In December we will be holding the Peterhouse General Election. We will be teaching our children all about democracy and using real life news events to make our learning fun. I wonder if the outcomes in our election will mirror those across the country.
Peterhouse Primary Academy believes strongly in allowing children to experience democracy throughout their time in the school. Democracy can be evidenced in the following ways:
- The school has a junior management structure made up of two layers.
- Junior Leaders – The JLT is made up of the Year 6 prefects along with the head boy, head girl and their deputies. The JLT meet each half term and draw up their own school action plan. Through the year they work together to instigate school wide change. During the year the heads and deputies get the chance to be Headteacher for the day. During this experience they get to plan and spend a budget on the school, meet with sales reps, make phone calls, send emails, hold staff meetings and carry out learning walks. The JLT also get a termly working lunch where they are taken out for a meal by the SLT. The JLT get to make long lasting change across the school.
- School Council – The school council are elected by their peers and meet fortnightly to see how they can improve the school. The JLT can instruct the school council to complete actions where needed. The school council raise money, purchase products and champion school wide issues such as responsible parking.
- The school has a Looking for Learning Council
- The looking for learning council have a strong voice within school. They have the opportunity to improve teaching and learning in all year groups. They carry out regular learning walks, book looks and pupil interviews and then feedback to teachers. They have plans to carry out learning walks in other schools later in the Spring term.
- Mock General Election
- During the general election, the school held its own mock election. Campaign posters went up around school and the children had to decide who to vote for. Voting booths were set up and all children had their say. This was then linked in to their lessons and led to creative writing and PSHE activities.
- Letters and Requests
- At Peterhouse we teach children to have their say and to be heard. If they want something to change in school they need to ask in the correct way. I regularly receive letters from children with requests. The latest was a request for new library titles to complete a collection. These were then ordered and are now in stock. I have also had a request from Yr5 to meet with me to discuss litter in school.
- Class Charters
- Many classes have class charters drawn up by the children. These are then used throughout the year to improve behaviour.
Rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country are consistently reinforced throughout the school day. This can be evidenced in the following ways:
- Collective worship – we regularly reinforce laws and rules through our worship. We look at the values of love and respect, learning how the Bible tells us to behave. This half term we are looking at the Golden Rule adopted by the UN and how countries have pledged to treat others as they wish to be treated, as prescribed in the gospel according to Matthew.
- Class systems – the school behaviour policy is consistent and reinforced throughout the day.
- High Five – the school has recently adopted the High Five approach to reminding children of the rules. These are our top five pointers for behaving in each area of the school.
- Visits – we have regular visits from the emergency services to underline the importance of law. Recently Year 6 have had the Youth Offending Team in to deliver work around sexting. We have had parent sessions (and children) with the fire service and sessions on the green cross code.
- Reward – the school has a number of reward systems in place to promote rules. This is highlighted in our weekly Golden Assembly on a Friday.
- Our SIAMS inspection highlighted the good behaviour of our children and the report opened with the line ‘this school lives by its values’.
- Effectiveness Audits have highlighted good behaviour throughout the academy.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supported environment. Evidence for this can be found in the following ways:
- PANTS – a whole school NSPCC Pants day has helped children to create their own safeguarding hands. These are displayed in each classroom and point out 5 people that each child can talk to if they are in trouble.
- E-Safety Day – A whole school e-safety day has taken place using the CEOP materials (Headteacher CEOP trained). This has helped children to feel safe online.
- Parent E-Safety – Parent sessions have been held for e-safety. These were targeted sessions for families who had problems in this area.
- PSHE – A new scheme is in place and allows children to discuss issues as a class and tackle larger problems.
Respect is an important value in the life of Peterhouse. We spend time each year focussing on respect as one of our core values. Evidence can be found in the following ways:
- Collective worship – we work closely with the church to deliver effective and thought provoking collective worship and the theme of respect. We look at the instructions of the Bible and see how this can be replicated in our daily lives.
- School Prayer – our school prayer was written in early 2017 by the children and is said daily. It allows us to spend time each day thinking of others and asking God for help.
- School Farm – our farm allows us to learn respect for the wonderful creation we have been gifted. Our children help to care for the animals and grow crops that are sold on and used to feed others. By respecting our environment we are able to appreciate the wonders of life.
- The Lent Event – each year we spend the period of Lent doing good things for others. This is part of the work led by the East Coast RE Network (set up and run by the Headteacher). The children carry out acts of kindness and generosity and then share their achievements on the Lent Event Website.
- Annual Payer Day – we hold an annual prayer day where we spend time thinking of others.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
As a Church of England Academy, tolerance of faith and views is paramount to all of our work here at Peterhouse. Evidence of this can be found in the following ways:
- RE Curriculum – we have worked with Kathryn Wright (Diocese of Norwich) to write a comprehensive scheme of work for RE. The school also runs the East Coast RE Network and has helped to create planning for over 30 schools across Norfolk. We have also written a scheme of work for RE in the Early Years that is now being published. Our scheme of work is multi faith and understanding of all views. It allows children to approach big questions and discuss difficult concepts in a secure environment.
- Around the World Day – Our around the world day is next week and will allow children to study a country in detail and to share their findings with the whole school.
- Visits – Our Year 3 children have visited a Mandir this year to look at the Hindu faith and discuss their views. This was part of their work in RE.
- New curriculum – our new curriculum is based around our values and builds on big whole school questions, such as ‘Is there only one way forward?’. This allows children to voice their views during a whole school event to showcase learning at the end of each term.