Cheselbourne Village School is a Dorset Local Authority first school & Pre-School. We provide exceptional education for children from 3 to 9 years old. Class sizes are small, attainment very high and our delightful children say they love coming to school! We are a member of the Abbas Collaboration of schools which allows us to work together, sharing and promoting good quality educational practice across all the schools. We are also a DASP school...
The school teaches its pupils in either two or three mixed aged classes depending on the number of role. Class sizes will vary according to the number of children in the school or the numbers in any one year or Key Stage group. We arrange children between Reception year and Year 4. In the recent past, the school has undergone extensive building work, which has greatly improved the facilities and accommodation. This expansion ensured that we have the space and facilities for the many and varied peripatetic music lessons undertaken by pupils, for the sports activities which take place both during the school day and in after school clubs.
Starting school is a very important time in a child’s life and at Cheselbourne Village School we aim to help both children and parents feel confident and secure at this key time. Following on from Caterpillar pre-school, children enter in the Reception year. We also welcome children from other preschool settings (as well as children who transfer from other schools and areas in any year group) There are many opportunities for parents and children to meet us before school starts and we have established an induction programme to ensure that each child’s introduction to school is a happy experience. In their Reception year children begin school for just the morning sessions and lunchtimes. After four weeks, Reception children attend all day. The year before a child is due to start school parents/carers receive an information booklet on Education in Dorset and a leaflet about DASP (Dorchester Area Schools Partnership). Later you will receive a letter inviting you to a parents evening in May or June. Arrangements are made for each child to be visited by the staff in their pre-school setting, if they attend one. Relationships with parents at Cheselbourne are strong and good. Parents are welcome into the school and usually there is time for a quick chat with the class teacher after school – if not an appointment can be made. It is essential that we work together to ensure the best for our children. During their first year at school staff carry out baseline assessment. In the Summer term the teacher will carry out the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFS). Parents are informed what this involves and of the findings.
We have high expectations of the children and they are encouraged to take a pride in their work and their achievements. A variety of methods of teaching are used in the school depending on the needs of the children and the type of activity or task involved. We believe that it is important for children to become enthusiastic learners and independent and creative thinkers. In the course of a week the children are likely to have been taught in a whole class, in large and small groups and individually; inside and outside school as well as in whole school team teaching situations. With this in mind many tasks are planned to offer the children the opportunity to explore and develop their own ideas. This will be balanced by more formal lessons and teacher directed tasks.
The subjects in the National Curriculum are English, Maths, Science, Computing, History, Geography, Music, Art, Design Technology, Modern Foreign Language, RE and PE. The Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum comprises seven areas of learning – Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Maths, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. In addition PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and Citizenship are taught to all children. We have a two year rolling programme written by staff which incorporate a creative whole school topic approach At Cheselbourne we are committed to a curriculum that has the needs of the children at its centre. As a state school, we adhere to the National Curriculum as required by the Education Reform Act. Religious Education is delivered using the Dorset Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage for the children in the reception class.
For more information about the National Curriculum please visit the DfE National Curriculum site here
We use the Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc Phonics scheme. This begins in Reception and is used progressively throughout the school
We believe that the children learn best by engaging in first hand experiences that help them make sense of the world around them. Our curriculum offers a balance of practical, oral and investigative activities and opportunities for writing and recording. We also acknowledge the importance of parents in the development of a child’s skills and we actively promote links through the reading log, attendance at regular parent workshops, or helping in school.
Through English (or Literacy) we aim to promote and encourage enthusiastic, independent learners who are able to speak, listen, read and write effectively. We encourage the development of good communication skills that will assist our children to communicate socially and be responsive to the needs and feelings of others. We value the opportunities for children to become reflective thinkers who are able to evaluate the many complex messages in our society. A big emphasis is placed on Reading skills. Children will experience daily group reading sessions where the skills of decoding the text lead on to reading for meaning and to fully engage with the text. Children are offered a wide range of reading materials in school Children are expected to take home books to read and share with parents or carers. Emphasis is placed, throughout the school, on learning the phonics that support children when reading, spelling and writing. A systematic phonics scheme is used in school and all children have a daily phonics session. Given our small school numbers, all children are provided with opportunities to develop their confidence in speaking in public and performing.
The main aim in our teaching of Mathematics (Numeracy) at Cheselbourne Village School is to enable all children to feel confident in their understanding and application of number. We teach in a variety of ways including small group, whole class, in pairs and independently, using a practical and fun way to inspire the children to learn. We use a stepping stone approach to getting the children confident in their understanding of Maths called CPA: This concept starts with teachers modelling and children using concrete equipment such as counters and blocks to represent numbers. As confidence grows this develops into children using pictures to represent the concrete ideas and in turn moves to just using numbers themselves (Abstract). This helps build a solid foundation of understanding for children which enables them to access more complex concepts as they move through their time in the school. Times Tables play a big part of our learning and using the same CPA strategy children develop their understanding of times tables throughout the school. We are keen to explore creativity in our teaching and learning in maths and the children enjoy using both indoor and outdoor environments, as well as additional learning opportunities, such as cooking club, to enhance this. We also hold regular Maths Workshops to share our learning with people at home and to give parents a chance to get to grips with some of the newer concepts of maths lessons.
Science stimulates and excites children’s curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It links direct practical experience with ideas, and therefore engages children's interest at many levels. Children are taught to discriminate, classify, recognise relationships and select information from a variety of sources. They develop skills in hypothesising, testing and evaluating ideas, and communicating using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.
We currently have a comprehensive array of networked computers and netbooks which link to our central wireless network. In addition we have Ipads and netbooks which children regularly use. Each device has vast array of educational programs. Each of our three teaching areas digital projector and a SMART board to ensure the children have every opportunity to work, interactively, during teaching sessions as well as developing their individual skills. Children are offered a range of ICT opportunities. They use word processors, graphic and data handling packages, simulations and control programs with a wide range of games to support other curriculum areas. We also have digital cameras and digital video cameras.
Humanities - History & Geography
History and Geography are taught across the whole school- as discrete subjects in Year 3 and Year 4 and as ‘Topic’ at the lower end of the school. In Geography children develop their geographical skills by learning about specific concepts such as mapping and use this to learn about the world around them; extending from our Local Area to far-away places such as South America. Using a ‘creative curriculum’ approach the children have great fun learning across these and other subjects and have been known to make scale mountains of mountains and volcanoes as well as Pirate Ships for exploration. We use a similar approach to learning about the past in History and help children to develop their understanding of the chronology of events through time. The classrooms are used creatively and at various times through the year house a subject-inspired role play space, such as an air-raid shelter or Celtic Roundhouse which help to inspire children to want to learn more. Children learn about people from the past and find out how their lives are different between now and then. School trips to places such as Nothe Fort in Weymouth.
Art, Design & Technology (DT)
The children learn to design by drawing the plans, writing and following instructions and using simple tools. They use the skills learned to produce various articles using a wide variety of materials such as fabrics, wood, paper, clay, and construction kits. Children also learn about influential designers, inventors and apply their skills to simple mechanics. We have a very successful parent led Cookery club providing regular opportunities for cooking in the school kitchen.
Through art children learn to express their ideas and feeling using a variety of media. The children are taught a variety of skills including drawing, painting, collage and model making and they are given opportunities to experiment and develop skills learnt. The children are introduced to the works of influential artists both local and worldwide and are encouraged to discuss and evaluate their own work.
Singing, composition and instrumental work start with the youngest children and is developed throughout the school. Whenever possible children are given the opportunity to hear and listen to ‘live’ music from professional and semi-professional musicians and to participate in ‘live’ sessions with others. Through the DASP pyramid the children participate in a wide range of musical activities. Year 4 children take part in the annual DASP concert and both Year 3 and 4 learn brass instruments in the summer term Musicianship programme. The pyramid also supports individual and group instrument tuition. There are many opportunities to learn to play an instrument. We can offer flute, clarinet, guitar, ukulele, piano/keyboard, saxophone, trumpet, cornet, trombone, violin or ‘cello.
For Physical Education, the school has the use of the playground, the village hall and the field. We believe PE is an essential part of our curriculum so we can help our pupils to develop a healthy attitude to life. The school aims to ensure each child develops skills in PE appropriate to their own individual ability. We believe physical exercise should be enjoyable and we encourage an awareness of the importance of developing a healthy body. Our PE curriculum includes games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming, outdoor and adventurous activities and multi-skills. As part of our DASP membership, we are supplied with a designated PE specialist, Mr Dailey, who teaches all year groups each week. Mr Dailey also organises Year 7 sports leaders to visit and help with competitions and sports day. We often have ex Cheselbourne pupils return to help the younger children. Premier Sports are our chosen extra-curricular activity provider for our after school sports clubs. The children themselves choose the clubs they wish to have provided. The qualified coaches lead the children in sports such as football, gymnastics, tag rugby, athletics as well as the more alternative sports such as dodgeball and ultimate frisbee.
Through our RE lessons we aim to teach an awareness of the important spiritual and cultural aspects of the Christian and other religion. Children will explore the major celebrations from a variety of religions and have opportunities to reflect on these findings.
Personal, Social & Health - Sex & Relationship Education
Our school is a community where we live and learn together. Personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We believe that it is crucial in the development of young children that they should be given an increasing measure of responsibility for themselves, others and their environment and community. We aim to promote a healthy lifestyle at Cheselbourne. Health education plays an important role in developing the physical, mental and social wellbeing of our children. We promote and encourage positive relationships.
Collective worship is an important part of our school. It is an opportunity for the whole school to get together to celebrate and support all aspects of our school life, to promote a spiritual viewpoint and to provide a time for stillness and reflection in what is often a busy, active day for our children. There are also frequent visits from other clergy, preachers and speakers in assembly. Throughout the year there will be special occasions to which parents, friends and villagers will be invited. These may include our Remembrance Day service, Leavers’ Service, Harvest and Christmas concerts, sports days and open days. Every half term, there is an opportunity to share in the children’s learning at our Open Assemblies.
Staff believe that Home Learning enhances and reinforces the learning in school whilst at the same time develops children’s skills of independence and provides opportunities for children to share learning with those at home. Depending on the age of the child, children will bring home spellings, times tables, phonics sounds, Maths and Literacy activities. Individual reading is encouraged as much as possible at home with adult comments and feedback noted in the Reading Record Book.
Special Education Needs and Disabilities - (SEND)
We aim to offer all children the highest level of education but acknowledge that some children need more support. Children with SEND (Special Educational Needs Disabilities) are well supported according to the DfE’s Code of Practice with input from teachers, the SEND Leader (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Leader) and external agency consultants. When teachers are concerned in any way, parents are consulted and invited to speak with the class teacher and the SEND Leader. The support offered is outlined on a Provision Map (for more low level needs) or an IEP (Individual Education Plan). This is regularly reviewed by staff, parents and the child.
More Able Children
More able children are those that display greater depth of understanding or aptitude to learning in a particular subject. These children are offered enrichment activities both in school and within the pyramid.
This Term's Topic Webs - see in class areas for individual Class Topics Webs
Read our full Curriculum Policy Here
We follow the SEND Code of Practice in how we support our children with SEND.
CVS SEND Policy 2015
Send Report for Full Governor 29.3.17 MS
CVS Supporting children with medical conditions & managing medicines
CVS Accessibility Plan July 16