At Prettygate we aim to teach a broad and balanced curriculum to meet the needs of each child whatever their ability, gender or ethnic background, so that he or she may reach his or her full potential. The National Curriculum, R.E and Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) form the basis of our teaching.
The Foundation Stage (reception classes) concentrates on personal and social development; practical literacy and number skills; physical and creative development and enhancing the children's knowledge and understanding of the world.
Staff undertake regular planning meetings to ensure curriculum progression and continuity. It is most important that our children have a sound understanding of the basics of learning. We believe that no one method of organising teaching should be used to the exclusion of others. Children may be taught formally as a class, in groups or individually depending on the requirements of the child or activity. Much of the curriculum including a high proportion of Maths and English, is delivered through carefully planned and structured topics. The school follows the National Literacy Strategy and the National Numeracy Strategy. Visitors are invited into school to enrich and extend the curriculum; for example, artists, musicians, representatives of public services, and 'experts' connected with the children's topics.
Discovery afternoon takes place once a week and was highlighted in the OFSTED Report 2004 as:
- "An example of very good practice ... The Wednesday afternoons (Discovery afternoons) are organised in a different way from the rest of the timetable. They give pupils of different ages ... the opportunity to come together and have fun taking part in a range of varied and exciting activities. They draw on the interests of adults in the school and community volunteers ... The afternoons provide an opportunity for pupils to extend their social skills and relationships with others. The sessions are tremendously popular with pupils.
All our children undertake visits to support their learning. Recent visits have included Fingringhoe Nature Reserve, Highwoods Country Park and Walton on the Naze. We also use our local environment which includes the woodland area currently being developed in the school grounds.
Parents receive a summary of curriculum areas to be covered at the beginning of each half term.
The teaching of RE follows the Essex County Council Agreed Syllabus. Collective worship held on a regular basis is broadly Christian but may encompass other cultures and faiths. Emphasis is placed on caring and respect for each other and our environment. These assemblies have an important role in promoting the ethos of the school and acceptable behaviour of the individual.
If any parent wishes to withdraw their child from religious education or acts of worship, they should speak to the Headteacher and alternative arrangements will be made.
Children with Special Educational Needs
We seek to remove the barriers to participation and learning that can hinder or exclude pupils. We believe that the teaching, learning, achievement and well being of every child matters.
It is the policy of the school to maximise the full potential of every child, fostering an enjoyment and confidence in all they undertake. There is a framework devised by Essex County Council to closely monitor the progress of children who may need short-term help with a specific problem. The school has an appointed Special Needs co-ordinator (SENCO) who works closely with class teachers and parents. Teaching assistants work with children requiring extra support under the direction of the SENCO. We have a policy of early intervention to ensure that every child has the opportunity to overcome any difficulties (behaviour, academic, organisational, physical etc.)
If your child is exceptionally able or talented we will identify this and aim to meet their needs in a challenging and stimulating way.
The Special Educational Needs policy document, which is reviewed annually, is available on request.