At Merryhills, we are fortunate in having a diverse population which adds richness to our school community. Whilst we celebrate our differences, we also recognise that one thing which is common to all of us is that we live in Britain. As such we recognise the importance of promoting fundamental British Values. We promote these values through our own school values, curriculum and enrichment activities.
Children have the opportunity to share their views, opinions and suggestions through our elected School Council. Children are involved in an electoral process that mirrors society when selecting the school council members. The School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised in class and to ensure the voice of the pupils are heard. Additionally, the school council play a vital role in the recruitment of new staff members, meeting with them and asking pertinent questions; their final reflections contribute to the overall decision-making process.
Our subject leaders carry out pupil conferencing to support their evaluation of the taught curriculum and ensuring depth and coverage is right. Children take other questionnaires, such as behaviour questionnaires to help analyse and enhance key areas in the school.
Children contribute In the delivery of Philosophy for Children (P4C), children learn that their ideas have value, and that the ideas of other children have value too. Through P4C, they realise that they don’t always have to be right, but instead they gain the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion. Inter school debating is a key element of our P4C curriculum.
The Rule of Law
Our three rules of 'Ready', 'Respectful' and 'Safe', helps keep Merryhills a happy place to be. Year 4 Pupil
Children are introduced to our three rules, 'Ready', 'Respectful' and 'Safe', from Early Years, developing an understanding of the importance of laws in a fair and just society. Rules are discussed both in class and assemblies and the concept of fair play is promoted in Physical Education lessons. Children understand that they have a responsibility to follow the three rules of the school.
Children are taught the value and reasons behind laws/rules, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws/rules are broken.
Our RSHE curriculum and assemblies teach children about trust, respect and honesty. We encourage children to develop a strong sense of morality; knowing right from wrong and doing the right thing even when it’s difficult.
Pupils follow a trauma informed behaviour policy and clearly understand the rewards and sanctions that are used.
We have strong links with the local police officer/PCSOs who visit the school to talk to the children and explain about their role in society. Part of gaining our TFL stars, was encouraging the children to take part in reinforcing the traffic laws outside our school gates. An area in which we are passionate about and continue to work on in order to ensure children arrive and leave school in a safe environment.
Children are encouraged to have high aspirations, to make choices and to participate fully in the opportunities that our school offers. We strive to ensure that children can enjoy and achieve in all aspects of school life regardless of any barriers that they may face. Children are regularly taught strategies to keep themselves safe, this includes teaching the children an understanding of the terminology 'consent' as well as recognising appropriate boundaries and that each person's body belongs them through the NSPCC's PANTs guidance/lessons. The following video can be used to further support the understanding of the word consent in various contexts:
They are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely for example through our Computing and RSHE lessons.
To ensure that children understand how to show respect for themselves, for others, for the rules of the school and society, respect is one of our core values. It is important that our children show respect for all members of their community, including those who are different to them in terms of age, needs, beliefs, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and culture. Global awareness is integral to our whole school curriculum and provides children with the opportunities to explore key issues as well as challenging stereotypes and other preconceptions in society. Children are exposed to a vast range of enriching texts and are introduced to role models from a range of backgrounds.
Specific assemblies are delivered focusing on helping other pupils to understand specific special needs e.g. Anti-Bullying and Autism Acceptance assemblies.
At the beginning of each year, children across the school are involved in an 'identity' topic that enables them to embrace their identity as individuals as well as their collective identity as a class. Each year group uses a selected text to stimulate their discussions and elements of exploration.
In our multi-cultural school, children learn about and celebrate different cultures and faiths through Identity Week, our whole school unit on migration, Spanish lessons, weekly assemblies, Religious Education lessons as well as our Merryhills' Cultural Calendar of events. The calendar throughout the year aims to allow classes to authentically experience specific religious festivals, through reading traditional tales, hearing about traditions firsthand, tasting foods or simply creating craft linked to special religious events. Opportunities to learn about the lives and beliefs of other cultures and faiths are taught through the whole school's diverse curriculum.
Assemblies and Anti-bullying week are further opportunities to address prejudice and its effects on society and individuals.
We welcome parents from different cultures and faiths to share their knowledge and experience with us in class, assemblies and special events.