Organisation


Morning Session 8.55 a.m. – 12 noon
Afternoon Session 12.50 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.

Supervision of children begins at 8.45 a.m.  
At home-time the children remain on the premises until an expected adult collects them.

The school has three classes organised as follows:

Reception – Class Shooting Stars

Year 1 and 2 – Class Jupiter

Years 3 and 4 – Class Pluto

Children are taught in mixed ability classes in the care of their own class teacher who has responsibility for their education and welfare.  Each class also has the support of a teaching assistant either full-time or part-time.  Children are encouraged to work at a level that matches their capabilities.  The school seeks to create a happy, welcoming and secure environment in which children can develop confidence, individuality and consideration for other children and adults. 

The curriculum is broad and balanced; it is planned with the air of promoting children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development following the Programmes of Study and guidelines of the National Curriculum. A variety of different approaches to learning are used.  Work is planned both on an individual, group and class basis.  Groups may be organised by age, ability, interest or friendships depending on the focus of the work at particular times. 

The National Curriculum refers to children in
Foundation – children aged below 5 years
Key Stage 1 – children aged 5-7 years
Key Stage 2 – children aged 8-11 years 

Religious Education is part of the National Curriculum for all pupils.  However, parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education or the daily act of worship.

R.E. teaching in school is based on the County’s Agreed Syllabus.  As a church school we hold a variety of services throughout the year in St. Leonard’s Church, Dunston and have regular contact with the Minister.  An appreciation of other faiths and cultures is explored.   Children are encouraged to work at a speed that matches their capabilities.  The Education Authority’s Special Needs and Psychological Service may be called upon to assist with a pupil’s special education needs.  They will work closely with teachers and parents. Our policy is based on the belief that “all pupils have the same rights of access to an education which offers equal opportunities for all”.  We aim to fulfil all the legal requirements of the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs.  The Headteacher has responsibility for co-ordinating provision for pupils with Special Educational Needs.  A full copy of St. Leonard’s School Special Needs Policy is available in school. English – Great emphasis is laid upon the skills of reading and literacy, numeracy and oracy.  English permeates the entire curriculum.  As well as its cross-curricular presence English is taught as a separate subject.  Reading activities include group reading, silent reading, reference and dictionary work as well as each child being encouraged to read as often as possible from our scheme and class library books.  Reading diaries are provided for parents to record children’s home reading habits. Creative writing and poetry, formal grammar, spelling and handwriting are also taught.  Speaking and listening skills are encouraged throughout school and use is made of modern technology including interactive whiteboards, computers, digital cameras, DVD/CD/video players and tape recorders. Mathematics – The objectives from the Primary Strategy are delivered, supported by the Abacus and Cambridge Maths Schemes as well as other resources.  Mental mathematics and multiplication tables are an integral part of our work together with practical activities.

Science – Activities are generally carried out in an integrated manner and children will encounter scientific knowledge, processes and principles through a variety of practical activities, topics and local visits. Other areas of the National Curriculum may be presented using a cross-curricular thematic approach.  French is part of the timetable for all classes.

In all areas we aim to give children first hand experiences through practical tasks. 

As the children move through the school their progress will be monitored by teacher assessment and by national tests: Foundation Stage Profiles and Standard Assessment Tests / Tasks (SATs). 

Guidance on Personal, Social and Moral education is given within the normal curriculum.  One of our aims is that through personal and social development children should gain an awareness and understanding of love, respect, responsibility and family life. 

St. Leonard’s First School provides a comprehensive range of activities providing practice in a variety of games skills, gymnastic and dance movements and athletic skills.  P.E. lessons take place in the adjacent Village Hall and on our playing fields, which are sometimes used by the village playgroup.  The school has a weekly swimming lesson at the pool at Wolgarston School.  Children in Years 3 and 4 have the opportunity to attend this activity throughout the year. At varying times of the year, after-school clubs are held that give opportunities to participate in  Football,  Multi-skills, iPad, Art, Dodgeball, Gardening and Board Games. 

There is an annual sports day and all children also take part in joint sports events with schools in the pyramid group.  Awards and Certificates are available to support all events. 

Homework – Children are encouraged to take their reading and library books home each evening to share and enjoy at home.  There will be occasions when work in undertaken at home either as a natural development of work carried out in the classroom or to meet a specific need.  Preparatory research work may be asked for, as well as routine practice in some areas such as music, multiplication tables or spellings. Homework modules are included in the IT package Education City which is used throughout the school.