The Governors, Headteacher and Staff would like to take this opportunity to welcome you and your child to Sherborne Abbey Primary School.
We hope that the contents of this brochure will be of real use to you and it should be read in conjunction with the Dorset Education Authority publication ‘Admissions to Dorset Schools: A Parents’ Guide’ which sets out the policies of the Authority.
Generations of Sherborne children have been educated at Sherborne Abbey Primary School and it has responded to many educational changes during its history with sound judgement and common sense. We shall endeavour to respond to future educational changes in a similar positive manner.
It is essential that there is a partnership between parents and school and that we work hand in hand to develop each child’s potential.
Mrs A-M Kampf
Our aim is to provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment where pupils can gain confidence and self esteem and secure the highest levels of academic achievement.
We will encourage pupils to work and to play amicably with one another and learn the value of co-operation, decent behaviour and respect for the environment.
All children are unique and will be given the support, opportunity and spiritual guidance to fully develop their individual talents.
We will seek to provide a broad and balanced curriculum tailored to individual needs and based on the firm and lasting foundations of Christianity. This should enable pupils to grow into caring, tolerant and sensitive members of the community.
It is important that we work in harmony and co-operation with parents and governors to produce a school of the highest order with a mutually supportive and caring ethos.
The school is a Voluntary Controlled Primary School under the authority of the Dorset Education Committee.
The school does not discriminate on the grounds of sex, colour or creed.
The school building, opened in February 2000, occupies a large open site on the western edge of Sherborne.
There are 10 class bases. All bases have the most modern teaching facilities. In addition there is a large hall, music and drama studio, central resource area, special needs room and food technology area.
There are extensive outdoor and sports facilities that include two football pitches, three netball courts, a long jump pit, two courtyards and an environmental area.
Children entering Sherborne Abbey CE VC Primary School at 4+ will be admitted as a single entry group in September 2011. All children will be admitted on a full-time basis.
The Admission Number for 2011/2012 is 30.
The school will follow the Dorset LEA policy for admissions should applications for places exceed the school admission number.
All new parents and pupils will be invited to attend a meeting during the summer term before the child’s entry to school. Any parent wishing to visit the school should make an appointment through the School Office.
If a child is absent through illness the school should be informed as soon as possible by a letter or by telephone. If a child has to leave on his/her own during the day, for example to keep a dental appointment, WRITTEN permission MUST be given by parents and the appropriate exit book signed. Requests for other absences, for example, when the family holiday has to be taken in term time, should be sent to the Headteacher in advance.
If a pupil has to be collected by parents during the school day, the exit book should be signed. This is in the School Office.
All parents are asked to sign the enclosed Home School Agreement. Please note this is not compulsory.
No organisation can flourish without sound discipline. We aim to develop the self-discipline that is required to become a useful member of society. Therefore, as children progress through the school they are given opportunities and responsibilities to promote self discipline and they are encouraged to use initiative. On the few occasions where children are persistently disciplined, parents are informed and we then try to work things out between the school, the parents and the child.
The school has a written policy on discipline and disruptive behaviour.
Buses or taxis usually transport children of compulsory school age who live in the rural catchment area. This provision is subject to the Education Committee’s ruling on distances which merit the provision of school transport, and this is revised from time to time.
Information is available from the County Transport Officer, Education Department, County Hall, Dorchester (Dorchester 01305 251000). The school has no say on parents’ entitlement to school transport.
Grey or black skirt, red gingham dress or grey or black trousers, red sweatshirt or cardigan, white polo shirt.
Grey or black trousers, red sweatshirt, white polo shirt.
School sweatshirts, cardigans and polo shirts are available from Sporting Classics, Cheap Street, Sherborne.
Children should not wear anything to school that poses a safety hazard. Sensible shoes are required, not trainers. Earrings must be studs only.
Any child who takes up the option of free school meals can be offered a free sweatshirt when they start school.
Your child will require a pair of black PE shorts, a red T shirt, socks other than those they wear to school and a pair of plimsolls or trainers. A tracksuit, though not compulsory, is a good investment, as it provides warmth on cold days. Year 4 – 6 children will need a swimming costume. Children who are not fit or who are convalescing from illness will be excused from physical education but would you please send a letter on such occasions.
Please name items of clothing that your child will be wearing in school.
Morning school begins at 8.55 a.m. and ends at 12.15 p.m. School finishes at 3.20 p.m. for all children. Children should not be on the school premises before 8.40 a.m.
Time spent on teaching during the normal school week is Infants 22 hours 30 minutes and Juniors 23 hours and 45 minutes. This includes Religious Education, but excludes the statutory act of collective worship, registration and breaks (including lunch).
All children can purchase a hot school meal or bring a packed lunch. A hot school meal is provided for children who are entitled to free school meal.
For information about the eligibility for free school meals please contact the school office.
Children eat their lunch in the Dining Hall. Please do not send glass bottles to school because they can be dangerous. Some parents may prefer their children to go home for lunch. If so, we need to be informed in writing.
The Governing Body recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs, trips and residential experiences can make towards pupils’ personal and social education.
The Governing Body aims to promote and provide such activities both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the pupils of the school and as additional optional activities.
The Governing Body reserves the right to make a charge in the following circumstances for activities organised by the school:
School journeys in school hours – The board and lodging element of residential activities deemed to take place within school hours.
Activities outside school hours – The full cost to each pupil of the activities deemed to be optional extras taking place outside school hours.
Charging for materials – The cost of materials, ingredients, equipment (or the provision of them by parents) in subjects such as Food Technology. The Governing Body may charge for ingredients and materials or require them to be provided if the parents have indicated in advance that they wish to own the finished product.
Tuition in the playing of a musical instrument – Where tuition in the playing of a musical instrument is available a charge will be made by the Governors.
The Governing Body may, from time to time, amend the categories of activity for which a charge may be made.
Nothing in this policy statement precludes the Governing Body from inviting parents to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of providing education for pupils.
Where the parents of a pupil are in receipt of certain benefits the Governing Body will not charge for the cost of board and lodging for any residential activity that it organises if it is deemed to take place within the school hours or where it forms part of the syllabus for a prescribed public examination or the National Curriculum.
Usually, if a child feels unwell at school we contact the parent, who normally collects the child.
If your child has a contagious illness, please check with your doctor before sending him/her back to school.
From time to time the School Nurse, Speech Therapist and Medical Auxiliaries who carry out hearing tests, eye tests and speech tests for groups of children visit the school. There will be occasions when individual children are required to have supplementary tests. Although parents are informed directly by the medical authorities concerned, it has always been our policy to inform you ourselves before the official notification.
The school has a Medicine in School Policy which is available from the School Office.
The percentage of authorised absence for the preceding academic year for this school was 4.7%
The percentage of unauthorised absence for the preceding academic year for this school was 0.4%
In accordance with the Government guidelines our curriculum is balanced and broadly based following the National Curriculum programmes of study for all subjects.
This academic year there will be 3 infant classes and five junior classes.
The teaching of English at Sherborne Abbey Primary School aims to develop each child’s ability to speak, listen, read and write effectively. A minimum of an hour each day will be devoted to developing vital literacy skills.
Children entering the school aged four will have varying degrees of language competence but all will have achieved considerable success in mastering their native tongue. We attempt to organise the pupils’ learning in ways which follow on logically and consistently from the successful language learning which children have already accomplished in the context of their own homes.
Many children will come to the school having engaged in pleasurable reading experiences with their parents. We aim to build upon these and to develop in our pupils those skills that will enable them to become independent readers without diminishing their delight for stories.
In the Infant classes, through Key Stage 1, children encounter print in a variety of ways. They are introduced to the alphabet and to phonics through structured programmes; there is an emphasis on gradually increasing pupils’ sight vocabulary; structured reading schemes are introduced from the outset. In addition to these schemes, our pupils are regularly exposed to a range of picture books and other attractive material housed in either class libraries or the main school library. These are considered to be as equally valuable as the core reading schemes that they supplement. It is our intention that our pupils should be exposed to a variety of texts from the beginning so material will include not only picture books, but also nursery rhymes, poems, folk tales, myths and legend as well as a variety of non fictional material. The sharing of stories is an important part of the Infant reading experience and children are encouraged to listen to stories carefully and through discussion to reflect more deeply upon aspects of the text. The children will also encounter print in the form of signs and notices around the classroom.
As the children become more competent readers, through Key Stage 2, they are encouraged to develop independence and read an increasingly wide range of variety of texts from their class libraries and the school library. Teachers ensure that time is provided for private reading and for reading conferences when pupils can talk about books to the teacher or to their peers. Children are also encouraged to read aloud, either as individuals or in groups, from texts which they have prepared in advance.
Most children come to school wanting to write. They will already know that writing is an important means of communication and will be eager to experiment with it. We attempt to capitalise upon this initial enthusiasm by providing the tools and the situations that will enable children to become more effective writers. Pupils are, therefore, taught the conventional ways of forming letter shapes and practice is given to foster a comfortable, legible and cursive handwriting style.
As they progress through the school, children will experience writing for a range of purposes which will include the writing of: stories, poems, plays, letters, accounts, descriptions, explanations, instructions, information, opinions, books, pamphlets, newspaper reports, and summaries. They will learn to organise the content of their writing in ways appropriate to their purposes, to write in a variety of styles and for different audiences. Considerable emphasis is attached to the importance of spelling, punctuation and syntax.
Oral work is an essential element in Sherborne Abbey School classrooms because we recognise that talking facilitates learning. Opportunities are provided so that children may speak in non threatening situations to small groups and, as they become more confident, to larger audiences. The range of speech opportunities provided will include opportunities to ask questions, tell stories, to give presentations, persuade, chat, think aloud, speculate, give instructions, negotiate, inform, complain, debate, express feelings, reach judgements and summarise. We also encourage our pupils as listeners to be polite and attentive and to be able to reflect upon what they have heard.
All pupils experience educational drama. During drama time, pupils usually develop themes which occur during English or Topic work. They explore emotions, reactions, situations and characters from varying viewpoints. They will also learn to develop their personal confidence, oral fluency, voice projection, co-operation, concentration and inventiveness. The drama work enables the children to understand and deal with human situations and emotions through role-play, in safe situations that are distanced from reality.
At Sherborne Abbey Primary School we follow the National Primary Strategy to help the children to understand mathematical ideas, to reinforce their experiences and to apply their knowledge. This involves whole class teaching, individual attention and paired or small group activities. In this way, we aim to cater for the individual needs of each child. It is important to us that the children should enjoy their mathematical experiences and that they should develop a confident approach to new ideas. We aim to encourage parental involvement.
It is important that the children learn to use appropriate equipment in order to develop their understanding and enhance their learning. We aim also to encourage children to record their thinking using their own originality as well as traditionally accepted methods. With the above approach, we aim to foster an ‘I can do it’ attitude to mathematics, provide a sound base of learned facts and develop a logical, organised approach to problem solving.
Science is a systematic way of exploring the world. It is taught with an emphasis on practical investigations in all years, encouraging children to develop an enthusiasm for the subject together with an enquiring mind. Children are encouraged through practice, to develop their own ideas about and understanding of the scientific concepts outlined in the programmes of study in the National Curriculum.
In Key Stage 1, the children explore ideas in contexts that are familiar to them, such as toys, homes, their bodies and school. In Key Stage 2, their investigations can be set in the context of the world around us.
The children will meet a variety of learning experiences which should promote not only a good understanding of the nature of scientific ideas and the development of scientific methods of investigation, but in addition it should give children opportunities to see the contribution that Science makes to other curriculum areas and society in general.
Creativity is central to Art and Design activity. Art enriches personal experiences and contributes to the material and spiritual well-being of the individual. It enables children to be more flexible and open minded, providing them with visual language for communication. It increases aesthetic sensibilities and stretches their intellectual ability and emotional responses.
Children will be taught to enjoy and value the visual and tactile dimensions of both the ‘natural’ and ‘made’ environment through a variety of resources, tools and materials i.e. pottery, sculpture photography.
In Geography, we aim to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of places through the study of physical, human and environmental factors. Children will be taught to develop and apply geographical skills, and will be given opportunities, where appropriate, to experience fieldwork, and to use their information technology capability in their studies.
In History we aim to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of history, their ability to understand interpretations of history, and their ability to use historical evidence in an appropriate way.
Both subjects will aim to promote the children’s skills of enquiry, with opportunities for investigation of a wide variety of topics.
All children are offered a wide range of musical activities during their weekly lessons. They have opportunities to compose pieces in small groups, perform and record their compositions, sing, play musical games to help them develop a sense of rhythm and listen to a wide variety of music. They have a good selection of instruments to use.
Children are encouraged to develop their skills further by joining the school choir or one of the many recorder groups that rehearse during the lunchtimes. The choir has the chance to perform in the Abbey at various times during the school year.
From year 3 children can receive, for a fee, tuition on a range of orchestral instruments from visiting peripatetic staff.
Design and Technology in the National Curriculum has strands: developing, planning and communicating ideas, working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products and evaluating processes and products.
We aim to make sure that the context in which design and technology activities take place is at an appropriate level and builds on children’s previous experience.
All the main areas of Technology are covered:
- Graphics, using a variety of media;
- Model-making and construction, including technical kits;
- Food technology, including cooking;
- Textiles, including sewing.
We aim to give children skills and understanding in these areas so that they can make informed choices when planning and making. All skills introduced are structured to the abilities and ages of the children with a strong emphasis, throughout the school, on safe practice.
As the children’s skills progress we encourage them to tackle more challenging work with confidence and enthusiasm.
Computers in the Primary School are a tool to aid learning based on practical experience. We aim for children to build up a working knowledge of how to use them and an appreciation of their potential.
Our computers are used in many areas of the curriculum. We use text handling and word processing packages that allow children to write, edit, store and produce printed copies of their work. We use computers to structure and store information that the children gather in Mathematics and Science. We also use programmes for problem solving and art and graphics work. The majority of computers allow access to the Internet. Our service provider ensures that sites are safe for children to visit by offering a filtered service. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards for teaching.
Every child is encouraged to participate in all areas of the Physical Education National Curriculum. This is divided into the six strands of Athletics, Games, Dance, Swimming, Gymnastics and Outdoor Education.
We provide equal opportunities for boys and girls and aim to give a sense of personal achievement and enjoyment. We believe that Physical Education develops body awareness, encourages positive attitudes towards health and fitness and leads to greater self-esteem, co-operation and leadership skills.
Swimming takes place at the King’s Pool for Years 4, 5 and 6 during the winter terms.
Extra-curricular activities include Netball, Football, Gymnastics, Rounders, Cricket and Athletics. Matches and tournaments are played with other local schools in North Dorset. Pupils have the opportunity of representing the school up to County level for swimming and athletics. All Year 6 pupils are given the chance to visit an outdoor centre to learn skills such as orienteering, climbing and canoeing.
It is our aim to help children in their Social, Spiritual and Moral development which in turn will enrich their own lives and the life of our school.
The content of our Religious Education programme is based upon the County’s Agreed Syllabus. We will encourage children to understand something of the meaning and wonder of life and how and why people worship.
- The curriculum will be taught both through cross-curricular projects and also as a separate subject. Religious Education is taking place constantly through the ethos of the school.
Pupils’ work will be expressed through writing, art and craft, handling artefacts, drama and music. Religious Education provides the focus for a major area of experience and contributes significantly to the ethos of our school.
- Provision is made for collective worship on each school day. Clergy from Sherborne Abbey regularly take assemblies and clergy from other denominations take services in the school also. The school maintains a close association with Sherborne Abbey and we hold our assemblies there on occasions such as our Carol Service and Leavers’ Service.
- Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and collective worship. However, they may be called upon to supervise them if staff is not available to do so.
- The school Governors are required to make alternative arrangements, if practicable, to meet parents’ requests for children to receive Religious Education otherwise than in accordance with the Religious Education generally to be provided at the school.
- If parents wish to make any approach concerning aspects of Religious Education teaching or collective worship which relate to the terms of the 1988 Education Reform Act, they should contact the Foundation (Church nominated) Governors.
Children with special needs are the concern of all staff at the Sherborne Abbey Primary School. However, on occasions, children with either language or numeracy problems are given extra help either individually, or in small groups, by a member of the school staff.
Should specialist advice be needed, the school is in regular contact with outside agencies such as the SEN Specialist Services. Parents are involved in the whole process.
The School follows the Local Authority Admission Policy for disabled pupils. Our modern school has been designed with disabled pupils in mind and he or she will be treated on equal terms with other pupils. The School has an Accessibility Plan covering future requirements for increasing access to school by pupils with disabilities. Our School Special Needs Policy outlines the support and assessment procedures for all pupils with special needs.
Sex Education and Drug Education will be taught, not only as part of the National Curriculum Science, but also as part of the Personal, Social, and Health Education programme throughout the school. It will not be taught in isolation, taken out of context or over emphasised. It will provide information that is easy to understand and relevant and appropriate regarding the age of the pupils, paying due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life.
Parents can withdraw their children from all or part of this sex education except for that taught as part of the National Curriculum.
If you wish to make a complaint under Section 23 of the Education Reform Act, copies of the local arrangements procedure to be followed should be requested from the Headteacher, or alternatively are available at local libraries, or from the County Education Officer, Education Department, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ.
The information contained in this brochure relates to the educational school year 2011-2012. However, it must not be assumed that no change affecting the relevant arrangements on some matter particularised will take place before the start of, or during the school year in question, or in relation to subsequent school years.
The travel plan encourages parents to include at least a little walking, and for the older ones, cycling, in the daily journey, for their children’s fitness and health. It will also reduce so many cars in and around the school entrance, improving safety, air quality and stress levels. It may also save us having to turn more of our pleasant, country like surroundings into car parking. Please help us achieve this aim.
On rare occasions the school needs to close due to adverse weather conditions. If it is necessary for the school to be closed a message will be posted on our website and relayed on local radio at a quarter to and quarter past the hour from 6.45 a.m. to 8.45 a.m. and from 4.45 p.m. to 5.45 p.m. We keep a list of parents’ telephone numbers and back up contacts. Please keep us informed if these change.
Members of staff offer a wide variety of extra-curricular activities that form an important part of the life of the school. Sports teams take part in inter-school matches and various area and county tournaments. Opportunities exist in the school for children to join the school choir and learn to play a variety of instruments
Other educational activities and visits, usually related to National Curriculum topics, are arranged throughout the year.
We continually monitor children’s progress and development over the time spent at Sherborne Abbey Primary School. We believe that assessment is an important aspect that cannot be divorced from learning. Work is assessed in a number of ways, consistent with the guidance associated with the National Curriculum, and achievement is recorded. Teachers measure progress from day to day by marking written work, assessing practical work and listening to children speaking and explaining their learning.
All children will be assessed during their first year at school. Teachers will assess what children know, understand and can do. This is known as Foundation Stage Profile.
Each year, in Year 6 children will take national tests in English, Mathematics. The results of these tests will combine with teachers’ assessment to form the National Curriculum Assessment at the end of Key Stage 2. Year 2 pupils are assessed by their teachers and the results are reported to parents. We also use optional SATs in Year 3, 4 and 5 for internal assessment.
There may be occasions when pupils need to be assessed by the Educational Psychologist. Parents are always consulted beforehand and invited to a meeting afterwards when the findings can be discussed and advice is given to the school and the parents.
Parents are encouraged to visit the school to discuss with the class teacher and/or the Headteacher their child’s progress, or any matter of concern, at any time during the school year.
Formal consultation evenings are arranged in the Autumn Term and Spring Term when class teachers are available to discuss your child’s progress, and where appropriate we encourage children to accompany the parents at consultation evenings. The focus for these consultations will be the children’s work.
At the end of the school year every child is issued with a written report that describes attainment and progress made throughout the year and future targets if appropriate.
Homework refers to any work or activities which pupils are asked to do outside lesson time, either on their own or with parents.
The main focus of homework and home activities will be on Literacy and Numeracy. Regular reading to and with parents or carers is vital. In Key Stage Two pupils will be issued with homework books in Literacy and Numeracy for completion each week. The precise time allocated will vary with age, becoming more demanding as the pupils get older.
Our first priority is your child’s welfare and we will usually discuss any concerns we might have about your child with you. There might be occasions, however, when we have to provide information or consult other agencies such as Social Care and Health before we contact you. Our responsibility to do so is determined by Bournemouth,Dorset and Poole Inter-Agency Protection Procedures. If you want to know more about these procedures, please speak to the Headteacher.
The Sherborne Abbey Primary School Parents’ Association is open to all parents/guardians of children attending the school.
- Encourages a family atmosphere by organising social functions
- Supports the education of pupils by raising funds for facilities which cannot be provided from the public purse
- Helps to maintain the morale of the school by assisting at school functions and taking on small jobs
- Keeps parents in touch with educational issues and organises meetings when necessary
- The Annual Meeting of the Association is held in September. Names of officials and committee members may be obtained from the school
- We think you will be glad to be associated with Sherborne Abbey Primary School and we look forward to working with you for the sake of our children