Life in Modern Britain

At Newsham Primary School we fully recognise our responsibility to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain by promoting and teaching pupils about ‘British Values’, which the government defines as:

·         democracy

·         rule of law

·         individual liberty

·         mutual respect

·         tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

The values listed above are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE) including Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Education (SMSC) and Religious Education (RE).  We also teach the British Values through our “7 R curriculum (Respect, Reflective, Resilience, Reasoning, Relentless, Resourceful, Responsible), which impacts on the values and behaviour of all pupils and staff.  Finally and fundamentally, preparation for life in modern Britain is underpinned through careful planning and delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum.

Newsham Primary School takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our daily assemblies/collective acts of worship and through our whole school systems and structures.  These are all underpinned by our school vision and code of conduct, which also consolidate British values.

Newsham Primary School is committed to challenging pupils, staff or parents/carers expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Democracy is an important value, which is instigated at regular intervals at Newsham Primary School.  Our Junior Leadership Team (JLT) is democratically elected through class nominations.  Subsequently, pupils in each class are given regular opportunity to express their personal views and opinions to their elected JLT representative and where appropriate these are conveyed in wider JLT meetings.  Any pupil or member of staff can bring an item to be placed on the agenda for discussion at JLT meetings but the key focus areas are school priorities, supporting charities and school improvement.

In addition to the opportunities created by the JLT, pupils are chosen, nominated or elected to other positions responsibility at class or team level.  Our pupils take responsibility very seriously and demonstrate our “7R values” as they carry out their roles around school.

At a wider level, pupils are encouraged to understand the basic political framework and associated election process in the UK.  This includes understanding the main political parties and how Government works. In 2014, our oldest pupils considered democracy in light of the Scottish referendum and the whole school will be developing an understanding of the general election as we move towards voting on 7th May 2015.

At Newsham Primary School, 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.  Our pupils quickly learn the difference between right and wrong.  They are given choices and if they make the wrong choice, considerable time in spent discussing the consequence of their actions and their personal responsibility to make the right choice.  Equally, everyone involved in the life of Newsham Primary School is regularly reminded about our collective responsibility to make our organisation the best it can possibly be in every respect.

Our Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning syllabus (SEAL) is implemented as a whole school programme and includes a focus on citizenship, school rules and behaviour expectations. All of the children are expected to sign and adhere to the Home/School Agreement included in planners, which amongst other things reminds them of our expectations for behaviour in and around 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 and other public services help reinforce this message.

Whole school assemblies are used effectively to consolidate the ethos of our school, reinforce expectations and celebrate success in relation to work, behaviour, code of conduct and the exemplification of our 7R curriculum.  Our pupils respond very effectively to our clear and consistent expectations, our belief in their ability to succeed in all areas of development and the “care with conviction” displayed by all adults.

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at Newsham Primary School.  They know 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 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 initiated learning, which is particularly evident in our EYFS.  Designated individual reflection time has also been introduced throughout school to enable pupils to reflect on learning feedback and instigate a learning response in their books.

Respect is a commonly understood word that is frequently referred to within our 7R curriculum.  Respect, alongside the other six R qualities determines the attitude and behaviour of everyone involved in the life of Newsham Primary school.  Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way.  Our 7R curriculum is highly visible around the school and is a regular feature of our whole school assembly each week.

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. Bede’s Church and Rev. Richard visits school on a regular basis to discuss main Christian festivals. Children also have the opportunity to visit St. Bede’s to see the workings of a Christian Church.

Our assembly programme includes consideration of many 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.  Our assemblies also provide an additional opportunity to explore prejudices and intolerance.  These issues are followed up by learning in RE and PSHE.  Any concerns raised about lack of tolerance or respect for others on school premises, are followed up stringently.

We use opportunities such as the Olympics and the World Cup to study and learn about life and culture in other countries.  Equally we use the experiences of pupils at our school and visits by staff and pupils to other countries to extend understanding in this area of the curriculum.

Children are encouraged to look after the premises and contents at Newsham Primary School and to see the link between finance and material possessions. The 7R curriculum helps to foster the positive skills and attitudes that we expect from all our pupils.

Pupils learn about key figures in history, who have contributed to positive changes to society and consider how they can emulate these ideas. Pupils have many opportunities to learn about Great Britain and the wider world around us.

Older pupils are encouraged to support younger pupils and our Y5 and Y6 pupils wear grey and black sweatshirts respectively, which means that younger pupils have a visible point of   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 Hollyoak House, our local sheltered accommodation.

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

A 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.

We have planned our curriculum carefully to include study about our local heritage. Pupils visit Blyth Battery, Wallington Hall, Alnwick Castle amongst other places and a full list of our educational visits is available from the Headteacher on request.

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 Blyth battery.

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

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. Davison is our subject leader for Art at Newsham Primary School. 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.

Mrs. Wilson is our subject leader for Music at Newsham Primary School.  We provide a broad, balanced and progressive music curriculum which is integrated into other areas of the curriculum where appropriate. We use Northumberland’s music service on a regular basis and have provide whole class ukulele tuition. 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.  We also have an active choir at Newsham Primary School and will have the opportunity to sing with other schools at The Sage Gateshead on 13th July 2015.

Mrs. Callan is our subject leader for PE across school.  All pupils take part in competitive and non-competitive games each year across a variety of sports.  As our pupils get older this includes an increasing number of offsite opportunities that includes competitions with other schools.  Newsham Primary School is part of the Blyth and Bedlington School Sports Partnership, which helps to facilitate many opportunities across PE and Sport.  Finally, within school some of our pupils have been assigned the role of Play Leader and play an active part in supporting others at lunchtime.

Miss. Fogarty is our subject leader for RE.  RE is taught throughout the school and follows the Northumberland 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.