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Broadway East First School Challenge, Equality & Opportunity

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

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.

Curriculum

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.

School Relocation to Newcastle Great Park

You will no doubt be aware of our very exciting plans for the future of our school. Please find below some of the most frequently asked questions about these plans to relocate to Newcastle Great Park and to expand our capacity.

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!

What our pupils think...

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a First School and how is this different to a Primary School?

A first school is school which caters for children aged 4 to 9. Our children start with us in Reception and stay with us until the end of Year 4 at which point they transfer to a middle school at age 9 and high school at age 13. A primary school has Y5 and Y6, with children transferring to secondary school at age 11.

Where do children go after Year 5?

After Year 4, children start middle school. We are a feeder school for Gosforth East Middle School and currently almost all of our pupils follow this route. After Year 8, almost all then progress to Gosforth Academy.

How many children are there in the whole school and each class?

We have 225 children in school. There are 45 in each year group. Most classes have 30 children, although in Reception we currently have 24 children in each class. This is because there are 48 children in Reception this year.

What is the school’s approach to managing children’s behaviour?

We believe in ‘catching children in’ rather than catching them out – this means that we look for opportunities to reward and praise children for making the right decisions. A positive approach to managing behaviour is effective and helps children to then manage their own behaviour and make the best possible progress in their personal development. We want our children to make the right choices because they know it is the right and responsible way to behave towards others. We have a set of Golden Rules and we use these to help children in manage themselves and their relationships in a way which prepares them for the next stage in their education and personal development. We are a No Outsiders school and have been believers in the No Outsiders approach to the equality act for several years. This means that we teach children about equality and respect from the very first day at school and use the approach to tolerate and celebrate differences. We use picture books and news stories to reinforce our values of equality and respect.

We also have the Secrets of Success which we use to shape behaviour for learning. These help children to understand how to be effective learners and make the most of every opportunity.

Different classes have age appropriate strategies for promoting and rewarding good behaviour but these are all based on the Golden Rules and Secrets of Success.

We have weekly achievers’ Assemblies where we celebrate our successes and teachers nominate pupils to receive certificates.

Is there bullying here and what does school do about bullying?

There is sadly bullying of some sort in every school. It would be naïve for school leaders to say they have a bullying-free school. However, as a result of effective behaviour management and working in partnership with parents and carers, we have very, very low numbers of incidents which are bullying. If we suspect that a situation is becoming bullying, we act swiftly and talk to parents and carers to establish how we can change the behaviour of the children so that everyone can continue to be safe and happy in school. Each situation is completely different to others and we use different strategies for different children and different situations. You can view our Behaviour and Bullying policy online.

What is the curriculum like here?

We follow the National Curriculum and the Early Years Curriculum but we have worked hard to make sure that our version of the curriculum is purposeful and relevant to our children and context. We offer the full range of National Curriculum subjects and ensure that these are always present and don’t get ‘squeezed out’ by the core subjects of Maths and English. Reading underpins everything and we have an important and effective emphasis on early reading. Topics are full of questions and are designed to stimulate the children to want to find out more and apply their new knowledge and skills to a range of contexts and new situations.

Are there any extracurricular opportunities?

Yes, there are many! Although we are currently restricted by the pandemic, we usually provide clubs every morning and every afternoon at the end of the school day. These range from musical theatre to football to art to taekwondo… We will continue to value and provide extracurricular activities in our new school too.

Is there wrap around care for working families?

Yes. We currently have access to the Gosforth out of School Club https://www.gosforthparkoutofschoolclub.co.uk/ which runs on site. We will continue to provide wrap around care at the new site, but this might be with another provider or provided by school staff.

What makes your school different to others?

All first and primary schools will have similar values and curriculums. However, you would see from visiting schools that they all have a different ‘feel’ to them. It is a great shame that you are unable to visit us because we are proud of our school family and we believe that the relationships here are what makes Broadway East so special and such a happy place. We employ staff who are committed to making our school the best place it can possibly be and who will not only align to, but embrace the school values. We invest in people and we love having a school family which is an important and valued part of the school community. We are authentic in our love of education and our belief that we can make a positive difference to everyone who is part of the school family.

What are attainment and progress like at this school?

Attainment and progress are very good. Our children make excellent progress and have high attainment. We track our children’s progress closely and compare it with neighbouring schools as well as national averages for outcomes. When children aren’t making age related progress or meeting age related expectations in terms of attainment, we work with parents and carers, our SENCO and other agencies and partners to make sure that we can support children effectively and meet their needs.

What does the school do to support children with SEN?

Our SENCO is also our Assistant Headteacher and has many years of experience in teaching and supporting children to make the best possible progress. We intervene as quickly as possible to get the right assessment and support for our children who have SEN and we work closely with families to ensure that all possible action is taken to give every child the best start to their education. There is lots of information on our website, but if you have a question about your child, please contact us so that we can talk to you directly.

What is staff turnover like at the school?

We have a relatively low turnover of staff at Broadway East. We think this is a result of the school being such a happy community in which to learn. Our more experienced staff support less experienced staff to make sure that all staff are able to deliver the curriculum which we value in a way which suits all children and makes our school such a great place to learn.

How do parents and carers get involved in school life and how does school communicate with parents?

There are many opportunities for parents and carers to get involved. We have a range of activities across the year such as:

  • Parents and Carers’ Evenings
  • Stay and play activities in Early Years
  • Reading workshops
  • Star of the week in Early Years
  • Open afternoons
  • PTFA events such as coffee afternoons, fairs, uniform sales
  • Enterprise events
  • Class assemblies
  • Christmas concerts
  • Festivals such as Harvest
  • Coffee mornings with teachers
  • Curriculum workshops

During the pandemic, these have been significantly reduced for everyone’s safety and we have worked remotely to keep parents involved with school using Tapestry and Seesaw apps as well as conducting Parents and carers’ evenings by telephone. We share information via newsletters and ParentMail. As far as possible, we have an open door policy and are always here to answer questions. We have a very active PTFA who also keep in touch with families through ParentMail.

Please contact school if you have any questions which haven’t been answered in this information or on the school website.

Broadway East First School

Broadway East

Gosforth

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE3 5JQ

Tel: 0191 285 5141