The school provides experiences that encourage each child’s intellectual, social, physical, moral, emotional and religious development. The environment is stimulating and interesting, children are encouraged to be as independent as possible, and a variety of teaching and learning strategies are used.
The school sees practical first-hand experience as being very important to young children’s learning and also believes that play is an excellent way of achieving a greater understanding of many ideas. We pay attention to the more able children and plan work to stretch and interest those children. We also identify where children need more support and adapt our teaching to meet every child’s needs.
We are a Forest School and each week the children spend time in the outside learning environment. They take part in exciting activities that help them learn about the world around them and help develop their speaking and listening and social skills.
Language and Literacy
At Wood End we teach Read, Write, Inc., a scheme that helps children develop their phonics skills, reading and writing. In Years 1 and 2, the children take part in Read, Write, Inc. for an hour a day.
The elements in learning about language – speaking, listening, reading and writing – are vital parts of first school education. Children’s future learning depends on their ability to communicate verbally and in writing, and to read fluently and with understanding.
Through discussion, circle time and role-play, children learn to express themselves clearly and to listen to others.
Great importance is placed on learning to read and developing a love of books and an appreciation of good literature. We like to involve parents right from the start and as soon as your child brings home a reading book, we invite you to share it with your child. A Home School Link booklet is also given to your child so that you or the teacher can make comments. We hope that you will enthusiastically join in the partnership with Wood End and help your child to love books. Wood End has a parent guide called ‘Reading’ which can be found on the school website. If at any time you need advice about reading, please ask your child’s teacher.
Formal skills of spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting are taught to each child at the appropriate level. Please encourage your children when writing at home to start their letter shapes in the correct place and form them in the correct way. The earlier bad habits are changed, the easier it is. The handwriting script used at Wood End is included in the prospectus and is on the school website. As soon as your child is ready, they will be taught joined-up handwriting in class. A variety of writing experiences are given to children including writing factual reports, descriptions, letters, lists, their own thoughts and feelings, poems and stories
In order for children to unlock the basics of reading and writing, we teach phonics during the Read, Write, Inc. sessions. Each child is taught the letter sounds and how they are blended to make words. The ‘Key’ words are also learnt during these sessions. Parents can help by encouraging their child to read and then spell the key words that are given to them.
Speaking and Listening
The children are encouraged to listen carefully in a variety of situations and given practice to articulate clearly and sensibly including sharing ideas and opinions
At Wood End, practical experience is seen as being very important before any recording of work. One particular scheme is not used in isolation, but ideas from many schemes are used to make work varied and enjoyable. In Mathematics, the children will study number and place value, calculations, fractions, measurements, shape, graphs and data.
Activities include listening, reading, writing, talking, discussing, thinking, reflecting, carrying out practical work, practising, using mathematics in context, relating new knowledge, investigating, creating, trying different methods, testing, observing and using a variety of resources.
Experience of these will enable pupils when tackling real-life problems to estimate and approximate, use trial and error, recognise patterns and relationships, apply reasoning skills and make use of appropriate technology. Parents can help their children at home by encouraging them to count small amounts of money, finding numbers when out and about, counting objects, making models and using weighing and measuring.
Science is a form of investigation and exploration in response to everyday experiences. Children experiment, observe and record. In their learning the children incorporate enquiry, measuring, recording, assessing, observing, criticising, hypothesising and reporting.
History and Geography
When studying Historical topics we borrow as many resources as possible to give the children first-hand experience of the past. The school is always glad to hear of any resources that parents or grandparents may have that can be borrowed or donated. In Geography, the youngest children concentrate on their own local area of Stantonbury and this will often involve a local walk to observe geographical features.
Knowing about themselves, their families, their environment and their past helps children to understand why they are as they are. History and Geography help children to make sense of their surroundings and the wider world.
Each class has an interactive whiteboard, and the school has an ICT suite with 17 computers and printing facilities and a class set of iPads. All the computers in the school are networked and have e-mail and Internet facilities. All computers are timetabled for use to enable each child as much access as possible. Activities used on the computer will sometimes be to improve their Information Technology skills and, at other times, will support other areas of the curriculum including mathematical games (Mathematics); dictionary and spelling games (English); planning and labelling towns (Geography); or learning about parts of the body (Science). All the activities are constantly improving the children’s skills of using the keyboard and mouse. The children are encouraged to see the computer as a valuable tool that enhances and develops their learning. There is a Computing Policy and an Internet Access/Use and E-Safety Policy.
Design and Technology
Each term has an aspect of Design and Technology planned. The work may concentrate on using construction kits and planning and making models with these. At other times, a variety of different materials are made available for a task. The children are encouraged to plan and design while thinking about materials that are appropriate for each task. In some projects, tools such as saws will be used under careful teacher supervision. Design and Technology helps to develop children’s confidence, ingenuity, practical skills, reasoning ability, organisation, co-operation, leadership, planning ability, manual dexterity, motivation, language skills, maths skills and hand/eye co-ordination.
Art and Design
The children are given experience of working with a variety of media, e.g. paint, clay, pastels,
charcoal, inks and threads. Children are encouraged to use their own imagination and be inspired by the styles, techniques and ideas of well-known artists. The staff place a lot of importance on displaying children’s work in the classroom and around the school. Please take the time to admire the children’s creative skills.
All the children experience music each week. Work includes keeping rhythms, composing music, playing instruments, listening and appraising the work of others, and learning songs. A variety of composers’ work is played during class and assembly time to give the children experience of different styles of music from different times in history, places and cultures. Our aim is to develop a love and enjoyment of music, an appreciation of music composed and played by others and the skills needed in order to create music and express themselves through music.
Physical Education and Sports Provision
At Wood End School, we place a great deal of importance on the children keeping fit and healthy. We hope that if physical activity is seen to be enjoyable, the children may well pursue sport, dance or gymnastics in their later life.
The children in KS1 have two or three sessions of Physical Education each week. We teach gymnastics skills which include the children practising movements on the floor and then developing these ideas on the apparatus. In games, children learn skills that will help them in sports such as football, tennis, hockey, rounders and cricket. The children use small apparatus – balls, ropes, bats, bean bags, etc. – to practise the skills required for these team games. The children are also encouraged to work in pairs or small groups and learn the value of team work. Where available, qualified coaches are invited to school to work with the children and after school clubs are organised. We also teach dance, the children develop the ability to express ideas and feeling through movement. The children also learn dances from other countries and cultures or different styles such as country dancing, line dancing or maypole dancing. In Year 2, the children attend a swimming lesson at Stantonbury Campus each week throughout the year.
The children are encouraged to participate in all the Physical Education lessons and therefore written or spoken messages from parents are needed before a child will be excused.
Children change together in the classroom and it is important that children are dressed appropriately. They are encouraged to bring their Physical Education clothes in a bag at the beginning of a half term. The children are reminded to take them home at the end of each half term to be washed.
The dress code is:
|Gymnastics and Dance||Leotard or Shorts, and T-Shirt. No Plimsolls.|
|Games||As above and plimsolls. It is also useful, during the cooler months for children to have a tracksuit. If the weather is reasonable, games will be outside.|
|Swimming||Trunks (not shorts) for boys. One-Piece Costume (not bikini) for girls.|
Plimsolls are only worn during games lessons. In gymnastics it is safer to have bare feet and in dance children need to use their feet in a creative way. Please check your child’s plimsolls regularly to ensure they still fit.
No jewellery is allowed to be worn during P.E. and the teacher will ask all children to remove any items. The only exception is earring sleepers providing that the child’s parent has signed a form to take responsibility for any injury that may occur.
We encourage parents and children to walk or cycle to school. The school has bike racks for the use of adults and children.
All children in KS1 take part in Religious Education weekly in the classroom. This may take the form of discussion, stories, written work or artwork. Visitors including those from local churches are invited to take assemblies. Christianity is the predominant religion that, by law, we must study but we also consider that it is important to teach the children about the beliefs of other religions. Where there are children in school who practise a religion, they are used as a resource and help us understand more about their religion. Other topics that arise in our Religious Education syllabus are the importance of belonging to groups and families, how to treat others with kindness and respect and the wonder and beauty of the natural world. All parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the religious education and collective worship provided. Those children who are withdrawn are expected to bring work to do and are supervised by an adult. Parents who are concerned about their children studying this area of the curriculum should discuss it with the Headteacher.
A summary of Sex Education can be found in the Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship education policy. Physical differences and reproduction are discussed honestly and appropriately to the children’s developmental level. Children’s questions are answered honestly when they arise. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from sex education. If you have concerns about this please discuss with the Headteacher.
The school has a Race Equality policy and an action plan to ensure the implementation of the policy. All reported racist incidents are recorded. Racial abuse is viewed as unacceptable behaviour at Wood End and is a rare occurrence.
All the staff at Wood End have a strong commitment to encouraging appropriate behaviour. We believe this is best achieved in partnership with parents. There is a behaviour guide that is given to all new parents and the school has a Behaviour Policy that is available on the school web site. Children are encouraged to follow rules and develop a sense of community and mutual respect. We use restorative practice principles in which children are encouraged to understand how other people feel when incidents happen and everyone gets an opportunity to talk and be listened to. All staff are trained and all incidents are dealt with using the restorative practice principles. Please see our web site for further information.
Every child in school brings a reading book home. Additional homework is set on a regular basis. This may include literacy, numeracy, handwriting, spellings or topic research. Please help your child to complete their homework.
Extra Curricular Activities
The school provides a variety of clubs each term for different age groups. Letters are sent out at the beginning of each term for children to sign up. Those provided by school staff are free. Clubs that involve attendance of an outside coach will have a small charge.
Special Educational Needs
A child has a special educational need if s/he has significantly greater difficulty in their ability to learn that the majority of children of the same age or a disability or emotional/behavioural difficulty which makes if difficult to take advantage of normal school facilities. It has been estimated that approximately 20% of all children will have a special educational need at some stage in their school life. The vast majority of children with such needs will be catered for within their existing school, with additional help from external agencies if required.
The SEN policy for Wood End School can be viewed at the school on request. In order ti help children who have a special educational need, our school adopts a graduated response that recognises there is a continuum of special educational needs. The school will record the steps it has taken and maintain records to help monitor the progress and support given for each child with special educational needs.
Children with SEN will have targets agreed between the school and parents.
Assessment and provision of a pupil’s special education needs is a partnership between pupil, the parents and the school, with other agencies becoming involved as required. The teaching assistants in the school work under the direction of the teachers and the SEN Co-ordinator to support the children with special needs in the classroom and on an individual or group basis outside the classroom.
Admission of disabled pupils is made in accordance with the general admission criteria of the school. Pupils with disabilities are not treated less favourably that their peers. Needs are assessed and appropriate provision made, such as the provision of supporting technology to allow them to participate fully.
All staff at Wood End make every effort to ensure that [pupils with special educational needs join in everyday activities, where possible, with other pupils. The staff liaises regularly with various SEN support personnel from outside the school.
Please see the school web site for our SEN report and school offer.
Gifted and Talented
Wood End School also identifies children who are significantly more able or particularly talented in a specific area. Whenever we can, we provide further opportunities for those children to develop their skills further and fulfil their potential.