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Welcome to the Albany Junior School. The staff and I hope this prospectus proves useful to you as a prospective parent and gives you an insight into our school.
Albany Junior School is a large junior school situated on the north-western edge of Stapleford. The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum incorporating the requirements of the National Curriculum. It enjoys strong links with its community and especially with Albany Infant School.
The school stands on a very pleasant site which incorporates two large playing areas and a sports field surrounded by attractive gardens and paved areas. Internally the building is spacious, light and airy, colourful and warm. It houses a large central hall used for assemblies, P.E., school concerts, presentations and school meals. The two teaching wings each contain five separate classrooms, each with its own additional practical area equipped for Art, Science and Technology work, including baking. The school is well equipped for audio visual aids and equipment for Science and Technology.
We have a fully equipped, administrative area and a modern kitchen preparing a variety of freshly cooked meals on a daily basis. We have an extensive library of both fiction and non-fiction books which forms a main focus for learning in the school. We possess all those items you would expect to find in a modern primary school, including the most up-to-date computers, which are networked for use by all the children in the classrooms. Each classroom is equipped with an inter-active whiteboard.
During the course of the school year, we send home weekly newsletters and offer many opportunities for parents to visit the school to meet the staff or Head Teacher, whether at open evenings (held once per term), school functions, sports events, etc. We also have a thriving and dedicated group of parents, known as the “The Friends of Albany’, who organise many fundraising and social events on behalf of our children.
In February 2012, the school under-went a successful OFSTED inspection, with all aspects judged as good with many outstanding features.
That children, staff, governors and parents work in partnership to create an inspirational learning environment where individuals are given the tools to reach their full potential.
Our Values – The 5 R’s:
Our Approach to Learning
All of the children follow the programmes of study of the National Curriculum, which is organised by means of our whole school curriculum plan. Children learn in a variety of ways and in order to stimulate and challenge them, different teaching and learning styles are used for different purposes. These include whole class instructions, group and individual programmes, investigational and research work. Great importance is placed on the “three R’s” within the school, but not to the detriment of educating the whole child. Thus in addition to the emphasis placed on Reading, Language Development and Mathematics, provision will be established to stimulate a lively interest in Science and Technology; an aesthetic awareness through the teaching of Art, Design and Music; to acquaint the children with a knowledge of Humanities through the teaching of social studies topics involving History and Geography projects; follow a course of moral and religious education as set out in the County’s “Agreed Syllabus” and extend each child’s physical development through a planned and relevant P.E., swimming and games programme. Computers are used to assist all aspects of learning.
The time spent on teaching during the normal school week, including religious education, but excluding the daily act of collective worship, registration and breaks, including lunch, is 23 hours 30 minutes per week.
The school curriculum is organised by a whole school curriculum plan, covering the years 3-6. The National Curriculum requirements are identified, i.e. children study the age appropriate material they need to learn from the relevant Programmes of Study. This is achieved by both a year and termly plan.
Our curriculum is outstanding and is developed so it is relevant to our pupils. It is successfully designed to provide extensive and exciting opportunities for pupils to enhance their experiences both inside and outside the classroom. Pupils participate in the wide range of extra- curricular activities, themed projects, trips, competitions and residential visits. The whole curriculum promotes very good pupil behaviour and safety and excellent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The curriculum encompasses the teaching of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The development of reading skills includes reading as a means of learning, for information and for pleasure. Children are given the opportunity to develop many aspects of writing including stories, poems, letters, reports, information, data and grammar. Literature, poetry and drama are used to stimulate children’s language development. Home-school reading links are encouraged and regular visits are made to Stapleford Library by pupils.
The mathematics curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamental principles of mathematics, are able to reason mathematically and can apply their understanding of mathematics in order to solve problems. They will learn through a series of topics including number (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), fractions (including decimals and percentages), ratio and proportion, measurement, geometry and statistics.
The curriculum develops fundamental scientific ideas such as force, energy, cycles, etc. and skills such as observation, experimentation and recording through practical experiences.
Design and Technology
This area of the curriculum involves the children in the practical activities of design and construction using a range of materials such as paper, card, clay and textiles.
The children learn about the different life styles of the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Victorians, etc. and historical events that have happened in the local area. They will also develop their understanding of how Britain has changed over time.
The children develop an understanding of countries including their location in the world and the human and physical geography. They learn the skills of weather recording, map work (including compass directions and position) and land use interpretation by investigating contrasting localities.
Includes singing, musical understanding and some instrumental tuition.
Includes gymnastics, games skills, dance and swimming. We are extremely proud of the achievements of our various teams in competitions.
Art and Design
Includes painting, drawing, collage, modelling and needlework.
Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds. Computing is a practical subject, in which invention and resourcefulness are encouraged.
The ideas of computing are applied to understanding real-world systems and creating purposeful products. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes computing an extraordinarily useful and intensely creative subject.
We are a Community School and have, therefore, no religious affiliations. Each day the children participate in an act of corporate worship (assembly) which usually takes the form of a hymn and short story which has a moral focus. We have weekly visitors to Assembly. These are provided by local churches of different denominations. We also celebrate the good work and achievements of the pupils in assemblies.
The basis of our approach to religious education is the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus. The school will make arrangements for parents to exercise their right of withdrawal of their children from religious worship or instruction.
Health and Sex Education
The school believes in promoting good health education. As part of this policy sex education is provided across the school in accordance with guidelines issued by Nottinghamshire Education Authority and approved by the Governing Body as follows:-
i) Hygiene needs and body changes - menstruation and puberty.
ii) Sex education, including an explanation of how life begins. This is provided by a
series of videos developed by Channel 4 for sex education purposes in discussion
with parents, the school nurse and teachers. Parents are consulted and given the
opportunity to view the films in advance.
Special Educational Needs
In the schools most recent Ofsted inspection, it was reported that our provision for pupils with Special Needs is outstanding (February 2012). The curriculum is designed to cater for the individual needs of both the most and the least able within the classroom.
In addition to help given in the classroom, provision is made for children with learning difficulties to receive help from specialist staff from the support services. A full copy of the statement is available in school. This work is discussed on a regular basis with parents at the termly meetings or on more frequent occasions if this is necessary.
We acknowledge the needs of children with dyslexia and other learning needs. Our aim is to remove any barriers to learning so that all children have equal opportunities whatever their race, gender or Special Educational Need.
The school has a policy of setting regular homework. Parents are encouraged to listen to their children read, help them learn weekly spelling lists, practice multiplication tables and complete work relating to their class activities. The policy has recently been refreshed so that parents have a clear expectation of what is required in each year group.
As part of our extended services commitments we provide information regarding childcare and after-school activities. We also run Coffee Mornings. Please contact the school for further information.
In addition to the normal school programme a variety of activities are offered to the children. After school clubs include football, netball, cricket, tag rugby, athletics, modern dance and tennis. Children have the opportunity to learn Brass and Woodwind instruments, in lessons purchased from the Music for Schools Foundation.
Residential visits are arranged. Year 4 children visit Hathersage and Year 6, Kingswood.
Visits are arranged for all year groups to places of interest.
Documents available in School
The following documents are available from the Head Teacher:
1). The School’s curriculum policy.
2). The Governing Body’s statement of curriculum aims for the school and GoverningBody Minutes.
3). All statutory instruments, circulars and administrative memoranda concerning the curriculum which are sent to schools by the Department for Education and Employment.
4). All schemes of work currently used by teachers in the school.
5). All syllabus followed where appropriate.
6). The LEA’s procedure for dealing with complaints about the curriculum.
7). The LEA’s agreed syllabus for R.E.
Organisation of Education
Each class, consisting of mixed ability groups of children is based with a class teacher. Although they carry out most of their work with their class teacher, there are opportunities, for example in numeracy, where the children may work with another teacher.
There are seven classes in total.
Pupils’ Progress and Achievements
Each term we invite parents to talk to teachers about their child’s progress and development and to see the work which is taking place in class. Parents receive a written report towards the end of the Summer Term. In addition parents may visit school at any mutually convenient time during the school year to discuss their child’s work with the Head Teacher and/or class teacher. Please telephone or write first to arrange an appointment.
As well as the National Curriculum record, maintained by the teacher, the children actively participate in keeping their own Record of Achievement. This involves merit and achievement awards (known as Albany Awards), progress in swimming, an attendance record, good conduct and representing the school in its many activities.
The Care of Children
The class teacher is responsible for the immediate care of children in his/her class.
A teacher is on duty before and after school. Children should not arrive on the school site until 8.40am.
At playtime two teachers are on duty in the outside playing area.
At lunchtime, a senior mid-day supervisor and six supervisory assistants are employed to cater for the welfare of the children.
The Head Teacher is available throughout break times and the lunch period.
All staff are qualified first aiders.
Inevitably there are sometimes accidents or illness in school. Whenever these occur parents are notified, or if this is not possible, and the case requires urgent treatment, an ambulance or staff car will take children to the Queen’s Medical Centre, parents being informed as soon as possible.
Very high standards of discipline and behaviour are set and expected. This is based on the belief that teachers have a right to teach and children a right to learn, in a quiet and uninterrupted environment. We also believe in respect and politeness for other people and property. It is our aim to develop good habits of self-discipline and hard work to create a happy school environment in which everyone can feel secure.
The school has a clearly defined and stated code of behaviour, which is implemented through assertive discipline. Good behaviour is rewarded with stickers, certificates and other incentives. The consequences for disobeying the rules are clearly explained and understood.
Severe cases of indiscipline are discussed with parents and, if necessary, a weekly or monthly liaison is established with parents to monitor progress. Persistent cases of indiscipline or disruption can lead to suspension and the involvement of the Governing Body to review the case, which may then make any necessary recommendations to the Director of Education.
The school colours are red, grey and white. The governing body request all children abide by the dress code. Further details can be found in our partnership books or via our school office
Suitable clothing is also required for P.E. and games lessons, this includes: sweatshirts, shorts and jogging trousers in plain blue or black, as well as T-shirts in white (available with the school logo from the school - for details and current prices please contact the school office).
School sessions are as follows:
Morning Session 8.50am - 12.00pm
Playtime 10.40am - 10.55am
Lunchtime 12.00pm – 1:00pm
Afternoon Session 1.00pm - 3.25pm
We believe that full attendance is essential to ensure a good and effective education for every child. Each child’s attendance at school is monitored on a weekly basis. It is recorded on each annual report to parents.
Cases of unreported absences are discussed immediately with the children and parents and may involve the School Attendance Advisor.
In 2013, the attendance rate was 95.8%. The attendance rate is in the top 40% of all schools. Improvement in attendance is a continuous priority.
This is being successfully tackled using a variety of initiatives. Pupil attendance at our school is excellent.
School Governing Body
The school Governors are very interested in the life and work of the school.
They meet each term as a full Governing Body and at other times as members of the various committees, e.g. finance and curriculum, to ensure the smooth running of the school. The Governing Body includes four elected parents.
In addition to money provided by the Local Education Authority, there is a school fund which is managed by the Head Teacher and which consists of donations and other income raised in a variety of ways, the purpose of which is to benefit the pupils of the school by the provision of facilities, equipment, activities and financial assistance which cannot be made available for whatever reason from monies provided by the Education Authority
Services from which the School Benefits
The school is fortunate to be able to call upon the support services provided by the Authority
a) The Education Catering Service provides an interesting and appetising variety of nutritious and well-balanced meals for the children. The School operates family service at lunchtimes.
b) The Advisory and Inspection Service provides information concerning current issues in education. A School Improvement Partner makes regular visits to the school to support staff, give advice and make recommendations.
c) The Education Welfare Service ensures that all pupils derive maximum benefit from the educational opportunities offered by regular school attendance.
d) The Educational Psychology Service works with pupils with respect to learning behavioural, communication, physical and sensory difficulties. It provides support for pupils, parents and teachers.
e) The Child Health Services provides regular health checks for all children and screening for problems with hearing, vision, growth, speech and general development.
Advice is given to parents and teachers so that the implications of a child’s health problem on his/her performance in school can be fully understood with appropriate help and support being arranged where necessary.
f) Environmental Education - The school has made extensive use of the Authority’s Outdoor Education Centres - both residential (Hathersage) and day visit (Perlethorpe). The staff have also attended in-service training courses at these Centres.
g) Dance and Drama - The school organises visits from a variety of theatre groups.
h) In-service training is organised on a regular basis in school and at various professional centres. Attendance at these events ensures that the staff are kept up-to-date with the changes and initiatives constantly taking place in the field of education.
Further information on these services is contained in the general information booklet “Going to School in Nottinghamshire”.
Governing Body’s Charging and Remissions Policy
The Governors value the use of educational visits and other activities to enhance the curriculum and the policy adopted for charging for such activities is that recommended by the Authority.
1). Parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of a visit or activity and may be required to pay for the board and lodging element of a residential visit, if the family is in receipt of income support or family credit, they may be eligible for a reduction.
When an educational visit is planned, parents will be informed in advance of the nature of the visit and the probable cost per child, so that the appropriate voluntary donation can be made. If it becomes clear that the total cost of the visit is not going to be covered by voluntary donations, any money received to date will be refunded and the visit will not take place.
On completion of the visit, should it be found that too much money has been collected; the balance would be repaid in equal shares to the parents of children taking part.
2). When children participate in such activities as baking, sewing, etc., the parents will be notified in advance of the cost of raw materials and a charge will be made for them. The children will take home the finished product.
3). A charge will be made to parents for any damage to school premises, property and defacement of books caused by their children.
ADMISSION CRITERIA: 2014/2015
In the event of over-subscription, the following criteria will be applied, in priority order, to determine which applications will be granted once places have first been allocated to pupils who have a statement of special educational needs which names the school:
• Children looked after by a local authority.
• Children who live in the catchment area and who, at the time of admission, will
have a brother or sister attending the school or linked junior/primary school.
• Other children who live in the catchment area.
• Children who live outside the catchment area and who, at the time
of admission, will have a brother or sister attending the school or
the linked junior/primary school.
• Other children who live outside the catchment area.
In the event of over-subscription within any criterion, preference will be given to children who live nearest to the school as the crow flies. Distances are measured from the entrance to the child’s home to the principal entrance to the main administrative building of the school.
The following groups of children will be given special consideration in their application for a particular school:
Children whose particular medical needs, mobility support needs, special educational needs or social circumstances are supported by written evidence from a doctor, social worker or other relevant professional stating that the school is the only school which could cater for the child’s particular needs.
The evidence must be presented at the time of application.
The Local Education Officer will consider each case on its merits and determine the allocation of any such place on the basis of the written evidence. Admission under ‘special circumstances’ will take precedence over all but the first of the numbered criteria. Children of nomadic Travellers will be allocated a place at their catchment area school.
Admissions to year groups other than the intake year
Applications for admission to other year groups will be considered in relation to the published admission number (PAN) which applied when the year group was first admitted to the school, subject to infant class size restrictions.
In some schools, changes in circumstances, such as the building of additional classrooms or as a result of teaching group organisation, will require the school and the LA to agree admission numbers which will apply to each year group. These numbers may be higher or lower than the PAN in operation at the time of first admission and could be different from the current PAN. If places are available within the year group, applications will be considered in accordance with the current published admission criteria for admission to the school. If places are available, the child will normally be admitted to the school.
Further guidance on the way in which applications are dealt with including
• Co-ordinated admissions scheme
• Preferences for more than one school
• Late applications
• The way waiting lists are maintained and used can be found in Nottinghamshire
County Council’s "Admissions to Schools" booklet 2014/2015.
A procedure agreed by the Local Education Authority exists to deal with any complaints about the school curriculum and other related issues. A copy of the full procedure is available in school for reference.
The procedure provides:
a) that there should normally be a preliminary informal discussion with the Head Teacher or other appropriate school staff to see if the complaint can be resolved
without recourse to the formal procedures.
b) that if the complaint cannot be resolved informally the complainant should write to
the school complaints governor, whose address is available at school.
c) If a formal complaint is lodged, the Head Teacher will be able to provide the
complainant with copies of the relevant documents explaining the arrangements for
considering the complaint in more detail.
Child Protection Concerns
Every school is required to refer their concerns to the Children’s Social Care Services Department. While we will seek, in general, to discuss these concerns with the family and where possible seek agreement to making the referral, this will only be done where such discussion and agreement seeking will not place a child at increased risk of significant harm. This procedure is intended to protect children from abuse. When we refer a concern about a pupil to the Children’s Social Care Services Department we are not accusing the parents/carers of abuse, but requesting that further enquiries take place and that any necessary help and support is provided.