www.garstangssmaryandmichael.com
Picture of SS Mary and Michael Catholic Primary School Garstang
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School information and term times
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Quick links to each section:
The School
Our Philosophy of Education
Pre-School Induction
Gifted Children
Special Educational Needs
Equal Opportunities
Parent Links
Reporting
Homework
Discipline
Absence
The School Association
Voluntary Helpers
Curriculum
English
Mathematics
Science
Information and Communication Technology
History
Art
Music
Physical Education
Design Technology
Sport

Homework Timetable

Contact Us

Term Times

Pre-School and After School
The Toddler Group: Tots & Co
Hummingbirds Educational Nursery
The After School Club: Kids & Co

The School

SS Mary and Michael is a Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School and an important part of the parish community. Although there was a Catholic School in the town in the eighteenth century, the first parts of our present building were erected in 1858. The school itself, on the southern edge of the town, is by the River Wyre looking out towards Greenhalgh Castle and the Bowland Fells.

Our Philosophy of Education

In our caring environment, love of God and respect for each other is central to our philosophy. We aim to provide a stimulating and enthusiastic approach so that the children achieve their academic potential through a positive approach to learning. Our school is open to all denominations.

Pre-School Induction

Prospective parents and their children are actively encouraged to visit our school on an informal basis.

Children are encouraged to take part in school life on a part-time basis in the term before full time education officially begins. In this way the children have the opportunity to become familiar with the Infant Staff and Department in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.

A pre-school lending library operates to provide a wide range of suitable educational materials for children to use.

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Care

We aim to create an environment where children are happy and secure. Your child's class teacher is the one who is chiefly concerned with your child's pastoral care and welfare within school hours although all members of staff share in this responsibility.

We encourage parents to talk to their teacher or the Head if they have any concerns about their child’s welfare. Parental concerns are taken seriously.

Gifted Children

Children who demonstrate particular skills are identified early in their educational career and, where appropriate, given additional opportunities and challenges to stimulate their development. We ensure, however, that any such assistance is not to the detriment of other children.

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Special Educational Needs

Children with special educational needs are welcome to our school and are respected as unique and valuable members of the community.

A member of staff and a Governor have responsibility for the area of special educational needs within our school. All children are given the greatest possible access to the national curriculum that is appropriately differentiated to provide support for children who have learning difficulties. Support from outside agencies is sought to help devise programmes of study, where appropriate. Our aim is to create an environment where children can develop the skills, self-esteem and motivation to become responsible for their own learning and achieve their maximum potential.

Equal Opportunities

The School’s ethos encourages equality of opportunity for every child, regardless of gender, ability, religion or race.

Parent Links

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Reporting

Assessment of children's progress is an ongoing process that is undertaken at regular intervals by the child's class teacher. At the end of each school year a school report is sent home to parents commenting on your child's progress and achievements during that year.

Great importance is placed upon Parents' Evenings that are held during the year. These provide opportunities for parents to meet the teachers and discuss their child's progress. In addition, parents are very welcome to contact the school at any time if they have anxieties concerning or regarding their child's education.

A close working relationship between school staff and parents is recognised as being vital for any child's happiness and progress.

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Homework

Homework is provided for all the children. We recognise that parents are the first educators of their children and have a continuing active and supporting role to play in their children's education.

A structured homework policy is provided which allows children to revise and reinforce knowledge and skills learned in school and therefore to progress at a faster rate. The one-to-one support parents provide gives children the essential encouragement they thrive on.

Discipline

We keep school rules to a minimum. Discipline is based on sensible behaviour with care and respect for others. We emphasise, encourage and reward good behaviour to promote an atmosphere in which children can grow together and mature with regard to each other and the environment.

Absence

Absence from school is low. The authorised absence rate last year was 2.8% and the unauthorised rate was 0.1% ).

If your child has to be absent from school, school should be contacted to advise of your child’s non-attendance and a note must be sent in to the class teacher upon their return to school, explaining the circumstances. If time out is required during school hours, this must be requested (in writing) in advance. A request form for this purpose is available from the school office.

School is obliged to keep records of absences during the year, including those for children arriving late. The government is setting targets for authorised and unauthorised absence levels.

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The School Association

The School Association works with parents and the school to raise additional funds, to promote links between home and school and to organise fund-raising social events. All parents and friends of the school are welcome to join the School Association and all money raised is used to buy additional equipment for school.

Voluntary Helpers

We have a number of voluntary helpers who give valuable support to the staff and pupils, particularly in the areas of reading, mathematics, ICT, science, art, design technology and sport.


Curriculum

The Curriculum taught in the school covers Religious Education and the subject areas laid down in the National Curriculum. These are divided into four core subject areas and six foundation subjects.

The four core subjects are Mathematics, English, Science and Information and Communication Technology (ICT); these are allocated a larger percentage of time than are the foundation subjects. The foundation subjects are History, Geography, Art, Music, P.E and Design Technology. PHSE (Personal Health & Social Education) and Citizenship are delivered through a cross-curricular approach.

All subjects are taught either in a subject-based programme of study or as a cross-curricular approach, where the subjects are integrated. Lessons may be planned for the whole class, groups or for individuals.

The National Curriculum Programmes of study are divided into Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1 and 2 at primary school level. The children progress from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 and are formally assessed at the end of each Key Stage in accordance with national tests, with the results of these tests being reported to parents.

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Religious Education

Christian values are central to the ethos of our school. We aim to show care and respect for each member of our school community by living and fostering Gospel values.

The approach to the sacraments is to enable the children to appreciate God in all aspects of their life and to encourage children to receive them with devotion and understanding. Throughout the primary years there is a progression in the depth of knowledge presented to the children in their understanding of the sacraments.

Our parish Priest actively contributes to the School’s RE programme, leading class masses and other acts or worship. Masses are celebrated with the whole school on a termly basis, to which parents and parishioners are warmly invited to attend.

Children and staff come together as a school community weekly where, through prayer, celebration and the sharing of talents, they learn to appreciate Christ in others. All children participate in daily worship within the setting of their own classroom.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child from religious education and collective worship. Alternative provision for such a child would be arranged as and when the need arose depending on school facilities and parents’ wishes.

English

English is a core subject and is recognised as being the key to the curriculum as a whole. Great emphasis is placed on developing children's speaking and listening skills to ensure that they become effective communicators with an enthusiasm for language. Children are given opportunities to participate in class discussions, improvisation, role-play and drama activities.

Children are encouraged to become fluent, independent readers and above all to enjoy books. Parental involvement in encouraging children to develop the necessary skills and attitudes is seen as essential in the learning process.

Written communication is highly valued and pupils are given a large variety of opportunities to develop their skills and abilities. They are encouraged to write for an audience, to explore ideas and experiences, to use their imagination and to organise their thoughts.

Children are given every opportunity to plan, draft and improve their work in consultation with the teacher in order to develop their writing skills.

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Mathematics

Mathematics is recognised as an everyday part of life and work and an essential life skill. We teach how it provides a means of analysing and communicating information, developing powers of logical thinking, accuracy and spatial awareness and how it is used to tackle a range of practical tasks and real life problems. It addition to being a useful tool, we aim to demonstrate how mathematics can be a source of delight and wonder, offering intellectual excitement and appreciation of its essential creativity.

Our curriculum is based upon identified objectives from the National Numeracy Strategy framework. It provides opportunities to enable breadth, balance, continuity, relevance and differentiation to be realised. There is a daily dedicated mathematics lesson in every class where the foundation of mental calculation and recall of number facts are established thoroughly before standard written methods are introduced. A high proportion of lesson time is devoted to direct teaching of whole classes and groups; children are encouraged to discuss their work and to work together.

Science

Science is one of the core subjects and all children experience a broad, balanced curriculum. They explore three main scientific areas:

Life and Living Processes - covering aspects of human, animal and plant life in the local environment.

Materials - including grouping, classifying, changing and separating different materials.

Physical Processes - which include electricity, forces, light, sound and the Earth beyond.

Science is essentially a practical subject and emphasis in placed on practical, investigative problem solving. The children are encouraged to ask questions, suggest hypotheses and devise and carry out tests to investigate their ideas. Work is recorded in a variety of ways, explanations sought and evidence critically evaluated. Using this practical approach enables the children to develop the necessary scientific skills, concepts and attitudes.

Information and Communication Technology

Information & Communication Technology has an essential role to play in children's ability to acquire and communicate knowledge and ideas in a modern world. Children are taught from Reception onwards to extend their ICT capability and the range of ICT tools that they use for communication, investigation and control. The children are encouraged to become discerning in their use of ICT and assess the value of ICT in their acquisition and communication of knowledge and ideas. The School has access to the Intranet as part of the National Grid for Learning.

History

Through the study of History we hope to enable children to gain a sense of their own identity through an understanding of the past with relation to themselves, their families, their communities and the wider world.

History work at our School is organised into topics at both Key Stage One & Two. At Key Stage 1 topics are integrated with many other curriculum areas, whilst at Key Stage 2 they are mainly based upon the Study Units for National Curriculum History and so provide opportunities for work of a more single subject nature. In both key stages History is identified & valued as a subject in its own right even when it is taught within an integrated topic.

Geography

Through the study of Geography we hope to enable children to have a real sense of wonder and appreciation of the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth. Geography is relevant to their lives and the environment in which they live, therefore the children are encouraged to have an enquiring approach to the study of Geography.

We recognise that first hand experience is an essential part of Geography Education, therefore fieldwork is planned as an integral part of the Geography Curriculum. Essential Geographical skills are taught through thematic and locality studies.

Art

Art has the capacity to develop and heighten awareness of our pupils' visions and experiences of life. Art therefore is seen to have a central role to play in communicating ideas.

By studying Art pupils are able to learn a great deal about people and cultures through the centuries. We endeavour to guide and help each child to make discoveries about him or herself, about the environment and to be able to interpret and express these discoveries in visual form. The curriculum is based on a cross-curricular approach, a series of experiences are planned which allow the children to develop awareness of visual, special and tactile qualities. These cover drawing, painting, printing, collage, modelling, 3-D work and critical studies.

Music

Music is studied throughout the school; we offer progression in the main elements of music, i.e. duration, pitch, timbre, texture, pace, dynamics and structure. Music is a practical experience of sound and silence and the children are given the opportunity to listen and sing to a variety of music from different cultures and to create musical sounds using pitched and unpitched instruments. They are encouraged to compose and perform their own music and to record their compositions.

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Physical Education

Physical Education covers a range of activities designed to develop children's skills, performances and team spirit. The curriculum is planned to provide equal opportunities for the children to participate in Athletic Activities, Outdoor and Adventurous Activities, Swimming, Games, Gymnastic Activities and Dance. Extra curricular sporting activities take place on a weekly basis. School teams are entered in local community competitions.

Design Technology

Design Technology involves planning assignments for children in which they design and make products, thereby developing the necessary skills, knowledge and evaluation techniques to enhance their Design and Technology capability. Children are encouraged to generated their own designs, use appropriate materials, tools and techniques, identify strengths and weakness in their products and improve them. Children's creativity, imagination and resourcefulness are greatly valued.

Sport

Our aims are to promote a sense of fair play, competitiveness, co-operation and good sportsmanship. Allied to these we also seek to develop self-confidence, stamina, physical skills and appropriate attitudes & responses. The following are the sports played at School: football, quick cricket, skittleball, netball, rounders, swimming and athletics.

Education in Personal Relationships and Sex Education

The School has always placed emphasis on respect for self and others and the need for good relationships as well as studying new life in nature. Personal relationships and sex education is through a cross-curricular approach and the majority of the coverage is through the science and religious education programmes of work. Section 24 of the Education Act 1993 gives parents the right to withdraw their children from any or all parts of a school’s programme of sex education, other than those elements that are required by the National Curriculum.


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PSHE and Citizenship

Personal, social and health education and citizenship are important elements of the curriculum, allowing the children to develop essential, social, emotional and life skills. Our aim is to encourage the development of these skills so that the children can become confident and responsible citizens.

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Tots and Co.
Hummingbirds
SS Mary and Michael

Pre-School and After School

Ss Mary & Michael’s prides itself on the range of pre-school and after school facilities that are offered to children. These facilities are all organised in and around the school so that the children come to recognise the school as the hub of their activities. The younger children become familiar with the buildings, the staff and the older children so that their eventual graduation into school is a natural progression without culture shock or stress.

The Toddler Group: Tots & Co

T his is a facility for children under school age and their parents or carers to come together once a week in a congenial and welcoming environment in the School Hall. Creative activity is provided for the children and adults are welcome to share a cup of tea and socialise. The children also benefit by experiencing the school environment from an early age. Tots & Co meets every Wednesday during term time between 9:30 am and 11 am.

Hummingbirds Educational Nursery

Hummingbirds is a purpose-built parish nursery unit situated next to school in a specially designed and landscaped outdoor play area. The Nursery has a staff with qualified teacher/NNEB status and aims to enhance the children’s development in a secure, happy and stimulating Christian environment. Hummingbirds is registered with the Nursery Administration Centre and is eligible to accept nursery grants for three and four year olds. The nursery is open for morning sessions each weekday during term time from 9:15 to 12am.

The After School Club: Kids & Co

Our After School Club provides a variety of activities for children between the ages of 5 and 11 and is specifically meant for those families where working parents want some provision of care for their children. Qualified staff are always in attendance. The Club opening hours are 3:30 pm to 5:30pm.


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Contact Us

Should you have any questions or would like to come and look round the school, please call us!

Our address is :

SS Mary & Michael Catholic Primary School,

Castle Lane, Garstang,

Preston PR3 1RB

Our telephone number is:

01995 603023 or fax 01995 600075

Our Headteacher is Mrs Mary Williamson

All our school policies are available for inspection in the School Office on request.

Ofsted Inspection Report

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HOLIDAY LIST 2005/2006

CLOSE RE-OPEN
Summer Tuesday 19th July 2005 Monday 5th September 2005
HalfTerm Friday 21st October 2005 Monday 31st October 2005
Christmas Wednesday 21st December 2005 Monday 9th January 2006
Half Term Friday 17th February 2006 Monday 27th February 2006
Easter Wednesday 12th April 2006 Monday 24th April 2006
Bank Holiday Monday Monday 1st May 2006
Half Term Friday 19th May 2006 Monday 5th June 2006
Summer Friday 21st July 2006

In-Service Days - Teacher Days

Friday 2nd September 2005

Friday 2nd June 2006

3 x 6 hours Twilight Sessions


Autumn Term Openings 73

Spring Term Openings 63

Summer Term Openings 54

Total Number of Openings 190

+ 5 In-Service Days (or equivalent)

Homework Timetable

Mon.
Tue.
Wed.
Thu.
Fri.
Class 1
Reading
Reading
Numeracy
Reading
Reading
Class 2
Reading
Reading
Numeracy
Reading
Spelling/Literacy
Class 3
Reading
Topic
Numeracy
Reading
Spelling/Literacy
Class 4
Spelling & Mental Maths
Reading
Numeracy
Reading
Literacy/Topic
Class 5
Spelling & Mental Maths
Reading
Numeracy
Reading
English/Science

Mosaic of the school badge - created by the children during Art Week 2002

Mosaic created by the children during Art Week 2002.
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Parents page - Pupils pages - Things to do - School information - Sports page - Newsletter
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Educational linksEducate the childerenEducate the childerenThe Learning ZoneThe B.B.C Learning ZoneThe R.E. web site

Saint Mary and Saint Michael Catholic Primary School
Garstang - Lancashire

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A big web site for little people from PR3 I.T.