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Chorlton Park Primary School Prospectus

A warm welcome to Chorlton Park School When we recently asked a group of Chorlton Park pupils how they would describe their school, the words that came up time and time again were ‘happy’, ‘friendly’, ‘fun’, ‘big’, ‘welcoming’, and ‘ecofriendly’. You won’t get a better picture than that from league tables or Ofsted reports - although we do very well in those too! We were delighted to be judged as ‘outstanding’ in our most recent Ofsted inspection in November 2009. What’s different about Chorlton Park is that our children remain at the centre of everything we do and we never lose sight of this. The best way to get to know our school is to come in and soak up its atmosphere and we’d love to welcome you in person. In the meantime, I hope that this prospectus gives you a taster and tells you all you need to know about what one of our pupils described as ‘better than the rest, better than the best’. You and your child are embarking on an exciting journey. We’re here to help you navigate the path from early childhood through to pre-teens. Together we’ll watch your child develop into a rounded, resilient and happy young person - ready to succeed and thrive in the modern world. David Watson Head Teacher

Contents A learning community that excels


From little acorns Foundation stage


A journey of discovery The curriculum and the school day


Listening, supporting, encouraging Removing barriers to education


Beyond the curriculum Developing the whole child


An outward-looking community Community and parents links


At Chorlton Park we all work together to make learning irresistible. Find out more at

Guidin g Chorlto principles of n Park School

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A learning community that excels You don’t have to spend long at Chorlton Park to get a sense of how positive its pupils are. They benefit from a challenging education as well as a caring and inclusive environment, and we think this shines through in their attitude to school. We’re a large primary school – the biggest in Manchester – but you don’t need to worry that your child will get lost in the crowd. Our children are aware that they are part of a big, exciting community, but each age group (or ‘phase’ as we call it) has its own mini community, which includes different classrooms, outside play areas, teachers, support staff and even their own areas in the school. Whether they are working in a small group or as part of a larger team, we’ll be there to encourage your child to be independent. We’ll celebrate their achievements and help them to grow into well-rounded people who are prepared for the next stages of their lives.

an ool is us h c s ing nio stand y, harmo essfully t u o ‘This ely happ ity succ re of the m a un extre ng comm ion and c upil.’ t i p learn ing educa or every f d i y v t pro uali est q high 2009 t

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We have high academic expectations, and making sure all our children reach their potential is key to everything we do. Our school is built on the belief that it is happy and secure children who achieve the most. We can only achieve our goals because of the strong relationships between our pupils, parents, carers, staff, governors and the wider community.

‘Pupils are exceptionally well cared for in the welcoming environment. Each one is known and valued as an individual so they feel secure and radiate pleasure in all they do.’ Ofsted report 2009

‘Pupils’ enjoyment of school is clear for all to see, and is a major factor in their outstanding achievement.’ Ofsted report 2009

From little acorns... Foundation Stage

We have some highly-experienced early years staff who are in demand for their expertise across the north west and beyond. These talented members of staff draw on their knowledge of a range of teaching and care techniques and strategies to give our children a sound start to school life. Our Foundation Stage begins at three and a half, and consists of two nursery rooms: Acorn and Oak, and three reception classes. Our nursery rooms each have 45 children who are split into three smaller groups of 15. Each year 45 children begin reception in September, with a further 45 joining in January, which takes each class to around 30 children. We have lots of ways to make sure your child settles well at school, and gets the most from their time here. There’s a well-planned settling-in period for every child, making the transition to school as smooth as possible. Our priorities for children in Foundation Stage: •

Personal, social and emotional development

Communication including language and literacy

Mathematical development

Knowledge and understanding of the world

Physical development

Creative development

‘From th e momen t they ar day, the rive eac bright s h t i mulatin environ g ment ca ptivates and invi the child tes them ren to explo investig re and ate indo o r s and ou Ofsted re tside.’ port 200 9

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ally that re g n i h c ea sts and nding t ‘Outsta pupils’ intere learning s in capture ngages them ellent e y ake exc m y activel e h s that t ensure ’ s. and progres mation r o f n i f eo ) is gy (ICT ative us ‘Imagin ation technolo l.’ ic oo commun ngth of the sch tre a real s 2009 eport Ofsted r

A journey of discovery... What we do at school

We are proud to say that we are a school that’s sharply focused on the future. We’re at the forefront of new developments in ways of teaching and using modern technology as a tool for learning. Our 21st Century approach isn’t about gigabytes and google though. Chorlton Park is different because of the ways we use new technology and educational theory to make every child’s experience here as effective and enriching as possible. Personalised learning

Our personalised approach to learning encourages personal development and promotes high standards while keeping our curriculum broad and exciting. What we’re aiming for is children who can use and apply their essential literacy, numeracy and ICT skills confidently in the classroom and in everyday life. If you’ve not been in a primary school for a long time you may be surprised by how we approach teaching and learning. It might sound odd, but we concentrate on the learning and not on the subjects. We know that the best learning happens when connections are made between subjects and the child is excited and motivated so we teach literacy, numeracy and ICT in a way that weaves it into a broader range of subjects. When looking at the Tudors, for example, your child may be studying what looks to you like history, but as part of this topic they will be developing their reading, writing and IT skills. We call these topics ‘big questions’. They encourage pupils to approach subjects from different angles, across disciplines and learning styles. More importantly they help our children to produce some exciting and innovative work. Year 6 children were recently challenged with the big question: ‘How did World War II affect the children of Chorlton Park?’, while Year 1 tackled ‘Are you afraid of the dark?’. Ofsted highlighted this as one of our strengths: “The ‘big question’ discussions link with subjects imaginatively, so pupils want to find out more whilst acquiring skills and knowledge”.

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Literacy, Maths and ICT

Children need a rich cultural environment to help develop confident reading, writing and speaking skills. We build up reading skills progressively, from phonic word building through to independent research activities. Children are encouraged to read at home and borrow books from our well-stocked library. Our ‘Have you got the reading habit?’ campaign got even the most reluctant readers excited about books with poetry competitions and performances and other great events. Children at Chorlton Park are taught to develop a range of strategies to solve mathematical problems. Using both paper and pencil methods and mental maths, we concentrate on instilling a real understanding of number and developing a high level of mental agility. We find ways of teaching numeracy to suit the child, giving them the confidence to enjoy and achieve in maths. Access to the latest technology has become vital in the 21st Century classroom. We’ve invested in great ICT resources and as a result have gained a reputation for innovation in this area. We have two dedicated ICT rooms and at least one networked computer in each classroom. We also have interactive whiteboards in every room, which has revolutionised the way we teach. Teachers now have a range of computer tools to help bring many subjects to life and pupils love contributing to the very lively blogs each year group have on our website. Children throughout the school also have plenty of opportunity to make their own films, animation and multimedia productions.

Religious Education

We teach knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs and customs drawn from the world’s major religions. We aim to develop children’s moral and spiritual awareness, and encourage them to respect the rights of those whose beliefs differ from their own. Acts of collective worship take place at assembly time. Parents and carers have the right to withdraw their children from part or all religious education and collective worship that we provide.

Sex Education

Age-appropriate sex education is taught to Year 6 pupils as part of PHSE Citizenship. Parents and carers are informed about when this will take place, and can opt to take their children out of these classes.

The structu re of our da y 8.50 Children arri ve, parents and carers welcomed in to classrooms 9.00 Doors close, sch school day be ool secured and the gins 9.10 Morning asse mbly (when timetabled) 10.10-10.30 Playtime for Key Stage 1 10.40-11.00 Playtime for Key Stage 2 11.30 Lunchtime fo r Foundatio 11.45-12.45 n Stage Lunchtime fo r Key Stage 12.45-1.45 1 Lunchtime fo r Key Stage 2.15-2.30 2 Afternoon p lay for Key St age 1 Afternoon as sembly (when timetabled) 3.20 End of schoo l day 3.30+ After-school clubs

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‘Excellent care procedures show that each pupil really matters as an individual; staff know pupils and their families well.’ Ofsted report 2009 8 Chorlton Park Primary School

Listening, supporting, encouraging... Removing barriers to education Every child is unique: each has unique abilities, skills and talents. Our job is to make each child’s education relevant and tailored to them, so that all are challenged and encouraged to reach their full potential. We teach a broad and balanced curriculum, and our children are taught in mixed ability classes within a variety of groups and sets. We are proud to have created a school climate where everyone is treated fairly, and there is mutual care, tolerance and respect. All children are encouraged to aim high and reach for the stars. We believe all children should have dreams and that we should nurture these. At Chorlton Park aspiration isn’t just for the high-flyer and our personalised approach to learning means all children can be challenged to achieve their goals. No child should be excluded or disadvantaged because of ethnicity, culture or religion, family background, special needs education, gender or ability. We work in partnership with parents, carers and children to make sure differences are embraced, understood and respected. We work hard to remove barriers to learning so we can quickly identify children with special needs and disabilities. If this is the case we work with parents or carers and their child, alongside appropriate agencies, such as health services, to provide the best learning opportunities for that child. Children who are gifted and talented are also given special support. Extended partnerships provide specialist teaching and opportunities the school alone cannot provide, for example additional activities for gifted and talented pupils or the chance to learn a musical instrument.

‘Very well fo cused and ta rgeted support ena bles pupils from a wide range of cu ltural grou ps and thos with specia e l education al needs and/or disa bilities to m ake excelle progress an nt d perform b etter than their counte rparts nati onally.’ Ofsted repor t 2009

If a child has English as an additional language we plan their work to make sure their home language and English skills are developed. We work with all children to teach them respect for others’ home language and culture.

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After school clubs and activities The learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school day. A thriving and ever-developing programme of after school activities covers everything from a wide range of sports, choir, Brazilian drumming, art, dance and even beatbox!

ral, l, mo ent a u t i spir lopm nding ural deve tunities a t s t ‘Ou por cult ied op nd l and r a i a c v o s ils ns a s pup motio e offer n o lect to ref nces.’ ie exper 2009 t

repor Ofsted

Beyond the curriculum... Developing the whole child

We live in a complex world. 21st Century children need to be tolerant, resilient and emotionally intelligent. We want our children to become considerate and thoughtful individuals, and we go beyond the national curriculum in order to encourage this. A word about behaviour

Our school has high expectations about how children should behave. Our policy is simple: good behaviour is rewarded; poor behaviour has different consequences. Our simple and effective way of dealing with behavioural issues is clear to all children. Each class has three coloured circle displays, and children who break a class or school rule are moved from green to amber and if necessary to red. Sanctions appropriate to the child and their behaviour are applied. Our children are taught through stories and role play that bullying is not acceptable at Chorlton Park. Any incidences are dealt with promptly and support is offered to the children involved.

Buddies and councillors

Our pupils are taught to be considerate and think about others. The buddying scheme, where older children support younger ones in the classroom and at playtimes, is a great way to instil a responsible attitude. The School Council, made up of elected representatives from each class, has real power in the management of the school. The council has recently changed school dinner arrangements and inspired a revamp of the toilets!

Healthy and green

We are part of the Manchester Healthy Schools Award which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of pupils and staff. The Healthy Schools Scheme is a national initiative that covers social and emotional health, healthy eating, and exercise. At Chorlton Park this whole school initiative covers everything from our famous ‘Fruity Fridays’ to our Eco Warriors who patrol the school for waste, and are champions of recycling.

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‘Each class has a ‘LEAF’ chill out zone where pupils can sort out any problems. Pupils from all backgrounds form friendships and mix happily together, and respect the diverse beliefs, customs and lifestyles represented in the school. They are considerate and show a keen sense of right and wrong.’ Ofsted report 2009

‘Relationships with parents are excellent. The school is passionate about involving them.’ Ofsted report 2009

An outward-looking community Community and parents links

The success of Chorlton Park is dependent on great relationships with parents and carers, our involvement in our local community, a strong and committed board of governors, and a dynamic and active Parent Teacher Association (PTA). It’s really important for us to work together with all parents and carers to make sure they are happy with the education we provide for their children, and to make sure we’re aware of any issues that might affect their child. We hold regular workshops and coffee mornings for parents and carers, which focus on specific issues or policies, and produce a parents’ survey every two years. We also produce a weekly newsletter to keep parents and carers up to date with school news. Our website and blogs are up to date and include the curriculum, our inspection reports and school policies, as well as news and lots of children’s work and opportunities for interacting with school.

ous rmoni a h , calm ut to ol is a t reaches o where o h c s ‘The ity, t tha nmen al commun espect for o r i v n c r e o t its l ve and gain ifestyles r o p p l i su ls thr ltures and i p u p rld.’ u all rent c he wider wo e f f i d the nd t tain a in Bri 009 2 report Ofsted

We also recognise what a great resource our parents and carers are. A regular cross-school project called ‘Aspirations Week’ sees parents and carers come into school to talk about their jobs, and share experiences about the work they do. This allows parents and carers to actively engage with our pupils, and enriches the learning experiences of our children. The relationship is two-way. Parent support advisers are there to help parents having difficulties or who just need to share an issue. We even provide Parenting Survival Courses run by the parent support advisers based at school. The PTA is an important part of school life. It puts on a dazzling array of events from discos to melas, car boot sales and book sales to the summer and winter fairs. These make a significant contribution to school funds and are a brilliant way of making our school into a real community. Our Board of Governors works with the school to provide leadership. They act as critical friends, helping to improve and develop the school. The Chair of Governors is currently Amanda Edwards.

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We’d love to hear from you... If you’d like more information about the school or to arrange to come and visit us, please get in touch.

‘Pupils ’o develop utstanding pe rs m central ent and well-b onal eing ar to the s e uccess Ofsted r of the s eport 20 chool.’ 09

Mauldeth Road West Chorlton Manchester M21 7HH 0161 881 1621

This prospectus is printed on recycled paper and was written, designed and produced by copper media 07884 427 009 Photography by Paul Cliff

Chorlton Park prospectus