Welcome to the Junior department. Whether you are a new or existing parent within our school community we would like to say a warm hello to you and your family.
The staff and I have put together some information which we hope will explain many of our routines and practices and give you a clearer insight into life in the Junior department.
Junior pupils can join the College from the age of 3 (Early Years) and remain within the Junior department until they are 11 years old (Year 6). At this point they transfer into the senior part of the College.
Each of our forms has a designated form teacher who works closely with the pupils, providing pastoral support and delivering many of the academic curriculum subjects. As the children progress through the department they are increasingly taught by specialist teachers in, for example, PE, music, French, design technology, food technology and drama.
The academic curriculum broadly follows the National Curriculum model especially in the core subjects (English, maths, science and ICT). In addition the pupils are encouraged to participate in a number of creative and sporting lessons and activities, to provide an enriched and balanced education.
We place great emphasis on educating the “whole child” and strive to develop their personal and social skills as well to ensure that they thrive both within the College and in the wider community.
We have a well developed PHSE (personal health and social education) programme, supported by circle time sessions and assemblies, which aims to address some of the broader issues the children will face as they grow up. We frequently have visitors to support our work including the police, fire service, local clergy, RNLI and road safety/cycling proficiency specialists.
Throughout the school year pupils have enrichment activity afternoons and days, which enable us to extend topic activities and cover practical work and investigations. Examples include sports, science, Greek days, and pirate and super hero activities.
Communication with Parents
We offer an “open door” approach to communication. Staff will happily arrange to meet with you to discuss any queries or concerns you may have. However, please avoid lengthy discussions during our busy morning sessions between 8.30am and 8.50am. An appointment for later in the day can be made with the Junior department receptionist and staff will endeavour to respond to letters, voice mail messages or e-mails within 24 hours.
We offer two parental consultation meetings during the academic year (November and February) and two written reports are sent home in December and July. In addition pupils from Year 3 to Year 6 receive regular effort and achievement grades (Mark Orders) to monitor progress.
Home-school reading diaries and the College prep diaries are invaluable for passing on information between home and school and have proved an excellent way of communicating on a regular basis.
Rewards & Sanctions
We praise positive behaviour and work closely with the pupils to recognise and eliminate words and actions which cause upset or harm to others. Each class displays a set of classroom rules and the pupils are well aware of the high expectations of staff. Both teachers and pupils act as good role models to one another. Should problems arise we will discuss matters with you and aim to resolve issues quickly.
The awarding of House points, the Wall of Fame, the Tree of Achievement and the awarding of good conduct points all reinforce the positive behaviour and caring attitudes the children show to one another.
Extra Curricular Activities and Opportunities
A range of after school clubs and activities are offered from Early Years to Year 6. Pupils in Early Years and Key Stage 1 can take part in clubs between 3.10pm-3.50pm. Example activities include craft, singing, drama, gardening, team games, football and judo. An after school club is available from 4.00pm–5.00pm.
Pupils in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) can take part in clubs and activities from 4.00pm-5.00pm. Example activities include sport, art, drama, ICT, music, chess, design technology and judo.
Educational visits form an important part of our extended and enriched curriculum. Pupils from Early Years to Year 6 participate in a range of visits to support and develop what is being learned in the classroom.
Examples of recent visits undertaken by junior pupils include visits to: a Chinese supermarket, a local fish retailer, Shoreham Fire Station, Southwick Post Office and Drusillas zoo (Early Years); Steyning museum, Goring beach, (Key Stage 1) Marlipins museum, Bramber Castle, The Mayor’s Office, Drusillas zoo, Marwell zoo, Shoreham beach, Chichester Cathedral, Arundel Castle and Woods Mill (Key Stage 2).
During the summer term Year 5 pupils have 3 days “off timetable”. During this time they undertake a variety of art projects, cooking activities and team building tasks. We have recently introduced into this programme a “sleep over” option. Pupils and staff remain on site overnight to swim, play team games, share a BBQ and sing camp songs.
At the same time Year 6 pupils spend 3 nights in
Key Stage and Form Specific Information
Key Stage 1 includes Year 1 and Year 2. There is one form per year group. Each class has a full time form teacher who is responsible for the academic and pastoral progress of the children. The main aim of Key Stage 1 is to further develop the Early Learning goals from the Foundation Stage curriculum. The themes of the Key Stage 1 curriculum are topic-based, allowing for linked areas of learning. This topic based approach also enables the children to continue a creative, child centred/child led approach to learning.
The two Key Stage 1 classes work closely with one another. During the summer term both classes join in a two year cycle of topic work, which allows for joint educational visits and mixed age tasks to be completed. In addition, the two classes join for golden time, PHSE afternoons and the afore-mentioned enrichment activities.
In Year 1 the children are given opportunities to further develop their independence, both academically and socially. Prep (homework) is set during the week. A maths prep is set once a week, alongside spelling lists and reading books. A reading diary is used as a link between home and school and we encourage parents to comment regularly about their child’s reading.
Year 1 has specialist teachers for PE, music and RS.
The main change when entering Year 2 is the daily routine of prep. Pupils are required to complete a daily homework activity lasting a maximum of 15 minutes. These include English, maths, topic/science, reading and spelling lists. During Year 2 the children are taught increasingly in discrete subjects, i.e. separate science and French lessons. In addition the pupils are taught by specialist teachers in PE, music, French and RS. The pupils are given opportunities as the year progresses to work with Year 3 pupils in preparation for their transition into Key Stage 2.
Key Stage 2
During Key Stage 2 pupils build upon the work undertaken in Key Stage 1 encouraging and developing the children into independent learners and thinkers. The staff aim to develop not only academic skills, knowledge and understanding but also social skills, enabling the pupils to adapt to the changing environment they live in and to interact with their peers and the adults around them in an appropriate manner. We strive to develop the skills required for living in the 21st century.
We strongly believe in the importance of the partnership between home and school and encourage regular communication with the parents. In Key Stage 2 this is often facilitated by using the prep diary or through meetings, which can be arranged via the Junior department receptionist.
We would be grateful for your support in helping the children become more independent by allowing them to pack their own school bags, ensuring they have the correct equipment and entering the classroom on their own in the mornings.
We have successfully piloted a scheme using the college’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which can be accessed at home to view spelling lists, selected homeworks and appropriate websites which may benefit your child’s learning.
There is one form group in Year 3. This year can be viewed as a transitional year as your child enters Key Stage 2. At this point the school day is extended by one period in the afternoon (40 minutes) and prep is extended to 20 minutes per day. This will include English, maths and topic work. Spelling lists are also provided weekly.
There are 2 Forms in this academic year. The classes comprise of the previous Year 3 pupils and new pupils to the school. The classes are, as with all our other year groups, mixed ability. The Year 4 teachers work closely together to plan and deliver a comprehensive curriculum. Some lessons are taught jointly e.g.
As in Year 3 the prep diary can be used as an informal form of communication.
As your child enters Year 5 (2 Forms) there will be an expectation that they become more independent and we ask that parents do not come into the classroom in the mornings. We will happily arrange a meeting with you. Please book this via the junior receptionist. At this point the timetable becomes more subject based with an increasing number of lessons being taught by specialists. Pupils begin to move towards preparations for joining the senior part of the College. They attend senior assemblies and House meetings and move around the College to attend lessons in specialist rooms.
Prep is increased to 30- 40 minutes per evening, English, maths, science and humanities. Home work also includes preparation for a monthly general knowledge quiz and two extended research projects. Weekly spelling lists are given and pupils are encouraged to read regularly with you at home.
The Year 6 teachers (there are 2 forms in this year) continue to prepare the children for their transition into the senior part of the College. Pupils are encouraged to develop academically and socially and the form teachers are responsible for pastoral care. Pupils continue to attend senior assemblies and House meetings and have their activity lessons with the younger senior pupils. There is a greater expectation on the pupils to be independent and organise their own equipment and belongings. Pupils will be expected to hand their preps in on time to a variety of teachers without constant reminders. In Year 6 prep will normally take between 40 and 50 minutes and will include spelling lists, regular reading and extended research projects.