Year 5 Exchange Trip to Germany
One of our Key Curriculum Drivers is 'Being Part of a Global Community'. We feel passionately that it is important for our children to grow up knowing about the world in which they live and developing an understanding of their responsibilities as global citizens.
Each year group has a global partner country which they will learn about in depth and some have a partner school whom they will communicate with. Our curriculum provides us with the opportunities through each theme to examine a range of global issues relevant to their lives in the real world.
Year 4 Zoom Call to Austria
Year 5’s global partner is Germany and Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg. Children have enjoyed exchanging pen pal letters, Easter parcels and taking part in video calls to see their global friends and speak to them. Our school Curriculum Driver for the summer term is ‘Being Part of a Global Community’ and it was fantastic to see our children embracing this so enthusiastically!
Here is what the children had to say:
"I enjoyed the call because we had a chance to meet everyone, we got to know what their names were and what they liked" - Evie
"I liked it when we joined the call because they were really excited to see us and eager to ask us questions" - Freddie
"I really enjoyed finding out their hobbies because we like similar things" - Maikls
"It was really cool how they like similar stuff to most of us like sports and video games" - Maggie
"I really liked it when they told us about their favourite sports - my penpal likes football. It was nice to see them" - Howi
"I liked meeting my penpal. Sienna on the call was really excited to meet Sienna in our class!" - Madison
"I really enjoyed the video call because we got to meet our German penpals. We still got to meet them and talk about how we are, how many pets we have, how many siblings we have and things like that. It meant that we still got to see them even though we couldn’t actually visit Germany because of covid" - Harland
"I liked how we had a lot of things in common! Some of us had the same hobbies, played the same instruments and things like that. Our names were all different, which was interesting!" - Naomi
Our Global Heritage Project
As part of our 2021 Global Week, we conducted a survey with the school community to find out where in the world everyone comes from. The survey also created a fantastic opportunity for the children to conduct further research and explore their country of heritage such as:
finding out the main language(s) spoken and learning how to say something in that language
exploring (or even cooking) traditional foods
investigating customs and festivals
identifying the flag
exploring the geography of the country such as capital city, climate, mountains, rivers, national parks, etc
investigating the native wildlife
As a result of this project, we recorded a fantastic 35 different countries! These are England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, America, Romania, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Slovakia, Malta, Italy, Australia, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Latvia, India, Ukraine, Guernsey, Mauritius, Sweden, Portugal, Pakistan, Belgium, New Zealand, Moldova, Greece, Jamaica, Switzerland, Saint Lucia , Thailand, Serbia.
We have celebrated this project with a vibrant display of flags which represent everyone's heritage in the Bluecoat Hall.
Our Partner Countries and Schools
Reception: The World’s Kitchen
Year One: Riverside Primary School, Bermondsey, London, UK
Year Two: Ecole de Sottevast School, Normandy, France
Year Three: Africa (The Gambia)/South Africa
Year Four: Volksschule Meißnergasse, Austria
Year Five: Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg, Germany
Year Six: Lourdes Central School, Mangalore, India
Global learning across the school
Each year group is currently active in building opportunities within the curriculum to learn more about their partner countries, the culture, traditions and way of life through their maths, English, science, topic, geography, history, MFL and PSHE subjects. Work is taught in a cross curricular approach and with examples saved into year group books to demonstrate the global learning that is happening across subjects.
Through the British Council and the UK-German Connection, Year 5 has made a link with Evangelische Grundschule Babelsberg in Germany near Berlin. Both schools have been Skyping and the children are getting to know each other. They have written pen pal letters and they have begun to learn about Germany. There has been a curriculum established where children in both schools have begun working on joint partnership projects including Unity and Strength, Justice and Equality, and Sustainable Development.
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Education
We are proud at Bluecoat to be an Early Adopter School, chosen by the Government to take on the brand new RSHE curriculum from September 2020. This new curriculum combines Relationships, Health and Sex Education across the whole school so that relevant lessons are being taught to introduce the children to suitable strategies to maintain strong relationships and build on developing their emotional logic throughout the primary phase and into adolescence. The new framework brings an awareness of the modern day changes they will face as they grow and change, and prepares themselves for life as a responsible adult.
A whole-school approach is vital in improving children’s emotional health and wellbeing, helping to keep them safe, improving behaviour and raising achievement, as children's emotional health and wellbeing has a huge impact on their ability to learn. Children are encouraged to talk about their emotions, challenge each other's feelings and nurture a sense of belonging through caring and respecting differences.
With six mini topics that cover each half term, the children all take part in sessions on Valuing Differences, Keeping Myself Safe, Right and Responsibilities, Being my Best, Growing and Changing, Me and My Relationships.
Draft RSHE policy pending results of parent and carer consultation
Positive Mental Health
Here at Bluecoat, we believe that promoting positive mental health is just as important as promoting positive physical health.
Throughout the year, we work on developing children's mental health in a range of different ways. Through circle time, PSHE and class discussions, we talk openly about feelings, emotions and mental wellbeing, encouraging children to do the same.
Each year, we celebrate Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, planning targeted teaching sessions which provide children with the tools they might need to improve their own mental health.
For some excellent resources on supporting children's mental health, have a look at the links below:
Bluecoat Take 5
As part of our commitment to developing the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our children we have introduced the Bluecoat Take 5 across the school. This whole-school approach encourages the children to be aware and in control of their changing emotions and feelings by regularly talking about the things they know can help to keep their minds healthy. Based on the ways to wellbeing, our children are encouraged to share quality time with their friends, challenge themselves with new and difficult tasks, taking time to relax and noticing things around them in nature. We believe that healthy and happy minds lead to greater learning success and as a result the Bluecoat Take 5 weaves throughout the whole curriculum to provide the children with daily strategies to perform. Our children are encouraged to discuss their mental health regularly, and talk freely about their emotions with their friends and the adults in school. With reflection being an integral part of learning at Bluecoat, the children are aware of different techniques to encourage emotional wellbeing and good mental health.
At Bluecoat School we believe that every child should be taught to recognise what is positive and appropriate touch. The positive touch programme is part of the Massage In Schools Programme (MISP) which is used across the world and is an evidence-based, child to child, internationally respected peer massage programme. It has been used in the UK since the 1990s and has Scandinavian origins. There are generally very mixed feelings about touch and a study was carried out in the 1960s to observe couples from a range of backgrounds and countries in a cafe setting to see how often they touched each other during conversation; incidental gestures such as a pat on the back or touch of the hand. The results were remarkable. Couples from Puerto Rico touched each other 180 times over the hour of conversation whilst those in London averaged zero times over the hour.
Here at Bluecoat, we facilitate weekly sessions for children up to year 3. Positive Touch is only carried out within set times, within a trained situation and over clothes. Parental consent is required prior to any child participating in the programme and they are invited to an information session soon after their child starts at the school. The programme is a set of 15 moves that are used as an anti-bullying strategy. The children are taught each move by a trained Positive Touch practitioner. The children are partnered up and the massage only takes place child to child and never with an adult whilst calming music is played. Children may opt out at any time.
Research shows that there are lasting, positive outcomes for children who are involved in the MISP regularly, impacting on their well-being and preparation for learning.
Strengthens the immune system
Lowers stress levels
Increases production of oxytocin – relaxing hormones
Children learn and experience saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to touch and what is appropriate touch
Empowers children to be in control of own body – children’s rights
Improves social interaction – develops friendships
Children are individually acknowledged
Develops and encourages imagination
Discover differences between people
Practical tool against bullying – sense of whole school unity
Less conflicts in the playground
Improves turn taking and negotiation
Develops vocabulary, Communication and Language
Please download the leaflet below to find out more details: