Headteacher:Rekha Bhakoo CBE
Students298 aged 3-11
Top character qualities developed
“As a ‘UNICEF Rights Respecting School’ our pupils know their rights and take responsibility for being masters of their own action. So when developing leadership and social action for our curriculum, we ask our students to direct policy decisions and choose the projects. For example, identifying a lack of religious unity both locally and globally, they decided to invite ten local religious leaders to come to the school and lead workshops culminating in a big assembly.
Our volunteer activities include helping serve food in nearby care homes, participating in litter picks and helping with bag packing at the local shops. Community atmosphere is further nurtured by hosting grandparents and local elderly at the school for tea, and, as part of ‘Go Givers’, our students help keep the library open and help account for how the library’s budget is spent. Through the ‘Virgin Money’ initiative, students were given £5 and sold goods to the local community to turn that into profit.
Democracy is firmly embedded by the school council and a ‘learning council’ made up of students who observe teachers, give performance management appraisals and suggest new ideas. Philosophy is taught from the word go; our Year 6’s are currently discussing the refugee crisis, its causes and implications. We empower our students from a young age as peer mediators, meaning our six year olds are in the playground solving problems and developing negotiation skills.
This is very much woven into the planning of the school with strategic levels of responsibility increasing by year group. We make plans on a fortnightly basis, ensure that the current themes are integrated and that assemblies and PSHE topics are all delivered congruently. Youth social action and the culture around it cannot be taught as an ’add on’ but must be part and parcel of what every child understands and believes and is passionate about. You’ve got to develop that passion in youngsters so they will impart that passion as an adult. And there are no exclusions in our school; silly behaviour, yes, but not bad behaviour, because the culture we’ve instilled means our students know how to negotiate and communicate.” – Rekha Bhakoo CBE
Find out more about what we do through our website.
Newton Farm Nursery Infant and Junior School is part of Go-Givers. Find out more about how your school can get involved.
“By being actively involved in activities which make a difference to other people has totally transformed my outlook on life. I am committed to stepping up and volunteering to serve others so that we have a world where we are respectful, tolerant and compassionate.”
– Rhiannon, Year 6 student