All children should arrive at school from 8.50 to be ready to start the morning session at 9.00 a.m. We ask parents to ensure that their children arrive on time for school, as lateness causes disruption and embarrassment; it also tells children that punctuality doesn’t matter. The children line up on the playground before school, where their class teacher collects them.
Morning break is from 10:40 - 11:00. We encourage all children to use the toilets at break to try to avoid the need during lessons. The school should be informed if any child has special problems and needs extra toilet visits.
We have two playgrounds normally used by separate groups. We have regular occasions for a mixing of children across the playgrounds to preserve a whole school feeling.
Morning session ends at 12.00 for infants and at 12.10 for juniors. A lot of children have school meals that cost £1.55 per day. The school meals are now cooked on the premises. Others bring packed lunches from home. Parents who may be eligible for free school meals should enquire at the school office for details.
Children absent from school for a morning only should not return for or during the lunch break, but at 13:05 in time for the afternoon session. This also applies to children who go home for lunch. The reason for this is that the LEA’s insurance only covers children at lunchtime if they have attended the morning session.
The afternoon session begins at 13.10 for everyone and ends at 15.15 for infants and at 15.20 for juniors.
Excluding registration, collective worship and breaks the above results in the following amounts of teaching time per week:
Infants: 21 hours 20 minutes (recommended DfES minimum 21 hours)
Juniors: 24 hours 10 minutes (recommended DfES minimum 23 hours 30 minutes)
Currently, the majority of lessons and activities are class-based, with the school being organised into seven mixed-ability single aged classes. Within this structure, however, the children are taught in a variety of ways depending on their needs and the subject matter; these include whole class lessons, group work (sometimes determined by ability) and individual studies including some home-study. Whatever system of organisation is in place at any particular time, the aim is always the same – to help each individual child to make the maximum progress in the way that suits them best.
The DfES National Curriculum documents, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) schemes of work and the Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education have been used as the foundation upon which our own school schemes of work have been developed – schemes which, in topic work and Science, are based on a two-year rolling programme to allow classes and teachers to work together and share the load in planning and inspiring! The school has policies on all aspects of the curriculum as well as on a range of complementary areas such as Marking, Assessment, Behaviour, Special Educational Needs, More Able Children, Sex Education and Homework. The school also has a complaints procedure. These are all available to be read by anyone at any time by appointment.
Mathematics, Science, Technology, Music, Physical Education and Art are normally taught as specific subjects while Geography, History and Religious Education are often incorporated into “umbrella” topics with a focus on one aspect. e.g. “The Victorians” must be predominantly historical but will include Victorian links with the church, Sunday life, family morals, how school lessons focused on Christianity and Bible studies, Sunday Schools, the British Empire etc. In addition, French is taught to all year 6 pupils even though this is not a statutory requirement. We believe that while we have the teacher expertise we should enhance language development as well as cultural awareness. Harbury is “twinned” with Samois-sur-Seine in France and we have many initiatives for a variety of exchanges and visits.
However, while the school wants every child to achieve the highest possible standard in every subject, the importance of developing pupils’ language and number skills is recognised as a priority and speaking and listening, reading, writing and number work occupy a significant part of the programme for all pupils.
Special Education Needs (SEN)
All children have individual needs. We accept responsibility for identifying those children whose needs may be greater than the majority in our school; some children have learning difficulties and others are very able. We make every effort to provide appropriate guidance, support and resources for those with SEN once they have been identified. We also ensure that parents are kept up to date and involved with this provision and progress. We follow the DfES Code of Practice in this matter and we monitor identified pupils very closely as they progress through the school. If IEPs (Individual Education Plans) are needed, parents will be consulted.
The school has a designated SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO). Part of this responsibility entails reviewing, monitoring, assessing and working with identified children alongside the class teacher. This enables the SENCO to evaluate the pupils’ development year by year as they progress through the school.
Where necessary we work very closely with Local Education Authority support services such as DISCS (Disability, Illness, Sensory & Communication Services), LABSS (Learning and Behaviour Support Services), the Educational Psychology Service, Educational Welfare Services, Social Services, Language Support Services and the Inter Cultural Support Services.
Assessment results indicate that the school is meeting the needs of children with Special Educational Needs very effectively. This was confirmed by the Local Education Authority following a review of Special Educational Needs at the school in September 2005.