SCHOOL INFORMATION

Quick Links

 Welcome

 School Ethos & Values

 Admissions

Special Educational Needs

 Assemblies

 School Visits & Trips

 School Houses

 School Council

 School Clubs

 Ace Kids Club

 School Productions

 Medicine

 Pastoral Care and Discipline

 Meals

 Fundraising

 School prospectus

Welcome
Katherine Semar Junior School is a Community School, which shares a large and attractive site with its partner Infant School. The Schools are situated on the southern outskirts of the historic wool and Quaker town of Saffron Walden in North West Essex.

The Schools are named after Dame Katherine Semar, a local benefactoress who in 1510 gave money to build a chantry and a school in the town. She was commemorated in the stonework of Saffron Walden Parish Church by a Catherine Wheel design high up on one of the arches.

The Junior School was opened in 1982. The buildings and grounds are the subject of a substantial ongoing refurbishment and resourcing programme from which everyone is benefiting. The school is freely accessible by the disabled.

The grounds are large and include a wildlife area, marked games pitches (remarked for the summer sports), purpose-built play equipment, a dedicated resurfaced hard play area including tennis/basketball, imaginative play markings and a quiet area with large shaded seating areas.

The school currently has a two-form entry i.e.: we expect to have two classes per year group and there is room for growth in pupil numbers due to the small size of our catchment area.

  • Prospective Parents/Guardians are welcome and encouraged to visit the school.

  • Please contact the Headteacher who will be pleased to make arrangements to show you around.

  • In the Summer Term we hold a meeting of Year 2 Parents/Guardians as part of our induction policy.

  • We like our Parents/Guardians to feel part of the school and we value all the support and encouragement that they give us, which so enhances the lives of the Children.

    School Ethos & Values
    We believe that school should;

    • Create a caring safe, clean, challenging, stimulating and attractive working environment for everyone.
    • Encourage all pupils to develop lively, creative and enquiring minds with enthusiasm in all that we do.
    • Enable all pupils to develop a sense of cultural, moral, social and spiritual understanding and become informed citizens who show responsibility towards others in the School Community, the local Community and to all we may meet anywhere in the world.
    • Deliver a structure Curriculum, which is both broad and balanced and which progressively builds on achievement and allows for pupils individual success.
    • Set individual targets across the Curriculum which will enable all pupils to become confident and independent learners.
    • Create a partnership where home and school together share mutual expectations in striving to achieve excellence.
    • Develop a sense of School Community which values and encourages effort, enhances self-esteem and celebrates success.

    Admissions
    As an LEA school we are inclusive and will admit all children living in the catchment area regardless of gender, race or disability.
    In the event of full capacity any remaining places will be allocated using the following criteria in this order:

    1. Children with a brother or sister attending the school at the time of application and determination.
    2. Children with a brother or sister attending the partner Infant School at the time of application and determination.
    3. Remaining applications - determined by straight line distance from home to school, those living closest are given highest priority.

    Exceptional medical circumstance and evidence may override the above.
    Prospective pupils are invited to attend school for a half day visit before they start full time, so that they may become familiar with their new class.
    Parents/Guardians are encouraged to assist in classrooms and accompany visits. Our pupils are very proud of family involvement in their School and we feel that it greatly enhances their perceptions of the School Community.

    Inclusion
    We are fortunate in having a dedicated team of Learning Support assistants (LSAs) and Teaching Assistants (TAs), with at least one assistant in each year group. This team is co-ordinated by an experienced (SENCO). Our Support Staff have a wide range of classroom experience and professional qualifications, and are constantly monitored and further enhanced by a structured training programme.

    All pupils benefit from having a TA in their classroom every morning to support the Literacy and Numeracy provision. In addition, we have LSA's whose role is to help and give support to pupils, who have been identified under the Essex Code of Practice for SEN as having needs requiring extra support for their learning. This may be for an educational need such as Literacy or Numeracy difficulties, for supporting behavioural problems or for pupils with physical or neurological impairment.
    These pupils would usually be on the Schools Special Educational Needs Register identified either as Essex School Action (previously Essex Stages 1 & 2) or Essex School Action Plus (previously Essex stages 3, 4) and statemented pupils.
    All pupils on the SEN register benefit from this additional support, which may be in small groups, one-to-one or simply for reassurance and guidance.
    As well as 'in class' support we have a designated Special Needs Resource Base and Teaching area, where both teaching of pupils and staff training takes place.
    There is regular monitoring and evaluation of pupil progress throughout the school and we are always alert to any new difficulties that our pupils may face, be they short term problems or those requiring longer term help and guidance.
    Our aim is to be aware of our pupil's needs and to provide the appropriate advice and support to them and to their parents, by liaising regularly on their behalf with all the support agencies i.e. Education Psychologists, Specialist Teachers, Health and Social Service Agencies where appropriate.
    We care about our pupils and hope to enable them all to reach their full potential and enjoy their time at Katherine Semar Junior School.

    Assemblies

    • Whole School Assemblies take place each day.
    • On alternate Wednesdays Collective Worship Assemblies are lead by the local 'Churches Together'.

    The school is non-denominational and welcomes children from all Faiths. We follow the requirements of the Essex Agreed Syllabus and the statutory requirement for an act of daily collective worship. An element of collective worship is included as part of each assembly.
    Parents/Guardians have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the Collective Worship ( whether in Assembly or in class) but not from general School Assemblies. Please contact the Headteacher if there is an issue here that concerns you.
     

    School Visits & Trips
    We feel that visits from school to places which will support and enhance the children's learning area an important part of school life.
    Most classes will make one or two visits per year to further the Curriculum. We also arrange visits to school by authors and poets, actors, theatre groups, scientific and historical re-enactment groups or individuals who are of interest and relevant to the study focus.
    Each year group has the opportunity to go on a Residential Extended Journey during the Summer Term. These vary in length depending on the age group of the children and are to a variety of areas in the country.
    Parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of each trip. Residential trips can be paid for over a period of months with a contribution towards the total cost being paid monthly.

    School Houses
    Children belong to one of four houses, Horse-chestnut, Oak, Beech and Sycamore. They are encouraged to earn points for their house through good behaviour, hard work and participating in special events. They also earn housepoints for themselves. Once they have collected 50 housepoints, they earn their Bronze award; 125 earns their Silver award and 250 housepoints gains their Gold award.

    This system works well as an effective motivating and unifying force within the school, giving the children a sense of achievement when their house does well.

    School Council
    Two elected representatives from each class sit on the school council which meets regularly throughout the term. The council provides a forum for dialogue between staff and pupils and helps foster a sense of responsibility in the children for their school.

    School Clubs
    Each term children are offered the chance to join a selection of after after school activities.

    Ace Kids Club The school runs its own Breakfast and After school club service for working parents who need childcare. The club is open from 7.45 am until school opens and from 3.05 pm each day. Parents may use the club on a full-time, part-time or occasional basis.
    The children take part in a variety of fun, educational activities each day, including cookery, art and I.C.T. as well as having time to catch up with their homework. A healthy snack is provided.

    School Productions
    One of the highlights of the year are the school productions which are held at Christmas. There is one lower school and one upper school production, with every child in the school participating on stage. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our staff, the plays are always of a very high standard. Year 6 also complete a leavers production, usually a comedy, it give them the opportunity to see out their final weeks on a high.

    Medicine

    • We are prepared to give children medicine in school time but only if it has been prescribed by a doctor
    • Medicines should always be left with either the school secretary in the Office or the Headteacher, not with the class teacher or the child.
    • Parents are asked to complete a form confirming the details and dosage of the medicine.
    • Parents of asthma sufferers are asked to provide details in writing of the dosage requirements for their children. A spare inhaler must be kept in the school Office and the child must keep their inhaler with them and be able to use it. Children attending swimming must have their inhaler with them.

    Pastoral Care and Discipline
    Our school is a Community in which behaviour is based on mutual respect and consideration for others. The class teacher is initially responsible for the care and discipline of the children in his/her class and always welcomes the opportunity to discuss any aspect of a child's development with Parents and Guardians.
    Particular issues are discussed with the Head. If a child displays persistent antisocial behaviour, then consultation between the Teacher, the Head and the parents will be arranged in order to reach an understanding of the problem and to find some way of correcting it .

    Meals

    • A range of hot meals cooked in the school kitchen are provided each day.
    • Your child may wish to bring a suitable packed lunch instead.
    • Drinks are available in school.
    • Children having sandwiches may bring drinks of fruit juice or squash if they wish.
    • Children may go home for lunch but if they do please do not return them to school any sooner than 10 minutes before the start of afternoon school (that is 1.05 pm)
    • Children may bring a healthy snack to eat during the morning break.

    Fundraising
    The school does its own fundraising with the help of parents through a wide range of activities including;

    • The Christmas Bazaar and Summer Evening
    • Quiz nights
    • Raffles
    • Sales from plants and the Webb Ivory Catalogue

    Money raised through these events has been used to provide playground equipment, extra dictionaries, gardening tools and other extra special things we feel the children would benefit from having. The school also raise money for charities through sponsored events, such as the spellathon, and non-uniform days.

Quick Links

 Welcome

 School Ethos & Values

 Admissions

Special Educational Needs

 Assemblies

 School Visits & Trips

 School Houses

 School Council

 School Clubs

 Ace Kids Club

 School Productions

 Medicine

 Pastoral Care and Discipline

 Meals

 Fundraising

School prospectus

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