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Crawley pupils bring Hollywood sparkle to assembly

Year 5s at Milton Mount Primary sang “This is Me” from hit musical “The Greatest Showman” as part of a PSHE lesson all about resilience.

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At Milton Mount, children are taught about the United Nation’s Convention of the Rights of the Child. They believe that it is important for the children to know their rights so that they can respect the rights of others and to empower them to take action to help respect the rights of children around the world.

As part of this, and through the teaching of the British Values, students are taught that it is important to respect other people’s beliefs and differences. It is also important for them to understand that no matter who you are, where you come from or what you look like you have the same rights as others and that nothing should stand in the way of pursuing your dreams.

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During a PSHE lesson on resilience, Year 5 teacher Libby Woodlock mentioned to her class that even celebrities have to be resilient and that Hugh Jackman had to work hard for seven years to get the hit movie, “The Greatest Showman” made: “This lead to one of the most heart-warming lessons of my career.”

“One of the children in my class who had seen the film said that each of the characters in the story had to be resilient because they didn’t look the same as everyone else. We then began discussing how important it is to be yourself. Each child has the right to believe what they want to believe and to have the same opportunities in life as everyone else, no matter what they look like.

“The children were appalled at the idea that people were denied the right to go to school or live a normal life just because they looked different, they were especially disgusted that people were treated differently just because of their skin colour. We continued to discuss how these issues have changed over time and how it is essential to love every aspect of yourself that makes you YOU!

“This half term, our PSHE focus is ‘Good to be me’. As part of this topic, I suggested to our wonderful music teacher, Anna Ryder, that it would be nice to sing ‘This is Me’ as it has an incredible message about self-worth and self-belief, characteristics we want all of our pupils to have in bucket loads.

“The children loved the song, and the message behind it, in fact they loved it so much that you can often hear it being sung in the playground and around the school. Miss Ryder and Mrs Ritchie did such an amazing job teaching the song to the children that the singing was just incredible, so much so that staff passing the hall would have to stop by during singing practice and listen. Therefore, we decided to share Key Stage Two’s beautiful singing with the parents by sharing it on our Twitter account.

“We have had so many wonderful messages from parents about the video and the children are over the moon with their performance. All of the staff at the school are exceptionally proud of each and every one of our pupils and are exceptionally pleased with the positive impact that this song has had on their self-belief and confidence.”

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Education

Crawley school becomes first in town to win gold award

The school achieved the bronze award in 2015, the silver in 2016 and has now been awarded gold.

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The School Mark award helps pave the way for schools to grow a culture of active travel by encouraging pupils to cycle, walk and scoot.

An awards assembly was held on 17 October at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary to celebrate the first school in Crawley to achieve the Sustrans Gold School Mark award, an initiative of Crawley Borough Council and Sustrans, the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle.

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In attendance was the Mayor of Crawley, two local councillors and Sustrans staff.

The school has achieved the bronze award in 2015 and the silver in 2016. This fantastic achievement was made possible through the commitment of the school head teacher, Mr Melia, and the school Bike It champion, Mrs De Lange.

Working together with a dedicated Sustrans Bike It officer the school has gathered a wealth of evidence that is required to achieve this challenging award. This includes showing that, since working with Sustrans in 2011, the percentage of pupils arriving at school by car has dropped by nine per cent. Those arriving to school by cycling, walking or scooting has risen by six per cent. This is impressive considering over a third of the school come from outside the catchment area.

Work towards the award is structured so that children are empowered to make the decision to cycle, scoot or walk to school and enjoy the benefits associated with it. This includes a variety of educational and fun events such as monthly Bike It Breakfasts, bike skills workshops as well as a genuine commitment from the school to promoting cycling, scooting and walking both within the school policy and the wider community.

Celebrations continued after the awards assembly with a delivery officer Bike It Pat conducting a Dr Bike safety inspection of bikes at school and a static bike challenge where 3.3 miles were sprinted out by a group of year 6 children during break time. A year 6 boy achieved the fastest speed of 32 mph and won himself a bike computer.

The school has further planned a BMX fun day and also a bicycle decoration day highlighting the importance of High Visibility in conjunction with Diwali and Fireworks.

Mayor Carlos Castro said:“There is clearly a desire from people in the local community who want to choose to walk and cycle more and programmes like this one which encourage families to travel more actively can really help.”

Cllr Geraint Thomas, said: “The School Mark program is an exciting initiative to help improve the environment outside of schools as well as encouraging families to walk, cycle or scoot to school. Initiatives like this benefit the community as a whole.”

Cllr Peter Smith said: “It’s encouraging that there was such a positive response from everyone at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Primary. They have worked hard but had a lot of fun too and this award is well deserved.”

The School Mark is the Sustrans active travel award awarded by Sustrans guiding schools to excellence to active travel.

The Bike It Programme is delivered by Sustrans and is funded through the Crawley Borough Council. The programme has been delivered in Crawley since 2011 and has currently working with 17 schools across the borough.

More info on the Sustrans Bike It programme can be found here.

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