There has been much media interest over the concept of Britishness in our schools, and this has been further highlighted in a recent statement from the Prime Minister. It is for this reason that we set out how ‘Britishness’ is taught and promoted at Gulworthy Primary School.
At Gulworthy Primary, all the staff will regularly seek the views of the children in all classes, whether this is linked to planning class themes or making class decisions. Children from Year 1 are elected to our School Council at the start of each year and have the role of listening to and acting upon the views of their peers.
The School Council also plays an active role in creating and analysing the annual pupil questionnaires and presents an action plan to the Headteacher and Governors. Their opinions are held in high esteem and usually integrated into the school’s development plan.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced at Gulworthy Primary. Our curriculum helps all our children understand the need for ‘rules’ as a way of protecting our school community and the consequences when laws are broken. The school regularly invite representatives of the Police and Fire Service who reinforce this message. Collective worship also plays a part in helping children see the need to follow laws.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We have created a school that is supportive of our pupils; a school that encourages our children to take risk and reflect on their achievements and mishaps. This enables the children to make the right choices. It also gives children the vocabulary to enter into a dialogue with others in their decision making.
It is equally important for all our pupils to learn that everyone has their own view or way of doing things and that it is important that we show ‘tolerance’ of these differences. Assemblies and story-telling are just two of the ways that we promote the concept of tolerance towards others. For our older pupils, discussions over current affairs and world events can be the theme for assemblies.
Respect is a core school value which is celebrated. The school fosters respect for each other, the school, the community and beyond. Staff maintain a respectful relationship with each other, the children and their parents. We are keen to support and encourage children’s interests, both in and out of school. Our school values, of which respect is just one, permeate the school and our reward systems.
Tolerance of those in Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience some of this diversity. Collective Worship and Multi-cultural assemblies are used to raise awareness of life beyond Tavistock. Our curriculum frequently involves discussions that focus on challenging prejudices. The teachers are highly skilled in creating classroom environments where the children feel safe in expressing their views and where these can be challenged in a considered and age appropriate way. We actively encourage children and parents from different cultural backgrounds to share their experiences with school. Members of different faiths or religions are utilised as a curriculum resource to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.
We live in a an area of the country that does not reflect the same cultural diversity as elsewhere in the UK, however we feel that Gulworthy Primary effectively creates a sense of community in our pupils and a sense of regional and national identity.