Welcome to the parent/carer section of our website, We hope you find the information useful.
Like you, we want your child's education to be amazing! On this page we'll keep you informed of key events coming up and exciting things that have happened.
This page is also useful to help answer questions you may have;information about admissions, uniforms, the way learning is organised, the Curriculum... everything is somewhere on this page! If you want to find out about things your child is doing in class at the moment, jump to the year group they're in at the top of the page.
Our mission: To provide high quality education to the community which offer life changing opportunities in a safe, creative, exciting environment. All are valued and inspired to flourish and grow as individuals, learning is believing the sky is the limit
Shaftoe Trust Academy is part of Wise Academies. In addition to a Local Governing Body, a Board of Directors oversees the work of the Academy, and takes a close interest in its performance and provision. Further details can be found here .
We are always keen to hear from parents/carers who would be interested in becoming a member of the Governing Body; please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' page if you're interested.
Our Governance information can be found over on the trust governance website here
Our school has been following the new Primary National Curriculum in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 since September 2014. From September 2015, Years 2 and 6 have also been following it, too. See below for a copy of the full document. We are still changing our topics around as staff discover new and better ways of covering the curriculum!
Below are just small tasters about each area. Please also see the topic webs under each class heading.
We believe that English is central to children’s overall development and that success in reading, writing, speaking and listening are crucial in allowing children to achieve their full potential in other curriculum subjects and in all aspects of school life.
Reading – Throughout the school children are taught skills to enable them to decode text and enjoy their books. We aim to ensure that all the children value books, appreciate the enjoyment of reading for its own sake, and become competent and critical readers.
We use a variety of schemes which are banded according to the National Book Banding system. We start teaching the children phonics through the Letters and Sounds scheme in EYFS and this continues as the children enter Key Stage 1.
Writing – We encourage all children to appreciate the importance of writing as a means of communication, to enjoy writing and to develop into confident and competent writers. We consider the presentation of written work to be important and introduce a style of handwriting which can be “joined up” as developed. The children experience writing for a variety of purposes from lists, news, stories, factual accounts and poems to name but a few.
Speaking and Listening – We believe the development in speaking and listening is essential to all children’s learning. Children engage in activities which involve discussion with adults, one to one with a partner and to a wider audience. Circle time and specifically planned speaking and listening activities enable our children to become confident speakers and active listeners.
Understanding throughly how our number system works is crucial for an understanding of all operations and problem solving and this is where we start in maths, ensuring that all children can see number patterns and understand about hundreds, tens and units. As the children go through school, this knowledge and understanding is expanded and other areas are built on it; such as an understanding of measures. This helps children develop a fluency in mathematics that will stand them in good stead in the future.
From an early stage, we also look at the magic in maths and we try to develop a love of puzzles and problem solving. This ability to problem solve is very important. This is not just word problems but all the other types of problem solving such as logic and combinations. Children need to develop an intuitiveness about numbers and this is greatly helped if they thoroughly know and understand the basic number facts – the number bonds to 20 and then also all their tables. As they move through school, we have a tight programme of learning these facts and being able to recall them whenever needed. We ask that all parents help their children by regularly going through these facts with their children and helping them to learn their tables. Knowing these facts is a huge help in all areas of maths, particularly parts like fraction work and division. We try all the time to make those connections for children between the different areas of maths telling them “It’s nothing new!”
We also cover the areas of shape – geometry as it is referred to in the New Primary Curriculum, measures, including time, and data handing – now referred to as statistics.
In school we have introduced Big Maths for all the basic number work with its very structured progress drives and steps upwards so every child makes rapid and sound progress. We are also using wealth of other materials to help develop a real love and mastery of maths. Fluency, the ability to problem solve and reason about maths are the main aims of our maths curriculum.
During Early Years and Key Stage 1 we aim to encourage children to develop their curiosity about the world through a range of practical activities. These activities are combined with discussions about how the world works.
As children progress through school there is a greater emphasis on teaching them to work like a scientist. Children are introduced to scientific methods through increasingly challenging investigations.
To further promote science at Shaftoe we hold a Science, Technology and Maths (STEM) week. All children take part in a series of highly motivational and fun challenges, experiments and investigations.
ART and DESIGN
In art, we cover using a range of materials and their purposes as well as look at the work of artists for inspiration. We enjoy productions and plays as well as putting some together ourselves. We hold whole school art days and believe that arts are a great way for everyone to achieve.
We received Artsmark Gold in 2013 and hope to build on this by becoming a school which offers arts award training for children in the coming year. We are very proud of our arts excellence and aim to give as many opportunities for art in its many forms to all children.
In school we have an computer suite which houses 12 PCs and a number of laptops, netbooks and iPads all for children to access a range of activities. In the computing curriculum, competencies have been split into three key areas.
- Computer Science: In computer science we are keen to become programmers. We will be able to write algorithms (a set of instructions), debug programs (fix it when it doesn’t work), and improve and develop programs we have made.
- Information Technology: In information technology we are keen to be able to communicate effectively via word processing, telling on screen stories, emailing and creating presentational pieces using slideshows and leaflets. This area of the curriculum is used to present and share with others.
- Digital Literacy: In digital literacy we are keen to work and play safely. We will look at e-safety in detail and we will consider our digital footprint. We will consider what is safe and what we should report as well as where and how to do this if we see something online, or even on a mobile phone which makes them feel uncomfortable.
Computing is approached through school both as a stand alone area of the curriculum and as part of an integral cross curricular approach
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Children work with a variety of materials to create different pieces. We plan, create and evaluate each piece we make and this is done through cross curricular topics such as whole school healthy lifestyles or class topics such as the Seaside. Each child takes part in focussed practical tasks, where they can develop skills safely, using a variety of tools and equipment. The purpose of design and make projects is to give children the chance to create, make and improve through evaluation so that the end product is of quality.
We are keen to encourage a desire for discovery and questioning. Through Geography we work to develop children’s awareness of the world around them. We investigate different cultures, environments, people and landscapes and encourage children to ask questions about what they see. Children learn how physical and human geography are interrelated and find out about the natural and man-made features of the world. Teaching encourages geographical enquiry and the development of skills as well as developing a sound knowledge and understanding of places, patterns and processes. We make use of the local environment together with a wide range of secondary sources including video clips, photographs, books and the internet. In Key Stage 1 pupils investigate their local area and a contrasting area, finding out about the environment and people in both areas and carrying out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. In Key Stage 2 pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different locations in the United Kingdom and abroad. The children develop geographical enquiry skills using resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT when investigating physical environments such as mountain ranges, rivers and weather patterns.
At Shaftoe we aim to inspire the children’s interest in history by investigating a wide range of topics. We want to arouse children’s interest in the past, to fascinate and excite children, stimulating their curiosity into finding out more by research and enquiry. Our topics enable children to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. Children will consider history from a variety of perspectives (e.g. social, political and cultural), develop a sense of chronology and understand that aspects of the past may be interpreted in different ways. We aim to develop children’s understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change and cause and consequence. We use a range of resources (such as artefacts, documents and photographs) and where possible we visit sites which are historically significant, talk to people who have relevant first-hand experience and enjoy performances or presentations by re- enactors. We also access resources from the local library services.
LANGUAGES – SPANISH
We aim to foster and stimulate our children’s curiosity in a foreign language and a different culture by introducing Spanish in a way that is enjoyable and fun.
Spanish is taught by a native Spanish teacher across school from Reception to Year 6 using a variety of teaching styles. Children enjoy access to a wide range of resources to support their learning. Added to this, Spanish classes are designed to ensure progression year on year, developing the four language learning skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Listening to and composing music satisfies the innate human need to articulate oneself creatively and give expression and understanding to emotions. It is our school’s overwhelming intention to engage and inspire all children to develop a love of music and encourage their individual talent as musicians, by providing access to a wide range of instruments and resources.
As a whole school we strive to:
- expose all children to a wide variety of high-quality musical genres, styles and traditions, across a range of historical periods.
- encourage children to listen to, and express opinions about, some of the great works of music by significant composers and musicians.
We aim to encourage children to be fit and active and to have a life-long love of physical activity. The emphasis is on developing the physical skills of agility, balance and co ordination through gymnastics, games, swimming, dance and outdoor adventurous activities.
To support the teaching and learning process we have used our Schools Sport Premium money to employ an outstanding PE teacher. This means that all pupils will benefit from this input and staff will be able to develop their skills through observation and team teaching.
This year we are also enhancing the range of competitive opportunities for Key Stage 2 by taking part in sports competitions with local schools. Pupils will be taking part in a football tournament, cross-country running, gymnastics, a dance festival, a tennis tournament and an athletics event.
Each half-term we explore a different aspect of social and emotional aspects of learning (S.E.A.L.), which helps all of the children to understand not only themselves, but their feelings and how best to express themselves and respond to the feelings of others. As well as developing their maturity holistically, it will arm them with the attritubes that will make them better learners, such as resilience, motivation and a greater sense of responsibility for their learning. The vital social skills that this programme provides helps the children to be more independent in their endeavours, whilst simultaneously becoming better, and more supportive, team members.
PSHE issues are addressed regularly in assemblies and indeed, in all aspects of school life. We never miss an opportunities to teach children about getting along with each other, respect, dealing with emotions etc.
Our RE in school reflects that religious education holds a special place in school life at Shaftoe Trust Primary School. Shaftoe Trust was founded by the Rev. John Shaftoe in 1687 for the purpose of educating the young people of Haydon Bridge Parish. Christianity forms the basis of all teaching in the school and manner in which we treat each other. Living in a multi-cultural and multi-racial society, we encourage the respect and understanding of other religions and cultures.
Through the knowledge of RE, the children will learn to explore and understand their own values, beliefs and behaviour and have an awareness of the beliefs, practices and experiences of others. This will help develop attitudes of respect and understanding.
WISE Academies believe that IT should be used as a means of enhancing learning and engaging pupils. IT is not a subject within its own right; rather skills are taught and then used across the entire curriculum. The mission of the company is to equip children for living in the 21st century. This is realised when the learning environment is resourced with up-to-date technologies and staff have the knowledge and skills to use these effectively to move learning forward.
Within school, pupils are taught about how to stay safe in our modern digital world.
The person responsible for E-Safety in school is Gill Woodward.
The designated safeguarding leads in school are:
Carrie Davison (Interim HT)
Our Safeguarding governor is Doris Engelmayer-Wardle
If you have any concerns about online safety please contact one of these members of staff.
The CEOP website contains some really important information for parents and the Childnet site gives helpful guidance on social networking for parents. The SaferInternet site also provides advice on setting up parental controls on your home computer.
The Click Clever, Click Safe site has lots of useful information about Cyberbullying.
As parents you can help by:
- having open discussions about your expectations and how to stay safe online
- closely monitoring the sites your children are accessing
- limiting the amount of time your allow your child to spend online or using gaming devices
- discouraging the use of social network sites under the legal age of 13 such as Facebook, however, if your child does use social media remind them to only communicate with friends and family (people they know and trust in the real world), and also to ensure that their privacy settings are set high and to make them aware of how to report an incident if they feel uncomfortable.
- ensuring they do not give out any personal details to people they meet online including on games consoles such as Xbox and PS3.
- take notice of PEGI ratings – age rating is there for a reason and could mean that your child is being exposed to inappropriate materials if you do not abide by them.
Our Childcare Offers
30 Hours Childcare Offer
Shaftoe Academy are now able to provide 30 hours of free early education and childcare provision for three and four year olds.
The parent publication booklet will help explain how you can find out if you are eligible to apply.
Parents of three and four year olds will need to meet the following criteria in order to be
eligible for 30 hours free childcare:
- They earn or expect to earn the equivalent to 16 hours at National Minimum or Living Wage over the coming three months.
- This equates to £120 a week (or £6,000 a year) for each parent over 25 years old or £112.80 a week (or £5,800 a year) for each parent between 21 and 24 years old.
- This applies whether you are in paid employment, self-employed or on zero hours contract.
- The parent (and their partner where applicable) should be seeking the free childcare to enable them to work.
- Where one or both parents are on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave, or if they are on statutory sick leave.
- Where one parent meets the income criteria and the other is unable to work because they are disabled, have caring responsibilities or have been assessed as having limited capability to work.
- Where a parent is in a ‘start-up period’ (example: they are newly self-employed) they do not need to demonstrate that they meet the income criteria for 12 months.
- If a non-EEA national, the parent must have recourse to public funds.
Note: Please be aware that the entitlement to a free place does not offer a guarantee of a place at any one provider or a particular pattern of provision.
What do we mean by bullying?
At Shaftoe Trust Academy, we recognise bullying is a mixture of behaviours and impacts which can impact on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves. It is all about relationships and role modelling, and what happens when these go wrong.
Bullying is a mixture of behaviours and impacts which can impact on a person’s capacity to feel in control of themselves. Bullying takes place in the context of relationships; it is behaviour that can make people feel hurt, threatened, frightened, exploited and left out.
- This behaviour can include:
- Being called names, teased, put down or threatened
- Being hit, tripped, pushed or kicked
- Having belongings taken or damaged
- Being ignored, left out or having rumours spread about you
- Receiving abusive messages electronically
- Behaviour which makes people feel like they are not in control of themselves
- Being targeted because of who you are or who you are perceived to be
- Being forced to be involved in activities that you are uncomfortable, including bullying by adults such as through emotional or physical abuse or sexual exploitation
This behaviour can harm people physically or emotionally and, although the actual behaviour may not be repeated, the threat may be sustained over time, typically by actions: looks, messages, confrontations, physical interventions, or the fear of these. But this is not an exhaustive list, and it is important to consider impact, intent and persistence when defining bullying behaviour. Our curriculum ensures that our children understand that there are different kinds of bullying and what to do if they feel that they are being bullied.
IT'S IMPORTANT NOT TO GET HUNG UP ON 'HOW' SOMEONE IS BEING BULLIED, BUT INSTEAD FOCUS ON THE IMPACT THAT IT'S HAVING ON THEM
Is intent required?
Every bullying incident is looked at individually. In some cases, children may not be aware that their behaviour is actually bullying. They are perhaps modelling the behaviour of adults or other children and young people, not understanding that it is wrong because they have never been taught otherwise. In these circumstances, the intent to bully may not be present, but the impact and effect on the person being bullied will be no less severe because of this.
It is explained to the child bullying that their behaviour is unacceptable and why. Intent is difficult to prove and it’s more important to focus on the behaviour and the impact it had, rather than trying to establish whether someone acted deliberately or not.
Does the behaviour have to be persistent?
The issue with persistence is that the behaviour has to take place more than once, but the impacts of bullying can be felt after a single incident.
Bullying doesn’t need to be persistent to have an effect on the mental health and well-being of a child. For those who have been bullied, the fear and anticipation of further bullying can affect their ability to be themselves and interact with others in a healthy fashion. Bullying behaviour and its potential impacts on children are addressed as they arise.
How persistence is viewed by one person - for example daily, weekly or monthly - may be quite different to how it’s viewed by someone else, leading to inequality and inconsistency of practice. It isn’t helpful to wait and see if a pattern or repetition emerges before taking action. It is vital to respond to the behaviour that you see and the impact this is having, rather than relying on a rigid definition.
What about impact?
Bullying can affect children in different ways and this should be taken into consideration. If we are unsure if behaviour is bullying, look at the effect it is having on the child. If they are unable to respond effectively and regain their sense of self and control in the situation, adults need to intervene to help restore it. What we do about bullying is more important than how you define it.Keeping the focus on impact and response reduces the likelihood of getting caught up with issues of persistence and intent.
We should always remember that children will tease each other, fall in and out with each other, have arguments, stop talking to each other and disagree about what they like and don’t like. This is a normal part of growing up and should be distinguished from bullying. However, in an environment where this behaviour is left unchecked, it can lead to bullying, making those being bullied feel afraid, uncomfortable and unsafe in their environment.
Another core message that underpins the work we do is in our approach to labelling; we don't label children as ‘bullies’ or ‘victims’. Care is taken because labelling is not without its risks. Labelling a child on the basis of bullying behaviour can result in a confirmed identity as a ‘bully’ or ‘victim’ resulting in ongoing behaviour patterns based on this identity. We have developed approaches to working with bullying which hopefully avoid the labelling dilemma.
This is not about diluting behaviour but is to keep the focus of the adult’s responses on the behaviour that is problematic, rather than the assigning characteristics to those involved. This is a solution focussed approach that is designed to help children change the way they behave, rather than attempt to change who they are. We help children change by telling them and naming the behaviour that is unacceptable, being clear that what they are doing is bullying and that it needs to stop.
If you suspect that your child is being bullied, do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the Academy team. We will always do whatever we can to make a child's situation better. Along with our WISE Academies Family, we have developed a range of policies and procedures that enable us to take swift action to investigate allegations of bullying and put support in place for all concerned to eradicate the undesirable behaviour and offer support. Policies available include:
- Anti-bullying policy
- Anti-cyberbullying policy
- Child Protection and Safeguarding Children policy
- Behaviour Policy
These documents may be viewed here.
Bullying is neither accepted nor tolerated at Shaftoe Trust Academy.
Working together with children and families, we can make things better for everyone.
Why It Matters
At Shaftoe Trust Academy we recognise the importance of being in school, on time, every day.
The national average expected for children is 96%.
Did you know that an attendance percentage of 90% is equivalent to missing 19 school days a year?
If your child is not in school regularly they will miss out on fundamental learning in the classroom. This is extremely difficult to catch up on and affects all aspects of their future education, as well as forming bad habits.
As part of our on-going support system for children and their families you will receive regular updates on your child’s attendance with a strong focus on how it affects their learning.
Please see the document here for Guidance on Infection Control from the Public Health agency. If your child has an infectious illness you can see how long they recommend you keep them off school e.g. Chicken Pox.
If you have any questions about attendance you can pop in to the school office or give us a call, we're here to help!
What you can do
We understand that children will need time off school when they are poorly.
However you can avoid attendance becoming a concern by engaging with school and not taking unnecessary days off e.g. holidays during term time. Trying to make appointments for your child, and other family members, out of school hours will reduce time missed in classroom. This will make less of an impact on their school life.
You may not realise how quickly the odd day off can lead to a big dip in attendance percentage, indicating to school and other agencies that there may be problems to address.
Punctuality is just as important as attendance. If your child has 100% attendance but regularly arrives up to half an hour late they are still missing vital learning.
Most importantly we have an open door policy. If you have ANY queries or would like support on any matter we have a great welfare team who can provide referrals or advice.
If you wish to request time off during school term time there is a form you can complete. Please know that permission for holidays are only granted in exceptional circumstances.
You can view a copy of our attendance policy here
Why work for WISE Academies
We want WISE Academies to be the employer of choice for talented staff looking to work in the North-East of England. Below are some of the benefits of working for us: –
- Full access to Teachers’ Pension Scheme and Local Government Pension Scheme.
- Strong induction processes.
- A wide range of CPD opportunities offered through the Town End Teaching School Alliance, through joint working between the academies within our Trust and through other opportunities.
- Access to a well-being package for staff which provides a range of free benefits including counselling, physiotherapy, GP helpline and access to consultants and medical operations*.
- Full statutory rights around maternity/paternity and sickness schemes.
* exclusions may apply
You can find a list of our current vacancies here
Fundemental British Values
The Department for Education states that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 'Prevent Strategy' and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister in 2014. At Shaftoe Trust Academy, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Children are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Children also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular questionnaires. The elections of the School Council members and House Captains are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the academy or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has ‘School Rules’, which are deeply embedded in our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
Within the academy, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an academy, we educate and provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our e-safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge; of how they record; of participation in our numerous extra- curricular activities; our children are given the freedom to make choices. They understand that with rights comes responsibility.
Tolerance of Difference and Respect for Others
Our core value of tolerance of and respect for those who have different faiths and beliefs, different genders, different sexual orientations, different abilities, different families and different economic circumstances underpins our work. Shaftoe Trust Academy enhances children's understanding of different faiths and beliefs through Religious Education studies and different social circumstances through PSHE work. Visits out of the academy and visitors to the academy provide a richness of experience for our children. Through this our children gain an enhanced understanding of their place in a socially and culturally diverse society.
Our tasty school menus can be viewed below.
All meals are prepared freshly every day in school by our team of canny cooks.
Traditional Meal Choice
Breaded turkey burger & seasoned wedges
Beef bolognaise tacos & penne pasta
Roast pork & Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables
Garlic chicken & mozzarella melt with savoury rice
Fish fingers or fish finger wrap, chips and peas
Meat Free Vegetarian Meal Choice
Veggie meatballs in spicy tomato sauce with steamed rice
Cheese & tomato tart with mini baked or boiled potatoes
Mediterranean vegetable pasta & garlic slice
French bread pizza With mini potato waffles
Veggie sausages, chips and baked beans
Spiced Apple flapjack &
Lemon drizzle cake
Chocolate & banana muffins
Sticky toffee pudding & custard
Fruit, ice cream & desert sauce
Hot & Healthy Option
Crisp & fluffy jacket Potatoes topped with tuna mayo, cheddar cheese or baked beans
Cold light bite option
Daily selection may include turkey, Ham, tuna or cheese sandwich , baguette or wrap, *Hot Filled meat or vegetarian Panini and cold meat/cheese salad platters
A daily choice of seasonal vegetables will be on offer as well as a wide selection of fresh salads from the salad bar to accompany all of the above menu choices
Fresh fruit, low fat yoghurt as well as a selection of cold sweets, biscuits or cakes are also available daily from the cold display cabinet as an alternative to the daily desert menu option