Today in assembly we were reminded again of the story about the girl who had complained about the use of the word ‘Linemen’ and had asked if it could be changed as women could do the job as well as men (see values blog for January). This week in assembly we looked at this picture of some cheerleaders. The picture was special because for the first time in its 53 year history two men had participated as cheerleaders at the Superbowl. We learnt that while men had never actually been banned from taking part this was the first time any had actually performed. We talked about how this shows how the world is moving on from thinking that men and women can only do certain jobs in society and that actually if you are able to do something you should be given the chance to prove it or take part. We also talked about how we are lucky at Bells Farm because we let everyone take part and do not discriminate – girls and boys can take part in lots of activities together – if you can do the job, then why not?
In assembly this morning there was a picture on the screen in the hall. We were asked some questions about the picture – we were asked did we know which country was shown and also did we know what the sign meant. We then were told a story about a girl in New Zealand who wrote a letter to the head of the transport department asking him to change the sign as it seemed to be saying that only men could be linemen. The head from the transport agency agreed with the girl and announced on twitter that he was going to change all the signs so that it did not give the impression that only men could be linemen.
We then spoke about the Equality act 2010 which is law in our country and is there to ensure that no-one is discriminated against be that due to race, religion, sexuality or gender. We spoke about the fact that girls are allowed the same opportunities as boys and vice versa.
In today’s assembly we were shown this picture and asked a number of questions…
‘What do you see in the picture?’
‘Where are the people and what are they doing?’
‘What is the shop called?’
‘What do you think is sold in the shop’
We then found out that this shop opened in London a few years ago. In this shop people do not buy for themselves instead they buy things for refugees. We discussed what a refugee was and why they would need things and we talked about how nice it was to think of others at Christmas and how caring the people in the photograph were being. We found out that people had bought blankets and sleeping bags and that the shop had raised nearly £800,000 for refugees. We talked about how this picture shows what people in the UK think about refugees and we talked about what we can learn from the owners of the shop. The people buying gifts from the shop do not care about the race, religion or background of the refugees they just want to help.
In assembly today we looked at the beginning of Advent – we talked about what advent means and talked about the ‘waiting’ that happens in the lead up to Christmas. We talked about how Christians use advent as a time to reflect on the Christmas story and to think about the events that lead to Christmas day and the birth of Jesus. We also talked about how we are all waiting for good things to happen on Christmas day and how it would be nice to think about others on that day as well.
In assembly today we were shown a picture of a huge portrait of a woman who lived 100 years ago which has been unveiled at Birmingham New St Station. The portrait, by artist Helen Marshall, covers the floor of the station. It is an image of Hilda Burkitt, born in Wolverhampton in 1876, and formed of 3,724 selfies and pictures of women from members of the public.
Hilda was a suffragette, campaigning for women’s rights and the right to vote – we discussed what this meant to women and how important it was. We also looked at how unfair it was that women were treated differently and were not allowed the same rights as men. We talked about Hilda and how she ended up in prison for throwing at stone at the prime ministers train – we asked questions about whether this was right and should Hilda have done that? We talked about whether there was a better way for her to protest and make her views known.
Trooping the Colour is a royal British tradition, starting in 1748. The ceremony originated as guards prepared for battle, presenting their colours and flags so that soldiers would recognise them. Today the ceremony is used to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday in June.
This year Charanpreet Singh Lall became the first person to wear a turban in the Trooping the Colour procession. That’s the first time in 270 years. Charanpreet says, “I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history.”
“I hope that more people like me, not just Sikhs but from other religions and different backgrounds will be encouraged to join the army.”
“I’m quite proud and I know that a lot of other people are proud of me as well. It’s a good feeling… there’s going to be a lot of eyes and I am going to have influence on other people.”
In assembly today we discussed this picture further. We talked about how Charanpreet feels looking slightly different to the other guards and does that mean he can’t be a guard as well? We all agreed that we have moved on a lot since 1748 and that it is a good thing that people of different religions and backgrounds feel and are included. We discussed that everyone should feel proud of the job that they do and that Charanpreet felt proud to represent his country.
The new series of Dr Who has aired with the Dr as a female for the first time. During the episode the Dr was told she was a woman and she replied, “Am I? Does it suit me? Oh yeah I remember. Half an hour ago I was a white-haired Scotsman.” Later she built her own sonic screwdriver from scratch using impressive engineering skills.
The Doctor said; “We are all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve while still saying true to who we are. We can honour who we’ve been and choose who we want to be next.”
In assembly today we talked about identity – we had discussions on how we identify each other by sex, race, religion etc and how important this can be. We talked about the quote above and also of the importance of accepting people’s identities and acknowledging everyone’s skills and contributions to society.
During assembly Mrs Knipe discussed British values. She discussed what they were (democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.) We then discussed how we can see those values in and around school – through how we treat each other with respect, how we learn about government and help to set our own school rules etc. There is going to be a display in the hall that we can look at during assemblies and which we will be contributing to as well.
We have not had a blog for the value words of Friendship and Perseverance so we are going to put them together.
In order to maintain and keep a friendship you really need to persevere – sometimes friends can drive us mad, sometimes they can make us sad. However, if we are to be true and good friends we need to make sure that we do all we can to keep our friendships going – even when times get tough. By persevering we can bring the very best to our friendships and having friends can only be a good thing.
This month our value word is HONESTY.
Honesty is demonstrated by what we say and by what we do. It impacts our entire life; our jobs, our relationships, our own feelings about ourselves and the actions we take. It can move us forward and allow us to feel good about what we do.
The businessman and author W. Clement Stone came up with a quote which sums up how important honesty is.
“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
Last week was World Book Week and we have listened to and learnt poems in school. Here is a poem all about honesty.
It Is Better
“It is better to lose with a conscience clean
Than to win with a trick unfair;
It is better to fail, and to know you’ve been,
Whatever the prize was, square.
Than to claim the joy of a far-off goal
And the cheer of the standers-by,
And to know down deep in your inmost soul,
A cheat you must live and die.”
Watch a small Pass it On clip about honesty – click here.