Promoting British Values
Promoting British Values
At Tanfield School we recognise, not only the importance of helping students to develop academically but also spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. Our aim is that they are fully prepared for life in British society, to take their role as good citizens, able to make the best possible contribution to and flourish within society. We teach the importance of British Values by going much deeper into the meaning of what it is to live a good life. This provides the context and meaning for understanding why British values are important.
Our framework for understanding British values draws on the example and context of the school community and the community around our curriculum and us. At Tanfield School, we provide an education, which focuses on the formation of the whole person and on our aptitude and purpose in life. We place a significant emphasis on the celebration of individuality and difference within our communities and our calling to work for the society as a whole.
Our school ethos makes a tangible difference to the way we work together and with our wider communities. Within this framework, it would be impossible to overlook the government’s view of British values expressed as ‘democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.’ that we share as a society. We actively promote these values through our curriculum and the holistic development of our learners through engagement with the community, student voice, current affairs and student and teacher run activities.
What is meant by ‘British Values’?
These values can be defined as follows:
- The rule of law
- Equality of all under the law
- Individual liberty
These are values that our government set out as value that we share as a society. Staff at Tanfield have completed training on these values and in departments explored how we promote these core values.
How do we promote British Values at Tanfield?
The examples that follow are an indication of some of the many ways we seek to embed British values at Tanfield and should be seen as an indication of our approach rather than an exhaustive list.
There are many examples of how we promote the idea of democracy in English through the study of a range of literary texts and poems. In reading these texts students will discuss and write about equal treatment under the law and the superiority of the democratic system over totalitarian ones. There are many other examples in our PSHECC programme where students are encouraged to discuss world events, in History where opportunities are given to students in all year groups to reflect on how our society and political system emerged to what it is today from and the development of democratic ideas.
Democracy in action in school life is evident in the election process for the Student Council, Head Boy and Head Girl elections, and Student Leadership in PE. The Student Council representatives are selected through a voting system and one of their key duties is to represent their forms and year groups with points of action as School Council meetings. The Head Boy and Girl are selected having been seconded with teacher recommendations and then a formal elections process in involving the whole school community. In lessons, we reinforce the value of everyone’s opinions in class debates with a climate for talk. At Tanfield, we reflect the values of a democratic society and celebrate it.
The Rule of Law
The school community is modelled on the principle of equality and fairness under the rules of the school – in effect the ‘laws’. Students are made aware throughout their time with us that any form of unfairness or discrimination on whatever grounds is unacceptable at Tanfield and that this is the basis of the law in society. We have a clear Behaviour for Learning policy that is explained to all and is the basis for an effective and successful community. In PSHECC, we organise visits from the police service to reinforce the message of right and wrong and the system of law within our society. The PSHECC programme is tailored to teach the meaning of the rule of law and how this is relevant and evident in our wider community and society.
Core and foundation curriculum further supports this. EB in highlighting the rules of the Church and different religious traditions. In History, we teach about the development of the Rule of Law in English Law, a legal system created inspired by Christian values and becoming a major influence across the world. We then look at how law develops to meet the needs of an evolving society and world. In Science, we explore the laws that govern this discipline and its application in scientific study. In PE, students are taught the rules of sports and their vital role in the world of sport. We have a clear ‘Tanfield Way’, which is at the heart of our community and are the ‘foundations’ for teaching and learning within school.
Part of our school ethos is growth. We strive to prepare students to enter the world as independent, confident citizens that have a life-long passion for learning and making informed choices throughout their lives. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights, responsibilities and personal freedoms and receive advice and support about how to exercise these safely in PSHECC lessons and during tutor time as well as through assemblies, for example through our teaching of E-safety in Computing lessons. Tanfield School sets high expectations and promotes strong aspirations from all students encouraging them to strive for nothing short of optimum success. The role of Individual Liberty is clear and we encourage students to be independent and responsible in their learning and actions. We follow a restorative system with our Behaviour for Learning Policy, providing students with opportunities for reflection as they take responsibility. We are an inclusive society that shows mutual respect for all.
At Tanfield School we have a strong commitment to equality in the everyday life of the school and our mission as a school is that of an inclusive school. This value is enshrined in all relevant school policies, for example, the behaviour code and in the respect adults and students are expected to show each other in school. Students, staff and parents are listened to and their views valued through our use of Student Voice and parent feedback forms. We also take very seriously any instance of discrimination on grounds of race, gender or sexuality. Such rare incidents are recorded and an explanation is given of how they were dealt with is given. Student are aware of different types of discrimination and impacts. We have an effective anti-bullying policy. Holocaust Memorial Week provides themed assemblies that explores the causes, methods and legacy of discrimination. Students attend the annual Holocaust Memorial Day service at Durham Cathedral, where they take part in workshops around discrimination historical and current. They listen to a Holocaust survivor testimony as a powerful reminder of the values of a democratic society.
In EB students study religious guidance on equality. In Geography, they explore the impact of inequality of the distribution of resources. In History, we explored the effects of inequality looking at issue such slavery and suffrage. In PE, ability, gender and transgender equality is explored and supported with visits from Olympians and Para Olympians.
Students are made aware through the curriculum and the visible displays around school of our values that we are committed to diversity. Each year the school embraces the value of tolerance in our Celebrating Diversity Day as an annual commitment to this principle. A week of activities in lessons focuses on issues around cultural diversity, and sexual and gender identity. Y9 also experience a drop day to develop these themes further.
EB allows students to study and gain an awareness of different faiths, traditions and religious communities as a basis for understanding and respecting them. In EB, students are shown Jesus encouraged tolerance in stories such as The Good Samaritan and in applying the two new commandments of love. Their Islam unit looks at the role and example of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). As a non-faith school, we focus upon teaching tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. In History students study events that result from intolerance such as the Holocaust. In Geography, students look at intolerance for example, issues with homosexuality in Russia. The PSHECC programme inputs on tolerance and Human rights. These themes are linked to in all subjects from the texts and poems in English to the work of artists and musicians in Art and Music.
How else can you see our British Values in action?
- Having active educational links with other schools.
- Remembrance Activities: assemblies delivered by students to cover war remembrance and Holocaust
- Whole school Armistice Day Two Minute Silence with cadets in uniform, the Last Post performed by Mr Stephenson and the presence of all staff, students and governors invited.
- MFL visit to WW1 cemeteries.
- Supporting charitable works. The school supports national charity days but also has a designated charity chosen each year. This year by SAFC who have worked with key students.
- Assemblies and tutor time focus on what respect means and how it is modelled.
- Assemblies on a rota delivered by SLT, CoLs and visitors that cover the key aspects of British Values.
- Visitors from uniformed services, local charity workers, Olympians and Para Olympians
- Tutor time focus on current affairs for debate and discussion
- Living Mindfully in Education Programme and .blme programme
Should you wish to read the guidance given by the government to all schools you can find it at: