Catholic First School
Children’s Mission Statement
At St Edward’s Catholic First School, we show high standards in the way we treat one another – as we are kind and friendly and include people who don’t have anyone to play with.
In the way we speak – we always tell the truth and don’t say unkind things to people.
In our work- we always try to do our best and work in an organised way.
In the respect we have for our school – we look after and respect our own property and that of others.
In the way we pray – we take time to talk to Jesus and reflect on how we can follow his
We at St Edward’s Catholic First School are proud of our happy, calm and purposeful learning environment. We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of our children, enabling them to become confident, motivated and independent learners. Our home, school, parish partnership is important to us and our shared commitment to the teachings of Christ is reflected in the day-to-day life of the school.
HOME AND SCHOOL
Your child’s education and welfare are of the utmost importance to you and to us. A child will make progress only if there is co-operation between parents and school. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s education or welfare, please do not hesitate to discuss it with us. The best time to see your child’s class teacher is at the end of the school day, rather than in the mornings when they are involved in lesson preparation. Curriculum Information Evenings for parents are held for each class at the beginning of the Autumn Term. This is an opportunity to find out about classroom procedures, homework timetables and generally how your child is settling into their new class. In the Spring Term, individual consultations are arranged with your child’s class teacher to review progress and agree targets for moving your child on. In the Summer Term a comprehensive school report is sent home and an opportunity is provided for you to discuss this further with the class teacher, if you so wish. As parents, there are many ways in which you can help in school. If you have a particular area of expertise, please let us know.
Uniform is worn in order to establish a sense of belonging to, and pride in, the school.
Boys Long or short grey trousers
White shirt with maroon and blue school tie * or
White school polo shirt *
Maroon school sweater *
Sensible black shoes (not trainers)
Girls Grey skirt or pinafore
White blouse with maroon and blue school tie * or
White school polo shirt *
Maroon school sweater * or maroon cardigan
Grey or white socks
Sensible black shoes (not trainers)
Summer Term – Blue and white dress
PE Plimsolls; white T-shirt * and royal blue shorts *
Maroon PE kit bag Older children need trainers for outdoor games.
Please mark all clothing with your child's name.
* Available from the school office.
All schools are required to monitor attendance. Please telephone the school before 9.30am to notify us of your child’s absence. This must be followed up with a letter, stating the reason for the absence, when your child returns to school. Children taking time off for medical and dental appointments should be collected at the school office by a parent or carer; they should be ‘signed out’ when they leave and ‘signed back’ on their return.
PARENTAL REQUEST FOR ABSENCE
Holiday dates are issued well in advance and we do request that parents take annual holidays during school holiday periods. Requests for leave of absence in term time should be discussed directly with the Headteacher. Such requests will be granted only in exceptional circumstances and should not be made during the month of May when annual tests take place.
We have a very active Friends’ Association at St Edward’s and all parents and carers are automatically members. Over the years the Friends have funded many projects such as the development of the school grounds, the ICT suite, interactive whiteboards and the on-going costs of the water coolers. The money has been raised through a variety of social events such as discos, cake sales, Summer Fayres and, more recently, the popular Ladies’ Indulgence Evening.
A four-week cycle of menus is operated, offering a choice of two main meals with salad or vegetables. Money brought into school must be in a named purse. The purses are collected in the morning for safekeeping and then distributed at lunchtime. All children are supervised by Lunchtime Controllers whilst they are having lunch, then afterwards in the playground.
DRINKS/ FRUIT SNACKS
Children are encouraged to bring in a drink for break time. The Friends’ Association has funded the cost of several water coolers where water is freely available throughout the school day. Key Stage 1 children are provided with a fruit snack at break time. Key Stage 2 children are encouraged to bring a piece of fruit from home.
Homework is given to all children, the amount being appropriate to their age. We believe that homework is one of the main ways children can acquire the skills of independent learning and we ask parents to support their child in this process, particularly through discussion. A homework timetable will be issued at the Information Evening at the start of the academic year.
On their child’s admission to school, parents are asked to complete Medical Information and Emergency Contact forms. Routine tests, such as hearing, eyesight, height and weight are carried out by the school nurse. Parents are informed directly of any issues resulting from these checks. If at any time you have concerns about your child’s health in school, please do not hesitate to contact the nurse. Medicines may only be administered at the school by prior arrangement.
We are committed to ensuring that all pupils are well cared for, safe and protected. We follow Berkshire Child Protection procedures and aim to work together with other agencies that support children and families. If we believe we have serious cause for concern, we are legally obliged to notify the relevant agencies. The Headteacher has responsibility for the implementation of these procedures.
Assessment forms an integral part of the learning and teaching process. Children are assessed informally on a daily basis. Formal assessments take place at the end of topic or term and results are recorded in the child’s Record of Achievement.
SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY
The school is organised into seven classes, with the child’s age being the main factor in determining where they are placed. Our policy is to keep class sizes to thirty. The number on roll in January 2005 is 185. Each class has its own teacher who takes the class most of the time. In addition there is a full time teaching assistant in each class. When children first start school they go into the Reception Class for one or two terms, depending on their date of birth. Those children due to start school in September go directly into Yr 1. Classes are re-organised each September. Because the admission number for the school is 45, some classes contain children from two year groups.
THE SCHOOL DAY
The morning whistle goes at 8.55am. We expect all children will arrive in the playground between 8.45 and 8.55am.
Timings for the day are as follows.
8.55 School Starts
10.25 - 10.40 Morning Break
12.00 - 1.05 Lunch K.S.1
12.10 - 1.05 Lunch K.S.2
3.15 School Closes
At the end of the day, teachers take children to the courtyard exits, to be collected by parents.
COLLECTION OF CHILDREN AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY
Children must be collected from school. We ask parents to complete a form indicating the names of the adults who will be collecting their children. We do not allow children to wait on the school drive or by the school entrance. If this is inconvenient, parents should speak to the Headteacher. This strict ruling is to ensure the safety of all children. Cars are not allowed into the school grounds at the beginning or end of the school day unless you have a special requirement.
A high standard of behaviour is required from all pupils and they are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible and caring way in class and throughout the school. There is a whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour through praise and reward systems. However, there are sanctions that will be applied when children do not comply with the standard of behaviour required. We do hope that the partnership developed between home and school will help us in dealing with children who have problems in adapting to the expectations of school.
If a parent is concerned about any aspect of their child’s life or work at school, then we too are concerned. Please ensure that you talk through any problems with the class teacher in the first instance. Further opportunities will be offered to meet with the Headteacher if necessary. If, after this course of action, you feel your complaint has not been dealt with properly, you should contact the Chair of Governors.
The school was founded in 1898 and was built behind St Edward's Church by Canon John Longinotto; this is now the Parish Centre in Dorset Road. There were 59 children and the school consisted of a large open classroom and a smaller room for infants. In 1920 the school was enlarged and catered for all ages until 1939 when it was designated as an Infant and Junior School. The present site in Parsonage Lane was purchased by Father William Kirk in 1962 and the new schools opened in 1966. Further extensions were made to the Junior School when it became a Middle School in 1977 and again in 1986 when St Edward's Middle School joined with the Royal Free School to become the first Ecumenical Middle School in the country. The Infant School became St Edward's Catholic First School. St Edward’s is a Voluntary Aided School owned by the diocese of Portsmouth, which is responsible for the upkeep of the school buildings. We ask for a voluntary contribution of £10 per child per term as a contribution towards building and repairs. Father Morrissey celebrates Mass in school twice a term and parents are warmly welcomed to join the school for these celebrations. Throughout the term assemblies are regulary led by the Parish Deacon.
St Edward’s works hard at developing good relationships with neighbours and the local community. Fund raising events are organised in aid of local charities and pupils are involved with community events. The town and its facilities play a part in the children’s education. Windsor Great Park Open Days provide a range of activities.
The Governing Body assists the Head and the Local Education Authority in the management of the school. The full Governing Body meets 5 times a year, with committees on staffing, finance, curiculum, admissions and buildings once a term. Each Governor is linked to a class and also takes a particular interest in a school subject. As a Catholic and Voluntary Aided School, the Governors have an obligation to ensure that the Catholic ethos of the school is maintained. The Governors are responsible for the appointment of the Headteacher and teaching staff.
TRANSFER TO MIDDLE SCHOOL EDUCATION
A child transfers to Middle School in the September after his/her ninth birthday. At the beginning of your child’s final year at St Edward’s First School, the LEA consults with parents to ascertain their preferences.
The Middle Schools are:
• St Edward's Royal Free Ecumenical Middle School
• Trevelyan Middle School
• Dedworth Middle School
• St Peter's Middle School, Old Windsor
The closest Middle School is St Edward’s Royal Free Ecumenical School, to which the majority of our pupils transfer.
The school bases its curriculum upon the framework provided by the National Curriculum, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies and the Foundation Stage Curriculum. Children in KS1 and KS2 study Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Information and Communication Technology, History, Geography, Design Technology, Music, Art, Physical Education and PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education).
Children entering school in the reception class take part in the Foundation Stage curriculum. This consists of: personal, social and emotional development; communication; languages; literacy; mathematical development; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development and creative development.
We aim to foster true attitudes of care and thoughtfulness for other people and the development of Christian values and beliefs. We are concerned that the values of the Gospel are found in every aspect of school life. This will be exemplified by a concern for justice, a fostering of talents of the whole school community and serving those who have particular needs. The children meet for whole school collective worship twice a week and on the remaining days they begin with a class collective worship. Class Assemblies and Masses are celebrated throughout the year and parents are always welcome. We follow the Diocesan RE programme 'Here I Am'. Holy Communion preparation takes place in the parish, using the programme ‘I Belong’.
Mathematics teaching has a strong practical and mental basis. It is designed to build understanding into the acquisition of basic calculation and mental arithmetic skills. Our mathematics scheme covers the skills and concepts of the National Numeracy Strategy and National Curriculum and approximately an hour each day is devoted to the development of numeracy.
We teach the skills of communication - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and for understanding. Reading progress is carefully monitored and each child has a reading record book which is kept in a zipped folder with their reading books. This book records reading sessions and is a means for home and school to communicate with each other. Much emphasis is put on developing children’s spoken language through discussion, drama and short presentations. Children are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and a range of audiences, with cross-curricular links established where appropriate. Spelling is taught systematically using a range of strategies such as phonics, word patterns and visual cues. Reading, spelling and handwriting workshops are held regularly for parents, to help them support their child’s learning.
We aim to develop children's interest of the world around them and stimulate their curiosity by encouraging the application of scientific concepts to real-life problems. Children are encouraged to think logically and interpret their findings in a critical manner. We hope to develop in children a sensitivity and respect for the environment. The skills acquired in other areas of the curriculum, particularly ICT, Maths and English, can be applied and practised in science activities.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
St Edward’s has an attractive ICT suite, housing fifteen computers with internet access and a whiteboard for whole class teaching. Most of the classes have interactive whiteboards that are used to teach ICT skills and to support work in other areas of the curriculum. Each class also has its own computer and laptop for group work or one to one support.
Pupils are taught to develop their design and technology capabilities through a combination of knowledge, and designing and making.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
The national curriculum programmes of study for history and geography are the starting point for our work in this area. The teaching of history incorporates a knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past, using a range of historical sources. Through geography, children develop an understanding of the interdependence of places and people and their natural environment. Mapping skills are developed throughout and children study a wide range of topics from the local environment, to that of a developing country.
ART AND DESIGN
The curriculum aims to develop children’s understanding of colour, line, shape, form, texture, tone and pattern. This is achieved with a variety of media such as pastels, paint, fabric and clay. Studying the work of famous artists also forms a significant part of the curriculum. All children should have an overall for art and craft activities. An adapted shirt is a useful cover up.
We aim to develop interests and skills in singing, making music and appreciating music. For the older children, violin and keyboard tuition are offered at school by tutors from the Berkshire Young Musicians’ Trust. In addition, Year 4 children may join the recorder club. Performing Groups are regularly invited into school.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND SPORT
In physical education we enable the children to develop confidence and physical skills as they grow stronger. We introduce them to apparatus, gymnastics, ball skills and a variety of games and athletic activities. Children in Years 3 and 4 receive football coaching from a local football club, and an after school football club is run during the Summer Term. Development of honest competition, fair play and good sporting behaviour is considered important.
SOCIAL AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND SEX EDUCATION
We are concerned with the children's attitudes towards themselves and one another. We wish to provide children with the necessary skills to become responsible members of the school, home and society. Children are encouraged to be confident, well motivated and self-disciplined. Our sex education programme, which is appropriate to the age of the child, emphasises the importance of a loving family environment and concentrates on children developing a respect for human dignity and a positive self-image. On joining the school, parents will be given a copy of the school's sex education scheme of work across the whole age range - Reception to Year 4. Sex education is not taught in isolation.
Two members from each class are elected by their peers to form the school council, a body delegated to encourage children to take an active part in shaping their school life.
CATERING FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
The school follows the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs and has a designated Special Needs Co-ordinator and a Special Needs Governor. We think it is important to discuss any learning problems fully with parents so that we can work together in partnership to support the child’s individual needs. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) may be formed if appropriate and termly meetings arranged with parents to review progress and identify future learning priorities. Occasionally it is necessary to seek advice from other professional agencies such as the Educational Psychologist and the Speech and Language Therapist. This can help identify specific problems and advise on support strategies for the child. The school’s Special Educational Needs Policy provides more detailed information and is available on request.
MORE ABLE CHILDREN
The needs of our more able children are met in a variety of ways during the school day through a differentiated curriculum. Appropriate resources and strategies are used for challenging, enriching and supporting the children’s education.
POLICY ON CHARGING FOR ACTIVITIES
In order to give the children a wide range of experiences, some activities included in the curriculum may incur expenses.
• Visits by Music and Drama Groups
• Offsite educational visits
• Some Design Technology activities
Under the Education Act, these costs must be met by voluntary contributions. If voluntary contributions do not cover the cost, we may reluctantly have to cancel the activity. Where there is genuine financial hardship we can sometimes provide help towards making these contributions. The school’s policy on charging is available on request.
The Governors reserve the right to ask parents to contribute to the cost of replacement items, as a result of loss or damage e.g. lost library and text books.
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