Our Learning Environment
We are extremely fortunate to have a large and spacious building with excellent indoor and outdoor learning environments.
All our classrooms are bright and well maintained, providing a good working environment for everyone. We have a wide range of ICT facilities including computers, laptops, ipads and interactive whiteboards, ensuring access to up to date ICT equipment which enhances teaching and facilitates learning in both ICT and in all other areas of the curriculum.
Our large fully equipped kitchen is used daily and produces healthy lunches for children. An additional kitchen is available for children to take part in cookery activities through out the week.
We have a fully equipped gymnasium, and a hall with lighting and a stage for all our wonderful performances. We also benefit from a fully equipped Art room, ensuring that our children can access all aspects of art, including pottery without worrying about making a mess.
We also have a library stocked with a variety of fiction and non-fiction books where the children can use the PC to scan out books for them to enjoy.
Our outdoor teaching areas include a pond, gardening beds, an outdoor theatre area, trees to climb, picnic tables, a sand pit, an outdoor climbing frame and a base for our very popular and successful Forest School. These areas are accessed by all of our pupils and are integral to our curriculum.
Towards Successful Learning
All pupils are able to access a broad and balanced curriculum and encouraged to take a full and active part in new activities. Our pupils spend a lot of time learning how to develop their own knowledge of how they learn and how they can develop their independent learning skills.
Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own learning and are involved in planning some activities. They are also encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour and their actions. Residential visits take place in years 4 and 6 and we feel this is an excellent opportunity for our pupils to put into practice all the skills they have learnt.
Other school based activities include: Imagineering, movie making, debating, cookery, newspaper writing, gardening, school council, sports activities, French, young enterprise and Choir.
Staff offer new opportunities every term.
Meeting the needs of pupils within an exciting, challenging, fun and dynamic Curriculum
Communication, Language and Literacy is a key focus within the curriculum. We aim to support and extend pupils’ opportunities for learning through all forms of communication, speaking and listening, being read to, and beginning to reading and writing. . Somerset Total Communication (STC), is used throughout the school.
Maths at St Michael’s Academy provide the pupils with a means of making sense of the world in which they live. Because maths involves learning from their own experiences it encourages pupils to think and reason. Pupils acquire the wide array of numeracy skills necessary to assist them in their daily lives.
Information & Communication Technology provides all pupils with opportunities to actively expand their knowledge, understanding and skills in all areas of their lives. It supports their individual needs and abilities and provides a range of experiences which help them achieve in all areas of the curriculum and make sense of the technological world in which they live. ICT does not just refer to the use of computers but to a whole range of equipment and experiences like digital cameras, video cameras, movie making.
Science gives all pupils the opportunity to develop their interest in, and curiosity about, the world around them, through exploratory and investigative experiences and activities. The practical nature of the subject gives pupils opportunities for investigation and problem solving, helping them to make sense of scientific experiences, applying these skills to new situations, and encouraging, developing and extending their scientific skills.
Modern Foreign Language through a study of a foreign language pupils can understand and appreciate different countries, cultures, people and communities. Through learning a foreign language the pupils listening and memory skills can improve and their speaking skills becomes more accurate.
Personal Social and Health Education and Citizenship. Central to the school’s overall values and aims is a curriculum, which provides pupils with an education appropriate to the world beyond the classroom. Many aspects of school life will influence pupils’ personal and social development. Citizenship gives contexts in which pupils can develop from a personal view of themselves and their immediate world, to a much wider perspective. Pupils learn to understand themselves physically, emotionally, socially, sexually and to understand their relationships with others and the outside world. Self Help skills are fundamental to life. They are essential to develop the potential of pupils and to prepare them for the opportunities and experiences of adult life.
Geography aims to give pupils the opportunity to understand and experience the natural and human world and to develop a sense of their own place in the world. Pupils develop a greater knowledge of people, places and environments, both immediate to them and beyond their own experience. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, pupils gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Pupils will begin to understand maps and to develop a range of investigative, problem solving and fieldwork skills, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Physical Education experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil’s physical development and well-being. A broad and balanced physical education curriculum is intended to develop increasing self-confidence in pupils’ ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations.
Religious Education is delivered in an integrated way, often through Humanities topic work. R.E. helps pupils develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principle religions represented in Great Britain; and to develop an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities, societies and culture.
Collective Worship recognises the diversity of cultures, lifestyles and religions which exist in our multi-cultural society. However the majority of the Acts of collective worship will be largely of a broadly Christian nature. If you have any concerns in relation to the delivery of this subject to your child please contact the Head Teacher.
Gifted & Talented we have a number of pupils who have exceptional abilities in a wide range of subjects. We are able to provide wonderful opportunities of them. Often this takes the form of small group work with a teacher or teaching assistant who encourages the pupils to experiment and take risks with their learning. Sometimes this is subject specific, for example creative writing, numeracy or science and other times it may be problem solving. We work closely with our Federation of schools to provide high quality learning experiences for a wide range of children , encouraging them to work in different settings and with able children from other schools.
Art and Design stimulates pupils’ creativity and imagination, providing visual, tactile and sensory experiences, and is a unique way to understand and respond to the world, and to communicate with others. Pupils learn about the place and role of art, craft and design in life today, as well as in different times and cultures. Pupils experience, experiment with and use colour, form, shape, space, texture and pattern, exploring different materials and processes.
Philosophy of Forest School
We run our own Forest School on site. It is run by an experienced member of our own teaching staff supported by an assistant. They combine their teaching skills with Forest School activities.
During these sessions the pupils develop their communication and team work skills whilst developing their self confidence. They are also developing a love for the great outdoors. They work on a variety of topics, solve problems and find out about themselves and their environment. They are able to transfer skills learned into the classroom to practical situations.
The sessions are extremely popular with the pupils and we believe that they have a very positive impact on the pupils’ learning back in the indoor classroom.
All pupils participate in Forest School sessions for half a day each week. Whatever the weather we go outside as we are fully equipped with waterproof clothing and boots provided by the school. However in exceptional weather conditions we adapt our activities accordingly.
Reporting on Progress
- Half termly parent consultation meetings.
- End of year written reports
- Celebration Assemblies
Every term teachers hold meetings with senior staff to discuss progress. All teachers set yearly targets for pupils in numeracy and literacy. If we feel that insufficient progress is being made then intervention strategies will be put in place and monitored closely. We work closely with parents to share information on pupil progress.
At St Michael's Academy, we recognise the importance of the pupil voice and want to make them part of the decision process. We also believe that providing pupils with opportunities to be involved in responsible ways helps them to learn how to become responsible citizens. The school has an elected School Council and has representatives from each year group. The children meet to put forward new ideas and suggestions, which they feedback to their year groups.
Schools Working Together
St Michael's Academy - Pen Mill Infant and Nursery Academy - Reckleford Community School
As three schools working closely together, we have a strong belief in children needing to feel safe and secure. They need to feel comfortable with adults and trust them and each other. They need to enjoy learning, and be involved in their own learning. We have high expectations of all children and adults within our community and aim for a “can do” culture, in which all is possible.
As part of this commitment we ensure that your child has a confident, meaningful and enjoyable transition when moving between the schools. Several activities are planned and prepared jointly over the course of a year to make the children feel at home before they move up to the next stage of their education.
We strongly believe in the Every Child Matters Agenda and our three schools are committed to the following values:
Provide and continually develop an environment in which the well being and strengths of all children and adults are nurtured, enabling everyone to develop a strong self esteem and to feel a valued and active member of society.
Provide an environment in which rich and varied experiences enable individual learning styles to develop making learning purposeful, motivational, real, fun and available to all.
Provide an environment in which health and well being are embedded in every aspect of school life. That everyone develops care and respect for the environment and each other. And that the wider world is at the core of the community.
Encourage partnerships with the child’s family, involving them in the learning process as early as, and for as long as possible.