‘Byw i’r presennol ac edrych i’r dyfodol.’
It gives me great pleasure to present to you via this handbook some information about the school. This handbook is intended to help you know more about the life and work at Brynaman Primary School.
At our school we hope to provide a caring environment for your child. We endeavour to provide a wide range of balanced learning opportunities for all children to help them grow into independent and responsible people. A good and active home and school relationship is vital to foster a sense of partnership between parent and teacher, to ensure the best possible environment.
Brynaman is a happy school and that is derived from the progressive satisfaction of on-going achievements. Such striving causes pupils, parents, staff, the local authority and the general public to be proud of their association with the school.
After reading this prospectus you might want further information. If so, you may contact myself or my deputy, Mrs Alison Stevenson.
Welcome to our School
Every child is different. They look different, behave differently and develop at different times and rates; learn at different times in different ways. For their sake, please do not compare them with other children.
We are delighted to have your children with us. We hope they will be happy in our school.
We are a Welsh medium school teaching all subjects apart from Science in Key Stage 2 in Welsh.
The School Day
Foundation Phase 1, 2 and 3: 9.00am – 11.45am; 1.00pm – 3.00pm
Foundation Phase 4, 5 and 6: 9.00am – 12.00 midday; 1.00pm – 3.10pm
Juniors: 9.00am – 12.00 midday; 1.00pm – 3.30pm
No child is to leave the school premises during the official opening hours unless the school has been informed.
School Aims, Ethos and Values
- To help the pupils develop lively, enquiring minds.
- To foster the ability to think logically and to respect their fellow-men, their own possessions and those of others and to appreciate religious and moral issues.
- To understand how to use language and number effectively.
- To explore their environment and to have a better understanding of their surroundings.
- To master skills that are essential and to develop well-balanced personalities that have a clear vision of the world in which they live.
- The development of basic skills in all subjects at the school with due consideration to the age, aptitude and ability of each child.
- The development of numerical skills and mathematical knowledge and understanding.
- An introduction to the world of science and information technology.
- The development of language in all its various forms so that it becomes a purposeful and meaningful means of communication. This will include listening, speaking, reading, writing and literature appreciation.
- An awareness and appreciation of the child’s locality, language, culture, traditions and physical environment.
- The encouragement of self-expression through music, mime, drama, art, technology and physical education.
- The awareness of the need for personal hygiene, good manners and courtesy. The encouragement of safe practices in the school, home and community.
As a school we have aims which we encourage all pupils to adopt. They are:
Respect – For people and possessions leading to self-respect
Punctuality – At lessons and activities.
Responsibilities – Recognised and accepted in a positive way.
Effort – Striving as individuals and in co-operation with others for our mutual benefit.
Atmosphere – Cultivation of a happy atmosphere, avoiding confrontational situations such as bullying.
Health – Care for our health and well-being, by behaving sensibly in all situations.
Appearance – Pride in appearing neat and tidy.
Language – To have an awareness of the importance of our native language in every aspect of communication.
Standards – A recognition that we have personal responsibility for our actions and for maintaining standards.
Culture - To demonstrate that our country’s language and culture are important at all times.
It is our aim to provide the pupils with the National Curriculum by teaching through a ‘cross curricular approach’.
The teaching will be:
- BROAD – by introducing the children to a wide range of knowledge, concepts, attitudes and skills.
- BALANCED – each aspect will be given sufficient time.
- RELEVANT – the subjects will be taught so as to bring out their application to the pupils’ experiences.
- DIFFERENTIATED – the pupil’s abilities and aptitudes will be matched to what is taught.
- PROGRESSIVE – the National Curriculum will provide this continuity.
- To enable each child to read fluently and coherently.
- To encourage various audio and visual skills.
- To master communicational skills both aurally and written given various stimuli.
- To provide legible handwriting and a high standard of spelling, punctuation and sentence construction.
- To use and apply mathematical concepts in a home and school environment.
- To enable the child to use estimation and the calculator in an acceptable manner.
- To provide a variety of situations in which the child must use problem solving skills.
- To enhance the concept of collecting information and thus being able to record findings effectively.
- We strive to encourage questioning minds and the ability to reason with their peers.
- Encouragement is also given to the development of physical activities.
- We expect the child to have a basic understanding of various religious and moral issues and have empathy towards various religions and races around the world.
School Rules and Discipline
School rules are few in number and simple to follow.
They have been drawn up to protect the children and to ensure their safety. Accidents and incidents can be avoided if these rules are carried out.
Children are encouraged to appreciate the need for rules and regulations so that eventually a sense of self-discipline will be developed.
If a child is punished, it is usually through loss of privileges and can vary according to the child’s interests.
In a case of serious indiscipline, co-operation between home and school will be necessary in dealing with the problem.
The School operates a system of Team Points with rewards and penalties.
Examples of School Rules
- When the weather is fair all the children play on the yard during break times and the dinner hour unless they have been instructed otherwise.
- While on the yard the children are not to climb walls or barriers.
- During inclement weather the children are to remain in class. Unruly behaviour will not be tolerated.
- There is to be no playing in the toilets.
- It is the duty of every child to inform the teacher on duty if any problems arise during break.
- Likewise the mid-day supervisor is to be told of any problems during the dinner break.
- Children’s behaviour towards the mid-day supervisor is to be the same as to the teachers.
- No sweets or chewing gum are to be eaten during lessons.
- Children are to walk quietly through the school.
- If a member of staff has to leave the classroom the children should remain quiet and continue with their work.
- It is the duty of every child to keep the school clean.
- A high standard of behaviour is expected from every child.
Parents are welcome to make arrangements with the Headteacher to visit the School prior to admission. The School follows the Admission Policy outlined by the Local Authority.
- Every year group has its own classteacher.
- Children are withdrawn in small groups for special needs support.
- In the Foundation Phase the children are taught through a thematic approach. At Key Stage 2 teaching is subject based.
The National Curriculum
This was introduced as a result of the 1988 Education Act. Simply it consists of:
Core Subjects: English, Welsh, Mathematics, Science, IT.
Foundation Subjects: Geography, History, PE, Design and Technology, RE, Art and Craft.
Skills and Range
Programmes of Study
All pupils are teacher assessed at least annually.
Priority is given to the ‘core’ subjects within the National Curriculum – Welsh, English, Mathematics and Science. IT is integrated and used appropriately.
Appropriate elements of the remaining ‘foundation’ subjects – History, Geography, Technology, Music, Art and Physical Education are then fully integrated into our timetable and theme.
Key skills of Literacy, Numeracy, ICT and Thinking are incorporated into lessons.
In order to show the progress made by each pupil at each stage of the National Curriculum, the teachers will maintain a record of the work completed and the levels reached.
These records will provide essential information for teachers, parents and other schools.
National Curriculum assessment will consist of two elements:
a) Teachers Assessment;
b) External Assessment in the form of National tests and other forms of testing.
Key Stages for assessing will be the child’s last term in the Foundation Phase and his/her final term in the Junior Section.
To comply with the National Curriculum, the classes will be called Nursery, Reception - with the remaining age groups numbered years 1 – 6.
Children start in the Nursery on a part time basis the term after their third birthday.
Children are admitted the term before their fourth birthday as full time Nursery pupils. Arrangements are made for children to attend the school for half days towards the end of term prior to their admission. Parents will be contacted on these occasions.
In the Foundation Phase we follow a broad curriculum which has been developed to meet the needs of young children. The child is introduced to a wide range of knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas of learning experience.
The areas of learning and experience are:
- Mathematical Development
- Creative Development
- Physical Development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Personal and Social Development
- Language, Literacy and Communication.
The National Curriculum
At Foundation Phase – 4 – 7 year old.
At this stage the main building blocks of learning experiences are laid. The emphasis will be on developing essential skills of communication, literacy and numeracy. By providing a broad rich curriculum using an integrated approach, we aim to develop the children’s interest whilst also recognising their level of maturity. These are important years where children learn how to observe, listen, respond and develop not only as individuals but also as caring members of our community.
At Key Stage 2 – 7 – 11 year old.
The essential skills of communication, literacy and numeracy will still be the central focus of our curriculum. But, as their understanding of the different disciplines increases, more time will be given to science and the foundation subjects. The curriculum will still take place within an integrated theme where it is meaningful and relevant.
Children will be encouraged to develop self-confidence, independence in learning and higher order skills in a range of situations.
Pupil Progress and Reporting to Parents
The school adopts a continual assessment policy together with formal assessment at Foundation Phase (seven years) and Key Stage 2 (eleven years old). Evenings are set aside each term to meet class teachers to discuss their child’s progress. Parents are informed by letter of the dates and times of meetings.
Copies of the School’s National Curriculum results accompany this prospectus on a separate sheet.
These may be compared with the latest national (all-Wales) comparative National Curriculum Assessment results as published by the National Assembly for Wales.
The school has an official uniform of red tie, red jumper/cardigan, white blouse/shirt, grey trousers/skirt. Sweatshirts and Polo shirts are also available, which bear the school logo and name. The uniform is not compulsory other than when the children are representing the school. All pupils are required to dress sensibly and neatly at all times. School uniform is encourage and is available at Eirllin in Ammanford.
Mid-day meals are prepared, cooked and served on the premises daily. A menu of the week’s meals are on display. Dinner money is paid to the School Meals Clerk who is in attendance at the school on Monday and Friday mornings. Application forms for free school meals are available.
Children eat their packed lunches in the dining room. Please do not give your child any drinks in glass containers, fizzy or sugary drinks. Packed lunches must be healthy.
Parents must send an explanatory note or telephone the school when a child is absent or wishes to leave early.
The time and arrangements for collecting the child should be clearly stated.
It is also essential that the school knows if someone other than the parent is collecting the child at the end of the day.
It is important that when a child moves to another school that the Headteacher be informed so that relevant records can be forwarded.
You will be contacted if you have not informed the school of your child’s absence.
Unauthorised Absences from School
Parents are expected to inform the class teacher of reasons for any absences from school. A letter informing parents of absence regulations is given to parents for information.
Medicines should, if possible, be given to children at home. If it is necessary for a child to receive medication during the school day parents should discuss the matter with the child’s class teacher and complete an ‘Administration of Medicines’ form.
The school medical and dental officers visit the school annually and parents will be informed of these visits and of any follow up arrangements. The school nurse also visits the school regularly to conduct eye and hearing tests.
The school aims to create a community which has a warm and friendly atmosphere so that the children have a sense of care and security. The teachers work as a team and are responsible to the Headteacher for the general welfare of pupils. The school liaises when necessary with other agencies at the transfer stage.
Children should not be on the school premises sooner than fifteen minutes before school commences in the morning as supervision cannot be guaranteed, unless they attend breakfast club, which opens its doors at 8am.
All children are supervised throughout the day. During lesson time they are supervised by their class teacher. Members of staff supervise the children during morning and afternoon breaks. During the dinner hour, the supervisory assistants, who are responsible to the Headteacher, supervise the children.
In the event of an accident the person on duty will attend to the child. Adequate first aid equipment is available at the school. The person on duty will assess if further action is required. If so, an attempt will be made to contact the parents. If this is not possible arrangements will be made by the Headteacher to take the child to his/her doctor or even to hospital.
In the event of an illness the school will endeavour to contact the parents at home or in work. No child will be allowed to go home unless contact has been made with a parent or close relative and suitable arrangements made for the collection of the child and for his supervision at home.
Parents are strongly recommended NOT to send their children to school if they are feeling unwell.
Arrangements for Religious Education
For Religious Education we follow the LA Agreed Syllabus. This covers all areas of religious and moral studies. Each day will begin with morning assembly which has a religious or moral theme. Every child is expected to participate, if however, parents do not wish their child to do so, they are asked to inform the school in writing. Religious education within the class is one of the National Curriculum foundation subjects.
Sex Education is not taught as a subject. However, as children are naturally inquisitive, various aspects can be explored in Science, Religious Education and Health Education, stressing the importance of caring, family life and personal relationships. The School Nurse gives a ‘Growing Up’ talk to Year 6 annually. Parents can withdraw children from all or part of the sex education provided.
Arrangements for Special Educational Needs
Since September 1994 the school has been implementing the Government’s ‘Code of Practice’ for children with Special Educational Needs. The school employs a support teacher ensuring that these children receive individual attention daily. Pupils’ work is constantly appraised and their needs noted where assistance and support is given within the classroom or in small groups so as to improve on their work. Children are audited and are placed on the SEN Register according to needs. All the resources of the Authority are available to assist those with specific difficulties.
Our policy is to ensure all pupils’ needs are considered individually, so that the programme of study that they follow is relevant to their needs, to identify individual learning difficulties and to organised and manage the support of the pupils from all levels of ability. To provide a support for all subjects as well as the basic skills of literacy and numeracy is also emphasised. The SEN Policy is available at the School.
Annual changes are made according to school organisation and pupils’ needs.
The education of any child will be enhanced if home and school work together in partnership. We hope to instil in our children a love of learning and to encourage them to develop the desire to seek out the information they will need using appropriate resources. Homework helps both children and parents to enjoy shared time and to appreciate each other’s needs. At Brynaman CP School we feel that properly designed homework can play a valuable part in a child’s education:
- To encourage pupils to develop the practice of independent study.
- To develop perseverance and self-discipline.
- To allow practice, where it is needed, of skills learned in the classroom.
- To permit more ground to be covered and more rapid progress to be made.
- To involve parents – and other adults – in pupils’ work.
- To prepare older pupils for secondary education.
All homework must be properly presented in a book or file. The school strongly encourages the children to do their homework, yet it is voluntary. If you do not wish your child to do homework, kindly inform the school in writing.
What to do if you want to complain or do not agree.
- See Classteacher. Still not satisfied?
- See Headteacher. Still not satisfied?
- See Headteacher again. Still not satisfied?
- See a Parent Governor or the Chairman of the Governors. Still not satisfied?
- They will see the Headteacher and report back to you or they may consult the whole Governing Body. Still not satisfied?
- Ring the Education Department – 01267 234567.
It would be appreciated if an appointment could be arranged for a meeting. Parents and others can find out about the arrangement sunder Section 409 of the Education Act 1996 for dealing with formal complaints (to the Governing Body, LA or both) about the Curriculum or any related matter.
Parents are encouraged to contact the school when they have relevant problems to discuss regarding their children. You are advised to make an appointment by phoning the school – outside teaching hours if possible – or by forwarding a letter. Appropriate arrangements will be made as soon as possible.
General Statement on the aims of teaching Language/Literacy
Speaking and listening
Every child is encouraged through a wide range of situation, audiences and a variety of speaking and listening activities to listen attentively and to respond appropriately.
The aim is to engender in each pupil a wish to read, be it for pleasure or to gain information. Parents are invited to help foster in their child a positive attitude to reading.
Each child will have ample opportunity to write in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences including fellow pupils, teachers and adults.
Pupils are encouraged to learn the words which occur most frequently in their writing and to be aware of the conventions of spelling.
Correct letter formation is emphasised which will be developed into a fluent and legible joined-up style of handwriting that is presented clearly and attractively.
General Statement of Aims and Objectives for the Teaching of Mathematics/Numaracy
Develop children’s ability to use Mathematics effectively as a tool in a wide range of tasks.
Develop children’s creativity and ability to think logically, searching for patterns and relationships.
Develop children’s ability to analyse and communicate mathematical information and ideas.
Cultivate positive personal qualities and attitudes towards Mathematics. Appreciate the link Mathematics has with other curriculum areas and in this way increase the understanding that Mathematics makes an essential contribution to preparation of pupils for adult life.
General Statement on the Aims of the Teaching of Science
The aim of teaching science is to build in children their abilities as investigators, i.e. finding out for themselves.
By doing this we:
- Develop the child’s knowledge of their environment.
- Provide opportunities for children to work in a scientific way so that they are able to build on, refine and extend their scientific knowledge.
- Create the enjoyment of Science through practical activities.
While working in this way the teaching/learning of Science will support teaching/learning in several other areas of the curriculum especially closely linked with language and mathematical skills.
When planning the Science Curriculum various themes have been planned on a two year cycle. During this two year cycle the relevant programme of study for each Attainment Target will have been experienced at least once by every child.
National Curriculum Assessment Results
These are published annually in the Governors’ Annual Report.
A Home/School Agreement is given to the parent of every child. It should be signed and returned to the School. The Home/School Agreement underpins the ethos and values of the School, both of which are identified throughout the content of the prospectus.
Health and Safety Arrangements
The School has a Health and Safety Policy, available from the School if required.
The School adopts a clean Equal Opportunities Policy to avoid any form of discrimination.
The School adopts a clear Equal Opportunities Policy to avoid any form of discrimination.
The School is equipped with ramps, disabled toilet facilities and lifts to accommodate for any disabled pupils who require additional assistance and to avoid discrimination. Disabled Pupils are included in mainstream classes. Admission arrangements for disabled pupils are in accordance with LA procedures.
The Accessibility Plan has been developed and drawn up based upon information supplied by the LA and consultation with pupils, parents, staff and governors of the school. Other outside agencies and specialists have also been consulted. The document will be used to advise other school planning documents and policies and will be reported upon annually in respect of progress and outcomes. The intention is to provide a projected plan annually ahead of the next review date – Governors’ Annual Report.
The Accessibility Plan is structured to complement and support the school’s Equality Objectives. We understand that the LA will monitor the school’s activity under the Equality Act 2010 and will advise upon the compliance with that duty.
No doors can be opened from the outside; therefore, entry into the School must be made through the main entrance via the School Office. All the yards are enclosed. A burglar and fire alarm are also fitted.
Please note: The School is secured at all times through locked gates to children’s areas and security doors. The School is alarmed at night and at weekends.
Specific targets are set for Children at Year 1, Year 3 and Year 5. A full description of the assessment procedures and target setting can be found in the School’s Assessment Policy.
Term dates are distributed to Parents, but are also available from the School Office.
Parents are informed about class attendance data every 3 weeks. Individual attendance date is RAG rated and sent home every half term. The target for 2014/15 is 96%.
The school encourages the development of a bilingual programme in accordance with the Carmarthenshire LA Language Policy. The aim is that by the age of 11 years, every child, according to his/her ability will be able to speak, read and write in both Welsh and English. It is our aim to promote all aspects of the Welsh Language and culture and work to develop the children’s ability, knowledge and respect for both languages.
Teaching Methods and Organisations
The School has embedded teaching practices noted in the Teaching and Learning Policy. Classes are organised annually according to year group pupil numbers and are always subject to change.
Category ‘A’ School
The School is a Category ‘A’ School, as designated by Carmarthenshire County Council. This means that the children receive a Welsh medium education up to Year 2 and a bilingual education thereafter. The ethos of the School is Welsh. Non-Welsh speaking children who arrive during term time are treated sympathetically. Rarely, normally through Statements of Special Educational Needs, are children exempted from Welsh.
A list of School Governors is enclosed on a separate sheet.
The Parents, Teachers and Friends Association
The School has a Parents, Teachers and Friends Association. Meetings are held to discuss school matters and functions so that parents get to know each other and money is raised to supplement the school provisions. The association extends a warm welcome to all new parents.
Any money coming to the association is placed in the association’s fund. All the money raised is used for the benefit of the children.
Inspection of Documents
Documents required to be made available by regulation may be inspected at the school. Parents are requested to make arrangements with the school as to when it is convenient to do so.
Careers, education and guidance, work experience
Any practical measures available are taken to introduce pupils to the world of work, i.e., to encourage self-reliance. We encourage pupils to understand industry and the economy. Steps are regularly taken to develop links with employers.
Charging and Remission Policy
The School does not charge parents for activities carried out during school times. This means that musical tuition is free, though children may have to wait until a school owned instrument becomes available.
Our school has excellent grounds and we have a large pitch and a hard court. There is a wide range of sports activities undertaken during the year where children represent the school These include swimming, rugby, cricket, netball, short tennis, rounders, gymnastics, athletics, cross-country.
Any child taking part represents the school and this is recognised as a privilege equal to academic and artistic achievement. It also fosters team spirit and the development of skills. We aim to give children of all abilities the opportunity to participate in competitive events.
In Physical Education children are expected to wear shorts, t-shirt and gym shoes (not heavy trainers). Swimming lessons are generally given to Upper Foundation Phase and Junior pupils and they will need a swimming costume and towel.
Extra-curricular activities are of vital importance to the school for several reasons. They are an essential part of the individual’s personal and educational development. Although the school serves a distinct catchment area, it aims at broadening the horizons of the pupils with visits to the theatre, cinemas and areas of special interest, Urdd activities and concerts on special occasions. When an outside visit is arranged then the school asks parents to make a voluntary contribution towards the costs. We also encourage children who participate in activities at local clubs to inform us of certificates, etc., they have been awarded. Presentations are made in school assemblies and children are complimented on achievements at clubs and societies during their leisure time. The School has strong sporting and cultural traditions.
The children are constantly encouraged to develop their cultural talents by taking part in school and community concerts.
Parents are invited to the school and are involved in the discussion of school policies, the curriculum and their children’s progress and development.
The older children take part in the National Proficiency Scheme, which is undertaken during the Summer Term.
Children enjoy visiting places and learn much from first hand experiences. We have an extensive programme of educational visits linked to different areas of the curriculum. We are not allowed to charge directly, but may request a voluntary contribution. Parents experiencing difficulty in meeting costs are always welcome to approach the Headteacher. We organise residential visits ever year. Year 6 spend a week in Pendine. This is an excellent opportunity for studies of areas of contrast. If you are in receipt of Income Support you may be entitled to financial assistance.
Children are offered the opportunity of attending live productions, but unfortunately we have to ask parents for contributions when we attend these functions.
After School Clubs
The School runs a variety of After School Clubs.
Visits are arranged for pupils so as to link up with their project/theme work. Because of the financial involvement we usually have to ask for parental contributions in order to undertake there visits.
The School and the Community
The School is an integral part of the community. We like to associate ourselves with the various activities held in the village. Local business people are always extremely kind to us in allowing us to pay educational visits to their premises and by giving us financial support.
This information if not exhaustive, but we assure you that we have your child’s welfare at heart at all times. We are anxious to work with you, in the most important task of educating your child.
The school and the home have important roles in ensuring that a child reaches his/her full potential.
If you have any problems, please do not hesitate in contacting us and we will do our utmost to solve them.