Thank you very much for the interest that you have shown in Pippins School.
We hope that you will find this website useful; it contains a lot of information about the organisation of our school. However, it does not attempt to take the place of the vital personal contact necessary between school and parents, which is essential for good relationships to develop.
If you have not yet had the opportunity to visit Pippins School, we do hope you will accept my invitation to come and see for yourself the wonderful learning opportunities we have to offer in a calm and caring environment. I know, as a father of three young children, that choosing the right primary school for your children is an important decision that you need to make. I feel very proud of Pippins School and I would like to give you the chance to see our wonderful children at work. If you would like to see our school, please ring 01753 682937 to arrange a visit.
Pippins School is sited near the north-west corner of Heathrow Airport. The Main Building was opened in 1970 and has certain special features incorporated into the basic structure to reduce noise levels from aircraft to an acceptable range for normal teaching activities.
Each classroom is provided with ample resources, equipment and space to enable the children to experience the variety of activities required for learning to take place. A new Junior Annexe was completed in July 1997, comprising three classrooms, a quiet room, and a Design and Food Technology room.
The hall is an attractive bright area, which is multi-purpose and contains various items of PE equipment used for gymnastics, games and dance. Balls, hoops, bats and equipment for outdoor activities are also stored here.
A new Computer Suite was installed in August 2000 to which all children have access. The children also have access to a spacious, newly created Library area. Outside, areas of grass, which the children may use in dry weather, surround the tarmac playground. The local environment is used frequently for History, Geography and Science topics.
The construction of a new Nursery classroom was completed in September 1999.
There are currently 204 children on roll who are grouped in mixed ability classes. Individual teachers are responsible for the education, pastoral care and welfare of the pupils in their class.
Each class will use specialist facilities for PE, IT and Library Skills but usually spends most of the day in their own classroom which is organised to meet the needs of the age range and curriculum.
Within each class a variety of teaching approaches are used to provide the most effective learning situation. This will include whole class, group and individual teaching. Children will also use different methods of working, such as private research, small group investigations and whole class activities.
In the Nursery and Reception Classes the children do not follow the National Curriculum, but have a separate set of guidelines, ‘The Early Learning Goals’. This early and vitally important time at school is now known as ‘The Foundation Stage’.
Our aim at this time is to provide a caring and stimulating environment in which children can enjoy learning and develop skills during those important early years, forging a link between home and school. We encourage the children to develop socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically through a wide range of activities, forming a base for their future development. This includes imaginative and manipulative play, art and craft, sand and water play as well as pre-reading and pre-writing skills, language and practical maths. We also encourage the children’s social skills through sharing, listening, awareness and respect for others. We aim to provide an environment where children can develop an understanding of the world around them with enjoyment and a sense of wonder.
We aim to create an atmosphere that is attractive, stimulating, facilitating and supportive for the children. The tables are arranged in groups and in the Nursery Class children are able to move freely to choose different activities. There is a quiet area / book corner with an easily accessible display of both fiction and reference books and an interest table. Sand and water are available each in different forms daily, as well as creative activities. An imaginative area that can be arranged in a variety of ways e.g. home corner, shop, restaurant or hospital depending upon the topic, is freely available. The children have access to an indoor and outdoor environment. They use the school hall for music and movement and P.E.. When the children move up to Reception Class, they will still have the opportunity to do these different activities, but the day is more structured and children will move on to activities as directed by the class teacher.
The Foundation stage provides a sound basis for the children’s learning throughout the rest of the school. When children move on from the Reception Class into Year 1, they study the subjects of the National Curriculum.
Planning and Delivery.
We believe that the curriculum should be broad, balanced and relevant, meeting the needs of all children throughout the school by matching the task to the child.
We are aware of the ways in which young children learn best and the school day is arranged so that all children can benefit from first-hand experience and an active learning environment. Groups of children may be engaged in a variety of tasks within the classroom at any given time. All activities are very carefully planned by the teacher and carried out under strict supervision, with children being encouraged to become independent learners.
Parents will be informed at the beginning of each term of the activities that are going to be undertaken in their children’s classes.
Recording and Assessment.
The central purpose of assessment and record keeping is to be able to improve children's performance through more carefully targeted teaching. We aim to do this in a number of ways.
At the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 6) Standard Assessment Tests are set for each child to determine levels of achievement against National expectations. Each child develops at a different rate and also has a different starting point when they enter school. These factors may affect their 'levels of attainment' in the SATs.
Additionally, pupils in Year 3, 4, and 5 take optional SATs Tests to determine their levels of performance. This way, children needing additional help to reach the expected levels are identified and supported.
All work carried out by the children is monitored and evaluated by the Class Teacher. A School Report is made available to parents annually in the Summer Term and Open Evenings are arranged each term. Parents are welcome to seek advice from the staff at any time during the year where there is some concern regarding their child.
The National Curriculum consists of the following subjects for children
The three main areas of study within the English curriculum are: Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.
We have a structured programme which provides opportunities for spoken and written language development so that children can communicate clearly and confidently in speech and writing. We follow the Programme of Study laid down in the National Literacy Strategy.
Children regularly take books home from the beginning of their school life and we hope parents will enjoy reading to and with their children. Great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of reading skills and it is our intention to foster a love of reading and literature, to develop an ability to read.
Reluctantly, we have to make a charge for lost or damaged books.
The curriculum covers all aspects of Mathematics as set out in the National Numeracy Strategy, i.e. Number, Shape and Space, Measures and Data Handling. We aim to develop in our pupils a positive attitude to Mathematics give our children opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding through practical work, through tackling problems and through using physical materials.
The Numeracy strategy places emphasis on mental arithmetic for the whole class at the start of each daily lesson. This is followed by a main teaching session, which may be with the whole class or small groups and includes individual work. The final 10 minutes is used to summarise the work done, sort out any problems and informally assess what the children have learned. The curriculum covers all aspects of Mathematics as set out in the National Numeracy Strategy, i.e. Number, Shape and Space, Measures and Data Handling. We aim to develop in our pupils a positive attitude to Mathematics give our children opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding through practical work, through tackling problems and through using physical materials.
The Numeracy strategy places emphasis on mental arithmetic for the whole class at the start of each daily lesson. This is followed by a main teaching session, which may be with the whole class or small groups and includes individual work. The final 10 minutes is used to summarise the work done, sort out any problems and informally assess what the children have learned.
It is important for children to relate science to their everyday lives. We encourage and develop pupils' natural curiosity about the world. In their science work, children are given opportunities to gain skills and understanding through first-hand experiences, discovery and research
During each year children will be expected to study topics such as ‘Ourselves’, ‘air’, ‘Rocks’ or ‘Electricity’ and within each of these scientific investigation will be at the heart of the learning that takes place.
Information and Communication Technology
We aim to enable children to become familiar with a range of information technologies and their skills to use them for a variety of purposes. Children have the opportunity to learn how to word process, use a desk top publishing programme, incorporate graphics, use and create a database, explore adventure games and use floor robots.
We have a computer suite consisting of 14 computers with two printers and a scanner. Each classroom also has a computer and these are all networked to give controlled access to the Internet. Computers are well used throughout the school by children of all ages both in separate lessons and as a useful tool in other curricular areas. We also have a school web-site www.pippins.slough.sch.uk
Religious Education reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.
We acknowledge the complexity of our society and the need to make our children aware of an increasingly diverse society around us. It is important that every person in this school shows respect and appreciation for each other’s racial and cultural background.
Any parent wishing to withdraw their child from Assembly or Religious Education has the right to do so and may discuss this with the Headteacher.
PE forms a vital part of the curriculum at Pippins School as we recognise the importance of children being physically fit as well as mentally active. Children participate in gymnastics, games and movement lessons. They are expected to change for PE as this allows for freedom of movement. Jewellery, including earrings, must be removed for PE.
Swimming lessons at Spelthorne Leisure Centre are available for all children. These lessons are usually in six week blocks. Children travel to the Leisure Centre by coach and a charge is made towards the cost of these lessons.
The aim of music teaching in our school is to give all children the opportunity to take part in music making as an enriching and enjoyable experience. Our school has a wide range of percussion instruments and the children enjoy singing and playing recorders. An appreciation of music is encouraged for all children.
Instrumental tuition is offered to older children and we also have a thriving choir and Guitar Club
History and Geography
Children are initially made aware of time and place by studying their own family history and their immediate environment. These early experiences are then extended to cover broader aspects of History and Geography e.g. The British Isles, Rivers, World Geography and Climate, Tudors, Victorians, etc. Our children are encouraged to use enquiry and investigation to develop their awareness of the passage of time, and history's effect on the present. They learn to present information in a variety of ways and use a wide range of resources. Work in Key Stage 1 is related to events in British History and broadens in Key Stage 2 to include other civilisations.
We feel it is important that children have an early start in learning a foreign language and consequently children learn French in Years 5 and 6.
Sex and Relationship Education
Our provision for Sex and relationships Education is part of a far wider Personal, Social and Health Education programme. In Key Stage 1 the subject is mainly delivered through the National Curriculum programmes of study for science with topics such as “Ourselves” and “Plants and Other Animals” and wherever possible children’s questions will be answered with a simple truthful explanation.
Also at Key Stage 2 the children will learn much about how their bodies work from their Science programme when studying topics such as ‘Body Management’ and ‘Life Cycles’, but in addition they will also find out about changes to their bodies as they mature and learn about human reproduction.
Special Eductional Needs.
One of our aims is to ensure that all children have access to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum. We aim to meet the specific needs of all children to the best of our ability and to give all children the opportunity to participate as fully as possible in the everyday life of our school. Special needs provision may be made for a variety of needs including general learning difficulties, specific learning difficulties, sensory impairment, behavioural problems, co-ordination difficulties and physical disabilities.
Children are continually assessed both formally and informally and if there is a concern that arises, a child may be placed on the Special Needs Register. Parents Evenings are used to discuss problems and identify needs. Where possible the needs of each child will be addressed and met within school, but if necessary outside advice from an expert (such as an Educational Psychologist or Speech Therapist) may be sought. Parents will be kept fully informed at all times as help at home is essential if the work in the classroom is to be successful.
All prospective parents are very welcome to visit the school by prior arrangement with the Headteacher, who will be happy to discuss the needs of your child with you. Parents should register their child's name with the school approximately six months before the proposed date of entry. Parents will be sent an application form which must be returned by the stated date. Proof of address must also be produced.
Children start in Pippins Nursery Class on a part-time, mornings-only basis. in the September before their 4th birthday. A programme of visits is arranged for all children who are to be admitted so that they may gain some familiarity with life at Pippins School. A meeting for these parents and a tour of the school are arranged by the Headteacher towards the end of the Summer term.
At the beginning of the Autumn Term prior to the children starting school, the Nursery Teacher and Nursery Nurse usually visit children’s homes to enable a confidential and useful three-way dialogue between the child, the parent and the teacher to take place. This is arranged by appointment. Children then start in the Nursery Class on a staggered basis part-time for a three-week period.
There is no guarantee that a child who has a place in the Nursery Class will automatically gain a place in the main school.
Children start full-time in the Reception Class in the September before their 5th birthday. A programme of visits and a meeting for parents is again arranged by the headteacher.
Where applications for admission exceed the number of places available, the following criteria will be applied in the order set out below to decide which children to admit:
(a) where the child has a statement of special educational needs specifying Pippins School
(b) where the child has a brother or sister currently attending the school; in the case of two or more children being on our waiting list for classes other than Reception, where both already have brothers or sisters within the school, the place shall go to the child who has been on the waiting list for the longest time;
(c) where the child has attended Pippins Nursery
(d) where there are medical grounds (supported by a doctor’s certificate) for admitting the child
(e) where the child has a parent working as a teacher at Pippins School
(f) the proximity of the child’s home to the school measured by the shortest, safe walking distance, with those living nearer the school being accorded the higher priority.
Parents do have the right of appeal in cases where a child is not admitted to the school (but not the Nursery).
When children are admitted into school parents will be asked to complete a detailed admissions form. Any information provided by parents or guardians is covered by the Data Protection Act. In order to ensure accuracy in our records, parents are asked to bring the child’s birth certificate when the child is enrolled.
Our school is a small, happy and caring community where we very much believe in emphasising the positive attributes of a child. Children react best to praise and encouragement rather than criticism and punishment. We have created an ethos within the school that celebrates children’s achievements and enables children to work on their areas of weakness and this supportive environment enables children to achieve success.
The discipline used at school is that of a normal caring parent. Children are expected and encouraged to behave in a sensible and responsible manner and to respect the property of others. We expect that all adults in school treat the children with kindness and respect, giving the children very clear boundaries and helping them to acquire a highly developed sense of right and wrong. We keep our rules to as few as possible. They are discussed and agreed with the children at the beginning of each school year and are always for the safety and well being of everyone.
If a child's behaviour causes concern parents will be notified and the position discussed so that they are aware of the action taken. In extreme circumstances, where a child's behaviour is dangerous or disruptive to other children or to staff, then he/she may be excluded while their future education is discussed.
We feel it is important to praise good behaviour and there are a variety of ways in which good behaviour is acknowledged at class and individual level, from a smile to acknowledgement in assembly! A house system is in place in Key Stage 2 and this helps to encourage good behaviour. Children are given house points for good behaviour as well as for good work and showing a helpful or caring attitude. Because of the proximity to Heathrow airport, the houses are named after old aircraft; Trident, Comet, Britannia and Viscount.
Bullying, including racial abuse, will not be tolerated and parents will be asked to come to school to discuss their child's behaviour should incidents arise. The School takes seriously any acts of physical, verbal or psychological bullying or racism and has policies in place to deal with incidents. Pupils are always encouraged to report an incident to a member of staff so that it can be dealt with promptly. Parents will be contacted if any children are involved in these socially unacceptable behaviours.
Parents are welcome to discuss problems or anxieties. If you are concerned please make an appointment to see your child's class teacher or the Headteacher.
We believe a school uniform looks smart, wears well and contributes to a feeling of belonging to the school. Our uniform is as follows:
FOUNDATION STAGE AND KEY STAGE 1 (3 - 7 YEARS)
- Polo shirts and sweatshirts with the school logo are available from school.
- Grey trousers, skirts/pinafore dresses and white shirts are readily available from most local stores.
- Many girls choose to wear a green striped dress for the summer months. These are also available from many local stores.
- Footwear for children of all ages should be sensible and appropriate. We expect children to wear dark shoes without high heels. Trainers should not be worn during a normal school day.
Children should also have in school:
Painting apron (this can be made from an old shirt cut down to size.)
PE Bag containing plimsolls, T-shirt and shorts for outdoor PE.
KEY STAGE 2 (8 - 11 YEARS)
- Girls wear bottle green skirts/pinafore dresses or grey trousers.
- Boys wear grey zip trousers.
- Green shorts and red polo shirts are worn for PE.
- Children may wear school track-suits for outdoor P.E. and they are allowed to wear these to school on days when there is outside P.E. or Swimming
Education is a three-way partnership between parents, staff and children. Whilst in our care you can be assured that we will do our best for your child. positive support for the school and an interest in your child's progress will be of benefit to your child and to the school as a whole.
As partners in the education of our children, the staff, parents and governors fully appreciate the special responsibility they have to help all children develop values and attitudes, which are appropriate for the multi-cultural society in which they will live and participate as a member of a community. The ultimate aim of this policy is to ensure equal value and respect to all cultures. It is our duty, not only to support those children in their cultural heritage, but also to actively seek to promote it, through a range of activities designed to meet the needs of the children and their families.
We aim to keep parents as informed and involved as possible by:
- Having an open day for new parents to see the school in action
- We operate an open door policy, whenever possible
- Parents are informed, in writing at the beginning of each term, of the curriculum their children will be studying. Suggestions are made as to how they might like to help.
- Parents' views and opinions are regularly sought.
- Termly open evenings to discuss children's progress and to see children's work.
- Annual Pupil Report in the Summer Term.
- Curriculum Evenings - approximately once a year.
- Annual Governors' Meeting and Report to parents.
- Weekly Newsletter sent home on Thursdays.
- Parents may make an appointment to see the class teacher and/or Headteacher at any time if they have something they wish to discuss.
- Parents are invited to attend one assembly per week which is a celebration of children achievements.
- Every child in Key Stage 2 has a Home/School Book to assist communication over homework.
- Parents are very welcome to come into school to offer help with reading, cooking, swimming and DIY jobs around the school. However, for security reasons, all helpers with access to children must complete a security check form which is available on request.
PARENT, TEACHERS AND FRIENDS ASSOCIATION
All parents automatically become members of our PTFA which is very busy organising both social and fund-raising activities. During the past three years the PTFA have raised money to provide play equipment, to renovate our library and to buy a portable stage, a sound system and stage lighting for the hall, amongst other things. Parents, children and teachers have enjoyed many events including Christmas Bazaars, Summer Fairs on themes such as the Wild West and the circus, Fashion Shows, Bingo and several children’s discos. Your help is eagerly awaited!
At Pippins we firmly believe that some of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences that a child will have are outside the usual curricular provision. Children will have the opportunity to take part in end-of -term shows to which we will invite parents. In Key Stage 2 there are also sporting opportunities and we have taken part in football, netball and cricket matches against other schools as well as being involved in the Spelthorne area swimming gala. In addition our teaching staff have run a variety of clubs including chess, board games, art, drama, cooking, choir and gardening. A small charge may be made for these activities to provide extra equipment.
Educational visits are an important part of our curriculum; these includelocal walks to the park or Colnbrook village, day trips to places such as Birdworld or Katesgrove Victorian Classroom. Children in Year 4 and 6 also take part in residential visits, enjoying the opportunity to take part in outdoor activities and develop independence and self-confidence. We hope you will consent for your child to take part in off-site activities in the immediate locality. When longer journeys are planned, you will be given full details of the outing well in advance.
The Governing Body of Pippins School have agreed that parents should be asked for a contribution towards the cost of such activities and outings but that no child shall be excluded on the grounds of non-payment.