|2 Balgores Lane, Gidea Park, RM2 5JR, UK Romford|
+44 (0)1708 740381
"Light Work Life"
The school was founded over seventy years ago by the grandfather of the present owners. Consequently there is a history and presence which enables us to maintain a family atmosphere and family values.
The main building, in pleasant, secluded grounds, houses the junior school, library and dining and kitchen accommodation. In separate outside classrooms, bounded by lawns and playgrounds, is a small Pre-School unit for 2½ - 3 year olds, together with the Infant classes to which the Pre-School children transfer in the September following their fourth birthday.
Throughout the school the children are arranged into classes by age span, keeping within their correct school year. The same full-time member of staff remains with the year group for the whole academic year to ensure mutual stability, teaching the basic core subjects. In the Junior School specialisations in teaching emerge, and staff teach their specialist subjects throughout the department, as well as caring for their own form.
Therefore although the Pre-School, Infant and Junior departments are separate, they meet and play together as often as it is relevant to do so, thus developing interdependence and, among older boys and girls, a sense of responsibility and caring.
Here we provide a happy, relaxed atmosphere in which we aim to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding laid down in the Early Learning Goals published by the QCA. The goals emphasise: children's personal, social and emotional development; the children's knowledge and understanding of the world and their physical and creative development.
Because we are active members of the local EYDCP, parents are entitled to a nursery education grant termly, and the setting is regularly inspected and reported upon by OFSTED.
We operate two separate groups, the afternoon Nursery and the morning Kindergarten. The afternoon session serves the younger children, those who have their third birthday after the beginning of the academic year. The emphasis is on gaining independence away from home, learning to communicate with adults and other children, and gaining the confidence to be able to benefit fully from a complete year on moving into the Kindergarten.
In the Kindergarten, the Nursery group together with a few children from outside gain from a full year's Pre-School experience. The sessions are more structured and pre-reading, pre-writing and number work take precedence. The Kindergarten children enjoy the same break time as the Infants, and join in other activities such as Sports Day, as appropriate.
In the early stages of Nursery education, parents are welcome to spend time helping their children to settle, thereby strengthening the bond between family, child and school.
Within the Infant Department, which caters for children of four plus, all of whom start in September, each pupil is able to enjoy three full years tuition prior to moving up to the Junior Department of the school. The aim is to provide a caring, but disciplined environment. All are taught, using largely traditional methods, to strive for the highest personal levels of achievement, both academic and behavioural, consistent with personal happiness and ability. A proportion of top Infants win places at local Preparatory Schools at the age of seven; the vast majority elect to stay and join the Junior Department.
In the Reception Class the children are taught the rudiments of "reading, writing and arithmetic", and whilst these continue to form the basis of each day, Music, Painting, Drama and P.E., together with an introduction to Science, History and Geography all play an important part throughout the Department. The children in the Reception Class benefit from having two members of staff in the room at all times, and the other infant classes also enjoy extra help from part-time qualified staff to assist with daily reading and small group work.
Throughout the Infant Department the "core" subjects in English (aural, written and spoken) and Mathematics (mechanical, mental and practical) are taught daily and form the basis of the curriculum. However, Science, History, Geography and Religious Studies play an important part throughout the department as do Music, Art, P.E. and Drama.
The children include the elements of the National Curriculum in their syllabus, but frequently widen and extend topics. The K.S.1 SATS taken in Year 2 consistently reveal results comfortably above the National Average, and those children applying for places at local Public Schools, Preparatory Departments are usually successful.
In the Junior Department the curriculum, based upon the foundations laid in the Infant Department, is widened and extended. Although the core subjects of English, in all forms - written, spoken and aural - and Mathematics continue to play a large part, Science, History, Geography and Religious Education are all time-tabled. Cross-curricular themes are often used to emphasise the interdependence of knowledge and learning. French is introduced in Year 5, and Latin in the final terms of Year 6.
Pupils are encouraged to produce an independently researched piece of written work based upon studies covered in class in order to prepare for the "course work" required later in their careers.
In their final year pupils hoping to gain entry into local Public Schools are prepared to meet the requirements of external examinations, both written and oral.
Standardised tests are administered annually and from the results parents and staff can discuss the best route forward for their children. From the bi-annual internal exams a pupil's progress in all areas can be measured and informative termly reports and parents meetings give an opportunity to plan strategies and improve areas of weakness and maintain standards in strong subjects.
In the final term the Year 6 pupils take K.S.2 SATS in Maths, English and Science. Results regularly indicate standards above the National Average, with many reaching Level 5, a standard usually attained in Secondary School.
A Newsletter keeps parents informed of school activities. Academic, improvement and effort prizes are awarded annually on Speech Day. The House System which operates throughout the Junior Department enables all children to contribute to the "team spirit" as competitions in music, general knowledge, cross country, swimming, chess and team games are all keenly contested. A House Shield, presented on Speech Day, is awarded to the House gaining the most points throughout the year.
(See Infants and Juniors pages for details about National Curriculum learning in the core subjects of english, mathematics and science)
Art and Craft
Often based on observation techniques which improve line and colour awareness, together with hand/eye co-ordination skills. Topics include drawing, painting in different mediums, collage, hand weaving, tapestry and embroidery. We endeavour to stimulate and appreciation of design and of the tactile qualities of the materials used. A broader fostering of enjoyment in the many facets of the subject often results in a lifetime's pleasurable interest.
Music forms an integral part of daily educational life here. Children are taught to read music and to appreciate the many different musical styles. They learn musical composition, and take part in group performances both vocally and instrumentally. The choir and recorder clubs offer the opportunity for pleasurable group activities for those interested: we also utilise local music specialists for private instrumental tuition where requested.
Our annual House Music Competition provides a popular stimulus, recognising both individual talent and group musical activity.
Sports and Games
We use both our own and local amenities. At Infant level there is the development and consolidation of co-ordination skills based on movement, dance and the use of basic gymnastic equipment. For juniors, there is cross-country running, gymnastics, E.S.A.A. based athletics, cricket, rounders, netball and football. Juniors are transported to a local swimming pool fortnightly, and inter-House and local school matches regularly reinforce the natural competitive instinct.
Assemblies are held for the purpose of religious worship twice weekly for Juniors and once for Infants. Lively singing, quiet thought, instruction in moral standards, and awareness and gratitude for life's blessings encourage children to develop their own values and ethics, common to all faiths. A Christmas Carol Service is held at the local Parish Church.
Situated in the main building, it is used for reference and research purposes, 'browsing', wider private reading and silent individual reading tuition.
Books are constantly being replenished with the aim of improving reading standards and generally extending reading interests. A Better Readers' Club exists to encourage wider reading and understanding.
Outside visits are arranged on a class by class basis, usually in the Summer Term, to places of local interest and educational value relevant to work covered in class.
Fully qualified and experienced additional staff utilise a small group tuition system either within or outside the classroom to reinforce learning for those children experiencing difficulties. Alternatively, these staff will concentrate on advanced or Scholarship work for more able, older pupils.
The school also recognises that some children do require specialised assistance for specific learning problems and for this purpose we have a S.E.N. qualified member of staff who sees the children on a weekly basis, giving help with particular difficulties, liaising with Class Teachers to reinforce methods and procedures taught. Using this method several of these pupils have made good progress.
Extra Curricular Activities
Members of staff give readily of their time.
After-school clubs vary with the seasons. The Chess Club operates in the Autumn/Spring. The School Choir practises during lunch breaks and others are welcome to join.
Football and netball coaching, prior to competitions, takes place regularly after school.
The Recorder Group meet during lunch times and an ensemble for all musicians is a very popular school activity.
In addition preparation lessons during school holidays are often arranged for exam candidates.
To assist parents, an After-School Club for children in Forms R-VI operates each evening from 3:30 - 5:30pm.
Members of staff supervise the children who have a light snack, an opportunity to play outside or enjoy a board game, before embarking on homework.
The infant children all complete their reading homework - then enjoy some art or craft activities again under the supervision of the Early Years' Staff. If parents are delayed, staff will remain with the children until they are collected.
This facility is not included in termly fees - parents are invoiced separately each half-term.
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