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Prospectus

This page has been designed to act as an introduction to Shaw School.  It contains information about the School which we hope you will find useful.  However, if after reading it you find that you still have further questions about your child starting school then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Click on a question below to find out more...

  • General Background

    Shaw School is situated in the middle of Shaw village and adjacent to the Parish Church.  It comprises of an original Victorian building, to which has been added a 1970s wing, a 1990s extension and a “state of the art” KS2 department.  A new hall was built in 2009 with the old hall becoming a large library and the kitchen transforming into an amazing space for our Breakfast and After School Clubs. The School has a large playing field that is continually being developed for year round use. It is used as an enjoyable playing space, an educational resource and an outdoor classroom. There is an all weather path that allows children access to the full extent of the field throughout the year. On the field are a grass mound, a well established pond and wildlife area, a stone circle, Willow structures for play, a vegetable garden, a tyre park, a log cabin and examples of many indigenous trees after which we have named our classes.

    The full name of the School is Shaw Church of England Primary School.  The school became a Converter Academy on 1st April 2015 as part of the Academy Trust of Melksham. (ATOM). The Vicar is a governor.  By virtue of the Trust Deed, the daily act of collective worship is in accordance with the tenets of the Anglican Church.

  • The Learning School

    Developing the skills to become a 'Good Learner' is a major focus at Shaw. We strongly believe that the development of good attitudes to learning enhances personal and academic progress for all learners. Children with positive attitudes to learning thrive in school and do well. Weak learning attitudes result in unsatisfactory progress. For instance we have noticed that a bright child with a poor learning attitude, who gives up easily when learning becomes challenging and who puts in little effort will make poor progress and will be significantly underachieving. Other children keep trying even if they can't yet do something - We call this having a good 'Mindset'.

    All classes work to develop good learning skills. The qualities of good learners are discussed and recognised in each class. Teachers notice good learning and celebrate it, both in the class and in the weekly 'Sharing Assembly' where Good Learning certificates are awarded. Children identify other learners in their class who are demonstrating good learning. These observations are displayed on the class wall. In this way, a Learning Culture is developed across the school.

  • Times of The School Day

    Morning Session:                9.00a.m. – 12.10 p.m.

    Afternoon Session:             1.05p.m. – 3.15p.m.                                                           

    There is a 15 minute break mid morning for all children and a short break in the afternoon for the younger children.

    The school gates are opened at 8.45 when children go directly to their classrooms. There they undertake quiet activities until the start of the school day at 9.00. The school gates are locked at 9.00 to ensure that the site is secure. Latecomers must enter by the office entrance to be registered as late. The gates re-open at 3.15pm when parents gather in the playground to meet their children.  Please note that we do not provide supervision for children before they get into class or after they are dismissed.  Parents or carers are fully responsible for the behaviour and safety of their children at these times.

    Please encourage your children to be punctual - it helps us and is a habit which will later help them.  Not too early, never late!

  • Teacher Development Days

    The School year is based on a calendar 195 days.  Five of the 195 days are used for Teacher Development Days. These are staff training days and used to be holidays.  On these days the School closes to enable the teachers to undertake in service training and to keep up to date with new Educational initiatives.  Parents are informed of these dates via the newsletter. 

  • Organisation of the School

    There are 7 classes in the School, each with a single year-group.  Shaw is a popular school, but even so, we try to keep class sizes to a maximum of 30 pupils.

  • Admissions

    The School caters for children aged 4+ to 11+.  Parents are welcome to contact the School at any time during the normal School day to make an appointment with the Headteacher to discuss the possible admission of their children in the forthcoming school year, and to be shown round the School.

    Children are admitted at the beginning of the Autumn term. There is a settling in period for all Early Years children at the beginning of September.  During the first few days of term, parents are invited in to school with their child for an informal 1 to 1 meeting with the teacher.  This ensures a stress-free start to school and gives parents the opportunity to discuss each child’s unique strengths and areas for development. Everyone then attends school for mornings only for the first two full weeks. The children then stay for lunch and start full time in the fourth full week of term.  This is explained more fully at the meeting for parents of New Entrants in the Summer Term.

    Older children may normally begin attending our School, numbers permitting, at any time throughout the School year, by arrangement with the Headteacher and governors.

  • Secondary Transfer

    At the age of 11+ children transfer to a Secondary School.  The closest Secondary School is Melksham Oak School who are part of our Academy Trust. We also have close links with Corsham School.

  • Parents in School

    Education is a partnership between parents and School, therefore parents are always welcome at Shaw.  Many parents come into School on a regular basis to help in various ways such as music, sport, reading, craft, computers - the list is endless!  This help is always valuable and the teachers and children are very grateful for it.

    The friends of Shaw, called PAFOS (Parents and Friends of Shaw) organises many fantastic social and fund raising activities to purchase valuable items, thus helping all the children of the School. All Parents are automatically members of PAFOS and we hope that you will join in and support their activities. The increased participation by parents in the life of the School creates the community spirit that makes for a successful programme and enables the School to achieve its aims.

    There are two Parent Noticeboards just outside of the Hall where details of events are posted. All parents are sent a copy of the fortnightly newsletter and other letters informing Parents of School activities. These are sent via the school Teachers 2 Parents webmail and text messaging service.

  • Parent/Teacher Meetings and Reports

    The school holds two Parent/Teacher consultation meetings each year. The first is held in the Autumn Term to discuss how their child is settling into their class and to explore their child's attitudes to learning. Targets for learning are discusses as well as how parents can work together with the school to develop their child's learning. The second meeting is in the Spring Term when progress towards the learning targets, and other relevant issues, are discussed. We ask for a parent comment following each meeting, as a record of what has been discussed. The end of year report completes the formal yearly review of attitudes and attainment. If parents have questins about their child's learning or wellbeing at times other than these, they should contact the class teacher, who will be happy to arrange a suitable meeting time.

  • Home/School Agreement

    Our Home/School Agreement is a statement explaining the school's aims and values, the responsibilities of you as parents and what the school expects of its pupils.The agreement has been introduced to help strengthen the partnership between Home and School. Children achieve more when parents and schools work together. The Home/School Agreement will be discussed with you when your child is ready to start school. We hope that you will support these aims and sign it.

  • School Uniform

    Children are expected to wear the School Uniform. The logo has been designed by the children and reflects the school ethos.

    The School colours are green, grey and white and the uniform is as follows

    • White blouse / shirt/polo shirt
    • Grey/black skirt/ trousers
    • Green  sweatshirt/ fleece
    • Black shoes ( Flat soles)

    Uniform may be ordered from the Scholars in Trowbridge and Chippenham.  Sweatshirts, fleeces, polo shirts and P.E. t-shirts have the School name and logo embroidered on them.

    For P.E all children will need the following...

    • Shorts
    • White T Shirt
    •  Daps/Plimsolls/pumps
    •  Swimming costume and towel will be required for Year 2 and Year 5 children.

    Jewellery

    The wearing of jewellery in School is discouraged for safety reasons.  Earrings should only be studs. No bracelets or necklaces should be worn. Children will always be asked to remove any items of jewellery prior to a P.E. lesson and the School cannot be held responsible for the loss of any items.

    Hair

    Children with long hair will be asked to tie it back during PE lessons and for swimming- this is for reasons of safety.  Tramlines or shaved images in the hair is not permitted, neither is hair dyed or sprayed an unusual colour.

  • Art & Craft

    All children should have an apron to wear during Art and Craft lessons in order to protect their school clothes.  We do not expect parents to purchase aprons - an old shirt or blouse is sufficient.  The larger it is, the more protection it offers so one belonging to an older brother or sister or Mum or Dad, (with the sleeves cut down and the cuffs elasticated is ideal! Sleeves must be the right length or they drag in the paint and cause problems and distress when work is spoiled.

  • Medicines and first aid

    We know that all children are poorly now and again.  School attendance is very important, so please do not keep your child at home with minor ailments.  However, some illnesses are very contagious and we need to keep the school healthy.  If your child has sickness and/or diarrhoea they MUST stay off school for 48hrs after the last episode.  We may be able to administer prescribed medicines in school.  Please contact the Office staff for details.

    If your child becomes unwell or has a nasty accident during the school day you will be contacted.  Please make sure that we have up to date emergency contact details for you.  If your child has a bump to the head during the day, but is otherwise OK, they will be sent home with a "headbump" note.

  • Naming of Items

    Parents are asked to affix name labels to all items of their child's school clothing. We would have no lost property if all items were permanently labelled! All uniform looks the same when unlabelled!

  • Absence Policy

    If your child is unable to come to school, then we ask you to telephone or e-mail the school to let us know. There is an answer-phone so that you may ring at a time convenient to you. This is important for safety reasons, so that we are aware of a child's whereabouts at all times. If we are not informed on the day, then this is considered an unauthorised absence. A note explaining the reason for absence must be given to the office one your child has returned to school.

  • Behaviour

    We have a positive approach towards behaviour and work hard to develop the children’s understanding of self control and consideration of others.  We want them to develop a feeling of pride, both in their work and in their School. 

    At Shaw School we aim to provide a happy and secure environment.  We believe it is important for the happiness and smooth running of our School that we:

    • Foster positive, caring attitudes towards one another and the environment.
    • Acknowledge the value of each member of the School community.
    • Support each member and nurture the self-esteem of all.
    • Listen with care and value the views and opinions of one another.
    • Have a clearly defined code of conduct accepted and adhered to by the whole School community. 
  • The Shaw Law!

    Each New Academic Year the classes consider what rules the school needs in order for it to be a happy and safe place. These rules are considered by the School Council which decides on the final rules. This year they have renamed them the Shaw Law. In this way the children have ownership of the main school rules. These rules are on display throughout the school.

    The Shaw Law is:

    Follow instructions you are given by any adult.

    Always tell the truth.

    Always try your best.

    Take good care of our school,equipment and grounds.

    Treat people as you would like to be treated.

    Smile and be positive.

    Bullying will not be tolerated.

    Each class also develops its own classroom rules and consequences for the breaking of these rules. These are clearly displayed in each classroom. They are age specific so that rules for five year olds are significantly different to those for ten year olds.

    We believe that the importance of good behaviour cannot be over estimated.  Our Behaviour Policy is available on the website for anyone who is interested .

     Although most children respond in a sensible way there are occasions when some children may act in an unreasonable manner, and this is usually dealt with by the class teacher. If unacceptable behaviour persists the Headteacher will be involved.  If there is a persistent difficulty, parents will be consulted to help resolve the problem. The school reserves the right to exclude persistently disruptive pupils.

  • Pupil Involvement

    We encourage the involvement of the children in running of the school. There are class councils and the School Council which help discuss issues regarding the oragnisation and smooth running of the school. Points raised by the school council are always taken seriously and often lead to improvements in the school. Year 5 and 6 children help with playtimes by being Playground Buddies. Each year, Year 6 children apply for school manager jobs. Jobs carried out by these children include locking and unlocking the school gates, switching on and off the computers, recycling paper and cardboard and much more. We also have an eco council of eco warriors aged from 5-11 years old. They are responsible, with a teacher's help, for making sure that the school has a good approach to green issues. In this way, the children feel more involved in their school, and respect and care for it.

  • School Meals

    Meals are cooked off-site and transported to the school.  All children in KS1 are entitled to a free meal.  We also offer meals to KS2 children at a cost of £2.30 per day.  All payments are made on-line.

  • Healthy Eating

    We encourage healthy eating and so the mid-morning break snack should be either fruit or raw vegetables. No chocolate or crisps are allowed. As part of this approach to developing healthy habits, we encourage the children to drnk water during their lessons. Children bring named, pull-top, transparent water bottles that allow them to drink at their desks safely and as required.

  • Educational Visits

    Visits to places of interest in connection with areas of study and class topics are a regular event at Shaw. These visits are always worthwhile, complementing and reinforcing what has been learned in the classroom. They contribute significantly to raised pupil interest and the quality of their work. Specialist visitors to the school like authors, storytellers, musicians, artists and theatre groups are another aspect of this enriched curriculum. They enhance learning and are a highly regarded aspect of the school curriculum.

    The school also undertakes annual residential trips for the older children. These run from two to five days and link in with Geography, History, Science, Environmental studies and personal development. Annually Year 3 children spend a night away from home at Beer Youth Hostel on the Jurassic Coast in June.  Year 4 visit Oxenwood Outdoor Education Centre near Hungerford in March for two days. Year 5 children stay at Braeside Education Centre near Devizes in the early Autumn for three days. These visits combines outdoor pursuits, team problem solving and rope skills with social bonding for the classes. In the summer Year 6 travel to Treyarnon Bay Youth Hostel in North Cornwall for a week’s environmental learning in late May or early June.

  • The Curriculum

    Below we have summarised the way in which the School teaches most subjects in the curriculum.  Parents may see a full copy of the School’s curriculum and Policies on the Shaw and ATOM websites.

    Mathematics

    Maths takes place daily. The content of each lesson is based upon the Maths Scheme of Work with emphasis being placed on oral work, mental calculation and practical application. Maths learning at Shaw involves large amounts of discussion, speculation and the exploring different ways of calculation. We encourage the children to think mathematically and to compose questions. Maths investigations are carried out on a regular basis. Maths is taught as a discrete subject and then reinforced through cross curricular links and topics. IT is used where appropriate and online maths challenges are popular wit the children.

    English

    The school has a very vibrant English curriculum. Stimulating, engaging teaching encourages the children to produce outstanding writing. The use of video, drama, theatre, educational visits, visiting authors and the use of high quality class texts lead to the production of writing that the children and staff are proud of. We believe that it takes time to produce work of quality. Writing is a craft and a skill, not a production line. Children love to write at Shaw, both boys and girls.

    Reading

    At Shaw we put a very high priority on reading. Reading skills are developed through teacher led group and class guided reading. Phonic skills are developed separately in a variety of ways. Reading books are taken home for reading practice and enjoyment. Parents change the books with their young children. Older children change their own books with guidance.

    We emphasise the importance of reading comprehension from the earliest stage. It is vital that children are encouraged to talk about the content of the book, the characters, their opinions and what they think will happen next. Once they can decode print they are just at the start of becoming readers. Much learning at secondary school and beyond focuses on advanced reading comprehension skills so we must equip our children to be ready and keen to make the most of these opportunities and challenges as well as becoming lovers of reading. Talking about what they are reading and have read is more important than making sure that they decode every word correctly.

    Library

    The School has a large, attractive and well stocked library consisting of both fiction and non-fiction books. It used to be our school hall. All children are encouraged to use the library on a regular basis.  Selected children from Year six are librarians and look after the library as well as, at times, helping children to choose books.

    Science

    The National Curriculum for Science covers a very large, but exciting programme of study.  It is our aim at Shaw to ensure that Science learning is memorable and stimulating.  Science learning at Shaw involves large amounts of discussion, speculation and the formulating of hypotheses. We encourage the children to think scientifically and to compose questions. Scientific investigations are carried out on a regular basis. Science is taught as a discrete subject and reinforced through cross curricular links and topics .

    We believe there should always be flexibility to allow for the unexpected arrival of and exploration of such things as ladybirds, stones, shells and all those other treasures which children love to bring to School.

    We aim to sharpen children’s natural curiosity about life and the environment, so that they develop their scientific knowledge and skills by “hands-on” experiences and by knowing what questions to ask and how to begin to find the answers. We are developing the school grounds as an outdoor classroom for this very reason.

    Computing

    We have lots of laptops and several ipads. We also have an Interactive Whiteboard in every class. All areas of the school have internet access. The Interactive Whiteboards allow whole classes to share the same experience, whether it is teacher prepared work, a website, the digital microscope, video clips or a film.

    History

    At Shaw we believe that history should make pupils aware of their place in time, as well as appreciating that the past has shaped the present.  We aim to help children develop an understanding of their own and other cultures and civilisations and to teach it through active learning and where possible first hand experience.  History is taught through the development of the skills of observation; investigation; interpretation; research and recording. Wherever possible we involve the local area in our studies to allow children to see how the area that they know the best has linked with every area of study. We are lucky to be able to have locally evidence of settlements from 5000 years ago right up to today and stories to go with every period!

    Geography

    Geography promotes pupil’s awareness of their surroundings and the wider world.  We aim to help pupils develop a clearer idea of places and the way in which human and physical processes shape them and the people who reside in them.  Geography is taught through the development of the skills of inquiry; observation; explanation; hypothesis and recording.

    Much work is done using the local area. The School Grounds are often used as an educational resource. Our residential trips involve a strong element of Geographical study.

    Religious  Education

    As a Church School we foster a spirit of Christian fellowship through the School’s daily life.  Religious Education, in its broadest sense, must cover an awareness of Christian ideals and beliefs, and develop attitudes of caring for others, honesty and integrity in everyday life. Other world religions are studied as required by the Wiltshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious and Moral Education.

    Parents have the right to withdraw children from Religious Education lessons and Assemblies on request to the Headteacher.

    Collective Worship happens as a part of all school and class assemblies. End of term services and other special services like Harvest Service are held in the Church.

    The Arts

    The Arts are given its due recognition and status at Shaw. This involves developing a wide range of artistic skills in the children and also studying the works and influences of famous artists. Art work is often related to topics being investigated and we make very effort to develop the cross curricular aspects of art too. We follow an exciting scheme of work for Music called Charanga.  There are lots of opportunities for children to learn an instrument at Shaw through the employment of specialist instrumental teachers.

    Physical Education

    Children in the early years are encouraged to develop body awareness and skills.  Lessons include movement with music (dance), large apparatus in the hall (gymnastics), and small apparatus usually on the playground (Games).

    Older children progress to more advanced movement and skills.  They also learn games and athletic skills and participate in small teams and matches.

    Swimming is taught by the pool instructors to children in Year 2  and Yr 5. All children travel to the Blue Pool in Melksham and a (voluntary) payment to cover the cost of transport , tuition and the use of the Blue Pool is requested from parents each term.

    In physical education as a whole, we seek to enhance health and fitness, and provide opportunity for recreation and exercise.

  • Sex Education

    The school provides Sex Education in line with latest guidance.  The majority of the Sex Education provided will be as an integrated part of the School’s personal and social education programme Jigsaw PSHE..  It will be delivered in an age appropriate way in the classroom setting primarily by the class teacher.

    We endeavour to provide a caring and trusting environment at Shaw School in which pupils are able to discuss and share any personal concerns that they may have with the staff and in which they will be provided with truthful answers appropriate to their level of understanding.

    We do not routinely inform parents of when specific Sex Education is taught, but our scheme of work mainly covers these aspects in the Summer Term.  A copy of the content of the scheme of work can be provided on request.

    Parents have the right, under the Education Act 1993, to withdraw their children from all or part of Sex Education, which does not form part of the National Curriculum.  Any parent who has anxieties in this regard should contact the Headteacher so that the matter can be discussed and suitable arrangements made.

  • Children with Special Educational Needs

    At Shaw School we recognise that all children have special individual needs but acknowledge that some have greater needs than others.  We aim to identify special educational needs as early as possible in order to address the individual requirements of the child.

    We define special educational needs as follows:

    * Children who find learning more difficult than the great majority of pupils of the same age.

    * Children who have a disability which interferes with learning.

    * Exceptionally able children

    * Children whose behaviour or emotional difficulties affect their learning or that of their peers.

    It is the legal right of each child to have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.  For the majority of children, the curriculum should include the National Curriculum.  All staff aim to differentiate the National Curriculum so that children are presented with work that is appropriate to their stage of development and their level of understanding.

    All support time is allocated according to need.  Our aim is to use support primarily within the classroom although, if it is considered more appropriate children may be withdrawn for specific focussed work.

    Parents will always be consulted regularly if their child has Special Educational Needs.

  • Assessment

    We believe that assessment is an integral part of the learning and teaching cycle.  The school is constantly reviewing, updating and improving its assessment systems. Assessment is a process which:

    • Provides information on each pupil’s progress
    • Identifies what the pupil knows, understands and can do          
    • Guides future learning and the next steps in the learning process

    Assessment helps the teacher identify the needs of each pupil and is the tool that allows teachers to plan the correct future work that ensures pupil progress.

    Assessment comes in two forms:

    Formative Assessment is ongoing and is an integral part of the everyday running of a class.  This is how we ensure tasks match the child’s ability and it is how we assess what skills they need to develop and learn in order to make progress. An important part of formative assessment is when teachers meet with pupils on a 1:1 basis to review learning.  This is a regular event and allows future learning targets to be set. Formative assessment can be seen as ‘Feeding the baby’. This is how learning growth happens.

    Summative Assessment is measuring attainment, like we do with tests and exams.  It gives the teacher a summative level of attainment; it’s a snapshot of their attainment at one moment in time. We then can measure progress from these points of reference. Summative assessment can be seen as ‘Weighing the Baby’. It  tells you how much it has grown.

     “Standard Assessment Tests”, (SAT’s) are used to determine a child’s level of attainment at the end of Key Stage 2.  Information of these Year 6 results will be sent to parents.  Individual attainment levels will be shown on the end of year report.

  • Target Setting

    Each child has individual targets for progress that are agreed with the class teacher. Targets are set for Literacy and Numeracy. Some children will also have targets for behavious that will be reviewed frequently.

  • Complaints Procedures

    If any parent feels concerned or dissatisfied with matters either to do with the curriculum or other aspects of school life, then we ask that they see the Class Teacher initially and after that the Headteacher, if they need further discussion. If, after discussion with the Headteacher, the problem remains unresolved the parent may then refer the matter to the Governing body.  Ultimately the matter may be referred to the ATOM Trustees.  The complaints procedure may be found on the ATOM website.

  • Charging Policy

    No charge is made for any activity within School hours or for materials or equipment required.  However, a voluntary contribution may be sought to enable certain activities to take place. e.g. transport to and from swimming; educational visits; visiting theatrical companies, authors, musicians and other specialists; special materials such as cookery ingredients etc. No pupil is barred from an activity if the requested voluntary contribution is not forthcoming. An activity may be cancelled if insufficient funds have been received.

  • Extra Curricular Clubs

    Many clubs and activities take place outside of normal school hours. Football, Dodgeball, Netball and Science are usually among the variety of clubs offered, depending on the seasons. Often, they run for six to eight weeks.

  • Welfare and Outside Asssitance

    The School is visited by the School Health Assistant and Audiometrician for checks on general health.  Parents will be advised when the visits are to take place so that they can be present at the interview.

  • Pastoral Care

    We hope that the children at Shaw will build up such a relationship with the staff that if they have a problem, they will feel able to confide in him/her.

    If any parent feels that their child is worrying at home about something that has happened at school, then we do hope that the parent will come into school to discuss the problem with the teacher or Headteacher.

  • And Finally...

    We hope that the information above will help you to prepare your child for School and to make his or her start at Shaw a happy one.

    Finally, there are several ways in which you, the Parent, can help us at School:

    • Please do your best to ensure that your child can dress and undress himself/herself before starting School - it saves us so much time!
    • Always name all garments and personal property in a permanent fashion.
    • Find time to talk to your child about School - their achievements, friends, pleasures and anxieties. Remember at the end of the school day they are tired and often will say they have done nothing!!! Wait until they have rested…………….. and you will find out more!
    • Always keep us informed of significant changes, which may affect your child at School.
    • Please ensure that we have a current daytime address and telephone number for use in an emergency.

    If there is anything that you are concerned about please come in and talk about it.  A few minutes’ chat early on can save needless headaches later.