Community Autumn Term1

Dear Parents

We’re back in full steam heading our way into the second year of our Community initiative.

Please find attached an overview of this half term’s Community programme.  My apologies for not getting this out last week.  As last year, our intention is to send out an overview of the programme for each half term so that parents are aware of what we have planned.  Also as last year, due to the number of external speakers and organizations we are working with, the programme has to have a degree of flexibility and is provisional at the time of publication.  If a major change occurs, especially one that affects a religious or sex education session, we will notify you as soon as possible.

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to Mr Buckingham who will be taking over much of the planning of Community this year.  I will retain an overview of the programme, so you can contact either Mr Buckingham or myself if you have any queries, suggestions or would like to come in and speak to the children yourself.

I would encourage you to consider coming in to speak to the children about your job, sport, hobby or other interest as one of the stated purposes of Community is to give our pupils a sense of the wider community in which they live and to inspire them as they consider their own futures.  If you would be interested in doing this, please drop me an email and we can discuss the logistics.

 With thanks for your support

 C Richards

Colin Richards
Director of Studies
Ramillies Hall School
Ramillies Avenue
Cheadle Hulme
Stockport
Cheshire
SK8 7AJ
0161 485 3804
colin.richards@ramillieshall.co.uk
www.ramillieshall.co.uk

Please find attached the overview for this half term’s Community program. It is still evolving as visitors confirm either way, so please note details may change as the half term progresses.

Community 2016 – Autumn Term 1

Operation Eagle Eye 1st – 5th February 2016

Following the success of our joint Road Safety Project last term, pupils from Ramillies Hall School and Lane End Primary School have once again joined forces, this time to challenge the inconsiderate behaviour of drivers on Ramillies Avenue, Cheadle Hulme in Operation Eagle Eye.
Working with Stockport Road Safety Team and Greater Manchester Police, our eagle-eyed youngsters have been observing traffic and using police speed guns to record the speed of motorists on Ramillies Avenue and Station Road. They recorded the number of times they saw offences such as driving without a seatbelt on, using mobile phones at the wheel, speeding and parking illegally or inconsiderately, such as on Keep Clear, double yellow and yellow Zig-Zag markings.
The pupils have shown great enthusiasm and commitment to the project, arriving early to school to observe each morning’s school run as well as the afternoon rush as parents return to collect them. Wearing high-visibility vests provided by Stockport Road Safety Officers and accompanied by PCSOs from GMP, their presence has had a dramatic effect on the behaviour of drivers with the number of drivers stopping illegally on the yellow zig-zag markings outside both schools dropping to almost zero by the middle of the week.
The children recorded the number of drivers they observed breaking the law on these key safety points of seatbelts, mobile phones, illegal parking outside school and speeding. Whilst wearing a seatbelt is about protecting the occupants of the car, being distracted by a mobile phone, even for a second, could cause a driver to not notice a child stepping into their path. Likewise, the yellow zig zag markings are there to prevent parked vehicles blocking the view of other drivers where children may walk or run out into the road outside their school.
The PCSOs have spoken to drivers to advise them about any motoring offences observed by the groups. The children will be collating the results of their observations and producing a report which will be published on the school’s website and emailed out to parents. The children want the roads around our schools to be safe places to work and walk – please have a look at the Operation Eagle Eye website (stockport.gov.uk/eagleeye) and pledge your support!

Community – Holocaust Memorial Day – Wednesday 27th January

On Wednesday 27th January, the pupils of Ramillies Hall School gave a very warm welcome to our visitors from the Yeshrurun Synagogue in Gatley: Charles Bloom, Marilyn Berg and our special guest speaker, Leonard Kaufmann.
Leonard is a Holocaust survivor having been rescued from Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train in 1938, aged four years old. He was sponsored by a wealthy, non-Jewish, family from Leek, Staffordshire, who looked after him as their own. He lost his whole family in the Holocaust, including his two siblings who were arrested before they could escape on the Kindertransport.
“Since September 2015 we have been running an initiative called ‘Community’ with the whole school timetabled together on a Wednesday afternoon. We cover the topics and matters usually taught in Personal, Social and Health Education, Citizenship and Religious Studies lessons, but in a far more interactive and dynamic way. Most weeks involve visiting speakers and presenters who can speak from first-hand experience of the topic in question,” explained Mr Richards, Director of Studies. “As soon as we started planning Community and we noted that 27th January fell on a Wednesday, we knew we had to maximise the opportunity to ensure our pupils are fully aware of the Holocaust and how, by embracing the British Values of tolerance, respect, freedom of speech and democracy, we can prevent such atrocities occurring again.”
In the spirit of Community, Ramillies Hall School extended an invitation to the Year 6 pupils of Lane End Primary School to join us for the afternoon. After an assembly led by Mr Richards in which Charles and Marilyn explained the context of the Holocaust and the Kindertransport, the children of both schools sat spell-bound as Leonard told his story and shared photographs of his family and those whom he was so generously looked after by during and after the war.
“Having someone tell their personal story brought the whole history of the Holocaust to life for staff and pupils alike,” Mr Richards commented. “The pupils of both schools showed the greatest respect for Leonard and we were very proud of their response. Leonard’s story and his grace, humility and courage touched everyone and many people have come to me to talk about him and how it touched them, even days after the event.”
The Holocaust claimed the lives of 6 million people – not just Jews, but also people of other ethnic backgrounds, political objectors, trade unionists, people with disabilities or mental health issues and homosexuals.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day was Don’t Stand By and we watched the video produced by The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust in which Susan Pollock, herself a Holocaust survivor, reads the words of another refugee – Abdusalam, who escaped to the UK from the genocide in Darfur, Sudan in 2009. Have we not learnt the lessons of the past?! The children agreed – it is vital that we remember what happened and do not stand by, but to embrace those British Values of tolerance, respect, freedom of speech and democracy.

Caption for photograph:
Ramillies Hall welcomes Holocaust Survivor Leonard Kaufmann
(L-R) Colin Richards, Leonard Kaufmann, Marilyn Berg, Charles Bloom

Community

school logo small 160A major change that will affect all our pupils is the introduction of Community. This will be timetabled on a Wednesday afternoon for all pupils throughout the school and will absorb content previously delivered through PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) as well as Religious Education and Citizenship.

We will normally have an extended whole-school assembly at 2pm on a Wednesday that will be themed each week, often to tie in with the topic for the afternoon. By inviting outside speakers and agencies to these assemblies or to deliver specific workshops, we hope to engage the pupils in the wider world in which we live and to give real-world context to many of the topics

With the whole afternoon available, we hope to be able to offer more outside learning opportunities, both within and outside the school grounds, including visits to local sites of interest, places of worship, etc.

We take great care to ensure that Religious and Sexual Health Education is appropriate to each pupil, taking into account their age, gender, Special Educational Needs, etc. School policy is that parents have a right to withdraw their pupils from lessons with a specific religious content or sexual education. We will email parents at least a week in advance of any such content being delivered so you may exercise that right if you wish. It is our hope, however, that you will recognize the importance of your child receiving a rounded education to prepare them for the real world outside the school gates and give your child the opportunity to fully engage with the curriculum we offer.

The safeguarding of all the children in our care is paramount. As well as the much publicized child protection issues, safeguarding includes teaching children how to be safe in all areas of life – issues surrounding fire safety, road safety, e-safety, drugs and smoking, legal highs, sexual safety, bullying and peer pressures, etc. will be carefully presented and taught, as appropriate to each age group.

If you may be willing to come into school to talk to the children about your job, profession, volunteer role, hobby or interest, Miss Patterson would be delighted to hear from you and we can chat through what may be appropriate for you to do, etc.

Yours sincerely
Colin Richards
Director of Studies