St. Wilfrid’s School was founded in 1875 in response to the needs of the local Catholic community. Throughout its history the school has adapted to the demands of an ever-changing world while continuing to develop as a loving community involving children, parents and staff.
The school is a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School providing education for boys and girls aged between four plus and eleven years. The Parishes served are St. Wilfrid’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Paulinus and St. Margaret Clitherow. The school enjoys a unique situation near the city walls with close proximity to many of York’s major educational and cultural attractions.
To this end, sound moral Christian principles are taught in an attempt to foster self- discipline and to emphasize the importance of Christian values. Religious education is so important that it cannot be defined as a specific part of the curriculum – it underlines all our aims and philosophies so that to be Christian permeates all aspects of the school day and gives our school a rather special atmosphere.
To help children in their spiritual development, times are set aside when love and knowledge of God can be extended by stories, readings, discussions, prayer and hymn singing. From an early age children take part in Liturgies and Masses as corporate acts of worship and are a central feature of our spiritual life. We share with the Parishes and with parents the responsibility for preparing children for the Sacraments. Together we endeavour to nurture a community of caring and sharing, with children being encouraged to lead full Christian lives as appropriate to their stage of development. NUMBER ON ROLLIn September 2008 the number on roll was 261 pupils in 9 classes. Some classes will contain two year groups.
The school runs a breakfast club starting at 8.00am. We charge £2 per session, which includes a breakfast of cereal, toast and juice. Unless attending the breakfast club or participating in extra-curricular after school activities, pupils should not arrive before 8.45 a.m. or remain after 3.15 p.m. Pupils travelling by school bus will be supervised until the departure of the buses from school. A register is kept of all children who travel on the bus each evening.
St. Wilfrid’s has nine classrooms, each with an interactive whiteboard. We have a hall, a suite of 16 computers, a library and a kitchen. A major refurbishment of the school was completed in 1994 resulting in a modern, first class building. We have a well designed and attractive playground and we share our playing field with our school neighbours Park Grove Primary School. We have two small courtyards .
CARING FOR YOUR CHILD
The social and moral welfare of your child is paramount in this Catholic School. The Headteacher is directly responsible for the pastoral care of all the children but the daily health, safety and well being of the children is delegated to the class teachers with the support of lunch-time supervisors. The Headteacher is supported by the Deputy Headteacher.
The person most closely concerned with your child’s welfare and development is his or her class teacher who will provide support and encouragement and where necessary help to sort out any problems. Regular meetings are held with teachers to monitor progress and behaviour and parents will always be contacted if any major problems arise. Parents are very welcome to contact school at any time to arrange to meet with teachers and/or Deputy or Headteacher.
In looking after your child, we call on a number of people who can help and support in various ways – e.g. the priests of the parishes connected with the school, the Education Welfare Officer, School Medical Service, Speech Therapists and School Psychological Support Services. We have a Home/School Agreement, which you and your child are invited to sign.
Curriculum describes everything that goes on in school, which results in pupils learning about the world around them. Every school must provide a basic curriculum, which includes provision of Religious Education and the National Curriculum for all registered pupils of compulsory school age.
ELEMENTS OF THE CURRICULUM
Religious Education is our core subject, as we believe the greatest treasure we can give our children is knowledge and love of Jesus Christ and his Church. Through our Religious Education programme we aim to affirm our love for each child as a child of God and help them on their faith journey towards Christian maturity. We use the Here I Am Religious Education programme.
As a school community we celebrate the various religious festivals and seasons with Masses, assemblies and liturgical services. Links with our parishes are fostered by encouraging visits from our Parish Priests and arranging celebrations in school. Whilst we encourage all children to be fully involved in all our celebrations we recognize the parental right to remove their child from any form of religious worship within the school.
As parents you are the first and most important teachers of your child. As teachers at St. Wilfrid’s we seek to support you in this great privilege and responsibility by taking a keen and vital interest in all aspects of your child’s religious education.
THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM
The National Curriculum applies to pupils of compulsory school age. It is organized into four key stages, two of which apply to primary schools.
Key Stage 1 Age 5 – 7 | Years 1 – 2 | Key Stage 2 | Age 7 – 11 | Years 3 – 6
The National Curriculum is made up of four core subjects (English, Mathematics, Science and Information & Communication Technology) and six foundation subjects (History, Geography, Design & Technology, Art & Design, Music and Physical Education).
For each subject and for each key stage, programmes of study set out what pupils should be taught. Attainment targets set out the expected standards of pupils’ performance.
Since September 2000 the term Foundation Stage has been used to describe the phase of education from a child’s third birthday to the end of the reception year. The curriculum at this stage is organised into six areas of learning which underpin all future learning.
OTHER ASPECTS OF SCHOOL LIFE
PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS (SEX EDUCATION)
Our school incorporates in its general curriculum, appropriate teaching on matters of human love, the functions of the body and an understanding of God’s creative love as embodied in human reproduction at a level suitable to the growing child at various stages of development.
Sex education is not a curriculum subject in itself. Questions arise in a wide variety of topics. Teachers are asked to answer questions honestly, taking care that, especially in the case of younger children, answers are simple and straight-forward and do not give rise to confusion or anxiety. In Year 6 children are given a talk and presentation on puberty and reproduction. All children will be encouraged to refer to their parents for further information and should it be thought necessary by the Headteacher, parents may be contacted.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
Special Educational Needs is not a separate curriculum area but rather a dimension of education. It is all pervading in terms of our policy, philosophy and organisation.
Between two and three percent of all children have extreme learning difficulties and fall behind in reading, written and oral language and mathematical skills. As many as twenty percent of children may have learning difficulties with aspects of the curriculum at some time during their school life.
For these children our aim is to assess their particular needs and provide appropriate work to develop self-image and self-confidence through an understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Children with special gifts and abilities are encouraged to use these to the full. We have a Special Needs Co- ordinator who leads the staff in ensuring that all pupils with particular needs are identified and supports staff in meeting their needs. We have a regularly reviewed access policy.
We feel that this aspect of education is important both in linking home and school and developing independent learning.
Children start in Reception, bringing home ‘words’ and books to learn and read, building to Year 2 where reading, spelling, handwriting and number work will be given 3-4 nights a week.
In Key Stage 2 children have planners to record what homework has been set.
Children are expected to read every evening with spelling and other subject tasks given on a regular basis. Children in Year 3 will generally receive two such pieces of homework a week, leading up to
Year 6, where children may be given a homework task each evening.
Please try to support your child in home study by taking an interest in their work and enjoying reading with them. If homework is causing any stress or anxiety please let your child’s teacher know immediately. NO child should be spending more than thirty minutes per night on homework in Year 6.
The school has well developed procedures for assessing children’s progress. Teacher assessment supports reading and learning throughout each Key Stage. At the end of each Key Stage (Year 2 & Year 6) children take part in National Tests (STAS) Current STAS results can be seen in the Appendix.
Within school, teachers work closely together and curricular and pastoral links are maintained with All Saints Comprehensive School and other local secondary schools, so that children move smoothly from one level of education to the next.
In their final year at St Wilfrid’s children in Year 6 are taken for a weekend to a Residential Outdoor Centre.