Community Cohesion

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BRITISH VALUES

 

 

Introduction

 

Loughton Manor First School promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, emotional, mental and physical development of our pupils and the wider school community. It prepares our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Our school is already a thriving, cohesive community, but it also has a vital part to play in building a more cohesive society.

 

We wish to show that through our ethos and curriculum our school promotes a common sense of identity and supports diversity, showing our pupils how different communities can be united by common experiences and values.

 

 

Community from our school’s perspective

 

For our school, the term ‘community’ has a number of dimensions including:

 

  • the school community – the pupils it serves, their families and the school’s staff;
  • the community within which the school is located – the school in its geographical community and the people who live or work in our area;
  • the community of Britain - all schools are by definition part of this community;
  • the global community – formed by EU and international links.

 

In addition, the school itself creates communities – for example, the networks formed by schools in development groups, such as our Denbigh partnership, at a local level, and on a global scale where we actively seek opportunities to work with international visitors and make links with educational establishments abroad.

 

 

Vision

 

Our vision at Loughton Manor First School is to recognise and celebrate the diversity within our catchment area and welcome the contributions which different groups and individuals make to the community. A key commitment of our school is to build and promote community cohesion within the school and wider community. Community cohesion incorporates and goes beyond the concept of racial equality and social inclusion. A cohesive community is one where:

  • There is a common vision and a sense of belonging for all communities
  • The diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued.
  • Those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities.
  • Strong and positive relationships are being developed between people from different backgrounds in school and within the neighbourhood.

 

Loughton Manor First School provides education for all children, acknowledging that the society within which we live is enriched by diversity. We strive to ensure that the culture and ethos of the school reflects the diversity of all members of the school community, where everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect and fairness. Pupils are provided with the opportunity to experience, understand and celebrate diversity.

We believe that all pupils, employees, parents, Governors and members of our local and global community should be treated with dignity and respect at all times.

 

 

Our Values

 

  • Diversity is a strength; having many different groups, cultures, and faiths in our society makes us stronger.
  • We all work together for greater respect and equality of opportunity between different groups, cultures, faiths and ages in our society.
  • The different groups, cultures, faiths and ages in our society benefit from meeting each other, listening to one another, and getting to understand each other more.
  • We all work to overcome disadvantage as it can be a barrier between communities.
  • Partnerships with parents, Governors and the wider community are essential to promote equality, diversity and community cohesion.

 

The health, well-being and cohesion of our local community are highly important to us as a school. By valuing diversity, we lead the way in outstanding practice and set an example for others to join us.

 

 

Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

 

Promoting community cohesion through teaching, learning and the curriculum is at the heart of our school. We ensure that we provide:

  • Lessons across the curriculum that promote common values and help pupils to value differences and to challenge prejudice and stereotyping – for example, opportunities in PSCHE/SEAL for pupils to discuss issues of identity and diversity and what it means ‘to live together in the UK’.
  • A programme of curriculum based activities whereby pupils’ understanding of community and diversity is enriched through visits and meetings with members of different communities.
  • Support for pupils for whom English is an additional language (EAL) to enable them to achieve at the highest possible level in English.
  • An effective voice and involvement of pupils in the governance and organisation of the school in a way that teaches them to participate in and make a difference in school, in their local community and beyond.
  • Opportunities for discussing issues of identity and diversity across the curriculum.
  • An international dimension to our curriculum planning and delivery.

 

 

Equality and Excellence

 

We strive to ensure that all our pupils achieve their potential, irrespective of ethnic, socio-economic, disabilities or other differences. It is a clear focus for our school and is an important aspect of promoting community cohesion. We are committed to narrowing, and ultimately closing, the gap between the progress and attainment of children from different backgrounds and their peers. Our school progress tracking systems help us to evaluate progress of different groups of children and to tackle underperformance by any particular child, irrespective of their learning needs.

 

Examples from our school include:

 

  • A focus on securing high standards of attainment for all pupils from all ethnic backgrounds and of different socio-economic status e.g. tracking and closing the gap between groups e.g. intervention strategies put in place to counter underachievement.
  • The development of gifted and talented children within the school as well as having effective procedures to support children with special educational needs
  • Equal opportunities and race equality polices are in place.
  • Effective approaches in place to deal with incidents of prejudice, bullying and harassment e.g. clear school procedures.
  • Admission arrangements that promote community cohesion and social equity e.g. home visits.
  • Monitoring our school behaviour policy so that no groups suffer prejudice.

 

(See appendix 1 – Community Cohesion Whole School Audit for details of our work and commitment in promoting Community Cohesion)

 

 

Engagement and Ethos

 

We currently work in partnership with other schools in the Denbigh family. We develop links locally and further afield. The means of developing the relationship may be through exchange visits or more likely through the internet. Sharing facilities also provides a means for pupils to interact, as do opportunities for meaningful intercultural activities such as sport, music and drama. Good partnership activities with the local and wider community include:

 

  • Maintaining strong links and multi-agency working between the school and other local agencies
  • Engagement with parents through coffee mornings, curriculum evenings, parent and child courses and family liaison work.
  • Provision of extended services, in particular our daycare.

 

Examples of our engagement are listed as Appendix 3.

 

Our aims and objectives

 

  • We will involve pupils, employees, parents, Governors and the local and wider community in action planning for effective community cohesion (see Community Cohesion Action Plan.)
  • The Governing Body will take positive steps to promote outstanding community relations.
  • We work towards challenging any forms of prejudice towards groups and individuals.
  • All employees have been trained in promoting community cohesion through a diverse curriculum.

 

Links with other school policies; e.g.

 

 

 

 

Monitoring and Evaluation

 

Monitoring and evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of our Community Cohesion Policy will occur through aspects of the policy being identified as a focus area within our M & E Schedule under its heading of Community Links (see Monitoring and Evaluation Policy).

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Inclusion Manager together with the Headteacher and the Governing Body’s Environment Committee is responsible for the review of the policy. The Inclusion Manager will keep abreast of current legislation and best practice regarding Community Cohesion, and communicate these ideas to the school staff.

 

 

Appendices

 

Appendix 1: Community Cohesion Whole School Audit

Appendix 2: Summary of initiatives and actions taken to promote Community Cohesion

Appendix 3: List of examples of engagement