To celebrate #IWD18 and to help our Year 7 students understand why we need to #pressforprogress, we held a Global Citizenship Day this week to develop awareness and deepen understanding of our values of Diversity and Equality.
Being an outward-facing school we have been overwhelmed by the number of invitations we have received to connect and collaborate with so many brilliant organisations who can bring value to our school community and who can help us give our Year 7 students a global perspective to contrast their life experience in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
The UN Global Goals for sustainable development inform our weekly Global Citizenship programme of activity that Julie Hunter our DHT curates superbly. At Aureus we do not do PSHE days, SMSC audits, Citizenship lessons – we have one integrated programme that integrates all of this key learning into one cohesive and coherent delivery.
We used this day as an opportunity to develop some partnerships through a carousel of thought-provoking workshops. It was a fantastic opportunity to expose our students to external voices and experiences whilst exploring the rights of girls. Our values of respect and responsibility were developed as our students’ understanding grew.
Serdar the founder of LyftaEd flew in from Finland to work with Amjad our AHT on a series of immersive storytelling workshops using the virtual technology platform his team have built. As an English and Media Studies teacher, as someone who travels a lot this resource is brilliant in exploring identity and representation. In the 15 minutes I was in the room we were in a Finnish family’s kitchen meeting a female weight lifter and we met a male ballerina in the Czech Republic in an opera house. The power of technology to transport our young people to places around the globe to create human connections and understanding of ourselves as global citizens is remarkable.
You can find out more about this brilliant platform here.
Kelly Smith who works at Pitts Museum, initiate a project with us and a local artist to explore the history of Didcot and how this frames our identity as a school. Her colleague Sue Wright joined us to work with Lorna, a local artist and Laura our Art Lead Practitioner Designate. Using The Didcot Mirror as inspiration, each student has designed a piece to contribute to our art installation for our official opening ceremony in a few weeks’ time. Linking our Roman history with our future as a values-led school through our identity will create a sense of belonging for our students. The art installation entitled ‘Light up our Lives’ will hang above our heads in our weekly assembly.
Pictures to follow when it is installed next week!
Shamil and the team from Youth For Change delivered an interactive session on gender equality. The students were very informed about the cultural stereotypes for boys and girls, the social constructs they are defined and confined by. This was a segway to the rights of girls/ women and the challenges they face through the cultural practices of FGM, ECM and HBV.
You can find out more about their #traintoprotect outreach here.
Amelia is a force to be reckoned with. Delivering brilliant SRE sessions she used play dough as a resource to start a dialogue about sex education. With the prevalence of the #MeToo campaign the dialogue around consent and behaviours/ attitudes to sex and relationships is of vital importance to our students.
Find out more here.
I was really very proud of our students on our inaugural Global Citizenship Day – the feedback we received from our visitors on their sense of self, their understanding of how they belong, their desire to be changemakers in their community/ our world and their articulation of their values was very touching. Through our VBE frame we focus on the ethical vocabulary that our children have and how they communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Hannah, The Hopeful Headteacher
Currently feeling hopeful about:
- The opportunity to shape global citizens who understand their identity, who have a sense of belonging, and who will contribute positively to the world.
Currently reading and thinking about:
- I am prepping Aureus for the VBE schools accreditation process whilst Julie Hunter our DHT is prepping us for our Rights Respecting School accreditation process. External validation of the work we are doing through our values-based education will help us to educate our prospective parents and carers about our work.
Currently feeling grateful for:
- The teams at LyftaEd, Oxford Museums, Sexplain and Youth for Change who made this day possible for our staff and our students.