Emmbrook Infant School Head Teacher Personal Statement

Here at Emmbrook Junior School, we have created a curriculum that not only meets the requirements of the new National Curriculum but also encourages our children to apply our school’s core values which will prepare the children for the next stage of their academic life.

We work in a cross curricular way so that the children have an opportunity to apply their skills in all areas of the curriculum.

During a school term, the children will be taught English, Mathematics, Science, Computing (previously Information & Communication Technology), Religious Education, Design & Technology, PE, History, Geography, Modern Foreign Language, Personal & Social Health Education, Music and Art.  Within all these lessons we strive for the highest possible standards and children are motivated in their quest to reach them.

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Art teaching in the school will provide children with opportunities to express themselves using a wide range of media, including sketching, painting, printing, collage, sculpture, clay work, textiles and ICT. Children will be encouraged to appreciate the work of celebrated artists and architects through history as well as more contemporary artists and art from other cultures. Through observation and other visual stimuli, children will experiment with visual elements such as pattern, texture, colour, line, tone, shape and space and record their ideas in sketchbooks. The main aim of art teaching is to give the children the skills they need to be confident in their own interpretation and expression of artistic forms.

In Computing, children develop computational thinking and their creativity. We follow the Wokingham scheme of work. The core of the scheme is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, children are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. The children are able to use digital technology, and express themselves and develop their ideas at a level suitable for the future workplace and life in a digital world. E-safety forms an extremely important part of computing lessons and the children are made aware how they can stay safe online and how to report any concerns they have.

To enable regular and whole class teaching of computing, the school has an ICT suite. To support the cross curricular nature of computing, classrooms are equipped with laptops, a permanently mounted interactive whiteboard, a visualiser, a digital camera and a flip camera.

Children at Emmbrook Junior School are given the opportunity to learn and use a variety of skills. The children are encouraged to plan and design original products using a wide range of materials. The main topics in the DT scheme of work are construction Mechanics, Textiles and cooking.

Drama is a subject which is paramount in so many areas of the curriculum. The children are given many opportunities throughout the year, in sharing assemblies, the Christmas production and termly shows, to showcase their talents. These performances allow the children to share their hard work and skills with parents as well as their peers. Drama is also used to explore ideas for writing through role play, hot seating and puppetry, skills which are transferable to other subjects.

English is a core subject – used to communicate in both written and spoken form. At Emmbrook Junior School, English is taught daily as an individual lesson (as well as creatively within other subjects across the curriculum) with work appropriately differentiated to match all abilities. Personalised targets are set for the children so that every child can improve, achieve and know the next steps in their learning.
We focus on integrating the four key skills that your child needs to get the most out of all their learning at school. By developing these skills, children are able to communicate imaginatively, creatively and effectively:

Reading
- read fluently with understanding for both pleasure and information.

Writing
- write clearly and with confidence for a variety of purposes and audiences
- use spelling rules, phonics and grammar accurately
- proof-read, edit and improve written work
- write quickly with a clear, legible and joined script.

Speaking
- speak clearly and confidently in any situation
- express own thoughts and feelings with clarity and conviction
- ask pertinent questions

Listening
- listen actively and respond appropriately to others
- develop knowledge and own opinions

Literacy skills are integral to all aspects of the curriculum and in adult life. Therefore the children develop skills that they can transfer into other curriculum areas. Much of the writing the children produce is cross-curricular and will link in with a specific topic. Children are encouraged to use books to find information to support other aspects of their work. They make regular use of the school library and the Internet to help them with their learning. Opportunities to develop ‘Speaking and Listening’ skills are provided through classroom activities, class assemblies and presentations which all help to develop their confidence in public speaking – a life-long skill.

The children develop their understanding of people and places starting in the local area and then moving out to the wider world.

This is achieved through the study of contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places, understanding the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.

History encourages our children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. It allows children to develop a sense of their own identity and consider how the past influences the present. In History children find evidence, weigh it up and reach their own conclusions.
Through our teaching of History we aim to:

- Stimulate the children’s interest in Britain’s past and that of the wider world.

- Allow children to develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people.

- Realise that what they learn can influence their decisions, about personal choices, attitudes and values.

At Emmbrook Junior School we see Maths as more than just learning arithmetic skills and memorising facts, it is a life skill, one which we use almost every day of our lives.

The children have an allocated Maths lesson every day where they are taught to make links to previous learning and encouraged to use a range of apparatus to help them understand new, more challenging concepts. Once new skills have been learnt, the children will apply their new knowledge to problem solving and investigative scenarios so that the skill is mastered and embedded. Careful assessment of the children allows us to start their learning journey at the correct point.

We learn French as our school’s Modern Foreign Language (MFL).

MFL lessons consist of games, singing, written activities and good use is made of ICT resources.

Children enjoy focused music lessons on a weekly basis, where they are encouraged to learn how the technical aspects of music all fit together to make a composition. Children have the opportunity to sing and use instruments to develop these skills during lessons. Children are also given the chance to listen to music, and pick out different components, learning how it was created and the response it evokes. The school also offers the chance to have private peripatetic lessons during school hours for those who want to take their music education further. The school choir takes part in numerous events representing the school, for example the PTA Christmas Fair, WASMA, Wokingham Schools Carol Concert and singing for people in local sheltered accommodation.

We believe that Physical Education plays a vital part in keeping us all healthy and helps to build the foundations to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. We are fortunate to have a specialist coach working with the children during their outdoor PE lessons. He teaches a full and varied curriculum which aims to develop confidence and skills across a range of physical activities. In addition to this, the children have the opportunity to participate in a number of extra-curricular activities and represent the school in competitions.

Children learn the skills needed to lead independent, happy lives and be self-confident in order to pursue their goals. This involves them taking responsibility for their health and well-being, dealing with different relationships and being prepared to play an active role as citizens. They learn not only about their own rights, duties and responsibilities but also about the rights and responsibilities of others. PSE skills are taught and encouraged through a variety of activities in the curriculum as well as during circle time and specific lessons. We aim to help the children communicate effectively and value the richness and diversity of our society and become global citizens prepared for the 21st Century.

Emmbrook Junior School is not a church school, however, we believe that it is important for children to learn about, and respond to, different religions, beliefs and values of others in order to understand and develop their own viewpoint. Our R.E. curriculum is based on the Wokingham Agreed syllabus and covers all the main religions in the country, particularly Christianity. We aim to deliver this curriculum in a respectful and investigative way, by sharing opinions, ideas, values and beliefs within the class and inviting in visitors. This allows children to gain a good insight into others beliefs as well as their own.

Our Science scheme of work follows the topics set out by the National Curriculum 2014.

Year 3 – Plants, Animals and Humans, Rocks, Forces and Magnets and Light

Year 4 – Living things and habitats, Animals including Humans, States of Matter, Sound and Electricity

Year 5 – Living things and habitats, Animals including Humans, Properties and changes to materials, Earth and Space and Forces,

Year 6 – Living things and their habitats, Animals including humans, Evolution and inheritance, Light and Electricity.

Throughout these topics, the children are taught in a practical way and encouraged to use investigative and observational skills. The children work independently and in small groups to make conclusions and consider evidence.

Each subject area has a designated leader who is responsible for the teaching and learning in that subject.

The class teachers are always assessing what the children can do in order to plan what the children need to do next.

In Maths and English the children are assessed against year group expectations, as set out in the new National Curriculum.

During 1 to 1 parent evenings, class teachers inform parents how their children are progressing relating to these expectations.

We believe that home learning is a crucial part of the children’s education. It provides an excellent opportunity for parents to become actively involved in their children’s learning.

Most weeks the children are given a reading comprehension task to complete and a maths activity to complete online using the website MyMaths.  For 4 weeks each term the children complete ‘Project Home Learning’, this enables the children to complete home learning tasks of a creative nature.

The children are also expected to read at home and practise number facts ready for their weekly tests.

 

We have tried to answer many of our frequently asked questions below. However, please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any unanswered questions/queries – we are here to HELP and will try our best to answer.

Not finding what you want? Reach out directly through our Contact Us page.


If your child is absent from school due to illness

All absences should be covered by either a telephone message or note on the first day of absence. If your child has been suffering from either vomiting or diarrhoea we ask that you keep your child at home for at least 48 hours after the vomiting or diarrhoea has stopped. If you require your child to remain inside the School at playtimes when they return after illness, please send a note to this effect.


If your child has a medical appointment

Please notify the School Office and your child’s teacher should you need to take your child out of school during the day i.e. for doctor, dentist and hospital appointments.  On these occasions we require you to sign your child out at the school office.


If your child needs to take medicine during the school day

Medicines can be administered but only if prescribed.


School Meals

School meals are cooked in the Junior School kitchen and are served in the Infant school hall.  A hot main meal is available daily with a vegetarian option which includes water.  Packed lunches may be brought from home and are also eaten in the school hall.  If you think your child is entitled to a Free School Meal please contact the school office.


Holidays during term time

On 1 September 2013 , the Education Regulations came into force, changing the rules about term-time holidays.

The amendments remove references to family holidays and extended leave as well as the statutory threshold of 10 school days.

The amendments specify that headteachers may not grant any leave of absence during term time unless they consider there to be “exceptional circumstances”. If leave is granted, headteachers  determine the number of days a child can be away from school.

You can be fined for taking your child on holiday during term time without the school’s permission.

Please see our policy for details about Exceptional Circumstances.


Snacks

The school provides a daily, healthy fruit or vegetable snack for the children in the morning.


Water

Fresh water is available for the children throughout the day. Children should have their own, named drinking bottle in school every day.


Breakfast Club

In association with the school there is a privately run breakfast and after school club on the school grounds. Further details can be obtained from Jane Banks on 07740 862 283.


After School Clubs

We offer a variety of clubs which run during lunchtimes and after school. The clubs on offer vary from term to term and further details can be obtained from the school office.


PTA

We have a very active PTA who organise events and raise money for our school. If you would like to get involved with the PTA please contact the Chair by e-mail ptachairemmbrook@yahoo.co.uk. The PTA welcomes new members and look forward to hearing from you.


School Uniform

Our school uniform consists of the following:

Bottle Green V-neck Pullovers* (available with embroidered school logo)

Bottle Green Cardigan* (available with embroidered school logo)

Grey Trousers / Skirts / Shorts / Pinafores

White Polo Shirt

Green or Grey Tights

Bottle Green School Book Bag* (available with printed school logo)

Black School Shoes – with rubber soles suitable for the playground (NO BOOTS / TRAINERS PLEASE)

Green Checked Summer Dress (optional between March and October)

 

PE Kit consists of:

Bottle Green T-shirt* (available with printed school logo)

Bottle Green or Black Shorts*

Trainers

Warm tracksuit for outdoor games (any colour)

 

Other items:

School book bag (available from the school office)

Water bottle

Embroidered items marked * must be ordered online by following the Gooddies link.

Parent/Helper Volunteer in School

Information which maybe useful to parents is displayed in the entrance of the school.

Parents are invited to help in the school alongside teachers and we welcome help with our outside environment.  If you are willing to offer your time and skills please let us know.

During the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms there are parents’ meetings to outline the term ahead and 1:1 parents evenings take place later in the Autumn and Spring terms.  In the Summer term there is an open evening where the children are able to show their parents around the school and teachers are on hand to discuss reports.  We also hold open mornings each term where parents can visit the school during the school day.  A written report is sent home at the end of the Summer term.  The Head Teacher and staff are available at the beginning of most mornings and at the end of the school day to see parents.  If, however, you require more than a quick chat, it would be advisable to make an appointment.


School Trips

At appropriate times during the year the children take part in organised educational visits.  There are opportunities for the children to participate in special events and days in school.  These include sports skills development, music and drama workshops and visits from authors.  Anyone who wishes to share their skills, experiences or talents with us are warmly welcomed.  Where possible, links within the local community are promoted within the school.


Dress Code

Jewellery is not permitted to be worn in school, other than plain studs for children with pierced ears. Pupils with earrings are responsible for removing or covering them with Micropore tape for PE, music and movement lessons. No responsibility can be taken by the school for loss or damage of personal belongings.

Shoes should be flat heeled to ensure your child’s safety at all times. This applies even on non-uniform days.

Hair must be neat and tidy, tied back for PE lessons where necessary.

Plimsolls. If your child has a verruca, plimsolls must be worn during activities when the children are normally barefoot.


School Hours

The school day starts at 8.50am.

Parents are responsible for their children until they enter the school building.  If children arrive after the start of the school day they must report to the school office.

Lunchtime is between 12pm and 1.15pm.

The school day finishes at 3.20pm

Pupils are collected at the end of the day from their outside classroom door.


Parking

If you bring your child to school by car, it is requested that you park at a safe distance from the school as we do not allow parents and carers to bring cars on to the school site as part of promoting a safer environment for the children.

We have received requests for considerate parking from local residents and ask you to respect their wishes.

Disabled drivers who need to drive on to the site must inform the school who will ensure parking is available.

The local public house The Dog and Duck have kindly agreed that parents may use their car park and sometimes use their coffee bar facilities.


School Library

Our library is at the heart of our school and the children regularly use this resource in their learning. It has a wide selection of fiction and non-fiction titles which pupils continually add to with their own requests. Junior Librarian allows the children to scan their own books in and out.


Collective Worship

Assembly is held in the school hall three times a week and includes a story, prayer, hymns, discussions, drama and visitors. On Friday we hold our celebration assembly. Parents may request that their child is withdrawn from collective workshop.

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