|St Joseph`s Catholic Primary School|
|Dorset Road, Somerford, BH23 3DA, UK Bournemouth|
+44 (0)1202 485976
St. Joseph's is a one-form entry primary school for boys and girls aged 5 to 11 years. It is a Voluntary aided Roman Catholic School, within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth.
The school principally serves the RC parishes of Christchurch, Highcliffe and New Milton. The present school building was completed in 1963 and is housed in a one-storey building set in spacious grounds. Recent developments have seen a computer suite and an extra classroom being built.
Currently, on roll we have 229 children supported by 11 members of staff and 15 welfare/teaching assistants.
- to provide a Catholic Christian education based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, in which the values of the Gospel underpin all aspects of school life;
- to provide an environment in which the dignity of each person as a child of God is recognised and developed; and
- to promote the full potential of each child through a curriculum which develops spiritual, academic, social and emotional growth.
The teaching staff, Governors and members of the School Association are committed to improving the learning environment for children. Much time has been spent on developing the outdoor environment as both a learning and recreational space. Secure, child friendly outdoor areas support our aim to provide high quality education both academically and spiritually in a pleaseant and stimulating environment.
Wooden structures such as a bridge and house have been added to the grounds to encourage free and imaginative play.
A rock garden has also been added and several years ago pupils from Year 6 designed a mosaic as a welcome to the school.They also designed a quiet area for children who wold like to sit, read and chat to their friends in peace.
A separate reception play area was added in 1999. This is completely enclosed and leads directly from the classroom. The reception children have a playhouse, telephone system and big mobility toys to play with in this area
In Autumn 2000, the School association planned a project for building a gazebo. This would provide much needed shade and a further seating area in the summer months. Plans were drawn up and approved by the Local Education Authority.
Willing volunteers came to school on a Saturday to build, measure, cut and paint wood. The whole project was achieved in two weekends and was an instant success with the children !
The School association and staff listen very carefully to the children's wishes when designing the outdoor areas. They were actively involved in selecting designs to be painted on the new playgound surface and continue to use the numerous fun and educational designs.
Autumn 2006 saw the initial stages of the new patio area situated outside of the year 4 classroom. As the new picnic benches were delivered on a blustery December morning, the children looked on longing for warm summer lunchtimes!
The Government introduced a National Curriculum through the Education Reform Act of 1988. All maintained schools are required to teach (in the case of primary schools) its ‘programmes of study’ in nine subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and I.C.T (Information & Communications Technology) (known as the Core subjects), History, Geography, Music, Art Design Technology and PE (known as foundation subjects). By law, all subjects must be taught to children (in stages) from Year 1 upwards. In addition, all schools must provide Religious Education.
In St. Joseph's, work on National Curriculum content in English, Mathematics and Science begins in Year R, as soon as the children are ready. Reading, writing and number work are given a high priority at this stage and throughout Key Stage 1. From Years 1 to 6 all the National Curriculum subjects are taught. Teachers plan work, following both National Curriculum syllabuses and the school's own schemes of work, usually on a half-term time period. The school uses a Reading Scheme which progresses from pre-readers to a reading age of 10+ years. Children move through the scheme at their own pace according to their ability and will read a wide selection of class library books. A core-scheme is also used for Mathematics, supported by other resource books.
In common with most maintained primary schools children in St. Joseph’s are taught English through the “Literacy Strategy” (introduced in September 1999) – a daily “Literacy Hour” following a recommended pattern, and Mathematics through the “Numeracy Strategy” (introduced in September 2000), lasting from 40 minutes in Year R to one hour by Year 6.
Pupils work in year groups attached to a class teacher. In Literacy and Numeracy, the lesson begins with whole-class teaching, to cover key teaching points. Following this, work is then given to be undertaken in groups or as individuals, with different work for different ability levels. The ‘ability groups’ are not rigid; children may be moved from one group to another depending on progress made. Sometimes Science is also taught in groups based on ability, but often in mixed ability groups. All teachers are encouraged to use a variety of teaching and learning styles and to achieve a balance between class teaching, group and individual work. From the earliest age, children are encouraged to be responsible for borrowing and replacing equipment needed. Whilst the majority of teaching is undertaken by the class teacher, some specialist teaching may also take place (e.g. in Music, Science, Art & Technology). Parents provide assistance in reading and other curriculum areas.
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