As we are unable to invite families into school as usual, we have put together this virtual tour. We hope it gives a flavour of our school and answers some of the questions you may have.
Welcome from Ms Helen McKenna, Headteacher
Our aims were established by parents, governors, staff and children. These aims, our Secrets of Success and our Golden Rules set out the principles and guidance through which we strive to make our school a place where everyone can thrive and learn together.
We believe that positive, caring and strong relationships underpin and set the ethos of the Broadway East First School family. We value every member and we work together to promote the values of respect, tolerance, understanding and cooperation.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Broadway East, we endeavour to create a happy, safe and stimulating environment where everyone is valued and where children can learn the skills, knowledge and concepts to prepare them for the next stage in their education and beyond. We understand and are firmly committed to the importance of early education and laying the groundwork for lifelong learning and achievement.
The Reception day here is a busy one, filled with an interesting variety of learning activities intended to stimulate the children’s interest in the world around them. No two days are ever the same! We give children a balanced and rich variety of stimulating activities each day. Some of these will be self-directed and play based and some will be adult led, either individually, in small groups or as the whole class. Through this range of planned activities, children are encouraged to apply and extend their knowledge and understanding every day.
Reading underpins the curriculum in school and right from the start of the Reception year, the children have daily phonics where they build knowledge of sounds and letters so that they can begin to read and write. There are daily maths and literacy lessons too which take on many different forms, as well as activities planned around the other areas of learning in the Early Years Curriculum. We make use of our outdoor areas to extend learning as well as offering space for physical activities and exploration. Children are able to explore nature in the Reception Garden and also love to have time on the large yard to use the bikes, trikes and scooters.
Assessing children’s learning is an important and ongoing process which enables both teachers and parents/carers to recognise children’s progress, understand their needs, and to plan the next steps in their learning. In school, we observe and assess how children are developing and learning in many different contexts such as group activities, play, individual activities and interactions with other children and adults. We collect and store our observations electronically using a secure online Learning Journal called Tapestry. The iPads allow us to make observations of the children on-the-go, and collect pictures and notes about each child from all members of staff, allowing for a wider range of evidence to show how the children are learning and progressing. As Tapestry is online, we can send you photographs and videos of your child directly from the Reception Classrooms. We love using the app as it is a really useful tool in keeping in touch and giving you real-time information about how your child is getting on in school.
At playtimes, we have a buddies and trained play leaders where older children support the younger children and help them to find their friends and join in with playing and games. Our Reception children are very much part of the school family right from the start; enjoying playtime with the older children and building their confidence as members of the team.
We know that children learn well when they are happy, feel safe and know that they are valued. Everyone in our school is equal and we reward children for making good choices in their behaviour. We all follow the Golden Rules, the Secrets of Success and we emphasise the importance of our school values throughout every school day. We are a No Outsiders school and as such we value and teach the Equalities Act through picture books, news and stories. We take very seriously our responsibility to make sure that our children are good citizens and are ready for the next stage in their education and life.
We believe that relationships are crucial to learning and that includes the relationship between school and home. We value the contribution that parents and carers make to children’s learning and well-being. Because of this, we ensure that there are numerous opportunities available for you to get involved with school life; some of which are whole school events and celebrations and some which are just for Early Years.
We use ParentMail, a school app, to share letters and information with our families. We try to keep everyone up to date with information from school and are always available to answer questions. We are always available to talk to you briefly at drop off and pick up times too so that you can pass on important messages. As far as we can, we have an ‘open door’ policy and you will always be welcome to come and talk to us. No question is too small! We use Twitter to celebrate school life and learning. You can follow us at @BroadwayEast1st.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for England and Wales which set out exactly what children should know and be able to do at different milestones throughout their education.
We believe that children learn best when activities and experiences are purposeful and relevant and we regularly review our curriculum Intent so that we can be certain that our children are building skills and knowledge which we believe they need in order to succeed. We want our children to be confident learners who have resilience and are able to take risks and solve problems. We also aim to prepare children for living in a diverse community by ensuring that they are compassionate and able to respect others.
We endeavour to make learning relevant and purposeful and we draw on our wonderfully rich local heritage and culture whenever possible. Learning in the basic skills is a priority and so maths and English are at the heart of our curriculum and are threaded through every other subject. We follow a two year cycle in all subjects other than English and maths, these are available to view on our website where we endeavour to keep them up to date.
Why is the school moving to Newcastle Great Park?
We are relocating so that we can help to meet the demand for places in Newcastle Great Park. We are currently on a site with Gosforth Park First School and the buildings were originally built as one school. When we relocate, Gosforth Park First School will expand into the space we leave behind.
We have always viewed the relocation and expansion as an opportunity to add strength to our work as a school. We are very excited about the plans and can’t wait to move!
When is the school moving to Newcastle Great Park?
We expect building to begin in January 2021 and it is anticipated that the school will be ready to open to pupils and staff in September 2022 at the latest.
Where on the Great Park will the school be?
The site for the relocation is adjacent to, and west of, the Sage buildings.
How will it change when it moves?
The school will double in size to 3 forms of entry in each year group. We will have state of the art facilities both indoors and outdoors. It has been a really exciting privilege to work alongside the architect and other partners to design the school based on what we believe to be important. The school will be built around a shared courtyard and will have play areas and a large forest school area to the side and the back of the buildings. There will be a bike track, an outdoor gym/trim trail, a dining area, a sports field, a theatre and a fenced MUGA (multi use games area) included in the outdoor provision. Indoors, we will have a beautiful library, two halls, access to the courtyard and the outdoor areas, well designed classrooms with modern furniture and up to date technology to support learning. The school will be well resourced for both pupils and staff as well as being safe and secure. There will be onsite parking for staff and visitors.
We have a great staff team and everyone in the team shares the school values and ethos. The team will grow and the numbers of pupils grow but our senior leadership team and governors will be committed to employing the staff who can add real strength to the team and complement what we already have and do.
Will it disrupt the children’s learning or upset them to have to move to the new site?
We expect the children to share our excitement and we will be involving them in making plans and choices for the new school. We anticipate many visits to the building site and numerous real life learning opportunities across the curriculum. Because the staff and pupils are moving together, it won’t feel like a new school family, just a new building and a new route to and from school each day. Some of our older children are already disappointed in the knowledge that they won’t be joining us for the move! We will make sure that the children know that they are very lucky to be moving to a wonderful new building with fantastic outdoor spaces and opportunities.
What will stay the same?
The school ethos and values will not change. We will continue to prioritise relationships as the key strength in our school and will still be a No Outsiders school where everyone is valued and has a part to play in making our school family a safe and happy place to be. Our ambitions for an exciting and creative curriculum will remain the same but will be easier to achieve more fully as a result of the improved facilities both inside and out.
The school will still be part of the Gosforth Schools’ Trust and therefore part of the three-tier system in Gosforth. The staff and pupils who are with us now will all move with us, there will be no need to reapply for places or for jobs. We think of the relocation as picking up all that we have and value and taking it to a new place!
Some parents and carers have asked us whether the name of the school or the uniform will change. These decisions are still to made in consultation with the Gosforth Schools’ Trust and Newcastle City Council. No doubt our own school council will also have some strong views which we will need to take into account!