At Annfield Plain Junior School, we ensure that through our school vision, values, rules, curriculum and teaching we promote tolerance and respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles.
We have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and to keep them safe. We value the importance of the current Ofsted guidance:
“… the school promote tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths (or those of no faith), cultures and lifestyles; and support and help, through their words, actions and influence within the school and more widely in the community, to prepare children and young people positively for life in modern Britain.”
As a school we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils and families in our school. We undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. The school’s vision, ‘Bobby Brain’s Magic Habits for Learning’ and ‘Annfield Plain’s Big Promise’ are a few of the many ways in which we promote such tolerance and respect. The annual life skills curriculum, PSHCE, assemblies and rights respecting work enriches pupils’ understanding of this.
At Annfield Plain Junior School, British history is taught and includes: changes in Britain from the stone-age to the iron-age; invaders and settlers: the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain, comparisons of Romans in Britain to the Anglo-Saxons & Vikings; Victorians and a local study.
As a whole school, we celebrate British events such as the Olympics and Para- Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee which we celebrated with other local schools, parents and carers in a, “Bringing Communities Together” day.
Remembrance Day is annually commemorated; children support the Royal British Legion purchasing poppies, two minutes silence is held and assemblies held to support pupils’ understanding. In recent years a Remembrance Garden, to remember all children’s lives lost in conflict, was funded and made. A community service then took place to open it and this again took place in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of WW1. The theme of WW1 was also developed further through a Barnabas RE drama day, where children took part in drama workshops around the theme, “What Price peace?” This was also incorporated into the annual nativity performance, performed in the local Methodist church for parents and carers.
Democracy is clearly evident within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our annually elected School Council. To understand the role of a local councillor School Council interviewed the local councillor for the, “When I Grow Up Project.” School Council are always involved in interviews for new staff, consulted on school issues such as playground changes, lunchtimes and in 2016 completed a citizenship project to improve the local community to raise awareness of litter. School Council also designed, with Annfield Plain Infant School’s school council, “Annfield Plain’s Big Promise” which promotes equality, tolerance and respect for all cultures, faiths and lifestyles. Annually, school council promote this, as well as other school values.
The annual election of both School Council and House Captains and Vice-Captains are based solely on pupil votes. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards and sanctions which were designed in consultation with School Council and, through them, with all pupils in class council. An annual pupil questionnaire and SEND support conferences also allow pupils to share their opinions, have them acted upon and valued.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout school, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. We are a Rights Respecting School. Rights respecting charters, explaining pupil’s rights and responsibilities are designed by pupils in their house teams, classes, school council and for lunchtimes annually. Pupils also take part in house team activities and assemblies which reinforce the rights of children around the globe, as well as the rights and responsibilities of living in the local community, our country and the world.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service, Wardens etc. are regular parts of our assemblies and help reinforce this message. The concept of the Rule of Law is also reinforced through activities in our PSHCE and Life Skills curriculum.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our Rights Respecting work, E-Safety and PSHCE lessons. There are many opportunities where pupils are given the freedom to make choices: of responsibilities e.g. whether they become peer mediators, playground pals or librarians etc; through lunchtime activities e.g. yard games, quiet area or library; lunch options; of participation in extra-curricular clubs, choice of local charities to fundraise for.
Much of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around mutual respect and the core values of Rights Respecting: rights and responsibilities. Where pupils find this difficult additional support, through a range of social and emotional interventions, is given to individuals and small groups of children to help develop self -esteem and the concept of respect.
Tolerance of those of 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 such diversity e.g. through RE, PSHCE, assemblies, our life skills curriculum, philosophy for children inquiries. Discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are regularly held. Visitors and visits e.g. Red Cross “Refugees” workshops, Newcastle United Football Club’s “Show Racism the Red Card” workshops, Sunderland Football Club “Tackle-It” anti-bullying workshops and visits to different places of worship all enhance the work routinely undertaken in school.
At Annfield Plain Junior School we are proud that our values are a true reflection of British Values.