The Pupil Voice is firmly embedded in the ethos of our school, and the children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. Our School Council is just one example.
School Council elections are held at the beginning of each year and all children in Years 1 to 6 are invited to stand. A councillor is elected from each class to represent the opinions, suggestions and issues raised by the class. School Council meetings are held twice a term and are led by councillors from Year 6. In addition, the council is divided into sub-committees which meet termly to discuss issues, conduct surveys, plan fundraising events etc.
Thomas Gamuel Primary School has already gained the Recognition of Commitment (ROC) and Level 1 towards the UNICEF Rights Respecting School (RRSA) Award. Each year, the children decide on their “class charter”, as well as the rights associated with these, and all children contribute to the drawing up of the charters.
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 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 and Fire Service help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices and take responsibility for these choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we have a responsibility to provide boundaries and safety for children through rules and regulations but also to give our children opportunities to make mistakes and to learn from their experiences.
Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and advised how to exercise these safely, for example, through e-safety lessons.
Whether it be through their choice of learning challenges, how they record a piece of learning, or through participation in our range of extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Through our ‘Thomas Gamuel Five Ways’, children develop core values, (Respect, Responsibility, Aspiration, Honesty and Kindness). We encourage a community spirit and sense of belonging, where children show respect for each other, understand differences, and have a very clear sense of right and wrong. Children learn that their behaviour impacts on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect.
When children leave Thomas Gamuel, they do so not only as enthusiastic and learners but also as responsible and caring young people with an understanding of their role as part of a community.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Thomas Gamuel Primary School is situated in a very culturally diverse area, and there is a strong history and philosophy within the school of celebrating cultural diversity. Our programme of assemblies addresses understanding and acceptance of different faiths and beliefs through stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Religious Education (RE), Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and RRSA teaching reinforces this. In RE lessons, members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school, and classes visit places of worship that are important to different faiths.
Open evenings, termly productions and Diversity Month, together with annual events such as Fireworks Night and the Summer Fete are just a sample of some of the significant dates in the school calendar, which are always well supported and enjoyed by pupils, families, staff and members of the wider community.
At Thomas Gamuel Primary School, we have a commitment to actively challenge pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.
Pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities make similar progress to others from their starting points. Their needs are accurately and promptly identified
Ofsted report, October 2016