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 and 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 support of the school council and the use of voting, we have all worked together to decide which charities we would like to support this year.
Our school was very fortunate to receive funding to create a Spiritual garden; working together we planned and developed this area. We collected ideas from across school, created a design and then used this to build a garden to suit the needs of our school community. We then held a grand opening.
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 club, exploring spirituality ‘Roots’ 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, which will be more connected with art and nature to add an alternative dimension to our spiritual life at school.
For twenty years now, we have had links with Mettupalayam in India through the Friends of Mettupalayam Trust (click here for their Facebook page and here for their website), raising money for development projects such as building a new school and buying resources to support the community. Each year, we have at least one event that raises money and supports this project. In previous years, members of staff have visited India as well as having guests from the village here in Bedale to see our school.
We continue to receive newsletters from the charity on a regular basis, these tell us more about current events; meanwhile in school we continue to think of other ways that we can support their ongoing work. On a termly basis, we have an update in Collective Worship and enjoy opportunities to welcome visits from Venkat, his family and the Friends of Mettupalayam.
When representatives of the charity visit school, they are able to tell us more about the most recent work taking place in Mettupalayam and also answer lots of questions. During their visits they have shared photographs of the work that is going on there and explained the projects and the impact that they have had. We have also seen examples of typical Indian dress during these visits. We always find it interesting to develop our understanding of the work being done in Mettupalayam and also more about life in a different culture to our own.
Over the years, we have raised money, made and presented resources to Rosie and Francis to be used in Mettupalayam. One such item was an interactive pay mat, which we presented shortly before Rosie and Francis went to visit. Within a week of sending the play mat with Rosie and Francis, it was on its way to Mettupalyam. We have received a number of photographs showing how grateful the children and staff were for this resource and demonstrating how they will be able to use it.
We are regularly sent updates from the Friends of Mettupalayam, who tell us all about recent events and update us on the work being done.
During Autumn term 2019, Years Four and Five learnt about Hinduism through a day of workshops and activities including drama based on the story of Rama and Sita, tasting traditional food and learning Indian dance moves!
Also in Autumn term 2019, Yasmien came to talk to the whole school about her experiences of being a Muslim living in Skipton, North Yorkshire. She also ran workshops with Years Two and Six.
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. We have developed the contribution and opportunities for children to lead collective worship. When a theme or event, either in school or within our community, has inspired our pupils we offer them opportunities to share their interest and work by taking and collective worship. Where appropriate they are then offered chance to lead further future worships to update the school community on their continued work.
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, Bedale Tennis 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 using our wildlife area and a shared residential visit to Edinburgh (Spring 2019).
In the Summer term 2019, 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 Autumn term 2019, we planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs in and around our school grounds. The bulbs were donated by the local town council and the children discussed through the school council where we could plant them so our local community could enjoy them when they burst through in Spring.
Due to school closures in 2020/21 we had to put much our whole school charity fundraising on hold. However, we look forward to continuing this soon. At the start of the first lockdown, we offered all pupils the opportunity to take part in a local project, including both our school and Bedale High School, ‘Stronger Together’ which encouraged people to show unity through the use of rainbows within our community. We have also held our "Blue for Bailey" day, raising funds for the Children's Cancer Fund. Click here (external link).
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 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 our past few years: attending the Remembrance Service at Ripon Cathedral for Military Kids throughout the County; where the bookmarks the children decorated were on display. Last summer 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. Most recently, we have made and decorated Remembrance day cookies to share with our families. On the run up to Christmas, we created our own Christmas cards to send to injured soldiers who would spend their holiday away from their families in a rehabilitation centre. We are looking forward to all the think Military Kids Club will offer in the coming years.
Activities we get up to in MKC are: Scavenger Hunts, Outdoor Games, Film Nights with juice and popcorn, 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. 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 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 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.
Each year, our Y6 debating team represent the school at the local schools debating competition. On a number of occasions, they have done very well and managed to get through to the next round – representing us in the North Yorkshire finals!