What makes Buntingsdale a great place to learn in?
Our school Mission Statement, put together with ideas from pupils, staff, parents and governors, we hope provides a clear indication that Buntingsdale school is a place where learning and achieving to the best of people’s abilities applies to all within our school community. We want pupils to develop a positive attitude towards learning from an early age; to enjoy the challenge of learning, to give of their best; and to develop the essential knowledge and skills that will help them to be successful learners and citizens both now and in the future. This includes developing a clear understanding of appropriate expectations for behaviour; taking responsibility for our actions, respecting others rights and needs and accepting the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.
We have three school rules that underpin our positive approach to behaviour management.
These are BE KIND, LISTEN and DO YOUR BEST.
Our school rules are displayed around the school and contribute to our Value of the month. These in turn also support our emphasis on British Values and the United Nations Rights of the Child.
As a state maintained school our curriculum is based on the statutory Early Years and National Curriculum Frameworks. At Buntingsdale we aim to ensure that pupils are motivated to learn through curriculum activities that enthuse and excite them. At Buntingsdale global learning is a key feature of our approach to learning and there is more information about this elsewhere on our school website. We believe that developing global learning within our curriculum has resulted in very positive recent comments from pupils including
“School is fun because the topics are brilliant”,
“it is good to learn because you need to know things when you get older” and
“I am getting better at maths. I like learning”.
In September 2012 Buntingsdale changed from an Infant and Nursery school to a Primary and Nursery school. The school now has pupils in all year groups. Our admission number for each year group is 15 pupils and we usually have four classes each with two year groups in them , so a maximum of 30 per class. Nursery children, (who have 15 hours of free sessions per week from the term after their third birthday), attend part time. These sessions run all day Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Parents/carers are able to purchase additional sessions when the school has the capacity for this.
A representative group of pupils, staff, parents and governors worked together to design our new primary school logo which represents the diversity of our school community and our acknowledgement of our role as citizens within national and global communities.
Buntingsdale school is within close proximity to the army base at Tern Hill. Both civilian and armed service families attend the school. The staff are very skilled at managing the often unavoidable movement that is a feature of service life. We liaise with local armed services representatives as well as take part in wider issues relating to armed service families through the national organisation called Service Children in State Schools.
There are Core and Foundation subject areas within the Curriculum. We aim to make as much of the curriculum as accessible to all pupils as possible. This is their entitlement. The staff work closely together and with parents/carers to ensure that they are working to the strengths of individual pupils and providing different and/or additional support as appropriate to a child’s needs. This could involve supporting a Special Educational Need or Disability. In this situation the school has specific staff identified to help co ordinate any support needed; this may also include external specialist teachers and/or medical staff, who will also work with the school and parents/carers.
Through a weekly programme of after school clubs we aim to compliment and extend other learning that takes place during the regular school day. We employ an After School Clubs leader who also works as part of our family learning team. Also working with families to ensure the highest standards of care, safety and support our teachers trained in Safeguarding and multi agency approaches and, again, as a school we work with a range of other professionals. For armed service families we utilise both local, regional and national support networks to try and mitigate against mobility, long term deployment and other needs which are specific to service families.
To achieve what we want for our pupils, we have the same highest expectations of our staff and governors with respect to their contributions to the school and their commitment to on going professional learning. We also encourage, expect and support parents/carers to engage with their children’s learning.
Buntingsdale school has a very successful track record for enabling staff, governors and parents/carers to take part in on going training and development. All staff and governors (as is appropriate to their role) attend both external training and in school consultancy. This includes staff working towards externally accredited qualifications e.g. in association with the Local Authority or further education colleges, the national Specialist Teacher programme , part time undergraduate and Masters level degrees and routes into teacher training through several UK universities.
We regularly have work experience pupils from our local secondary school , The Grove, and students from other further and higher education institutions.
For several years we have facilitated Family Learning sessions. These activities are led by a Shropshire Council adult learning tutor and run jointly with school staff. The sessions are held both in school and at the local community centre; part of our way of extending learning beyond the school. This programme has resulted in parents knowing how to better support their children’s learning as well as provided access to working towards GCSE equivalent qualifications in English and Maths for themselves.
We have an active parent –led Friends of the school group known as FOBS (Friends of Buntingsdale School). They organise and run a range of activities to encourage involvement in the school and raise funds to enhance the curriculum and learning experiences of pupils. During 2015 they supported a project that resulted in the school gaining a National Lottery Award which resulted in a wonderful new playground area large Trim Trail to increase physical activity being installed.
Although Buntingsdale is a school in a rural area, we are able to provide opportunities for both pupils and staff to work together with other schools in our local area. Pupils take part in joint music events ,sporting activities and competitions and share other curriculum based experiences e.g. a visiting author and illustrator.
Buntingsdale is a place where we believe in working together for the benefit of all. Individual and collective responsibility for developing and achieving individual successes and realising the school’s vision go hand in hand.