School Organisation

Team Teaching @ Black Firs

The present School roll would equate to about eleven even classes of children but we organise our School a little differently than most primary schools. We guarantee to keep the children in their seven pastoral year group classes all through their entire school life. We do this because children and parents have told us, they don't like split age classes; this is because friendships are made and then broken as the classes are re-organised every September. A different organisational model has also allowed us to team-teach across School which has had many advantages for the children and teachers.

Teams of teachers & teaching assistants work with a pair of year groups giving a maximum adult to child ratio of 1:12 across School. The 'standard model' is the Upper junior team which has six staff; three teachers & three teaching assistants. The lower junior team has seven staff and infant team have eight staff; extra teaching assistants because of numbers or children requiring extra support. The early years team, Pre-school & Reception class, have eight staff. 

The children could work with all the adults in the team and this model does allow us to do some group based ability teaching, including small support and high challenge groups.

Parents can meet with any of the adults in the team at parents' evenings. Children like this style of teaching because we can address different learning styles and provide a broader range of expertise there is also far more continuity in the teaching because there are fewer new faces. The children also tell us they like being taught by different personalities across the week. All our teams have a mix of male & female staff.

Pastoral Class Structure

Pre-School Miss Bibby Mrs Harrison 52 Children
Reception Mr Lovatt   43 Children
Year 1 Mr Millington Mr Hassall 45 Children
Year 2 Mrs Quayle   34 Children
Year 3 Miss Simpson Mr Woods 46 Children
Year 4 Mr Casserley   46 Children
Year 5 Mr Wildgoose Mrs Wright 45 Children
Year 6 Mr Bebbington   42 Children
      Total 353 Children

(correct January 2020)

Teaching Class Structure

Children are taught in the appropriate Key Stage. The teaching groups are organised by mixed ability but this changes depending on the needs of the children. They are taught by teachers and teaching assistants. A variety of teaching strategies are employed including whole class teaching, group work and individual work as appropriate. The emphasis of strategies employed to maximise the support of each individual child and maximise progress. Each team has a senior teacher with no pastoral responsibility who supports both year groups. The three senior teachers receive ½ a day non-contact time per week as does the Foundation Stage Manager who has responsibility for Reception class & Pre-school.

All teachers receive ½ a day non-contact time per week for planning & preparation.

The design of the building gives us greater flexibility in organising groups than would be the case in a traditional building. In accordance with Government guidelines classes at Key Stage 1 are organised into classes of 30 or under. Our current ratio adult:child is 1:12 including teachers and teaching assistants.

Our expectations of our Staff