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Thank you for enquiring about Our Lady of Ransom School.
We hope that this prospectus gives you a ‘taste’ of the school.
If, after reading it, you would like to find out more about
the school, please call the office (on 01268 785741) to make
an appointment. We would be delighted to meet you and
show you around.
As a school family we love and follow Jesus,
the Light of our World.
Together we learn and grow.
We welcome and respect everyone.
Our Lady of Ransom, pray for us.
We want each child to learn, grow and flourish as an individual within the school family.
Children are encouraged to make real their love for God through the kindness and
respect they show to those around them. We place our school community under the guidance
and protection of Mary, Our Lady of Ransom, who will draw us ever closer to her Son,
The primary purpose of Our Lady of Ransom School is to support parents in bringing their children up in the
Catholic faith and provide an excellent primary education, giving each child a sound foundation on which to build
the next phase of their education.
• Since every child is created in the image and likeness of God, our school is concerned with the education
of the whole child. We commit ourselves to working with all our children, whatever their ability, and to
developing their full potential.
• The school aims to provide a secure, orderly and caring environment in which the children can express their
individuality whilst also learning that courtesy and consideration for others are important qualities to possess.
• The school acknowledges parents to be the first teachers of their children. We wish to make parents feel welcome
in school, to listen to their concerns and to promote a positive home-school relationship.
• The school aims to be a stimulating and supportive environment for all who work here - pupils and staff;
a place where encouragement is given and confidence is gained.
Our Lady of Ransom School, situated in Little Wheatley
Chase, Rayleigh, was established in 1966 through the
generosity of Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Rayleigh, and
the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy ran the school
for many years before recently passing trustee-ship to the
Our Lady of Ransom is a Catholic, Voluntary Aided
primary school for 420 girls and boys, aged from 4 – 11
years. The majority of children attending the school
belong to Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Rayleigh,
Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Wickford, and the
Hockley and Hawkwell areas of St Teresa’s Parish, Rochford.
Children also attend the school from neighbouring parishes.
Whilst intrinsically Catholic in nature, we welcome children
from other Christian denominations, and indeed other
faiths, whose parents can support the ethos and aims of
the school. A copy of the most recent ‘Admissions Policy’
is enclosed with this prospectus.
Our Lady of Ransom School is situated on the borders of
Rayleigh, where a pleasant residential area meets field and
farmland. Though having grown from a ‘one’ to ‘two form
entry school’, the grounds remain spacious. The attractive
building provides a light, airy, well-equipped learning
environment for the children. The school’s main entrance
leads to a spacious hall which is used for physical education,
assemblies, school lunches and other school functions.
There are fourteen well-equipped, self-contained classrooms,
a continuously updated computer suite as well as other areas
providing space for learning support and curriculum resources.
Adjacent to the school is the original convent building, the
ground floor of which has been redeveloped, providing
ease of access from the school; rooms are utilised for our
school library, further learning support, and as meeting
rooms for parents and educational agencies. The convent
garden has been transformed into a growing space with
vegetable beds and planters. The addition of a grotto has
enhanced the school, giving us a beautiful focal point,
especially during our May Procession. Most importantly,
the convent chapel is close to us and is used for Class Masses
and weekly prayer groups. Externally, our Reception children
have an ‘outside learning and play area’, whilst Infant and
Junior children have their separate playgrounds; additionally,
there is an ‘adventure playground’ for the Infants as well as
a ‘playground garden’ for anyone seeking a quieter moment!
An extensive sports field runs parallel to the school buildings.
Swimming lessons for all in the Summer Term form
an important part of the curriculum and we are
fortunate to have our own open-air pool and
The school’s Admissions Policy limits class sizes (Infant and
Junior) to 30 so as to enable as much personal attention to
be given to each child. From Reception through to Year 6,
there are two mixed ability parallel classes for each year group.
All classes have their own Class Teacher with whom the
children spend most of their day. The Reception and Year
1 classes also have full-time Learning Support Assistants
to support the children’s learning. Specialist teachers and
coaches are employed to teach French, Music, Swimming
and Games. Experienced Learning Support Assistants
give additional support to individuals and small groups
Our Midday Assistants supervise the children at lunchtime,
in the dining hall and on the playgrounds.
The administration team ensure that all financial,
administrative and welfare matters are handled efficiently
to ensure the smooth running of the school.
The curriculum offered is broad and balanced. It is
differentiated to be appropriate to the stage of development
and level of understanding the child has reached.
The curriculum is presented within a Catholic philosophy
and understanding of life; it seeks to educate the ‘whole child’,
taking account of the intellectual, physical, creative, social
and spiritual dimensions of our humanity. The National
Curriculum is seen as a minimum requirement and there
are opportunities for study outside its boundaries.
The Governing Body looks to provide a safe, secure, well-
resourced, and stimulating environment for the children in
which to learn. It seeks to promote a collaborative approach
amongst staff and opportunities for ongoing professional
development which will enhance the teaching, learning
and overall curriculum provision.
The "Come and See" Religious Education programme,
approved by the Diocese of Brentwood, is the basis for
our religious education. We also follow the approved
diocesan Sex Education programme ‘A Journey in Love’.
Through this programme and alongside liturgical
celebrations, school and Class Masses, as well as assemblies,
we seek to lead the children to an ever deeper awareness
and understanding of our Catholic faith, values and
Parents are warmly invited to assemblies and Class Masses
in which their children are participating. Children are
prepared within their own parishes for the Sacraments
of Holy Communion and Reconciliation / Confession.
(Parents have the right to withdraw their child from
religious education lessons).
High priority is given to the children mastering the
basic literacy skills. Children are encouraged to express
their ideas with clarity. They are encouraged to listen
to the views and opinions of others and to respond
The school has a structured approach to the teaching
of phonics and reading. The children, as they progress
through the school, are taught to read accurately,
fluently and with understanding and have the
opportunity to read a wide range of literature.
Children are taught to be creative, effective writers,
communicating their thoughts and ideas using a
wide-ranging vocabulary. Grammar, punctuation,
spelling and a consistent hand-writing style all have
a very high profile in our school.
Infant pupils develop much of their mathematical
knowledge and understanding through practical activity,
exploration and discussion. They develop a range of
calculation skills and use these in different settings.
They learn about shape and space through activities
related to their own immediate environment.
They begin to grasp mathematical language, using
it to explain their methods and reasoning when
Junior pupils move from counting reliably to calculating
confidently using all four number operations. They are
encouraged to tackle problems using mental methods
initially. Pupils explore features of shape and space and
develop their measuring skills in a range of contexts.
They discuss and present their methods and reasoning
using a wider range of mathematical language, diagrams
Our aim in science is to give children the opportunity
to find out how and why things happen. We seek to
develop in the children a questioning and problem-
solving approach to what they observe in the world
around them, as well as extending their scientific
knowledge. Children learn by direct observation
and practical investigation.
They are taught to observe, measure, order, sequence
and classify; to interpret their findings; to form
hypotheses and have the ability to construct a
Junior children are taught French for one hour per week.
The emphasis is on the pupils’ listening and speaking
skills, in addition to learning about the country of France
and its culture. Children learn to communicate in real
situations appropriate to their age; they understand and
respond verbally to commands and simple questions.
For many years our Year 6 children have enjoyed a five-day
residential school visit to Le Touquet, France, where they
have had the opportunity to put their language skills into
practice in real-life situations and to experience aspects of
French culture and cuisine.
Pupils’ musical appreciation and knowledge are developed
using instruments and songs from a variety of cultures,
styles and traditions. Music has a very high profile in our
school and this has been officially recognised with a recent
Gold ‘Sing Up’Award. Our singing talent is encouraged
through assemblies, liturgies, Christmas Nativities and a
wide range of concerts.
The School choirs perform at many local events including
the Cliffs Pavilion and the Brentwood Centre. From Year
3 to Year 6, within the music lessons, all children have the
opportunity to learn the recorder, flute, keyboard and a
brass instrument. Further tuition in a range of instruments,
for which parents are required to pay termly fees, is
available at the school.
The school has a multi-media suite equipped with thirty
computers available to children and staff, as well as two
banks of laptops utilising the wireless network. In addition,
each classroom has its own multi-media computer linked
to the school network and interactive whiteboard.
With the help of our very supportive Parents’ Association
we regularly update our ICT equipment and aim to give
children access to the most up to date technology.
The emphasis is on pupils using ICT to enhance all
curriculum areas. The school has a policy relating to the
pupils’ use of the internet and e-mailing, a copy of which
is available to parents. The school requires all parents to
endorse its ‘Home-School Internet Agreement’.
History and Geography form an important part of the
humanities curriculum and classwork is enhanced by
field studies and educational visits.
The school seeks to promote the physical development of
the children through physical activities and the adoption of
healthy lifestyles. Through physical education we seek also
to develop the Olympic and Paralympic values of respect,
excellence, friendship, courage, determination, inspiration
Classes enjoy gymnastics, dance and games sessions.
The school has a large playing field as well as two netball
courts. PE is an important part of school life and we
participate enthusiastically in inter-school competitions
and local leagues – football, netball, athletics, cricket,
rounders and swimming. We very much enjoy having
our own pool and recently refurbished changing rooms.
Qualified instructors teach swimming to all classes during
the Summer Term. Parents are asked to make a contribution
towards the cost of swimming. These contributions meet
tuition, heating and chemical costs. The school has a long
tradition of ensuring that each child is a competent
swimmer before leaving in Year 6.
ART AND DESIGN
Pupils are given the opportunity to express their ideas and responses
in drawing, paintwork and collage. They learn and practise ‘design-and-
making’ skills and gain an understanding of how these skills can be
combined to achieve an ‘end product’. They are helped to consider the
health and safety aspects of their pursuits, to use appropriate terminology
and to understand the properties of different materials, structures
and simple mechanisms. Art and Design & Technology
are often linked to other aspects of the curriculum
(e.g. Science, History) which the class is studying.
Most children experience some difficulties
in learning from time to time.
However, some children need extra
order to make
good progress. The school
has Special Educational Needs
Learning Support Assistants who work
at the direction of the Class Teacher with
children needing additional support.
Parents are encouraged to discuss
with the classteacher the difficulties
their child is having and to contribute
to the personalised plans devised to take
their child’s learning forward. Special Educational
Needs assistance, planning and record keeping is
co-ordinated by the school’s SENCO (Special Educational
Needs Co-ordinator) who is assisted by colleagues in each
of the Keystages.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
These are held at various times during the week by members of the school staff and include football, netball, athletics,
cross-country, recorders, art club, Mandarin, computer club, Junior Legion of Mary, school orchestra, choir and
instrumental tuition. Parents are informed of arrangements for after-school activities via the weekly school newsletter.
Homework is set according to age and ability with the aims of supporting and reinforcing classroom work; giving
extra time to the practice of essential skills; enabling parents to have an insight into, and an opportunity to support,
their child's learning. It is a parental responsibility to make sure that homework set by the classteacher is completed
properly by the child and returned on time. A note should be sent into the classteacher if, for some good reason, the
child is unable to complete the task. Parents can also help their children by discussing the work they are doing in class,
sharing and reading books together, and by taking their children to the local library. A copy of the school’s Homework
Policy is available on request from the school office.
The school seeks to live as a Christian community,
guided by the values of the Gospel. The importance
of consideration for others and good behaviour
cannot be over-emphasised. Our school is concerned
with the education of the whole child, within a caring
and supportive environment. Discipline is essential
for the safety of the children as well as for each child’s
personal and social development; it is important since
the staff and children have teaching and learning
tasks to achieve.
The Governing Body has agreed school rules and
a Positive Behaviour Policy which is made known
to parents and is available from the school office.
The policy seeks to encourage courtesy and good
standards of behaviour through positive rewards.
The Governing Body expects teachers to maintain
high standards of pupil behaviour and courtesy
within the school and is fully supportive of the
staff in their efforts to this end.
The Governing Body seeks parental support for
the teachers in maintaining high standards of pupil
conduct. The school, in turn, will be willing to
listen to concerns raised by parents. A mutually
supportive partnership will enhance the well-being of
the children who attend Our Lady of Ransom School.
Parent/Teacher consultation meetings are held in each of the three terms. These are opportunities for parents and
teachers to discuss the academic and social needs of the child and to set targets for further progress. Individual Year
Group pages on the school website outline to parents the programme of work for the year ahead, the expectations
that will be made of the children and ways in which the parents can support the children’s learning. At the end of the
Summer Term parents will receive a written report regarding their child’s overall progress made in the course of the year.
Outside of these times, should parents have a concern about their child's progress, an appointment can be made
through the school office to see the Class Teacher or Head Teacher.
The school is fortunate in having a tremendously hardworking, enthusiastic and successful Parents’ Association.
Parents automatically become members of the Association once their child starts at the school and will be made most
welcome at all events. The Parents’ Association Committee is keen to welcome new recruits and your active involvement
will be most appreciated.
Parents are invited to attend Open Evenings, a Family Day, class assemblies, Class Masses, concerts and performances,
Sports’ Day and swimming galas; they may be invited to help in the classroom or to accompany school trips. A weekly
newsletter is sent home each Friday. This newsletter can also be found on the school website at: www.olorcps.net.
1. Be kind and polite from morning till night.
2. Do as you are asked to do by the adults in charge of you.
3. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.
4. Use your hands to help, not hurt.
5. Take care of your School and the belongings of others.
6. Work hard, be organised and always do your best.
SCHOOL ANTI-BULLYING POLICY
At Our Lady of Ransom School we believe that every child has a right to a safe and secure school environment in which
to learn and to achieve success. However, we do recognise that bullying may occur. The school has an ‘Anti-Bullying
Policy’ drawn up following the children’s Class Council and School Council discussions. Parents are encouraged to
reinforce the main message of the policy i.e. that we are a ‘telling school’ where anyone who feels they are being bullied,
or who sees bullying happening to someone else, will tell an adult. Concerns may also be placed in the ‘Worry boxes’ that
are available in classes and the school hall. In this way we can all work together to make the school a happy place for all.
The school is proud of its uniform. The Governing Body requires all children to wear the school uniform and looks to
parents for their full co-operation in this matter. Additional items of clothing (e.g. hats, gloves, tracksuit bottoms worn
in cold weather) must be in the school colours. A list of school uniform and suppliers is available from the school office.
All uniform should be clearly marked with the child's name. ‘Nearly new’ school uniform items are available through
sales arranged by the Parents’ Association.
Our Lady of Ransom
Catholic Primary School
Little Wheatley Chase • Rayleigh • Essex • SS6 9EH
Telephone: 01268 785741 • Fax: 01268 785167
Head Teacher: Mr. P. Parascandolo