Why Choose St. Simon's?
We aim to create a Christian community where each person can be encouraged to develop their God-given potential in every way: physical, academic, practical, emotional and moral.
We aim to help our pupils develop as knowledgeable, responsible and compassionate citizens. Governors, staff, pupils, parents and the parish working together for the common good of the school and the wider community.
We are committed to the need to strive for excellence in learning, behaviour and in our relationships.
We celebrate and nurture the individual mind, body and soul.
We seek to put our prayers into action seeking opportunities to bring about health, safety, enjoyment and achievement, whilst encouraging pupils to make a positive contribution to the common good and seeking ways to help every child achieve economic well being.
At St. Simon's we aim to provide a broad and balanced range of experiences to help develop lively, enquiring minds. We seek to promote in the children the ability to work cooperatively and independently. We endeavor to foster the physical and intellectual skills necessary for self expression and creativity. We wish all our pupils to develop a positive self image in an environment which is secure, happy and stimulating.
In St. Simon's School religious education plays a central and vital part. At the heart of Catholic education lies the Christian vision of the human person. This vision is explored and expressed through religious education. Therefore religious education is never seen as one subject among many but as the foundation of the entire educational process. The beliefs and values studied in Catholic religious education inspire and draw together every aspect of life at St. Simon's School.
The religious programme followed is based on the "The Way, the Truth and Life” programme which works through the whole school. The scheme meets the full requirements of the Bishops’ conference for RE in Catholic schools. The great strength of this series is its simplicity and clarity.
The learning is organised in topics focused on Revelation and our life in Christ, our mission which is lived out through baptism and enriched through our engagement with the sacraments and other liturgical celebrations. The programme offers a wealth of material which answers the key questions:
Where do I come from? – Life and creation,
Who am I? – Dignity and redemption
Why am I here? – Purpose and redemption.
The programme of study is supplemented in various ways. These include assemblies held for the whole school, liturgies and Holy Mass. Children are encouraged to become involved in preparing readings and music for mass and liturgies. Parents are always welcome to join us at our assemblies, liturgies and Masses.
We help to prepare and support the Parish programmes for children making the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation. We encourage parents to start to think and prepare their children for the sacraments from the day their child starts school.
Our aim for every child is that they achieve excellence in learning & stretching national standards; so that they can enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution to their families and community and later on in life achieve economic well being. To do this every child needs to acquire basic skills and confidence in literacy, numeracy and ICT.
This is achieved through a working partnership with parents and carers where school recognises that the best of teachers is the parent or primary carers. It is achieved when pupils accept and demonstrate a keenness for learning, a willingness to engage with a challenge and accept that mistakes are a sign of a learner at work.
The vision and mission of the school is only fully achieved when pupils are punctual and have good attendance, when their diet is healthy and adequate provision is made for sleep and recreation, where there is time and quietness for homework and reading, and their family life is stable and there are signs of love and forgiveness.
Children receive an hour a day minimum enriched literacy curriculum focused on developing communication through the spoken word, reading, writing, drama and poetry. To help stimulate and enrich our work in Literacy we often hold special events such as book week and National poetry Day. We also have visiting story tellers and theatre groups who contribute to pupils’ enjoyment, enthusiasm and excellence in Literacy skills.
Maths learning starts with practical activities and games, encouraging discovery and fun which lead on to basic numeracy skills, problem solving, data handling, measurement and shape. We promote an ability to count and calculate, to use mathematical language and a willingness to engage in investigations and open ended challenges.
Science begins in the Early Years with children looking at, investigating and discovering the world around them. As our pupils grow older, they are encouraged and guided to enquire and to investigate, to try to test and find answers to their theories or hypotheses. An emphasis is placed on practical investigative work and to adopt a sense of responsibility for the care of the environment which God has created for us.
Every classroom has access to interactive whiteboard technology which stimulates learning and pupil participation in lessons. All pupils have access to computers and internet technology. We see I.C.T as a vital tool to be used to enrich, embellish and enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum thereby ensuring that every child achieves his or her potential.
In St. Simon's we are committed to the view that; "A Healthy Body means a Healthy Mind." We do our very best to promote an enjoyment and participation in sport and physical activity.
Through an active involvement in sport some pupils have the opportunity to achieve more than they may do in academic subjects and this can help raise self esteem.
The school provides a wide and varied curriculum in PE both inside and outside normal school hours. We compete in various events such as District Athletics, Football and Netball and swimming. Year 6 pupils take part in a residential Adventure activity course in the Summer Term.
To ensure that our curriculum has depth we spend time on poetry, drama, art and music so that all pupils have the opportunity to explore and develop their talents and to be sensitive to ideas, feelings and gifts of others. Through the arts pupils can learn to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and develop a sense of awe and wonder. Finding a talent for the arts can be a way of increasing self-esteem in pupils who may not be academically gifted. Studies in the arts enable the school to develop enjoyment and pleasure in recreational pursuits whilst striving for excellence.
At St. Simon’s we recognise that we work in partnership with parents and the community in enabling children to grow in the understanding of human relationships, their ability to be healthy, safe, their entitlement to be able to enjoy and achieve, their aptitude and ability to make a positive contribution to their family and community, and their future contribution to their own personal economic and social well being and to those of their friends, family and community.
Our PSEHC programme is linked closely to the RE programme The Way the Truth and the Light because we believe it is the whole person we educate and therefore spiritual and moral development goes hand in hand with faith and the academic development of the child. We celebrate and nurture the individual mind, body and soul.
The school’s programme of PSEHC starts in Early years with learning to share and build friendships, following instructions and keeping safe and progresses to Year 6 where we learn about tolerance, puberty, drug and medicine safety, how to deal with anger and conflict.
The church’s teaching on relationships, justice and morals are integrated in to this very important work of the school so that pupils know that they are made in the image of God, called to love one another and to serve each other through the sacrifice of Jesus, and that in the Spirit they can make a difference to the lives of others near and far away.
The Governors wish to maintain and uphold Catholic moral standards, attitudes and values. We see the teaching of sex education as a partnership. This partnership is between the parents, the school and the parish, with the main responsibility resting with the parents. The Catholic Education Service directs schools that our approach should be concerned with educating our children about personal relationships and not about sex education in any narrow sense.
In developing our programmes of study we will follow the guidelines set out in the Diocesan document, “Learning to Love” published by the Catholic Education Service. Therefore in our teaching we will deal with the wider issues of Education for Personal Relationships (E.P.R) within the context of marriage.
In our E.P.R lessons we will be concerned with the responsibility that children show towards each other and society as a whole. We will encourage our pupils to be kind, courteous and generous to each other and the charities we support.
In no way will we try to replace the vital part that parents have to play in this important area of the child’s education. We hope rather to encourage, support and assist all parents in this very important role. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the programme if they so wish.
Consideration is given to all children with additional needs including the most able children, children with learning difficulties, children with physical difficulties and children with emotional problems. Every teacher is constantly aware that all children are different and that they are all at different stages on their paths to successful learning. All teachers plan the curriculum to meet the needs of all children in their classroom.
The aim is to provide personalised learning for all children. We endeavour to help the individual’s child’s needs to maximise their potential as outlined in our mission statement. Each child’s performance is monitored and the parents are kept informed of action and progress and challenges. The school follows the procedures set out in the government’s code of practice and this is reflected in our Special Educational Needs policy.
It is not uncommon for a child to experience a difficulty in learning. When this happens, the class teacher will work closely with Special Education Need Co-ordinator (SENCO) and parents, to support the child. If, the difficulty persists and after consultation with parents, class teacher and head teacher, it may be desirable to involve the appropriate L.E.A agency with a view to seek additional support for the child.
We offer a variety of extra curricular activities at different times throughout the school year such as:
Mini games activities
Y6 Residential school journey organised by deputy head teacher
The school aims to get parents and other agencies involved in contributing to extended learning opportunities hosted by the school site. This is an important area for improvement on the school’s plans for its future.
St. Simon's is very much a "family unit", and all successful families have a code of conduct to which all must adhere. Our main aim, therefore, is to establish a code that ensures all children can work and play both in safety and enjoyment. Every child has the right to this and it will only be successful if everyone works towards this common aim.
Good order, self discipline, sense of self respect and respect for others are essential foundations for life and success at school. Without good order discipline breaks down and the safety of children is put at risk. We therefore have a number of simple basic rules to help guide and mould our pupils’ behaviour.
The school’s policy on anti- bullying and racial abuse is summed up in our 1st school rule which governs all our actions and plans: In everything we say and do we follow the example of Jesus Christ. The school takes all complaints about bullying and racism seriously and parents will always be informed when allegations are made, the outcomes of investigations and the proposed action to prevent further reoccurrences of the allegation or incident.
Bullying, racism and aggression are learnt forms of behaviour and therefore to tackle a problem we call upon parents to work in partnership with the school to bring about healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and finally a change in attitude and action. The final part of the process always takes time, patience and prayer and it is at this time we need the support and active participation of parents be they victim or alleged perpetrator.
We also expect parents to follow and enforce school rules whilst within the grounds or on site. Failure to do so disturbs the special environment of peace and calm which is St. Simon’s and therefore we will use the right to ask the adult or child to leave the premises and a ban being put into place.
"Every child a gift from God!"