All schools have their own characteristics, strengths, weaknesses and individual systems which give them their identity. We believe that it is important to build on strengths and manage change carefully and effectively.
Our vision is for a school which provides equality of opportunity for all in partnership with the whole school community, seeking to promote and develop every child’s potential to the full in a positive and meaningful way.
The parents, governors and staff at Whitehill Primary School wish to see evidence of quality and high standards of the teaching and learning within our school.
Below is a summary of what we believe are the characteristics of a successful school. At all times we will be working towards achieving these broad aims and objectives.
• Well-developed and clear child centred aims and objectives, which are part of all curriculum and pastoral policies.
• A welcoming, open and friendly school with a positive ethos and tone where the views of the children and parents are valued. We want to develop flourishing home, school, and community links. Positive interpersonal relationships between all staff, parents and children are extremely important in a whole school partnership.
• Exciting and well managed classrooms in which the teachers and support staff use a variety of strategies and approaches which provide a smooth transition of children from Whitehill Primary School to the High School of their choice.
• There should be evidence of well-documented and clear effective curriculum planning, assessment, reporting and recording policies and schemes of work. The role of the curriculum co-ordinator is important.
• The governing body and staff as a team ensure that the schools resources are well organised and managed. The key to this is a collegial management style. When the OFSTED Inspection team visits Whitehill they should see this partnership in action. The School Development Plan that has been collaboratively produced with achievable targets for the coming year and with forecasts for the coming 3 years will clearly show what we have achieved and indeed will highlight areas, which need to be developed. The S.D.P. is a tool that we will use to organise developments and ensure that they are maintained at a realistic pace.
OUR SCHOOL AIMS TO:
Develop a caring child centred curriculum which is broad, balanced and differentiated to meet and develop the needs of all children.
Ensure progression and coverage of all National Curriculum core and foundation subjects.
Develop an understanding of all regarding race, gender, ability and disability.
Develop the child’s self image and esteem.
Develop children as independent learners.
Develop a caring attitude towards each other by behaving in a positive and responsible manner.
Develop a community spirit between the child, parent, school and the wider environment.
Develop from early years the attitudes, values, skills and knowledge so that transfer to High school is a smooth one.
Provide experiences, which will develop our pupils’ spiritual and moral understanding.
For all staff to feel happy to come to school to work with children and develop them to their full potential.
A WELCOMING AND FRIENDLY SCHOOL WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WHOLE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Positive home, school and community links are so important in the development of a positive ethos and tone within our school. We intend to develop this partnership in the following ways:
We have developed a governing body, which is, through its committee structures actively involved in the running of our school. Meetings are often of a workshop nature and we do meet as a full staff and governing body once a year to explore issues in greater depth as a team.
We have a very active Parents, Teachers and Friends Association (P.T.F.A). All our parents are members of our P.T.F.A. and their support is very much valued by the school. The P.T.F.A. organises a series of events each year. There is no doubt that our school does benefit from the P.T.F.A. input both socially and financially.
We do like to celebrate our successes at school by making press releases to the local newspapers and we have a press release book near the main office with examples of articles, which have been published. In this way we keep the community alert to developments within our school.
We do like to encourage parents to work within school and they do so in a variety of ways, which adds an extra dimension to the ethos and tone within our school.
We hold a coffee morning and afternoon each half term which acts as a forum to discuss new ideas which parents often have and at the same time parents can voice their concerns at an early stage. These meetings have been the source of some very positive suggestions.
We hold curriculum workshops in our Foundation, KS1, and KS2, which are very positive examples of our whole school partnership in action, e.g. Foundation Stage Better Reading.
We have a thriving extra-curriculum. There are many teams, clubs and societies within school and our staff do give generously of their time. This adds much to the ethos and tone within our school. This is an area of school life which is well developed and thriving with Challengers, Boys/Girls Brigades, etc., extending provision.
We do attempt to keep our parents well informed by giving them clear communications in the form of letters, Informative Reports, Newsletters written with a sense of humour, a well structured annual governors report and school curriculum brochures and prospectus.
We provide a friendly office and reception area. The Headteacher does operate an open door system and he is willing to discuss any aspect of school life with any of our parents.
We are continuously looking to develop our facilities for parents and children. We have upgraded many areas of our school to a very high standard and we are very well resourced.
Our local church leaders often given generously of their time and we do get involved in projects within the community.
We do produce some lovely productions.
We do encourage links with our local schools.
We have a well-structured School Council Action Group, which has been very active in our local community. This is an excellent example of citizenship in action.
We have created I.C.T. resources in the Mezzanine above the KS2 dining room which is at the cutting edge of technology to raise standards for children.
We host the ‘Stepping Stones’ Pupil Referral Unit for Calderdale which is very well resourced to cater for children who are disaffected from other schools.
We also host the North Halifax Cluster of schools Learning Support Unit which is very well resourced and again does a marvellous job with the Year 3 – Year 5 children prior to referral to the Pupil Referral Unit.
We also run Summer Schools for the children within our community.
EXCITING CLASSROOMS AND TEACHING
We place great emphasis on display throughout our school and we feel that it adds much to the Ethos and Tone throughout the school. We do encourage exciting wall displays and interactive displays. Each classroom in KS1 and KS2 has an interactive Whiteboard to enhance and enrich teaching and learning.
We are always working towards improving classroom organisation and management. Our rooms are well labelled and the children are able to self service their equipment needs.
We have exciting and well-organised libraries which celebrates the love of reading and literature. These are themed library areas, Y6 Railway Station, Y5 Tudor House, Y3 Viking longboat, Y1/2 Enchanted Garden, and Reception Hansel & Gretals Cottage.
We always encourage our staff to use a variety of different media – Television, Cassette, Audio centres, Computers and Interactive Whiteboards.
We encourage the use of a variety of teaching approaches at school – individual, group and whole class teaching. As the children move through our school the predominant style is whole group class teaching. We set the children for English and Maths from Year 2, and Years 6 are set for English, Maths and Science.
We do have a well-developed positive behaviour policy, rewards system and code of behaviour. Nothing succeeds more than praise but we do encourage clear class rules which may be negotiated with the children. The children are rewarded in a variety of ways – for attendance and weekly teachers awards. We hold rewards assemblies on Fridays.
Planning at Whitehill Primary School is collaborative and staff in each year group plan together. We use the standardised planning sheets so that documentation is uniform. Planning involves all staff and is based at 3 levels: Long term plans – which develop the broad thematic content in each subject: Medium term plans – which detail each subject learning outcomes relating to the statements of attainment and the programme of study: Short term plans are based on coverage for the week and are also of a standardised format. Curriculum coordinators provide the medium term forecasts for each theme which provides continuity throughout the school.
Assessment should flow naturally from the medium term plan. Most thematic assessment are based on the core subjects of Maths, English and Science with the foundation subjects being continually assed. In Y2 and Y6 S.A.T’s. externally driven Standard Assessment Tasks are administered. We use the optional S.A.T’s for Y3, Y4 and Y5. We do use a range of diagnostic tests for Language, Reading, Testing, NFER and Mathematics Tests.
Recording pupils assessments takes place all of the time and teachers do use mark sheets to record the day to day progress of the children. Much of this work is assessed in the child’s exercise books. We track pupils progress on an assessment sheet for English, Maths and Science. We have developed a system of class moderation of pupils work in the core subjects-to ensure continuation and progression. All formal assessments are recorded continuously so that progress can be monitored in Maths, English and Science for all children from N/R to Y6.
Reporting is based on the most recent circular and is updated each year and our Report is user friendly and clear. The Report covers all National Curriculum subjects and makes a comment on attendance. We provide an opportunity for pupil and parent comments on the report. In Y2 and Y6 S.A.T. levels are given. Our parents are given the opportunity to discus the report with the class teacher. We have 3 parent evenings during the year in October to discuss the children’s first target, in February to discuss progress towards the larger and reassess the first target and in summer to see progress towards targets and discuss the end of year report.
We have no mixed age classes within school and so planning follows a one-year rota to ensure coverage.
Whitehill Primary School is an Award Winning School – Investors In People (3 times), Sports Mark (Gold Award), Kickstart (Equal Opportunities), Education Extra Winners (1995,19961998,2000,2001 and 2002), F.A. Charter Standard School, School Curriculum Award School, and Healthy School Award.