Prospectus Including Admissions
Bitterley Church of England Primary Academy School 2-11
“Small school, BIG family”
We believe that we have a very happy school at Bitterley, aware that we are very much part of the community and proud of our family atmosphere. We are very much guided by our Christian Values.
As part of the school’s drive for excellence we constantly strive to improve the provision for your children.
OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education) 2018 report said:
“The school motto, ‘small school, big family’, reflects the school’s distinctive ethos as a caring and friendly school.”
“The warm and welcoming atmosphere in the school is underpinned by a strong Christian ethos. Values such as courage, care, patience, tolerance and understanding strengthen this ethos.”
“Pupils’ excellent behaviour makes a strong contribution to their learning. They cooperate well together in the many opportunities they are given for collaborative work.”
The SIAMS Report in July 2017 said “The school’s Christian vision impacts significantly on children’s academic outcomes, personal development and well being, enabling them to flourish.”or
For Every Child – a book about children’s rights. We start each year off by reading through this brilliant book.
Being happy in school is vital. If you are happy then you can do your best. This goes for staff as well as children.
British values are very important in helping to behave well and work hard.
We strongly believe in life long learning. At Bitterley School we have chosen 6 key Learning Behaviours for Life:
Reflection Motivation Courage Focus Independence Resilience
Bitterley School has a long and interesting history dating back to the 16th Century. The present school caters for the children of Bitterley, Middleton. Stoke St. Milborough and Knowbury. We offer wrap-around care Out of hours Club, ( OOH Club) for children aged 2 to 11 from 7:45am until the beginning of school and after school until 6pm. The school grounds are continually being developed into an exciting learning resource. There are two playgrounds, a sports field with bark path and trees, a pond, an orchard planted with rare fruit trees and an outdoor classroom.
The school is organised into five classes:
From September 2016 we became a school which provides for children aged 2 – 11. The Little Acorn Class and Wondrous Willow Class form a Foundation Stage Unit. Key Stage 1 children are in Majestic Maple Class. Children in Key Stage 2 are in two classes – Fantastic Fir class usually containing years 3 and 4 and Mighty Oak Class containing years 5 and 6. The school reserves the right to alter the class structure of the school should a variation in numbers demand it. Parents will be notified of any changes..
Our aim is, within a Christian context, to encourage in children the highest standards of work, behaviour and personal development. At the school this is achieved by creating a caring and stimulating environment in which children can develop their personalities and abilities, as well as fit happily and tolerantly into their community. The children are encouraged to develop a co-operative and responsible attitude towards others, to appreciate the natural world and our responsibility towards it and foster a knowledge and understanding of Christian values and beliefs.
Staff, pupils, parents and governors are fully committed to achieve this aim.
The School Day
7:40 am Breakfast Club (OOH Club)
8:40 A teacher greets children at the gate.
8.55 am Registration
9.00 am First Session
10.50 am Break
11.10 am Assembly
11.30 am Second Session
12.20 pm Lunch
1.20 pm Afternoon Session
3:00pm Bus Children go home.
3.15 pm Children that are picked up go home.
3.15 – 6.00 pm Out of hours club (OOH Club)
Children are welcome to be on the school premises from 8.40 am. If, in exceptional circumstances, if you need to drop your child earlier please ask a member of staff in advance if this is convenient.
At the end of the school day please make sure that the school knows whether your child is going home with you or on school transport. Children are ready for collection at 3.15 pm.
If you need to get anything to your child during the day please go to the office first. The main gate and key internal doors are on a security lock to prevent unauthorised entry during the day. If there is no one in reception please ring the bell/press the buzzer for attention. All visitors must sign in to school in the Visitors’ book which is kept in reception.
Children who arrive late must be signed in at the office and parents taking children out early must also sign them out.
FOR SECURITY REASONS, PLEASE DO NOT COLLECT YOUR CHILD DURING THE COURSE OF THE DAY FROM SCHOOL WITHOUT FIRST SEEING A MEMBER OF STAFF AND SIGNING THEM OUT.
The school has no specific adaptation for access. However, both playgrounds, the main building and the demountable classrooms can all be reached without steps. The Governing Body will do its utmost to ensure that any alterations and adaptations needed for disabled pupils, parents, staff or Governors are made as soon as the need arises.
The school has an excellent reputation for pastoral care and for helping to produce confident well-rounded young people. Everybody in school works towards an atmosphere of co-operation, mutual care and respect. Staff take time and care to listen to the concerns and needs of both parents and children. All incidents of bullying, abuse or inappropriate behaviour contradicting the school Code of Conduct are dealt with immediately. All staff have been trained in Child Protection procedures. Safeguarding and Child Protection training is provided for all staff on an annual basis in line with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education – September 2016.
Contacting the school
There are several ways to contact the school.
You may: telephone the office on 01584 890228
E-mail the office on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calls and e-mails to the head teacher can be transferred from the office.
The best time to contact the school is between 8.45am and 3.00pm. You may find that telephoning the school will result in the need to leave a message on the answer phone. Please do so and we will endeavour to respond to this as soon as we can.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY PLEASE KEEP TRYING UNTIL YOU GAIN A PERSONAL RESPONSE.
Illness and Absence
In the event of your child being ill please let us know on the morning of the first day of their absence and again on the third day. Unauthorised absence may result in a visit by the Educational Welfare Officer. Any unexplained absence will be recorded on the school register as “unauthorised”. We would very much like to avoid this.
If your child is absent with an infectious disease such as chickenpox please inform the school as soon as possible – cross infection to other children or parents could be dangerous. If your child is sick, please keep them off school for 48 hours after the last bout of sickness.
Holidays should not be taken during term time. Permission for leave of absence under exceptional circumstances only.
If you have to make an appointment to visit the doctor, dentist, hospital, etc, during the course of the school day you must inform the school.
COVID – 19
Any child with symptoms of COVID-19 must be kept at home and a test must be sought by parents/carers. Any child displaying symptoms in school will be sent home. They must then be tested.
Emergency and other contact numbers
We do need to be able to contact you during the school day in case of emergency. Before your child starts school you will be asked to complete a contact information form which includes a record of contact telephone numbers where we are able to reach you or your partner. You may need to seek the permission of a friend to act on your behalf if you are not always available.
IF ANY PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES ALTER (INCLUDING TELEPHONE NUMBER CONTACTS), PLEASE NOTIFY US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Whenever possible, medication should be taken at home. Staff cannot administer medication unless you have completed the “Medical Form” available from the school office.
If your child has asthma then they must know how to use their own inhaler and it must be kept with them at all times and be clearly marked with their name. Asthma medical care plans (available from the office) must also be completed.
School Medical Information
Before your child starts school, you will be asked to complete a comprehensive ‘Registration Form’. This requests that you notify us of any special medical needs or allergies that your child has and asks you to consent to the administration of emergency treatment/medical procedures should the need arise. Obviously in such situations time is of the essence and we would endeavour to contact you but as you may realise this is not always possible.
You must also keep us updated if any of this information changes or you child develops an allergy during their time in school.
The school nurse service can be contacted on 01588 676322.
During your child’s first year at school, he or she will be given a general health check, including a measurement of height and weight, and a hearing test which is carried out by the school nurse. A “Consent to Selective School Medical Procedure” form will be given to all parents of new children to sign. At some time during the first year of school, your child will also have a vision test carried out by the Orthoptist.
The School Health Service now operates a system of selective medicals. During their first year, and preferably their second term at school, children are considered for such medicals if concerns are expressed by the School Nurse, School Doctor, or parents. In all cases full discussion will take place with parents and parental consent obtained before any examination takes place.
If you have any concerns about your child’s health in school, including obesity, bedwetting, soiling and behaviour at home, you can contact the School Nurse who will be pleased to discuss those concerns with you.
Parents and the school
Parents are encouraged to visit and support the school and to discuss any matters with the class teacher or the Headteacher. We encourage parents to become actively involved with any work the children may bring home so that we can work as a team for the benefit of the children.
Parents are welcome to help in a variety of ways:
- Parent Representative on the Governing Body
- Bitterley Friends Association
- Gardening and grounds maintenance
In fact, we are keen to use any expertise and enthusiasm parents can offer. All parents wishing to help in school must undergo an enhanced DBS check.
The Bitterley Friends organises social and fund-raising events each term. It has active links with the Governing Body. The committee are always looking for new members to take on responsibilities or to help at events. All new parents and guardians are automatic members! Please contact: BitterleyFriends@bitterley.shropshire.sch.uk
WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD WEAR TO SCHOOL?
We expect children to come to school in school colours except where there are special circumstances. The school colours are royal blue, grey and white. The requirements of the uniform are simple and inexpensive. Fleeces, cardigans, jumpers, t-shirts, pinafores and polo shirts with the school logo can be ordered through the school. Order forms and size guides are available from the school office.
*You may prefer to buy your own royal blue items without the school logo from an alternative supplier.
Winter uniform – boys
Winter uniform – girls
White or pale blue polo shirt
grey or black trousers
Choice of the following
royal blue jumper
Suitable sturdy low-heeled school shoes
( not trainers)
White or pale blue polo shirt
grey school pinafore dress or skirt
or grey or black trousers
choice of the following
royal blue jumper/ school cardigan
Suitable sturdy low-heeled school shoes
( not trainers)
Summer uniform – boys
Summer uniform – girls
|In addition to the above,
Grey or black tailored shorts may be worn
Suitable shoes, sandals or trainers may be worn in the summer term.
|In addition to the above
Grey or black tailored shorts may be worn
Blue/white check dressed may be worn
Suitable shoes, sandals or trainers may be worn in the summer term.
|White t-shirt or polo shirt
Blue or black p.e. shorts
Plimsolls or trainers ( trainers worn all day in the summer may NOT be worn for P.E due to hygiene)
Suitable warm clothing is needed in the winter for KS2 pupils
Swimming kit and a towel for swimming from year 1 onwards
All kit must be named and kept in a named P.E. bag
The school reserves the right to write to parents about their child’s footwear if it is not safe and suitable for everyday wear at school.
Children should not wear jewellery to school for reasons of safety and security. Earrings must be small discreet studs and must be removed during swimming and physical education.
All uniform and physical education kit should be clearly named.
We actively discourage children from bringing special toys or belongings to school as precious possessions can so easily get broken or lost. This is upsetting for the child and a distraction for the teacher. Play equipment is provided for the children to use at playtimes and lunchtimes. We encourage the children to bring items in from home when they are linked to a specific area of work.
School Dinners and Healthy Eating
*Whilst COVID-19 restrictions are in place, school dinner options will be limited.
We are very fortunate that we have out school dinners provided by a top quality local provider. This means that the food is as fresh as can be and that we have good control over the quality of the food being served.
Shire Services are responsible for catering arrangements. Meals are cooked freshly on the premises and can be ordered on a daily, weekly or termly basis. These must be paid for in advance. From September 2014 Universal Infant Free School Meals have been introduced. This means that if your child is in Foundation, Year 1 or Year 2, they will automatically qualify for a free hot school meal everyday.
Money for school meals should be paid through the online ‘School Money’ site.
Your child may be entitled to free school meals. If you think this might be the case then please ask the school administrator for a form.
Children may bring a packed lunch in a clearly labelled box if they wish to do so. We do actively encourage healthy packed lunches. We have no chilled storage facilities.
Children in Foundation and Key Stage 1 will be provided with free fruit at break time under the Department of Health’s National Fruit Scheme – a part of their “5-a-day” programme and milk as part of the ‘Cool Milk Scheme’. Children in Key Stage 2 may bring fresh or dried fit or vegetables to eat at break time.
Children are constantly being assessed by talking to them about their work, marking, testing and monitoring progress. Children are usually grouped by ability for Literacy and Numeracy. Tasks in other subjects may be differentiated by ability or children may work in mixed ability groups. Whole class teaching is used to introduce new concepts and to assess attainment at the end of lessons. Please click on the Curriculum Link for further information.
There is a clear assessment system in place for all ages and groups. The system runs on the basis of 3 x 60 days cycles per year. During these cycles the progress and attainment of each child is monitored.
Bitterley School is a Church of England School. It provides religious education that is predominantly Christian and related to the worship and teachings of the Church of England. Visitors from other Christian denominations are encouraged to come and share their perspectives on Christianity with the children. Opportunities are taken to investigate similarities and differences in beliefs, moral codes, traditions and celebrations.
Acts of Worship
Collective worship provides an opportunity for reflection on the great questions and mysteries of existence, as well as the equally significant but less dramatic, quieter moments in life.
- It provides a variety of opportunities for worship.
- It respects the autonomy of all staff and pupils.
- It reflects predominantly the Christian foundation of the school whilst giving time and respect to the values and beliefs of other faiths.
- It engenders a sense of occasion.
- It is educational.
- It is approached from an “inclusive” standpoint.
Parents may exercise their legal right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and the daily act of worship after discussion with the Head Teacher. These children will be supervised in another class for the duration of the lesson.
Relationships and Sex Education
Relationships and Sex Education (R&SE) is taught as an integral part of science and PSHE. As such, all the children take part in lessons. The content ranges from simple differences, “how did I get here” and “growing up” to changes, conception and birth. The programme ends with lessons for the Year 6 children about issues particularly relating to boys and girls as they start puberty.
Every two years the parents are invited into school to view and discuss the sex and relationships programme. Any parent who wishes to exercise their legal right to withdraw their child from Relationships and Sex Education may do so after discussion with the head teacher. Children will be supervised should this happen.
The school arranges a variety of out-of-school activities. These are organised in accordance with the LA guidelines and in line with the school’s ‘School Visits Policy’. Children go to Ludlow Leisure Centre for swimming lessons. Educational day trips enhance the work of each class. Older children also have the opportunity to take part in residential visits to London and as well as an outward bound activity break.
Supervision will be provided by school teaching and other staff, parent helpers and other adults, and will be determined for each outing taking into account what the children are doing, where they are going, how they are getting there and so on. Supervision will comply with the standards set down by the Local Authority. Fully qualified First Aiders are always on hand.
Sports tournaments are attended by school teams at local schools and at Ludlow Leisure Centre.
Transport will be by either coach, minibus or taxi. The PTA supports school trips by allocating each class teacher a budget, which helps to pay for the cost of transport.
Parents must sign a consent form to enable children to take part in off-site activities. Many activities rely on voluntary contributions in order for that activity to take place.
We are part of the local community sports programme that brings a variety of sports and games to local schools and caters for all ages.
School clubs include music and drama, recorders, football, dance, netball, hockey, athletics, tag rugby, rounders, Eco club, crafts and gardening.
What about homework?
The school follows the Government’s recommended guidelines on time allocation.
· Years 1 and 2 – 1/2 hour per week
· Years 3 and 4 – 1 hour per week
· Years 5 and 6 – 1½ hours per week
Activities that might be included as homework are: –
· Reading (either as practice or preparation for lessons),
· Whole School Creative homework
· Practising spellings,
· Looking for items to bring in to school for a topic,
· Maths games,
· Occasional English and Maths assignments,
· Information research.
Parents are expected to support the school by ensuring that regular reading at home and specific homework is completed. Children need a regular time to do homework and a space that is quiet with minimal distractions.
The school’s central purpose is that children should learn.
The pupils and staff have drafted the school’s code of conduct as a guide to expectations of behaviour in school.
When a child does not follow the code of conduct, a progressive system of sanctions is put into place as detailed in the Behaviour Policy.
The Home-School Agreement which underpins the school’s discipline policy and ethos will be issued to all parents at the start of each academic year. We expect all parents to sign up to this agreement and to support the school in upholding the agreement.
If you would like your child to be admitted to Bitterley School please write to the head teacher giving your name and address and the full name and date of birth of your child or children.
For admissions to the Reception Year you will need to complete a copy of the Shropshire Council’s application form and return it to the school by the second Friday in January in the year in which your child is due to start school. All applications received by this date will be considered. Parents will be informed by letter from the Shropshire Council Admissions on behalf of the Governing Body in April if they have been allocated a place for their child. Late applications received after the closing date in January will be dealt with in April after all other places have been allocated for those received by the closing date. However, if there are good reasons for the delay such as a house move or family difficulties such as serious illness or bereavement, then such applications will be considered up until mid- March. The table below sets out points of entry:
|Date of birth||
Due to start school
Time to apply
Parents may opt to defer entry until the start of the term after their child’s fifth birthday if they wish. *However, where this means that a summer born child defers until September, the child would be of Year 1 age, and therefore the offer of a place could not be held over and the parents would have to apply separately for a Year 1 place.
Children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs which names Bitterley C E School will be allocated places, after which places are allocated up to the Published Admission Number of 16 according to an agreed set of criteria in strict order of priority as shown below.
1. Looked After Children who are in Public Care or children who were Looked After but ceased to be so because they were adopted.
2. Children living inside the catchment area will have priority of admission. If there are not enough places for all the children in the catchment area then the following criteria for admission will apply in order:
2a. Children with medical and social needs (written evidence from an expert, such as a specialist doctor or Social Services will be required).
2b. Children who have an older sibling already at Bitterley School.
2c Children living nearest to the school.
2d Children who attend Little Acorns Class at Bitterley CE Academy School 2 – 11
3. If there are spaces still available after the above criteria have been applied, children living outside the catchment area will be offered places according to the following criteria:
3a. Children with medical and social needs (written evidence from an expert, such as a specialist doctor or Social Services will be required);
3b Children who have an older sibling at Bitterley School.
3c Children living nearest to the school.
A sibling connection is defined as a brother or sister, step-brother or step-sister, half-brother or half-sister, living at the same address as part of the same family unit and of compulsory school age (i.e. 5 – 16 years). Adopted siblings are also included. Older siblings must be attending the school on the date the younger sibling is due to start there. However, cousins or other relatives who take up residence in a home in order to establish an ‘in catchment area’ address will not be given priority under the sibling criterion.
For admissions purposes all distances are measured as a straight line distance on a computerised mapping system between the home address and the nearest entrance gate of the relevant school by pinpointing their eastings and northings. The shortest distance being given highest priority. Where two addresses are within the same block of flats, the lowest number of flat nearest the ground floor will be deemed to be the nearest in distance.
In the event that two applications are exactly the same after all other criteria have been taken into account a tie breaker will be used. This will be by random allocation and overseen by an independent party not connected with the admissions process.
Should the Governors Review Panel agree that the admission be refused the parents may appeal formally under the 1998 Act. The school has a joint arrangement Shropshire Council, which will convene an Independent Appeal Panel according to the Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals.
The Appeal would proceed according to the formula agreed by the Shropshire Education Authority and the Hereford Diocesan Board of Education.
The school can put parents in touch with other parents who have been through the Appeals process to discuss procedure if they wish.
A waiting list is kept for those who are unsuccessful at the Appeals stage up until the end of the first week of the new term. This arrangement is in line with Shropshire Council’s arrangements which are described in full in the Parent’s Guide to Education in Shropshire.
Transport will only be available to those pupils whose address falls within Shropshire Council’s designated transport area, or where Bitterley is the nearest school to their address, and where the home address is 2 miles from school. Further information can be sought from the County Council’s Integrated Transport Unit.
Mid-term applications will be dealt with using the same admissions criteria given above. If there is a space in the relevant year group a place will be granted. If the application is for a place in an over-subscribed year group then the Governors’ Admissions Committee will meet to consider the request. Allocation of places for children moving into Shropshire Council’s designated catchment area can only be considered when formal confirmation of the address has been received.
The catchment area does not follow the lines of the Ecclesiastical Parishes but does comprise much of the Parish areas (i.e. the Church Parishes) of Stoke St Milborough with Hopton Cangeford, Bitterley with Middleton and Knowbury.