We are continuing to hold a GBA Actioneers meeting where we discuss a different question each week. Through our discussions we explore British Values, areas within the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural framework and how together we can further improve Gipsey Bridge Academy for the whole school community.
This year we have added a session for Reception and Key Stage One, the initial discussion and questions are adapted so that they are age appropriate.
Are celebrations important?
All of the children agreed that celebrations were important. Many felt that without them they would have nothing to look forward to within the year, that it was an opportunity to get together with family and friends and they reflected our beliefs.
How do the pictures make you feel?
'Happy' - lots of children said the pictures made them feel happy.
'Remind me of the Christmas spirit, it's not all about getting, it's all about giving.' Samuel in Year 2
'Christmas, different presents.' Chloe in Year 1
'Really, really happy.' Jack in Reception
When do we celebrate?
The children listed: Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, Mother's day, Father's day, fireworks, parties and Easter.
Anna in Year 2 stated, 'There's a celebration in France for freedom.'
Are celebrations important?
All of the children agreed that they were.
'You're kind and give presents.' Isabella in Year 1
'They're fun.' Brooke in Reception
The children impressed me with how sensibly they sat and listened to me, to others and thought carefully about what they wanted to say. Reception have only been in school eight days, yet they sat in a different classroom, with a teacher they are less familiar with and were fully engaged with the session. It was an excellent start to GBA Actioneers in Reception and Key Stage One; I can't wait to find out what they think about others things to do with the world around them and their suggestions for how we can improve Gipsey Bridge Academy!
KS2 27th September 2016
We discussed the changes to the 2001 and 2011 census and the meaning behind the poem The British by Benjamin Zephaniah before asking the question: What does being British mean to you?
Take some Picts, Celts and Silures
And let them settle,
Then overrun them with Roman conquerors.
Remove the Romans after approximately 400 years
Add lots of Norman French to some
Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously.
Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,
Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,
Vietnamese and Sudanese.
Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, Nigerians
Combine with some Guyanese
And turn up the heat.
Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians,
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with some
Afghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, Japanese
Then add to the melting pot.
Leave the ingredients to simmer.
As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourish
Binding them together with English.
Allow time to be cool.
Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,
Serve with justice
Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.
Warning: An unequal spread of justice will damage the people and cause pain. Give justice and equality to all.
What does being British mean to you?
I think being British means being friends and being proud of yourself. Ellie-Mae in Y3
I think being British means being proud of who you are and respecting other people. Lily-Grace in Y6
Living in Britain means that you get to have a very successful life and we are also very lucky. Joe in Y5
I think being British means being proud and drinking tea even though I was born in Cyprus I am British inside. Reuben in Y4
It means to me being proud of having such a well looked after country. Ollie in Y6
I especially love the British because we have royalty and look up to the royal family plus I have two cups of tea everyday! David in Y5
You don't have to be born in Britain to be British. Josh in Y3
Being British means being respectful. Rhianna in Y4
Being British means to me that we are very lucky. Olivia in Y3
Living in Britain means that we are lucky because there are no floods and we have food to eat. Tyrell in Y4
Being British to me means that we are all equal. Archie in Y6
Being British means that I can go to school. Alfie in Y3
Being British means that you're proud to be free and you get to choose your way of life. Freedom! By Faith in Y6
Being British means I belong to something. McKenzie in Y4
Reception and KS1 - 29th September
We had some super responses to the question 'What does being British mean to you?' We discussed where we live and where Britain is.
Children's responses to the question 'What does being British mean to you?':
Reception: we speak English
Year One: we are strong
Year Two: we are special
Reception: different colour faces
Year One: the steering wheel is on the right
Year One: we all have different hair
Year Two: we have different accents
Key Stage 2 - 4th October
Children were able to identify who was in the picture and that the crowd were taking selfies.
Questions they wanted to ask were:
Why are they taking selfies?
Why aren't they listening to somebody who is running for President?
What is Hilary thinking?
Do they realise that they are being rude?
We discussed the above news release which states that 15 million people have their sleep disrupted due to phones, a third (5 million) check their phones at night and one sixth of them reply!
Pupils overall thought that phones were good if used correctly. Here are some of their responses:
You can socialise with people and make new friends. But times can come when you can get into trouble with them.
It is a good thing because you can talk to your mates when you come home from school.
If you use it in the right ways and not at night.
It is a good thing when you're communicating to someone far away on it but when you're actually with someone it's bad to ignore them.
When you get lost you can call your parents or your friends to help you find them. Also, you can text your friends to meet up and socialise. They are also a bad thing because some people take it too far and have an accident.
Reception and KS1 - 7th October
The children in Reception and key stage one were more willing to discuss the negative things about mobile phones! They thought there were good and bad because you could use them to phone people but they could cause accidents.
KS1 - 11th October
Today is the Day of the Girl and we started the session with the picture below:
We then asked the question: Are boys and girls equal?
Pupils were quick to say yes, we are all human and therefore all equal. However, we then moved onto are society's expectations equal. This was harder to answer and many felt that it was expected for a boy to love football and girls to love make-up. That a lady would be more likely to ask a man for help. We concluded that whilst boys and girls are equal we do have different expectations of them.
It was lovely to welcome two Governors from our Local Advisory Board to the session today. They were able to witness how we are encouraging pupils to question what they know, look at things from different perspectives and be able to raise different questions.
Reception and KS1 - 14th October
The question 'Are boys and girls equal?' was asked.
Reception immediately replied 'No' because they have different hair and clothes. It was then discussed how you could have boys with long hair and girls with short hair.
Year one thought they wore different clothes but boys and girls can both do cartwheels.
All children agreed that it was wrong to only be allowed to do something or have a particular job just because you were a boy or girl.
The children were shocked to learn that in some countries girls and boys had to wear certain clothes.
Key Stage 2 - 18th October
Yesterday was the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. (17/10/16) The theme for this year is Moving from humiliation and exclusion to participation: Ending poverty in all its forms. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to “end poverty in all its forms everywhere” explicitly recognizes that poverty results not from the lack of just one thing but from many different interrelated factors that affect the lives of people living in poverty. This means we must go beyond seeing poverty merely as the lack of income or what is necessary for material well-being — such as food, housing, land, and other assets – in order to fully understand poverty in its multiple dimensions. The theme this year – selected in consultation with activists, civil society and non-governmental organizations – highlights how important it is to recognize and address the humiliation and exclusion endured by many people living in poverty.
How can we help others out of poverty?
We discussed what the words 'eradication' and 'poverty' meant and why the theme for this year was focused on addressing the humiliation and exclusion endured by many living in poverty and what that meant. The children had some wonderful ideas and were able to recognise that whilst kind and generous, simply sending over food did not solve the problem nor did it empower those in poverty. Below are some of the children's responses to the above question:
Reception and Class One - 21st October 2016
How can we help others out of poverty?
We talked about feeling hungry and what poverty meant. The children agreed that they would like to help stop others feeling hungry. We thought about our Harvest Festival and the things that we had learnt then.
Year One responses:
Year Two responses:
Is it important that we know about other religious festivals?
'Yes because if you go to another country you may want to join in and show respect.'
'It is interesting to know so that you can compare it with your beliefs. We need to show respect of other festivals.'
'If you walked past a Hindu house and said why are they celebrating Christmas early that could be considered quite rude.'
'We need to know about other religions so if we want to change then we know what to do and what to include.'
'We think yes because if we know about it and respect it and let them take part in our religion, they might respect us back.'
'I think yes because we need to learn more about other people and their religions because we need to show respect.'
Reception and KS1 - 3rd November
The children asked the following about the picture:
The children all agreed that we should learn about other religious festivals. Sami thought it was important to because it is pretty. Emily felt it was important to other people to learn about their religion and Isabella stated that it was special; Phoebe agreed that it was important.
We began the session looking at the picture above which class three had seen before when we held the African Day in October. They could put the picture into context for class two and already had very strong feelings about it.
The children wanted to know:
We then moved onto Remembrance Day which we had discussed in assembly yesterday and the question:
Is it important that we remember?
The children unanimously felt we should and gave the following reasons:
'We think that it is important that we remember what has happened in the past even 100 years ago because they have sacrificed their lives for us.'
'It is important because if something bad happened we can remember and stop it from happening again.'
'We need to compare our lives and think about how lucky we are.'
It is important because if they didn't, we wouldn't be living a happy life like we are now.'
'Yes because they gave their future up for ours.'
'It is important that we remember people who gave up their future to give us a future so we must respect them.'
Reception and KS1 - 9th November
Is it important that we remember?
What is the poppy for?
'To remember people who died with lots of poppies.' - Y2
'I think that the poppy will help us to remember people who were killed that were innocent and that will stop people doing it again.' Y2
'We are remembering people that died.' Y1
The children asked lots of questions about the photo above:
We then moved onto the question Should we support charities? This fitted in beautifully with Children in Need taking place on Friday and yesterday, children from Class Three gave a talk about the charity they would like their House to support in the upcoming Christmas Fair. As always, the children discussed the question as a group before deciding on an agreed answer.
Reception and KS1
We talked about what a charity was, different types of charities and what they do. I am incredibly proud of the children's responses. What wonderful, caring adults they will become.
Should we support charities?
Yes because it can help people or animals that don't have homes.
I think yes because we are raising money to buy things they need.
I want to because we would make a donation and help them.
I think yes because if you think about it their life is harder and we can make it better.
We watched the programme on Newsround and then created a list of things that we could do to stop bullying.
Things I could do if I was being bullied:
Things I could do if I knew someone else was being bullied:
Before discussing what we could do it someone was bullying us, we talked about the difference between being rude, being mean and bullying.
The children said that if they were being bullied they could:
We then moved on to discuss what makes a good friend:
Anna summed up the session beautifully with:
We treat others as we want to be treated.
We discussed what human rights were and why they were important. Without further discussion, children were then given their question, asked to discuss it in their groups and then record their answer. We had the following responses:
In key stage two we had lots of ideas of why they were good but also that we needed to remember that the 1st of January was not the only time of year we could make changes!
'..... good because you can do think that you haven't done last year.'
'... if you choose an achievable goal.'
'... it's a fresh start and a chance to try to accomplish things you didn't achieve last year.'
'....no because it is bringing people away from making changes all of the time.'
Reception and Class 1 - 12th January 2017
Some thought new year's resolutions were good because:
'...they make you fit and healthy.'
'... if you lose weight you can do things you couldn't do before.'
'.. you can do more things.'
'...you can do anything you want to do.'
A few children thought they were not a good idea as you couldn't always try the new things you wanted to do, such as gymnastics or karate.
Before the end of the session we all thought of something we would like to do or get better at, this ranged from running faster, getting better at backstroke in swimming to making sure that their writing makes sense.
Lots of discussion took place today - from integrity is what you do when no-one is watching, what motivates people like Martin Luther King, to what we want others think about us when they meet us for the first time.
We had some well thought out responses to the question:
'You should take risks because they can change lives for the better.'
'Yes because if at the end of the staircase you get something rewarding, you'll feel proud in yourself., if you don't, you'll have the courage to keep going onto the next staircase.'
'Yes because it is good to take a risk and you get to experience new things.'
'Yes because if you strongly believe you should take a risk.'
'Yes because it's taking a risk and being adventurous when you don't know what's going to happen.'
'Yes because it might affect the world in a good way and encourage you to step even further.'
'Yes because you need to stand up for what you believe in.'
'Yes because it persuades us to do things that we are scared of.'
I am incredibly proud of the sensible and mature responses that were given today; well done GBA Actioneers!
Reception and Class one
The children all agreed that we should help others. Here are some of their responses:
'If someone was hurt it would be rude to leave them.'
'You could tell a grown up.'
'We can help people.'
'If somebody fell over it is kind to help them up and tell the dinner lady.'
We shared stories from Chinese New Year, a story from Lebanon (our link school had sent it to us) and George and the Dragon before talking about why we share traditional tales with young children. Here are some of the children's responses:
'They tell us to be kind because bad people get a lot of grief and bad things happen to those people as well as good people getting good things.'
'It is positive and good entertainment for little ones and we learn from these tales.'
'... helps youngsters to understand to do the right thing and not the wrong thing.'
'We learn about the world from fairy tales because there is normally a dilemma and then a happily ever after.'
'If you're good in the end you get a reward and if you're bad you won't.'
Reception and Class One
The children enjoyed talking about the stories they knew and they recognised that those who were kind were rewarded at the end of the story.
In response to the question: What, if anything, do we learn from traditional tales?
'To be kind to people.'
'It teaches you what can happen if you're kind or if you're greedy. If you're nice you get rewarded.'
'Be kind to each other.'
'They are entertaining.'
'We learn stories that have been told for lots of years.'
'We can be best friends and be kind to each other.'
What the children in Key Stage Two are proud of...
... my lego abilities because I'm good at building it.'
'... to be able to play football and to be good at it.'
'...I'm proud of when my mum passed away and the way I dealt with it.'
'... to ride my horse because I get lots of achievements from it.'
'... of my mum because she's always been there to encourage me and make me do the things I love. She's always made me take risks and if it wasn't for her, I would not be doing what I do now.'
'... my family because they help me through tough times.'
'... of building up my confidence to ride my horse.'
'...of looking after my cat when he got hit by a car.'
'...getting into silvers in swimming because silver is a pretty hard group and I have doing it for two terms now.'
'... having responsibility of having five bunnies.'
'... of doing the things that I could not do.'
'... of writing to Cancer Research and them writing back to me.'
'... painting my bedroom because it took three weeks.'
'... when I saw my new baby brother for the first time.'
'...when I did (swam) 60 lengths non stop.'
'... of learning CPR because it might save lives.'
'... getting my round off tuck in gymnastics.'
'... my football trophies.'
'... getting my first rugby medal.'
'... of getting star of the week because I worked very hard to get it.'
'... proud of getting my silver because I worked very hard to get it.'
'... of my singing because my parents help me get there and achieve it.'
We also took the question, 'What are you most proud of?', to our Trustees and Local Advisory Board members. Here are their responses:
'The thing I am most proud of is raising my 2 children and seeing what polite and happy young people they are becoming.'
'I am proud of how amazing my children are. I have strived to make sure their physical and mental needs are met so they can grow into adults able to live in an ever changing world.
So far, one has reached adulthood; two more to go!'
'I know it's going to be a very popular one but I really can't think of anything that I feel proud of more, and that's my children. I feel proud every time I look at them and hear them tell me about their days.
Even though they drive me insane some days there really isn't anything else that makes me more proud. Oh, other than when I manage to cook something and everyone eats it!!!!'
'I'm proud of our pupils. I'm proud of what we achieve as a small rural village school.
I'm proud of my son and daughter in everything they do.'
'I think one of the times I have had to be most resilient was when I was 17 on my 3rd attempt at my driving test in Skegness. I was very nervous prior to the test and wondering if I would ever pass but by keeping calm and after a lot of practice I thankfully did.'
Reception and Class One
What do you feel most proud of?
'Getting star of the week.'
'Riding my bike all by myself.'
'Swimming without armbands.'
'When maths is tricky and then I can do it.'
'Being able to do ballet moves.'
'Racing my remote control car all by myself.'
The children all felt negatively towards the man in the picture on the left and unanimously agreed that the man on the right was the most successful. They were surprised to discover that it was the same man in both photos!
When asked the question if stereotyping was harmful each group discussed their thoughts before writing an answer.
'It can come across as an insult but it can come across as a compliment sometimes. So yes, it is harmful.'
'Yes because you cannot judge by what they look like, it's what's inside.'
'No as long as you don't say it out loud because it could be offensive and not true. It is not possible to stop a first impression but you have to manage them.'
'Yes because if someone is judged it could make them feel bad about themselves. It is wrong to judge people by what they look like.'
'Yes because it's like you can't judge a book by its cover; you can't judge a person by their appearance.'
'Yes it is harmful because it could hurt their feelings and it is not right to judge someone by what they look like.'
'Yes because judging people by what they look like can sometimes be offensive.'
'Yes because they can hurt peoples' feelings and you can't judge a person by how they look on the outside you need to judge them for who they are.'
'Stereotypes are harmful because if someone judged someone else by how they looked it would hurt their feelings.'
'Sometimes it can be harmful but sometimes not harmful, it depends.'
When thinking about questions they could ask about the picture the children were quickly able to identify that the child whose book it is isn't being challenged enough by asking questions such as:
Are they being challenged?
Do they always get all of their calculations correct?
Do they find the calculations easy?
When thinking about their answers to the given question, all pupils agreed that making errors was a good thing.
'No because if you don't make any mistakes you won't learn and won't get anywhere in life. It's better to make mistakes, you learn more than if you get everything right.'
'No because you learn what you've done wrong so next time you can do it right and master the method.'
'No because you can learn from them and if you everything right you're not being challenged enough.'
Reception and Class One
Y1 - 'It helps you get better at your learning.'
Reception - 'It's okay to be wrong - a little bit wrong is okay.'
Rec - 'It's okay if you try.'
Y1 - 'You won't get through life if you don't get things wrong.'
Y1 - 'You're going to learn more things after.'
Y2 - 'It doesn't matter if you get things wrong, it just matters that you try.'
We all agreed that happiness was important and that different things made us happy. We also discussed how we did have some control over if we were happy or not and talked about how if you decide you are going to have a bad day this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Here are some of the children's responses:
'Happiness is important because if nobody was happy our lives would be miserable! Going to gymnastics and doing competitions makes me happy, especially if I get medals!'
'My friends, family and teachers make me happy.'
'My family makes me happy because they are loving and caring.'
'My cats make me happy because we play with them.'
'Having a laugh with friends and seeing them laugh when I tell a joke.'
'If there wasn't any happiness the world would be a dully and horrid place.'
'To improve happiness we could enjoy the simpler things in life.'
Reception and Class One
Elsie told us how being happy keeps us healthy which took us onto how having a healthy mind is as important as having a healthy body.
There were lots of different reasons given for what makes us happy from being bought toys, doing things we like and playing with our friends.
To makes us happy we had some wonderful suggestions: smile and laugh, play with our friends, do tricks and do things you like more.
With tests looming it was a hot topic and created lots of discussion. These were the things that children from Reception to Year Six felt that tests told others:
We agreed that when we do the tests the most important thing is we try our best.
Reception and Class One
I was incredibly impressed to discover that half of the class could identify Theresa May and two children knew who Jeremy Corbyn is. We talked about how Theresa May is like the Headteacher of the UK and they are having an election like we elect school councillors. We watched the short BBC news film on what the General Election is before considering the questions we would ask leaders of the political parties.
Here are some of the children's questions:
'Why do you want to be in charge?' Year One
'Are you going to give some money to charity?' Year Two
'Will you make more classes?' Year One
'What do you want to do when you're in charge of the country?' Reception
'Can you make more playgrounds?' Reception
'Are you going to give money to poor people?' Year Two
'Will you make more schools?' Year One
'Are you going to build more houses for people?' Year Two
'Are you going to make the whole of England better?' Year Two
Class Two and Three
'Are you committed?'
'What inspired you to become a leader?'
'Are you going to raise money for poor people?'
'Are you going to build more schools?'
'What plans do you have for the future?'
'Are you going to raise money for schools?'
'Are you going to give every homeless person a home, food and money to get their lives back on track?'
'Are you dedicated to your policies?'
'Why should we vote for you?'
Some great questions from children who may be too young to vote, but have a voice to be heard.
Reception and Class One
A small number of the children had heard about Europe and Brexit and we talked briefly about what it meant. We then related this back to school council elections and democracy. The children were able to confidently express their views when asked if I had voted for Mary Poppins to be in the School Council but Cinderella won the vote, would it be fair for me to be grumpy and not support her. Here are some of their responses:
Bonnie in year one, 'You don't always get your choice.'
Jack in Reception, 'You should feel happy and proud for them.'
Maddison in year two, 'If you don't help them the world won't get better.'
Maya in year one, 'You wouldn't be supporting the school.'
Chloe in year one, 'I want, I want doesn't get.' This is something mum says at home we are told!
Class 2 and 3
'You may get a better outcome by making a change. You also need to show respect for a democratic vote.'
'Yes you should support the other team if you didn't win, or, if you did win, you shouldn't brag about it.'
'Yes because you never know what will happen unless you try it. You might even prefer it to what you wanted.'
'Yes because if you don't win you should support the other people around you, if you won you would want other people to support you. You can't always win or get your own way.'
'You should be a good sport and support anyone who wins the vote because it's the right thing to do.'
'It isn't fair not to respect the winners' choice because it's a democratic vote. It's like sportsmanship.'
Key Stage Two
We discussed what Fair Trade is and why it is important before moving onto the questions of how we can be an Agent for Change.
'We could tell everybody about fair trade by putting up posters or leaflets so people know to buy the food with the sticker.'
'We can support fair trade by buying more fair trade products and informing others about it.'
Reception and Class One
All agreed that we should try to encourage people to buy fair trade products for the following reasons:
We need to be fair and share.
It will help the farmers by giving them money.
We give them a fair price because they're doing a job for us.
Class two and three
All pupils agreed that we should feel positive about differences, show respect and value them. Together we make a rich world. Education is key; pupils felt that we need to ensure that people understand different beliefs so that they are able to respect, accept and value them.
'We're all different people so you should just respect what other people believe instead of building a war'.
'We can promote it by using youtube because everyone has an electronic device'.
'You can promote this by showing the public, you can do TV adverts or put up posters so everyone can see it'.
You can make more people respect each others' cultures by spreading the word on the internet.
Make youtube videos asking people to respect cultural diversity for a better harmonious world.
It was a resounding yes in response to the question.
Chloe - if I bump into someone I say sorry.
Samuel - one person is quite amazing. It doesn't matter if we're different.
Lloyd - treat others as we wish to be treated.
Key stage two considered the same question. Here are a few of their responses:
'They would have their lives thinking that it's normal for children to do hard jobs. Also the impact would be they are not educated so when they grow up they can't get a job and then they won't earn any money which will limit their life choices.'
'The impact would be that no-one had any life skills so they wouldn't be able to do things such as simple maths. Then later on in life they wouldn't know much.'
'The choices you have in life would be taken away from you and you wouldn't be able to earn money for your family ... it would limit your job choices and you wouldn't earn enough money to help your family live.'
'It would limit your life choices.'
Class 2 and 3
It was wonderful that the lists the children created for the things that we have achieved this year were so long. Below are just a few of the events that the children listed:
Below are some of the things that children think would make GBA even better: