Each term begins in Shiremoor Primary School with a ‘Personal Development’ Week which enables children to learn about matters which will be important as they grow into adults.
Each year begins with a democratic process where each class can nominate representatives for our school council, Shiremoor Voice. As children progress through school, this process becomes more like a real election with candidates preparing their own manifesto to secure a vote. All children have opportunity to complete voting slips to elect their Shiremoor Voice representative. As children are involved in this process, they are encouraged to see the link with real politics, and to know about the main political parties and how Government works.
Children progressively learn about our political and legal system and compare and contrast it to other systems around the world. Children also learn how they can influence politics as children and as they become adults. Links are made with the Royal Family and the role they play in our democracy and children learn about the impact of other monarchs.
Once Shiremoor Voice is established, the council meets every week with an agreed agenda and, whilst they are supervised by an adult, they do have a nominated Chair and Vice-Chair in Year 6 who lead the meetings. The council put out an agenda for all classes to discuss prior to the meeting and each class representative then brings the views of the class back to the meeting. Minutes are published on the website, displayed on the Shiremoor Voice Notice Board and shared in assembly.
Any pupil or member of staff can bring an item to be placed on the agenda for discussion but the key focus areas are school priorities, supporting charities and school development. The Council is also very involved in environmental issues.
Rule of Law
At Shiremoor Primary School, we are very conscious that an important part of our work is to create productive members of a future society. To this end, it is really important that children learn about how society operates and the importance of being able to live in a way that does not negatively affect others.
Children learn progressively about how the law works and how laws are created and also what happens when they are no longer required. They also learn how they can support changes in the law and they consider implications of laws being broken and if this can ever be considered acceptable.
All of the children receive a Behaviour Booklet at the beginning of every year to remind them about how we must behave in school. Every school year, at the start of term, through our Personal Development Week, we have a major focus on citizenship, school rules and behaviour management. Children learn about parts that we play in society and how our actions affect those around them.
Each class have a weekly ‘Shiremoor Voice’ meeting to discuss any matters arising in school, any wider issues across school and nominations for pupils to receive the ‘Shiremoor Voice Award’ for excellent contribution to school life over the week.
Daily assembly sets the tone for the day in terms of our high expectations and, over the year, children work towards bronze, silver and gold awards for ‘consistently’ good behaviour.
All children participate in PSHE lessons to understand equality and human rights, respect and dignity, rights, choices, consent and individuality as well as having values and principles. This learning is supplemented through our Personal Development Week each term when all aspects of British Values are taught and reinforced. Respect is also one of our core words and all children are able to work towards a ‘Respect award’ to show that they understand this value.
Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Children need to learn how to show respect for others and understand that difference is not only acceptable, but welcome. Children know that everyone is welcome in our school.
We have strong links with St. Marks Church and the local Salvation Army. Children also have opportunity to visit St. Marks each term to see the workings of the Church.
Shiremoor Primary also pays for Phil Andre, a multi-cultural teacher, to visit us each half-term to lead assemblies and to deliver lessons to each year group about a particular religion, based on a theme such as methods of worship. Children always meet back together in assemblies to share work. This means that children get an overview of a range of religions whilst learning about one in depth each year.
Our curriculum ensures that each year group have to study Christianity and progressively more challenging ideas and they also have an additional religion to study and to compare and contrast. Year 6 have some very challenging conversations around respect and tolerance for different faiths and beliefs.
We invite ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ to do annual work with children around tolerance and respect. Daily assembly and class work also ensure that this message is constantly reinforced.
Any complaints about lack of tolerance or respect for others on school premises, are followed up stringently.
Development of Skills and Attitudes to Contribute Positively to Life in Modern Britain
Children are encouraged to value the school building and contents and to see the link between finance and material possessions. They follow the school rules, which they see daily during assembly.
Each class representative feeds views into Shiremoor Voice about any matters arising in school that children wish to address and children understand that this is a democratic process.
Children learn about key figures in history who have contributed to positive changes to society and consider how they can emulate these ideas. Children have a lot of opportunities for learning about Great Britain and the wider world around us.
Older children are encouraged to support younger children at key times such as assemblies and lunch times. They are also encouraged to volunteer in the community when possible for example, singing at the Church, helping at the Shiremoor Treat.
Children learn about careers each term starting in nursery and they enjoy visitors who speak to them about career prospects for the future.
A huge variety of extra-curricular activities are available to promote a positive mental attitude and team spirit. Children learn about healthy competition and how working together can make us stronger.
Our Personal Development Week enables children to learn about finance and how they will need to budget and the value of money and the links this has to them requiring a future career.
Many older children take on positions of responsibility around school to enable them to be considerate of the needs of others.
A huge focus is given to our positive differences and how we all have strengths and areas to develop.
Children learn about our area’s mining heritage and visit Woodhorn Colliery and Beamish to study mining and younger children visit areas along the River Tyne. Children also pay visits to the memorial in Earsdon for the Hartley Pit Disaster.
The Shiremoor Treat is celebrated in school, as well as having the actual event on the first weekend in July, which is a long-standing tradition designed originally by the miners as an annual family picnic.
Children visit the River Tyne and learn about the industries that were prevalent in the area. They know also that we live in the North East of England and know about various places along the coast such as local landmarks such as St. Mary’s Lighthouse and Tynemouth Priory. Some of our teachers come from across the river so we have some fun discussions about being a ‘Geordie’.
Our area has many landmarks and has had many successful artists, musicians and entertainers born and bred here and children celebrate some of these over each year.
Children also learn about the world wars and commemorate November 11th each year, both in school, and at local ceremonies by making poppies, watching clips, carrying out research, singing and reading poetry.
Artistic, Sporting and Cultural Opportunities
Each class makes regular visits out of school to visit local places of interest and these can have artistic or historical significance. Children enjoy visits to museums and art galleries and sporting venues. Children learn about British artists, musicians and entertainers as part of their Personal development Week programme.
Mrs. Wilson leads on art in school and plans a range of activities across the year to allow children to appreciate and create art including displaying their own work in a real art gallery at the Shiremoor Treat, the Fish Quay or the University. Children work towards gaining a Key Stage 1 or 2 Art Award.
Mrs. Evans is responsible for music and she organises the school choir and musicians to join us for performance. She also ensures that children sing regularly and in public. We expect all children to be able to play an instrument by the time they leave us and to be able to read musical notation. Children are able to perform at a theatre or local music venue and all children perform multiple times in school.
Mr. Nicholson co-ordinates sport across school and all children take part in competitive and non-competitive games each year across a variety of sports. Whatever sport is on offer, we will put a team together for. We also have trips to support local teams, for example, Newcastle Falcons or Newcastle Eagles. Many children become ‘sports leaders’ and play an active part in supporting others.
All teachers plan a rich diet of opportunities across the year so that learning opportunities in all areas are maximised.
Download and view Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools, published by the Department for Education in November 2014.