Early Years

Early Years at Spofforth School

As a successful and forward thinking Federation, we continually strive to improve provision for pupils and ensure the long-term success and viability of both our small village schools.

Since September 2018 it has been our pleasure to teach all our Early Years (Reception) pupils from both schools as a single class at Spofforth School. There are significant educational benefits for children including;

  • All Early Years pupils accessing a wider peer group to enhance their personal and social development.
  • A dedicated Early Years setting designed and resourced specifically to promote the Early Years curriculum.
  • Maximising the specialist skills of existing staff and the enhanced outdoor provision for the benefit of pupils.
  • All children being in dedicated Phase or Key stage classes.
  • All children in classes with a maximum of only one other year group.
  • A more even spread of pupils across classes.

In addition to the educational benefits outlined above a combined Early Years group will make more effective and efficient use of specialist Early Years resources and increase the likelihood of accessing funding to further improve facilities.

Since September 2018 Early Years (Reception) pupils from Follifoot have been taught at Spofforth School in Class One with Mrs Lee, Mrs Curtis and Mrs Caldecott and Miss Ellis.  If needed, children can be  transported using the NYCC school service bus and accompanied by a member of school staff. There is no cost to parents for this service.

Parents wishing to take and/or collect their child direct to Spofforth School they are more than welcome to do so.

FAQs below provide further information around the rationale and operational aspects of the arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Principles & Rationale

Why do the schools work this way?

This way of working will offer enhancements to the educational and social provision of pupils. Strategic decisions taken by the Federation are measured against our Federation Principles and this proposal aligns directly with the Federation principles which provide that;

  •  The needs of all the children, regardless of which school they attend, come first over all other priorities.
  • The Federation strives to create outstanding provision for children in our localities and the whole community.

 What are the benefits?

The benefits to pupils are; 

  • All Early Years pupils having access to a wider group of peers to better facilitate the delivery of the Early Years curriculum and enhance their social  development.
  • More efficient use of resources to maximise the number of adults available to support learning.
  • All pupils at both schools accessing a dedicated Early Years setting designed specifically to promote the Early Years curriculum.
  • Maximising the specialist skills of existing staff for the benefit of pupils.
  • Maximising and continuing to develop the enhanced Early Years outdoor provision at Spofforth.
  • All children being in dedicated Phase or Key stage classes.
  • Children in classes with a maximum of only one other year group
  • A more even spread of pupils across classes.

In addition to the many educational benefits outlined above, a more secure and stable combined Early Years group will make better use of the more specialist resources needed in Early Years such as outdoor provision. It will also increase the likelihood of accessing funding to further improve facilities as greater efficiency can be demonstrated via the operation of joint Early Years provision.

Operational Practicalities

How big will the class be?

In the academic year 2019 – 2020 there are 25  children in Reception. There are also up to 5 or 6 children who attend some Early Years sessions at Spofforth in the nursery.  In 2020-2021 there will be 18 children in Reception.

What are the staffing arrangements?

Mrs Helen Lee is the class teacher (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday afternoon)

Mrs Jess Curtis is the class teacher (Wednesday am, Thursday & Friday).

Mrs Laura Caldecott is a full time teaching assistant dedicated to Class One with Miss Milly Ellis who works part time.

How do I communicate with the adults working with my child?

Systems currently in place including, newsletters, ‘Marvellous ME’ messages, text, email and parent consultation sessions will all continue. There will also be a member of staff on the bus at the start and end of the day to facilitate any brief daily face to face handover of information.

What uniform do the children wear?

All children will wear a Federation Early Years sweatshirt, which will be available to buy from our uniform suppliers. We recommend plain white polo shirts also.

 How do children get from Follifoot to Spofforth?

They can be transported using a dedicated North Yorkshire school service bus. There is no cost to parents.

 Is there a school adult on the bus?

Yes there is an adult from school on the bus in addition to the driver (who is appropriately checked by NYCC).

Do children have to walk far from the bus to the school?

No. The bus drops off directly outside the entrance to the school. The accompanying adult will then take the children to their classroom.

Can children be brought to and collect from Spofforth?

Yes. Parents are welcome to do this. School starts at 8.55 and finishes at 3.20.

If I have other children at Follifoot School and want to drop them off also. How can I be in two places at once?

If parents wish to take and collect their child from Spofforth but have children in other year groups at Follifoot they are welcome to make use of Follifoot breakfast club for their older child/children free of charge. As the end of the day at Follifoot is ten minutes after Spofforth there would be time to collect from Spofforth and then subsequently at Follifoot.

Can I see the Early Years facilities and provision at Spofforth?

Yes. Parents are more than welcome to visit Spofforth and meet the Early Years team. If you would like to do this please contact either school office to arrange an appointment.

Can my child attend breakfast club at either school?

Yes children are welcome to attend either breakfast club? The usual charges will apply.

 

Links with Parents in Early Years

Recognising and cherishing the worth and value of every individual is central to our Christian vision. We greatly value our partnership with parents recognising the value it plays in helping us achieve our vision of Love Learn Thrive. The Early Years Team host regular stay and play sessions where parents and grandparents can come and experience first hand the children’s learning experience in Early Years. These opportunities allow parents to see how learning is structured and organised as well as spend quality time with their child in their school setting.