Originally there were two first schools in this local area, one in Kilmington and one in Zeals. Following a local review in 2003, the two first schools were amalgamated into one primary school although both sites were retained with Kilmington becoming the centre for Infants and Zeals the centre forJuniors.
On 1st December 2013 the school become part of the Diocese of Salisbury Academy Trust (DSAT) and was renamed Whitesheet Church of England Primary Academy. The Academy is unique in that it still retains the two centres.
The academy has an experienced headteacher, Karen Brooker, who has been in this post since September 2013. Karen Brooker is a Local Leader in Education.
Whitesheet Church of England Primary Academy has a rigorous process of recruitment to ensure that only outstanding staff are appointed. The team work extremely closely together with a good balance of challenge and support for each other. As a small academy we monitor each other carefully and evaluate and review all that we do to ensure rapid progress not just for cohorts or groups of children but for every child as an individual. However, we also make sure that the academic side is balanced with the children having fun, being creative, enjoying their learning and having a wonderful time.
As a Church of England Academy there is a responsibility to ensure that Christian and British Values are reflected on a day to day basis. The Academy makes sure that every child is challenged so that they always do their best morally, socially and academically.
Five Core Values
Our vision ‘Climbing to New Heights Together’ is underpinned by five core values which are embedded in the life of the Academy
Any family can apply to become part of our Academy. Most of our children come from the villages of Maiden Bradley, Kilmington, Stourton and Zeals. However children attend from a variety of towns and villages that are in Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset.
Visits to the Academy are always welcome
We encourage any family considering a new school/academy for their child/children to come and visit us. Everyone is made very welcome and we are always pleased to show you around our two centres. Please see the contact details on the cover of this handbook.
The Academy is organised across two centres.
The Infant Centre is in the village of Kilmington. This centre caters for children in reception, year one and year two.
This centre has two classrooms, a hall, library, kitchen, playground, early years outside area, a large field and a garden.
Senior Teacher: Aimee Brown
Teaching Assistants: Jackie Naylor, Marian Paxton,
The Junior Centre is in the village of Zeals. This Centre caters for children in years three, four, five and six. The children are taught in year groups or mixed groups as appropriate.
The Centre has two classrooms, an art area, group room, large hall, large library and a computing suite. Outside there is an activity area, playground, grassed area, garden and swimming pool.
Teachers: Karen Brooker, Mel Vincen
Teaching Assistants:Anne Monger, Vena Page, Nina Thomas, Suzy Pilbrow
The Academy is lucky to have the services of two specialist teachers.
Art: Anne Monger
Music and individual instrument tuition: Jenny Lucas
The main office is at the Junior Centre
Finance: Mary MacDonald
The Infant Centre has a large kitchen so that the Academy can provide nutritious hot meals for all the children. These are currently available for £2.30 per day for the Junior children. The children attending the Infant Centre are entitled to free meals and we encourage the children to take up this offer. Junior Children may opt for a hot meal or a packed lunch. The children have a choice of meals, one being a vegetarian option.
Cook: Deborah Love
Catering Assistants: Tessa Waltham (Infants) Debra Love (Juniors)
Supervisory Assistants: Marian Paxton and Jackie Naylor (Infants) Vena Page, Mary MacDonald (Juniors)
Everybody at Whitesheet Church of England Primary Academy is treated with dignity and respect. There is a comprehensive Equal Opportunity and Racial Equality Policy which is available from the office or on our website. We provide equality of education and opportunity for all children to learn and make progress irrespective of their age, gender, ethnicity, culture, attainment, special needs or competence in English.
The Local Governing Board
This is a body of people, who are, in partnership with the professional staff, accountable for the whole life of the Academy. They support and challenge the Academy in order to provide the best possible education for each child.
Chair: Lesley Bennett
Vice Chair: John Wigg
Other Members:Margaret Martin, Elizabeth Haimes, Chris Reeves, Aimee Brown, Vicky Standing
Ruth Hayes, Karen Booker (Headteacher)
Clerk to Board Iain McVie
You are welcome to contact the chair via the Academy office.
We believe that our curriculum is exciting and creative but still enables the children to learn within the National Curriculum and beyond. Our Curriculum and Teaching and Learning Policies are available to read on the website. We ensure that English and Mathematics are a priority and are taught separately as well as through other subject areas. We do use a two year rolling programme for most subjects other than English and Mathematics. However, we like to create an exciting and engaging curriculum that follows the interests of the children. The skill of our staff is to ensure that we follow the children’s ideas for topics but at the same time draw in the areas from the rolling programme. This means that the rolling programme is flexible. These rolling programmes are included on our website.
Reception – also known as foundation stage two
In reception the children follow the foundation stage curriculum. This organises the children’s learning in the following way:
Children in year one to year six learn through the full range of subjects
English and Mathematics
The Academy follows the government guidelines for English and mathematics to ensure progression of skills, knowledge and understanding. These subjects are taught every morning. Where possible we link texts in English to the topics so that several subjects are taught at one time. In addition we make sure that the standards in English are maintained throughout all other subjects
The Academy follows a programme called Letters and Sounds in order to teach phonics. This is a very interactive programme that teaches children the sounds of the letters as well as how to blend the letters together to read words. The programme also teaches the children to read tricky words, sometimes known as high frequency words. The tricky words are words that cannot be sounded out, for example, the.
We link the teaching of phonics and tricky words with handwriting. We use the cursive script with all letters starting from the line. The children are taught to join letters as soon as possible. This script enables the children to make faster progress in writing and in learning patterns of letter sounds.
Once the children have settled into the Academy and are making progress with the Letters and Sounds programme the children start to take home a reading book. The first few books have pictures that allow children to retell the story. The books then progress from simple words to sentences. The children start to read using the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme. This is in place throughout the Academy but we supplement this by other interesting books from other schemes.
If your child needs extra help in these curriculum areas they may benefit from an intervention programme. This is organised and monitored by Karen Brooker (Headteacher and Special Educational Need Leader)
We think it is essential that the children are excited about their learning and we follow the children’s interests by incorporating them into topics. In this way the children are motivated to learn at home and within the Academy. We ensure that all subjects are taught within the topics and track each subject carefully to make sure that all aspects of the subjects are taught over the course of a year. Examples of our recent topics are 1960’s, transport, pirates, castles, fairy tales, Romans, Eygptians, dinosaurs, toys and families.
Kestrels all dressed up for the 1960s disco. Beware of the Pirates!
The Academy is well resourced for technology but we recognise that we need to keep up with new developments and as such we are always updating our equipment. The Junior Centre at Zeals has a dedicated computer suite as well as class laptops, ipads, visualizers and whiteboards. At the Infant Centre there are laptops, a visualise, ipads and whiteboards
Physical Education includes outdoor ball games (rugby, hockey, football, netball, handball), field games (cricket, rounders), gymnastics, dance and swimming. All children have the opportunity to have swimming lessons in our outdoor, heated pool during the Summer months and sometimes in the Autumn (weather permitting). Along with other academies and schools we are in receipt of extra funding for this area of the curriculum and have used this money to link with an area sports co-ordinator who signposts us to training for staff and a wide range of sporting opportunities for our children. We have also used this money to purchase equipment and to engage sports coaches.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
Religious Education is taught separately and the Academy follows the syllabus prepared by the Wiltshire’s Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education.
As a Church of England Academy, our daily acts of worship are of a Christian nature but are designed to be inclusive of all faiths. Parents or carers who wish to exercise their legal right to withdraw their child from Religious Education or from any act of Collective Worship must put this in writing to the Principal.
Each week we hold a Celebration Worship at both centres to which parents are invited to attend
Infant Centre Kilmington Monday 9.10a.m.
Junior Centre Zeals: Friday 2.45p.m.
Once a term all the children will be at the Junior Centre for Celebration Worship
Personal, Social, Health, Emotional and Economic Education
These areas are incorporated into all aspects of the broader curriculum. Sex Education takes place in year six. Parents/carers will get a detailed breakdown of the programme and will be given the opportunity to view any materials that are used. Parents/Carers may withdraw their child from this element of the curriculum if they wish to do so.
Additional Curricular Opportunities
Activities outside the curriculum or outside school hours are very important and we try to provide a broad range of activities. Children will get an opportunity to spend time away from the school on a residential experience. This will happen twice during their time at the Junior Centre. In addition we offer a wide range of clubs which are subject to change from term to term. These clubs may include, fitness, choir, journalism, drawing, karate, football, cooking, gardening, Imagineering, gym and drama.
Whole Academy Days
Children enjoy learning together and special days are held where all the children get together at one centre. This may be for a themed day, to see a visitor or performance or other special occasions.
Christmas Craft Day
All children are expected to attend the Academy all the time, except for periods of illness. By law holidays will only be authorised for exceptional circumstances so please do not book any holidays in term time. Absences do make a difference to the rate of progress of your child’s learning. However if you feel that the absence is for exceptional circumstances then please ask Mary MacDonald for a form.
First thing in the morning
Infant Centre, Kilmington
Breakfast club is available from 8.20a.m. (£1.00 per session)
The infants arrive between 8.45a.m. and 8.55a.m. and enjoy meeting their friends and having a run around in the playground. There is always a member of staff on duty at this time. Any messages for teaching or office staff can be written into the home-link book. Your child will line up with their friends ready for their learning. If your child is upset at leaving you then please give them a quick hug, followed by a smile and a reassurance about the time that you will pick them up. Most children have usually recovered by the time they get to the classroom and start having a wonderful time.
Junior Centre, Zeals
The side gate at the centre will be opened at 8.40a.m. The children are expected to enter the Academy independently. They will have time for a quick chat with their friends and then they will go into the building and prepare themselves for learning.
End of the afternoon
Infant Centre, Kilmington 3.10p.m.
Please wait by the outdoor play area. The staff will bring the children to you.
Junior Centre, Zeals 3.25p.m.
The side gate will be opened just before the end of the afternoon. Please walk to the rear of the building where the children will be handed over to you.
If children are going home on the bus from either centre, they will be well supervised, and a register will be taken as the staff put them onto the bus. The children will be dropped off at regular stops but the times are approximate as they are dependent on traffic. Please ensure they are met at their designated stop.
Arriving or Collecting at Other Times
If your child is brought to the Academy or collected at any other time of the day then please make sure that you come to the front of the centre and sign your child in or out in the appropriate book.
Difficulty in Collecting your Child
When you register your child at our Academy you will be asked for details of another adult who would be able to collect your child in an emergency.
However, if this adult is not available, and you know in advance that you are going to have difficulty in collecting your child, please write to the Academy giving details of the day and the person who will be collecting. This can be written in the home link book. If there is an emergency during the course of the day then please telephone the academy and give as many details as possible. The staff will ensure that your child is aware of the change.
If your child is ill then please telephone the Academy between 8.30a.m – 9.00a.m. If your child is suffering from an infectious illness, please be guided by your doctor regarding your child’s return to the Academy. If they have suffered from sickness or diarrhoea, please allow 48 hours from the last bout of illness before your child returns. This also applies if your child has a contagious skin infection.
If your child is taken ill while they are attending our Academy they will be assessed by the class teacher or first aider. You will be contacted and asked to collect your child. If you are not available then the named emergency contact will be telephoned.
In an emergency an ambulance will be called. The Academy will contact you to assess where you are and whether you can get to the Academy in time to accompany your child. If this is not possible a member of staff will go in the ambulance with your child.
Children on regular medication may have this medication administered by a trained member of staff. However, your child will not be given non-prescription drugs by Academy staff. For prescribed medicines we ask that you come into the Academy to administer the medicine to your child. This policy will be reviewed for each individual child.
The Academy has high standards in terms of the appearance of the children, attendance and behaviour and no doubt by selecting us for your child’s education, you too support these high standards. It is important that you follow our expectations in terms of getting your child to one of our Centres on time and ensuring that your child is smart and wearing the correct uniform. We also expect you to respect other children, parents, and staff. It is important that you support our behaviour policy and this can be viewed on our website or can be obtained through the office.
Liaison with School
We firmly believe that we are in partnership with you and will keep you informed about your child’s progress. If you want to talk to a teacher then please let the adult on duty know or write the request in the home-link book. An appointment will be made for you as soon as possible. Alternatively telephone Jamie Hurst in the office and she will liaise with the class teacher on your behalf. Parent consultations are held twice a year and in addition you will receive an annual written report with the option of another meeting with the teacher.
Your child will have homework and it is expected that you will support your child in their learning. This consists of reading for our youngest children and by the time they are in year one this will also include spellings. Mathematics homework may also be given on a regular basis and this will include times tables. The children have a learning journal and are encouraged to use this as a learning diary or to prepare for their learning during the week.
Invitation to become involved in the Academy
We would love you to become involved with our academy and you can do this in many ways. You could become a classroom helper which will involve hearing reading, supporting groups with their learning or even, if you prefer, to help with administrative tasks such as photocopying. At times, particularly when all the children are together at one centre, we do ask for additional help. You may feel that you have a particular talent that you can share with the children. Please do let us know.
The Academy is well supported by the Friends group. This group gets together to plan social and fundraising events and they are always looking for an extra pair of hands. You will be made very welcome.
Each Centre takes it in turn to invite parents, carers and relatives to eat with them during a lunchtime. This is a lovely occasion and details will be sent home in a newsletter
If parents/carers have a complaint to make in respect of the curriculum or any aspect of Academy life please try to resolve the problem by talking to the class teacher. If this approach fails parents should then contact the Principal. Should the situation still not be resolved then the complaint should be sent, in writing, to the chair person of the Local Advisory Board. This can be done via the office.
A document relating to the full complaints procedure may be obtained from the Academy office.
Uniform – PLEASE ENSURE THAT ALL CLOTHING IS NAMED
All children are expected to wear their uniform and to take pride in their appearance.
Kit should be kept in school during the week and taken home at weekends for washing
Jewellery and make up are not needed and should not be worn. Small stud earring could be worn but must be removed for Physical Education. The same applies to watches. The Academy cannot be responsible if jewellery is lost.
All long hair should be tied back as soon as it is at a length to do so. Long fringes must be clipped back from the face. Hair bands and hair ties should be in Academy colours.
During the Winter please provide the junior children with sturdy outdoor boots or shoes plus old trousers should they wish to play football on the grass. They will also need a pair of old Wellington boots for Learning Without Walls.
It is becoming increasingly expensive to arrange visits for the children although we know how valuable these trips are to the children’s enjoyment of their learning and in increasing their knowledge and skills. The large proportion of the cost is usually due to the minibus or coach charges. We like to try to arrange a visit linked to a topic and we do ask parents/carers for voluntary contributions for these journeys. It may also be necessary for you to collect your child from some events.
The juniors went to the Abbey museum in Shaftesbury. They had a fantastic time dressing up.
The whole academy went to Longleat to meet the penguins. The follow up art work was stunning.
We offer residential experiences to children of Junior age. The residential experiences are expensive but they do cover the transport, overnight accommodation, food and all the activities that the children undertake during their time away from home. A letter will be sent home with these costs and opportunities to pay over a period of time will be offered to all parents. The activities are great fun and in the children’s words are ‘awesome’.
Jenny Lucas teaches music throughout the Academy and also leads our choir. Jenny also offers private individual or group music tuition for which she charges for each session. This money is directly payable to Jenny Lucas
Some of our clubs run by our staff are free or we ask for a nominal charge to cover materials. However, in order to offer a wide range of clubs we invite outside providers to run sessions and therefore they do charge for their services. An example of this is the football club. The Academy always makes sure that these providers are checked to ensure that they can work with children, that they have the relevant qualifications and that the sessions are of a high quality.
Our hot meals are £2.30 each for Juniors. The Infants are entitled to a free hot lunch.
If you think your child might qualify for free school meals then please talk, in confidence, to Mary MacDonald in the Academy office. If you are finding it difficult to pay for an activity then please let Mary MacDonald know as soon as possible.
We actively encourage you to apply for free school meals, even if your child is of Infant age, as this does bring the Academy extra funding which helps to provide support for your child.
Payments to School
Please put all payments into a sealed envelope. On the front of the envelope write your child’s name, the amount enclosed and what the payment is for on this occasion. It would be appreciated if different payments could be in separate envelopes. Please may cheques payable to Whitesheet Church of England Primary Academy.
Many of our children travel to our centres by bus which is supervised by an on-board member of staff. It runs between Maiden Bradley, the Infant Centre in Kilmington, through Stourton to Lower Zeals and then the Junior Centre in Zeals before returning to Kilmington. This enables all the children to be transported to their designated centre in time to start the day. All children require and will be issued with a bus pass from Wiltshire County Council Transport Department. If there is any change from the Child’s normal arrangements for travelling home please inform the office in the interest of child safety.
From Pre-School to the Academy
We link very closely with Leaping Frogs Day Nursery and Zeals and Bourton Pre-School. We invite the children to join us on different occasions which may be to join in craft activities or to see a play. In this way the young children are getting used to new surroundings and staff. The Academy makes sure that we liaise closely regarding your child and Aimee Brown may visit your child in their familiar setting.
Friday Fun Club
We also hold a fun club for parents of babies and pre-school children. This takes place on a Friday between 10.00a.m. and 11.30a.m, in the hall of the Junior Centre, Zeals. All are very welcome. A small charge of £1 is made to cover refreshments and materials.
From the infant to Junior Centre
Your child will already be familiar with the Junior Centre through craft days, themed days and swimming. However, extra opportunities to visit during the final term of year two will be arranged. All the teachers work closely together so all information will be passed on during that final term.
From Year Six to Secondary.
The children transfer to Gillingham School in Dorset which is six miles away. This is a well established and successful school with a thriving sixth form. There are good links between our Academy and Gillingham School. Teachers from Gillingham School visit our Academy and meet the children and all staff liaise very closely. There are also a series of planned induction visits and meetings at the school to explain and support children and parents through the transfer process.
Children with Special Educational Needs
Whitesheet Primary Academy ensures that children with special needs are fully included in all aspects of Academy life. We are very experienced at meeting the needs of children with a wide range of educational, physical and emotional difficulties. Karen Brooker (Headteacher) is the Special Needs Co-ordinator and will be happy to meet you to discuss your child in more detail.
Every child has targets which are set on a regular basis. If you child has special needs these targets will be broken into smaller steps and recorded on their Progress/Support Plan.
At times we require additional support to help children with special needs and ask external agencies to carry out assessments. We always ask your permission before we make a referral.
If a child’s needs are severe a ‘My Plan’ (statement) might be drawn up although this is rare.
Our policy for Special Educational Needs is on our website. Alternatively please ask Jamie Hurst, our administrator, for a copy.
At Whitesheet Primary Academy our priority is to ensure that your child is safe. We constantly monitor the grounds, buildings and equipment and are always upgrading our premises to make sure that the children are safe. We have a policy for Health and Safety which is available from the office and this is reviewed on an annual basis. Risk assessments are undertaken before activities take place and when taking the children on a visit. We always check that the destination is fully insured and with their own risk assessment. .
We have a comprehensive child protection policy. This is available on the website, or again, please ask the office for a paper copy. Karen Brooker, headteacher, is the designated child protection officer and in her absence Aimee Brown will deputise in this area. A member of the local advisory board, Lesley Bennett, also has specific responsibilities for child protection.
PC Pete, above, comes to talk to the children about road safety.