Learning and Curriculum 2015
Bishop Henderson Church of England, Voluntary Aided, Primary School celebrates its 40th birthday during 2014-15. As a highly successful and popular Church School we are proud to continue our tradition of working with children and families from the Comeytrowe area, and beyond, in order to deliver the highest quality education, built on a strong foundation of Christian values.
Bishop Henderson is all about ‘Learning together for life in all its fullness’ and our Christian ethos underpins the welcoming, child centred approach to learning that offers all children a broad education as well as promoting the positive community values of care, respect and high expectations of all. The children at Bishop Henderson are well known for being friendly, happy and polite, enjoying school and keen to learn – who wouldn’t be if your topic was ‘Dr Who’ with a replica tardis and a visit by the Space Dome! Year 6 enjoy a residential at Kilve Court, many of our younger children present wonderful, enlivened stories with signing, to parents for Family Worship time.
We are frequently visited by past pupils, who are always keen to come back and keep in touch. At Bishop Henderson every child is recognised as an individual and every child is a valued member of our school family. Each child is encouraged, challenged and supported to achieve more than they may ever have imagined themselves capable of and our high expectations ensure great outcomes academically as well as in sports, arts and technology.
Bishop Henderson School engages learners through a really broad, enriched curriculum which includes many educational visits, first hand experiences and introductions to many new experiences. National Curriculum 2014 (NC2014) has been adopted throughout the school. NC2014 encourages a ‘mastery’ curriculum, an approach that is consistent with our school curriculum where deep and profound, applied learning, or ‘mastery’, is regarded as far more beneficial than shallow learning to achieve notional levels. The BBC have an ‘i-wonder’ website whereas at Bishop Henderson we have already been encouraging children to think and adopt an ‘I see, I think, I wonder…’ approach to learning for many years. Our children enjoy learning to learn, gaining independence and drive whilst also using their fabulous ‘purple polishing pens’ to show how they are responding to, and applying, their teacher’s careful feedback. Despite resolutely refusing to be narrowed by the latest Ofsted frameworks or national testing our children achieve exceptionally, frequently exceeding national and county outcomes academically. Our children also enjoy success in sports and in the arts, where we encourage participation, promote teamwork as well as individual talent and we welcome competition too.
We are fortunate to have lots of space for learning, inside and outside the school building, and we make the very most of every part. We have become a lead school for computing, a hub delivering training opportunities to other schools besides using technology to support children’s learning in exciting ways. A David Hockney inspired art project and exhibition saw children from Reception to Year 6 working together to create stunning results in a range of media, including using i-pads just as Hockney did.
Our school grounds are a tremendous asset to us and we like to see the children learning outside as much as possible. Our Welly Walks and Forest School style activities, now extended into Year 4, make excellent use of our wider environment and the children gain a great deal, socially and academically, as they develop confidence in communication, teamwork, problem solving and positive risk taking. These skills are just what young people need to succeed in education, in employment and to make a positive contribution to society for the future. Besides all this the children thoroughly enjoy cooking their own bread and popcorn, or making hot chocolate! We share the great outdoors with our local Pre-schools who enjoy accessing our Forest School style site and resources, giving local children a great taster of the school before they start their Reception Year.
As a school we enjoy active links with partner schools in France, all of our children begin to learn French, and also Zambia, a link through the Diocese of Bath and Wells. Staff have visited each other’s schools and children communicate through letters, drawings and technology such as skype. The children, through our School Council, support local and global fund raising initiatives. Local connections and emotional intelligence are really important to us. Every year, after Remembrance Sunday, our Year 6 children visit Taunton’s war memorial and reflect on its meaning for us, for our world, today. We are proud to be a strong school community and we are also proud of strong links with wider communities too.
The very highest quality teaching doesn’t just happen. The greatest strength of Bishop Henderson Church of England Primary School is its team of dedicated staff, all of whom make a really positive contribution to our school life and several have supported other schools too. With such a strong, caring and committed staff team we are able to extend opportunities for the children through a broad range of extra-curricular clubs and activities including wake and shake, many sports, music, computing, reading, the environment and film. Our clubs change every term and the staff led clubs are supplemented by clubs delivered by our brilliant parents and sports coaches, including – new for this term, and very popular, cheerleading! We are always well supported by the active Friends of Bishop Henderson who have a full calendar of events for children and families, including fundraisers and also socials such as the end of year family picnic.
I feel deeply privileged to be the Headteacher of a school where there is such a friendly and positive atmosphere, where the enthusiasm and dedication of the children, families, staff and Governing Body is so amazing. At Bishop Henderson our main thing, today as over the past 40 years, is to keep high quality teaching and learning relevant to the needs of each child who joins our school.
Lots of change comes and goes in education yet we will always work hard to keep the main thing, the main thing – ensuring the very best for our children.