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Deanshanger Primary School
The Green, Deanshanger, MK19 6HJ, UK Milton Keynes
+44 (0)1908 268920

Deanshanger Primary School, The Green, Deanshanger, Northamptonshire, MK19 6HJ

Welcome to the web site of Deanshanger Primary School. The school governors, my colleagues, our pupils and I hope it provides you with a useful introduction to our school. Please click on the links to the left of the page to find out more about us.

However, looking at our web site is no substitute for seeing the school in action, and we look forward to you visiting us in the very near future. Please call or e-mail to make an appointment.

Stuart Churchill

Tel: 01908 268920
Fax: 01908 261023


Our School

Deanshanger Primary School is situated in the south of Northamptonshire, a few miles north of Milton Keynes. We are a 'community' school, funded by Northamptonshire County Council to serve the villages of Deanshanger, Wicken, Puxley and Passenham, although pupils from further afield are sometimes admitted if we have places available. Currently, we have approximately 360 pupils on roll - a number which may well grow over the next few years as a major housing development in the village is completed.
We are situated in a lovely position adjacent to the village green. The oldest part of the school dates from Victorian times, but in recent years this has been remodelled inside and additional accommodation has been added. A covered play area with a large courtyard joins the old and new sections of the school. In addition, we have a large playground, a heated swimming pool and extensive grassed areas incorporating playing fields and a wildlife area.
Our bright and attractive classrooms are resourced with a good range of high quality equipment. They are fully carpeted, and extend into shared areas used for practical activities. There is also a well-stocked library, a large hall and two computer suites.

We are proud to have been awarded:
'Investors in People' - for our commitment to staff training and development;
'Activemark Gold' - in recognition of the wide range of opportunities we provide for physical education;
'Artsmark Gold' - in recognition of the high quality arts activities which we provide within and beyond the school day;
'Basic Skills Quality Mark' - in recognition of our commitment to meeting the learning needs of every member of our school community;
'Healthy Schools Award (Bronze)' in recognition of our work to promote pupils' health, fitness and well-being.


Our vision

Everything that we do in school is directed towards these straightforward aims:

> Each pupil will develop into a confident and caring individual, equipped with the skills and personal qualities needed for a happy and successful life.

> Each pupil will develop into a successful learner, developing the full range of his or her talents and paving the way for future achievements.
> Each member of our school community will be respected and treated fairly.

In order to achieve our aims, we will:

> Develop a happy, caring and welcoming atmosphere in school in which everyone is respected and valued equally.

> Provide a full and appropriate range of learning experiences, differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils.

> Promote children's aspirations, self-esteem, self-discipline, sense of responsibility and their respect for others and the environment.
> Promote high standards of achievement and behaviour by giving our pupils support, guidance and encouragement as appropriate, and by providing positive role models.

> Provide a safe, stimulating and well-resourced learning environment.

> Maintain a strong home-school partnership, and sustain links with other local schools and the wider community.

> Provide continuous professional development and support for all our staff.


The curriculum for children in Foundation Stage
We follow the government's 'Early Years Foundation Stage' curriculum as used by almost all Early Years settings. Therefore, the learning programme we provide for your child in their first year at school builds upon their experiences from pre-school, playgroup or nursery. We liaise closely with pre-school settings and with parents/carers about each child's individual social and learning needs to ensure a smooth transition to school.

We very much encourage parents/carers to be actively involved in their child's development via weekly reading mornings, information sessions such as Phonic Workshops, providing detailed information on learning programmes and skills, and by having an 'open door' approach at the beginning of each day.

The Foundation Stage curriculum is organised into 6 separate areas as detailed below. However, these are often combined within each learning activity.

1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area underpins all the other elements of the Foundation Stage curriculum. Its main aims are to help children develop:
> a positive attitude to school and to learning;
> independence and self-confidence;
> concentration and determination when undertaking a variety of tasks.

We also teach the children how to cooperate, work and learn harmoniously with each other in a wide range of different circumstances

2. Communication, Language and Literacy

We provide activities in which the children can communicate in a wide range of situations, where they can listen and respond to adults and each other, and practise and extend their range of vocabulary. We teach reading and writing skills by providing opportunities where the children explore, enjoy and use words in a broad range of contexts, and where they can experience a rich variety of books. Initially, children are taught the sounds that letters (or groups of letters) make using a 'synthetic phonics' approach.

3. Mathematical Development

The children develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space through practical tasks and discussion. Through these experiences, the children learn to count, sort, match, seek patterns, make connections, and recognise relationships when working with numbers, shape, space and measures.

4. Knowledge and Understanding of the World

The curriculum provides opportunities for the children to solve problems, make decisions, experiment, predict, plan and question in a varied range of contexts - and to explore and find out about their environment and people and places that have significance in their lives.

5. Physical Development

Children's fine and gross motor skills are developed through play and structured tasks. We help them develop an understanding of how their bodies work and what they need to do to be healthy and safe. They also learn how to take part in games and gymnastics-based activities, and have opportunities to play on a range of outdoor apparatus and wheeled vehicles.

6. Creative Development

The children take part in a variety of art, design and technology, music, movement, dance and imaginative and role-play activities to develop their ability to explore and share their thoughts, ideas and feelings.
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The curriculum for older children: introduction
In common with almost all other schools, Deanshanger Primary School follows the National Curriculum. We have long-term curriculum plan which covers all subject areas from Year 1 to 6, and this plan is further split up into half term units in which teachers organise a balance of activities for their year group. As well as teaching subjects separately, they are often combined within a single activity in order to provide a more realistic context for learning - such as linking the use of a computer spreadsheet to a maths investigation, or exploring ideas arising from an R.E. lesson through art and music. Every effort is made to match the learning activities to the abilities and interests of the pupils.
During the school week, teachers will use a range of teaching strategies in their classrooms. These may include whole class teaching, group teaching or working with individuals. Also, children will sometimes work independently, in pairs, or in larger groups. The particular strategy used will depend upon the teacher's judgement of how best to achieve the learning objectives for that lesson.

To further meet the needs of children of different abilities within each class, teachers organise the children into various groups and set suitably differentiated work. Also, our pupils are organised into inter-class ability sets for literacy and numeracy.
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English and Mathematics
We follow the general framework for teaching English as set out in the government's Primary Framework for Literacy. During literacy lessons - which last about an hour every day - children develop their skills in these areas:

- Speaking, listening and responding;
- Group discussion and interaction;
- Drama;
- Phonic work and other reading skills;
- Spelling;
- Understanding and interpreting texts;
- Writing and organising texts;
- Developing sentence structure;
- Punctuation;
- Handwriting and presentation.
Literacy lessons normally include a whole-class activity, such as working together to share and discuss a text. Children also do activities as individuals or in small groups to reinforce and extend the areas covered in the whole-class lessons. The lessons usually end with a plenary where the children discuss what they have learnt that day.

Our mathematics curriculum is based on the government's Primary Framework for Numeracy. Great emphasis is placed on developing confidence in using mathematics and the ability to utilise a wide range of mental strategies for problem solving. Every child has a daily numeracy lesson lasting between 45 and 60 minutes according to age. The key areas of learning are:

- Using and applying mathematical skills and knowledge;
- Counting and understanding number;
- Knowing and using number facts (eg multiplication tables);
- Calculating;
- Understanding shape;
- Measuring;
- Handling data.
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Science and Information & Communication Technology
Our pupils experience the full range of natural and physical science specified by the National Curriculum. The key areas of study are:
- Methods of scientific enquiry;
- Life processes and living things (including studies of plant life and humans as organisms);
- Materials and their properties (including grouping, classifying, changing materials, and separating mixtures);
- Physical processes (including forces and motion, electricity, light and sound, and the solar system).
From their earliest days in school, all children have access to ICT. They use computers for word processing, data handling, design, problem solving, control of computer-operated devices, research, and for accessing a range of programs aimed at teaching specific skills. They also learn to use the internet and how to communicate via e-mail. We have two computer suites, and interactive whiteboards are installed in every classroom.
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History and Geography
In history, we aim to give our pupils a knowledge and a sense of history that will contribute to their general understanding and development. In Key Stage 1, children compare the past with the present (e.g. how toys are different), and they study some famous people such a Florence Nightingale. In Key Stage 2, they study various topics including Romans, Ancient Greeks, Tudors and 20th century Britain.

A group of 'Deanshanger Evacuees'
In geography, we aim to develop our pupils' skills of geographical enquiry, and their knowledge and understanding of places and environments. Initially, the children learn about the immediate locality, and as they progress through school they begin to learn about the wider world. Geographical skills such as map reading are taught through studying places and themes.
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Art & Design and Design & Technology
Our pupils learn to develop their observational and imaginative skills through working with a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. By using colour, form, texture, pattern, different materials and different processes the children develop their ability to communicate what they see, feel and think. They learn to evaluate their work, and develop an understanding of the work of artists working in different times and cultures.
In D&T, children combine practical skills with knowledge and understanding of design. They have the opportunity to work with a range of materials and equipment as they are guided through the designing and making processes necessary to construct their own products. Also, they learn to consider the design and effectiveness of a variety of manufactured products.
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Physical Education
Our PE curriculum promotes healthy physical development, skilfulness in activities, and an understanding of fitness and health. The children participate in a wide variety of activities including gymnastics, games, dance, athletics and swimming. New skills are taught progressively, and our emphasis is on participation and enjoyment for all.
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The children are given opportunities to experience a wide range of musical activities, including singing songs, playing instruments, and creating and performing their own and others' compositions. We have various singing groups and a recorder club, and older pupils have the opportunity to receive specialist tuition on a range of orchestral instruments. (Charges are levied for lessons on most instruments.) We give children many opportunities to perform music in front of the school, parents and wider audiences.
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Religious Education
Our R.E. curriculum follows the Northamptonshire Guidelines for Religious Education. In keeping with legal requirements, the majority of units of study are based on Christian teachings, but these are complemented with studies of other faiths in which all beliefs are treated with equal respect. The lessons help the children to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their personal spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes, and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life.
Parent/carers have the right to withdraw their child from religious education, and you should contact the headteacher if you wish to do so. However, as our R.E. lessons do not contain any religious instruction, and as we treat all religious beliefs with equal respect, we strongly encourage all parents to give their children the opportunity to participate. If children are withdrawn from these lessons, they may use a quiet work area to study religious material brought from home.
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Personal, Social & Health Education and Sex Education
PSHE and Citizenship gives the children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. In addition, our pupils take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing to the life of our school and the wider community. Through these activities, the children develop their social skills, and discover how to make confident and informed choices.
During their time at primary school, children need to learn about the physical and emotional changes they will experience in puberty. Our sex education lessons form part of our PSHE curriculum (see above). Beginning with a simple study of 'ourselves' in the Reception class, children gradually progress to a growing understanding of life cycles of plants and animals, and the physical, emotional and moral aspects of relationships. They learn about human reproduction in Year 6, and we offer parents the opportunity to see the teaching materials we use in advance of the lessons.

Parent/carers do have the right to withdraw their child from sex education, although we strongly discourage this. Please contact the headteacher if you wish to withdraw your child.


In keeping with Northamptonshire County Council's policy, we admit children to our school in the September following their fourth birthday. Therefore, we have only one intake a year, and all our pupils benefit from a full year's education in the Reception class.

Almost all children entering Reception attend on a part time basis for their first few weeks in school.
We have a published admission number of 60 pupils for 2007-08 and beyond. In the event of the school being oversubscribed, the headteacher and school governors will allocate places in accordance with the following criteria:

1. Children who live in the school's designated area: i.e. the villages of Deanshanger, Wicken, Puxley and Passenham.
2. Children who have brothers and sisters at the school at the time of admission of the younger child.

In the event of over-subscription, parent/carers are entitled to appeal against the school's decision by following the procedures laid down by Northamptonshire County Council's Education Department.

Admission forms can be obtained from our school secretary.
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Organisation of classes for 2007-08
Predicted numbers:
Foundation: 2 classes of 26 children
Years 1 & 2: 4 classes of 24 children
Year 3: 2 classes of 25 children
Year 4: 2 classes of 23 children
Year 5: 2 classes of 32 children
Year 6: 2 classes of 26 children
The number of children in each class may vary during the year as pupils arrive and depart.
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The school day
8:40: School gates open.
8.50: Start of the school day
10.20: Morning break
10.40: Lessons resume
12:00: Lunch break for younger pupils
12.20: Lunch break for older pupils
1.15: Afternoon lessons begin
2.15: Play for younger pupils (10 mins)
3.15: End of the school day

Using a 'hundred square' to investigate number patterns
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Dress code
Our uniform for pupils is detailed below, and we strongly request that parents/carers ensure their children are appropriately dressed for school:

Items marked * are available embroidered with the school logo, and may be ordered from the school office.
Autumn / Winter/Spring:
White polo shirt*, or other plain white blouse or shirt (not t-shirts); black formal trousers, skirt or gym-slip; red sweatshirt* or sweatshirt-cardigan*, black low-heeled shoes (not trainers or boots)

Spring / Summer:
As above, and also grey formal shorts or summer dresses (red and white striped or gingham); black or white sandals.

White T-shirt*; black shorts; black or white plimsolls for indoor games; tracksuit and trainers for outdoor use in cold weather. (Slogans, football club affiliations or designer labels are not permitted)

We request that children do not wear non-essential jewellery during the school day. All items of jewellery must be removed for P.E. lessons. We may, from time to time, prohibit children from wearing particular 'fashion' items or hairstyles.
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Special educational needs
We aim to meet the needs of all our pupils within an inclusive environment, so that every child achieves his/her full potential. Teachers set work which is appropriate and relevant to the individual needs of the pupils in their care, and assessments are carried out regularly to monitor progress. If a teacher sees that a child is not progressing as well as one might expect, he/she will liaise as soon as possible with our own Special Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to develop a special programme of work.
(The picture shows a high ability maths group working on a fractions problem.)

Depending on the nature of a child's educational needs, we may implement an 'individual education plan', and use learning support assistants to give the child extra help in class. If necessary, we will seek the advice of specialists such as educational psychologists, and endeavour to get extra funding from County to provide additional support in class.

We always share our concerns about a child's educational progress with his/her parents, and keep them fully informed of the support we are providing.
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Pupil welfare and security
In the event of minor illness or injury, we will look after your child along the lines that many parents would take if they were caring for a friend of their own child. Therefore, we will clean small cuts and grazes with antiseptic wipes and apply plasters, and we will treat minor bumps with ice packs or cold compresses. We will comfort your child if they are upset, and sometimes hold their hand or put an arm around their shoulder if we feel this would be helpful. We will not give any medicines unless you have provided them.
If we feel your child's injury or illness is more than can be dealt with effectively in one of these ways, we will telephone one of the emergency numbers that you have given us and ask you to collect your child as soon as possible. We will, of course, give first aid if necessary pending your arrival.

If your child needed urgent medical attention and we could not contact you, we would act 'in loco parentis', call an ambulance and accompany your child to hospital.

Regarding security, once parents have departed after dropping off their chidlren in the morning, all gates are shut and the school becomes a secure site. Children are only released into the care of their parents or carers, or others for whom we have written permission.

We promote a healthy lifestyle by providing hot lunches produced to very high nutritional standards. We also provide fruit for our younger pupils, and milk can be ordered.
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Behaviour policy
All those involved in the life of the school are expected to show a high degree of care and respect for other people, their property, their health and safety, and for the school environment. Where necessary, specific rules are established to underline this policy, and these are clearly explained to the children.

We make a special effort to praise children who are working to the best of their ability. Also, we are keen to recognise those who show thoughtfulness and helpfulness towards others. Children who do their best are awarded team points, and these are recorded on a class chart or in a personal log book.
If individuals act thoughtlessly or unkindly, they are told in straightforward terms why their behaviour has been unacceptable and they are expected to do what they can to put matters right. Also, they may lose certain privileges such as playtime, or they may be required to do extra work in their own time or attend a detention. In the case of more serious misdemeanours, parents are involved in the disciplinary procedure. Very rarely, in cases of extremely bad behaviour, children may be temporarily suspended from attending school. Corporal punishment is not used.

Children who feel that others are treating them unkindly - especially if they feel they are being bullied - are encouraged to confide in an adult. Where necessary, support and counselling for all parties concerned will be used to provide a long-term solution to any problem.

(The picture shows members of our 'Greenfingers Club' with their autumn crop.)
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Collective worship
In line with statutory requirements, our pupils have the opportunity to participate in collective worship of a broadly Christian nature every day. We have a whole-school assembly three times a week, and on the other days the children have an assembly specifically for their own age group.

Our annual programme of assemblies includes many opportunities to explore the beliefs, festivals and celebrations of all major world religions, and we use assemblies to reinforce sound moral principles such as 'right and wrong', kindness, sharing and respect.

Children of any religious belief should feel comfortable participating in our assemblies as we treat all faiths with equal respect. Nevertheless, parents may withdraw their children from collective worship if they so wish. However, children usually prefer the option of attending assembly so that they may listen to the story, but they opt out of joining in the hymn and prayer. If children are withdrawn from collective worship, they may use a quiet area for private prayer or the study of religious material brought from home.
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Children are expected to develop their learning in school by completing homework. We encourage parents/carers to support their children?s homework as this strengthens the home-school learning partnership.

Each September, class teachers set out a programme of weekly homework tasks. Typical homework assignments are:
Years 1 and 2:
Approx. 1 hour per week of reading practice, learning spellings, other literacy work and number work.

Years 3 and 4:
Approx. 1½ hours per week - as above, plus other occasional assignments in other subjects.

Years 5 and 6:
Approx. 30 minutes a day on a regular weekly schedule with continued emphasis on literacy and numeracy, but also ranging widely over the curriculum and including extended research tasks.The amount of homework we set for each age group is in keeping with government guidelines.
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Extra curricular activities and visits
We offer a range of extra curricular activities throughout the year. These take place either during lunchtime or after school. The programme may include activities such as drama, art, mathematics, philosophy, outdoor games, football, country dancing, modern dance, chess, netball, basketball, recorders and singing.

Children in Years 4 and 6 have the opportunity to go on residential visits, and all year groups participate in occasional day visits linked to the curriculum.
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Home-school partnership
We firmly believe in strong links between school and home, and you and your child will be invited to sign our home school agreement which summarises this partnership. A copy of the agreement is available on request.

We greatly value the support of parents who are able to join our team of regular 'school helpers', assisting with art & craft activities, hearing children read, library supervision, accompanying school visits, etc.

We publish a newsletter containing information about forthcoming events and the life of the school on the first Friday of every month. Also, teachers send home termly class newsletters outlining the main areas of study for the term, etc.

There are parents' noticeboards outside the school gates where various items of interest are advertised.

The school's Governing Body includes several parent/carer representatives who support the headteacher in the leadership and management of the school. Any parent/carer desiring further information about becoming a governor is welcome to contact the Chair of Governors via the school office.
Our PTA is a energetic group of enthusiasts who work hard to raise funds for extra resources to benefit the children. During the year, they organise a wide range of social events for adults, children and the wider community. The PTA is always looking for new recruits, and all parent/carers will receive a warm welcome. If you feel you can contribute in any way at all, please enquire at the school office.
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Key Stage 1 assessment results 2007
SATs results: (Figures may not total 100% due to rounding or absences)

Speaking & Listening:
Level 1 or below: 29%
Level 2 or above: 71%

Level 1or below: 6%
Level 2 or above: 94%

Level 1 or below: 6%
Level 2 or above: 94%

Level 1 or below: 6%
Level 2 or above: 95%

Level 1 or below: 6%
Level 2 or above: 95%
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Key Stage 2 assessment results 2007
Test results:

Below Level 4: 16%
Level 4 and above: 85%
(of which 44% achieved Level 5)

Below Level 4: 10%
Level 4 and above: 90%
(of which 37% achieved Level 5)

Below Level 4: 3%
Level 4 and above: 97%
(of which 58% achieved Level 5)

(Figures may not total 100% due to rounding or absences.)
Year 6 pupils modelling their hats made in Design Technology
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Overall attendance: 94.8%

Authorised absence: 4.9%

Unauthorised absence: 0.3%
Learning to swim in our school pool
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School Diary 2007-08
Term 1 (2007):
Wednesday 5 Sept - Friday 19 October

Term 2:
Monday 29 October - Friday 21 December

Term 3 (2008):
Tuesday 8 January - Friday 15 February

Term 4:
Monday 25 February - Friday 4 April
(Closed Friday 21 & Monday 24 March)

Term 5:
Tuesday 22 April - Friday 23 May
(Closed Monday 5 May)

Term 6:
Tuesday 3 June - Wednesday 23 July

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Ofsted Inspection: October 2003
The school was inspected by Ofsted in October 2003. We can provide you with a summary of the report on request, or you can access the full report at The main findings of the report were:
'This is a good school.'
'Curriculum provision is good, particularly in practical science, French and cross-curricular links and in the provision for pupils with special educational needs.'
'Good levels of care and good quality teaching, particularly in the Reception class and Year 6, ensure that pupils learn well.'
'The quality of teaching and learning is good, as is the quality of the support staff team.'
'Standards are high in pupils' number skills, science in Year 6 and art and design.'
'The strong provision for pupils' personal, social, health and citizenship education creates a positive ethos within the school.'
'Pupils' behaviour is good and they have good attitudes towards their work.'
'Good leadership is provided by the headteacher and other key staff, who are supported by a dedicated staff team, committed to the education and care of the pupils.'

'The most important things the school should do to improve are:
Provide work which is matched to the needs of all pupils;
Provide effective assessment structures in the non-core subjects;
Further develop the roles and skills of all subject co-ordinators.'

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Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)