School years are important years, not only for the children themselves, but also for parents, anxious, as all parents are to ensure that the best possible opportunities are being provided for their own children. The purpose of this document is to give an insight into classroom life at Gatehouse school and explain how we as teachers go about aiming to provide the best possible opportunities for the children during the time they are with us. Today's world is one in which everyone is encouraged to be critical - motorways have 'cone hotlines' to encourage motorists to complain about the number of cones at roadworks - all major utilities have freephone numbers to assist users to express their dissatisfaction at something - but the positive side to these is that they do encourage us to reflect upon the quality of what we and others are offering, and improve it as far as possible. So with our school, we are constantly reflecting, and striving to improve what we are doing. Increasingly, schools rely upon co-operation with parents and wider families, in terms of learning, behaviour and in aspects of routine organisation. We feel it is important, therefore, that you as parents need to know what our expectations of the children are, what we are striving to do, and how we go about it. All parents are keen to help their children, and can best do so by having an insight into what is happening in the classroom during the day. By giving this insight, we hope: to inform you better about what we are teaching the children, to help you understand how learning takes place, to enable you to support teachers in a more focused way, to enable the school to assist you as and when appropriate to clarify what the school hopes from you the children will be able to do before starting school, to give you expectations of what your child should be able to do before leaving P7.
Nine Whole Years- Pre-school to end of P7
In looking at this part of the document, we must remember that development of the child is many-fold: it covers not just what is directly studied over these years - that is the 'open', curriculum. It also covers other aspects including social, emotional and physical development as well - the 'hidden' aspects - and we must see these all as parts of the jig-saw. We're concentrating on the curriculum here, however, and, also, to look at how we see the children developing as individuals - and how we can help in that development. In looking at the curriculum it would make sense to examine it in its individual parts - Mathematics, English Language, Environmental Studies, Expressive Arts and Religious and Moral Education. It must be stressed that we cannot provide a comprehensive coverage of the curriculum - that would take a volume - but we can give a fair indication of the content here. We are very fortunate here in having the provision of a pre-school class. This enables children in their pre-school year to come into a structured environment and so experience the contacts, opportunities and facilities, which prepare them for the commencement of formal education. To begin with, then, it would make sense to say something about how you can more effectively prepare your son or daughter for school and so, by giving him or her your support, help the school to help you!