
 come in

 we can all
like different

 Year 1


 Celebrating   differences

 Girls and boys 
 can play the   same games

 To recognise   that people are different ages

 Dealing with   new situations   with older   people   supporting

 Celebrating   differences
in friendship 

 Year 2



 Knowing about diversity

 Celebrating   family

 Feeling proud of being different

 To know what makes
someone proud

 Accepting   differences

 Year 3



Understand the meaning of discrimination

Understand how communities are different

Becoming friends with different people

Accept and celebrate difference

solutions to a problem

 Year 4


To be assertive

To understand why people might marry

Overcome language barriers

Recognise and celebrate diversity

Choosing who you want to be

 Year 5


To learn from the past

Learn the stories of the people, places and journeys that shaped Britain

Know the rights and responsibilities of children

To recognise when to offer help

Know we can learn from people whatever their age

 Year 6


To know about the past and learn from it

Learn how cultural influences have shaped Britain

Recognise my own freedoms

Challenge causes of racism

Promote diversity