At Sherborne Abbey Primary School, we aim to develop each child’s ability to speak, listen, read and write effectively. A minimum of an hour each day is devoted to developing vital literacy skills, which are also used and practised in many ways across the whole curriculum.
Our children learn by actively engaging with a broad range of texts – from poetry to newspaper reports, mystery stories to letters of complaint. They read and write a wide variety of genres and, in doing so, learn how to communicate in the most effective way. Whether it is the youngest children experimenting with a story mat or the Year 6 children recording each other in video advertisements, we hope to make literacy fun and exciting, encouraging a love of books and the ability to share their thoughts, feelings and knowledge with others.
The children in Reception and Year 1 learn to read and write through a daily programme called Letters and Sounds. We are very lucky to have lots of teaching assistants and adult helpers who help us teach reading. If you would like to volunteer for a few hours each week, please contact your child’s class teacher.
This year, to enhance children’s reading skills and foster a love of reading, we have launched the Accelerated Reader scheme for children in Year 4, 5 and 6. To find out more about the scheme and how we teach reading in the school, please click on the link below. There is also a link which offers a parents’ guide to Accelerated Reader.
Speaking and Listening
Role play is a great opportunity for children to develop their communication skills and early writing. Older children learn through drama and class presentations, using techniques such as Conscience Alley and Freeze Framing.
SATs support – Year 6
This year’s SATs will be held in the week beginning Monday 11 May 2015. We will be organising after-school revision classes to ensure all children have the chance to do their best. This year’s classes will begin after the Easter Holidays and focus on grammar and spelling skills.
We teach maths through
- practical activities and maths games
- problem solving
- individual, group and whole class discussions and activities
- investigations and systematic calculations
- a range of methods eg mental, pencil and paper, calculator
- use of computers as a mathematical tool
Teaching methods have changed a lot over the last few years. If you are interested in finding out more about how we teach maths now, please ask about our sessions for parents, so you can confidently help your child at home. It is always useful to practice everyday maths, such as shopping with money and telling the time!
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.
We have a super environmental area, home for a great deal of wildlife. It centres around a large pond in which we can pond dip, and we have a hide for watching birds.
Our school is a Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary School, and we value our distinctiveness as a church school, and our place in the Sherborne Abbey community.
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.
Religious Education is taking place constantly through the ethos of the 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.
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.
From the start, our children are 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 including pottery, sculpture and photography, as well as drawing and painting. This might include junk modelling a castle from kitchen cardboard and plastic and sticky tape in Reception, or fabric collage storyboards about a dragon in Year 6, but whatever the project, we encourage the children to follow their imagination and take charge of their own ideas.
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.
Design And Technology Club
Mrs Douch runs a Design and Technology Club with Mr Chillingworth at Sherborne School for Boys. We learn about measuring and marking materials and how to use a variety of tools and machines. We have made pewter keyrings using casting methods, light-sensitive lamps, birdfeeders, a variety of mechanical
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, by encouraging their natural curiosity and skills of enquiry.
We organise frequent historical outings and dressing up days in and out of school, from a visit to the Steam Railway in Yeovil in Year 1 to a World War II Day at the Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton. We take full advantage of our situation in one of England’s most historic small towns. We have close links with the local museum, where our children’s work is often displayed.
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, including use of ICT, and will be given opportunities to experience fieldwork, from a trip to the farm in Reception to a visit to Dorset’s famous Chesil Beach in Year 6.
As well as the regular timetabled lessons, ICT is embedded across the curriculum, and there is a popular ICT lunchtime club. We have a modern suite of computers for whole class use, and every class has an interactive whiteboard. Children learn to use other devices, for example to produce stop-start animation using video and sound recording.
Our children are growing up in an increasingly international environment, and we want them to take a full part in it, as citizens of the world.
We aim to:
Foster an interest in learning other languages
Introduce children to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun
Show them how language has a grammatical structure, including English
Help children to develop an awareness of cultural differences
Develop their speaking and listening skills
Encourage them to be adventurous in foreign travel and experiences
As well as class music lessons throughout the school, there are plenty of opportunities for music and singing. Many children have individual or shared instrumental lessons at a small charge, and in year 4 the children learn a musical instrument as a whole class for free.
KS1 and 2 Productions
Every summer KS2 puts on a major musical show rivalling the West End and reality television. The whole of KS2 takes part, each class starring in turn, and it is all held together by wonderful performances from the soloists. Every Christmas the KS1 children star in their nativity show.
The school has a flourishing and enthusiastic choir which performs at events in school and in the local community, for example at a Lions’ Charity Concert at the Digby Hall alongside other schools in the area, and carol singing at Napier Court for the residents. The choir also performs at Cheap Street Church for their annual Christmas Tree Festival. A smaller section of the choir perform at the Easter Concert.
The school was one of the first to pilot the new SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) scheme of work. Each half term centres on a different learning theme, such as ‘New beginnings’, when we think about how to cope with new experiences, environments and people.
The Dorset Education Life Van visits our school every year. All the classes have a session in the van. We learn about life skills such as keeping healthy, stranger danger and dangerous substances.
We are now a Rights Respecting School, part of a national project by UNICEF to increase understanding of the rights of children across the globe, while promoting good relationships within schools by establishing a positive ethos of respect.
We have a gardening club where the children can grow plants from seed, including vegetables which we can harvest and eat.
WALK TO SCHOOL WEEK
Our school takes part in ‘walk to school’ week. All across Dorset, pupils are encouraged to walk to school or share lifts in an effort to relieve traffic congestion and reduce the effects of pollution. All classes are surveyed and the results given to the local authority who compile a larger picture across the county.
We joined the campaign to raise awareness to the issues surrounding bullying. Our work culminated in a whole school assembly in which representatives from each class showed what they had learnt during the week. Even the teachers got into the swing – performing the song ‘Lean on me’. The headteacher and the Year 6 head of school council, signed a charter on behalf of the whole school community which promised that we would all endeavour to help stamp out bullying.
TRAVEL TO SCHOOL SAFELY!
The children were asked to design a poster for the school gates which reminded all drivers and passengers to wear their seat belts at all times. The winning entries have been made into signs and displayed at the school entrance.
Every year Years 2 and 5 visit ‘Streetwise’ in Poole. The trips aimed to raise children’s awareness of road, rail and fire safety, and stranger danger amongst many other things.
We have fantastic facilities for sporting activity at Abbey School. Two big football fields are sited at the back of the building alongside an athletics track and long jump pit. There are three tennis/netball courts on the playground and a large hall inside with gymnastic apparatus. Our school enjoys a very good reputation for Physical Education and the children are offered a huge variety of activities during classtime: netball, football, tennis, rounders, cricket, hockey, tag rugby, badminton, dance, gymnastics, athletics and basketball. Swimming for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 is taught in half termly blocks at King’s Pool (Sherborne School). Clubs are offered in many of these activities throughout the year, and our teams take part in many local competitions, for all children who volunteer for more!
An adventure playtrail, pirate ship and train and climbing wall have been added to the playground in the last few years, which the children really enjoy at playtime, and of course in the warm summer weather they love to play their own games on our large fields, backing on to open farmland.