What can we learn from conflict?
How to not make the same mistakes, how to move forward and ultimately how co-operation can build all our futures.
On Tuesday 5th December our whole community undertook curriculum day where we explored conflict in many forms including within ourselves, in art, in our cultural history, across the world, within the world of science and through social media. Ultimately conflicts, in any level of community, cannot always be avoided but where they occur we can learn from them and grow.
Our focus was on co-operation and how that can open up so many new opportunities. Throughout the day there were 7 sessions which the pupils participated in;
Political immigration – In this session we discussed the origins of the British people and discovered that we have always been a country of immigration: from the Celts to the Saxons Vikings and Normans, to refugee groups such as European Jews and Protestant Huguenots and that through our conquest and trading relationships brought to Britain people from the former the Empire and Commonwealth. Young people in our learning groups evaluated what Britishness is or was and the benefits and challenges of immigration for us Britons and those coming to our country to settle.
Music – During the music session, pupils discussed how music can show a pride of culture by listening to and discussing different national anthems. Equally pupils addressed how it can express conflict peacefully in a sporting environment they watched and discussed the Haka. Finally pupils discussed how music directly effects their emotions and compared song choices with each other relevant to how they were feeling. Overall this session was a great success which brought on a variety of very interesting discussions. Pupils respected each other’s choices and opinions which made a very comfortable welcoming environment.
Conflict in art – During the art activity the groups were working hard creating Peace pinwheels using conflicting styles of art. On one side they splatted paint like Jackson Pollock and on the other, they made geometric designs like Pier Mondrian. The students also designed and made their own peace badges using a badge punch machine.
The Space Race – The science department used the real life example of the Space Race, where conflict and competition was ultimate trumped by co-operation and joint working as different communities came together to achieve the impossible. As always in our science exploration there were plenty of opportunities for some exciting activities, including the testing of rocket fuel! It was a really enjoyable day and the all the boys taking part had a blast!
Implicit Bias – This session was on how media creates stereotypes which led to bias unknowingly. Also known as implicit social cognition, implicit bias refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favourable and unfavourable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. All groups engaged well and were able to reflect on influences around them.
Restorative Justice – Our pupils are aware of Restorative Justice and that it is used successfully within our school to build bridges in relationships and to allow us to move forward from conflicts. Throughout each of the sessions pupils were able to reflect upon given scenarios as a third party in which they could be the reflective voice of reason. They showed they could see events from differing points of view and to work with conflicting parties to reach a mutual understanding and able to make plans to move forward. Throughout the session, MHS values such as responsibility, empathy and respect were referred to.
We also held three sessions throughout the morning where all pupils gained an insight into Prevent, what it is designed for, means for them and how different members of society are at risk of manipulation. Tony Cook and Claire McDonald, West Sussex’s Prevent officers, came and delivered an informative session to our oldest pupils.
“The session was really good, they gave us a lot of detail about what is terrorism and what we need to look out for. They told us about not sharing your phone hand how it could be used and made us aware of risks we didn’t know before.” Lee Shaw, Year 11