Whole School

Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Reception class works very closely together on the Foundation Stage curriculum
in an inspirational and motivating Early Years’ environment which we are hugely proud of!
We aim to make the transition from home to school a smooth and enjoyable experience for all children.

Through our strong partnership with parents, we are able to work together to develop healthy and happy children who feel confident, safe and have a love for learning. We regularly invite parents into school to meet the staff. Our Reception staff conduct visits to children in their current settings and also invite children to visit school to become familiar with their new setting, all prior to them starting school.

We are very lucky to have a great outdoor space for the Foundation Stage to enable much of the learning to take place outdoors.

The Early Year Stage consist of Prime and Specific areas of learning:

  • Communication and language
  • Personal, social and emotional
  • Physical development

The specific areas are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

To ensure our children make significant progress, we deliver a good balance of child initiated and adult directed learning, where lessons and activities are varied, meaningful and stimulating for all learning groups. Through the use of continuous observations, our experienced practitioners are able to identify learning opportunities within play and make decisions regarding a child’s next step in learning.

At the end of the Foundation Stage children are assessed in all these areas alongside the child’s characteristics of learning. These assessments are shared with the Key Stage 1 staff as part of transition to Year 1.

Key Stage One - Year 1 and 2

Building on the foundations of learning, we continue to nurture each child’s educational journey. All children are encouraged to achieve high standards in their daily English, phonics and maths lessons.

We give personalised targets and useful feedback to ensure children take ownership of their learning in order to make very strong progress.
In addition to this, we provide many opportunities to explore and develop children’s creative, physical, cultural, spiritual, personal and social skills. We provide a wide range of real and relevant learning experiences through our broad, enriched and differentiated curriculum. Using our continual assessment and reporting procedures, we are able to inform future learning steps to further prepare and develop our children towards the next part of their journey.

Key Stage Two - Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

Moving into Key Stage Two, children continue to remain engaged, inspired, motivated and sufficiently challenged via a broad and exciting curriculum of learning.

Through providing memorable experiences and rich opportunities for high quality learning, children can thrive during these later years in the school.

We believe passionately that English, maths, physical and personal development are crucial for enabling children to access a balanced and broad curriculum. As in Key Stage One, every child has a daily maths and English lesson. Much of our teaching is cross-curricular. Teacher assessment is a continuous picture of assessment showing children’s achievements during the course of the year and Key Stage.

We formally measure the progress children have made three times a year in reading, writing and maths, whilst other subjects are assessed on a continual basis. We carefully analyse the assessment results and we track each child’s progress and attainment and plan any interventions needed. Teachers also use the results of these assessments to inform their future planning and to set targets for individual children.

Behaviour & Learning

We believe that good behaviour stems from:

  • Positive relationships between children and between adults and children
  • High expectations
  • A commitment by all staff to the policies and ethos of the school
  • A positive relationship between home and school
  • Praise and celebration of achievement

We expect that children from an early age behave well and show respect for other people and their property. Along with our Pirton 6Rs, we also
share three fundamental core values across school: to be safe, to be kind and to be respectful.

Many positive reward systems are used in school, such as special achievement awards, certificates and stickers. All our children enjoy receiving praise! We also believe that behaviour is shown through a child’s attitude to learning. We want children to love their learning and have a thirst
for knowledge. At Pirton School, along with our belief of ALL EQUAL, ALL DIFFERENT (explained further in relation to Special Educational Needs), we also adopt the principles of a growth mind-set: anything is possible, it may be that we can’t do it YET!

Religious Education

We follow the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, which is based on the understanding of all faiths and considers the main beliefs and features of other world religions.The syllabus promotes an inclusive and educational approach to RE.

Collective Worship is held daily and makes reference to all religions. Collective Worship and Religious Education also helps the children to think about the part they play in influencing their own lives and those of others, and offers the opportunity to think about feelings and the effects of our actions.

Parents who wish to withdraw their children from RE or Collective Worship should state their wishes to the Headteacher in writing.

Relationships & Sex Education (RSE)

RSE is part of the overall provision of Personal, Social and Health Education.

It is concerned not only with the knowledge of facts but also with the development of attitudes and values. Children’s questions are answered honestly and sensitively, at their own level of understanding. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from the parts of RSE which are not covered by the National Curriculum for Science, although we suggest that parents discuss any concerns they may have with us before making this decision.

Extra Curricular Activities

There is a wide and varying range of after school and lunchtime clubs which are led by staff and external providers and are available to all our children.

Clubs differ termly, often after consultation with our children and taking into account their views and wishes. They have included options such as: cookery, chess, gardening, art, drama, computing and many different sports. The majority of these clubs are provided free of charge although external providers do charge a small fee at times.

Keeping Healthy & Lunchtimes

We aim to ensure that children are encouraged to lead a healthy lifestyle by supporting healthy eating, the enjoyment of exercise and taking care of everyone’s emotional well-being. We have a pastoral teaching assistant who works closely with children and families when the need arises.

Water is freely available throughout the day. All children should bring a water bottle to school. Children are encouraged to drink water regularly and eat fruit at break time. All children are also able to drink milk every day. This has to be paid for in Key Stages 1 and 2 but Reception children receive their milk for free. Break times are a time for children to play and enjoy themselves.

School dinners prove to be a popular part of the day! Our school kitchen staff provide the children with a well-balanced meal at lunchtime. School dinners have to be paid for in advance. The children who have a school meal have a choice of three different options and these change daily.

There is a team of skilled staff who supervise the children in our dining room and who interact with the children when playing outside. Lunchtime is a happy, safe and important time of the day, enjoyed by all, inside and outside!