How we help your child
We like to think of our school as a family and it is important to us that every child is valued within our community and feels happy and secure. Relationships between staff and children are excellent and we are proud of the high level of care which we provide. We provide strong support for children’s spiritual and moral development, through a programme of assemblies and form time.
We also want parents to be part of our community and we work closely together to ensure that we deliver the very best education for the children in our care. Through high quality teaching and excellent pastoral care, we provide opportunities to develop independent thinking, curiosity and self-confidence. Our expectations are high, both in and out of the classroom, and the children learn to respect and care for others.
Each year group is divided into classes and the form teacher is primarily responsible for the pastoral care of pupils in their form and is the main point of contact for both children and parents. Each class meets their teacher at the start of the day, with extended form time on days when there is no assembly, and there is a PSHE lesson once a week. The class teacher should be the first point of call if there is a problem for either children or parents.
Pupils see their form teachers every morning at registration and are taught by them for most core subjects. In the Infants, children work for the majority of the time with their class teacher. In Years 3 and 4, children continue to work with their class teacher for a significant portion of the week, including the core subjects. In Years 5 and 6, children are still taught by their form teacher for a proportion of the week but teaching is increasingly in the hands of subject specialists.
Form teachers work closely with the Senior Management team. Mr Milnes, our Deputy Head, has overall responsibility for the pastoral care of children in Years 3 to 6 and Mrs Bailey, Assistant Head (Infants) oversees children in the Infants and Pre-Reception.
Assemblies and Form Periods
Assemblies are held on a daily basis. On Fridays, the whole Junior School is together. The Infants and the Juniors meet separately on other mornings. The Infants have an assembly on Tuesday morning and another on Thursday for awards and birthdays. The Juniors have assemblies on Monday and Wednesdays.
Children are encouraged to bring in awards and cups for presentation during assemblies. Children are actively involved in assemblies with regular presentations by classes. Times when the children are not in assemblies are used for extended form periods.
Pupils benefit from the support of two full-time school nurses, Mrs Ward and Mrs Kenny. The school nurses build good communication links between staff, pupils and parents to make sure all pupils are well cared for as individuals.
The school nurses are responsible for developing protocols and care plans for the administering of medicines in school and the management of existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.
The school nurses also work in partnership with teaching staff to deliver and advise on pastoral curriculum topics.
From Reception, every child is allocated to one of the four Houses: Arden, Nicholson, Vernon or Warren. The Houses are named after people who have been prominent members of the community. The House system continues into the senior school. Parents may request that their child is put into a particular House if there is a family connection with that House.
The House system encourages team work. There are various inter-House competitions and House points are awarded to individual children, by staff, for good work or positive behaviour. All House points are added together and the winning House announced in assembly at the end of the week. The House Cup is awarded to the House with the highest number of points at the end of each year.
Liaison between Parents and School
Clear communication between parents and school is very important. The form teacher will get to know your child well and will usually be the first point of contact. There is a ‘Meet the Teacher’ evening at the start of the academic year for parents of all year groups. Form teachers are available in their classrooms from 8.20am (Infants) and 8.30am (Juniors) but parents are asked to be aware that staff are likely to be busy with children at this time and more extended discussions are more suited to an appointment either before or after school. Staff are always available to meet with parents by appointment.
Staff may also be contacted by email but please be aware that staff are unlikely to be able to deal with emails during the busy school day. Pupils receive grades and reports at key points in the year which combine with parents’ evenings/consultations to provide regular feedback on all of the children.