WHAT MAKES AN EDUCATE TOGETHER SCHOOL DIFFERENT?
In an Educate Together school our ethical education curriculum underpins all of our teaching and learning; this is delivered in addition to the National Curriculum. This program is called the 'Learn Together' Curriculum and is published by Educate Together. It defines the core values of all teaching and learning in the school. It is subject to continuous review and development in our schools and decisions to change are made at Annual General Meetings of the sponsor.
THE 'LEARN TOGETHER' CURRICULUM
The Curriculum is divided into four strands: Moral and Spiritual Development, Justice and Equality, Ethics and the Environment and Belief Systems. The Curriculum addresses the Educate Together ethos and it is here that the values of the school are articulated and explained in greater depth.
EQUALITY AND JUSTICE
The aim of this strand is to develop in children a critical knowledge, understanding and awareness of issues relating to human rights, equality, culture and diversity, social justice and social inclusiveness and to empower them to make a difference.
ETHICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The school develops in children a knowledge, appreciation and respect to their environment to empower them to take an active role in its stewardship. The environment is defined to include concepts of social, economic, political and environmental sustainability. Children will study environmental and social issues in their local community, as well as on a global scale, and take appropriate action.
MORAL AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
The aim is to help children develop a critical knowledge, understanding and awareness of right and wrong. Teachers aim to develop a strong awareness of social, ethical and moral standards through reflecting on the meaning and purpose of life. The strand should encourage and develop the individual on their journey to inner discovery and empower the child to make informed moral choices.
This strand explains and explores the major belief systems and life stances in the world; teaching children about all faiths and non-faiths, identifying similarities and differences to their own life experiences whilst building respect for all beliefs. This enables all children of varied backgrounds to feel like a valued part of the school.
It is normal that the events and ideas in the Learn Together curriculum become integrated into the whole school program, involving drama, art, music, history and geography and also in many cases, parental and community participation. This may mean exploring wider cultural themes such as cuisine and family celebrations. The range of such activities within an individual school will be determined through careful consultations with the school community. The educational aim of this work is to model positive information about the diversity of humanity in a respectful atmosphere, which highlights rights and responsibilities.
CONSEQUENCES OF THIS TYPE OF CURRICULUM:
When this model of school ethos is conscientiously implemented, no child is ever placed in a position in which they feel themselves an outsider in the school program because of their family or individual identity. The approach minimises the situations in which parents or children feel they need to remove themselves from aspects of school life.
It maximises the schools ability to address the religious rights of all families with out favour or discrimination.
Educate Together schools promote an approach to education which is based on the core values of mutual respect, self-esteem, dignity and critical awareness.
The approach taken to ethical education in Educate Together schools aims to directly promote the life skills that are essential to a generation of children, growing up into a diverse and varied social environment. Their adult experience will be genuinely global in scope.
To find out more please click here for our 'What is an Educate Together School?' booklet.
Taking care of our school environment
The children have been actively looking for rubbish within our school grounds and have been sad to find so much! Tash decided as they were so interested to read the story ‘Hello Mr World!’ and the children then thought about what they could do to help. One child suggested to make posters so they went to collect rubbish in our school grounds and created posters to encourage others to stop dropping litter.
Carve a Heart
Bumble Bee class had a pumpkin and they thought about all of the ways we use pumpkins. Emma showed the children a video of people who don’t have all of their rights met. We then thought about carving a heart in our pumpkin and what we would hope for all of the people in our world.
World Food day
The focus of World Food Day this year is Global Hunger. Bumble Bee class know that everyone has the right to food and were sad to find that not everyone the world has food. The children are currently collecting food to donate to our local food bank. We hosted a World Food Cafe to celebrate all of the delicious food from our families home countries.
World Habitat Day - 1st October 2018
World Habitat Day’s focus this year was Waste Management. The children thought about different habitats and who lives in these habitats. They looked at images of habitats which were polluted by waste and considered how this could be changed. The children then went out into our environment to ensure that waste was not destroying the habitats of creatures on our school grounds. They collected the waste and then ensured that this was disposed of in the correct recycling bin.
Macmillan coffee morning
The children have been learning about charities and how we can support charities in their work. They decorated cakes and biscuits ahead of our coffee morning and their families joined us to raise over £30 for Macmillan. Thank you to all those who joined!
International Day of Peace
To celebrate International Day of Peace we enjoyed reading ‘The Peace Book’ and thought about what makes us feel peaceful. We spoke about Peace being a good thing and how we could make our classroom and our school a peaceful place. The children helped us to write a Peace recipe and thought of all the ingredients we should include, we had great fun baking and eating our ‘Peace cake’!
International Day of Democracy
Article 12 - You have the right to your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously
For International Day of Democracy the children learnt about voting. They looked at the new library designs and spoke about the designs and features that they liked. Tash was only going to let the boys vote, but the girls didn’t think this was fair so they persuaded her to let everybody vote. All of the children in Bumble Bee class voted on ballot paper for which design they preferred, before putting it in the Ballot box.