Rhayader Church in Wales Primary School
School name: Rhayader Church in Wales Primary School
Headteacher: Mrs Linda Crockett
Number of pupils: 160
A Powys primary school has been praised for its ethos of inclusivity and treating other children with respect.
This month (September), Rhayader Church in Wales has received the Peace Mala accreditation.
The Award looks at different religions and the promotion of tolerance and understanding of others and their beliefs. It celebrates the creative and innovative teaching happening at Rhayader school.
The school was encouraged to aim for the Award following the section 50 church inspection in January 2014.
Over the academic year of 2014 – 2015, school leaders collected information about each event which was held in school such as the school council’s anti bullying assembly, the Valentine Day celebrations where they celebrated International Peace Day and the children gave each other ‘Peace Cards’ and wrote Peace poetry.
The school’s Eco committee’s work was also used as part of the Peace Mala award.
“The staff and children were unaware of the Peace Mala award as leaders didn’t want them to feel over burdened with extra work,” said headteacher Linda Crockett.
“But, by March 2015 the seven areas of the self-evaluation were completed and the paperwork and evidence could be submitted.”
Since March the school council has developed a Peace Mala Garden, which is a quiet space decorated with dream catchers (made by the pupils) and inspirational quotes all written by the pupils.
The area is used for the children to take time out if they are feeling upset or cross due to others actions and the older children help others resolve any conflicts.
“The whole school community understands that they need to treat others as they themselves want to be treated,” added Mrs Crockett.
“That is the golden message of the Peace Mala. The Year 5 and 6 children have studied many religions and discovered that this is the message of every religion even if the beliefs are slightly different.
“The school, through the Peace Mala award, tries to educate the pupils to celebrate what makes people different from each other. It is our vision for the future that the children will help create a more tolerant and peaceful world in the future.”
The school has re-written the RE scheme of work around 12 values that link with the Peace Mala.
The inspirational work produced by the children has been praised by visitors to the school.
“Rhayader Primary School is a rural school in Mid Wales and there is little multicultural diversity, however the Peace Mala helps the school to discuss racial issues and develop the children’s awareness of the different cultures they will experience in later life,” said Mrs Crockett.
The Peace Mala was born in a classroom in Coedcae School, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. Pam Evans, Head of Religious Studies and her pupils were discussing the terrible events of September the 11th.
During the discussion in the classroom, they realised something needed to be done to combat prejudice and religious intolerance.
The Peace Mala bracelet was created as a simple representation of the world's religions living alongside each other in harmony.
Every year in the Autumn Term, Rhayader Church in Wales Primary School Year 3 children, make the Peace Mala bracelet as part of their RE work.