School Organisation

Team Teaching @ Black Firs

The present School roll would equate to about twelve even classes of thirty children but we organise our School a little differently than most primary schools. We guarantee to keep the children in their eight 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 could be 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 multiple intelligences and provide a broader range of expertise. There is also far more continuity in the teaching because children remain with the same adults for two years. 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 Simpson snr Mrs Harrison 40 Children
Reception Mr Lovatt   45 Children
Year 1 Miss Wright snr Mr Hassall 45 Children
Year 2 Mr Millington   45 Children
Year 3 Miss Bibby snr Mr Woods 42 Children
Year 4 Mr Casserley   45 Children
Year 5 Mr Wildgoose snr Mr Bebbington 45 Children
Year 6 Mrs Milne   45 Children
      Total 352 Children

(correct Sep 2022)

Teaching Class Structure

Children are taught in the appropriate Key Stage. The teaching groups are organised by mixed ability but this can change 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 their challenge & 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 & Preschool. Preschool is sessional so not all the children are in the setting at the same time.

All teachers receive ½ a day non-contact time per week for planning & preparation this happens on a Friday afternoon.

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 a maximum of 30 or under per teacher. Our current adult: child ratio across School is 1:12 including teachers and teaching assistants.

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Our expectations of our Staff