Gungrog Church in Wales Nursery and Infant School
School name: Gungrog Church in Wales Nursery and Infant
Headteacher: Justine Baldwin
Number of pupils: 78
Gungrog Church in Wales Nursery and Infant school has recently been awarded a Peaceful Schools project award.
The focus of the project was Peaceful School Community.
“We decided to make this our focus as the school is possibly facing closure in the next two years when we may be amalgamating with three other local schools,” said headteacher Justine Baldwin.
“This situation means that the school community (pupils, staff, governors and parents) are all facing an uncertain future as the process of consultation, possible redundancy and merger rolls out. In order to provide a focus for everyone through this difficult time, we decided to work on a Peace Project that could involve everyone and enhance our sense of community cohesion.”
Peace in Education
The school began by involving Peace in Education workers with its year 2 pupils facing transition to the Junior school.
Weekly sessions were held throughout the summer term that enabled pupils to talk about issues such as conflict resolution, restorative justice, difference, tolerance and relationships.
“We decided to involve all stakeholders in deciding on a set of Values that we could embed in the school to help us through this difficult period in the school’s history,” added Justine.
“All stakeholders were involved in devising a list of eleven values, which now form the focus for Collective Worship, circle time and Philosophy for Children, and are a visible presence in our school both on display and as our children start to exhibit these behaviours.”
One of the values is Peace, so the school began to think about how they could create a Reflection Area in the outdoors where everyone could feel at peace and have time to sit and think, and pray if needed.
A reflection seat was already in place, which was a gift from the parents of a former pupil at the school, and it was decided to develop that area.
Peaceful colours were chosen and signs purchased that encourage reflection. An artist in residence came to work with all the children to make tiny ceramic tiles, creating a mosaic cross which forms a focal point.
“We began work on a Peace Wall. An existing fence was painted white and our after-school art club used symbols of Peace to create recycled artwork. Signs were added and the overall effect is striking,” said Justine.
Recently, the Bishop of St Asaph visited the school to formerly open the school’s Nurture Room (which is another recent development that supports pupils with attachment disorder, self-regulation, self-esteem and social communication difficulties).
“He also viewed the Reflection Area and Peace Wall, which he enjoyed as the children explained all about it! The children clearly have a sense of ownership over both these projects, which is clear to our visitors,” said Justine.