We were awarded London Gold Healthy Schoo status in 2018l, demonstrating the quality of our PSHE curriculum and our commitment to mental and physical wellbeing for all. Our whole-school focus area for the Healthy Schools award was the creation of a ‘clean air zone’ around the school with the school council being centrally involved in the project, meeting with our local councillors and MP and even going up to City Hall to draft a question for Mayor Sadiq Khan and you can watch their question being asked at MQs here.
Due to the children’s hard work we now do indeed have cleaner around our school gate at pick up and drop off time thanks to the School Street walking and cycling only zone in place. If you have any questions about the scheme you can read more on the Southwark Council website. We hope you will agree this is a wonderful achievement for the children at Bessemer and we invite parents each year to join us in celebrating our clean air commitment with our annual bike week, whilst our PTA Friends @ Bessemer run regular play streets, making the most of the space created by our closed roads. Take a look at some fabulous photos from some of our previous bike weeks and our school street celebration play street which was attended by Dr Will Norman, the Mayor’s walking and cycling commissioner.
The theme of Children’s Mental Health Week 2020 was ‘Find Your Brave‘ and we did lots to explore that theme over the week, but in particular highlighting how brave we need to be when we talk about our feelings. It was a busy week, with our first ever family book cafe! We shared stories about how our actions affect our own wellbeing but also that of the people around us as well as creating superhero brave pledges and happiness buckets, inspired by the book ‘Have you Filled a Bucket today?‘ by Carol McCloud. It was wonderful to have the support of Tales of Moon Lane books and to see so many wonderful books with interesting ways to help us start talking about our feelings.
Children in year 2 worked on their own original poetry inspired by Joseph Coehlo’s book If all the World Were, year 3 wrote rhyming chants to encourage their Cinderella of the Nile to be resilient and year 5 and 6 explored being brave when faced with choices through the poem The Door by Miroslav Holub. We were so impressed by their bravery in performing their work and sharing their ideas with one another. Well done and thank you to Miss Spence from Sydenham Prep for her support with creating such an excellent day.
PSHE is taught across the school every week and also via our key stage assemblies. The Bessemer PSHE curriculum is based upon the Southwark framework for PSHE and well-being and we use the Christopher Winter project resources to teach SRE and DATe.
One core theme each taught each term and these are health & well-being, relationships and living in the wider world.
We also use the “Phunky Food” scheme to ensure children at our school eat a healthy diet, learn about food hygiene and where food comes from. Click on the link to see our PSHE Curriculum.
We are delighted to say that we have been accredited as a Gender Action supporter school and will be working with the team at Lifting Limits this year on ways to tackle gender stereotypes through our curriculum. The Gender Action award has been developed by teams at Universities including Kings College and the Institute of Education and is supported by the Mayor of London. The scheme aims to tackle the negative effect that gender stereotyping has on students’ academic enjoyment and attainment. You can read more about it here.
Lifting Limits will be working with us on lesson plans designed to raise awareness around gender equity in the curriculum and 2020’s science week will include a focus on diversity within the science community. We will also be offering a parent workshop with the Lifting Limits team. You can read the evaluation of their pilot scheme in Camden here.
Bessemer is a member school of the Dulwich and Herne Hill Safe Routes to School forum, a group of 18 schools working together to make active travel to school safer and more attractive for all. Walking and cycling to school are proven to benefit children’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as helping reduce pollution in the local environment. Promoting healthy travel choices is core to our healthy schools status.
We are always looking for parent reps to represent Bessemer at the forum, so please do let the office know if you would be interested in being involved. In the meantime, please take a look at the walking map that our previous school councillors made thanks to a project funded by Southwark Council.