St John’s C of E VC Infants’ School and St Benedict’s Junior School work incredible closely together to help ensure that the transition from infants to juniors is smooth.
The teachers regularly attend shared training days together, the special educational needs coordinator in each school meet to share best practice and discuss individual children who are due to move from one school to another. Nominated governors attend a termly joint governors meeting to discuss strategies to help raise standards throughout both schools and develop shared policies to promote a consistent approach to teaching, learning, behaviour management and safeguarding.
Year 2 children visit St Benedict’s often throughout the year and each child is linked with a Year 5 playground buddy. Many children find it daunting starting a new school, having a friendly familiar face helps the younger children settle in to their new environment quickly. During visits year 5 children also listen to the year 2 children read, which further develops the relationship. The schools share resources from afterschool childcare, mini bus, swimming pool and playing fields.
St John’s is also part of a local Community Learning Partnership (CLP) for Street and Glastonbury and the surrounding villages.
The CLP consists of all the Headteacher’s / Principal’s from 18 schools, local referral unit and college.
The aim of the CLP is to ensure that individually and collectively we provide the highest quality of education and support to all the children and young people of the community and their parents.
Whilst each school retains its own distinctive ethos and characteristics, we benefit from our collaborative vision and expertise. All the schools, college and units work closely together, sharing ideas, curriculum and pastoral plans, staff training and educational events and resources for pupils.
Inter-cultural dialogue is not confined to learning about other cultures. It also means being able to tell others about our own culture. Thus an international link offers an opportunity for learners to research, discuss, collate and present their own views on British identity and to explain the multiple identities of those Britons whose family’s experiences include more than one cultural background and history.
It also includes the notion of learning together. Through shared learning the common ground between different countries, communities and cultures can be explored.
An international partner school offers a natural audience of peers for this work, and the opportunity to find out new opinions and viewpoints. These are areas of learning that can be enriched by an international link:
- A focus for a class to formulate ideas on what it means to be British, and examine stereotypes and images of Britain in the rest of the world.
- Communicating with a global partner on the theme, How does the world see Britain ? and so theorising about an national identity.
- Considering the same questions in relation to the partner school Stimulating interest in other cultures, which can then be examined in a local context with community groups or partner schools Enriching the study of the contemporary UK history, which can be researched and shared with a partner school, especially in a Commonwealth country.
- Recognising that we are a nation built from and by people from other countries; celebrating our history and how it has created today’s diversity.
- The Ajegbo Report emphasises that, ‘Such work between schools must have significant curriculum objectives and be incorporated into courses that pupils are studying. This will help avoid stereotyping and tokenism.’
- Critical reflection can cover questions about race, religion, ethnicity, diversity and identity.
- Work can be incorporated into existing areas of study including surveys (Maths), ICT, English and World literature, Humanities and MFL.