Information from our school Prospectus
Our School Aims
At Belle Vue we implement all of the requirements, including assessment, recording and reporting, of the National Curriculum. But we believe that learning works best in a Learning Partnership with families, governors and other members of our local community. Our school aims therefore need the commitment of everybody in order to completely fulfil them.
We acknowledge the key role the school staff have in developing in each child the skills, knowledge and self confidence to deal with the complex world around them.
It is important to us that:
- our pupils are emotionally secure and confident
- they are as successful as possible at school
- there are facilities and opportunities for them to play safely
- children are healthy
- they make a positive contribution to the life of the school
To do this we:
- have a broad and balanced curriculum which all children can access at their own level
- provide an environment, both in the classroom and the school as a whole, which helps to make learning exciting, arouse pupils' interest and stimulate their curiosity
- develop an atmosphere of encouragement, acceptance, recognition and praise for achievement
- are sensitive to individual needs
- provide a climate of warmth, security and support where self-confidence can thrive
- expect high personal standards of achievement, presentation and social behaviour
- give full consideration to the needs of all pupils, including the less able and those with particular gifts and talents
- ensure equal opportunities for all, regardless of race, creed, gender or disability
- give each child a sense of 'ownership' of his or her own learning and achievements
- develop a sense of care and respect for others
- show children how best to ensure their personal safety and a develop a healthy life style
- help children understand the concept of the world as a 'global village' so that they have an understanding of the impact of individual actions
- encourage children to live at peace and play a full role in a multicultural society
Legally, a child must attend school from the beginning of the term immediately before her/his fifth birthday.
All children whose fifth birthday falls between 1 September and 28 February are admitted in September, at the beginning of the Autumn term. Children whose birthday occurs between 1 March and 31 August are admitted in January, at the beginning of the Spring term.
Parents should register their request for a place at school well in advance of the admission date.
Places will be offered up to the agreed admission limit of 60. Priority will be given to parents expressing Belle Vue as their first choice, and according to the Dudley LEA admissions policy.
"Whilst every effort will be made to meet parents' preference for a particular school, registration of a child at a school does not automatically guarantee a place at either preferred school. Priority for admission to a primary school will be based on the following criteria:
- First priority shall be given to “pupils in public care” for whom the preferred school is the most appropriate mainstream school for the child concerned
- Second priority shall be given to pupils with a “serious ongoing medical condition” where the preferred school is the most appropriate school to meet the child’s serious medical condition.
- Third priority shall be given to pupils who have a brother/sister, half brother/sister (where children share one common parent), or step-brother/step-sister, living at the same address and who will still be attending the preferred school in 2005/2006.
- Any remaining places will be filled according to those pupils who live closest to the school, determined by a straight-line measurement in metres, from the home address to the main entrance of the preferred school.
Any remaining places after first preferences have been dealt with will be allocated to second preference applications, applying the criteria given in 1-4 above.
If an offer of an acceptable place cannot be made, under the terms of the 1980 Education Act, an appeals procedure has been established to consider such cases. If this becomes necessary you will be advised on how to appeal.
We have a 30 place part time Nursery for children with morning or afternoon places. The morning session is from 9.00am to 11.30am. The afternoon session starts at 12.50pm and finishes at 3.20pm.
Admission to Nursery
Belle Vue Nursery enjoys a very fine reputation in the local community, and is justifiably popular, but normally we can offer the majority of children a year in Nursery prior to their entry to school. The Nursery was awarded a standard of excellence from the Effective Early Learning Research Centre in May 2003 by Worcester University.
Admission to Nursery takes place in September and January as children move to the main school and Nursery places become available. Nursery places are allocated by the Governors' Nursery admissions committee with due consideration given to the following criteria:
- the child is resident within the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley
- the child has reached his/her fourth birthday, with no previous nursery experience
- the child has a brother or sister already attending Belle Vue
- parents have given a stated preference for a place at Belle Vue school
- the child is from a one parent home*
- the child lives in over-crowded or inadequate housing*
- the child has been referred by psychological, welfare or medical agencies*
- the child is from an ethnic minority family, and particularly likely to benefit from language support in school*
- the child has special physical, sensory, emotional or cognitive needs*
- the child is from a home where a parent, particularly the mother, is ill or disabled*
* Governors will require a supporting letter with full details of priority need for categories. For further details of Nursery admissions, please telephone the school secretary.
It is in the Nursery that many of our children learn to develop the social skills so vital for a happy school life. The Nursery is not just about learning how to play and co-operate with other children and act upon instructions from a teacher. Through a wide variety of play activities, indoors and outdoors, children are free to choose and learn at their own pace. They develop manipulative skills and concepts that will form the basis of much of their subsequent learning in school.
There are six areas of learning required by the Department for Education and Employment to be included in the curriculum for the foundation stage. Each area includes six aspects of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication, Language and Literacy
- Mathematical Development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
The Nursery element of our "Under-Five's" curriculum is the foundation for the work that progresses naturally into that of the Reception Class. From this early age, children are encouraged to achieve to the best of their ability and work activities are planned to maximise the potential of every child. Observations are made of individual children and assessed according to the Foundation Stage profile. Children are offered an exciting and stimulating environment in which to explore and to develop at their own individual levels. They are encouraged to acquire learning skills to prepare them for future development. Children in their final year of Nursery enjoy a full induction programme into Reception. They join Reception staff and children, supported by their own teacher in a child-initiated programme of development. The children become very familiar with their new setting without any anxieties or pressures. This is a very happy transition for our youngest pupils where they socialise and experience new opportunities.
MOVING INTO SCHOOL
Admission to the Reception Year takes place twice a year, in September and January.
As part of the weekly routine, Nursery children spend a session a week in Reception in readiness for starting school and acquaint themselves with the class setting and meet their teachers.
The sessions alternate between mornings and afternoons to allow all the Nursery children to attend. We also invite parents of new children to attend an evening in school to tour the Early Years building to meet the teaching staff, school Governors and Home & School associates. Staff talk to parents about new routines and procedures. Many questions are answered and good communication is established from the start.
THE SCHOOL DAY
The school day starts at 8.55am with registration. The morning session finishes at 12.15pm for Key Stage One and 12.20pm for Key Stage Two. The afternoon session starts at 1.25pm for the whole school and finishes at 3.25pm for Key Stage One and 3.30pm for Key Stage Two.
Please ensure that young children are brought to school and collected by a responsible adult and that older children have clear instructions about where to go at the end of the school day.
Children should not arrive more than 10 minutes before the beginning of school, since we cannot guarantee any staff supervision for them before 8.50 am. Children who arrive at school too early will only be allowed indoors, even in bad weather, with the express permission of a teacher who is prepared to take responsibility for them.
At the end of the day, children need to collected promptly for their own safety.
The staff and governors have always been committed to offering a curriculum that is broad, balanced, relevant and appropriate to the individual needs of each child. The National Curriculum and its subsequent modifications are embedded into the school organisation as a full entitlement for all pupils. We are glad to supply any parent or prospective parent with full information about the curriculum, but in brief, the National Curriculum requires that we offer our pupils:
Core subjects: English, Mathematics, Information and Communications Technology, Science and RE.
Foundation subjects: design technology, physical education ( gymnastics, games, dance/drama, athletcs and swimming), art, music, history and geography.
Cross curricular aspects are: health education, citizenship, environmental education, personal and social education
Should parents have any complaint about the school's curriculum, having closely examined our policies and provision, they are invited to follow the complaints procedure laid down by Dudley LEA. A copy of this is available in school.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Daily acts of collective worship (assemblies) are led by different members of staff, and are enriched by visiting professional musicians, actors, and church leaders. Unless parents request withdrawal of their children from RE lessons and assemblies, under section 25 of the 1944 Education Act, all pupils take part and are taught RE following the school's own scheme of work. This complies fully with the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Dudley LEA. If parents wish to withdraw their children from RE lessons or school assemblies, alternative work can be arranged for their children at these times.
RE is delivered in a variety of ways; by celebrating major festivals, through Personal and Social Education, in assemblies, through story and through more formal RE lessons. In addition to non-denominational Christianity, our children also study other major world religions so that they can develop tolerance and understanding of all who live in our local multi-faith community. In Key Stages 1 and 2, children learn about Christianity and Sikhism. In Key Stage 2, they also learn about Buddhism.
Children will be regularly given a small amount of specific homework during the course of a school week.
The setting of appropriate homework is at the teacher's discretion. It may be given to the whole class, a group of children or an individual pupil, but it should not amount to more than 20-30 minutes in one night and will generally follow a pattern which will be made clear at the parent’s information evening in September. From Year 4 upwards, children will be given a homework diary, which parents may use to communicate comments about homework, including when children have done well. It is also helpful if you regularly sign your child’s homework diary.
Homework may comprise:
- finishing work started in class
- a new set piece of work
- learning sight vocabulary words, spellings or table
- researching information for a project
- practising a musical instrument
Homework can be a valuable part of your child's general education and strengths the relationship between home and school. We hope that parents will encourage and offer appropriate support to their children in completing tasks at home. But homework should be seen as a positive experience. If your child suffers any stress over homework, please discuss it with us immediately.
Children may go home for their midday meal, have a school dinner or bring a packed lunch. Whatever arrangements you choose, please will you keep to it for at least a week initially and then for half a term to help us monitor our numbers.
School meals costs do increase regularly; current costs are included separately. Children pay daily at the counter before collecting their meal and need to take care of their money until lunchtime. To make our system as fair as possible, there is a rota for all classes so that children all get a chance to have most choice at the beginning of lunchtime.
Parents are always welcome to come in and see the food on offer to our children.
We have a general policy that children do not eat sweets while on the school premises. This is mainly for health reasons, but also because of the amount of litter that results from sweet papers. Please do not to let children bring sweets to school, or include them in children's lunch boxes. If children want a snack at mid-morning break, we feel that fruit or a healthy snack are much more suitable but please send these separately from lunch packs. If it is medically desirable for a child to eat sweets during school hours, please let us know.
As participants in the National Fruit initiative, all children in Reception, year 1 and Year 2 are given a piece of fruit free at break time. Children are allowed to bring a drink for their mid-morning break, although they all have water bottles which they can access at any time. Milk is available daily in Nursery and Reception. Fizzy drinks are not allowed in school as they cause problems. Please never send glass bottles or cans.
Dudley LEA has a clear and comprehensive policy on the administration of medicines in school which we follow closely.
Normally, we would expect that if children are unwell and need medicine, they will be at home. However, if it is necessary for your child to have medication during school hours and you are unable to administer it yourself, you will need to discuss this with the Head or Deputy and complete the relevant local authority form requesting that a member of our staff administer the medication on your behalf. Please do not send any medicines to school with your child without prior permission. Forms are available in the school office.
The Head, Deputy Head, teaching and ancillary staff are always ready to listen to a child's problems and to parents' concerns for their children, offering help and advice where appropriate. Staff can usually be available for a few moments before and after school but longer discussions will have to be arranged. The Headteacher will try to see parents immediately if there is a problem or query that you would like to discuss at length but unfortunately it is not always possible, so please do make an appointment.
We make no apology for the fact that the school’s first priority, over and above all other responsibilities, is the welfare of the children. If there are any staff concerns about a child, the pupil’s parents are usually the first to be contacted. All matters of concern regarding the welfare of the children are recorded in the school files, and these are available to be seen by parents. In accordance with the Data Protection Act this information is completely confidential and cannot be shared with other professionals or agencies unless concerns have become sufficient to initiate a child protection referral under Section 47 of the Children Act (1998).
If the concerns are sufficient to suggest that there is a possibility of any form of abuse, then staff are legally obliged to follow set procedures and the appropriate Child Protection agency, usually Social Services, is contacted. Failure to do this could result in the school being held responsible for contributing to the problem.
ABSENCE AND ATTENDANCE
It is so important that children attend school regularly and punctually. This is normally the case at Belle Vue. However, there are times when children are genuinely poorly and need to be at home. If your child is absent from school it is vital that you contact us as soon as possible to let us know the reason. This can be by telephone or by letter. If a message is sent with another child, please send a note when your child returns to school, explaining the reason for absence.
Pupil attendance at Belle Vue is good, but there is a legal requirement for all schools to publish their attendance figures in the school prospectus. (These will be found on a separate sheet.) At one time, only unauthorised absence was considered when submitting data to the DfES but now total absence figures are collected. The computerised attendance system we use highlights absence and can show patterns. If there is any concern about your child’s attendance we will contact you to discuss it.
Family holidays are best taken outside of term time. Parents can request leave of absence for a maximum of 10 days during any one year. This is entirely at the discretion of the Headteacher. Please remember that children do miss an important part of their education programme by taking two weeks out of the school term, particularly in September when new work is begun and class expectations are set.
We have a firm policy of encouraging children at Belle Vue to wear full school uniform. We want our pupils to take a pride in their personal appearance and be pleased to be seen as members of the school community. Our parents are very supportive of this policy and we hope that all our children will continue to wear school uniform.
We can supply some items of school uniform through the school shop. Details are available from the staff on our Reception desk; our supplier is Oakes of Dudley. A current price list is included with the prospectus. Totally Uniform in Kingswinford also provides items of our uniform so that there is a good choice available locally.
The children wear a combination of the following:
Items marked * are available with the school logo.
- Grey skirt or pinafore dress
- Grey trousers
- White plain polo shirt*
- White shirt or blouse
- Scarlet or grey cardigan, sweater
- or Belle Vue Sweatshirt*
- Scarlet tie
- White, grey, or scarlet socks/tights
- Black or brown 'sensible' shoes for hard wear (not trainers please)
- Grey fleece*
- Many children prefer to wear red and white checked dresses or short grey trousers and short sleeved white shirts in Summer.
- Bookbags and PE bags are also available
Uniform for PE comprises a white tee shirt (preferably with a Belle Vue logo*) and red shorts. Children may wear a plain black, red or grey tracksuit for outdoor games in the Autumn and Spring terms.
All children who take part in school swimming lessons will need a swimming costume or trunks and a swimming hat. Unless there is a medical reason, goggles should not be worn.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT All items of school clothing, including coats, must be clearly marked with the child's name.