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St Matthias and Dr Bells C E VA Primary School
Fishponds Road, Fishponds, BS16 3UH, UK Bristol
+44 (0)117 903 0491

Welcome to St. Matthias & Dr. Bell's CE VA Primary School

St. Matthias and Dr. Bell's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School.

Fishpond Road,


Bristol BS16 3UH.

Tel: 0117 9030491

Fax: 0117 9030493


Headteacher: Ms Mary Phipps M.A. B.A. Cert. Ed.

On behalf of all the staff and governors of St. Matthias & Dr. Bell's CE VA Primary School may I thank you for wishing to find out more about our school.

Finding the right school for your child is a very important task.  Everyone wants the best  for their child.  We believe that we offer a distinctive primary education in a caring community.  As your child moves through our school we will want to work with you to ensure that your child develops a thirst for learning and the confidence to achieve.

 Our  Vision

Building on our Christian foundation, we recognise the infinite worth of each person and delight in the diversity of all.  We aim to inspire a thirst for learning, the confidence to achieve and to build a caring community.

Notice Board

September 2007 to July 2008

Visit the  Friends of School Website at




*  Children should not return to school until 48 hours from last bout of sickness/diarrhea.

*  Car drivers please do not park, stop or wait in cycle lane or on yellow double/zig-zag       l lines.  Please be mindful of our neighbours.

*  Please do not cycle, scateboard or scooter etc. on school premises

*  If children ride a bike to school then they are responsible for locking it to the cycle rack.

*  Children should not wear jewellery to school, especially not 'hoop' earrings.

*  Children should not bring valuable personal items to school such as mobile phones, toys etc.

*  Please do not use the rear car park entrance.

*  Please ensure that your child has a suitable PE kit in a bag and that all items are named.

*  Please make sure that sweatshirts have names in them.

*  School starts at 8.45.  Please help your child to be on time.

*  School finishes:  Reception to Year 2 at 3.25pm and Year 3 to Year 6 at 3.30pm. Please     collect your child on time and inform teachers if anyone else is picking them up.

* Dinner money is payable in advance on the Monday of each week.  It is extremely helpful if you could send your child with the correct money in a named envelope.  Dinners cost £1.55 per day - £7.75 per week.  Cheques to be made payable to Bristol City Council.

 *No buggies inside the school building please.

* No dogs on the school site.

* Break time snacks - please can you provide a piece of fruit for your child to eat at morning play; no other snack food is allowed.  We are commited to promoting healthy eating so please do not  send sweets or chocolate in with packed lunches.

* Children are allowed to have a plastic bottle of still water only to drink throughout the day.  If a child brings a drink with their packed lunch please do not send any fizzy drinks or glass bottles.

Diary Events

Details on some of the diary events will be sent out nearer the date.  Please look out for further information that will be coming out during the term either in the weekly Newsletter, on separate sheets or put on display on the notice board by the main school gate.  We try to send out information only on Fridays, but this is not always possible, so please do ask your children and look through their bags.

Going Home Arrangements

Please make sure that you tell the classteacher in the morning if your child is going home with someone else at the end of the day.  The office can only be asked to pass on these sorts of messages in an emergency.

Help the children settle to work

Parents/carers who are unfortunately bringing children in to school after 8.45 am are asked to walk quietly through the school and not to use mobile phones.  I am sure that you do not want to disrupt the teaching that has already started in the corridors.

School Councillors for 2007/8

 Y1M -

 Y1K  -

 Y2G -

 Y2P -

  Y3W -

  Y3D -

  Y4RS -

  Y4W -

  Y5C -

  Y5G -

  Y6R -

  Y6W -

 Contact Details

Would you please make sure that the school has up-to-date information on any medical needs that your child may have, this includes making sure that all epi pens, asthma inhalers, etc., are in date.

Please also inform the school office of any change of address and telephone numbers.

Naming Items of Clothing

Please can you ensure that your childs clothing is NAMED.  All un-named items of clothing end up in lost property and often go unclaimed.  If your childs name were in that clothing it could be returned to them quite easily.

 Polite Reminder

Parents/carers are reminded that it is not their responsibility to speak to/reprimand other people's children on the playground.  If there is an incident that needs addressing please refer it to a member of staff. 


The external doors situated by the school library and the Year 1 and 2 classrooms are locked at 9.00am.  The doors by the Reception Classes are locked at 9.05am.  Notices are on these doors asking adults who wish to leave the school after these time that they do so via the main school entrance only.  We ask everyone to please not use any other external door other than the main school entrance.  The reason for this is that if an adult opens a locked door it then becomes unlocked, and in some cases the doors have been left wide open, thus leaving the children vulnerable.

Peer Mediation

In order to make our lunch times happier for all children we have introduced a new project.  Twelve members of year 6 have been chosen and trained to help resolve arguments and problems.  Peer Mediation is an approach which works well in many schools.  Children always have the choice of seeking adult help or going to the mediators, and there are very clear guidelines for the mediators about what things are suitable for them to mediate over.  Congratulations in their applications and training for this important new role!


The Curriculum

In providing for your children we are guided by the requirements of the National Curriculum and the requirements of the Bristol Local Education Authority.  The provision at St. Matthias and Dr. Bell's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School takes account of every aspect of a child's development. The curriculum gives children the opportunity to achieve the highest possible standards of numeracy and literacy whilst ensuring they can become confident in physical, artistic, practical and social skills. We provide a broad and balanced education allowing for the individual needs of each child to be met within well-planned learning experiences.


We look for high levels of achievement in every area of the curriculum but in particular we wish all children to establish a firm grasp of the basics of reading, writing and number work. (Three Rs) As success in all areas of learning depends on a child's understanding of the basics, it is essential that due emphasis is placed on building solid foundations. Indeed, we implement the National Literacy Strategy, National Numeracy Strategy and in September 2000 we implemented Curriculum 2000. Since September 2000 we have continued to review and refine the curriculum and our methods of delivery to ensure they remain appropriate in meeting the needs of the children. Undoubtedly, schools will be required to introduce and implement more initiatives in the years to come and as we do so we will keep you fully informed of what they mean to you and your child's education.

The Areas of Learning


Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination.  It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world.  Pupils use colour, form texture, pattern and different materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.  Through art and design activities, they learn to make informed value judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions, becoming actively involved in shaping environments.  They explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers.  They learn about the diverse roles and functions of art, craft and design in contemporary life, and in different times and cultures.  Understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts have the power to enrich our personal and public lives. 

*Art and design includes craft.

Design and Technology

Design and technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow'srapidly changing technologies.  They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life.  The subject calls for pupils to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team.  They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems.  They combine practical skills and an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices.  As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effect.  Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.



English is a vital way of communicating in school, in public life and internationally.  Literature in English is rich and influential, reflecting the experience of people from many countries and times.  In studying English pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.  It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.  Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts.  The study of English helps pupils understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins.  Using this knowledge pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations.



Geography provokes and answers questions about the natural and human worlds, using different scales of enquiry to view them from different perspectives.  It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills both inside and outside the classroom.  As such, it prepares pupils for adult life and employment.  Geography is a focus within the curriculum for understanding and resolving issues about the environment and sustainable development.  It is also an important link between the natural and social sciences.  As pupils study geography, they encounter different societies and cultures.  This helps them realise how nations rely on each other.  It can inspire them to think about their own place in the world, their values and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.



History fires pupils' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world.  Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people's actions.  As they do this, pupils develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people.  They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society. What they learn can influence their decisions about personal choices, attitudes and values.  In history pupils find evidence, and argue for their point of view - skills that are prized in adult life.

Information & Communications Technology

Information and communication technology (ICT) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology.  Pupils use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination.  They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures.  Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with pupils being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future.


Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world.  These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways.  Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision-making.  Different cultures have contributed to the development and application of mathematics.  Today, the subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised.  Mathematics is a creative discipline.  It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a pupil solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.



Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act.  It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.  As an integral part of culture, past and present, it helps pupils understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between home, school and the wider worlds.  The teaching of music develops pupils' ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgements about musical quality.  It encourages active involvement in different forms of amateur music making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.  It also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.


Physical Education

Physical education develops pupils' physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities.  It promotes physical skilfulness, physical development and a knowledge of the body in action.  Physical education provides opportunities for pupils to be creative, competitive and face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams.  It promotes positive attitudes towards active and healthy lifestyles.  Pupils learn how to think in different ways to suit a wide variety of creative, competitive and challenging activities.  They learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, ideas and performances to improve their quality and effectiveness.  Through this process pupils discover their aptitudes, abilities and preferences, and make choices about how to get involved in lifelong physical activity.


Religious Education

In Religious Education children are given opportunities to explore and think about the important issues of life: the meaning of life, death and the purpose of existence, relationships and their own values and beliefs.  We aim to provide some times when children can enquire and ask questions rather than be given facts.  We also aim to provide the children with some times of peace, quiet and reflection which will aid their own spiritual development.


As a Voluntary Aided Church school we have a particular focus on the Christian Faith.  We also look at the other major world faiths and ensure that children have an understanding of what each faith teaches.  We ensure that children handle religious artefacts with sensitivity and respect.  We also aim to ensure that each child visits places of Christian worship and at least one other place of religious worship during Key Stage 2.



Science stimulates and excites pupils' curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them.  It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge.  Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels.  Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling.  This is a spur to critical and creative thought.  Through science,  pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change, impacting on industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life.  Pupils recognise the cultural significance of science and trace its worldwide development.  They learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.




Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education

Personal, social, health and citizenship education (PSHCE) helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens.  Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of school and communities.  Our School Council is an important feature of this work.  In doing so they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning.  They reflect on tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.  They also find our about the main political and social institutions that affect their lives and about responsibilities, rights and duties as individuals and members of communities.  They learn to understand and respect our common humanity, diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.


Modern Foreign Language

The learning of a foreign language in primary school provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for all pupils.  Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning.  They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the foreign language and English.  Learning another language raises awareness of the multilingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils'  learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others.  The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.


Click here for Curriculum Delivery


Information about our school

St Matthias and Dr Bell's Church of  England Voluntary Aided Primary School is a 420 place primary school with a 26 place Nursery class (full-time equivalent)  The school was formed in September 2000 following the amalgamation of two former Church of England schools in Fishponds, Bristol.  We have very close links with the two parishes of St Mary's, Fishponds and All Saint's, Fishponds.  Clergy and members of both congregations play an active part in the life of the school and all children attend acts of collective worship at the churches at the end of each term.

The extensive facilities within the school allow for flexibility in teaching methods and approaches as appropriate to the needs of individuals, small groups or whole classes.   There are 15 classrooms in the school and a number of other teaching areas.  Each classroom is spacious and well equipped.  There is an ICT suite and computer/internet access in all classrooms.  Each classroom is equipped with TV and video.  All classes also have access to interactive technology and laptops.  The school has two halls, one large and one smaller.  There is also a well resourced library.


Disabled access in the Foundation and Key Stage 1 classes is good and includes a disabled toilet and shower.  The Key Stage 2 buildings are not fully accessible to wheelchair users but we are seeking to improve access and will endeavour to overcome any physical barriers as best as we can.

Our aim at St Matthias and Dr Bells Primary school is to create a positive, stimulating and happy learning environment.  We aim to be inclusive and are committed to providing all children with the same opportunities, regardless of gender, race creed or culture.  We value all learning and believe that all children can succeed.  We will aim to value and celebrate your child's heritage and to teach children about how we can build and live in a caring community.

As a school community we have established a number of core values. We understand that these values need to be lived as well as taught by everyone in our school.  They feature in all our classrooms and in acts of collective worship.   At our school children are good at everything - just to varying degrees. We want to celebrate success wherever we find it.  Reading, writing and maths are vital but we will celebrate success in other areas of the curriculum as well - art, music, drama, sport, citizenship and more.

Learning is a partnership.  From birth until the age of 16 children spend approximately 75% of their waking hours with parents/carers and 25% of their waking hours in school.  This means that we need to work together if your child is going to succeed in learning.  Throughout your child's education we will keep you up to date and informed of progress and development but it is important to remember that you are welcome to see us particularly if you have concerns or worries.  

 Good communication between home and school is vital.

 We will also seek to help you to support your child's learning at home.  We will provide regular homework and ask you to support your child in doing this.  We will also endeavour to support you by providing opportunities to attend Family Learning Activities and clubs to support your child.

One of the leaflets in this prospectus is our Home/School Agreement and we ask that you read this carefully, talk about it at home with other carers and your child.  We would then ask that you and your child sign this agreement and return it to school.  We will happily provide you with a signed copy of your agreement.

In the rest of the prospectus you will find information about our admissions procedures, the curriculum, teaching methods, extra curricular activities, SATs results etc.  Please read through everything and if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.

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