Marland Hill Community Primary School adopts the Department for Education definition of community cohesion to mean working towards a society in which:
There is a common vision and sense of belonging by all communities the diversity of people's backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued
Similar life opportunities are available to all, and
For a number of years, we have been committed to promoting community cohesion as part of the response to the legal duties outlined in previous legislation.
We understand that Community Cohesion is the process that should happen in all communities to ensure that different groups and individual people get on well together. It should also allow for new communities and existing communities to adapt and integrate with one another.
The school will promote community cohesion within a number of dimensions including:
To link together all of the five British Values pupils take part in Community Cohesion sessions. The project is based on bringing together children from local primary schools and the sixth form college. The children and mentors meet together to discuss creating a ‘New Town’ in the area. This Town must be a place where they will feel safe, valued and be given respect. The children work in mixed groups, with the support of mentors and discuss their ideals for a ‘New Town’. Positive lists are created of the attitudes, values and behaviours they believe the community should bring to their ‘New Town’. They also look at negative behaviours that they would not want to see.
The year’s Community Learning Sessions have a structure, which will eventually lead to the children and mentors writing speeches. These speeches are presented to local councillors and the local police, encompassing their views about the Town in which they live. The speeches are written quite passionately and include information about what they feel needs to be changed in their local community. Their three wishes for improvements in the local community are also presented to the councillors and police.
The children are organised into groups (one mentor from the college with one child from each primary school) to present their speeches and they are taken to a place of cultural heritage, which is the Town Hall in Rochdale. The event is also seen as a networking opportunity between the three schools. They are given a tour of the Town Hall, followed by a buffet, enabling time for social interaction between the schools to take place. Friendships over the three terms flourish and it becomes an excellent Secondary Transition Project. The children and mentors also participate in parachute games before they present their speeches, as many of them are nervous at performing a presentation in such a grand place.
The councillors and police respond to all the speeches after they are delivered. We have follow up visits from the councillors and police to ensure the children’s comments are given full attention. Following this event, the children also take a walk around the local area, highlighting to the police the ‘hot spots’ of their concern, which include drug related issues, alcohol and vandalism.
The project’s activities are enhanced by the active involvement throughout the year by the police, who join us for a number of sessions. The project also has a Magistrate and counsellors, who deliver sessions to the children and covers topics such as Young Offenders. Both headteachers attend sessions to ensure the children understand the importance of the project. The programme is interspersed with many games, which include parachute, bowls, musical interludes, red and blue rhythm sticks and many other games.
We are looking forward to another exciting year of working in partnership with Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hamer Community Primary School. The school’s Community Cohesion Ambassadors for 2017-2018 are currently being decided and the first session is coming up very soon. Watch this space as the year unfolds as we share the great work our children will be doing across different communities in Rochdale!
Community Cohesion Summer 2018
Our Community Cohesion ambassadors worked in partnership with Hamer Primary School and Rochdale Sixth Form College. They did some excellent work on diversity within families and communities. What does diversity in families mean/look like. They then designed carnival floats to celebrate difference.
In the morning we discussed the ethos and values of a community. In the afternoon colleagues from the Local Authority and construction firm Wilmott Dixon visited and they learnt all about the construction industry and how to build electric circuits. We also looked at how to physically build a community – ie with buildings.
Please have a look at our photos below which show the children unpicking diversity and difference through various different texts and some of us all having a go at building circuits – it was great to see the Headteachers also joining in!!
We are looking forward to our next session at Hamer in May!
Spring Term 2018
This term the Community Cohesion group have visited Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hamer Primary School. Heather Mellalieu, Youth Worker, ran a session with the children about how to improve the local area and how they can help to achieve this.