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.
Article 29: Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
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.
Eid - June 2019
Article 14: Every child has the right to think and believe what they want to and to practise their religion, as long as they are not stopping other people from enjoying their rights.
Article 30: Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, regardless of whether these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.
To celebrate the end of Ramadan, Bumble Bee class hosted an Eid celebration for our families. They learnt that some Muslims have new clothes to celebrate Eid and share lovely foods with their families and friends. The children and some of their parents provided a range of foods which they traditionally share during Eid celebrations, the food was delicious!
World Bee Day - 20/05/19
Article 29: Your education should help you to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
For World Bee Day the children in Bumble Bee class planted seeds and began to build a bee house to help protect the bees. Some ideas for things to do at home to help protect our bees can be found at the following websites:
International Day of Families - 15/05/19
Article 9: You have the right to live with a family who cares for you.
We recognised International Day of Families by discussing what is special about our family and how we enjoy spending our time with them.
International Day of Happiness - 20/03/19
As our value for March is happiness we celebrated International Day of Happiness and thought about ways to spread happiness and make others happy. Bumble Bee class made labels which they tied onto daffodils before going out into the local community to hand deliver them to local residents and community members.
Comic Relief - 15/03/19
Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind. Article 24: You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well. Article 38: You have the right to protection and freedom from war. Children under 15 cannot be forced to go into the army or take part in war.
We took part in Red Nose day, wearing red for the day, having a cake sale and donating money to Comic Relief. The children learnt about the work Comic Relief does and found out about Farhad’s story. The children were sad to find out that not everyone’s rights are met but were happy to learn that the money we raised could help. Together with donations from the children, their families, the staff and The Hub we raised £69.50.
Looking after our environment - Litter Picking
Article 24: You have the right to a clean and safe environment. Article 29: Your education should help you to protect the environment.
The children have been thinking about keeping our environment clean and free of rubbish to help protect the world and keep the animals safe. As our new litter pickers arrived, the children and staff went out to collect litter in our school environment. They were horrified about the amount of rubbish and were sad that animals could get trapped in some of the larger pieces of rubbish.
Chinese New Year 2019
Article 13: You have the right to find out things and share what you think with others. Article 14: You have the right to choose your own religion and beliefs.
Bumble Bee class enjoyed a day of learning about Chinese New Year. They thoroughly enjoyed a range of activities with parents and staff including; making lanterns, learning a dragon dance, creating dancing dragons and spin drums. They tasted some delicious Chinese food from the HUB cafe and had students from Prior Park College visit to talk about how they celebrate Chinese New Year and teach them how to write numbers in Chinese. A fantastic day learning about how some people celebrate Chinese New Year!
Safer internet day 2019
Article 16: You have the right to privacy. Article 24: You have the right to be safe.
We had an assembly to think about Safer Internet day. The children thought about what they use at home to go on the internet, to play games or read etc. We shared the story of Zap and Zoom and thought about how to stay safe online. The children learnt to always ASK an adult and to never talk to people that they don’t know.
Martin Luther King Day
Article 2: All children have rights. No child should be treated unfairly.
We had an assembly to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. The children were separated by skin colour, hair colour, gender etc. and told they weren’t allowed to play together - this made them feel sad and they didn’t think this was fair. We then found out about Martin Luther King’s dream, for all people to be treated equally.
In class, Bumble Bee class had a discussion and thought about their dreams for the world.
Taking care of our school environment
Article 24: You have the right to a clean and safe 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
Article 42: You have the right to know your rights! Adults should know about these rights and help you learn about them, too.
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
Article 24: You have the right to nutritious food.
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
Article 24 - You have the right to the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
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
Article 19: You have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
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.