At Ovingham Middle School Community Cohesion is approached in various ways and falls into different categories.
Awareness of own identity
Children are encouraged to develop an interest in their own family roots and emerging cultural allegiances and, in some cases, their religious or spiritual identity. They are also encouraged to find new ways to express their emerging and changing identities in positive and creative ways that encourage interaction with others.
Awareness of school values
Children become familiar with the school’s vision of a diverse, inclusive, tolerant and equitable society. They learn the significance of basic principles of equal opportunities, justice and human rights as they apply to their own daily lives and to the wider community and global issues.
Appreciating others’ lives
Children learn to develop empathy and insight into the lives of people from different backgrounds through literature, other media and personal contacts. They are encouraged to recognise and respect how people see things from different viewpoints.
Pupils develop the skills to contribute to the evaluation and improvement of teaching, learning and the curriculum. Their contributions are welcomed and acted upon. They develop collaborative team skills and associated communication skills through planned activities that progress year on year through the curriculum.
Pupils begin to understand that, in a working democracy, people have a share in power that can influence the decisions which affect them and the people around them.
They develop the skills and confidence to recognise when their peers need help or support, to take on roles of mentor, coach or mediator for others and understand the skills required to assume peer leadership in a variety of settings – e.g. sports, student councils, and community service.
Pupils are given the opportunity to gain the skills and confidence to enable them to apply human rights to situations they encounter, to recognise and challenge abuses, discrimination and injustice, and to advocate and claim their own human rights. Pupils are encouraged to discuss sensitive and controversial issues and to develop debating and thinking skills.
Pupils are encouraged to find out about the diverse roots and sources of modern U.K. culture. Pupils have opportunities to enjoy cultural and creative experiences that reflect and celebrate the U.K.’s increasing diversity. Pupils also gain experience in religious diversity.
Community Cohesion Links
Pupils are encouraged to develop links with the local community. We have several links which include The Girl Guide Association, Tynedale Rugby Club, Hexham Abbey, and Ovingham Drama Group.
Pupils are encouraged to interact nationally. We have links with the Woodland Trust, Traidcraft, English Heritage, and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
Pupils are encouraged to give to people in need. Charities linked with the school are Red Nose Day, Children in Need, St. Oswald’s Hospice and MacMillan Cancer Research. Each year the sponsored walk brings in proceeds between £2500-£3000 and this money is shared between charities of the pupils’ choice. Often local charities are supported.
Pupils are given the opportunity to understand their place in the global community.
Global links include Kenya – school linked, Brazil – Connecting Classrooms, and Uganda.
At Ovingham Middle School we feel that Community Cohesion is vitally important in order to ensure our own personal development and to ensure that our communities develop and prosper.