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Dear Parents and Carers
This page provides important information about our school, our philosophies, beliefs and aims. It supplies a basic framework describing the way in which we operate and function.
We believe that it is important to create a positive partnership between home and school encouraging a shared commitment to the success of each individual child.
The Headteacher, Mrs Claire Edgeley, will be pleased to supply further information about the school. If you wish to view the school please telephone, email or write to the school admin. Details of admission are available on request.
Over Hall is a school committed to providing quality educational provision for our children and we strive to serve our community to the best of our abilities.
Vera Farrow - Chair of Governing Body
Over Hall Community School is a 1975 open plan design with some moderations and additions over time including an upper Key Stage 2 eco building. We enjoy substantial grounds which are also accessible to local residents and available for use by local community sports teams. There is a spacious hall that is used for a variety of activities and serves as a dining room at lunch times. Full day-care for nursery aged children is provided on site by Sunrise Nursery, and the school provides wrap around care with before and after school provision in school from 7:30am to 6pm during term time. Details of fees are made available upon request.
COMMUNICATION & PARTNERSHIP WITH PARENTS
There is a strong ethos to ensure strong relationships between home and school, encouraging parental support both in and out of school. New parents are welcomed to a range of events and meetings in order to have a thorough understanding of our school, for example, attend coffee mornings and support organised events.
Dates of forthcoming events are communicated within weekly newsletters, on our school website and via Class Dojo.
ORGANISATION OF EDUCATION
The school is organised into classes according to age, the number of which will depend on the overall number of children on roll. Our pupil admission number is approx. 200. The youngest children are the Foundation Stage Two (Reception year) following through classes Year 1 to Year 6.
The classes are divided into specific stages:
Foundation Stage – Reception
Key Stage One – Year 1 and Year 2
Key Stage Two – Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
We strive to maintain a high ratio of the number of adults to children, wherever possible, to ensure that all children are supported to the best of our ability.
The staff team comprises of: Headteacher, 2 Assistant Headteachers, Pastoral Lead, Business Lead, SENCo, Administrator, Catering Lead, 2 Catering Support, Site Manager, Caretaker, 2 Cleaning team, Lunchtime Supervisor, Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, Arts Lead alongside Class Teachers and Teaching Support Staff - all are valued and play a significant part in our school life.
Our teaching team comprises of 10 Qualified teachers and 1 Unqualified teacher (All Full time); 2 Full time HLTA; 2 Part Time HLTA; 6 Full time Teaching Assistants; 2 Part time Teaching Assistants
In accordance with all the schools operating within Cheshire West & Chester children may be admitted full-time to school at the age of four. Any child reaching 5 years of age between 1 September and 31 August the following year may be admitted to school on the first day of the Autumn term of that school year.
In September, a form and supporting documentation is automatically issued from Cheshire West & Chester to every family living in the area with a child due to start school the following academic year. To apply for a place these forms must be completed and returned to the County offices no later than the date specified.
Families moving into the area are encouraged to contact the Local Authority Admissions but also to make an appointment to meet with the Headteacher, view the school in order to inform your decision. Communication between schools is necessary in order to provide a smooth transition and appropriate support tailored to meet the needs of your child.
Parents are invited to a preliminary meeting preceding the Summer holidays, where information about the school is distributed and questions can be answered. The school continues to have a planned admissions limit of 30 children per class. In situations where it is necessary to exceed the planned admission limit, priority will be granted to families within our catchment area.
The school follows the Local Authority’s admissions policy, where children are admitted in order of the following criteria:
1. Looked After Children.
2. Children with siblings at school at the time of admission.
3. Children living within the catchment area.
4. Children living nearest to the school (out of catchment).
The pupils, staff and trustees at Over Hall work in partnership with the community and Local Authority to ensure our children can travel to and from school in safety. We strive to provide road safety education tailored to the needs of our pupils with the ultimate aim of promoting independence and skills that can be utilised by the pupils so that they can live and travel safely in their teenage and adult lives.
Through our school 'Travel Plan' we aim to develop strategies and initiatives suitable for our school and appropriate to the ability and age of each child in an environment that recognises achievements, encourages success and nurtures potential.
POSITIVE MINDSET & WELLBEING
Over Hall Community School adopts a range of positive mindset strategies and continues to develop them as part of our daily and weekly practice. This delivery of activities improves learning and teaching within the whole school community and thus helps to raise standards. Staff, trustees, parents and children are all encouraged to become more aware of the different learning styles and become more familiar with their preferred style.
Staff work hard to ensure good emotional literacy and support wellbeing through a range of activities including art therapy, Zen Den, sensory circuits, spending time with one of our school dogs or time in our sensory room. Weekly activities and assemblies explore how we learn, being proud of ourselves alongside other topics of ‘good to be me’ and celebrating differences. Activities also include aspirations as it is never too early to plan for our futures!
OUR COMMUNITY - LOCAL, NATIONAL & GLOBAL
Staff take every opportunity to teach children about the world in which they live through a range of topics over the course of the academic year. The school enjoyed a strong partnership with Delhi Public School, Bangalore, providing the opportunity for members of staff to visit and experience life first-hand in a contrasting locality. Our school community warmly welcomed staff from DPS in memorable reciprocal visits. we look forward to exploring further partnerships with schools both near and far.
Staff engage in a strong relationship with other schools within Winsford and beyond. Winsford Education Partnership, a group of 13 schools from primary to secondary incluing special, regularly meet and share expertise and experiences to benefit the children within our town.
As a community school we follow Cheshire’s agreed syllabus for the teaching of Religious Education (RE). Christianity is predominantly the religion taught, however, the children are introduced to a wide a range of different cultural and religious experiences as possible. The content of RE lessons may be linked with PSHE or other areas of the Creative Curriculum.
If for any reason parents wish their child to be withdrawn from an RE lesson they should contact the Headteacher in order for alternative arrangements to be made.
There is a collective act of worship each day and the children attend school services in school and Church at most Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter, to which families are invited on many occasions.
Children may be withdrawn from these activities on religious grounds by parents, after consultation with the Headteacher.
PASTORAL CARE AND DISCIPLINE
We aim to create a school that is happy and friendly where children learn in a secure community. We operate a Positive Behaviour Policy that is overarched by our school values of 'Supported':-
S. Safe & Secure
We are aware that we share responsibility with parents for the children during the day and we make every effort to provide a high standard of care. We organise movement about the school, supervise children when at play, and encourage independence and resilience. We rely upon co-operation and a reasoned approach to discipline, including rewards and reasonable consequences to poor choices.
A significant amount of time and effort is made to reward children, recognising them for their strengths and achievements alongside displaying our school values. All pupils are fully aware of the consequences of not following the school values - all displayed in each class area and through school.
Children in Year 6, alongside any other individuals who have been identified with an emotional need, are assigned an adult mentor for the year that they meet with to discuss any issues, receive extra learning support or simply to have a chat. Older children from Key Stage 2 are given extra responsibilities in school such as being monitors, librarians, road safety officers, reading partners and Buddies to the younger children.
As a school we provide activities and mechanisms that provide emotional and wellbeing support. We are always exploring ways to improve our offer in order to provide the best start for the children in our care.
Over Hall Community School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults, expecting all staff and volunteers to share this commitment through regular training alongside awareness of policy and procedures. These include e safety.
The school has designated teachers who are trained to deal with child protection issues in a sensitive and supportive manner. These are highlighted to adults upon entry to school. Posters around school encourage children or adults to share concerns.
Our Pastoral Lead, Trustees and staff ensure school adopts practice, policy and procedures suggested by the Local Authority and Children's Safeguarding Board.
Trustees recruit safely and ensure all adults are subject to DBS.
SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS EDUCATION
Sex and relationship education (SRE) is taught to all children in a sensitive, well-planned and developmental manner through all year groups.
We recognise that on occasions it may be necessary to discuss matters sensitively with individual children of different ages as and when the need arises.
Parents and Carers are always kept fully informed of any planned SRE lessons and always have the option to withdraw their child from taking part.
Physical Education is about developing children's enjoyment, confidence and skill in physical activity and introducing them to the pleasures of sport. It is a practical subject which gives all children, irrespective of age or gender, opportunities for participation, enjoyment and success.
Staff promote personal, social, intellectual and physical skills, alongside fostering co-operation, tolerance and self-esteem. P.E. emphasises bodily healthy lifestyles through fitness, encourages personal prowess and interaction with others. Our school aims to promote an enjoyment in undertaking exercise in all children that will hopefully be continued outside of school and into adulthood.
Challenge and improvement is encouraged through competitive activities within school and locality.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITY (SEND)
A designated teacher (SENCO) is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the school’s policy on SEND, clarifying procedures for identifying those who have identified needs and ensure that each child has full access to a balanced curriculum, differentiated to their individual needs. Teaching staff, parents /carers, the child and where necessary Local Authority Advisors, are involved in decision making, in order to arrive at the most appropriate course of action for each individual case.
Quality First Teaching ensures that all children receive appropriate and age related support within the classroom. Progress is closely monitored by the SENCO, class teachers and senior leaders. Where concerns have been identified consultation and assessments are made to determine appropriate support. The SENCO manages provision and the pupils are monitored on the school’s Special Educational Needs list.
Education and Health Care Plan (EHC)
Pupils whose needs are so significant that they are still not being met through individual structured support are put forward for Statutory Assessment for an Educational and health care plan. This may result in additional support within school or a placement within specialist provision.
Pupils with individual funding or an EHC have their progress and provision reviewed annually. A review meeting is arranged inviting all agencies involved with the child, focussing upon achievement and progress. Paperwork is shared between parents and all involved in the review meeting.
A key element of the government legislation is that the Headteacher has to account for every absence i.e. to determine that it is legitimate. It follows, therefore, that parents must notify the school of every period of absence either by telephone or note to the teacher on the first day of absence or at the very latest when the child returns to school. Absences can only be authorised for illness or exceptional circumstances, e.g. bereavement. Every unauthorised absence could be counted as truancy. Holidays cannot be authorised but we strongly advise parents to liaise with the headteacher before booking.
Concerns are shared with parents if:
- Attendance falls below the agreed percentage of school days – 96%.
- Time out of school is requested during term time especially when the children are engaged in external testing/assessments such as SATs.
It is therefore necessary to contact school, as soon as possible, if your child is not attending for any reason. A First Day response system is operated by staff ensuring swift communication from school to home regarding a child’s attendance.
We encourage parents to ensure children maintain good attendance in order for their child to make expected academic progress and maintain healthy routines. Where appointments may arise during the school day we encourage parents to provide documentation / appointment cards as proof otherwise the absence may not be authorised.
A greater emphasis is put upon good attendance through ongoing communication with parents through newsletters, verbally at opportune times including Consultation evenings. Attendance is closely monitored exploring patterns and rewarding children for good attendance.
Children in Key Stage 1 receive a reading book and reading record diary. Parents are encouraged to assist children with their reading activities. Class teachers also provide weekly home learning tasks for the children to complete, supporting the learning that takes place in the classroom.
Key Stage 2 pupils receive homework on a weekly basis. This may take the form of learning spellings or multiplication tables, completion of assignments and extension/reinforcement work as required by the class teacher alongside an expectation of daily reading – this can be a book supplied by school or other reading materials monitored by parents.
Home learning is normally handed out on a set day with an agreed return date. Children absent are expected to collect their home learning at the earliest convenience.
All children, parents and carers are encouraged to read and sign a Home School Agreement. The agreement aims to make clear school’s expectations of support from home and the levels of behaviour and conduct from every member of our school community.
THE SCHOOL DAY
Key Stage 1 and Foundation Stage - 08.50 to 12.00 (15 min break at 10.00)
13.00 to 15.15 (15min break 14.15)
Key Stage 2 - 08.50 to 12.00 (15 min break 10.40)
1:00 to 15.15
Lunchtime - 12.00 to 13.00
Staff welcome children into school from 08.50 in the morning and providing activities that will focus their attention. Registration takes place at 09.00 am. Children arriving after registration has closed will be marked in the register as late.
Children are allowed to bring to school a healthy snack for break time e.g. fresh or dried fruit, carrot sticks etc. As part of our Healthy Eating School Policy chocolate bars/ biscuits, crisps, cereal bars etc are only allowed within their lunchbox as part of a balanced diet. Sweets and fizzy drinks are not allowed at any time. The children are encouraged to drink fresh tap water, which is readily available in each area, throughout the day.
The kitchen staff sell fruit, fruit bags, milk and fresh fruit juice at break times.
All children in Key Stage One receive a free carton milk and piece of fruit or vegetable at class snack time on a daily basis.
At lunchtime children may have a school meal or eat a packed lunch. We have excellent school meals and a menu that offers a choice of two main courses and at least two second courses. The school menu is devised with a healthy-eating emphasis. Vegetarian options are available on request. Documentation is requested where a child has been identified with special dietary requirements.
During lunchtime the children are supervised by Mid-Day Assistants.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
Staff are very proud to provide children with a wide range of activities outside normal school hours, including:
Football Netball Judo Multi skills
Choir Art and Design French Wildlife Studies
Study Skills Board games Dance / Cheerleading
‘ALL SORTS’ BREAKFAST CLUB AND AFTER SCHOOL PROVISION
The school provides before and after school provision with the aim to support families and their commitments. This facility allows parents/carers to leave their children in a welcoming and secure environment from 7:30am until 6pm – prior booking applies. Fees are incurred per hour and payable to school regarding Breakfast provision and our alternative provider for after school provision.
We encourage parents/carers to register children in case of emergency.
Although school uniform is non-compulsory we encourage the children to take a pride in their appearance and most parents/carers choose to provide their children with the school uniform:
- Royal blue pullover/cardigan/sweatshirt /fleece with the school motif. (obtainable from school and Julie Clare, Winsford Market)
- Grey skirt/trousers
- House colour shirt/blouse.
- School tie royal blue, gold diagonal stripe. Obtainable from school.
- Plain shorts (blue/black), gym shoes/trainers and plain white T-shirts.
We request that all belongings are marked with the child’s name.
The wearing of jewellery is not permitted. Small earring studs must be removed or covered with a plaster during as part of health and safety procedures.
To enhance the curriculum, educational visits are arranged. Some local visits will incur no expense; others may require parental contributions. Charges for such activities are voluntary and failure to contribute would not involve any child being treated differently from any other. However, the school does not have sufficient funds to finance educational visits without fair contributions from parents and carers and such visits are only possible if they are self-financing.
In addition, the following residential visits tend to be organised for our children:
Year 3 - Usually 2 days, 1 night e.g. Fox Howl, Naturebase
Year 4 - Usually 3 days, 2 nights e.g. Burwardsley, Naturebase
Year 5/6 - Usually 3-5 days, 2-4 nights e.g. London, York, Windermere, Kingswood
In the event of a complaint that cannot be satisfied by discussion with the Headteacher and staff, written details should be submitted for the attention of the Chair of the Governing Body at the school address as per the complaints policy – this is accessible to all and can be found on the school website.