Introduction to Fern Hill
Fern Hill is a community school which was established in 1994 in response to a shortfall of places in the Royal Borough of Kingston. For three years we worked in porta cabins while the new school was being built. Now the school is housed in an attractive purpose built building. We are a three form entry primary school with a 52 place nursery. We have a large hall, a small hall, extensive Library, Music & Drama room, Art room, Special Needs base, and an IT curriculum base with 30 computers. All the computers are networked and have access to the Internet. We have our own school kitchen which cooks delicious lunches from fresh.
The design of the school includes extensive security measures to ensure the safety of the children whilst they are at school. There are three separate play spaces – one each for the Nursery, Infants and Juniors. The building also provides facilities for the disabled by incorporating wide doors and corridors, specialist toilet facilities and lift facilities.
There is an outside environmental area, which has been developed by the parents, staff and children which includes a pond and a 'secret garden' with a plot for each group. Salad and vegetables grown by the children are used in our kitchen for the children's meals.
There is flexible ability grouping within each class and opportunities for focused teaching across year groups.
The school has its own nursery. This provides places for 26 children in the morning and 26 children in the afternoon. The nursery encourages early learning in partnership with parents. A wide and balanced programme of activities is provided to encourage children to learn and to introduce them to the Foundation Stage curriculum. We aim to give them first hand experiences of language and thinking skills, awareness of number and a wide range of physical and creative activities. The children are encouraged to develop relationships with each other and adults in the school community, and to make links with the reception classes.
Aims of Fern Hill School
Life of the School
Our school is a place where everyone (parents, children, staff) will experience:-
a welcome, politeness and a smile
individual differences being valued
an attractive, secure learning environment with high expectations of behaviour and respect for the school rules
good, clear communication
involvement, partnership and teamwork
a sense of identity and a pride in the school
a concern for, and partnership with the local community
reflective and progressive practice
celebration of success
being valued for themselves and for what they do, increasing confidence and self-respect
a variety of approaches utilised to ensure equal opportunities for all
TEACHING AND LEARNING
In our teaching we aim to
We aim to promote learning by
An accessibility audit has been carried out and we are pleased to be able to say that our facilities are good in the way they provide for people with a variety of disabilities. We plan to ensure that our building remains as accessible as possible to all users. The school has an accessibility plan which is monitored by the governors and they constantly seek to ensure our building is as user friendly as possible.
Communication (between home and school)
We encourage an open door policy. Teachers are available to speak to parents after school each day on any issue, no matter how small. Appointments can be made if you would like a longer meeting. Please don’t hesitate to talk to us if you are worried about any aspect of your child’s development or well being.
The School Curriculum
At Fern Hill we follow the requirements of the National Curriculum. This helps us to provide a balanced and appropriately challenging education for all children.
In our school we aim to deliver the National Curriculum in a way that will promote the moral, cultural, mental and physical development of the children, in order to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of Secondary school and adult life.
All pupils from the age of five are taught the core curriculum subjects English, Mathematics and Science, as well as the foundation subjects History and Geography, Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education, Information Communication Technology, MFL(French) together with Religious Education and Sex Education.
The school has no affiliations with any particular religious denomination. RE is taught as a curriculum subject throughout the school in accordance with the agreed syllabus. Parents do have a right to withdraw their child from either RE or School Assemblies. Arrangements can be made for pupils whose parents wish to take up this option. RE is often related to other subject or topic areas and in this way we aim to develop in pupils a reasoned set of attitudes, values and beliefs so they will learn to make sound moral judgements of their own.
We aim to celebrate the successes and promote self-esteem in all children.
Equal Opportunities Policy
Celebrating our differences
At Fern Hill we are committed to equal opportunities for all.
We firmly believe that every child has the right to achieve his or her full potential, regardless of their gender, race, language, physical ability, special educational needs or socio-economic background.
We ensure that every child has equal access to all areas of school life and full entitlement to the curriculum. It is our aim to positively promote equality of opportunity for all children in our school.
We will value all members of our school community, whatever their cultural background/family origin.
English as an additional language (EAL)
All children are equal members of our school community. The school seeks to ensure that all English as Additional Language speakers are integrated as fully as possible into the school curriculum and into the life of the school. In turn, the school seeks to ensure that all pupils’ languages and cultural backgrounds are reflected in the school environment, the school curriculum and many school activities.
Our emphasis in Sex Education is on the development of relationships within the family and community, based on love, trust, understanding and respect. Parents will be involved and given more information about the programme. We hope they will use the occasion to talk to their children about these issues.
The Governors have a comprehensive policy for special educational needs which is available on request from the school office. This policy was successfully implemented last year and there have been no significant changes since the last governors’ annual report. At Fern Hill we are committed to following the DfES Code of Practice for children with special educational needs.
The welfare and educational progress of all children in our school is of paramount importance. If a child develops significant behavioural difficulties, parents will be notified early on, joint discussions held, and agreed strategies implemented. In extreme circumstances, a child could be excluded from part or all of the school day.
ETHOS AND VALUES OF THE SCHOOL
At Fern Hill Primary we follow the Diamond Rules which fit with our 6Rs
Do make the right choices
Do be helpful
Do work hard
Do look after property
Do listen to people and be kind and gentle
Do be honest
We want Fern Hill Primary School to be a place where everyone can feel safe. The children’s welfare is a priority and all staff will work together to support children who lack confidence or need additional support in any way. We have a full time Social Skills Assistant on our staff who works with individuals, small groups and mediates in the playgrounds.
This meets every term and is made up of two representatives from each class who have been selected by their peers. It is their task to raise current issues and put forward ideas. The council feeds back any findings and decisions to the rest of the school and the notes of the meeting are posted around the school.
We offer a wide variety of after school clubs from Art, Football, Computer, Karate, etc. They vary from term to term and are run by staff at the school and instructors or teachers who are experts in their fields. Places at the clubs are offered as fairly as possible. A charge is made to cover the costs incurred and to contribute to our school fund, which is used to buy extra equipment for the children.
School visits – charging policy
To enhance pupils’ education and awareness of the environment, various day trips are organised throughout the year. The policy of the school Governors is to ask for voluntary contributions. We do not wish any child to be excluded from such important activities on financial grounds, and if there is any difficulty, parents are asked to contact the class teacher or head teacher.
Our aim is to make the change from home to school as smooth as possible. New children are invited to visit the school, with their parents. At Nursery and Reception stage they are given the opportunity to meet their teachers and play in their classroom. Parents are, of course, welcome to talk to the teachers at any time and we welcome any suggestions you may have as to how we can improve our practice.
At the end of each half term children who have attended school every day are awarded a certificate and an increasing number of children are awarded a special medal from the mayor for 100% attendance during the whole school year.
Parents are responsible for ensuring that their child attends school. It is also important that children are in school on time and ready for school.
Absence will not be authorised by the school. Where poor attendance becomes a problem the Education Welfare Service will become involved at an early stage. Valid reasons for absence include: illness, medical and dental appointments, days of religious observance. The school is required to present figures for unauthorised absences.
Printable copy of the Brochure below.