Welcome to Great Smeaton School
Welcome to our school. We are a small school that is working hard to become the very best we can be.
We aim to create a ‘caring’ community and environment, setting out to meet the needs of the children, and to encourage them to care for others, through understanding and respect, by creating a sound atmosphere in which the children feel happy and secure, and establishing links with parents and the wider community.
We encourage and highlight the key values of honesty, courage, self-esteem, self-control, truthfulness, humility, empathy, faithfulness, endurance, respect, justice, service, compassion, forgiveness, loyalty, acceptance, freedom and peace. We encourage the children to adopt values which will leave the world a better place because of what they themselves will be able to contribute.
Children are expected to do their best at all times and to take pride in the work which they produce. Good manners and good behaviour are encouraged at the school, and the children are taught to care for each other and the school.
The school aims to work towards all children experiencing real success and progress in areas of activity and learning. We provide a wide range of experiences in order to stimulate the children’s interest and imagination and fully extend the children in all abilities.
Great Smeaton School is a primary academy for children aged 4-11. It is situated in the village of Great Smeaton, half way between Northallerton and Darlington on the A167. From the front of the school there is a panoramic view over the Vale of Mowbray, stretching from the Pennines in the west to the North Yorkshire Moors in the east. Our site also includes a large playing field, playground and a children’s vegetable garden.
The school’s catchment covers the villages of Entercommon, Hornby, Girsby, Great Smeaton, and high and low Worsal, but many of our children come from outside the catchment area.
First Admission to School
Parents are welcome to make an appointment to visit the school before registering their child, but must register their child with North Yorkshire County Council before a place can be guaranteed. Pre-registration with the school however will enable forms for this purpose to be sent to you in the year before admission.
Our admission policy is that all our starters are admitted full time in September.
Before starting full time education, children are invited to attend half days in school as part of a transition phase; getting to know their teacher and future class-friends. It is hoped that this will make them feel more at home and secure in September.
Children whose 11th birthday is on or before August 31st transfer to a range of Schools across the region including Conyers ( Yarm ), Allertonshire, Hurworth, Humersknott ( Darlington ), SFX ( Richmond ). There is close liaison between the primary and secondary schools. In the Winter Term prior to transfer, forms for school preferences are completed. In the Summer Term a member of the secondary staff visits our school, children spend a day at their chosen school and in some cases parental/pupil interviews are held.
Special Educational Needs
Children with learning difficulties are given as much individual support as is possible, and teachers will work with parents to ensure that their needs are met. However, if appropriate, we will seek specialist advice and assistance in full consultation and agreement with parents.
Attendance / Absence Rates 2013 – 2014
There were 56 children on roll in the school year 2013-2014. The following attendance information is based on the number of half-day sessions children missed within the school year.
|Attendance||Authorised Absence||Unauthorised Absence|
As we are a small school, our class sizes are lower than average class sizes and are grouped into three classes of mixed year groups.
|Class 1||Years R, 1 and 2|
|Class 2||Years 3 and 4|
|Class 3||Years 5 and 6|
The School Day
|Morning 1st Session||9.00 a.m.||to||10.30 a.m.|
|Morning Playtime||10.30 a.m.||to||10.45 a.m.|
|Morning 2nd Session||10:45 a.m.||to||12:00 a.m.|
|Lunch||12.00 noon||to||12.50 p.m.|
|Afternoon 3rd Session||12.50 p.m.||to||2.10 p.m.|
|Afternoon Playtime||2:10 p.m.||to||2:20 p.m.|
|Afternoon 3rd Session||2:20 p.m.||to||3:10 p.m.|
|Assembly (Mon- Thurs)||3:10 p.m.||to||3:30 p.m.|
The Journey to School
Children living in our catchment area, who have to travel more than two miles to school, are entitled to free transport. This can be arranged with North Yorkshire Home to School Transport Department Tel: 01609 533693. A teacher and the bus driver must be informed if you wish to bring or collect a child who travels on the school bus.
It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child arrives at school safely. Children should normally arrive five to ten minutes before the start of the school day. Parents bringing children by car are encouraged to park outside the church and walk down to school to ensure children cross the main road safely.
Our school uniform, whilst optional, is encouraged to be worn at Great Smeaton, as it helps promote a sense of community cohesion, reflects a good attitude and maintains our high standards and good reputation.
Our uniform consists of:
- Royal blue sweatshirts, fleece, sweater or cardigan
- Gold polo shirt, blouse or shirt
- Grey trousers, skirt or pinafore dress
- Royal blue sweatshirts, fleece, sweater or cardigan
- Gold polo shirt, blouse or shirt
- Grey trousers, skirt or pinafore dress
- Grey shorts
- Blue and white dress
- Grey shorts
Uniform storm proof coats, bags and PE kit are also available to wear.
Orders can be placed throughout the year for uniform and includes an option to have the child’s name embroidered on it discretely, at no extra charge.
Children need to wear sensible shoes for school, and in wet weather, may bring a spare pair of indoor shoes to wear inside the school building. Children are also encouraged to bring shoes for outdoor use at playtimes and lunchtimes.
Children need to be appropriately dressed for Physical Education. All children are expected to have a bag containing:
- Royal/navy shorts and white T-shirt
- Trainers/football boots (outdoors use)
Navy jogging bottoms and navy sweatshirts may be worn due to the colder weather.
N.B. Please no club football shirts and no fashion shorts.
- One piece Swimsuit / Swimming Trunks
- Swimming cap
It is essential to mark all clothing and shoes clearly with your child’s name.
Great Smeaton School has its own kitchen and cooks school dinners on the premises every day. We pride ourselves in providing a wide variety of choices including a meat dish, fish dish and vegetarian option and uses fresh vegetables and local produce, whenever possible, every day.
An option form for the choice of menu is sent out each half-term with a vegetarian option.
School dinners are £2.20 per day and include a main meal and pudding. We require dinner money to be paid in advance and cheques should be made payable to Great Smeaton School. We encourage parents to pay through our on line arrangements or money can be paid to the school office or your child’s class teacher. It is helpful if monies are placed in an envelope marked with the child’s name, class and amount contained.
Free school meals are available to children from families in receipt of Family Income Support. If you think you are entitled to free meals, applications should be made to County Hall on form FM/B1 available from the school office.
As an alternative to school meals, children may bring a healthy packed lunch (no chocolate bars, sweets or fizzy drinks). Please ensure that lunch boxes and drink containers are labelled with your child’s name. All drinks should be in shatterproof containers.
If a child wishes to change from dinner to packed lunch or vice versa, please can you ensure we have at least one week’s notice.
The allocated time for lunchtime is 50 minutes during which the children receive a break time. Lunchtime supervision is provided by a Midday Supervisor, working in consultation with the Head Teacher.
The care, safety and welfare of children is our first concern and is the primary responsibility of each class teacher and the head teacher. The small size of our school enables the staff to form close relationships with the children. However, from time to time there may be special or distressing circumstances at home that are upsetting your child. A confidential word with the class teacher or Head Teacher will enable us to give your child the support and understanding that is needed.
To ensure good behaviour, we adopt a positive behaviour management policy. Children enjoy praise from their teacher, friends and other children in the class and school. Each week we have a ‘Star of the Week’ in each class, a star ‘Diner’ of the Week, a Head Teacher Award and a Star Reader of the Week. All children work for, and gain, House Points for their House. Their house points are also their individual merits that accumulate into Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s welfare within school, please do not hesitate to contact the child’s class teacher.
For detailed information please see the behaviour policy on the school website.
School holiday dates are published in advance each year. A copy of these dates are available at the school office or on the school’s web site. The current government does not condone children being absent from school during term time. As Head Teacher, I am not allowed to authorise any holiday requests from parents for holidays in term time. Parents can be fined for any time they take their child out of school.
Keeping in Touch
We believe that a close partnership between home and school will help your children benefit fully from their time with us. We keep in touch through weekly newsletters (which can be e-mailed), parents open evenings and written reports. Parents are always welcome to visit school at other times to discuss their child’s progress. In the event of children being taken ill or being injured at school it is essential that we are able to contact parents quickly. Please could you always make sure school has your most up to date contact details.
The school’s topic based, creative approach to learning ensures that children make relevant links in their learning and skills and knowledge are taught as far as possible through the topic. However there are times, when subjects, particularly the core ones, are taught discretely. The school’s planning for learning, is based on the New National Curriculum It has three overall aims:
- To be broad and balanced
- To cater for children’s spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development
- To prepare children for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
Three subjects form the core of the curriculum; English, Mathematics and Science. The foundation subjects are ICT, History, Geography, Technology, Music, Art and Physical Education. In addition we teach Religious Education, Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship Education(PSHCE) and a modern Foreign Language (currently French to KS2 ).
The overriding aim of the Literacy curriculum is to enable all children to develop their ability to use and understand English. To achieve this children are encouraged to:
- listen with concentration and thought, so that they are able to understand the words of others and respond to them;
- speak fluently and confidently, having the power to choose and arrange words so that they are able to express their thoughts clearly;
- read with understanding, fluency and critical appreciation, for pleasure and to extract relevant information from books;
- write legibly and coherently with regard for neat presentation, correct spelling and punctuation
- write to communicate their thoughts with accuracy, imagination and description in a style which is appropriate for the purpose and audience for which their writing is intended.
Computers with appropriate word processing and spelling programs and a range of ICT resources are used to further develop children’s writing, language and drama skills.
We have a fully functioning library to nurture a passion for books and reading.
We strive to make numeracy exciting and relevant to our children, so that they gain enjoyment and confidence. It is taught through a range of practical activities and applied across the curriculum. Our aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in four broad areas:
- using and applying number – computational skills, times tables and number bonds
- shape, space and measure
- handling data
- problem solving and logical thinking
We believe that a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all children will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. We encourage children to understand how key foundational knowledge and concepts can be used for explanation of what is occurring, prediction of how things will behave, and analysis of causes. This foundational understanding is consolidated through appreciation of specific applications in society and the economy. The science curriculum aims to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them through practical activities and investigations. This involves encouraging children to:
- become even more curious about the world, and ask relevant questions;
- to invent and carry out simple investigations to enable them to answer these questions;
- to be critical of their results and to be able to consider factors which may affect these results;
- to be able to organise and record their work clearly and logically.
- to foster respect for the world and acquire knowledge needed to make informed choices.
History and Geography
Although discrete subjects, History and Geography are closely combined in the school’s creative curriculum as key parts of our topic based approach. Elements and skills from both are incorporated to enhance children’s learning.
The geography curriculum is concerned with the study of landscape features, the location of places and people, climate and the environment in which people live.
Outdoor studies of the local environment provide rich sources of information to be collected and processed. It is through practical investigations of this type that children acquire appropriate geographical knowledge, including map reading skills. The understanding and knowledge gained can then be increasingly applied to peoples and places further afield in the world.
This subject is closely linked with science, mathematics and art. Children are encouraged to draw on their knowledge and skills gained in these areas to support their designing and making activities.
Music is a practical subject. The curriculum engages children to sing, compose and use percussion instruments in order to develop their creative skills. Through active listening, awareness and understanding of different periods, styles and genres are developed.
Extra curricular opportunities in music are also available for the children..
Our aim is to develop the children’s creative abilities and awareness through working with a range of materials including paint, clay, fabric and drawing media.
Children are given the opportunity to develop their art skills through specialist lessons and activities. An Art Club gives children the opportunity to further develop, and use, a wide range of skills. Some of the children’s creations are brought home for you to enjoy, whilst others are displayed in school.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT plays an important role in the school’s cross curricular approach. The school is equipped with a range of computers, laptops, interactive whiteboards, scanners and cameras. The use of computers is planned for in all subjects Children make use of ICT to create pictures, word process, draw graphics, create films, prepare presentations, find information, control events and to support them in specific personalised learning tasks e.g. learning times tables and number bonds.
Physical Education is complementary to the other aspects of the curriculum. We aim to develop children’s agility and physical co-ordination
We participate regularly in inter-school competitions with a good level of success. Our annual Sports Day is held towards the end of the Summer Term.
Children have the opportunity to go swimming throughout the year at the Hambleton Leisure Centre in Northallerton.
The school, whilst not affiliated to any particular religious denomination, has close links with the local parish church, St. Eloy’s. We are fortunate to be able to use the Church for the Harvest Festival, Christmas Concert and Carol Service.
An assembly is held each day and Reverend David Lewis from St. Eloy’s joins us regularly to take assemblies.
Modern Foreign Language
French is taught to all the children. They begin with ‘Dinocrocs’. This has been specially written for early language acquisition and enables the children to be fully immersed in the language as they enter a magic world. Throughout Key Stage 2 children are taught following the Catherine Cheater scheme of work .
Sex and Relationships Education
Education about relationships goes on from the earliest years as children learn about friendships and how to be a good friend. This develops as they get older into considerations of peer pressure and resisting bad influences.
When questions about sexual matters arise they are dealt with appropriately for the age of the pupil in such a manner as to encourage children to have regard to moral considerations and the values of family life.
The school nurse visits to speak to Yr5/6 children about growing up and the physical and other changes of puberty. Parents are given details of this talk and encouraged to follow it up with a further discussion at home. Parents are able to request that their child is withdrawn from the nurse’s sessions, or are free to join their child at the session.
All children are expected to do some work at home. This may involve bringing a book home to read, finding information, completing a piece of work etc. Naturally the nature of the homework will vary in accordance with the child’s age and ability. The school’s homework policy is available on the website. If you find that your child is struggling with homework, please discuss this with the class teacher, as this is never intentional.
Friends Of Great Smeaton (FROGS)
The school has an active and flourishing P. T. A. known as the Friends Of Great Smeaton. (FROGS), which organises a mixture of educational, social and fund raising activities. We are always grateful for the support of the association, which has provided equipment, and resources we would otherwise not have enjoyed.
There is an elected committee of parents who work to organise events for adults and for the children. A new committee is elected by ballot at the A. G. M., which is usually held in the Summer Term.
The current officers of the association are:
|Chair||–||Mrs Kate Rayfield|
|The Team||–||Mrs B Greenwood|
They can always be contacted through the school office, if you have any suggestions or would like to get involved in their work.
We are fortunate in having a number of parents, grandparents and friends who come into school on a regular basis to share their special talents with the children. Activities include painting, cookery, sport and, of course, reading with children.
If you are willing to become involved please see your child’s Class Teacher or Mrs Greenwood, the Head Teacher. In the interest of security, parents are requested to wear a badge and sign the Visitors’ Book when they help in school.
Health and Safety
Great Smeaton School is committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all children in school. All schools follow approved Local Authority Child Protection procedures. The school will, in the vast majority of circumstances, endeavour to discuss concerns about their children with the child’s parents. However, there may be exceptional circumstances when the first port of call for the school must be Social Services and/or the Police, (in accordance with Child Protection procedures). The school will, of course, always aim to maintain a positive relationship with parents.
All children in school are examined by the County medical and dental service. You are entitled to be present at medical examinations and will be informed when they are taking place. All new entrants are given a hearing and vision examination during their first year at school. Further tests take place at the beginning of KS2 and shortly before transfer to secondary school.
Absence from school
Please notify the school as soon as possible if your child will be absent and send a letter when they return to school. Please understand that if you do not call the school to report your child absent we are obliged to contact you to ensure that your child is safely in your care.
If it is essential that a child takes medicine during the school day, our first preference is that you come into school to administer it. 0Where this is not possible, the medicine must be labelled and accompanied by written instructions. Staff will not be able to administer medicine unless a completed permission form giving details of dosage, frequency and the name of the prescribing doctor has been lodged with the school.
Where a child needs an inhaler it should be given to the child’s teacher and be labelled with the child’s name and the correct dose. Parents of older children who carry their own inhalers must inform the teacher that an inhaler is needed. Could parents also make sure that there is a spare inhaler in school for use if the main one is lost or damaged, and make sure that the inhaler is not out of date or empty! Thanks.
The information in this brochure was correct at the time of publication but because of its nature is subject to change.
Please contact the school office if you wish this information in another form and we will do what we can to help you.