Mead Vale is a 420 place 4-11 years Primary School. We have 14 classes with 30 pupils in each. We are a popular school with extensive grounds enabling children to access a variety of experiences and opportunities for learning outside of the classroom.
The class structure is:
• Two classes of Reception (Foundation Stage) 4-5 years
• Two classes of Year 1 and two classes of Year 2 (Key Stage 1) 5-7 years
• Two classes of Year 3 and two classes of Year 4 (Lower Key Stage 2) 7-9 years
• Two classes of Year 5 and two classes of Year 6 (Upper Key Stage 2) 9-11 years
Each phase has a phase leader and teachers plan and work together closely as a team.
We value parents involvement in children’s learning throughout their time at Mead Vale.
There are workshops for you to learn how we teach reading and phonics; maths; sessions to support you manage your child’s behaviour; and curriculum newsletters to keep you informed of our plans each term. We share with you the steps of learning your child has made and will be making, so that you can enjoy learning together at home too.
To support and develop our children’s learning and attainment within the Foundation Stage we adhere to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The curriculum is divided into two areas known as ‘Prime’ and ‘Specific’.
• Communication and Language
• Physical Development
• Personal, Social and Emotional Development
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Much of the learning for our youngest children is through play and they are introduced to more formal learning as and when they are ready. Throughout the Foundation Stage there is both teacher led and child initiated learning. The classroom is organised to enable children to become independent and we also provide regular opportunities for Forest school and learning outside. A record of your children’s learning and development is kept in their own ‘Special Learning Diary’. There will be opportunities throughout their time in Reception, for parents to come in and share it with them. We appreciate and encourage parents to become involved with their children’s learning. This begins with our induction process before your child starts school and continues throughout your time with us at Mead Vale.
The curriculum at Mead Vale follows the National Curriculum. The government has recently reviewed the National Curriculum and made changes. These changes will be implemented from September 2014, although they will be phased in for some year groups as the government will not yet be changing SATs.
The new curriculum (from September 2014) can be found here.
All subjects are taught throughout the school in both K.S.1 and K.S.2.
Careful consideration is given to the time allocated to each subject to ensure that children receive a balanced curriculum with core subjects being given appropriate emphasis.
We teach in themes where possible, because we know that children learn better when the learning is linked and they apply skills across the curriculum in different contexts. However some subjects may be taught discretely where they do not fit easily into the term’s theme, for example some Science, RE and PE.
Children have two hours of physical education each week. Children Key Stage 2 have a whole afternoon of specialist sports coaching every fortnight. We are very proud to have achieved Sainsburys School Sports gold award for our commitment to sport across the school and to competition at local and regional level.
We believe that a successful curriculum is brought to life by high quality teaching, inspirational learning activities and opportunities to listen and plan for the developing interests and motivations of children. Our new creative and thematic curriculum, which is being phased in for 2014 is based on a four stages – ENGAGE- DEVELOP – INNOVATE – EXPRESS.
During the Engage stage children will :-
• have memorable first-hand experiences - for example going on a visit outside the classroom or inviting a specialist visitor into the classroom
• have WOW experiences - Investigate and Discover
• be introduced in exciting ways to the new topic or theme
• begin initial research and set enquiry questions
• have lots of opportunity to make observations
• develop spoken language skills
• take part in sensory activities
• have a great deal of fun, allowing them to fully 'engage' with their new topic
During the Develop stage children will :-
• dig much deeper to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a topic across the curriculum
• practice their newfound skills
• compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes, read across the curriculum
• research their own questions and those posed by others
• follow new pathways of enquiry based on their own interests
• complete homework activities that support their learning in school
During the Innovate stage children will :-
• apply previous skills, knowledge and understanding in real life contexts
• be challenged with real or imagined problems and situations to solve using knowledge and skills from the earlier stages
• be inspired with imaginative and creative opportunities
• have time to re-visit skills, knowledge and understanding not grasped during the develop stage
• have the opportunity to take on different roles
During the Express stage children will :-
• become the performers, the experts, the informers
• share their achievements with others in many different ways.......parents, class mates and the community
• evaluate finished products/processes
• tie learning back to the beginning
Our curriculum is enriched by school visits, visitors to school, workshops and links with both our neighbouring Primary and Secondary Schools and with the world of work.
We enjoy learning outside whenever we can even on bad weather days – so please make sure coats are always in school. We also plan special WOW days, when the children often dress up and focus on one topic for the whole day.
Children are taught as a whole class, but both group, paired and individual work is also widely used. In lessons, work activities are matched to the different abilities and needs of individuals including children with special needs.
We encourage and support home learning, starting with shared reading in the earliest days and leading to different activities as children grow up. We believe that this encourages good learning habits and helps parents to keep in touch and help with their child’s progress. There is a home learning policy which parents are encouraged to support.
The school has a strong musical tradition. Children in Lower Key Stage 2 are taught Music by our school Music Leader. Upper Key Stage 2 children are taught by a specialist Music teacher from North Somerset Music Services. Children are encouraged to play in groups, and join our new choir, who enjoy performing regularly. Extra instrumental tuition takes place in school mostly during lunchtimes. This is an optional opportunity provided by North Somerset Music Services. Unfortunately there is a charge for extra instrumental lessons.
On-going teacher assessment is an important way of making sure every child is making good progress. It takes many different forms e.g marking work, observing children as they learn and talking to them about their work as well as testing from time to time. Teachers use this information to plan the next learning step and to keep parents informed about their child’s progress. Parents are welcome to meet teachers at any time of the year to discuss their child’s progress, but planned Parents’ Evenings take place each term. Parents receive written reports at the end of each year detailing their child’s achievements, progress, attainment and attendance.
As soon as children join our Reception Class, staff begin to complete a Learning Diary for each of them. This focuses on children’s development in each of the Early Learning Goals.
Information from pre-school groups is used as a basis for the profile, which is recorded in each child’s Learning Diary. The profile is updated throughout the year through observing children in different learning situations. Parents’ contributions to it are also welcomed.
Standard Assessment Tests (SATs)
Standard Assessments take place take place twice during a child’s time in Primary School. At the end of Key Stage 1(Year 2), teachers make assessments in Reading, Writing, Mathematics and Science and confirm their judgements with a Standard Assessment Test. Teacher Assessments are then moderated by the Local Authority. At the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) children take SATs in Reading, Spelling and Grammar, and Mathematics. The judgement for writing is made by the teacher by assessing children’s writing ability across the curriculum. This judgement is moderated by the Local Authority Moderators.
This takes place throughout the year. Teachers use a range of methods including observation, questioning and marking work to judge your child’s progress. At the end of each six week term, teachers make a summary judgement which is used to benchmark your child’s progress and ensure that good progress is being made. This may be a time when teachers decide on an extra support group for a child, or perhaps a change of set.
We have a full P.S.H.E. programme which is taught throughout the school. Through it we teach children how to become healthy, independent, responsible members of society. We encourage children to be pro-active in improving school life and contributing to the wider community. Through our School Council children experience the process of democracy in school and learn about rights and responsibilities and what it means to be a positive member of the community. Mead Vale has been awarded HEALTHY SCHOOLS status and parents and children are asked to support this by having healthy snacks and packed lunches (if a school meal is not taken).
The aims of personal, social and health education and citizenship are to enable the children to:
• Know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle;
• Be aware of safety issues;
• Understand what makes for good relationships with others;
• Have respect for others;
• Be independent and responsible members of the school community;
• Be positive and active members of a democratic society;
• Develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues;
• Develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community.
We use a range of teaching and learning styles and we place an emphasis on active learning by including the children in discussions, investigations and problem-solving activities. We encourage the children to take part in a range of practical activities that promote active citizenship, e.g. charity fundraising or involvement in an activity to help other individuals or groups less fortunate than themselves. We organise classes in such a way that pupils are able to participate in discussion about issues that are important to them like resolving conflicts or agreeing a set of classroom rules. Children are given the opportunity to hear visiting speakers and a range of professionals such as health workers, police and representatives from local churches to learn about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community. Children in Upper Key Stage 2 take part in a ‘Lifeskills’ visit where children practise responding to ‘real’ emergency situations.
CHANGE 4 LIFE club runs weekly for invited children encouraging a healthy lifestyle.