The Curriculum is very full – we have a local and national obligation to fulfill for each child. It is our job to make the curriculum as accessible as we can for all children and to teach them the skills, knowledge and understanding that they will need to make sense of the world and to take up a valued position within their community.
We aim to plan our time so that children have access to as many practical learning opportunities as possible. Opportunities where they can experience life and the consequences of individual and group action. Opportunities for collaboration and co-operation will be given alongside individual experiences of leading, initiating and working independently.
We recognise that however individualised or interactive our learning experiences are, children still value time for themselves to choose their activities and share their experiences. They need time to reflect and absorb their learning. Although children do have break time and lunchtime as more independent sessions, these may not satisfy all children. We need to be mindful of their levels of concentration and our expectations.
- If your children have been working hard and they need a break – please feel free to give them one.
- If your children are NOT working hard and they need a break – please feel free to give them one.
- If you want to negotiate some time at the end of the morning/day/next day to motivate the children – please feel free to do so.
A short time to feedback on play experiences is very valuable. This can be done by the children answering the register with eg ‘ I played with Tom at playtime, or ‘I had to go to First Aid at lunchtime’. A named response card with a smiley face / unsmiley face or a red for not feeling good green for feeling good, could be stuck up on the wall or hang from a twig to give an indication of how the children are feeling. There is no need for teaching time to be taken up with long winded explorations, a simple acknowledgement would suffice in most cases.
Restorative Practice is based on Circles – games and discussion, affirmation and exploration of ideas. Quick circles during the day often break up tension and allow the children to express themselves. Longer sessions can be led with games and be more structured towards a topic.
Foundation and Key Stage One
Friday afternoon is reserved for Golden Time. There is time found during the other days to allow the children to select their own learning, or reflect.
The children are organised within their year groups and the activities are a free choice from the resources provided, or residing, within the classroom. Children may ask for opportunities during the week and every effort is made to provide them for the Golden Time afternoon. The teacher may decide to use the outdoors for a play session.
Children are encouraged to be independent and to find the resources they need for themselves. The classrooms are set up so that children know where resources are and what they can and can’t access independently.
Golden Time can be taken away from a child in 5 minute periods for poor behaviours, usually on that day – Friday. Time can be won back if exemplary behaviour is demonstrated, that is not simply expected behaviour. However, it is likely that this will be different for some children and discretion will be used.
Golden Time is not taken away for the child having not read at home, failed to complete homework or forgotten their PE kit. Rather it is taken away for poor readiness for learning, distracting others, unkindness, willful damage and so on.
Children finish the afternoon with their teacher so that they can be prepared for the weekend and the coming Monday. The afternoon will end with singing, a story, a Circle Time or similar, sot that the week is celebrated, it ends calmly and the children are dismissed feeling good about themselves.
Key Stage Two
From 2.30 pm on a Friday afternoon children have the opportunity to choose an activity to take part in. It might be a more, or less, organised activity.
It is organised within year groups so that the needs and wishes of the children can be more closely matched.
Children can lose privilege time over the week for poor behaviour or poor readiness for learning. They will be given guidance in how to be ready to learn and how to behave. They will receive warnings of loss of time, so children will be clear about what can lead to loss of privilege time.
Equally, if children lose time they can win it back – not for expected behaviour but for behaviour which is exemplary and worthy of comment (this might differ from child to child).
Minutes knocked off Privilege time will usually be in 5 minute periods. Minutes will not be taken off for missing PE kit – that will be dealt with by a red slip home, finding spare kit, and/or phoning home.
Minutes will not be taken off for not completing homework, unless opportunities to take up homework club have not been used. If homework still has not been completed by the following Friday, it may be completed during Privilege time. New homework may not be completed during that Friday’s loss of privilege time.
Minutes will not be taken off for not reading at home. However there is an expectation that children will be given and/or will find time in school to read at least the required amount. If the child has made no effort to fulfill these requirements it might be that time is removed from Privilege time.
Homework is issued on a Friday. Homework Clubs are on Mondays and Tuesdays at lunchtime.
If a child has lost minutes they will spend those minutes with their teacher, nearby and not taking part in the activity for the specified amount of time.
Children finish the afternoon back with their teacher so that the week can be reflected on, the following week can be looked forward to and reminders can be issued. The children need to know at the end of every day, and especially a Friday that they are valued and cared for. Some teachers might like to end with a quick Circle.