We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Bourton-on-the-Water Primary Academy, a happy, caring school, well established within the community, where high standards are expected and a firm foundation is developed to support your child’s future learning.
Children coming to our school bring a variety of experiences and knowledge about the world. We see our job as fostering these core attributes into an enjoyment of learning. We have high expectations of our pupils and have worked hard to create an environment that is calm and happy.
This prospectus gives you a feel of the School and what we are about but the best way to get to know us is to visit, so I look forward to showing you around. Please contact Miss Cheryl Agg our Operations Manager 01451 820458 to arrange an appointment.
At Bourton on the Water Primary Academy we CARE.
- Challenge – we challenge ourselves and show determination to improve and succeed
- Amaze – we amaze ourselves and others by celebrating our achievements and those in our community
- Respect – we show respect by looking after ourselves, each other and our community
- Enjoy – we enjoy school so that we achieve our potential and gain the skills for life
Our aims are:
- To create a happy school environment in which each child will feel he/she has a place and purpose and will develop a willingness to learn.
- To help children understand that courtesy, good manners and consideration for others are very important values.
- To ensure that each child begins to acquire worthwhile attitudes, values and beliefs.
- To encourage appreciation of life through music, drama and creative arts.
- To help all children acquire knowledge, skills and practical abilities and the will to use these well.
- To ensure a command for spoken and written English and so the ability to communicate fluently with other people.
- To develop a knowledge and understanding of numeracy within the framework of the National Numeracy Strategy.
- To develop and apply the skills of Information technology.
- To awaken scientific curiosity, environmental interest and technical skills.
- To develop an awareness and appreciation of our local and national heritage through historical, geographical and religious studies.
- To provide for involvement in and enjoyment of a range of physical activities.
- To establish a purposeful environment within which school staff, Governors and parents can work together for the benefit of the children in the successful achievement of these aims.
- To engage Parents about their children’s learning through regular consultation and information evenings.
Bourton-on-the-Water is appropriately called the Venice of The Cotswolds and is situated in an idyllic spot in the Valley of the River Windrush. The Primary School stands close to the centre of the village, almost next to St Lawrence Church and virtually adjacent to The Cotswold School.
Over the last 6 years the school has grown from a 1.25 FTE to a 1.5 FTE with 285 pupils currently on roll. Historically, our pupil numbers have varied across on year groups. We endeavour to keep all our classes under 30 to ensure a Teacher and Teaching Assistant ratio of 1 adult to 15 pupils in every teaching group.
The school dates from 1902 but the vast majority of the buildings were built in 1997. The school consists of 11 classes, a pre-school, a Hall and a Nurture Hub. There are separate playgrounds for the Infant and Junior pupils. Hot meals are provided every day and are cooked on site.
Learning Beliefs at Bourton on the Water Academy
Children learn best when they are happy, safe and secure. Learning is the key plank and the Foundation keystone upon which this Academy is built. Learning involves knowing a series of key facts and key skills but more importantly it is about how our children use these skills and facts in ‘real’ events and contexts. For us it is about generating links between facts and skills and enabling children to derive new facts and skills by extending what they already know.
At Bourton on the Water Academy learning builds upon a wide range of key skills, these are set out in phases as part of our School Intent Document 2022:
- Foundation Stage - For pupils in our Reception Class
- Phase 1 – also known as Key Stage 1 – which is for children in Year 1 and 2;
- Phase 2 – Lower Key Stage 2 and made up of children in Year 3 and 4; and
- Phase 3 - Upper key Stage 2 – which is made up of children in Year 5 and 6
The skills and knowledge identified in this document were created by School Subject Leaders and is based on the National Curriculum Documentation prepared by the Department for Education. At the end of each phase a number of expectations are set and children are benchmarked against these each year. We have also tried to include application into our skills grids as this is the driver to widening learning and nurturing intelligence.
Teachers plan lessons to impart these key skills and knowledge and details about our planning systems can be found in our Planning Statement. In order to generate links between the various subject areas, staff create a context upon which subjects can be taught.
Teachers try to keep these links as strong as possible and refrain from disingenuous linking. It is through these contexts that we endeavour to provide wide-ranging and interesting opportunities for the children to experience.
Planning is meaningless unless it reflects children’s knowledge or more importantly the gaps in their knowledge so all plans are created but are expected to be changed regularly based on the performance of children. Our belief is that there is no point planning to teach the 2x table to somebody who already knows it. To that end Teachers may well move between phases in planning the learning journey for pupils.
Implementation of these plans - is called Teaching - the actual business of giving children the new skill of concept.
The Teaching Statement identifies a number of specific practices that we expect to see within a lesson. Much of this is based on the research of psycologists including Dr Dylan William. Staff spend many hours discussing and revising these practices. Amaze days and Open days for Parents are used to highlight the contexts and to begin topics with a bang!
At the end of a lesson, the performance of the children against the planned outcomes for the lesson are judged and feedback used to plan future lessons. We call this assessment and our statement on Assessment outlines a number of practices. Many people believe that assessment is testing but this is only part of the process. By observing pupils at work, listening to their explanations and by checking work, Teachers are able to get both diagnostic and benchmarking information about children that then goes on to inform future planning and, where required, strategies for intervention and support. In instances where children are making slower progress than we expect or against a national benchmark, Teachers identify provisions to support them to make more rapid progress. At the end of Year 2 and Year 6 pupils are assessed against National Expectations. In the other year groups we have created our own system of tracking. The SEN Policy (Special Educational Needs) outlines these provisions and the role of the Special Needs Team in running these interventions. Early Help and partnership work with Parents under our Local Offer are key to the intervention processes.
In order to enthuse our children and to maintain motivation, a number of trips and ‘AMAZE’ days are held. Both in school and when out on trips, high levels of behaviour are expected. Children often set up class rules and have been involved in discussion the sanctions and rewards that appear in the Behaviour Policy. Behaviour in class is something that we are very proud of and disruption is uncommon. Sadly, we accept that bullying exists in our school and take its presence very seriously. The Behaviour Policy includes a statement on bullying and sets out procedures for dealing with this.
In order to benchmark our curriculum provision against the norm, subject leaders have been appointed. Each subject leader scrutinises planning and the work of pupils to ensure the curriculum is applied and the progress of pupils monitored. This is not done to the detailed extent of Reading, Writing and Maths but is checked against age related expectations. Each subject has a Policy Document that sets out key features of that subject and how the school places value on the whole child rather than just the literate and numerate one.
Relationship Beliefs at Bourton on the Water Academy
Children learn best when they are happy, safe and secure. Similarly, Staff performs best when they are trusted, respected, well-informed and professionally developed. Furthermore, Parents are supportive when they are involved in their children’s education and know that their children are protected and treated correctly. Therefore, a second key stone on which the Academy, is built is around how people are treated and supported. The relationships that are built must be based on mutual respect and trust.
A Safeguarding Policy, sets out the role for staff and parents to keep children safe. This policy remains live throughout the year and maybe edited or changed following reviews, both internal and external, of procedures and changing situations. A Governor is elected to oversee this policy and regularly reviews and audits these procedures to ensure the safety of the children remains at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Along with a Health and Safety policy, Equality statements and a policy on Acceptable Use of Technology, the aim is to make sure all children and staff are kept safe, free from discrimination and made to feel secure whilst at School. Alongside policy guidelines for Sex and Relationships, Drug Education and a comprehensive Personal, Social, Health (PSHCE) curriculum, including a focus on e-safety (using technology safely), working with the local police and welfare teams, the Academy sees a wider remit for itself in supporting children and families. To that end support from a parental support adviser who works with families and signposts other external support and a Thrive and Playworker on site, are seen as vital cogs in developing secure environments. ,
The Academy values its staff at all level and endeavours to continually improve the services that they provide. This is backed up by a comprehensive performance and appraisal system for Teachers and Teaching Assistants. The Performance Management policy sets out clearly the process upon which professionalism is heightened. This includes a section on capability procedures, should it become necessary to support a member of staff is failing to meet the needs of pupils. A Code of Conduct document sets out a series of non-negotiable behaviours for staff and governors to adhere to. Furthermore, the Academy acknowledges that Teaching is a profession and, to that end, values high quality professional development for all staff engaging with pupils.
The drive for self-improvement is a trait, we wish to instil in all our stakeholders. As a result, all staff have access to opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD) and dialogue between staff and the Leadership team with regard to growing greater and greater competence is seen as a vital role for the Headteacher and the Senior managers.
Growing amounts of information about pupils and parents are kept at the school. In order to ensure this information is kept safe a number of security systems and policy documents are in place. These are regularly reviewed and include, Data Protection policy, Confidentiality policy and a Privacy notice. We hope that Parents and staff alike will feel secure in the knowledge that strict application of these policies is adhered to and regularly monitored by the governing body.
Of course from time to time errors and mistakes will occur. We are all human and must accept this premise. We hope that the relationship between staff, parents and governors is strong enough for informal resolution. However, should it be necessary, both the Complaints policy (for Parents) and Grievance policy (for staff) set out procedures to be applied in those instances where informal resolution has failed.
The relationship that the Academy has with Parents, is a vital one. Pupils are at school, for only a quarter of the day, and we need to use parents as co-educators. We regularly invite parents into school for formal visits with Teachers, to attend a class assembly, to see what their children have been up to and to listen to presentations by class teachers and the Headteacher. A newsletter goes out every fortnight, alternating with a message from the Headteacher. A half-term sports bulletin goes out and other notices both in hard copy and electronic formats are sent out. Formal reports about children’s progress go out in February and July. More informal discussions are encouraged and staff are always available to make appointments.
Security of resources, ensuring high quality and relevance is vital in order to keep the Academy as a thriving institution. Financial security is key to all support and provision. A number of policies are in place to ensure that funding is spent appropriately, and that financial security is assured. The Finance Policy, Pay Policy, Lettings policy and Expenses Policy are all in place and the Academy employs auditors to ensure that these policies and the procedures within them comply with Government legislation.