We pride ourselves on being a very successful school. Staff enjoy working here and children enjoy learning here. It all goes towards providing children with a caring and secure environment. Above all else we want children to feel they are given the opportunity to succeed. I hope this booklet will give you an insight into the wide range of opportunities children are given at The Willows School. We regard belonging to our school as something which is important to us all - children, staff, parents and governors alike. We welcome new children and hope they will soon feel part of our family. Jo Whitmore Headteacher
Chair of Governors: David Werry Headteacher: Jo Whitmore Deputy Headteacher : Laura Lazenby
Mrs Oâ€™Neill / Mrs White
What does learning look like at the Willows? We are passionate about our children becoming independent, confident learners, equipped for the future. How do we achieve this? Our lively curriculum is designed to be varied and engaging. It
is delivered through a wealth of relevant, real-life problem solving opportunities. Children are absorbed in the learning, actively finding solutions to the difficulties that they meet. Our pupils are resilient; they celebrate challenge and use mistakes as further opportunities to learn. The pupils at the Willows are enthusiastic learners, who relish striving to become the best that they can be! ‘The particularly well-designed curriculum supports outstanding teaching and encourages the development of skills across subjects. Lessons are well planned and structured, taking careful account of pupils’ previous learning so as to ensure that activities are closely matched to their learning needs. Homework strongly supports pupils’ learning.’ Ofsted 2012. Our curriculum is designed to give children first hand experiences so that they learn through ‘discovery’. We motivate and engage the children through a series of miniadventures. All the subjects are then taught through this adventure. Just a few of our adventures are ‘Houston we have a problem’, ‘marvelous microbes’, ‘into the woods’ and ‘Charlie Small’. All the subject skills are then developed through ‘hands on’ activities that, not only teach the skills but also give children the ability to solve problems, work as a group and communicate effectively.
Mathematics: Here at the Willows we teach maths to Mastery. This means that we expect all pupils can and will achieve. As a result of this pupils progress through the curriculum content at the
same pace. At the heart of every lesson is the intention that children will demonstrate fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Children are taught in mixed ability groups and use practical apparatus to support and develop their understanding of key concepts. Learning focusses on nurturing a secure knowledge of fundamental skills. Lessons and resources are crafted carefully to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. Practice and consolidation play a central role within this and therefore, well-designed variation
challenges are used to build proficiency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts in tandem. During lessons teachers use precise questioning to check, assess and challenge children’s understanding and in response children are expected to articulate their explanations to problems using accurate mathematical vocabulary.
English-Writing Here at Willows, we believe that you are an author the moment that you start writing, not from the day that you sell your first book. This is evident within the rich writing opportunities that we consistently provide for our children—right from the Story Scribing that goes on in Reception, through to the epic Harry Potter suspense stories that we craft within Year 6. English at the Willows is taught as part of a cross-curricular approach to learning of which we call our ‘Mini-Adventure’. Cross-curricular learning takes place when a range of different subject areas (for example English and History) are taught in close relation to one another, in turn allowing children to acquire a deeper level of understanding. One
day, we might be learning about the use of semi-colons in order to link two main ideas. The next day, we might be 5
learning about crime and punishment during the
Roman era, however we might use our knowledge of semi-colons in order to depict the historical knowledge that we have acquired in a meaningful way. This way, we ensure that key English skills are embedded throughout all areas of the curriculum, as opposed to just during English lessons. The teaching of Spelling and Grammar is very much an integral part of our Mini Adventures and is always taught in a contextual and meaningful way so that children are empowered to use their skills and knowledge in order to develop and enhance their writing for an audience. At the beginning of each Mini-Adventure, the children’s imagination is ignited through the use of ‘fascinators’, which we use in order to immerse the children into an environment that links to their writing focus. From the seaside and the farm for KS1 to The National Space Centre and Harry Potter World for KS2, the children at Willows are never short of things to say when it comes to their final writing piece!
English- Reading: Children at Willows are encouraged to read widely for pleasure from an early age: reading is taught within Reception and KS1 through letters and sounds (phonics), which is taught daily. Each time that the children are taught a new sound, they are then encouraged to segment the sounds that they know within words in order to decode information within texts that are appropriate for their age range. Within both KS1 and KS2, children are given opportunities to read every single day, as we use our fun ‘Accelerated Reading’ app in order to promote reading for pleasure and in order to track progress within the area of Reading. At the start of each year, every child
takes a ‘Star Reading Quiz’, which assesses which range of books are most appropriate for each individual child. Children then choose a book which is matched to their reading range and, once they have finished the book by reading it both in school and at home, they will take a quiz which assesses their understanding of the text. This ensures that children are reading texts that they can comprehend as well as enjoy. In KS1, the children are taught a Guided 6
Reading lesson each and every day by teachers and support staff who have a vast experience and knowledge base in the areas of developing children’s fluency, expression and understanding. Within KS2, Guided Reading is taught at least 3 times a week by the same body of staff, which ensures continuity across all year groups. A wealth of fiction and non-fiction texts are used in order to facilitate this learning experience and children are consistently encouraged to use a variety of strategies in order to understand the meaning of each text that they read.
English– Spelling: The teaching of spelling at Willows is both fun and contextual. Right from the beginning of a child’s journey through school, each child is encouraged to spell correctly and consistently using their knowledge of letters and sounds (Phonics) to guide them in segmenting and spelling words in a phonetically plausible way. Within Reception, each child is given a booklet which mirrors the spelling work that has taken place at school. This ensures that parents can help their child by practising their spellings with them at home. Within KS1 and KS2, children are taught a variety of different strategies in order to help them to spell accurately. The National Curriculum suggests that particular focus should be placed upon high frequency words, commonly misused words (homophones) and spelling rules, which is exactly what we focus upon at Willows (whilst making sure that we have lots of fun in the process!) Statutory words from the National Curriculum are taught through ‘Word of the Week’: each week, children are given a conundrum (imagine ‘Countdown’ style) on the board of which they have to try and solve. On
Wednesdays, the Word of the Week is revealed and children are explicitly taught the meanings of the words through a range of fun and engaging activities so that they are then empowered to use these words within their writing. Spelling rules and homophones are taught within school and then reinforced by the children’s use of their Spelling books at home. The children bring their Spelling books home in order to practise with their parent or guardian; children are encouraged to 7
practise for at least ten minutes a day, three times a week. Once a rule or homophone has been taught explicitly within school, it will then be reinforced through the use of fun games which excite and enthuse the children. All rules are taught in conjunction with our ‘Mini-Adventure’, which means that children are actively encouraged to apply their knowledge of each spelling rule to their writing. For those that struggle with spelling or even those who just want to come and play the fun games that we provide, Spelling Club is held twice weekly with Miss Barnsley and Miss Wilding.
The Early Years Foundation Stage: Our Early Years Foundation Stage setting follows a primarily child-initiated approach to learning where children learn to lead their own play and build on their own experiences. Teacher’s give children the freedom to ‘create and think critically’ by ‘playing and exploring’ through an ‘active learning’ approach. These are also known as the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Our children are aware of how they are playing through these characters: Olly Owl, Mo Monkey and Tilly Tiger. At Willows Primary School, we believe allowing children to talk about their play
and giving children time to reflect ensures that children become creative and resilient learners.
Religious Education: The Religious Education curriculum is designed to build on the level of knowledge and understanding of religion previously held by our children. As the religious tradition of the country is broadly Christian in orientation, this, to an extent, underpins the religious education of the school. Children also have the opportunity to explore other religions and cultures such as Buddhism and Islam. Our curriculum also takes into account the spiritual, moral, social and cultural backgrounds of the children.
Throughout the school,
individuality is evident as pupils are encouraged to make their own decisions about all aspects of school life based on their own personal interests, strengths and values. The curriculum is inspiring.
Pupils very quickly
develop a love of learning and are eager for more. Pupils have a strong sense of right and wrong
behaviour evident in the school. Pupils are proud to be part of the school and enthusiastically join in with school performances and extra-curricular activities. 8
Art and Design Art is one of the most enjoyable aspects of learning. All children have great enthusiasm and imagination and it is through art and craft we give the opportunity to tap into this creativity. Children use a variety of materials and tools. Painting, drawing, modelling, collage, printing, textiles and designing are included for all children.
Music: We value the place of Music within our curriculum at Willows School. Our aim is to develop a sensitive response to sound and the ability to express ideas and feelings through sharing and performing music. Music is an enjoyable experience and children are encouraged to achieve the highest possible standards in their work. We provide woodwind tuition FREE OF CHARGE.
Physical Education Physical Education at Willows is not just the two hours of lesson time that is engrained
into our curriculum but the lunchtime activities, the break time opportunities, the afterschool clubs and the competitions that we enter that give the children at Willows the best opportunities to engage in being fit and healthy. Our curriculum is design around the basics of gymnastics, dance, games, swimming and athletics but that is not to say that these are the only areas the children are encouraged to take part in. Like all other areas of the Willows curriculum, PE is inventive and adaptable so it best fits the children and gives them as many opportunities as possible. With this being possible, our aim is to ensure that we provide all children the chance to find an activity or sport they enjoy building a positive attitude towards regular physical activity throughout life. As part of our commitment to providing a balanced PE curriculum we employ a sports coach, who takes all the children for games lessons every week and he also allows us to offer a range of after school clubs. We have also invested in a range of outdoor equipment over the past
few years, which now more than ever, allows the children to be active not just during lesson time but also 9
breaks and lunchtimes. We have invested in a bike track and BMXs, outdoor gym
equipment and a MUGA (multi use games area) which are all used inside and outside of the curriculum, something that is quite unique for a Primary School to offer. We also offer the children a range of opportunities to take part in after school clubs from zumba to football, from hockey to badminton, hopefully allowing the children to become passionate about a sport they enjoy. We also pride ourselves with the amount of School
Games Competition that we enter throughout the year, which allowed use to gain a Schools Games Mark 2016 and gives the children the chance to compete against other schools.
Computers: The Computing Curriculum (Formerly known as ICT or Information and Communication Technology) plays a hugely important role in a childâ€™s preparation for modern life.
Everything we touch today has a relevance to technology, whether it is the nutrition content of a cereal bar or the till that scans it as we pay. In this ever changing world we, at Willows School, believe that computing should constantly empower and inspire the children, giving them the skills and confidence to use technology independently and with relevance to their learning. Every class is equipped with an array of technological resources. The children learn from their personal use of iPads & laptops and the teacher leads their learning from an interactive touchscreen. Year 6 pupils are loaned a personal iPad for home use which uses Willows safe firewall and content tailored, by their teachers, to their lessons. However, computing is much more than simply computers and we provide a wealth of other opportunities.
Special Educational Needs: As a school we try to be aware of the special needs a child may experience during their time at the Willows. Whether it is a learning difficulty, emotional or behavioural need, or sensory impairment, we aim to support such identified children to the best of our ability. We do this by close liaison between the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, class teacher
and outside agencies. If concerns are raised about a child an 'in school' assessment is carried out and an individual learning plan initiated which, wherever possible, will provide a level of one to one or small group support from within the school's resources. Plans and progress are regularly monitored and discussions held with parents. Should we feel the need to involve outside agencies then this is fully discussed with parents beforehand. We aim to work in close partnership with parents for the benefit of their children.
Behaviour: It is the aim of the school to encourage self discipline, self respect and consideration for others. All our rules are based on common sense and are there to ensure the safety, well being and happiness of everyone. Fighting, unkindness and bullying have no place at the Willows. Rules are emphasised on various occasions and the content of many morning assemblies is designed to highlight good moral behaviour. We place great emphasis on praise and encouragement and firmly believe that children respond to us being positive towards good behaviour. We have a range of reward systems to say well done to children. If a child cannot behave in the way we expect, we will then take appropriate action, which may mean the withdrawal of privileges or contacting parents to discuss the matter. We take great pride in the fact that we are complimented on numerous occasions about the outstanding behaviour of our children, in school and when we take them out on educational visits. Our school has a reputation for good discipline, something which we cherish. Discipline in our school is not accomplished through a strict, harsh regime. It is done by caring for all the children and encouraging them to care about the school. We also spend time following up all concerns, no matter how small. It is because children feel cared for, in an orderly well-disciplined environment, that they are happy at our school.
All meals are eaten in the dining hall in a quiet, orderly way. It is a social part of the day
and good manners, correct table manners and thought for others are encouraged. We run our own in-house catering service for school dinners called Willows Choices using local providers for fresh produce which is delivered daily. Our menus are varied and exciting whilst still keeping within all the necessary nutritional standards. Meals are priced at ÂŁ2.20. You may choose to bring a packed lunch. This is eaten in the dining hall and a drink of water is provided. Please make sure that all drinks brought from home are in plastic containers as we believe that glass containers could be dangerous. All KS1 children stay for school lunch to take advantage of the government scheme giving all KS1 children a free lunch. During the lunch break, the children are looked after by lunchtime supervisors. Many of our staff are also in the school dining room during
lunchtime. It is very important that parents take advantage of free school meals should they be eligible. Be assured our system ensures that that free school meals remain anonymous. Parents are now able to select each day what they would like their child to eat. Parents can pre-select a meal from our online menu in advance up to midnight the
night before. This is all booked and paid for through Scopay. 12
A smart uniform enhances both the Girls children’s appearance and that of the Grey polo shirt school. It sets a good tone and they can Grey skirt feel proud of their school and the uniform Red v neck jumper or cardigan that identifies them with it. Children are asked to wear school uniform which is as follows:
School shoes no open toed sandals Uniform is available direct from ‘Uniform Plus’ in Tamworth Street.
Grey polo Grey trousers,
Navy shorts / white T shirt / Black soft
Red V neck jumper,
pumps or bare feet (no training shoes) for
School shoes no trainers
Arriving at school on time and attending school regularly are very important features of school life. Leave home to give yourself plenty of time for an unhurried journey and to arrive at school five minutes before the bell. This is early enough, especially in wet/cold weather. We do like children to arrive on time, but remember, it is better to come late than not at all. NURSERY
KEY STAGE 1
KEY STAGE 2 9.00-12.15
Please make sure you notify us of your child’s absence before 9.00a.m. by calling 01543 421830 and leaving a message on the absence line. 13
We believe that children learn from Because of cost and regulations, school being given as many first hand visits are vanishing from many schools experiences as possible. The best way to but at the Willows we feel that they are do this is by taking children out of school very important to our children. to see for themselves.
We base much of our curriculum around a wide range of educational visits from taking our reception children to Cannock Chase to visits to London and York for our older children. We value these activities so much that we have our own school mini-buses to
enable us to take children out without any transport costs to parents. All visits are subsidised and pupil premium children go on trips at a nominal charge.
Our visits include: London York Walking in the Lake District Chester Farm Visits The Zoo The Peak District The Theatre Cannock Chase Stratford Black Country Museum Rhyl Outdoor Activity Centres, etc.
As you can see we offer a wide range of after-school activities for the children, 25 in Our clubs include: all. All these are organised by the teachers
on a voluntary basis and we see this as a
educational initiatives free extra-curricular activities
schools. Not so at the Willows. We value so
much this extension of the childâ€™s life in
Three Football Clubs
What Ofsted said about our school Achievement of pupils
Quality of teaching
Behaviour and safety of pupils
Leadership and management
This is an outstanding school because:
Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage make rapid gains from low starting points. Pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2 make outstanding progress.
Disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs make excellent progress in reading, writing and mathematics, due to very good support.
Pupils’ attainment is markedly above that reached by pupils in other schools by
the end of Year 6.
Teaching is outstanding. Teachers have high expectations of what pupils can achieve. They provide demanding activities and mark pupils work skilfully so that the standard of pupils’ work improves.
An imaginatively designed range of learning opportunities makes sure that pupils enjoy their lessons and have excellent opportunities for their spiritual, moral and social development.
Pupils develop very positive attitudes to learning and enjoy school immensely. The school’s highly inclusive values mean that pupils feel safe and behave very well.
Leadership and management at all levels, including governance, are outstanding. Leaders rigorously monitor the quality of teaching and its contribution to pupils’ progress and set demanding improvement targets.
Leaders ensure that all aspects of the school’s work have a positive impact on pupils’ learning and progress, and continually improve.
(To read the full report go to our web site or to the Ofsted web site.) 16
Attainment 2019 Expected
A significantly higher percentage of willows children met the expected standard than children nationally across all subjects. Average Scaled Score
Willows children have a higher average scaled score than all children nationally.
Progress Measure Reading
2.02 Well above average
2.44 Well above average
3.55 Well above average
We are in the top 25% of schools nationally, in all areas.
3 Year Olds We offer provision from the term after a child turns three. This is within the same unit as our maintained nursery. All children are entitled to 15 hours free and some children are entitled to 30 hours free. Maintained Nursery
All children – 15 free hours in morning or afternoon Nursery.
Eligible children – Additional free 15 hours
Additional paid for hours - flexible between 8am and 6pm.
All children are entitled to 15 hours of Nursery provision. Children will be allocated either a morning or an afternoon session. Parents can request which session they prefer and we will try our best to accommodate but we cannot guarantee that all parents will receive the session they prefer. Children entitled to the 30 hours will receive the extra 15 hours through our wrap around care. Please see details on the web site. Additional hours can be paid for. Extended services are also available for parents to pay for if they are not entitled to the 30 hours. Our wrap around care runs alongside the maintained nursery. It is within the same unit and remains under the supervision of the Nursery teacher. Within wrap around, children are allocated a key worker who works alongside the Nursery teacher to extend learning using the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Please view our extended services page to find out more information about the provision. If children are within the provision all day, you can either provide a packed lunch or pay for a school dinner at a cost of £2:00. You can find more information on our web site.
‘Very good school. Teachers very nice and most of all my daughter enjoys school and is happy to go every day’.
‘The school has a lovely feeling-very friendly. The ethos is very good and treats all children as equals’.
‘It is extremely well organised and I feel that I can approach you with any problems as and when they occur’.
‘...the friendliness and easy to talk to teachers’.
‘It is a friendly and approachable school. It deserves its good name’.
‘I love the friendly atmosphere’
‘...that there is no bullying’.
‘The staff are great my son has a lot of help in school’.
‘The staff have always got time to speak to us as parents and I can email the staff
‘The teaching and equipment in school is fantastic and very friendly’. ‘I like how my child comes home every day really happy about what she has learned’. ‘A caring, nurturing and disciplined atmosphere’. ‘I feel a good sense of fairness and good atmosphere’. ‘The positive attitude and encouragement my children get from the staff’. The school has strong values’. ‘Everyone is treated as an equal’. ‘The child is the most important.-the staff do their best to ensure that the children are happy and achieve their full potential-whatever that may be’. ‘Calm well behaved children. Positive atmosphere-good work rewarded. Problems sorted quickly. Very good teachers’. ‘A friendly caring atmosphere, balanced with correct levels of discipline. The ability to recognise a child’s strengths and encourage them’. ‘The after school clubs are great…’ ‘The school encourages the children to enjoy learning and that respect and responsibility matter’. directly if I have a problem’
‘..the fact that there is good discipline and the children know what is expected of them in terms of behaviour’.
‘The office staff are very easy to approach if you have a problem’.