We provide pupils with many opportunities to explore other faiths and beliefs and reflect on their own experiences. We use the ‘Love to Celebrate’ units from Cornerstones and use the skills from the Sunderland Agreed Syllabus for religious education. Using the 'Love to Celebrate ideas', gives children access to the six world religions and links their learning to key festivals and celebrations. The curriculum is broad, balanced and progressive.
Where the opportunity arises, visits to local places of worship can be undertaken. The school has a very close relationship with Father Skelton and Mary Magdalene’s Church. Father Skelton is a regular visitor to school and the children and their families enjoy a visit to his church to celebrate 'Christingle'.
RE lessons take place weekly allowing children to share their thoughts and beliefs. It allows children to listen to others, learn from them and learn to respect other children’s opinions and beliefs.
Children learn how to recognise the difference between right and wrong and learn how to take responsibility for their actions. Diamond Hall Junior Academy is a rights respecting school (RRS), which aims to put the children’s rights at the heart of the school based on principles of equality, respect, non-discrimination and participation. As part of the RRS initiative, all classes make their own charter outlining how they will ensure everyone’s rights are respected. The charter is signed by every class member and teacher and displayed in the classroom. All children are encouraged to use the language of rights and respect in school.
Our school also has an anti-bullying team who have written an anti-bullying policy and advice leaflets to support children who feel they might be being bullied in school, in the local community or online. There are a number of posters and guidance information areas around school to support children.
Our local community police officer often calls into school and will talk to children about how to be positive role models in the local community and how to stay safe.
The children respond positively to the reward systems in school. Children are awarded merits for good behaviour, good work, respectful behaviour, being polite and being supportive of others. Children receive medals in celebration assemblies for their all their efforts in achieving their merits. Rights respecting t-shirts are also awarded to children (one from each class, each week) who have shown rights respecting behaviour. During assemblies, ‘attendance heroes’ are announced and celebrated. Celebration assemblies are an opportunity for children to share their successes and inspire others to want to achieve.
Children are encouraged to think about the environment and what they can do to improve and preserve it. We have an ‘Eco Club’ who meet regularly. Eco Club have promoted the need to recycle in school and as a result, there are facilities in school to recycle paper, plastic bottles and batteries.
Children enjoy their weekly PSHE lesson, looking at different aspects of the topic. They focus on physical health and wellbeing, mental health and wellbeing, keeping safe, sex and relationships and financial and economic wellbeing. The children have their own PSHE journal which they will take with them through each year leaving with it at the end of Year 6. This is their journal that they can reference and use as guidance in the future.
Children have many opportunities to contribute to community life and take responsibility around school.
Educational visits allow children to gain experience beyond the classroom and promote independence. We have many different visits including a residential visit to Derwent Hill. Visits also take place within the currrciulum to support and enhance learning in certain areas.
The school is very proud to support many charities. We have hosted coffee mornings to raise money, children have donated food to local food banks and we also take part in national fundraising events such as Children in Need.
Each year group also plan and deliver a fund raising activity to make a difference in the local community. The activity may involve participation of the whole school and also parents. The children decide on their event.
The children show initiative and are willing to take on the responsibility to improve aspects of school life. We have a school council with one elected member from each class. They each take the views of their peers to school council meetings.
Children willingly participate enthusiastically in life beyond the school day. We offer a number of after school activities, including sport activities, art and choir. The clubs are inclusive and attended by many children across all years of school.
We help our children to make good progress in developing those essential and personal qualities for future life and the world of work with business masterclasses, raising aspiration projects, cycling proficiencey classes and our injury minimisation programme.
We are a multi-cultural school and love to offer different opportunities to share and learn from all of the children.
Activities are planned throughout the year for children to engage in artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities.
Children take part in many different sporting activties such as football, netball and skipping.
We also enjoy modern foreign language lessons, where the children study the culture and language of a European country. The children are enjoying learning some French and looking at different aspects of the French culture.