Priorities in our school setting...
Newark Town Headteachers work closely together to ensure that we can make a difference together for the town as a whole and for all our children and families. Lovers' Lane Primary and Nursery and the other Newark Town schools are part of Together for Newark, which is a partnership of education, business, local charities and other organisations in the town committed to achieving common goals for our community. Newark Town Heads and Newark Area Heads meet regularly and Newark Town Heads hold a strategic planning meeting each Summer. Priorities from Summer 2018 meeting included EYFS, Curriculum to suit the needs of our town in Newark, Attendance and Parental engagement.
Big priorities for us across Newark include:
- Improving Social Mobility and raising aspiration and employment prospects
- Supporting the development of resilience and reduction of mental health problems in our community (including the impact of financial worries, substance misuse and domestic violence)
- Ensuring our children get the best start in life and in education and engaging our parents well
At Lovers' Lane, we are very mindful of the needs of our children and families in all we do. We are extremely proud of our community and nurturing ethos. Our School Values and TEAM SWAN ethic are deeply valued and are embedded in our school life because we try to work as a family with our children, parents and community to ensure the best for the children.
We have reviewed our curriculum and strive to ensure that these big priorities are at the heart of our work.
Ways we have adapted our curriculum to support these areas so far include:
Improving Social Mobility/Raising aspiration and employment prospects:
- Inspirational visitors in school to raise aspiration, including sporting personalities, parents with interesting jobs, visitors from local community services (such as our local churches and Newark Library), business leads etc.
- We join in with our town enrichment services and our Year 5 and 6 pupils attend a careers fair each year
- We have a business link who support our Eco-club and enterprise events through our involvement in Together for Newark.
- Our children enjoy a comprehensive PSHCEE curriculum, which is designed to teach life skills and citizenship
- We hold adult learning courses for parents in our school building in conjunction with our local Children's Centres and Inspire Learning (part of the Library Service)
- We are keen to work with parents to explore their views so this can inform ways we can help further
- We aim to create an outward facing dimension to our curriculum to enable pupils to widen their perspectives through educational visits, quality texts, international links and other opportunities in our curriculum, such as visitors and use of art etc.
- Through strategic use of our Pupil Premium funding and EYFS Pupil Premium funding too.
Supporting the development of resilience and reduction of mental health problems in our community:
- We have introduced Take 5 Breathing with charity 'Each Amazing Breath' and Public Health England, which is led by the children and supports improving resilience and access to learning
- We have a subscription to the CASY counselling service, who provide 1:1 counselling, nurture groups, life skills workshops and much more.
- We have 2 Primary Mental Health Ambassadors, who have completed Primary Mental Health First Aid training and have been trained with the Anna Freud Toolkit. They are members of our local Primary Mental Health Network across Newark Town Schools led by our Inclusion Lead/Family SENCO and SBAP (School Behaviour and Attendance Partnership).
- We work closely with our SBAP to support pupils needing more help
- We work closely with our Primary Mental Health CAMHs lead
- We have tight procedures for reporting concerns and take prompt action when children need support
- We have a learning mentor who supports identified children to ensure they can access learning and feel able to access all opportunities
- We have a School and Families Support (SAFS) team, who monitor and review every child on our vulnerable list (under each layer of Nottinghamshire's Pathway to Provision - the guide on what level of support children need) each half term. This team includes our Safeguarding Lead, Attendance officer, SENCO, school nurse and sometimes advice is also sought from our local housing officer for parents and families.
- We work closely with our PCSO, who comes into school regularly and supports our curriculum. He helps us with online safety, 'people who help us' for our very young children, reading stories on World Book day, supporting holiday football clubs by popping in and much more.
- We work closely with Newark MIND, a local charity supporting good mental health
- We have assemblies about staying safe from Fire Service, NSPCC, Road Safety officers, from pupils at Magnus Academy in 'Healthy Minds' week, linked to Anti-bullying and Water safety from The Canal Trust.
- Our KS2 children take part in Bikeability training
- Our children take part in NSPCC Pants training to keep them safe
- We have DARE (Drug and Adult Related Education) in Year 6 and the children learn about staying safe with medicines and drugs in the 'On Track' scheme of learning in PSHCEE all through school from the Early Years. This is another priority area for our community.
- We are part of the Great Project to educate our pupils around issues of positive relationships and reducing domestic violence
- We celebrate difference, such as House Days on Cultural Difference in our community, led by parents following our PATH visioning days, GRT cultural celebration day to celebrate and learn about traveller culture, assemblies linked to world religions and visitors to enrich this too.
- We work closely with Newark and Sherwood Homes to support families with housing or financial difficulties.
- We are part of the All Together Antibullying Alliance project and are working to become an 'All Together' school.
- We are developing an emotion coaching culture and implementing a restorative justice approach to dealing with problems that arise and in addressing behaviour concerns
- Our children are trained as 'Peer Mentors' and 'Play Leaders' to support each other as part of our coaching culture
- Staff well-being is a high priority
- We engage with a wide range of services to provide or signpost support for our children and parents/carers.
- We support parents with 'Sleeptight' and '123 Magic' courses to help children in home and at school
- We use incentives for raising attendance and reducing persistent absence and this is highly effective as seen in our attendance impact data.
Ensuring our children get the best start in life and engaging our parents well:
- We have had a full audit of our EYFS and are working hard to improve provision and implement the advice of the EYFS Consultant and to implement training ideas from courses attended, including Early Excellence, from our teaching school alliance (CCLTSA) and Nottinghamshire Local Education Authority (NCC).
- We work closely with the Children's Centres in our town to help support parents and children both under 5 and in the Reception year.
- We have purchased a new reading scheme so that children can reinforce their reading and phonics skills readily
- We have identified EYFS and low starting points for Communication and Language and Early Reading as a whole town issue and are working on this as a collective. We have set up a town network to support Early reading, communication, Speech and Language.
- We have 2 Language Leads in EYFS/KS1 who work closely in our local networks to bring support to children and staff in our school.
- Our SBAP have a Speech and Language Therapist, who has led INSET training for our staff in February 2018 and has also advised in Year 1 for pupils needing to close the gap from EYFS early learning goal targets.
- We have one Language Lead trained in ELKLAN strategies
- We work with local settings feeding into EYFS
- Staff across EYFS and KS1 have had Talk Boost training to implement this as a new approach from September 2018.
- We moderate our judgements with other town schools and at Nottinghamshire County Moderation meetings.
- We hold TLC meetings (Termly Learning Conversations), which are a structured conversation about the child with the parent, child and teacher together in the Autumn and Spring terms and set targets for the term ahead. In the Summer term we send home and end of year report to parents.
- We have recruited new staff into EYFS and Year 1 for September 2018
- We work with parents to support them with pastoral issues, adult learning, attendance and much more... we are constantly looking to ways to involve our parents in school life and engaging them to get the best for the children.
- Through holding an annual visioning event with the whole school community including parents, children, staff, governors, extended services and community links to gain views and create investment a shared vision.