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The general life of the school reflects many aspects of these fundamental values. School and class rules; voting on class issues; Pupil Council; Pupil Voice; Star of the Week assemblies; birthday celebrations; the focus on a moral theme ( Roots and Fruits) each half term in school and class assemblies; challenging oneself to do better; taking turns; sharing, working collaboratively are all taught and modelled. The school encourages everyone to be polite, friendly and helpful to one another; showing consideration and awareness towards others, helping them to become empathetic young people. We formalise this through roles and responsibilities which involve children from every class and at all points in the school day. Year 6 have a vast array of ‘jobs’ ranging from being a buddy to EYFS pupils, to manning the school office under the supervision of the head teacher over lunch time. Friendship Buddies are volunteers from across the school, changing weekly, who “look out” for anyone feeling alone or upset over the school’s break times.
Our Community links provide opportunities to share and celebrate a range of religious and cultural experiences and parents and visitors are invited to share and discuss these from a personal perspective. These include Rosh Hashana, Chinese New Year, Diwali, as well as the significant dates from the Christian calendar like Easter, Harvest and Christmas and our own Founder’s Day (St Peter’s).There are very close links with the local churches and many of our weekly assemblies are supported by our Vicar, Reverend Ann.
The curriculum provides opportunities to consider international cultures, where similarities and differences are explored in some depth. Over the years , the school has supported a range of charities such as the Heart Foundations, Children’s Society, Children in Need, Comic Relief, Sports Relief, Water Aid, Shelter, NSPCC, Christian Aid and School in a Bag, showing how we impact on the world around us and how we can help others in need.
Visits from outside agencies including an international sportsman, guide dogs, local sports clubs and those sharing their roles in the community / society such as fire and police service are actively encouraged. The school has a direct link with a school in Ethiopia and the children in both schools communicate with one another about their experiences and in June 2015, money raised from a sponsored run was donated both to the school in Ethiopia and to the School in a Bag charity for those children whose lives were blighted by the 2010 tsunami.
Images and inspirational work are displayed around school to positively address cultural, religious, race, special educational needs and disabilities, gender and social issues. The intention is to promote understanding, empathy and unity. In our R.E. lessons, where tolerance and understanding form a significant element of learning, it is made explicit in the curriculum where commonalities and uniqueness are explored between all major religions. The children have the opportunity to learn about major religious beliefs and how they complement each other and have common values. Each term explicit values are taught through all assemblies, using appropriate role models, with positive behaviours being rewarded through Star of the Week, Newsletters, text messages, etc. (Values such as respect, tolerance, love, hope, responsibility etc.).
There is a reflections area where pupils have a chance to contemplate their feelings and explore ideas brought about through the R.E. teaching. There are also opportunities for children to share concerns and feelings with Reverend Ann, every Wednesday lunchtime. Those children who may wish to explore their feelings in even greater depth can do so through the weekly Jesus and Me (JAM) club with members of staff and Foundation Governors.
Through Geography the children develop a sense both of their local community and the wider world and also explore their responsibility for the local environment and taking care of God’s creation for future generations. The children engage with their local community through trips including to places of worship, visitors to school such as emergency services and local councillors. The children are involved with the annual summer fair where they sell art and craft items as part of the fund raising activities of the Friends of the School. They also take part in the annual carnival. Many of the children are members of local uniformed organisations such as Scouting. The school enables pupils to visit local schools as part of their sporting activities to share healthy and managed competition. On a number of occasions the school has been awarded Fair Play awards for their sportsmanship and overall behaviour.
Art and music provides opportunities for the celebration of the Arts in many cultures, enabling the children to explore and value other ideas and beliefs. Through the Arts, cultural and historical distinctiveness is learned about, reflected upon and celebrated. The school’s development of the Creative Curriculum has not only improved their technical skills but enabled them to express their feelings in ways other than through language.
The school provides boundaries which enable pupils to fulfil expectation and rewards those who go above and beyond those expectations and nurtures those pupils for whom this is a challenge. This is highly successful in our school and creates the bedrock of the work our pupils undertake.
Most importantly, all of this is underpinned by an understanding of shared school values (e.g. behavioural, moral and academic expectations), respecting each other and living within a school community as well as the wider community.