Promoting Fundamental British Values at North Tawton
Although North Tawton Primary School is not a particularly diverse school we feel it is essential to teach the children about life in 21st century Britain and the many groups that make up our country. We teach the children, from a very young age, to respect others regardless of who they are. In this regard, we are teaching a fundamental British value, that of understanding and acceptance of others.
This fundamental concept runs through the four different strands that make up the principles of promoting British Values:
- Values of democracy
- Rule of law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance
How do we teach these values?
Most of this work is taught through our normal school curriculum. For example, mutual respect and tolerance is predominantly taught through subjects such as RE and PSHE. Children are taught that Britain is a predominantly Christian country but that other faiths do exist both around the world and in modern Britain. Lessons will explore the traditions of these faiths and how similarities exist with Christianity and some of the main differences. We promote that fact that all faiths are essentially about promoting unity and a peaceful way of life. We try to teach children that some may choose to deliberately misinterpret the principles of a faith and the danger that this brings.
School assemblies are used to reinforce pupil understanding of faith and moral decisions that will face them. The other three strands are less obvious within the curriculum. Nevertheless, opportunities do exist and teachers try to utilise these opportunities. For example, many of our history lessons provide opportunities to teach and discuss these strands. The principles of democracy might be taught during topic work on the ancient Greeks, the Crime and Punishment unit of work is an ideal opportunity to consider the rule of law and how this has changed over time while in literacy the use of texts often enables pupils to consider individual liberty.
All opportunities are used to promote these values. Many are fundamental aspects of our daily provision in school. The school uses a set of values called ‘The North Tawton Way’. Using the essence of our school motto, Aim, Aspire, Achieve, it provides the children with a clear set of expectations to ensure all in school are safe and able to do well. Those who are unable to meet these expectations are able to learn - just as in adult life - that there are resulting consequences.
The North Tawton Way
The school has a house system which promotes collective responsibility and runs through all aspects of school life. Pupils are taught about the importance of making a contribution to the collective cause and again the consequences of failing to do this. House captains are voted for by their peers therefore teaching the principle of a democratic election.
Similarly, we have a school council system. Again, representatives are voted for by their peers and all pupils are able to put forward their ideas to help improve the school.
In the 2016/17 school year, the principles of growth mindset were introduced across the school. This matches very closely some of the key tenants of British Values not least being reflective, showing determination and having a will and strength to achieve your ambitions.
As a school, we continue to look for opportunities to actively promote British values and you will see this represented in displays, in lessons and through the conduct of children and staff. As our school curriculum continues to develop we will provide further opportunities to ensure young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain.