At Haresfield C of E Primary School we aim to provide the children in our care with a safe, happy and inclusive environment. Our school motto translates as ‘not always the fastest’ and this is in our minds each day. We strive to encourage the children to respect and enjoy the company of others, develop a passion for learning and appreciate the wonder of our world. We offer children a wide range of experiences and learning opportunities that will enrich them and give them a moral grounding in the Christian values; broaden their mind and prepare them to enthusiastically embrace life in the 21st century whatever level they are.
We are fortunate to be situated in a beautiful part of Gloucestershire at the foot of Haresfield Beacon. We have strong partnership with the National Trust and the children spend time each term in the woods and hills around our school.
The school building itself has been recently re-built (2007) in an exciting project to create new, modern classrooms and other facilities whilst retaining the character and history of the original Victorian building. We benefit from a larger than average Hall and a warm and inviting central area that serves as a library, learning area and a gathering point for all children.
The Government introduced the Pupil Premium Grant in April 2011. This grant which is additional to main school funding, is based upon the number of free school meal children who attend school. The Pupil Premium is allocated directly to schools and it is up to schools to decide how the Pupil Premium is spent, since they are best placed to assess what additional provision should be made for the individual pupils within their responsibility.
At Haresfield Primary School we support all our pupils. We do this by providing high quality teaching, supplemented by interventions to support vulnerable learners as and when required. The school Leadership Team and the Governing Body monitors the impact of all spending and interventions, including Pupil Premium.
We spend our Pupil Premium in a number of ways including:
TA Hours to run extra interventions
TA hours to support children in class
1 to 1 tuition for identified children
Attendance at Breakfast Club when needed.
Counselling sessions for children if needed
Haresfield have chosen to introduce learning in a cross-curricular way. This means that learning is skills based and focuses on a different theme each term. The children help choose themes and then the particular aspect their class is going to concentrate on. Recent themes have been Whatever the Weather, Wonderful World of Roald Dahl,Horrible Histories and Invaders. Foundation subjects (History, Geography, Art, DT, Music, PE, Dance) are taught through the theme. English, Maths, Science are taught separately or through the theme as appropriate. ICT is taught through subjects and as a stand alone skills subject.
The Woodland Classroom/Secret Garden.
We value the benefits that ourdoors can bring to our learning. All classes regularly use the garden opposite the school recently remodelled and improved by the parents and staff. We also use the Haresfield Beacon area where we have a woodland classroom. This was kindly lent to usd by the National Trust and we often work with the Ranger, Tim, up there. The children visit several times a term and the FS go weekly weather permitting. The older children carry out work such as coppicing, scrub clearance and ragwort pulling. There are 30+ birdboxes that we built and put up there.
This is taught using the New National Curriculum. The children have individual targets based on assessment of their personal achievement. Parents are informed of these targets and progress against them. Homework includes maths games taken home on a weekly basis as well as times tables and other number facts. Children are sometimes grouped in flexible groups according to the maths area being learnt. Extra support is provided by teaching assistants for those children making slower progress. Please see our Maths page for more detail.
Children learn English through the New Primary Curriculum. Speaking and listening, reading and writing are taught often through the term’s theme. We have an extensive library and children are encouraged to take books home regularly. Spellings are taught systematically and are sent home weekly. In the early years the children are taught to read using letters and sounds and we also use the Jolly Phonics scheme. All children have a school reading book and we ask parents to hear children daily.
Teaching assistants as well as the class teacher hear children read as well. We are fortunate to have parent helpers who come in and listen to children read which is much appreciated by the children.
Children learn to write in a variety of forms such as poetry, stories, information texts and letters. We encourage the children to share their writing with each other, helping to develop their work and confidence. Children have frequent opportunities to develop their speaking and listening through class discussions, plays, and assemblies. Please see our reading and writing pages for more detail.
We have 30 netbooks available for all the classes to use, alongside this we have a set of 5 ipads for group work. We also have laptops in all classes and two PCs in the library. Children have regular training in e-safety and we run parent sessions on this as well. The pupils use the netbooks to learn core ICT skills, the ICT curriculum and some of their literacy and topic work. They also use them for research.
We have interactive Smartboards in all classrooms and in the group room.
Physical education and sports
With our own staff and as a member of the Stroud Schools Sports Partnership we engage in various sports activities at Haresfield and with other schools. Our own sports facilities are excellent. Our extremely large playing field is use all year round for athletics, football, tag rugby, cricket, tennis, rounders etc.
Our new, above average sized, school hall allows the children to take part in Gym, dance and other PE activities. A large climbing frame and well-resourced PE equipment enable a stimulating and interesting range of opportunities. Children take part in events such as football tournaments, country dance festivals and swimming galas.
We value music highly at Haresfield and encourage all children to learn an instrument. To this end we aim to provide all children with a term’s free tuition in an instrument, recent classes have leant clarinets and violins with the ukulele planned for this year. These lessons are provided by teachers from Gloucestershire Music services. Many children then go on to continue to learn. In classes the children play a range of percussion instruments, recorders and ocarinas.
Musicians are invited in to play to the children and to demonstrate the different types of instruments from African drums to saxophones.
The pupils are encouraged to try out a variety of media and are inspired by visiting artists. Recently the school has worked on projects with silk, ceramics, mosaics and junk modelling. Artwork is valued in the school and is always on display. Each child has plenty of opportunity for hands-on work with paint, clay etc. Working with a local artist, Robin James, the school created a large collaborative mosaic of Haresfield and the school and this was unveiled by The Bishop of Tewkesbury.
All classes teach a language to the children. At Foundation Stage level it is through song and we develop the skills of speaking and listening moving on to reading and writing. We include learning about other countries and cultures that speak the studied language. Currently the children are learning French.
Science is learnt through a skills based curriculum. This means that children are taught about science both as content e.g. the biology of plants; and also with an investigative approach. With support, children plan their own investigations to find out the best conditions for seed germination, predicting what may happen and beginning to understand about why. Often science is taught through the theme for that term.
These are taught using our themes and also the local environment. We try to develop the children’s interests into the curriculum to encourage their enthusiasm. We make particular use of the surrounding area and invite people in to discuss their views.
Provision for Special Educational Needs
Remembering our motto ‘not always the fastest’ we are able to structure support and learning provision for each child’s individual needs. We move promptly to recognise and address each child’s needs. All children are regularly assessed to ensure their personal needs are identified and met. Those not making the progress we would expect are provided with the help they need to achieve their own potential.
We have two smaller rooms for group and one-to-one tuition. Outside agencies are involved as necessary.
More Able Children
We have excellent provision for gifted and talented and more able children. Starting in the class with high quality teaching and learning and then with extra challenge sessions individually or in small groups we aim to recognise the specific needs of these children and to provide the stimulus, creativity and challenge they need. We send children to join sessions in other schools from time to time. Some extra-curricular activities are chosen to help challenge some of our more able children as well as being available to all children. These include dance, maths games club, environment club and animation. They are open to all children regardless of ability.
As a Church of England School we have a daily Christian worship. We use Roots and shoots and the Values For Life scheme provided by the Diocese. The local Rector visits often to take worship. We have a weekly hymn practice and a choir. Children often run worship and once a week the infants and juniors have a separate worship session. Parents are sometimes invited in to a class worship led by the children.
On Fridays we have a Celebration Worship where we celebrate the children’s achievements both in school and out. We welcome hearing about their out-of-school activities as we are interested in all they do.Parents have the right to withdraw children from collective worship and suitable arrangements would be made to accommodate these children. Since this is a church school, however, worship is central to its life and work and is regarded as a very important part of our children’s education.
The Outdoor Classroom
We have developed strong links with the National Trust as a guardian for The Beacon. Groups have visited to help coppice and clear woodland; clear ragwort in the fields; build nest boxes; carry out a bird survey and learn all about the woodland. We now have a special place set aside in the woods which the children visit regularly and take care of. Class 1 are visiting weekly to learn in an outdoor environment. The NT are also helping develop our own pond and wooded area to enable children to use it regularly for learning and fun.
The School Environment
This central area of the school has recently been re-stocked with modern and traditional fiction books aimed at all ages. The children selected many of them and are very keen to take them home. The library is open after school on Fridays for parents to help their children choose books.
This area functions in the daytime as a flexible learning area. Small groups may work here, or helping parents may be hearing readers. Children from different year groups sometimes work in mixed aged groups.
The school has a very large Hall which is used to full advantage. We have a well-equipped PE cupboard and a superb climbing frame. After school clubs such as Street Dance meet regularly in it. The Friends of Haresfield use it for functions and fund-raising and it is available for the village to use. There is an excellent stage system for performances.
We are fortunate to have the use of a large playing field that is managed by The Merryfield Trust. This means we can play outside in this large space for at least nine months of the year. Wellington Boots are standard footwear to enable us to maximise use. The school has a playground for wetter weather with a fun activity play area.
Health and Well-being
These are provided by the county contractor: Edwards and Ward. They use only fresh ingredients and usually use local suppliers. We have cook on site who cooks the meals freshly each day. Children may also bring a pack lunch which they have in the Hall with those having school dinners.
We believe strongly that children flourish through a positive recognition of their achievement and hard work. Teachers give out merit awards that result in bronze, silver and gold awards. There are also teachers awards each week for exceptional effort and achievement and for good behaviour.
Children at Haresfield are well-behaved and relaxed and sanctions are rarely needed.
Rights and Responsibilities
We have recently begun using the UNICEF Children’s Charter of Rights and Responsibilities which lead discussions and help form good relationships and mutual respect in the school community. Children learn in a positive way that their respect and care for others will help others show the same to them.
The members of the School Council work to develop their own anti-bullying policy and then present it from time to time to the whole school. They have developed a good understanding of what bullying is and how to deal with it. An overwhelming majority of children and parents believe the school is a safe place for their children.
The School Council
This meets several times a term and is made up of an elected representative from each year group. Items they have recommended and that have been implemented include a split dinner shift to reduce queuing and increase playtime; the anti-bullying campaign; more playtime toys; new books for the library; a buddy system; fund-raising and more after school clubs e.g. the Street Dance club.
We welcome the support of parents. Regular opportunities include joining the PTFA or to hear readers. Parents are also invited to accompany some offsite visits e.g. swimming or when we visit the Beacon. Special weeks such as Art Week also involve lots of parents.
Parent Information Events
We hold frequent events both during the school day or in the evening for parents to inform them and to hear their views about subjects taught and other issues. Recent sessions include:
- helping your child read and learn about phonics
- internet safety
- forums to allow general questions and issues to be raised
- sex and relationships education
- parenting support network
Parents and friends are also invited to attend many of our events. These include:
We have policies to cover most areas of the curriculum and school life. These are developed by staff and governors and reviewed regularly. Some are required by law such as safeguarding, finance and health and safety. All policies can be requested in school from the school office. We have made some available on this website