Music and Drama
In music, the children learn to sing and use percussion instruments to develop a sense of rhythm, pitch and tempo and experience the enjoyment and excitement of making music together. Their ability to listen to and appreciate music is fostered by hearing a variety of types of music and by experiencing different music genre from the Charanga music scheme. Children have the opportunity to learn musical instruments as a class, including everything from the common descant recorder, to the more exotic African djembe drums. Every year the children participate in a Christmas production, Carol and Easter Services as well as other musical and dramatic performances at other times across the year.
We also organise our own bank of quality peripatetic music teachers so that the children may learn to play a musical instrument at Swanbourne. Currently some of our children are learning guitar, violin, drums, piano, flute, clarinet and saxophone. However, teachers are also available to teach other string and woodwind instruments. There is a charge per term for these lessons, currently £100 per term for ten lessons (as at September 2014). Our music subject leader runs a school band, which those children learning a musical instrument are encouraged to join.
All children are encouraged to develop their physical skills with a view to all children finding a sport which they can participate in and enjoy. Teacher work with the children weekly in team sports and all children participate in swimming lessons for a term block, with a specialist qualified teacher. Dance and gym are taught by the class teacher as units of work from the national curriculum. The school uses local village facilities for P.E. including Astroturf, recreation grounds, a swimming pool and village halls. We are an active member of the local schools sports partnership group and the children participate in local sporting events and competitive games against other schools. We also aim to provide a number of sports not readily available in school time through After School Clubs, including hockey, netball and dance.
Art, Design and Technology
Our art specialist teacher delivers exciting and innovative art lessons to really engage the children and give them experience of different types of creative work, including model making, sewing and modelling with clay, as well as painting and drawing, using a variety of media. Design and Technology helps to develop the children's skills in planning, designing and making models using a range of materials and tools.
The children learn about religious beliefs, festivals and celebrations from a range of faiths and cultures in line with the national curriculum. We endeavour to develop the children's moral values and to cultivate an understanding and tolerance of different customs and beliefs. The school's daily assemblies are predominantly Christian and allow us to meet as a school, or occasionally as a class to reflect and consider our lives and responsibilities to each other. Canon John Saunders regular provides assemblies in school, we also hold regular celebration assembly at St. Swithun's church in Swanbourne for Key Stage 2 children.
We also invite visitors into school to enhance our topics; these have included an artist, a publisher, author, deaf and blind man and visitors from different countries and cultures.
During their time at Swanbourne, we like to take the children on a residential visit. These start in Year 4 and have visited such areas such as Cornwall, Norfolk and Staffordshire escalating in nights away from two nights to four, depending on the Year Group. This has proved to be a very beneficial experience for all the children, with the emphasis on team building and outdoor activities. The time spent away from home depends on the age group and full written information is provided a long way in advance of the event. All educational visits are recorded with county and full risk assessments completed.
Special Educational Needs
The SEN Code of Practice sets out the statutory duties and responsibilities of Local Authorities, schools, health and social services towards children who have special educational needs. A child is deemed to have special needs if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age and therefore needs special educational provision to be made. We want all children to be able to achieve to their full potential and so the procedures used by the school to assess children and monitor their subsequent progress ensure prompt identification of special educational needs. Good adult to pupil ratios provide children with help and support within the classroom, enabling them to receive a broad, balanced and relevant education, appropriate to their needs and to the National Curriculum.
Gifted and Talented
We also recognise that some children have special educational needs in that they require further provision in order to stretch them to reach their potential too. To this end the lessons are carefully differentiated and planned to ensure an achievable challenge for all children.
Our teachers use assessment results and information from each child's feeder school when they join us, alongside their own assessments to provide a baseline from which to plan work for your child when they start school. Informal assessment is an integral part of every lesson when teachers are working with the children to ascertain their understanding of a subject, planning is then altered and updated accordingly to ensure that each child has an achievable challenge to suit their ability. At regular periods throughout the academic year specific activities are designed to assess particular aspects of the curriculum.
We even assess our teachers through regular lesson observations and monitoring children's books by the headteacher, an additional dedicated member of staff, as well as external assessors from County to ensure that our teaching remains at a very high standard.
Children are assessed in Year 2 and 6 in accordance with the legal requirements of the National Curriculum, using standard tests (SATs). Detailed records are kept to monitor every child's progress through the school and to help us ensure that every child achieves their best.
As a Buckinghamshire school, it is also possible for your child to sit the 11+ test in Year 6, to assess their eligibility for grammar school.