In today’s assembly we heard the story of Jamario Howard who sent a tweet that went viral. Jamario lives in the U.S.A, in the state of Alabama, and had gone for lunch one day when he saw an elderly lady sitting on her own.
Jamario said that he approached the lady to see if she would like to sit and have lunch with him and his friends. The lady, called Eleanor, accepted his kind offer. She told Jamario that she was on her own because her husband had died and that today would have been their 60th wedding anniversary.
After Jamario posted the picture on twitter he said:
‘The point is, always be kind and nice to people. You never know what they are going through. This woman changed my outlook on life and how I look at other people. Everyone has a story so do not judge’
We talked about how this story was relevant to all of us at Bells Farm and how important it is to be nice and kind to others. We talked about how we don’t always know if someone is having a tough time and it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. It is important as no one should feel lonely or feel like an outsider in our school. Everyone should be made to feel welcome and should feel the kindness that we have at Bells Farm.
A few weeks ago we had an assembly about Stereotypes. We were shown a picture of different people and asked who would we would like to be our teacher and why. Some of us gave a variety of reasons – the person wearing a tie as they looked responsible, the women in the picture because a lot of our teachers are women. We were then shown the same picture again and asked to pick out who was the teacher, doctor, head teacher, criminal, mechanic and actor.
We found this a little harder and some of us made some interesting assumptions about the people in the picture. We learnt that we all naturally group people – old, young etc but we also learnt that sometimes this becomes a problem. It’s not the grouping that is bad. What can be harmful is when we think that everyone in a group is the same. We usually view stereotypes as being negative because they make assumptions about all the people in one group.
We talked about how it was important not to think a group of people is bad just because of the actions of a few in that group – we should learn more about people and situations before we judge them.
In assembly last week we were shown a photo of two boys. We were asked about similarities and differences between the boys and to talk about anything we noticed in the picture. Some of us noticed that the boys were different heights and some noticed that they were both smiling. Someone pointed out that the taller boy’s face looked different and wondered if he had an accident. Mrs Knipe then told us the story behind the picture..
Marcus is a 13 year old boy from Hertfordshire. He is a talented trampolinist who has competed at a national level. Marcus was born with a face that looks different. At school Marcus has experienced bullying ; he has been called many unkind names. He went to a group called Changing Faces to build his confidence and now he is doing well, saying he is not affected by name calling if it happens. Marcus says at his trampoline class, “everybody has always accepted me for who I am and have never asked why I look like I do or stared…. everyone respects you for what you can do and not what you look like.”
A new film has been made about a boy called Auggie who has had a similar experience to Marcus; the photo shows Marcus with the actor who plays Auggie in the film. The message in the film is, “Choose kind”.
We then talked about why it was important not to treat people differently because of how they look or if they have a disability. We talked about all people being given the same opportunities to try and achieve something. We also talked about being kind and how words and the way we look at people can affect them.
We then all agreed that it was important at all times to “Choose kind”
In assembly we were shown two photographs and asked what we could see in them – some people commented on the man swimming and thought that it was the same man in the other photo, some said that the people in the photo looked happy and seemed to be enjoying themselves. They wondered if they were friends. We were then told the story behind the two pictures. The man in the picture is a refugee called Eid Aljazairli who wants to take part in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo as a swimmer. He is 24 years old and only learned to swim in the last year. Eid is a refugee from Damascus where he left because of war. In London he lives with the family in the other photo. We were told how, since coming to this country, he has been encouraged by all those around him to pursue his dream and how supported he has been and how welcome he has been made to feel. We talked about what the word ‘Refugee’ means – some of us thought it was someone who wanted to come and live in this country but we actually found out that a refugee is someone who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
We talked about making people feel welcome and not assuming things about people before finding out about them – as Eid said about being a refugee ‘’I’m proud to be a refugee but I’m not just that, I’m a dreamer. We are people, we are doctors, engineers… when someone loses their home people think they are nothing, that they have no future. But no, we are just people, we are all the same.”
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.