Sex and Relationship Education (SRE)
This is part of the Personal, Social and Health Education framework and is taught by your child’s class teacher in mixed and single sex groups. Relationships and personal and social skills will be discussed throughout a child’s time in school, often during “Circle Time,” the regular structured discussion and play times led by the class teacher.
From Year 5, specific sex education topics are taught. These provide children with accurate knowledge and understanding about sexuality and relationships. The language and topics taught are carefully designed to be appropriate to the Year’s age and maturity.
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from sex education but we would strongly advise you to discuss this with the school before making such a decision.
Beyond the National Curriculum
Music has always been important at Gillespie and assemblies often include a musical contribution by pupils.
We are very proud that Gillespie was one of the first schools in Islington chosen to introduce Music First. This is a music initiative in which every child in Year 4, 5 and 6 is loaned a string instrument and given free tuition. The children learn to play together, performing in regular assemblies and concerts with our partner schools in Islington including Highbury Grove Secondary School. Our children have also had the opportunity to perform in concerts at The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and regular performances at The Union Chapel in Islington. For more information about Music First please see the 'Partnerships' section of this website.
Pupils are also able to join After School Music Hub at Highbury Grove to further develop their skills and musical experiences.
Children in Years 4 have swimming lessons once a week as part of their regular class timetable. They are taken by coach to Highbury Fields Pool where they are taught to swim by a qualified swimming instructor and encouraged to enter for certificates. A teacher is present during the swimming lessons.
Everyone takes part unless there is a medical reason for not doing so in which case please write to the class teacher. Your child will need a swimsuit, swim cap and towel, all with their names attached, and a means of tying back long hair where necessary.
Outings and Trips
All classes make several trips a year to museums, art galleries, theatres and parks. Some are local, others involve a short journey on public transport. We also are developing bi-annual and annual trips for particular classes to visit partner schools in Hambridge and to visit the annual science festival at Cheltenham.
Every year we organise a residential trip to Cardfields Environmental Centre in Essex- for the older children, usually with an environmental focus and emphasis on outdoor activity.
Pupil involvement in school life
Children have an official voice in the school through the School Council. Each class has an elected representative who takes issues arising from class discussion to the School Council meetings. The children organise and run the meetings but an adult is in attendance to support them and to communicate issues to staff.
The School Council allows Gillespie children to learn about citizenship and democracy, while also having a real impact on decision making in the school. For example, discussions on the quality of lunches were an important factor in the decision to invest in a new kitchen so that fresh food could be cooked on the premises. The School Council also contributed to the development of a range of high quality playground activities and resources.
We have a team of committed children who support other children to engage with eachother at play times and to develop social awareness about the needs of others. Children are supported by an adult and complete a training course involving skills in listening & communication, problem solving, supporting others, working in a team and confidentiality. Playground buddies select children they have observed making a positive contribution to school life to be awarded certificates in weekly assemblies.
Lab_13 Management Committee
A team of keen pupil scientists, supported by our Resident Scientist in managing our Lab_13 science and technology lab. The pupils take leadership responsibility for involving children across the school in additional science investigations and activities. The children contribute to the Lab_13 Blog and Twitter feed (XXX) and support the school in making links to the Lab_13 network of schools.
The Green Team
A team of pupils committed to promoting green and sustainable awareness issues including activities to improve recycling at school and in supporting the school to reduce its carbon footprint. The team has also taken a lead in developing our school gardens. In recent years we have won a number of Islington in Bloom prizes and awards.
A team of pupils trained to support children and staff to use our managed learning environment Fronter effectively.
Pupil monitors take responsibility for supporting pupils to make the right decisions in day to day aspects of school life.