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.
On a regular basis, Rosie and Francis visit school and send newsletters to keep us informed of the latest news from Mettupalayam. 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.
In the Summer term of 2017, we were delighted to invite Rosie and Frances back to school with Venkat and his daughter. 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.
Our school has been very fortunate to receive funding to create a Spiritual garden; we have been busy developing this area. Last year, 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. This year saw the grand opening of this garden.
Currently, children have access to the garden at playtimes and lunchtimes and once the weather improves it will be used during lesson times also, 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 next term, which will be more connected with art and nature to add an alternative dimension to our spiritual life at school.
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 taught sessions across the school, sharing books and working on tasks together.
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).
During Spring 2017 we were involved in two local arts projects, working with the artists involved with the sculpture for the newly-built Bedale bypass roundabout as well as helping to design some artwork to go in the centre of Bedale linked to the heritage of the local area and what the town means to our pupils.
In the Summer term 2017, 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!
During December 2017, the Year 1 and 2 children produced Christmas pictures which were displayed in the local Co-op.
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 and welcoming parents to our school for regular open afternoons.
We have an active Military Kids Club group that not only works on activities and meetings within school but in the community as well. Last year, our Year 4, 5, and 6 HMS Heroes visited Phoenix House in Catterick Garrison. While we were there we enjoyed finding out how the centre supports and rehabilitates the Armed Forces and their families through fitness, diet, therapies and counselling. We found out about an anti-gravity treadmill and lots of other specialist equipment in the gym, Toby even got to sit in an recumbent bicycle! There is also a woodwork shop, an art room and a games room with lots of gaming chairs and two football tables!
At the end of our visit, we met the mascot; he had to duck down to get through the door because he was so tall! The children all decided that it was a ‘fascinating’, ‘interesting’, ‘fun’ and ‘exciting’ visit and were very grateful to all concerned at the centre for organising and giving up their time to make it such a fabulous afternoon. A huge thank you from Mrs Turnbull to Mrs Howard for her hard work in organising these events.
In summer term 2017, MKC children enjoyed making balloon models and had great fun in rounders. They are also having a mini-sporting event and a summer party at the end of term.
More about Military Kids Club from Mrs Thorpe:
My first term taking Military Kids Club has been a lot of fun; it has been great to get to know the children and for us all to feel comfortable, as we are doing activities, to open up and chat about their life as service children whenever they feel the need to do so. The club is for children who have parents who are either currently serving, or who have served in the armed forces.
Activities in Autumn 2017 included: Scavenger Hunt, Outdoor Games, Film Night, Toasting Marshmallows on the Bonfire (many thanks to Mrs Pike for a wonder time), and Decorating Christmas Biscuits. We were also asked to contribute to a display for the Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral; the children transformed a bicycle wheel into a fabulous poppy. A group of service children were taken to Ripon Cathedral to take part in the service.
This term (Spring 2018) we have a fun program too: Games Night, Arts and Crafts, Film and popcorn evening, Scavenger Hunt, Easter 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 including Jacobs with their Beyond Zero campaign and Wills Bros. 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 have 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 last year.
The children in EYFS got into the voting spirit during the Summer term on Referedum day by holding their own ballot. As part of their topic on The Queen and London, the children learnt about the Houses of Parliament and thought about how and why laws are made. As a reward for all their hard work the children secretly voted for the treat of their choice. They could choose from; an extended playtime, a show and tell session or an extra snack time treat. The votes were counted and verified and the children enjoyed their extra playtime the following day.
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! Watch this space!
We have also voted on various parts of school life such as: which books to buy for our library; house treats; which charities to support; school council representatives.