Children actively participate in democratic processes on a regular basis. At the beginning of each school year class elections are held for various posts such as school council reps, house captains and eco-council. Children are taught about the desired qualities of elected representatives; making informed, personal decisions when voting; and about democratic decision making.
Our school council meets each term and members are taught to represent the views of their class, feeding back after meetings. This shared pupil voice informs decision making across the school. Recent school council involvement has included selecting a new catering company; charity involvement; and use of the playground.
Children learn about national democratic processes through PSHE lessons and assemblies during national/local elections and through visitors, such as a local MP, in January 2016. The origins of democracy are taught in history.
We value consultation with all groups within our school community, regularly surveying opinion. Recent examples include homework, school food, and e-safety. The headteacher meets termly with Parent Forum as an opportunity for views of parents / carers to be aired and for matters requiring consultation to be considered.
Democracy related to one of our key Learning to Learn characteristics: 'Relationships'. Children are actively taught the skills required to make shared decisions and to co-operate in group learning. They are also encouraged to volunteer and take part in the life of the school where ever possible, such as Eco-Council, Peer Mediators, monitoring roles and lunchtime helpers.
Each class has its own charter or rules, drawn up and agreed upon by the class. As part of this process children are taught to appreciate the rights & responsibilities inherent in our society.
Our curriculum plan for PSHCE also includes regular units of work on rights & responsibilities and citizenship. We aim to develop in children a strong sense of morality, consequence of action and of what is right and wrong so that they are able to make good behaviour choices for themselves.
The importance of rules is also taught in other areas of the curriculum, such as sport and PE, road safety and when risk-assessing outdoor & adventurous activities.
Children, via the school council, help to decide on playground rules and procedures, such as how football is organised.
All members of our school community understand and use our agreed Positive Behaviour Policy. This sets out the expectations and sanctions consistently applied within our school. We have high expectations about pupil conduct and when these aren't displayed, time is taken to explain why it is important to act according to what has been agreed.
We have good links with local Police who we liaise with concerning local issues and who sometimes talk in assemblies, to classes and to groups of parents.
We actively seek to foster a culture of equality, and embrace diversity, as set out in our Equality & Diversity Policy (see About us / Policies & Procedures).
Children learn about the importance of equality & diversity throughout the curriculum, and especially in PSHCE, RE and history. Additional opportunities for discussion and reflection are regularly taken in assemblies and our library is well stocked with relevant books.
Our curriculum aims to develop responsible independence and ownership of learning. We actively encourage children to think about themselves as learners, using six Learning to Learn characters, each with a learning characteristic. These are discussed in class and assemblies and feature particularly in project work. Homework tasks are also designed to promote these independent learning skills. As part of this we look for opportunities to develop children's ability to assess risk and make safe decisions, when active and when on-line.
We encourage children to develop their personal strengths, character and personalities; finding opportunities for older children to take on responsibilities such as Peer Mediators and Early Years Buddies. We also ensure a wide range of clubs and extra-curricular activities.
Individual and team successes are celebrated in assemblies and online, via our website and social media feeds.
Recent staff training has included homophobic and gender awareness and we actively discourage stereotyping through careful consideration of resources, language, grouping, expectations and opportunities offered. After school clubs and sporting fixtures are non-gender specific.
Assemblies planned for the beginning of 2016 will focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Daily collective worship in assemblies is non-religious, allowing for members of all faiths to be included. Parents know that their children can be withdrawn on the rare occasions they choose to do so, such as carols and harvest festival at the local church.
‘Respectfulness’ is one of our key Learning to Learn characteristics, discussed regularly in class and assemblies. Children demonstrating respect are used as good role models and sometimes ‘win’ an owl toy for their class.
Being good at 'Relationships' is another Learning to Learn characteristic strongly promoted. Children are actively taught to work collaboratively, respecting the ideas of others.
We teach children about the importance of respect for all individuals and life-choices as part of our curriculum, particularly in PSHCE, RE and history. Assemblies often directly challenge children’s preconceptions and acceptance of minority groups.
We look for opportunities for visitors from other faiths or minority groups to speak to children in class or assemblies.
In PE, and other competitive aspects of school life, children are taught to compete fairly, demonstrate equality and to be magnanimous in defeat. This is especially encouraged during sports days and competitions with other schools.
A lack of respect demonstrated by any member of the school community is directly challenged and an increase in empathy encouraged. This sometimes involves children attending 'reflection room' during lunchtime, where they are given the opportunity to discuss events with a member of the leadership team. As part of this, children are strongly encouraged to apologise when mistakes have been made.
All prejudice related incidents, whilst rare, are acted upon and logged internally and on the county’s PRIDE website. This includes occasional indirect incidents, such as children’s naïve yet inappropriate use of the word 'gay'.