Some examples of SMSC learning opportunities
Children and staff helped to spread a little kindness during our Kindness Day. This day was organised by our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and supporting adults as part of the Diana Award. Kindness day is carried out by schools nationally and will now be an event each year in Redwood’s diary.
On Kindness day we explored how small acts of kindness can have a huge impact on an individual’s life and self-esteem. We looked at how we can promote kindness and help to brighten up someone’s day, every day. Redwood’s pledge for Kindness Day was as follows: We pledge to show care, respect and kindness to each other. During the day the children took part in many activities such as: sharing and give a compliment parachute games; creating a class Kindness Web; giving each other special names; creating friendship flowers, designing a poster to promote kindness and giving each other compliments during the day. The children also spent time designing a Kindness Mascot and you can see the winning Kindness Mascots displayed on the wall at various places around school. The Upper KS2 children also completed some English work based around the book ‘Wonder’, by RJ Palacio. This book looks at a young boy who has a facial disfigurement. It explores how acts of Kindness can change feelings and stereotypes, helping to make people’s lives better.
During Kindness Day every child also had a Kindness day card. On this Kindness card every act of kindness was recorded and signed for by an adult. At the end of Kindness day, the child with the most recorded acts of kindness in each class won a small prize.
As part of our Kindness Day activities, we entered our school into the Kindest School in the UK competition run by the Diana Award. We were very happy when we received the news that we had won the title: The Kindness Day School Award 2016! You can find our certificate in the front entrance of the school. Due to our win, we had a visitor from the Diana Award organisation, who presented our certificate and gave us the news that we had won £500 worth of books for our school library. We also had a visit from Lincolnshire Echo!
Each year at Redwood we hold a British Values Day. This is a day where we focus on raising the children’s awareness of British Values and aim to develop their understanding of what it means to be British. As part of our British Values Day, we invite the children to come into school wearing the British colours: red, white and blue. During the day the children explore and develop a knowledge of the British Values and what they mean. The children explore the following values: mutual respect, the rule of law, democracy, tolerance and individual liberty. The children also explore how they are different and what makes them unique. We then link this to our British Value, tolerance. We discuss how being different is acceptable and how we should welcome and accept each other regardless of race, religion, gender or disability.
Our SMSC work links very closely to our Religious Education. As part of the Foundation and Key Stage 1 curriculum, the children learned about the Christingle Celebration. We were very lucky to be able to welcome our local Reverend into school to teach the children all about the Christingle event. The children discovered that the Christingle represents various things: the orange represents the world, the red tape represents Jesus’ blood, the 4 sticks represent the seasons, the fruit and good things of the Earth and the candle in the middle represents Jesus being the light of the world. As part of the children’s learning about the Christingle service and its representation, the children also found out about the good work the Children’s Society does to support young people using the funds made at Christingle services. Redwood helped to raise money for this important charity by inviting parents and carers to attend a carol/Christingle service at the Redwood Community Centre. The children’s Christingles were taken along and used within the service. All donations were gratefully received.
At Redwood we have our very own choir. We are very passionate about our music and the children enjoy taking part in various musical events across the year. The children have recently attended and taken part in the Christingle service where they were invited along with their families to sing carols and join in with the festivities.
Each year at Redwood we hold an Anti-Bullying Week alongside other schools in the country. This year the theme for the week was ‘Power for Good’. During the week the children undertook lots of different activities related to this very important issue. Anti-Bullying week was introduced during a whole school assembly at the beginning of the week. The children then explored the different types, signs and consequences of bullying within their classrooms. The children in Upper KS2 explored and discussed our Anti-Bullying policy and what it means for them. During the week, the children also explored ways to tackle and stand up to bullying and what they can do if they feel they are being bullied or notice someone else being bullied.
Anti-Bullying week is a great chance for our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors to promote their work. The Ambassador team delivered a whole school assembly on their role within school where they helped to address any misconceptions about what bullying is. The ambassadors also set the rest of the school a challenge - to design a poster that could be displayed around school to promote Anti-Bullying. The children in KS1 and above also had to design and create a brochure for parents to explain what bullying is and what Redwood does to help prevent or put a stop to it. Once the children had completed the two tasks, the Anti-Bullying Ambassador team then sorted through all of the entries and decided on winners. Small prizes were given out, and the winners’ work was framed and displayed around school. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors leaflet work was also combined to create a brochure which was sent out to parents. Look around our school and find the different posters and leaflets. They hold lots of important information and give you an insight into our work at Redwood.
As part of our Anti-Bullying Week work we also had Anti-Bullying Roadshows in school. These roadshows were age appropriate and helped to consolidate our learning throughout the week. For Reception and KS1 pupils, the roadshow looked at friendships through storytelling using puppets. The show was fun and engaging and showed a creative journey of sharing and discovery. The Lower Key Stage 2 pupils enjoyed an energetic roadshow exploring the topic of bullying, what it looks like and what the children can do about it, and also touched on internet safety and cyber bullying. The third roadshow was aimed at Upper Key Stage 2 pupils and was fun, energetic and creative. It included music, songs and dance. The children thoroughly enjoyed the fun and engaging way in which the roadshows were delivered, and finding out about the variety of strategies that can be used to address bullying, leading to greater empowerment. They were memorable and will not be forgotten anytime soon!
During Anti-Bullying week the children’s learning covers lots of important aspects of the PSHE curriculum. The children were able to cover lots of objectives linking to bullying, relationships and differences. SMSC comes hand in hand with the events that we run throughout the year, Anti-Bullying Week being one of the most important.
Each year Redwood takes part in Children in Need day. This year was no exception. The children participated in ‘The Big Spotacular’. The children dressed up in spotty clothes and brought in a small donation. The children also had a special visitor - Pudsey Bear! The children learned about where the donations/money would go and the good it would do for disadvantaged children.
Magical Maths has come to Redwood! The aim of this club is to develop the children’s mathematical thinking in a fun and stimulating way through puzzles and games. This club is being led by a range of interesting characters including Stately Holmes, Professor Poopenshtinken and The Mathemagician!
Our School Council is comprised of children from every class across Key Stages 1 and 2, and provides an ideal opportunity for pupils to get more involved in the way the school is run. The School Council benefits the whole school, pupils and teachers, because it provides opportunities for pupils to communicate their feelings as well as influence decisions that are made. Councillors develop skills such as confidence, communication and negotiation. It is the responsibility of each Councillor to ensure that they express both their own views and the views of all the other pupils they represent. Each year, the children in each class stand for election, six are shortlisted and a ballot is held, during which all children vote for their class councillors.
A range of opportunities are provided across the school year for children to show off their musical, artistic and creative talents. Children in Years 3 and 4 learn to play a stringed instrument and our talented singers attend the annual Young Voices event. Many children attend the art, drama or singing clubs, and every class has the chance to be involved in a Key Phase Assembly for parents, which highlights their learning in a fun and entertaining performance. Our Christmas performances feature singing, reading and acting and all children participate; those who love to be in the limelight really rise to the challenge, learning lines and singing solos, even in Key Stage 1!
All aspects of SMSC are promoted through our school assemblies. We follow a carefully planned timetable of themes that link closely with our PSHE curriculum. The themes of our assemblies allow the children to think and speak openly about their own beliefs, sharing their ideas on a number of important topics and issues. For example, they might consider changes that are happening in their own lives before thinking more about changes at a global level. They can experience the awe and wonder of their world, while learning about charities that help to preserve this. They consider what makes them experience different emotions and how these can be influenced by the behaviour of others, in turn encouraging them to reflect on how their own behaviour might affect others. They consider actions that can be taken when forgiveness is needed, and how to recognise and respond to incidents of bullying. Throughout the year, we recognise special events and festivals, including those of people with different beliefs to our own, and the children learn about how these are celebrated. Assemblies are also used as an opportunity to reflect on the reasons behind fundraising activities, the people who are helped as a result and how the money we raise might be used to improve other peoples’ lives.
Educational visits are a fundamental and crucial part of our curriculum at Redwood. They excite, motivate and challenge the children, building on what they are learning in school and opening up opportunities for new many new experiences and challenges. Whether it is a Reception trip to the farm or a 4-night, year 6 residential trip to PGL, the children gain rich and memorable experiences that expand their horizons, build their self-confidence and provide them with a sense of the wider world.
We take part in a range of fundraising activities during the school year. Our Friends of the School organise a number of activities, supported by children and parents. In addition to this, we participate in a number of national fundraising events, raising money for charities such as Children in Need, MacMillan, the Poppy Appeal, Sport Relief, the Shoe Box Appeal and Save the Children. We also support local charities; at our harvest celebrations, we collected food for the Community Larder, and we have also sent money to a local wildlife hospital. Although the children have lots of fun, often dressing up to raise money, they also gain important knowledge about diversity in our local and global communities and the difficulties, problems and issues that can affect people they know, as well as those living in other parts of the globe.
We currently hold Healthy Schools Status, which was re-accredited in November 2014. The feedback from our submission stated that, ‘Waddington Redwood Primary School very clearly places great emphasis on the physical and emotional health of its pupils. Children have opportunities to engage in a wide variety of activities within and after school that will help to improve their health and wellbeing. Your school appears to provide an environment where the success of children is celebrated and PSHE forms an important part of the curriculum’.
Each Year the Year 2 children learn about road safety through their Pedestrian Training sessions. The children take part in three sessions, the first of which teaches them the ‘theory’ behind keeping safe as a pedestrian, followed by an outing in the local area to practise what they have learned. The sessions are delivered by the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership. The children are very proud to receive their certificates at the end of their training, which are usually presented by our Junior Road Safety Officers.
During 2015-2016, Redwood took part in the Diana Award. The Diana Award is a legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. Redwood became a part of the Diana Award is 2015 when we introduced Anti-Bullying Ambassadors in school.
At Redwood we have six KS2 Anti-Bullying Ambassadors. These Ambassadors are responsible, along with selected adults in school, to help promote Anti-Bullying and tackle any incidences of bullying in school. Within our Anti-Bullying Ambassador team, we have two children selected to be our Anti-Bullying Ambassador Leader and a Deputy Leader. Our leaders have attended training alongside other Ambassadors from other primary and secondary schools. During the training the children were taught what is expected of them to fulfil their roles, taught the different types, signs and consequences of bullying and given the opportunity to share ideas on how to promote Anti-Bullying within school.
As part of their job role, our Ambassadors have a meeting every Friday lunchtime where any issues are discussed and dealt with. The Ambassadors have implemented a Pupil Anti-Bullying Policy, Bully and Sorry Boxes (where any issues or worries are posted or where any sorry notes can be put) and had a huge input in running our yearly events such as Anti-Bullying Week, Kindness Day, British Values Day and Children’s Mental Health Week.
Pastoral support is provided at Redwood when concerns are raised by parents, staff or children themselves, and many children need pastoral support at some time in their primary school. Our Head of Learning Support (HOLS) provides support in the form of weekly ‘check-ins’ with identified children, being present at meetings between staff and parents, or staff and children. Support is given according to need, and may involve specific programmes, raising awareness or providing strategies or advice. We recognise the challenges faced by families in the Forces, and ensure that support is in place to aid transition to our school, support while attending our school and transition to another school, should this be applicable. A weekly social circle enables children of Forces families to meet, share experiences and discus any concerns they have, and they can also attend an open chat room session hold on Wednesday lunchtimes, which is open to all children in the school. They also get involved in special activities such as the maintenance of the ‘garden areas’ in the school. Increased support is put into place at times when parents are deployed, including liaison with parents and carers. The forces group takes place one lunchtime each week, where children who have family members in the forces can create cards, themed presents, welcome home banners or just have a chat about any worries or feelings they may have concerning their absent family members. The majority of our forces families use this session and find is very useful to helping cope with their family circumstances.
In June, the school enjoyed another Mighty Me Week – with our focus being on Spirituality and sharing the whole school’s gifts and talents. We celebrated and gave time to be thankful for those people (both staff and children’s families) who have stepped through our doors in the past to make Redwood what it is today. We looked ahead at those who are yet to come too.
Each day had a different theme-
Monday : Talents and Treasures Day. We had a visit from Steve Gray, a freestyler footballer, who shared his gifts and talents. The highlight of the day was the parent and child masterclass he ran which was a joy to watch! Mrs Marriott- a parent- shared her Zumba skills. Mrs Maier and Mr Bracey- shared their arty talents including drawing whilst laying on a moving skateboard and Gizmo science lab wowed some classes too. All classes looked at the “treasure box” of talents they had together and realised Redwood can really be a mighty team!
The launch party kicked off with the whole school eating breakfast together too!
Tuesday: Awe and Wonder Day –this was a day to say “wow”. Gizmo science lab worked with more children the Y5/6 team learnt card tricks and were particularly amazed by Mrs Jones’s trick. Sunita Patel offered the Y5/6 children a “challenging stereotypes” workshop and worked with reception on a Hindu dance workshop.
Wednesday: Belief and Unity Day: The children had worked hard on a 2- day project with “I Sing Pop” and produced a concert in the afternoon for parents-sharing their gifts and talents. This brought a tear to the eye of many, as the beautiful singing uplifted us all. KS1 also had a recycled Olympics- learning from how children in Africa upcycle old bottles and plastic bags to make batons and footballs to play games with.
Thursday: Challenge and Inspiration Day. Here KS2 children chose a learning academy and worked with this all day. Mr Porter (our site manager) and his daughter led a fantastic drama academy, Mr Jones (a parent Governor) led an RAF challenge academy, some children went to the Tabby Road recording studio and recorded a CD with Mrs Nicholls. Energise led a dance workshop as part of our dance academy with a surprise visit from Mrs Smith-Wood (a former teacher) who led the afternoon. We had a sport academy using the facilities of our fantastic pool as well as a demonstration from Mr Potts (a parent) and his swords! The gorgeous pieces of art work found in our front entrance displaying the school values and collective worship themes were also created by children in the art academy and Mrs Lyons.
Foundation Stage and KS1 children triumphed over many challenges including a water challenge in the outdoor area with Miss Hall and a spaghetti and marshmallow challenge with Mrs Newboult!
Friday : This was our time to shine and peace and relaxation day.
The morning consisted of quiet meditation, mindfulness activities (whilst eating chocolate!) and reading of love scrolls that parents had kindly written for their children.
The afternoon was a celebration event, inviting local schools and feeder nurseries. Parents and family and friends also joined us on the field in the bright sunshine. Miss Smith, Mrs McWatt and Miss Young also took part symbolising the gifts and talents of staff who remain part of our family even though they have moved on.
The parent and staff community choir had been practising for months and opened the event with a fantastic rendition of “One Call Away” by Charlie Puth. Each setting released balloons symbolising our hopes and dreams as the children sang the song “Believe”.
And finally…..We ended Mighty Me Week with a camping event where over 200 people slept the night on the school field in tents and caravans. This was supported so well and the entertainment was provided by Mr Bonnett (a parent) and his fantastic band. As they started to play in the open air- a rainbow appeared in the sky too. Wow! Just amazing to be there and part of such a happy camping experience. After bacon butties the following morning, everyone went home.
Our main aim of Mighty Me Week is to enjoy and inspire children and their families. To give everyone time and space to think and be thankful. At our school we have so many amazingly gifted and talented people and this week would not have been such a success without the hard work of everyone who gave “from their soul” in such a whole hearted way.
Thank you. Mrs Jones (RE- Coordinator).
The children in Reception and KS1 had an exciting Dinostar workshop which helped to consolidate their learning in regards to their Dinosaur topic at the beginning of the year. The workshop was interactive and the children enjoyed this conclusion to the topic. The children were able to handle real dinosaur fossils and explore a close-up model of a skeleton of a T-Rex’s head! What an amazing experience considering they are extinct!
We have recently been very fortunate to welcome an author into school to spend the day with us. Karen McCombie spent a day sharing her experiences and ‘tricks’ for creative writing with the children. She delivered two assemblies - one for Reception and KS1 and the other for KS2. During her assemblies she read extracts from her books, spoke about her life as a child and shared how she became a famous author. The children in Year 5 and 6 also had writing workshops with Karen, where they explored how to use different writing styles to help keep the reader engaged and interested in their writing. A selection of The children had the chance to purchase some of Karen’s books, which she personally signed, an amazing opportunity for our pupils. She inspired, motivated and encouraged our children to be passionate and creative with their writing. What a super way to help promote the children’s social and spiritual development!