The School's Objectives
The school's principal aim is to encourage the development of children as individuals and as members of society in order to prepare them for adult life.
In order to achieve the principal aim it is imperative to:
· Develop a receptive, alert and enquiring mind to gain understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to life and its tasks.
· Cultivate a set of moral values, and be prepared to contribute to society.
· Be able to control one's emotions and behaviour in order to become self-confident with an awareness of self-reliance.
· Perceive the nature and value of the Christian faith and be aware of, and tolerant of, other religions.
· Develop basic skills in all the subjects taught at the school, by implementing the National Curriculum in accordance with the requirements of the Education Act.
· Create an awareness of the need for personal hygiene, politeness and courtesy.
· Promote safety procedures in the school, home and community.
· The school has a home-school agreement, which outlines the expectations of the school, the parent and the child. New parents are requested to sign a copy of the agreement and return it to school.
Infants: 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. 1.00 p.m. to 3.10 p.m.
Juniors: 9.00 a.m. to 12.15 p.m. 1.00 p.m. to 3.10 p.m.
Great importance is attached to punctuality. In order to further the safety of the pupils, it is desirable that they do not arrive at the school too early in the morning and that they are not allowed to linger too much before being collected at the end of the school day. The school does not accept any responsibility for the pupils before 8.45 a.m. nor after 3.30 p.m.
If there are any changes in the arrangements regarding fetching your child from school, would you be so kind as to ensure that the school is made aware of them, in the interest of the children's safety.
LOCATION OF THE SCHOOL
The school is situated on the B4306 road, from Pontyberem to Carmarthen, at the point where the Mynyddcerrig road adjoins it, approximately a mile from Pontyberem. The school's main entrance is situated on the B4306, and there is another entrance on the road to Mynyddcerrig.
Age range of the pupils: 4 - 11 years old.
Wherever possible, the school will provide extra curricular activities at no cost to the pupils e.g. music tuition.
On occasions the cost of an activity will not be able to be met by the school e.g. school trips. In such cases The Friends of the School will make a contribution towards travel costs and parents will be asked for a voluntary contribution towards the remaining costs.
If any parent feels they need financial assistance towards the cost of an activity then they can approach the governing body at the appropriate time requesting remission.
THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
At present the school curriculum is as follows:-
Reception children follow the Early Years Curriculum which is made up of 6 areas:
· Personal and Social Development
· Language, literacy and communication skills
· Mathematical development
· Knowledge and Understanding of the world
· Creative development
· Physical development
Children from Y1 - Y6 follow the subjects of the National Curriculum, Y1 - Y2 being in Key Stage 1 and Y3 -6 being in Key Stage 2.
The subjects included are:-
PHSE is incorporated throughout the science and R.E. syllabus.
Pupils are taught in 3 mixed age classes and tasks are differentiated to suit the varied ability within each class. The makeup of each class is determined by numbers in each year group, the aim being to have balanced numbers in each class wherever possible. Parents will be informed about any changes in the term previous to the changes taking place.
If parents are not happy about any aspect of the school curriculum they should consult with the Headteacher in the first instance who will try and resolve any complaint. If this is not successful then the school complaints policy (available from the Headteacher) can be implemented.
A written annual report is provided for the parents during the summer term. The parents are invited to make an appointment to see and discuss the child's work with the class teacher at the end of the academic year.
In addition, an "open door" policy is implemented at the school; parents can phone to arrange an appointment with the headmaster or the class teacher at a convenient time to discuss the child's progress and his/her work, and also to discuss any other relevant educational matter.
The headmaster must be contacted prior to visiting one of the teachers.
MARKING AND CORRECTING
The marking of children's work is an essential element of assessment, which enables us to:
a) recognise the children's strengths and weaknesses in order to help them.
b) plan the next step in their development.
We do our utmost to mark in a constructive and selective manner, and to avoid over-correcting. It must be realised that the requirements of the tasks that are set vary, and this is reflected in the marking e.g. attention can be focused on the content, the tenses of the verb or the punctuation.
Pupils in the Infant Department are given homework occasionally. Pupils in the Junior Department are given homework weekly. Homework is not compulsory, but the senior children are encouraged to familiarise themselves with working at home in preparation for the Secondary school. It must be stressed that homework is not necessarily written work. It is strongly advised that a short period is allocated each evening for reading books which are appropriate for the child's reading age in Welsh and English.
Book fairs are held periodically where parents are given an opportunity to select books for their children.
It is the policy of the school to screen children as early as possible in order to identify any that have Special Educational Needs. When a child is identified as having such needs the Headteacher will contact the parents in order to discuss the way forward.
A member of staff provides weekly support for children with Special Educational Needs. The pupils are arranged into small groups which enables us to give them special attention, and to focus on their reading skills, as well as any other obvious deficiency.
We will modify the education syllabus for a child who requires special help with the basic elements in language and numerical work, yet every effort is made to provide a comprehensive education which is full of various experiences for every pupil, endeavouring to stretch every pupil to the best of his/her ability.
The teachers are prepared to answer questions that the pupils ask regarding sex, and shall endeavour to do so in a sensitive manner, taking into consideration the maturity level of the individual child. Aspects of Sex Education are presented whilst studying some of the Attainment Targets of the Science Curriculum.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Religious Education follows the County Agreed syllabus for R.E. Children learn through themes which emphasise multi cultural religions approach. Collective Worship is arranged so that class assemblies take place on Mondays and Fridays with whole school collective worship on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Staff take it in turn to deliver assemblies to the whole school. If for any valid reason a Parent feels their child should be excluded from collective worship or R.E. then they should contact the Headteacher in order that alternative arrangements can be made.
The school is located in a traditional Welsh-speaking rural area, and therefore is a Category "A" school as defined in the Carmarthenshire Education Authority's Language Policy. The objective of this bilingual policy is to ensure that pupils are fully bilingual in their usage of Welsh and English. Welsh is the principal medium of work and communication in the Infant Department and the Junior Department, with English being introduced as the children progress to the Junior Department. The Authority's statement regarding the implementation of the language policy in Category "A" schools declares that:
(i) "Welsh will be the principal medium of communication and work in nursery departments and infant departments in order that the pupils gain a sound foundation in the language".
(ii) "Welsh will be the principal medium of communication and work in junior departments, and English should be introduced as the pupils progress from the infant department to the junior department, in order to ensure that the pupils have an opportunity to develop to be fully bilingual by the time they leave the primary school".
Every child is expected to participate in physical education and in games, and to wear suitable clothing for the purpose. Experiences are offered in a wide variety of games in order to foster and promote the development of various skills. Swimming lessons are provided for the Junior Department in the swimming pool at the Leisure Centre at Carmarthen. If the child is not to go swimming because of a heavy cold, or feels otherwise indisposed, the parent is expected to send a letter of explanation or to inform the school by telephone.
Teams from the school compete against teams from other schools in competitions that involve all the primary schools of the valley, various sports organised by the Urdd, not only for the sake of the competition but also to give the children a chance to associate with children from other schools in the area in games such as soccer, rugby, netball, cricket and cross-country. The children participate in the Mynydd Mawr School Sports annually.
It is emphasised that taking part in the events is more important than winning.
The school and governing body has a policy for Equal Opportunities which is available from the Headteacher. It emphasises that we will :-
· oppose any unfair discrimination, as individuals or as a school, whether it is direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of sex, rare ethnic origin, religion, disability, financial status, social standing, HIV status, age, appearance, ability, language, political opinion, size, or married status.
· challenge any preconception or unreasonable ideas about groups in society and will strive to develop tolerance and a willingness to accept difference.
· to promote and celebrate differences within communities and beyond.
· try and be an inclusive community in the broadest sense of the word.
· prepare pupils to participate as adults in a multi cultural society.
The school and Governing Body has prepared an accessibility plan in order that we ensure access to all pupils and to ensure that disabled pupils are not treated differently to all pupils. A copy of the plan is available at the school.
All reasonable care is taken of the children at all times. The school rules take into account the safety of the children. The school has a fire alarm and fire drills are held during the term.
We kindly ask the parents who bring children to school by private car not to impede the school entrance, and to collect them at the end of the day from the Mynyddcerrig road entrance. During inclement weather, parents can telephone the school for information about any changes which could occur. A school crossing patrol takes care of the children when crossing the road.
The main door to the school is locked during the school day. Any visitors are requested to ring the bell and await a member of staff. Children are not allowed to open the door to visitors.
ADMITTING NEW PUPILS
New pupils are admitted at the beginning of the term in which they have their fourth birthday.
It is suggested that parents send their children to the local Ysgol Feithrin (Welsh medium nursery school) to prepare the children for school. The Ysgol Feithrin is held in one of the rooms of the Infant Department.
Prospective pupils are given an opportunity to visit the school for a day at the end of the term prior to officially starting at the school. Parents should contact the school for further information regarding the arrangements.
It is suggested that the parents of new pupils make an appointment with the headmaster to visit the school before the child enters the school.
The pupils are usually placed in mixed ability classes according to their age. Due to the numbers attending the school, it is sometimes necessary to divide an academic year - with consideration being given in the decision making process, to the child's maturity, personality and ability. Priority will be given to the child's welfare in any decisions regarding changing class.
Pupils usually progress to one of the Secondary Schools in the Valley in the September following their eleventh birthday.
The two Secondary Schools are:
Ysgol Gyfun Ddwyieithog Maes-yr-yrfa. Ysgol Gyfun y Gwendraeth.
DISCIPLINE AND SCHOOL REGULATIONS
The following are stated in order to prepare the children to grow up as exemplary, diligent, helpful and upstanding members of society. Every child is expected to behave in a respectful and courteous manner, and to take a full role within the community of the school.
Pupils are expected to conform to the following.
· To behave courteously towards fellow pupils and adults.
· To obey the teachers' instructions.
· To be punctual.
· To respect books equipment, furniture and apparatus in the school.
· To respect the personal property of fellow pupils.
· To respect their environment - the school building, the surrounding land and all areas outside the school.
· To conform with the fire drill procedures.
· To refrain from climbing walls and fences in the playing field or adjoining school yard.
· Not to leave the school premises without permission.
· To walk, and not to run, within the school building.
The following are also strongly suggested:
· Every item of clothing should be marked with the child's name.
· Children are encouraged to keep their hair clean.
· Valuable jewellery should not be worn to school.
· Glass bottles are not allowed in the school.
The school has a modern kitchen with a spacious dining hall, which is able to cater for the needs of the pupils who take school meals and the pupils who bring their own food. Parents can consult the cook regarding any special diet that their child may require. The school meals must be paid for promptly at the beginning of the week - on Mondays. There are two supervisors on duty dinnertime - one supervising the infants and one supervising the junior classes.
Application forms for free meals are usually available at the school.
The school is very fortunate in having a very active and supportive PTA. The PTA finances many activities such as trips and educational visits, as well as purchasing educational equipment. Despite this, at times it is necessary to request voluntary contributions towards the costs.
The senior children of the school receive instruction in cycling skills, and teams compete in quizzes on Road Safety and the Highway Code. In an attempt to foster closer links between the children and the police force, the local community police officer visits the school regularly.
THE SCHOOL WITHIN THE COMMUNITY
It is endeavoured to make the children aware of their duties in the community and to foster a close relationship between them. The children take part annually in the local Homespun Entertainment Concert, the Agricultural Show and the Eisteddfod as well as any other events in which they may be invited to take part, which benefits both parties. Occasionally, parents are invited to attend school activities.
The Local Education Authority provides the following:- School Doctors, Dentists, Health Visitors and Speech Therapists. If you have an objection to having your child examined by any one of the above, the school must be informed without delay.
** No treatment will be given by the above without the consent of the parent. **
The authority also provides the service of an Educational Psychologist. Parents are consulted whenever the assistance of such a service is required.
School uniform is desirable and can be purchased from the school at the beginning of a new term. It consists of a light blue polo shirt and a Royal blue Sweatshirt. Many of the girls wear a gingham dress in the summer months. Fleece jackets are also worn an can be ordered from the school
THE SCHOOL'S PASTORAL ARRANGEMENTS.
The responsibility for the general management of the school lies with the headmaster, who is assisted by the other members of staff.
Although the staff members do their utmost to ensure the safety of the children, accidents can occur occasionally; and they will be dealt with immediately. If and when more serious accidents occur, the parents are informed as soon as possible, and if necessary, the child is taken to the Surgery at Pontyberem or to Glangwili hospital. Members of the staff deal with minor cuts and bruises.
When the need arises for a child to take medication at school the parent must make a request, on the appropriate forms, and be in receipt of an approval form from the Headteacher. With regard to absences, the teachers would appreciate receiving an explanatory note when the child returns to school. It is also requested that parents make a written request or phone-call if they seek permission for their child to leave the school early. If the child has an appointment (to see a doctor, dentist, nurse, etc.) during the morning session, it would be helpful to the school, if it were known whether the child intended returning to the school in time for school dinner.
In order to implement the above effectively, it is necessary to stress the importance of letting the School know of any changes regarding:
a) Home phone number.
b) Home address.
c) Emergency phone number.
d) Child's medical condition.
These pages have been developed by the school. If you have any comments regarding the content please contact the head teacher.