Universal Children’s Day 2020
On Friday 20th November, Juniper children celebrated Universal Children’s Day. Each phase was part of an assembly with another school that focussed on a different area of SMSC&D, discussed children’s rights and explored how these were exercised. During each assembly the schools also joined together to perform the signed version of the song ‘Believe’. Bronte from Woodpeckers recognised the significance the song had in regards to Universal Children’s Day. He perfectly summed up that the important messages behind the song were about empowering all children to believe that anything is possible for them and that regardless of their background, all children should be treated fairly and have a right to be loved and cared for in order to be able to achieve their best.
Year 1 and 2 were joined by Hamilton Academy and the children beautifully shared how some of their peers celebrated Christmas. The teachers from both schools were really proud of how attentively the children listened to each other. From the work carried out this week, it was clear to see that they had learned a lot about how some children at Hamilton celebrate Diwali and Eid. The Year 2 children have made some beautiful Mehndi patterns and Year 1 have designed some lovely Diya lamps for their new friends. The children at Hamilton Academy are busy designing some Christmas ornaments for our children and some are even creating festive decorations for us. We cannot wait to receive these.
The Year 3 and 4 children discussed the importance of coming to school after exploring their right to Education. Leo, Isla, Cora and Megan expressed their thoughts on what rights are, why we have rights and why coming to school is important to them. They bravely stepped up to share with the children at St. John Fisher from Tameside in Greater Manchester. The Year 3 and 4 classes at St. John Fisher loved hearing what our Juniper children had to say and our children enjoyed hearing their thoughts too. These classes across both schools have been working on posters to send to each other in the hope that we can learn more about the similarities and differences between our schools. The children already have so many questions they wish to ask each other and are keen to meet again soon. Before ending this assembly, Amelia bravely came to the front to share why she enjoyed signing the song so much and said that, ‘When we switch the sound off, it is the same as what I hear when I remove my hearing aid,’. She showed a lot of maturity and independence and we really valued her contribution.
The Year 5 and 6 assembly was essentially led by our children. Kathryn and Michael both bravely shared their thoughts on different matters and should be proud of the clarity in which they expressed themselves. Lena shared the importance of having rights that protect children and explained that as well as a human’s basic need to food and shelter, children have extra fundamental needs to be loved and nurtured throughout their growth. Charlie explained how he exercises his right to be able to freely express his thoughts and opinions and gave a rather impressive account that was articulated beautifully. Juniper Hill is very fortunate to have such role models within our school. The children were joined by The Walk Academy in Nakura, Kenya. After joining together to sign ‘Believe’, the children from The Walk Academy powerfully sang ‘You Raise Me Up’ which for some of us, was quite emotional. Shelia and Martin from The Walk let us know why they value their education so much and shared their dreams of becoming doctors when they are older. Their new friends at Juniper wish them both the best and are excited to learn about all the other children within the class when the schools have the opportunity to send work over to each other. A big thank you to Mrs. Marriott whose amazing work in supporting The Walk Centre meant that she was able to help facilitate the liaison between Juniper Hill and The Walk Academy. Mrs Parry said that in all her years of teaching, this was one of the biggest highlights of her career.
The children in Year 3, during their Life Skills lessons, thought about what it means to be a good friend and to be kind and respectful. Here are some of their ideas.
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
At Juniper Hill these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our school council and pupil questionnaires. Children are elected onto our school council by their peers. Our school behaviour policy involves rewards which the school council have voted on and agreed after consulting children in their class.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are encouraged to come up with their own classroom codes of conduct which allow discussion of right and wrong each year. Pupils will also be involved in the revision of the school behaviour policy.
Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through a provision of a safe environment and empowering education.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and we advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices. Wherever possible we give pupils choices when their behaviour is challenging, explaining the consequences of their choices and encouraging them to take the better option.
Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around core values such as ‘respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown. In a school with a higher than usual number of children with physical difficulties, all pupils become aware early on in their school careers that although we are all different, we are all equally valued. Posters around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our school rules, class rules and expectations as well as our behaviour policy.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. Pupils also participate in cultural themed days e.g. Diwali and Chinese New Year.