Provisions and Regulations in Early Years Education

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 1.1 Summarise entitlement and provision for early years education.

 

  1. Summarise the entitlement of early years provision.

 

There are numerous settings in place to support parents and carers with early years provision of socialisation and education. In 2004 it was agreed that all children in the UK aged three and four years old would be entitled to free places at a nursery, preschool, child-minder or another approved childcare settings for 12.5 hours per week. On the 1st September 2010 this funding was extended to 15 hours up to a maximum of 50 weeks of the year. The funding begins the term after the child’s 3rd birthday and can be used as follows;

Maximum of 15 hours a week over 2 days

Maximum 10 hours in 1 day

Minimum of 2 hours per session

Minimum period of 38 weeks and maximum period of 50 weeks (if the later there would be a funding shortfall however)

This entitlement to fully funded early education and care affords all children equal opportunities to participate in early years education and socialisation and in addition helps to bridge the attainment gap between children who maybe less privileged or from different backgrounds and areas.

A focus of the extended funding of childcare provision was that parents who wished to return to work, study themselves or develop their careers would be more able to financially manage to do so.

  1. Discuss registration with Ofsted requirements.

The Office for Standards in Education Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) is an independent government department whose responsibilities include inspection of a wide range of educational and children’s services. Ofsted arrange inspections and regulate registrations of registered early years and childcare settings. Their aim is to ensure excellent care and education is delivered to children and young people.

Prior to registration Ofsted will carry out checks with the Disclosure and Barring Service and the local authority children’s services departments.

Registered providers are monitored through inspections carried out on a random basis and in addition inspections will be carried out if a parent informs Ofsted that they have concerns about any care provided. Home child carers, external child-minders and people providing childcare on domestic and non-domestic premises should all be registered on the childcare register. Applicants to the register must have the right to work in the UK. Applicants must pay an application fee and in addition to this an annual fee for continued registration.

On occasion people are disqualified from registration or from working with children if they have committed certain offences or for another reason. Someone cannot be registered if they are disqualified, anyone in the organisation who is applying for registration has been disqualified, for example a director, partner or committee member. Anyone who is part of the organisation lives with someone who has been disqualified or anyone who lives on the premises where the care will be provided has been disqualified. If someone is disqualified from working with children they must not be employed.

Someone can be disqualified from registration if they have been convicted of committing a relevant offence against a child, they are subject to an order to remove a child from their care, have been found to have committed serious offences against an adult such as indecent assault, rape, murder, kidnapping or assault causing actual bodily harm, are included on the list of those people that are barred from working with children held by the DBS or have been made the subject of a disqualification order.

  1. Describe the different types of provision including play groups, day nurseries, nurseries attached to schools, sure start centres, accredited childminders, primary reception classes.

 

As previously mentioned a recent focus has been to increase educational provisions for children from birth to 5 years. Below I will discuss some of the childcare options available for 0-5 year olds:
Preschools and playgroups are educational establishments or learning spaces mainly for children aged 3 to 5 years old that offer early childhood education to children.  Children attend prior  to commencing  compulsory education at a primary school. These settings can be privately operated or government run.

Nursery schools are independent schools for children aged three and four. These settings have their own head teacher and staff are either privately run or state funded.

Day Nurseries are childcare providers that look after children from birth to five years. Staff within day nurseries are trained to develop a stimulating environment that enables children to thrive using a curriculum specifically designed for children under five. Day nurseries cater for parents with full-time or part-time jobs, so are usually open from about 7am until 7pm and remain open throughout the year apart from Christmas and bank holidays. They can be based in workplaces so offer flexible, convenient care to people that return to work.

Sure Start Children’s Centre provides services primarily for parents and younger children from birth age such as baby singing, talking and listening activities, book start related activities and library schemes to encourage early interest in reading and books.

Stay and play groups where activities are focused on the seven areas of learning of the Early Years Foundation Stage, facilitating adult learning with the provision of a crèche, close involvement and participation with local pre-schools, day nurseries and schools and the children that attend these in Early Years Foundation Stage activities and supports adult learning and workplace skills activities and in addition can provide qualification opportunities for adults.

Child-minders: Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children up to the age of 12 years old and support their learning and development in the childminders own home.  Legally  They can care for up to six children under the age of eight years old however no more than three of them can be under the age of five years old.
Nannies, Mother’s helpers and home-based carers provide care for children in the child/children’s own home and can look after more than one child of any age.

Nurseries attached to schools: Most nurseries attached to schools have more of a school feel with quite a structured day. They are usually situated next to the school and have close interactions with the school. Within my setting the, nursery works in partnership with the school and they provide a teacher led class for children from the age of 3 within the nursery building. The class is named Acorn to help the children identify with being part of the school. All classes are named after trees and seeds in my setting.

Primary reception classes are held during the first year at primary school. Unlike every other school year it is not compulsory for your child to attend however it is a good way to introduce your child to life at their chosen school and to give them a sound knowledge of the basics before year one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.2 Explain the characteristics of the different types of schools in relation to educational stages and school governance.

 

  1. For each of the following types of schools, explain the age range, how they are governed and the curriculum they follow.

 

Within the UK children have the option to attend many different types of schools. I will explain the different types of schools available below.

Mainstream community schools are controlled and run by the local council and are not influenced by business, religious groups or any other factors. The local authority owns the land the school is sited on, they employ the staff and determine admission arrangements. The age the children attend depends on the local authorities admission criteria. These schools must follow the national curriculum. They can focus on specific subjects as long as national curriculum requirements are met.

Specialist schools often specialise in certain areas and place extra emphasis in one or two subjects. Specialist schools can specialise in the arts, maths and computing, business and enterprise, music, engineering, science, humanities, sports, languages and technology. Dedicated schools grant, private sponsorships and the government provide funding for these schools. These schools must meet the full national curriculum but in addition have a special focus on specific specialist subjects. Children attend between the ages of 11 to 18 years old. The Local Education Authority runs these schools.

Special schools are available for children who are excluded from mainstream schools since they have special educational needs or learning difficulties. Special schools can be community and/or voluntary-aided or controlled. Special schools are either funded by the local education authority or are independent.

Within these schools the national curriculum is followed as much as is possible however the school can deviate from this in order to ensure that pupils receive the fullest possible education regardless of any disability or special educational needs. Children attend between the ages of 3 to 19 years old.

Trust schools are a type of Foundation school, which form part of a charitable trust with an outside partner, this is usually a business or a charity. The Governing body makes the decision to become a trust school however parents also have a say. The governing body runs them and the land the schools are sited on is owned by a trust, which may include commercial organisations or a charity.  They are run by a governing body, which employs the staff and determines admission criteria.  The government funds them with additional support from the charitable trusts they are in partnership with.  Children attend between the ages of 11 to 18 years old.

Faith schools are schools with a religious character and are usually voluntary controlled.  All new faith schools must be approved by the Local Education Authority, have the agreement of the parents of pupils and the local community. Voluntary aided faith schools govern their own admission policies and teach religious education according to its own religious principles. Moreover they are not obliged to teach about other religions or non-religious practices. Funding is primarily received form the state however a small amount is paid for by the religious organisation the school is attached to. Children can attend between the ages of 3 to 18 years old. Although faith schools primarily admit pupils on religious affiliation grounds they can admit those who are not of the school faith so long as this complies with the school admissions code of practice.

Academy schools are state-funded independent schools that receive funding directly from central government rather than through a local authority. The responsibility of the running of the school is held by the head teacher or principal however hey are overseen by individual charitable bodies called academy trusts and may be part of an academy chain. Academies don’t have to follow the national curriculum and have more freedom than other schools to innovate. Children attend between the ages of 5 to 16 years although in some academies this age has recently increased to 18 years old. Academies still have to follow the same rules on admissionsspecial educational needs and exclusions as state schools.

Independent schools are also known as private schools. Independent schools are independent in their finances and governance. They are funded by a combination of tuition charges, donations and in some cases endowment policies. A board of governors that is elected independently of government and has a practised system of school governance ensures its independent operation. Children can attend between the ages of 4 to 18 years old.  Pupils don’t have to follow the national curriculum. Ofsted, the Independent Schools Inspectorate or the School inspection Service can however still inspect schools.

b) Provide a brief overview of the curriculum structure for:

 

  • Early Years Foundation Stage (Learning goals)
  • The National Curriculum  (Key stages and curriculum subjects)

 

On occasion the reigning government will review children’s education and decide whether the curriculums being followed are still relevant or need to be changed. Below is a brief overview of the current guidelines for both Early Years Foundation Stage and The National Curriculum.

Early Years Foundation Stage

Early Years Foundation Stage Learning goals fall under the categories communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, specific areas of learning-literacy and mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.

Early learning goal. What the child should achieve or be working towards achieving.
Listening and attention. Children can listen and follow instructions and seek clarification if needed. They can listen to a story without visual aids and can listen in a larger group i.e. assembly.
Understanding. After listening to a story children can represent their own views about the story. They can carry out instructions that contain several parts.
Speaking. They can use a range of vocabulary in a variety of different ways and are able to express ideas or explain things in a way that is understood.
Moving and handling. Children can hop and skip in time to music. They hold paper in position, use their preferred hand and can control letter size and write on lines.
Health and self-care. Children are aware of and can make healthy choices in relation to healthy eating and exercise. They are able to fasten buttons or laces and can dress and undress independently.
Self-confidence and self-awareness. Children are confident talking to a group and are able to talk about themselves and difficulties they may have. They are able to seek support when needed.
Manage feelings and behaviour. Children are able to know some ways to control their feelings and are able to use these techniques to gain control. They can listen to others, know when to stand up for themselves and they are able to wait for things they want.
Making relationships. Children are able to play games that have rules. They can listen to other people’s different views, resolve minor disagreements, understand what bullying is and that this is unacceptable.
Reading. Children can read phonetic words of more than 1 syllable and some irregular, high frequency words. They can describe main events in a story they have just read.
Writing. Children can spell phonetic words of more than 1 syllable and some high frequency words.
Numbers. Children can estimate objects by view and can count up to 20. They can problem solve using numbers 2,5 and 10 and can share objects in to equal groups.
Shape, space and measures. Children can measure, estimate, weigh, order and compare objects and can talk about time, position and properties.
People and communities. Children can identify differences between past and present events in their own lives. They understand other people have likes and dislikes and may be good at different things from them. They understand that other people have different beliefs, customs, traditions and attitudes and respect this.
The world. Children know that human interaction effects the environment and living things. They can describe how people can maintain their environment. They recognize some properties and are familiar with basic scientific concepts such as sinking, floating and experimentation.
Technology. Children can find out about and use some every day technology. They can select appropriate applications to meet their needs.
Exploring and using media and materials. Children can develop their own ideas by selecting and using materials that interest them.
Being imaginative. Children are able to talk about their ideas and how they have produced designs, images, products and music. They can talk about their own work and compare their work to others, recognising differences and strengths in others work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Curriculum

Each state funded school must offer a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based. This curriculum aims to promote holistic development of children. The curriculum aims to effectively meet and develop the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical needs of pupils at the school. The curriculum’s additional aim is to prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences they will participate in during young adulthood and in to later life.

A key stage is a stage of education outlining the educational knowledge expected from children at various stages.

The stages are as follows;

Key stage Ages Duration School years Settings Final examinations Core subjects
0 3-5 years old 2 years (1 compulsory) Nursery and reception Nurseries, pre-schools, infant or reception class Communication and language development, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design
1 5-7 years old 2 years 1 and 2 Infant school KS1 SATS, Phonics and reading check English, mathematics, science, art and design, computing, design and technology, geography, history, music and PE
2 7 to 11 years old 4 years 3 to 6 Junior school SATS test and eleven plus exam (in some grammar schools) English, mathematics, science, art and design, computing, design and technology, languages, geography, history, music and PE
3 11 to 14 years old 3 years 7 to 9 Secondary school English, mathematics, science, art and design, citizenship, computing, design and technology, languages, geography, history, music and PE
4 14 to 16 years old 2 years 10 to 11 Secondary school GCSEs English, mathematics, science, citizenship, computing and PE
5 16 to 18 years old 2 years 12 to 13 Secondary school or 6th form college A-Levels, AS-Levels, NVQs and National Diplomas Specialist subjects

 

1.3 Explain the post 16 options for young people and adults.

The age that children must attend some form of education increased from 16 to 18 years old in 2013, children do not necessarily need to remain in an educational setting but must receive training if they commence work when leaving school.

Some children may not thrive in a traditional educational establishment so there are numerous options for children to explore post GCSEs.

A-Levels

A levels are the traditional qualifications offered by schools and colleges for 16-19 year olds. They’re continue to be highly valued by universities and employers and focus on academic subjects however some can be work-related.

 

 

 

 

Vocational qualifications

National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) offer practical, employment related tasks and goals. NVQs are available in more than a thousand subject areas including childcare, plumbing, hairdressing, management, catering, construction and IT. NVQ qualifications are attained through training and assessment, which is normally carried out by way of an on-the-job observation. The assessor’s sign of units when candidates are confident in the assessed area and the benchmark for these assessments are set out by the national standard for the occupation. NVQs can be studied in a college, school or work environment or a combination of these.

Diplomas

Diplomas are a qualification for 14-19 year olds in England although most students commence them at 16 years old. They were introduced to afford young adults more options for practical learning and endeavoured to encourage more young adults to continue studying. Diplomas aim to provide employment related skills in a creative way thus ensuring students get practical job related training benefit from work experience. There is less classroom-based learning than with A levels making this a good option for students that don’t enjoy traditional study environments. Diplomas are available in construction and the built environment, creative and media, engineering, IT, society, health and development, environmental and land based studies, business, administration and finance, manufacturing and product design, hospitality, hair and beauty studies, travel and tourism, public services, sport and active leisure, retail business, humanities, languages and science. A foundation diploma is worth 5 GCSEs at grades D to G (this is designed for under-16s). Higher diplomas are worth 7 GCSEs at grades A* to C. A progression diploma is worth 2.5 A levels and an advanced diploma is worth 3.5 A levels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships mix on-the-job training with classroom learning. They provide work-based learning alongside training at an accredited place of study and they provide students with the skills they need for their chosen career. During the duration of the apprenticeship the training they receive will lead to a nationally recognised qualification.  Apprenticeships fall under the following categories agricultural and land based industries, beauty and well being, business and IT, creative, media and the arts, customer service and retail, energy, engineering and electrical, finance, health and care, hospitality and travel, manufacturing, processing and logistics, marine, public services, sport and fitness and vehicles and transport. Assessment methods are written (online or paper-based), assessment tasks or tests to assess theoretical or technical knowledge, observation of performance – directly or virtually (such as video or live web cam), practical assessment through production of a project, product or portfolio of work, visual or oral presentation to assess theoretical or technical knowledge and understanding.

Degrees

A degree is a qualification awarded on successful completion of a course of study in higher education, normally at a college or university. These institutions offer degrees at various levels including bachelor’smaster’s and doctorates. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor’s degree.  UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) process applications for universities and can offer students guidance on which subject to study.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International Baccalaureate

The International Baccalaureate or IB, is an internationally recognised challenging and well-rounded programme of education for 16-19-year-old students. Students from around the world follow it. Although nationally recognised until recently it was only taught in a minority of independent schools within the UK. This qualification has now become an option in some state schools and is currently offered in 190 schools across the UK. The IB course leads to a qualification called the IB Diploma which is an advantage if your child hopes to study oversees and is a qualification well respected by universities. The IB will aim to teach your child to explore what it is to learnt, ask challenging and thoughtful questions, develop a sense of culture and identity and develop the ability to communicate with people from different cultures and countries. There are three compulsory, core elements to the IB. These are theory of knowledge, creativity, action and service and extended essay. The six subjects studies are experimental sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, design technology), mathematics and computer science, the arts (visual, theatre and music), a first language (your child’s mother tongue), a second language and individuals and society (history, psychology, geography).  Assessment methods include assessment tasks in school written exams at the end of the programme.

2.1 Explain the strategic purpose of:

a) School Governors  b) Senior Management Team  c) other statutory roles e.g. SENCO,   d) teachers  e) support staff roles

 

The successful running of a school isn’t just down to the head teacher but also an extensive support system and reliable, supportive staff. Below I will explain the roles of some of the people involved in supporting schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

School governors

 

School governing bodies act as a critical friend to the senior management team and are responsible for working in partnership with schools to ensure they deliver good quality education. Alongside the head teacher they set the schools aims and policies. Key duties of governors include ensuring the schools vision, ethos and direction is clear, holding the head teacher accountable for the educational performance of the school, its pupils and support staff. In addition they oversee financial management of schools and ensure money is spent well.

Senior management team

 

A senior management team usually consists of the head teacher and deputy head. However in larger sized schools the team can be broader and more wide-ranging. Often Assistant head teachers or senior teachers have particular specialised roles, for example they may also be responsible for managing one of the key stages or be the SENCO lead. The role of the senior management team is to set and implement strategic direction of the school, generate and lead any changes from the top downwards and for the most part ensure the school delivers the best results for all children that attend. They must be aware of the current state of the school, be innovative in launching new and relevant initiatives in a way that ensures full participation of the whole school and be conscientious in the monitoring of these initiatives and their progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other statutory roles

 

SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

 

The SENCO is responsible for the daily operation of the SEN policy and co-ordination.  They organise extra provisions for children with special educational needs and will work closely with staff, parents/carers and external agencies involved with the child’s care. Primary responsibilities for the SENCO include managing the day to day operation of the settings SEN policies, managing, liaising with and advising fellow teachers and teaching assistants, managing the records of all children with special educational needs with Data Protection restraints, contributing towards in service staff training, co-ordinating the provision of support for children with special educational needs and liaising with external agencies including Local Education Authorities, educational psychology services, healthcare personnel and social services.

 

Designated Safeguarding Person

 

It was specified in the Children’s Act 2004 that every organisation involved with children must have a “named person” responsible for safeguarding children and young people, this role was previously know as a Child Protection Officer. Key duties of the Designated Safeguarding Officer are to ensure all staff understand the symptoms of child abuse and neglect and are aware how to raise safeguarding concerns, refer any concerns to social care, monitor children who are the subject of child protection plans and maintain accurate and secure child protection records. Keeping Children Safe in Education (2015) sets out the role of the Designated Safeguarding Lead in educational settings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teachers

Teachers are primarily responsible for effectively communicating with pupils and preparing lessons that are as interesting as possible in order to promote full pupil involvement and deliver a varied curriculum. They are responsible for overall class behaviour, preparing homework assignments and assessments on the subjects taught. They deliver clear and accurate information. Work is marked and assessments are delivered to enable them to help each individual student to develop his/her knowledge and feedback is provided to parents/carers on the student’s progress. Teachers are responsible for ensuring pupils safety with regards to maintaining registers, delivering first aid, ensuring the learning environment is safe by carrying out risk assessments, and being fully conversant with safe guarding policies and procedures. They liaise with other staff members and external agencies where appropriate. They attend staff meetings and report any concerns to the senior management team.

 

Support staff roles

 

The effective management of a school is not just the responsibility of the head teacher and other teachers. Schools are complex organisations with many differing demands that need to be managed with the upmost precision. Non-teaching related support staff includes school business managers, lunch cover supervisors, admin assistants, finance officers, caretakers and secretaries. Great teachers combined with great teaching support staff equals students who excel in their education. There are many types of teaching support staff that help children learn, this includes teaching assistants, 1 to 1 learning support assistants, librarians and ICT, science, food or design and technology technicians. Teaching assistant duties in brief are organising resources ahead of lesson delivery, 1 to 1 support, supporting reading and marking duties. They organise the children for break time, lunch and end of day. They support the teacher by carrying out administration tasks, preparing displays, changing books, contributing towards lesson planning and giving feedback to the teacher on learning activities. They will have a sound knowledge of safe guarding policies and procedures and contribute towards maintaining a safe learning environment. In some instances they are the first port of call for the children so should be warm, approachable and model positive behaviour.

2.2 Explain the roles of external professionals who may work with a school eg. Educational psychologist.

 

As well as extensive support staff employed within schools external support services also play a key role in the successful running of a school. This can include Educational Psychologists, Educational Welfare Officers, Speech and Language Therapists, a behavioural support team, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Nurses.  Below I will explore some of these external support roles.

Educational Welfare Officer

An education welfare officer works for the local authority education welfare services department or with a group of schools or academies in a designated area. They have a sound understanding of educational law and the safeguarding of children. Their day to day tasks include working closely with staff in schools to identify and resolve attendance issues, meeting parents and pupils at school or home to explain legal responsibilities of school attendance and if necessary taking action through the magistrates court. In addition they help families arrange benefits for school meals, transport or clothing, arrange alternative education for children who are excluded and write case notes and letters to parents whilst handling sensitive information within the restraints of the Data protection Act.

Speech and Language Therapist

Speech and language therapy within schools is concerned with the identification, assessment and support of speech, language, communication and swallowing needs of children. Speech and language therapists play an important role in supporting schools to meet the needs of children with speech and language additional needs. All children need environments which supports development of speech, language and communication skills, as previously discussed unidentified problems can have detrimental effect on a child’s educational journey. The main responsibilities of the Speech and Language Therapists are to provide assessment, including any screening and implement strategies to support development. Provide workplace development including training, coaching and modelling support for other adults, deliver support programmes for specific groups or individuals, support good practice, set targets and provide evaluation in the classroom. They play a vital role in working directly with the child and their families as well as supporting the teachers and teaching assistants.

School Nurses

School nurses are qualified and registered nurses or midwives who have chose to gain extra experience, training and qualifications by becoming community public health nurses.  The additional training that they receive in public health enables them to support children and young people in making healthy lifestyle choices and assists them in reaching their full potential in order to enjoy life.

School nurses work within education and health and provide direct links between schools, home and local communities. Their primary objective is to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people. In order to do this they work with families and young people from five to nineteen and are usually linked to a school or on occasion a group of schools. School nurses will see all children within the first year of their schooling for a health assessment, which includes a vision and hearing test. They assist children and families with gaining additional medical support services and help when required. Under the guidance of safe guarding laws they can provide and coordinate additional services for vulnerable children. A school nurse’s role typically includes carrying out health assessments, home visits to vulnerable families, provide health education and advice services and manage immunisation clinics. They provide advice and support to schools with their public health agenda campaigns for example healthy eating advice and smoking cessation programmes. Additionally they provide advice on common childhood conditions such as asthma, diabetes and eczema. School Nurses work closely with general practitioners, health visitors and other health and social care staff. They can be based in a school, a local GP surgery or a health centre and are either employed by the NHS or by a school directly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.1 Explain how the ethos, mission, aims and values of a school may be reflected in working practices

 

Every school has an ethos, mission and aims that it follows under the directive of the Head teacher, other employed staff (non teaching and teaching) and the supporting governing body.

Mission

The mission of a school is often based on what the school intends to achieve in an educational and physical sense. This is often displayed as a motto or slogan as you enter a school and may even form part of the schools uniform. Within my setting at Gothic Mede the mission is “Pride in ourselves, pride in our school, pride in our community” alongside a logo of an oak tree. I think this symbolises the old English proverb “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow”. I also think the oak tree symbolises something deep rooted in its surroundings and this could be reflective of my settings desire to be at the heart of the local community. In addition to this each class is named after a tree or seed, which in my opinion symbolises that although we are all similar we are also different and strength comes from diversity.

Ethos, values and aims

 

The Ethos of a school is relevant to the beliefs and feelings of a school. An Ethos of a school should be visible when entering the school environment as it forms the nature and day-to-day practice of the staff who work there and the children that attend the school. The ethos is set out clearly for the whole school to be aware of and is underpinned through day-to-day activities. It reinforces that children’s safeguarding is paramount and that the purpose of the school is child centred learning. Since Gothic Mede is a values based school the Ethos is based on values based learning. There is an oak tree in main reception, which is visible to all visitors and displays all of the schools values.

The aims of the school are determined by the head teacher in collaboration with the parents, staff, governing bodies and the wider community and should provide all members of the school community with a safe and well respected environment which will be foremost in delivering a successful learning environment where all children have the opportunity to thrive.

“Gothic Mede Academy is a values-based school. We are a happy, nurturing and safe school where we can challenge each other to be our best. All the children are given a variety of opportunities and experiences so that they can develop, ready for their next stage in education and for what they will encounter in life.”

You will find children and staff who:

  • Live the school’s values
  • Are ambitious, motivated and set goals for themselves
  • Take pride in what they do
  • Are confident and resilient
  • Are empowered to believe that they can achieve
  • Have a growth mind-set
  • Care for each other

We develop children who have:

  • A life-long love of learning
  • Solid foundations and high achievement in reading, writing and maths
  • A balanced range of skills across the curriculum and an understanding of their unique strengths
  • Understanding of our local and wider communities
  • The ability to listen to others and express themselves clearly and confidently

Directly quoted from Gothic Mede Academy website.

Gothic Mede Academy’s values are;

Understanding   Caring     Unity

Appreciation                        Quality     Courage

Humility              Simplicity    Thoughtfulness

Patience    Hope      Friendship

Respect      Perseverance              Co-operation

Responsibility   Tolerance     Peace

Freedom    Honesty      Love

I have seen many ways that these values have been displayed on both a personal level as a parent of a student and on a professional level within placement.

My son moved to Gothic Mede Academy at the start of year 2 during a turbulent time at home and was immediately accepted and embraced by his peers. The values of Gothic Mede are underpinned and seen on a daily basis within the school, I hadn’t recognised this fully until working on this unit.  Many of the actions carried out within Gothic Mede displays not just one value but many.

I often hear staff mentioning to students at Gothic Mede that they should live the values of Gothic Mede and hearing this alongside completing this assignment has made me think about what these values are. These values are promoted in such a way that they are part of school life without the children or perhaps even the parents always being aware.

Prior to starting placement I had alongside my son been involved in values promotion within the school without even realising it. Gothic Mede on a regular basis seeks parental involvement by arranging events that parents can participate in. Mother’s and Father’s day events, literacy and maths opportunities, celebration assemblies, parents evenings and most recently an assembly to explain the growth mind-set concept. Strengthening ties with parents and cares is a positive step towards strengthening the school/home learning agreement.

I have witnessed many ways that unity and its associated values are displayed. The wearing of a school uniform, houses within the school class points, allocation of Tidy Ted to the tidiest classroom, class mascots and their diaries that visit for the weekend and buddy bench all display the values of unity, responsibility, caring, quality and perseverance.

Gothic Mede regularly celebrates children’s achievements by holding weekly assemblies and children receive a special mention on newsletters if appropriate. Children’s efforts are acknowledged by way of individual effort stickers, team points, house points and pen passes, Achievements outside of school are included in this i.e. sports achievements. To me this actively demonstrates the values of appreciation, patience, responsibility, quality, perseverance and courage.

Within Gothic Mede I feel the staff are genuinely interested in the pupils. Children are set termly star challenges and although a subject area is set the children are able to interpret this work how they like meaning all children have the opportunity to exceed with their homework. The child elected school council ensures that the children’s voices are heard. Staff are warm and welcoming with the head teacher greeting everyone at the gate in the mornings. In my opinion this displays the values freedom, caring and simplicity.

Because Gothic Mede is a small town school the pupils mostly know each other and interact well together. Some socialise outside of school and have developed strong friendships. I like the way that pupils at Gothic Mede look out for one another. There are friendship stops in the playgrounds, posters that prompt children not to say things that aren’t necessary or unkind which the children receive well. Show and tell for the younger year groups is always received with interest and children will enjoy being shown as well as showing. More abled students are always happy to help the lesser able students.  From what I’ve witnessed on the whole they are just genuinely kind to one another. For example on one very wet, cold and windy afternoon my son had football club after school, he had left his jacket and jumper behind and in response to this several other students offered him their coats. They did this of their own free will. This to me promotes the values understanding, appreciation, humility, patience, respect, caring, hope, tolerance, honesty, unity, thoughtfulness, friendship, co-operation, peace and love.

 

3.2 Evaluate methods of communicating a school’s ethos, mission, aims and values.

 

Although I think Gothic Mede uses numerous different and very effective methods to demonstrate the schools values system there are ways that some of these methods could be improved. I see this as using the growth mind-set programme from the top down. Growth mind-set congratulates students on a job well done but in addition promotes them pushing themselves further in order to achieve an even greater outcome next time. On Monday when I visited a classroom I noticed they had a suggestion box and a worry box. I have used the worry box system at home for my 3 children before and thought this was a great and very simple idea. It potentially gives the teacher the opportunity to tackle any worries before they begin to exaggerate and cause a child anxieties. So I looked for other classes that have a suggestion box or worry box and found that in key stage 2 this teacher was the exception. I think this is something that could be easily rectified and stands to offer the children much needed support. Child mental health support can be difficult to source so the earlier we become of any issues and offer support the better.

Each class in Gothic Mede has a mascot who will visit children for the weekend and the children are to complete a diary about their adventures. The children thoroughly enjoy the mascot visits, taking pictures and completing the diary. Someone else on my course mentioned that her setting does a similar thing except when the child is selected to take the mascot all the other children in the class take it in turns to say something nice about that student and the child is free to keep what’s been written down about them. There are times when all children (and even adults) feel they are inadequate and unsure of themselves so I think this is a lovely thing to have to and take a peek at when you need a confidence boost and increase in self esteem.

The majority of Gothic Mede’s communications are accessible online. Most families do own devices that allow computer access but this shouldn’t be taken for granted, parents should also be able to gain paper access to communications received. I am aware that reception are happy to print off paper copies of communications but in addition to this perhaps a letter at the beginning of each term asking parents if they require a paper copy of communications is appropriate. Alongside this the free computer use at the resource centre next door to the school could also be promoted.

Each term children will be set the task of a star challenge, this involves producing work on a given subject in a way the child chooses. The children do receive feedback on this work however in my opinion exceptional work that achieves the highest star rating should get a special mention and the child should be able to display their work in assembly for all to see or perhaps a special visit to the head teacher. It is quite difficult to achieve a maximum start rating and requires lots of effort and time to achieve this. I’m not sure the present system in my setting acknowledges this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.3 Explain the roles of other organisations working with children and young people and how these may impact on the work of schools.

 

In addition to people that work directly with children in schools there are external agencies that offer specialised support to children and work in collaboration with schools in order to allow children to achieve the best possible outcomes in life. Below I will explore some of the organisations and there roles with regards to supporting children.

 

Name of organisation Role of the organisation
Education Welfare Services Work closely with schools to identify and resolve attendance problems, meet pupils and carers to explain legal schooling responsibilities and if necessary take legal action through the courts. Assisting families to get benefits for school meals, clothing or transport and arranging education for excluded children.
Drugs Awareness Programmes Provide factual evidence about the effects of drugs and alcohol and work on improving skills to resist peer pressure. Assist in teaching general life skills such as improving self-esteem, changing perceptions and problem solving.
Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) Ethnic Minority Achievement Services support and advises staff in schools on how they can best meet the needs of pupils who are learning English as an additional language. They also aim to raise the attainment of children from minority ethnic groups.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Provide outpatient assessments, treatment and support for children under the age of 18 years old experiencing moderate to severe mental health problems. They can help children experiencing problems such as feelings of loneliness and unhappiness, eating difficulties, fears and anxieties, traumatic experiences and relationship problems.
Behaviour Support Service Behaviour Support Services support pupils, schools, parents/carers and governors with training in the promotion of positive behaviour, effective behaviour management and emotional and social development. Acts as a critical friend in identifying and supporting the needs of children and monitors and evaluates school interventions.
Brook Advisory Service Brook delivers a wide range of affordable sex and relationships education (SRE) programmes using different methods in primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, colleges and communitysettings. These programmes concentrate on health promotion, education programmes, one off education settings and one to one programmes. Presentations include new information and challenging questions, storytelling, films, leaflets and brief conversations with Brook staff. The subjects they cover are sex and relationships, anti-bullying and diversity, abuse and violence and general health and well-being.
National Healthy Schools Programme Is a programme that intended to improve health and social inclusion, raise pupil achievement and encourage closer working relationships between health and education providers. The following criteria is covered by the programme; PHSH (personal, social and health education), healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and well-being.
CHUMS Bereavement Support for Children CHUMS are based in Bedfordshire and offers support to meet the needs of children and families following the death of someone close to the family. They help children to understand these events and express their feelings in addition to helping them learn how to adjust to their loss.

 

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