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Danecourt Community School
Hotel Road, Watling Street, ME8 6AA, UK Gillingham
+44 (0)1634-232589
www:http://www.danecourt.medway.sch.uk/e-mail:admin@danecourt.medway.sch.uk

About Danecourt School

"Danecourt is a community school where every individual is valued, supported challenged and successful"

Danecourt is a successful community special school, catering for approximately 112 primary aged pupils. All of our pupils have moderate learning difficulties, and some have more complex learning needs.

The school is situated in Hotel Road near the A2 in Gillingham, in pleasant surroundings and has good play space. The school serves the Medway Towns has a wide catchment area that extends from Rochester and the Hoo Peninsula to Sittingbourne and the Isle of Sheppey.

Our success is based upon our small school environment. We pride ourselves on meeting children's individual needs whilst at the same time encouraging excellent relationships between pupils, staff and parents. The school offers all its pupils a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum including full entitlement to the National Curriculum. Our strengths have been highlighted in our most recent OFSTED report.

We pride ourselves upon our use of new technology and our links with the EAZ and with the local community

VALUES

MISSION STATEMENT

Danecourt is a community school where every individual is
Valued
Supported
Challenged
Successful

AIMS
Valued
We believe every individual is unique and special

We will respect the rights and needs of all
We will foster a sense of self esteem and self worth
We want everyone to realize their full potential
We want our children to be happy, confident young people who will contribute to their community


Supported

We believe that a good learning environment stems from a committed teaching staff who work as a team to support all children
We will provide a happy, secure and stable environment
We will give a high level of individual support
We will work in partnership with parents
We will help children to develop communication, social and self help skills

Challenged
We believe that children succeed best when teacher have high expectations
We will deliver a curriculum that is broad, balanced and relevant
We will set challenging individual targets
We will expect high standards of behaviour
We will provide opportunities for our pupils to join with their mainstream peers wherever possible


Successful

We believe that success is important to every individual and to have that success recognized encourages further achievement

We will measure success in many ways across the range of social and academic achievements
We will ensure areas of success for everyone
We will recognize every achievement however small the step
We will praise and reward success

ACCOMMODATION

The school was formerly two buildings that are now linked. The recent building works have in addition provided a large open area for Key Stage 1 pupils, an Autistic Unit and an ICT suite.
There are 10 classrooms plus the Autistic Unit. 6 classes at Key Stage 2 and 4 classes at Key Stage 1. The whole building may be accessed by wheelchair users and for persons with limited mobility. There are toilets for the disabled, specialist showering and changing facilities with appropriate sluice rooms. There is a Hall/Dining room and medical room. The school has its own kitchen and meals are prepared on site.

The school has a small Home Economics room, and a meeting room for parents. There is a small soft play room used mostly for Key Stage 1 pupils. We have a large sports hall and 2 playgrounds (one for each Key Stage) and a large playing field.
We provide a safe environment for pupils who have little or no sense of danger. All outside doors can only be opened from the inside. In KS 1 and in some KS2 classes there are two handles on doors to provide additional security for some pupils. There are phones in all classrooms.

CURRICULUM

It would be impossible to describe our curriculum fully within this booklet. We can only give you a brief outline of what we offer.
(See also some of the specialist approaches listed in the section Provision) Classes are small (9-11) to allow for individual attention.
The school has two Key Stages Key Stage 1 Pupils aged 4 – 7
Key Stage 2 Pupils aged 7-11
The school is organized into three curriculum teams:
Team 1 Key Stage 1 (KS1) Years R – 2
Team 2 Key Stage 2 (KS2) Years 3 – 4
Team 3 Key Stage 2 (KS2) Years 5 – 6
Children are taught mainly within class bases. A variety of teaching and learning styles are used to deliver the curriculum. Class and school-based learning is supported through a range of out of school activities e.g. educational visits. We recognize the importance of extending the curriculum for every child. Great emphasis is also placed on the development of social and inter-personal skills. We aim that all pupils will gain access to the National Curriculum at an appropriate level or to be working towards National Curriculum.
The pupils’ progress is carefully monitored and parents are kept informed and consulted through the use of Home/School diaries, telephone calls, Annual Reports and Parents’ evenings.

Curriculum Content:
Much of the curriculum content is delivered through themes/topics with curriculum planning involving a team of staff across a Key Stage. Pupils will have individual programmes of work in both literacy and numeracy.
Each class teacher is responsible for the delivery of the whole school curriculum (differentiated to meet the needs of each individual within the class group). The class teacher also has a pastoral responsibility for all the pupils within his/her class.
At KS1 we provide a range of first hand experiences and use the environment as much as possible to develop their understanding. We have a two year cycle of topics that are relevant to each child’s experience and allow time for the development of basic skills in all curriculum areas.
In KS2 we have a four year cycle of topics that builds upon earlier experiences and incorporates more specific National Curriculum requirements that we feel are appropriate for our children.
Our aim is to provide an atmosphere close to that of a primary school. We provide the full range of activities and curriculum opportunities that are available to pupils in mainstream school with additional resources and expertise to meet identified special needs. We have smaller size groups, a high staff ratio, specialist staff expertise, and differentiated or individual programmes all of which enable pupils to achieve their potential in a supportive environment.
The school offers all its pupils a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum. Most children at KS1 (4-7) will be working at a pre National Curriculum Level and will be developing social and communication skills that will allow them to progress towards the National Curriculum.
At KS2 most children are working towards National Curriculum targets.
The National Curriculum Subjects are:
English-Mathematics-Science-Information Communication Technology-History-Geography-Music-Art-Design Technology-Physical Education(P.E.)-Personal Social and Health Education (PHSE) and in addition Religious Education. We also include an introduction to a Modern Foreign Language (French) for Year 6.
Our success is based upon our small school environment. We pride ourselves on meeting children’s individual needs. We use a range of specialist approaches.
Within six weeks of admission all pupils will have individual education plans (IEPS) which are focused on meeting the needs defined in their statements. We keep parents informed of children’s progress against IEPs on a regular basis.
The Individual Education Plans break learning targets into very small precise steps. This plan details individual targets for Literacy, Numeracy and Personal and Social Education. For each target we also indicate the level of the National Curriculum or the Performance level for pupils working below the National Curriculum level.
We intend to give parents information about the full range of activities that are planned for each class.
We have invested heavily in ICT (often referred to as “computers” by pupils) and we have found this to be highly motivating for our pupils. Pupils have amazed us with their confidence in using ICT and they readily use a range of equipment and software.
As an example it has been rewarding to see pupils take digital photographs as part of their work, down load them into a power point presentation to make an electronic record of the visit or to use the Internet to enhance their learning.

UNIFORM

We ask that pupils wear school uniform. This helps pupils to feel part of a ‘community’ and it is also a practical and relatively inexpensive outfit. Your child should be encouraged to wear his/her uniform with pride.

Please make sure that every item belonging to your child is CLEARLY MARKED with their name – you can imagine the difficult job of sorting out twelve red jumpers at the end of the day if they are not named!

GIRLS: Grey skirts or pinafore dresses
White blouses or polo shirts
Red jumpers, sweatshirts or cardigans
Black or brown, sensible school shoes
White or grey socks or tights
Summer dresses – red and white check.

BOYS: Grey shorts or trousers
White shirts or polo shirts
Red jumpers or sweatshirts
Black or brown, sensible school shoes

School sweatshirts, polo shirts, book bags and sun hats are available from the school office.

P.E. and SWIMMING
The following basic kit is required:
White T-shirt/ polo shirt
Black shorts
Socks
Plimsolls/trainers (not to be worn in school)
P.E. bag clearly named.

All pupils swim regularly when they will require a costume and towel.

Personal Belongings
Pupils are not allowed to bring toys, or any other items into school – unless they have the permission of the class teacher. For safety reasons, care has to be taken with regard to pupils wearing jewellery. Watches and stud earrings are acceptable, however, rings, chains and other earrings are discouraged. We hope parents will support this view.



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