Vision, Ethos and Information about the School
The school is a co-educational, Church of England, Primary School, administered by Cambridgeshire Education Authority, serving children from the year in which they are five until they reach the age of eleven. The school is part of the Ely Diocese and is part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust.
Our Mission Statement
‘Learning, working and growing together’
Swaffham Prior C of E Primary School promotes a sustainable, challenging and Christian ethos which is at the heart of the community. All adults and children are responsible, caring and friendly. We communicate and work together effectively, showing respect for each other and our environment. Everyone is encouraged to be motivated, happy, confident and independent learners able to meet future challenges.
Our school mission statement is underpinned by our values based within the context of Christian practice and belief:
At Swaffham Prior Church of England Primary School we value:
- Mutual respect
- A well developed sense of responsibility
- An inclusive environment
- Providing a stimulating, creative environment for all to work in
- A belief in the value of teamwork
- A strong sense of community
- An attitude that shows we understand the need to care for the environment and to look to the future for sustainable solutions.
Our catchment area covers the villages of Swaffham Prior and Reach:
We have a lovely field for sport and play time, a pond area, a vegetable garden, a nature area, an outdoor swimming pool, a tarmac playground with an adjacent grassy area on which FoSPS have funded a trim trail. The sheltered and surfaced area adjacent to Mercury class allows some of the curriculum to be taught outside.
In our designated Nature Area, which we use to enhance outdoor learning for all children, are bird nesting boxes, bird feeding stations, insect ‘houses’ and a pond. We have close links with Wicken Fen who support us with maintaining and developing the area.
Our main external entrances are coded for security purposes. Our mobile class room houses our library and is available for group work and class music sessions.
The school car park has a gate, for security purposes, which is locked during the school and overnight and should not be used for parent parking or turning cars in Station Road. We encourage walking to school or supervised cycling for those who have not passed their cycling proficiency (we have a cycle shelter available). Parents may use the village hall car park and walk through the side gate. The side gate is also locked during the school day.
Transport to school
Reach children may travel on the Bottisham Village College bus, providing they have a bus pass, details of which can be obtained from the school office.
A Brief History
The school was originally run entirely by the church and situated at the bottom of the church steps, but in the 1920s, the LA decided that it was in a very poor state of repair and should be replaced. They offered to build a new school – but under their control. There was a great deal of opposition to this loss of control, which resulted in the local squire and the vicar putting up the money to build the present school in 1928. This is the building, which now houses our hall, offices and kitchen.
As the school was nearing completion, Henry Morris began the Village Colleges and it was decided that the senior children should transfer to Burwell, rather than Bottisham. This caused such uproar in the village that the police put a guard on the new school to prevent the senior pupils from entering. Parents retaliated by employing a teacher privately to work with the seniors in the village hall, although some children did attend Swaffham Bulbeck School instead.
There followed a period of great unrest, which resulted finally in the head teacher’s resignation in 1934. There were then 60 children on roll. Gradually things began to settle down but with the advent of the war in 1939, evacuees began to arrive, and numbers fluctuated between 60 and 100. After the war, in 1947, the school finally came under the control of the Local Authority although retaining its Church of England status. At the same time school meals were delivered from Burwell.
Children from Reach started attending the school in 1960 with the closure of their village school.
The classrooms in present use were built in 1966, and the two sections connected by a covered way at a later date. The mobile classroom was added as numbers increased. In the last few years, further modifications have made the school accessible to disabled children. The library extension was added in 1997 and the new classroom in 1998, to be followed by a new staffroom in 2003. We now have a school which is comfortably adapted to its present use, but one which reflects and reminds us of its past.
School and its organisation
For Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
1.00pm-3.00pm (with an afternoon break of 10 minutes)
For Years 3, 4, 5 and 6
Children should arrive at school no earlier than 8.35am and should be collected at 3.00pm unless in an emergency or by prior arrangement.
Registration and Absence from School
It is very important that children are ready for registration in the classroom at 8.45am. Children arriving after register has closed will be registered as late and need to be signed in at the office by parents, unless notification of e.g. a medical appointment has been given. It will be recorded as an unauthorised absence.
Authorised absence includes illness and medical or dental appointments. If your child is absent from school for any reason, please let the school know by telephone or email. Unless the school is told why a child is away, the absence will be marked as unauthorised. If the school has not heard why a child is absent by 9.30am on the day of absence, the parent will be telephoned by the school office.
If a child has a medical or dental appointment during school time, the class teacher should be told, preferably in writing, and the child may be collected as necessary, with parents calling in at the office to sign the child out and back in. If somebody other than the usual person is collecting the child please inform the school.
All schools follow the overall pattern in the table below:
|Key Stage||Age of child||Year|
|Foundation Stage FS||Up to 5||Reception|
|Key Stage One KS1||5-7||One and two|
|Key Stage Two KS2||7-11||Three, four, five and six|
An intake of 17 children in each year group has been set with the County and the school currently has four classes. Classes in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have a maximum of thirty children.
Within a small school, class age groupings cannot be set and patterns of mixed age groups reflect numbers of children. When, due to numbers, a single year group cannot be accommodated within the same class then the needs of the individuals and the class will be taken into account when making split-year placements. All children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum or National Curriculum Programmes of Study appropriate for their age and current level of skills and development.
Currently the classes are organised as below:
Mercury Class Reception
Mars Class Year One and Year Two
Neptune Class Year Three and Year Four
Saturn Class Year Five and Year Six
Occasionally, according to individual needs of some children, it may be necessary to vary the above organisation. Final decisions about split-year placements take place in the summer term, when numbers for the following academic year are confirmed, or at the time of admission if this is mid year. The individual child’s age, confidence, style of learning, prior attainment, siblings and friendship groups are taken into account.
The process of placement takes place, where possible, in conjunction with parental views and parents can discuss these with the class teacher at any time, but particularly from term two onwards, using the parental consultations as a forum. The final decision rests with the school when the overall size of class, balance of gender and special educational needs will be taken into account.
For further information on entry to school, please refer to the admission policy. Queries about admissions can be dealt with by calling The County Admission Team on 03450451370.
Holidays in term time
The school does not authorise any holidays taken during term time. Requests for term-time leave will only be granted in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis. The school strongly urges parents not to book annual family holidays during term-time and these will not normally be authorised. Should this situation be unavoidable, the granting of such leave is at the discretion of the Head teacher and each case will be treated individually, taking the reason for the holiday, current attendance record and the likely educational impact of any time, which is missed into account. Requests for term-time leave must be made on an application for leave of absence for annual holiday or extended visit overseas form, which is available from the office or the school website. A covering letter is also requested. If you require an Absence Request Form, please see Forms in our Parent page.
How the school works in practice
We believe school uniform gives a sense of identity and is practical and smart. We therefore have a school dress code and we would like parents to choose items from the following list when purchasing their child’s clothing for school. School sweatshirts and PE T-shirts with the school logo can be purchased from FoSPS. There is also a large supply of nearly new clothing available. Please contact the school office for order forms.
Black, grey or navy trousers/shorts
Black, grey or navy skirt/pinafore
Red or white polo shirts
Red and white striped/checked summer dresses
Black outdoor footwear of a sensible nature (no heels, boots or sling backs)
In addition to everyday dress, children require:
PE kit – Red PE t-shirt (with school logo), black or navy shorts, socks and trainers or plimsolls plus a drawsting bag to store these in.
Games kit – a warm tracksuit or similar to wear when the weather is cold
One-piece swimming costume and towel for swimming (Summer term only)
Please ensure that all removable clothing is named.
Jewellery or make-up may not be worn in school. The only exceptions are watches or studs for pierced ears. Please note: it is county policy that all earrings, including sleepers, be removed for PE, or covered with tape (this should be provided from home). Hair which is long enough to tie back should be at all times.
If children are unwell before they come to school, please keep them at home until you are sure they are well, rather than risk them being ill at school or spreading infection. Children should not in any circumstances be sent to school for at least 48 hours from their last episode of diarrhoea or sickness. A list of recommendations for exclusion in the case of communicable diseases is kept in school; these include impetigo and chicken pox; if in doubt please ask. It is general policy that staff do not administer medicines, however a parent may request a medicine form from the office which gives precise instructions for a first aider to give a prescribed medicine. A Health care protocol form must be completed on an annual basis for any long term prescribed medicines. For further information see our Medicines in School Policy.
If a child is taken ill in school, or has an accident, parents will be contacted. It is therefore most important that the school has an up-to-date emergency contact number. Parents are asked to fill in an emergency information sheet for our records, and notify us of any changes of circumstances. If the school is unable to contact parents, we will take whatever action we think is necessary for the well-being of the child, in loco parentis.
Break time snacks/Water bottles
Research shows that there is a positive link between rates of learning and drinking plenty of fluid and eating healthily and so we encourage a healthy and “brain friendly” attitude towards eating habits. For a morning break time snack, children may bring fruit, dried fruit or vegetables. These should be kept in children’s classroom trays. Sweets, chocolate biscuits and crisps are not allowed. Children in Mercury and Mars Classes currently have fruit and vegetables provided by the Government’s Fruit and Vegetable Scheme and so do not need a snack from home. Children have individual water bottles within the classrooms. Damaged or lost water bottles can be replaced at a minimal charge from the school office.
We have daily assemblies, acts of collective worship, with a Christian emphasis. These are mainly whole school and led by the head, deputy or visitors from the local parishes. Parents are invited to attend Class Assemblies, which are taken by each class at least twice a year. At Harvest and at the end of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms we hold a service in the village church, St. Mary’s. Parents and members of the community are welcome at these services.
Equality Act Statement
Our curriculum content aims to afford equality of opportunity for our children. All children are treated equally and respected whatever their gender, culture, race, colour, ethnic or national origins or religion. No incident that is or appears to be racially motivated will go unchallenged. All racist incidents will be recorded and parents/carers of victims and perpetrators informed.
The Trustees of the school have set aside money to make an annual award to the child who shows our school values each year. The child’s name is recorded on a shield displayed in the entrance hall and is presented with the award towards the end of the summer term. All members of the school, child and adult alike, are asked to nominate the child who, in their opinion, most deserves this award. This takes place at the end of the summer term.