British Values and PSCHE
Through our provision of SMSC, we promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Our school curriculum includes how democracy and the law work in Britain. The local magistrates hold a workshop for all year 6 pupils giving them an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety.
Our school ensures that all children have a voice that is listened to. Last year, year 6 interviewed children to find out what they thought about school dinners. They reported their findings to Senior management and the school chef, who changed his menu to suit the tastes of the school children. This is an example that shows that the children can influence decisions that affect the school.
In September, all classes make a class agreement. It is a democratic process, because everyone gives their views. The best suggestions are then voted for and signed as the class agreement. Yr 6s interviewed children from each class to find out the impact of these class agreements. All the children knew what their class rules were; they said that it was a good thing to have a class agreement, because the children know how to behave.
Black Lives Matter (updated 16.6.2020)
Here at Southmead Primary School, our curriculum aims to prepare children for the experiences, opportunities, and responsibilities of life in an ever changing Modern Britain. Through this curriculum, we promote the fundamental British Values of Democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs. Therefore, in light of recent events, we wish to give families support that they may need. 2020 has seen portrayals of violence, which have led to protests and marches advocating an end to racial inequality. Many children may have questions about the images and conversations they hear on the news, on social media and around them. We wish to encourage a positive and open discussion about race and racism. The following link provides a place for families to start talking about racial equality.
October 2020 - Black History Month
What is Black History Month, and why should we mark it?
Black History Month started in America as away to note African American's achievements and celebrate black culture. Black History Month takes place in the UK in October and has been celebrated for around 40 years - initially to recognise the contribution of people from African and Caribbean backgrounds and now to include black history as a whole. At Southmead, we feel that it's important to recognise and embed black history and culture through all aspects of education year-round; however, a month of recognition helps to raise awareness of the need to do so.
Statistics show that England is diverse - with 20% of people in England and Wales from a background other than White British, and an increase in African, Arab and 'other Asian' backgrounds and those identifying as mixed race (ONS, 2011). There is a small, scattered BAMER (Black, Asian, Ethnic Minority and Refugee) population across North Devon, leading to increased isolation and marginalisation. Police statistics show Hate Crime in Devon and Cornwall have increased, and in Torridge alone the number of hate crimes reported in the first three months of 2020 already total 75% of the full total for 2019.
So, what can we do? This month, we can commit to raising awareness of Black British History across our school, celebrating and encouraging the achievements of black people in the UK and together we can make change happen.
Each year group has chosen to mark Black History Month in a variety of ways. Sometimes it is linked to the topic they are studying, but other times it has been linked to what the children already know and what they find interesting.
In EYFS, this half term our topic is 'All About Me'. We have been studying our bodies and learning how to draw portraits. We're also exploring the technology that surrounds us every day - what it can do and which buttons to press. We have specifically looked at the portrait photography of Seydou Keita, who took portraits of people with special objects. For homework the children have composed their own photos in the same style and talked about how to take the photo and email it.
In Year One, we have discussed our goals and how others can inspire us to achieve them. We have also celebrated diversity. As part of our topic of ‘Flight’, we researched inspirational people in aviation. This included Bessie Coleman, who achieved her goal of becoming a pilot and went on to perform at air shows.
In Year Two, this term’s topic is ‘Pole to Pole’. We have discovered an American explorer called Matthew Henson, who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic, over a period of nearly 23 years. We have also listened to black singers from the past and used these songs for our ‘Take 10’ movement breaks.
In Year Three, after watching ‘Pixar for the Birds’, we discussed how it feels when someone is different to you. We recognised the importance of making sure everyone is treated well. We listened to Nina Simone singing ‘Feeling Good’ and the song ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’. We also looked at the artwork created for these black musicians.
In Year Four, we have focused on Maya Angelou - an inspirational writer and poet. Many of her famous quotes have resonated with us and we are putting them in to practise each day. They are helping us to become more resilient and appreciate our own uniqueness and individuality. A celebration of humanity!
In Year Five, we discussed resilience. We were inspired by many people who were ultimately successful, even after many struggles. We talked about inspirational people who experienced unfairness, but achieved greatness. Rosa Parks and Dr Martin Luther King were two people from the same era who inspired us to be resilient.
In Year 6, this term’s topic is ‘World War Two’. We studied the ‘Windrush generation’ who were families from the Caribbean. They came to the UK, after the war, to fill labour shortages. Despite living and working in the UK for decades, many were told they were there illegally, because of a lack of official paperwork. Since then, reports and compensation schemes have been launched, including the UK government apology for deportation threats.