The Aims of the School
The School aims to help the children develop lively, enquiring minds, to question and debate, to apply themselves with confidence to tasks, to gain in physical skills, to have respect for the opinion of others, to find employment and fulfilment in their activities and to gain satisfaction from their achievements.
To ensure that pupils are provided with equal opportunities to succeed;
To provide a positive and stimulating environment, where all pupils have the right and freedom to learn and feel valued;
To provide a challenging curriculum, with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy, which allows pupils to grow and develop socially, emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually and aesthetically and which responds to technological change;
To promote responsible citizenship through the development of independence, self-discipline, self respect and a respect for the culture and beliefs of others;
To provide opportunities for pupils to develop the skills and confidence needed to meet the challenges of the next phase of their education;
To work in partnership with parents, governors and the wider community, in order to provide for the needs of all pupils.
Our school has a process of continuous assessment by teachers of their pupils.
Teaching staff retain manageable evidence of children’s work and quantify their procedures of recording in individual pupil profile documents. We aim to record positive achievement to help us plan appropriate learning experiences and establish targets for children.
At the end of the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) details of a summative assessment, The Foundation Stage Profile, are shared with parents during the Summer Term Consultation Evening. Three such evenings take place each year to discuss progress and ways in which teachers and parents can support each other in helping children learn.
At the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and at the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) children take statutory tests and tasks, the results of which are reported to parents individually.
Attainment in National Curriculum subjects is divided into levels. The average seven-year-old should reach Level 2 and the average eleven-year-old should reach Level 4.
A mid-year report is written for each child in February based on effort and attainment.
An Annual Report to Parents is written for each child in the Summer Term.
The Education Reform Act 1988 introduced the National Curriculum (NC) for children aged 5 – 16 in all state schools in England and Wales.
At the Primary (5-11) stage of education ten subject areas are outlined for children to study. These are:
Core Subjects English
Information and Communication Technology
Foundation Subjects Art and Design
Design and Technology
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Citizenship
Policy documents and schemes of work are in place for National Curriculum subjects. These are reviewed regularly and adjusted where necessary.
Religious Education has been a compulsory element in the schooling of all pupils since 1944, and this requirement was reinforced by the Education Reform Act. Our aims in Religious Education are designed to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. As stated in the Agreed Birmingham syllabus ‘the basic course for every child should include the opportunity to learn from religion and to learn about religion. All pupils participate in assemblies which, in keeping with the special provisions of Collective Worship in the 1988 Education Act are of a broadly Christian nature. A parent’s wish to withdraw a pupil from Religious Education and assemblies would be respected.
At Firs the National Curriculum is not the whole curriculum. There is a strong extended programme and children enjoy learning through a wide range of practical and aesthetic experiences. They make visits to local places of interest, theatres and galleries and enjoy visits from artists and performers in support of our aim to develop the whole child.
All pupils are valued as individuals and each pupil has equal access to learning opportunities. The understanding of differences and similarities is fundamental to our teaching and pupils learn the skills of identifying bias in relation to race and gender. At the appropriate stage, pupils are introduced to the bodily changes of puberty and human reproduction. The school nurse is fully involved in this programme. While parents have the right to withdraw their child from elements of the Sex and Relationship Education programme, no child may be withdrawn from the relevant programme of study of the Science National Curriculum.
All pupils have some work to share with parents at home each day. This will include sharing books and reading activities for the youngest pupils, through to maths activities, learning of spellings and the production of projects.
The Foundation Stage classrooms at our school provide spacious, stimulating and caring environments in which the needs of our youngest children can be met. Pupils are admitted to Nursery in the September of the academic year in which they have their fourth birthday and to Reception in the year in which they have their fifth birthday.
Pupils participate in a broad and balanced curriculum, appropriately matched to their needs. The curriculum, as set out in the Early Learning Goals, embraces all six areas of a child’s development:
Personal, social and emotional development
Communication, language and literacy
Knowledge and understanding of the world
Pupils also have access to the many National Curriculum programmes of study when appropriate.
Nursery and Reception pupils visit school during induction sessions in the Summer Term.
To enable children to gain confidence in their surroundings and to develop positive relations with other pupils and adults, pupils are taught initially in small groups. To facilitate this, for the first two weeks of the Autumn Term Nursery pupils attend