Filed under: Headteacher
On Monday 13th March, a Viking is visiting Years Five and Six!
Some parents will be aware of recent press coverage of another Oldham school where British values have been in focus. I shall be working with staff and governors over the next two weeks to review our current British Values statement which has been on our website for a couple of years or so.
Below is my draft which I shall be presenting as a starting point for discussion. Any comments parents would like to leave would be welcomed.
The Hey with Zion curriculum actively promotes British values. We define these values as:
We provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of, and respect for, public institutions and services in the content of our lessons (e.g. History and Literacy). We have an elected school council comprised of a teacher, governors and pupils from Year Two upwards who represent the views of the entire school in meetings which have had clear impact, such as the development of reading buddies, the reintroduction of the play agents, the development of the playground and deciding upon the beneficiaries and nature of charitable work which we do in school. We incorporate debate in our Literacy lessons.
The school council has attended “super council” meetings with school councils from other local schools. Twice yearly parental questionnaires/ family surveys have been conducted across school with results discussed on the school blog and acted upon. Pupil voice discussions are held regularly by staff to aid monitoring and evaluation of our school provision. The house point system has been developed in accordance with children’s wishes to model fairness and equality of opportunity for impact for everybody. Our assessment system incorporates self assessment to enable the child to provide feedback to teachers about their learning, with a view on influencing their future learning. Some of our topics are pupil led, where we encourage the children to express their views and desired lines of enquiry.
The Rule of Law
Our “Golden Rules” are displayed clearly and prominently in our school hall. We explain to pupils that living under the rule of law protects individuals. Individual classes develop their own clear and fair, refined set of rules each September. The behaviour policy is clearly expressed, available on the website and consistently applied, in a Christian and compassionate manner and in conjunction with our house point system. Road safety rules are made explicit (with their reasons) before each school trip. Road safety visitors discuss safety with every year group from E.Y.F.S. to Year Six. Road safety is taught in KS2 bikeability classes. E-Safety rules are taught in every class. Rules of sports and games are made explicit in activities such as football, netball and chess. Childline has visited the whole of Key Stage Two to talk with them about rules for personal safety. Police and Fire officers have visited classes and conducted assemblies to talk about rules to be obeyed for their own safety. We develop restorative justice approaches to solving conflicts.
Tolerance and Respect
We promote respect for individual differences. We expect good manners and have high expectations of behaviour. We challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour. We visit Christian and Muslim places of worship, including our own churches, St. John’s Hey C. of E. and Zion Methodist, and the European Islamic Centre. Every Foundation Stage and Key Stage One class performs a Nativity play each year. Year Six visit a mosque each year to learn more about Islam. Staff have attended a Unity event, where people from different sections of the community aimed to develop mutual understanding. We cater for different needs at lunch. We have visits from faith tutors for example an assembly jointly delivered by a Catholic priest and an imam, and visits to classes from our founder church clergy. Our work around commemorating the centenary of the outbreak of World War One explored the consequences of intolerance. We sell poppies in school. Faith-based assemblies clearly demonstrate values of tolerance and respect. Year Three have a link school from another area in Oldham. Our singing club sings at church events and at local care homes. We raise money to support people from other communities such as by sponsoring the education of Gambian children. We support people from our own community by contributing e.g. to the Oldham Food Bank. We celebrate the lives of saints such as George, Andrew, David, Patrick and John. We celebrate Christian and non-Christian festivals such as Christmas, Easter, Eid and Diwali. We reward children for good manners, such as holding the door open for others, as well as good work.
Individual Liberty/ Individual learning
Children undertake research on areas of their own interest. Children choose work partners with whom to work collaboratively. Children choose their own dinners. Extra tuition sessions are chosen by some pupils to support their learning. There is a range of extra curricular activities for children to choose from. Children choose their own reading books. Some topics are led by the children’s own interests. We challenge stereotypes. We have a strong anti-bullying culture. We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own behaviour, as well as knowing their rights.
We model freedom of speech through participation, while ensuring protection of vulnerable pupils and promoting critical analysis of evidence.
Our very foundation is the merging of an Anglican and a Methodist school: we are built upon an ethos of tolerance and respect. Our motto is “To do the best we can”, in accordance with the British values as expressed above and for all of our school community.
Our boys played well this morning: won 2 drawn 1 lost 2 in the Premier League’s Manchester City football tournament. I am very proud of them.
Well done to all the children who responded so well to the fifty page a week reading challenge. I hope very much the children will continue with their good reading habits.
Congratulations to our rugby union team which beat Horton Mill 5-1 this week. Thanks, too, to Oldham R.U.F.C. and Mr. Burrows for the coaching and freely giving of his time.
Can you recognise the face in the crowd celebrating Gabriel Jesus’ winner for Man City v Swansea last weekend?
Year Six welcomed a visiting scientist from the University of Manchester yesterday, to carry out lots of Chemistry experiments with the children. This is a link we think ever so worthwhile, and we shall invite her back next year.
Results from last week’s first round of our school Maths competition will be given after tomorrow morning’s assembly. The quarter final round will be this Thursday lunchtime.