“All Different: All Equal”
Wednesday 28th February 2018
Here at AFMS we play our part in helping our learners to become members of a welcoming and cohesive community. In our “All Different: All Equal” day, we helped our pupils appreciate, respect and celebrate the wide ranging diversity of people’s backgrounds and taught them to build common ground and common values between the different groups within the community.
Ethnic diversity has made our modern British society rich in culture and contributed to our economic, social and democratic development. Our pupils learn that with freedom and diversity comes a need to respect difference. It is important to remember that we are ALL different and it is our differences that make us unique and special and that is what makes our country interesting.
Our pupils experienced cultures and traditions from around the world:
Year 5 looked at India. They learned about Indian traditions, constructed kites (for the tradition of kite running), made friendship bracelets and designed rangoli patterns. They also researched information about India, its cities, population, languages and religions and learned some traditional dance moves, which they performed in groups.
Year 6 looked at Eastern Europe. They learnt the alphabet, numbers and some key words in Russian, created a fact file about the region and also listened to and performed some traditional Polish and Russian songs. They also designed patterns for Babushka dolls and decorated their own Ukranian Pysanky eggs, in readiness for Easter.
Year 7 looked at the Caribbean. Pupils learned to play the samba drums, traditional music of Brazil, with visiting musician, Nick of “Glamba”. They also completed a sensory analysis of a shop bought and authentic foods from the region, including; Jamaican spiced buns, sarsaparilla drink and plantain crisps. Pupils also created some Caribbean art, made holiday brochures and took part in traditional Jamaican games.
Year 8 looked at The Far East. Pupils worked in groups to create a Manga character, a Japanese styled cartoon, and tried their skills at origami and Japanese writing, whilst visiting Sensies, Stuart Hughes, 6th Dan, and Martin Reynolds, 6th Dan, explained the history of karate and demonstrated various techniques. Pupils also tasted and conducted a sensory analysis of various teas, before looking at the traditions and history of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
A wonderful day was had, celebrating cultural diversity and sharing important messages common to us all!
Thank you to all the staff and pupils who made it another day to remember.
“Modern Britain Day” - Thursday 28th June 2018
Here at Aston Fields Middle School, we take seriously our responsibility to prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain and thus ensure that fundamental British values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos of both our school and the curriculum, as well as through a wide range of extra-curricular activities.
To further develop these values of democracy, the rule of law, individual respect and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, on Thursday 28th June, all pupils took part in a range of activities, organised in their Houses, for our “Modern Britain Day”. Pupils took part in various workshops, including looking at how other languages have influenced modern English, looking at the geography of crime; the problem, the potential crime and ways to prevent it. Others looked at famous landmarks within Britain and their features and produced artwork, using British designs and symbols. Many pupils looked at what it means to be British, exploring the key concepts of liberty, freedom, respect, tolerance, diversity and inclusion and then went on to write a new National Anthem and create an heraldic shield for Great Britain, incorporating these values.
Some pupils focused on gender and inequality, over time and in 2018, very apt in this the centenary year since The Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed which heralded the right of British women over 30 to vote. Pupils looked at influential British sportswomen and the media exposure of them. They looked at the achievements of women in sport and those who they continue to inspire. Looking at the inequality of women in the literary world surprised many, believing that writing under a male pen name, to gain respect and recognition in this field, to be associated with Victorian times not the 21st century. They then used given texts from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels, to create their own censorship poems. Others turned their hand to building bridges out of spaghetti and lasagne sheets, trying to emulate the talents of Sarah Guppy (born in Birmingham) whose invention of making safe piling for bridges, was later used for suspension bridge foundations. Some created modern art in the style of Bridget Riley, whose designs were adopted by Mary Quant and then used in the fashion industry, whilst others designed a coat of arms to represent their Britain.
Two visiting magistrates shared the history of the law courts, with some of the unfair punishments given back in history, comparing these to modern scenarios of crime and the appropriate punishments given today, whilst others took part in a Crown Court mock trial, with everyone taking on roles of plaintiff, police officer, judge and jury.
Throughout the day, pupils learnt about British values and changing attitudes, trying to identify what it is to be British in the year 2018. A fantastic time was had by all as they learned more about the country in which they live.
Great Britons’ Sponsored Walk Friday 30th June 2017
Following suggestions from the School Council, all pupils and staff here at Aston Fields Middle School, took part in a sponsored walk around the school grounds, on Friday 30th June, completing as many laps as possible in an hour.
Since this day followed our Modern Britain Day on Thursday 29th June, we continued the same theme, with pupils and staff dressed either as a famous Great Briton (past or present) or dressed in the colours of red, white and blue. We were fortunate to have a visit from the ‘suffragettes’, Tim Peake, Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Stanley Matthews, to name but a few!
Again, as suggested by Pupil Voice, the proceeds will go towards buying tablets for the school library, together with books from the Pupils’ Book Request lists, as provided by all form tutor groups.
A tremendous sense of team spirit was shared by everyone who took part and their efforts were rewarded, on completion of the walk, with an ice lolly.
AquAid Water Coolers
We at Aston Fields Middle School are aware that keeping our children hydrated will aid them to perform at their very best throughout the school day. As a result, we decided to invest in watercoolers from AquAid. http://www.aquaidwatercoolers.co.uk
Our unique relationship with AquAid has also given our school the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Our decision to install a water cooler from AquAid means that for each one of the 2 machines that we have, we have donated £20 per year per cooler to The Africa Trust. Through our contributions to The Africa Trust, an ‘Elephant Pump’ is being installed in Africa on our behalf.
This pump will bring much needed, clean, fresh drinking water and improve the quality of life of those who will have access to our well.
Our school's name will be displayed proudly on our well and we look forward to adding some photos and letters of thanks from the villages to our site in the near future.