The School aims to provide a balanced education within the guidelines proposed by the National Curriculum.
All pupils are encouraged to fulfil their maximum potential both in their academic and social achievements.
A report on each child?s progress is sent home at the end of each Term comprising of two brief updates at Easter and Christmas and a detailed progress report at the end of the Summer Term.
The teaching of reading is well structured throughout the school. Each child is encouraged to read with skill, fluency and understanding. The school uses a coded reading scheme based on Ginn 360 materials, this is not exclusive to other reading materials. The Scheme is updated regularly using funds from the School '100' Club.
Progress is monitored by a Termly 'NFER' reading test. Each child is expected to take reading material home as part of the Home/School reading scheme that aims to involve every parent in his or her child's reading development.
Each classroom has a stock of fiction interest readers as well as the use of a well-stocked central studies resource library situated in the main school foyer. Provision is being made to open and stock a KS1 resource library in the Infant School. The books in the library are available for class use or personal research and have been almost entirely provided by private funding. There are also both infant and junior book clubs providing an opportunity for pupils to purchase up to date and classic children's stories.
The handwriting taught within school is based on the New Nelson script. It is a clear and legible style and great attention is paid to the quality of the work produced. There is a defined progression of presentation culminating in a neat and workmanlike hand in the Y6 group. Through their writing the children develop the ability to research, punctuate and spell. Work of a high standard is expected in every area of the curriculum. Written work is developed through formal class instruction, individual tuition and class project work. Work is displayed around the school as well as being recorded in exercise books. It is a matter of pride that the displays are always of good quality. The children are also encouraged to develop their skills in communication through drama, song, reading and discussion. The National Literacy Hour forms the core of the approach to Literacy teaching.
Mathematics is a key area of the curriculum and the children work at set levels within the Heinemann numeracy scheme. This involves computer and calculator skills, starting with Reception and continuing through to the first Secondary level or further when necessary.
The overall policy of the school is to develop the ability and understanding of every child and to impart a high standard of mathematical ability by the age of 11.
Number work extends from the core materials into other areas of the curriculum, allowing pupils to handle and manipulate data in areas such as technology, geography and science.
The mathematics scheme within the school covers all areas required by the National Curriculum and is the subject of regular updating. The National Numeracy Strategy is part of the National Curriculum and the school is required to adhere to the guidelines provided.
The school has developed a core science curriculum that runs from reception to top junior, YR to Y6. This involves a great deal of practical work and there is a well-equipped science resource area to allow for this. Children are encouraged to develop a positive attitude to their science studies.
Great store is set upon the ability of pupils to apply the processes of science and to operate a scientific method when identifying problems.
Given the nature of the National Curriculum subjects such as History and Geography are covered within general areas of study or as 'mini-projects' aimed at a specific targeted area. Project work enables children to put into practical use the skills gained through a wide range of subjects as well as in depth studies. The areas of study are planned over each year to ensure there is no overlap from class to class.
Within each classroom there is at least one computer workstation with disk drive, visual display monitor and printer based around a Pentium PC (CD-ROM) unit and there is also a 486 CD unit with scanner based in the Library area for research. The children use computers for data handling, word processing, 'Logo' activities and problem solving as well as creative work. The school tuck shop is managed using a spreadsheet on ?Excel? either in Class 6 or the Library.
The School has a Computer Network in the IT Suite to allow further computer access and whole class teaching for Information Technology.
Creative Work/Design and Technology
This includes clay work, fabric, screen and poly-printing, balsa modelling and the use of various paints, dyes and inks. The tasks set are developed from project work or specific National Curriculum teaching areas and are aimed at encouraging the pupils to observe and record in a variety of media. There are Craft and Clay clubs available for older pupils.
Music is an integral part of the school curriculum and the children are encouraged to appreciate and enjoy music. From Class 1 onward the recorder is taught as a class subject with every child taking part. The older children will also begin to sight read their music as part of their lessons. Flute, clarinet, violin, piano, brass and guitar tuition is available in school hours. Recorder clubs provide extra tuition on the descant, treble and tenor instruments. We are very proud of the standard of achievement gained by pupils within this subject. There is an active Orchestra that meets once a week. The Orchestra has gained ?firsts? at both Colchester and Ipswich Music and Arts festivals.
On an annual basis the children and staff present a dramatic or musical production on stage in the main hall. There is Candlelight Christmas Carol Service that takes place in the local Church, as does the annual School Music Concert.
The School hall is well equipped with a climbing frame, vaulting horse, free standing frames, mats and ropes. Full use is made of the equipment by each age group. The children follow a programme of floor-work, music and movement, country-dance and drama as part of their instruction.
The main sports played are Netball, Uni-hoc, Hockey, Rounders, Touch Rugby, Football and Junior Cricket. Short tennis and Badminton is played in the summer on the front playground. In the appropriate season there are teams representing the school in various sporting activities. Colchester United Football Club and Essex County Cricket Club also visit the School to provide tuition to Year Five and Year Six Pupils.
Swimming is arranged on a weekly basis for Y3 to Y6 children, a voluntary donation is requested to enable the school to hire the Leisure Centre pool and a private coach for transport.
There are assemblies every morning that involve Christian worship.
Church of England, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic Clerics are invited to lead a school assembly once a week and also, on occasion, instruct the older children. Eucharist is celebrated each term. The School follows the Diocesan Syllabus for Religious Education, using the County Agreed Syllabus as a supplement if necessary.
Open Assemblies are held on Friday afternoons, timetable permitting, with each class producing at least one assembly each term to which parents are invited.
Eucharist is also celebrated within school and governors and parents are invited.
It should be recognised that St. Andrew's does have a strong Christian ethos within the curriculum and general school structure and that this is an integral part of many activities within the school.
Parents have the right to withdraw children from the act of worship included within assemblies but must make their own arrangements for the proper care of their children during this time.
All Classes say prayers at the start and end of the day and a grace before lunch.
Guidelines to the provision of sex education are laid down by the Governing Body and fall within the requirements of the DfEE. It is felt that this should be firmly placed within a framework of family and Christian commitment. Year 6 pupils receive counselling and advice from the school nurse in their final term. Those who are unwilling for their child to take part should inform the school in good time.
All pupils in the school have some simple French tuition, learning lists of nouns, answering the register in French, etc. The School bases the French content of the Curriculum on ?La Jolie Ronde? a modern foreign language course developed especially for primary pupils.
Extra Curricular Activities
Educational visits are organised throughout the year, making use of the school coach for transportation. Visits are linked to current projects and topics of interest. Each year Y5 and Y6 children spend a week sailing and taking part in a field studies under the expert tuition of the staff at the Bradwell Field Studies and Sailing Centre.
There are clubs every afternoon after school and depending on the term these will include Pottery, Art, Country Dance, Drama, Cricket, Recorders, Football, Hockey, Netball or Rounders. Clubs are in the main open to the older pupils.
The Teaching Organisation
The School, of approximately 200 boys and girls between the ages of four to eleven years old, is divided into seven classes; Reception (YR), Infant Y1, Y2, Lower Junior Y3, Y4, and Upper Junior Y5 and Y6. Children are placed in classes based on the Year Group and Key Stage they are in. In some cases other factors may be taken into consideration.
Transfer between classes normally takes place at the start of each school year and parents are informed of any Class change by report.
To allow children to become familiar with other teachers all classes spend some time with the other members of staff and, when possible, the headmaster spends time in various classes. Assemblies are held daily, there is also a Friday afternoon presentation to which all are welcome.