What have been our successes?
Bethersden Primary School is a happy, secure and stimulating environment where all members of the school community are valued and encouraged to work together. We provide a broad, balanced curriculum for all age groups, and have been working hard to ensure that we adopt the principles of 'Every Child Matters' and develop an exciting and creative curriculum. Visitors frequently comment on the calm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the school.
We offer a child-centred approach to teaching, building upon the children's own interests and abilities. Pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning, for example, each term they choose to follow a 6 week course from a range of options, such as gardening, cookery or farming. These options are led by staff, parents and members of the local community.
We hold the Activemark, Bronze Ecoschools Award, a Gold Travel Plan and Healthy Schools Status and, amongst other things, are working towards accreditation for Anti-Bullying.
Over the last year we have:
Key Stage 2 Attainment
How are we making sure that every child gets teaching to meet their individual needs?
Teacher's planning caters for individual learning styles and work is differentiated accordingly for individual needs. Tracking of pupils identifies individual/group underachievement or the more able, enabling us to put appropriate interventions in place to ensure all pupils achieve their potential. Members of the Senior Leadership Team meet regularly with class teachers to discuss the progress of every individual child in the school.
Provision for SEN pupils is good - we work successfully to accommodate differing needs of pupils; we have staff with high levels of SEN knowledge and experience and we work collaboratively with parents, outside agencies and other schools.
In the last 2 years over a third of our pupils have taken up grammar school places.
NB: For the most up to date results please click on the Results link button above.
How are we working with parents and the community?
We are fortunate to have a supportive body of parents, who are actively involved in school life. Apart from fundraising and day to day support in the classroom, parents work with us in the following ways:
School visits are made to local businesses and children use local sites as resources and stimuli for learning, for example visiting local farms and the rocking horse factory. The school is actively involved in village events, such as the Royal Wedding Celebrations and the regular Gardening Shows. We are pleased to welcome the community warden into school every week to work alongside staff in the classroom.
Links with neighbouring schools continue to grow stronger. We work closely with two other small rural schools in our area.
In order to keep them well informed, parents receive weekly newsletters, regular class newsletters, copies of their child's targets and progress reports three times a year.
What have pupils told us about the school, and what have we done as a result?
Pupils are invited to contribute to the development of the curriculum, and representatives have met with staff and attended staff training days, so that their views are considered during initial discussions. We are currently looking at the structure of the school day, as a result of this, and the types of activities we offer as part of the curriculum. We have an active School Council, with a budget. They meet weekly and discuss issues raised by pupils in their classes. Some of the things actioned by the pupils include:
How do we make sure our pupils are healthy, safe and well-supported?
What activities and options are available to pupils?
We extend the creative opportunities offered to the pupils by organizing creative weeks/days, e.g art, music, science, French, to provide an in-depth study of skills and knowledge related to a specific area of the curriculum. Every Tuesday we run "Bethersden Academy" when pupils have the opportunity to chose from a range of activities delivered by staff, parents and members of the local community. These activities run for 6 weeks.
French is timetabled in all Key Stage 2 classes, although KS1 classes introduce the language through games and topic related activities. This is supported by Le Club Francais, which is open to all pupils. Pupils also have opportunities to learn German and Spanish.
Residential visits and day trips are used to further develop the curriculum and the skills of the children and extensive use is made of the local environment .
The school provides a wide range of in-school and after-school clubs for all age ranges.
To support the teaching of music, a range of music specialists visit the school to deliver private lessons. All pupils benefit from music workshops, demonstrations and concerts.
The school participates in many sports tournaments, again to develop the particular talents of pupils or just to enjoy participation in physical activities.
What do our pupils do after leaving this school?
Most of our pupils attend Homewood School in Tenterden, or Norton Knatchbull or Highworth Grammar Schools in Ashford, although in recent years we have also sent pupils to the Towers, the North, Swadelands and the John Wallis Academy.
In the last couple of years about a third of our pupils have successfully gained Grammar School places.
We are involved in Homewood's Transition Week in the Summer Term, and work very closely with Homewood and other local secondary schools throughout the year to ease transition.