Throughout the school we promote the values of tolerance, respect and responsibilities amongst others, helping to prepare our children for life in modern Britain. On this page you can read more about some of the ways we do this.
Tolerance of Other Faiths and Beliefs
We have close links to the local churches, have daily Collective Worships which explain Christian festivals as well as significant events in the years of other faiths. We regularly support charities and people in need including communities in India, through the Friends of Mettupalayam, as well as promoting understanding of other faiths and beliefs throughout the curriculum from dedicated RE lessons through Geography, History and multicultural stories through English lessons. Through the use of voting and the support of the school council we have all worked together to decide which charities we would like to support this year.
Our school has been very fortunate to receive funding to create a Spiritual garden; we have been busy developing this area. We collected ideas from across school, created a plan and then used this to build a garden to suit the needs of our school community. Last year saw the grand opening of this garden.
Currently, children have access to the garden at playtimes, lunchtimes as well as during lesson times, allowing pupils of all faiths and none to have a quiet area to reflect. Services will continue to take place for each class (with the support of the church) and a Spiritual Garden club has also started. This is an important part of ensuring that the spiritual and emotional aspect of our school life is embraced, valued and developed. We have gained further funding and will be developing a Creation garden this year, which will be more connected with art and nature to add an alternative dimension to our spiritual life at school.
On a regular basis, Rosie and Francis visit school and send newsletters to keep us informed of the latest news from Mettupalayam. In Autumn 2018, we held a whole-school India Day to learn more about the culture and customs in this country. This included a visit from Rosie and Francis to talk to each year group.During this academic year, our school council have started to investigate ways of developing links to find out more about what they are doing via a pen pal type of set up.
When Venkat and his daughter last visited Bedale we were delighted to invite them into school. They talked about the typical school day in Mettupalayam as well as updating us on their latest work, including medical improvements and musical workshops. It was great to be able to present them with some resources made by the children to take out to India.
Individual Responsibility and Liberty
We give our pupils a range of responsibilities and jobs around school from personal responsibilities like remembering to bring in homework, reading books and PE kits through to classroom responsibilities and whole-school responsibilities like helping with school dinners and our KS2 children helping the children on our KS1 playground. We also have a well-established house system (with termly rewards for the house with the most merits) with House Captains, as well as Sports Captains and a Head Boy and Head Girl. The house captains lead house worship sessions while the sports captains are involved in selecting and coaching sports teams taking part in inter-school tournaments. Each class has two school council representatives, with our Year Six pupils working alongside teachers to run the school council. We also have peer mentors who help other children with the support of staff and our Digital Leaders have helped support teachers in their lessons as well as leading assemblies and sessions for pupils in other year groups, such as during Safer Internet Day. Our Reading Ambassadors have also led collective worship for the school, sharing books.
Throughout the year, we encourage the children to use the local facilities and get involved in local activities, including promoting sports events and courses (e.g. Wensleydale Rugby, Bedale Juniors, Bedale Cricket Club) and using facilities like the Bedale library through the summer reading challenges.
We regularly work with and welcome pupils and staff from the local community, including hosting sports and GAT maths events, local nurseries coming to our performances and a shared residential visit to Edinburgh (Spring 2017 and planned for Spring 2019).
In the Summer term 2018, the pupils of year five and six worked independently to organise and lead our annual Fun Run including dozens of stalls positioned around our school field, raising hundreds of pounds for charity, this is an annual event that we look forward to every year! The children chose to donate some of this year’s sponsorship to the Teenage Cancer Trust, to show support to a former pupil, who is unwell.
We promote mutual respect for others throughout everything we do in and out of school, including: a range of visitors to school sharing their experiences such as PCSOs, fire officers, military police and other local professionals; financial workshops; parents with specific knowledge linked to topic areas; daily collective worship and candle time for quiet reflection; a consistent school behaviour policy including merits reward system; a Code of Conduct for our sports teams (click here) and welcoming parents to our school for regular open afternoons.
Military Kids Club
We have an active Military Kids Club group that is for children whose parents are, or have been, in the military. We recognise that Military children have many unique challenges. They move home and school often, so it is good for them to make friends with children from a similar background who share their experiences. They all have to cope with frequent and extended absences of a parent.
We meet regularly to get together and have the opportunity to have a juice and biscuit, have a chat and enjoy some fun activities; the children are encouraged to keep an eye out for their MKC family around school.
Highlights from last year were: attending the Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral for Military Kids throughout the County; at the Service the children’s poppy wheel which they had worked on for weeks before was on display. The children also had a fabulous time at Armed Forces Day in Catterick, where they enjoyed everything from obstacle courses, to learning about dental hygiene, and riding on armoured vehicles.
Activities we get up to in MKC are: Scavenger Hunts, Outdoor Games, Film Nights with juice and popcorn, Toasting Marshmallows on the Bonfire (many thanks to Mrs Pike), and Decorating Biscuits, Arts and Crafts, Quiz Nights, and Sweet Making.
Rule of Law
We have visits from our local PCSOs as well as North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service to discuss road safety, fireworks and bonfire night, e-safety and other aspects of the law. We have had visits and talks from local construction firms who have been working in the area. Our Year Six pupils also attend Crucial Crew each year and have the opportunity to take part in Bikeability training to help them understand the rules of the road.
We also discuss how the rules in school relate to rules and laws in the wider-world, including the importance of following and the consequences for breaking these laws.
Each class follows the school rules and have their own "Class Charter" of rules, created and agreed by the children at the start of the year, which are displayed in every room along with rewards and consequences.
In school we have a "Bedale Ballot Box" that the children use to vote on various topics during the year, including the end-of-term house treat, competitions such as Autumn's scarecrow contest and which films are shown at the FSG film night. We also discuss local and national elections and what they mean for the way the country is run. Each class also votes for their School Council and Eco Warriors and Year 5 and 6 pupils vote for next year's Head Boy and Head Girl. Classes discuss issues they would like their school council representative to raise at school council meetings and have a say in decisions around the school, including which charity we should raise money for and improvements to the environment such as the water coolers installed around school.
In Spring 2018, our Y6 debating team represented the school at the local schools debating competition – they did very well and managed to get through to the next round – representing us in the North Yorkshire finals in the summer!