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Our lady ransom prospectus


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Our lady ransom prospectus

  1. 1. WELCOME 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. OUR SCHOOL MISSION STATEMENT 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, Jesus Christ.
  2. 2. SCHOOL AIMS 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. 1
  3. 3. SCHOOL TRADITION AND HERITAGE 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 Brentwood Diocese. SCHOOL ADMISSIONS 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. LOCATION AND PROVISION 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 changing facilities. 2
  4. 4. CLASSES 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. STAFF 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 of children. 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 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. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 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 traditions. 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). 3
  5. 5. ENGLISH 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 appropriately. 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. MATHEMATICS 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 problem solving. 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 and data. SCIENCE 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 “fair test”. 4
  6. 6. 5 FRENCH 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. MUSIC 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. INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY 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 History and Geography form an important part of the humanities curriculum and classwork is enhanced by field studies and educational visits. PHYSICAL EDUCATION: GAMES: SWIMMING 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 and equality. 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.
  7. 7. ART AND DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY 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. SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS Most children experience some difficulties in learning from time to time. However, some children need extra assistance in 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 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. 6
  8. 8. SCHOOL CONDUCT 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. REPORTING PROGRESS 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. PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT 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: 7
  9. 9. SCHOOL RULES 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. UNIFORM 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. 8
  10. 10. “Together We Learn and Grow”
  11. 11. Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Primary School Little Wheatley Chase • Rayleigh • Essex • SS6 9EH Telephone: 01268 785741 • Fax: 01268 785167 Email: Website: Head Teacher: Mr. P. Parascandolo Producedby‘TheSchoolBrochureSpecialist’,