Preparing for Life in Modern Britain

At Greenfields we prepare children for life in modern Britain by upholding and teaching pupils about ‘British Values’, which are defined by the government as:

  • democracy
  • rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education (SMSC) and Religious Education (RE). To find out more about what we mean by Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development, please click this link . We also teach British Values within our broad and balanced curriculum, ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values.

The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our whole school systems and structures and through our daily assemblies/acts of collective worship. Details of our weekly themes in 2016/17 can be found by clicking this link to our Assembly themes.

Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents/carers expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

At Greenfields, ‘British Values’ are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy – Democracy is an important value at our school. Each year begins with a democratic process where each class can nominate representatives for our School Council. Children are encouraged to see the link with the real world and to know about the main political parties and how Government works. In 2014, they were also able to consider democracy in light of the Scottish referendum and in 2015 links were made with the national election process.

Once the School Council is established, they meet every half-term 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 displayed on the School Council Notice Board and shared in assembly time.

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.

As children progress through school, they also have the opportunity to nominate themselves to be a House Captain, this process is through election, with Year 6 House Captain candidates having to prepare their own election speech to secure their classmates’ votes.

Rule of Law – At Greenfields, the importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout the school day.

At the start of every school year we focus on citizenship, school rules and behaviour expectations. All of the children are expected to sign and adhere to the Home/School Agreement to remind them about what is expected from them, including how we must behave in school. Children are given time to consider the part that we all play in society. They learn about their rights and also their responsibilities and how our actions have consequences that can affect those around them. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Daily assembly sets the tone for the day in terms of our high expectations and, over the year, children work towards ‘Personal Bests’ as well as Star Achiever awards for exceptional work and behaviour over a half term. Greenfields Stars and House Points also reward children for following the school rules and expectations.

Individual Liberty – Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choose the level of challenge in some lessons and are becoming increasingly more involved in child–led learning, e.g. through our enquiry based thematic curriculum and planning/ delivering child led assemblies and learning reflection activities.

Mutual Respect – Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at Greenfields.

Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our Home/School Agreement.

Tolerance of Those of Different Faiths & 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. Daily assembly and work in class ensure that this message is constantly reinforced.

We have strong links with St. Columba’s Church and Rev. Geoffrey Short visits school at least half termly to lead assembly and to teach about Christian values and ideas. Children also have the opportunity to visit St. Columba’s to see the workings of a Christian Church.

Each half-term we have assemblies and lessons in each year group about different religions. This complements our RE curriculum so that children get an overview of a range of religions, whilst learning about one religion in depth each year.

Assemblies involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed up by learning in RE and PSHE. In addition, P.C. Mick Wilson, our local police officer, and the ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ team do work with children around tolerance and respect.

Any concerns raised about lack of tolerance or respect for others on school premises, are followed up stringently.

We celebrate ‘European Day of Languages’ as a whole school encouraging children to research and discover differences and similarities between us and our European neighbours.  Likewise we use opportunities such as the Olympics and the World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in other countries.

Development of Skills & Attitudes to Contribute Positively to Life in Modern Britain

Children are encouraged to look after the school building and contents and to see the link between finance and material possessions. They follow the school rules, which are displayed in every classroom and referred to daily.

Each class representative feeds class views into School Council 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 many 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 e.g. singing at St Columba’s Open Door monthly events for elderly community members or visiting local Care Homes.

Children learn about careers right from starting in nursery and they benefit from visitors speaking to them about career prospects for the future.

All children are aware of individual targets that they have and work towards these with an evaluative attitude.

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.

Cultural Influences

We have planned our curriculum carefully to include study about our local heritage. Older children visit Woodhorn Colliery to study mining and younger children visit areas along the River Tyne to learn about the industries that were prevalent in the area.

The children know 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.

Children also learn about the world wars and commemorate November 11th each year in lots of different ways, e.g. by making poppies, watching clips, carrying out research, singing and reading poetry.

Artistic, Sporting & Cultural Opportunities

Each class makes regular visits out of school to local places of interest, often with artistic historical, or cultural significance. E.g. children enjoy visits to museums, art galleries and sporting venues.

Miss Smith co-ordinates Art at Greenfields. We provide a broad balanced and progressive Art curriculum which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum. The school’s aim is to enable each child to reach their full potential in Art, through investigating and making, research and the development of skills and through the evaluation of their own artwork and that made by others. We aims to ensure that all pupils know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

At Greenfields we provide a broad, balanced and progressive music curriculum which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum where appropriate. We use North Tyneside Music online Charanga programme which is a 21st Century interactive ICT package to deliver music lessons in an innovative and engaging way. Year 4 children learn an instrument, such as ukulele, recorder or djembe drums as part of their music lessons. Each child is recognised as having different abilities and aptitudes. Children are encouraged to make individual progress during music lessons through a range of activities, irrespective of their starting level. As well as music lessons, children sing each week in assembly and as part of performances and productions.

Miss Taylor co-ordinates PE & School Sport and all children take part in competitive and non-competitive games each year across a variety of sports. Many children also become ‘Sports Leaders’ and play an active part in supporting others.

Mrs Rook is our RE co-ordinator. RE is taught throughout the school and follows the North Tyneside Agreed Syllabus for RE. The overall aim of the subject is to enable pupils to develop respect for different beliefs whilst providing them with the opportunities to develop and discover their own personal values. The curriculum reflects the fact that the UK is a multi-cultural society with Christianity as its main religion. The teaching of RE is both creative and varied. Approaches include food tasting, drama, visiting the local Church, exploring festivals through art, re-telling important stories and considering personal beliefs.

All teachers plan a range of artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities across the year so that learning in all areas is enriched.

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