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Children working together

School Organisation

One school, two sites.

St. John’s is very fortunate to have two school sites at the top of Whiteladies Road that have both been specifically designed with our infant and junior children in mind.

Smiling childrenOur infants (aged 4-7) are based at Lower Redland Road and our juniors (aged 7-11) are located a short walking distance away at our Worrall Road site. Each location is tailored to meet the needs of the age group based there, so all our children benefit from equipment and furniture that is size appropriate. Our younger children blossom in a nurturing environment especially developed for them, whilst our older children enjoy the more mature atmosphere and facilities of Worrall Road.

While our children benefit from these two custom built sites, St John’s is very much one school.

Our approach to teaching and learning, expectations of behaviour and Christian distinctiveness are consistent across both sites and this continuity of culture is led by our Headteacher, who divides his time between the two locations.

Our intake is 75 children per year (2.5 form). Therefore, our maximum size across the two sites is 525 children (225 in our infant site and 300 in our junior site). We like to think this is a “goldilocks” size, i.e. there are plenty of opportunities for children to find friends at school, however each site retains a small and personal feel.

Small Class Sizes

One of the many advantages of St.John’s is the small size of the Early Years (Reception) classes.

We have three Early Years classes, each with a maximum of 25 children and this makes a huge difference with helping the children settle in and ensuring they feel safe and secure.

The Early Years’ Experience

During a child’s first year with us, they will have opportunities to work within their own class and two others, with considerable free flow within the classrooms and outside areas.

This allows children to get to know other pupils across the whole year group, not just in their own class, and really supports the collaborative ethos and organisation further up the school.

Mixed Year Classes

St. John’s benefits from mixed year classes (a mixed year class is defined to be a class in which there are children within it who are from more than one year group).

In Years 1 & 2 we have;

  • Two Year 1 classes of up to 30 children
  • Two Year 2 classes of up to 30 children
  • One mixed class of up to 15 Year 1 children & up to 15 Year 2 children

At age 7, when our children move to our Worrall Road site, they will be in one of five equally split mixed Year 3 & 4 classes. They will then stay in that class for two years before moving up to one of five mixed Year 5 & 6 classes.

A two-year topic programme ensures the full breadth of the curriculum is taught without repetition and the whole team works closely together to ensure a consistency of experience. For over 20 years we have been running this system and through experience appreciate the many benefits it provides.

Key Benefits of Mixed Year Classes

Encouraging excellence
As an Ofsted Outstanding school, our teachers and assistants are highly skilled and practised ensuring work challenges all children, whatever their age or ability. Expectations for all children are high and age is not seen as a limit to achievement, Ofsted noted in 2015 “Teachers understand precisely the needs of each pupil and plan activities that enable each child to achieve their best”.

The same teacher for two years
Our teachers usually have the chance to work with children for two consecutive years. This provides a great opportunity for the teacher to develop a deeper understanding of a child’s needs and strengths and is therefore in a stronger position to support the child’s learning. In turn the child knows their teacher well, understands the expectations they have and can build upon a level of trust that encourages a ‘can do’ attitude. It also means when going into a new school year, relationships are already established, as are the learning needs of each individual child.

Child led mentoring
Our younger children benefit from the support of older pupils and our older children learn valuable life skills through the mentoring of younger pupils. This organisation holds great merit for children across all our age groups as it not only eases the transition from one year group to the next, but also helps children become adaptable and able to work with a variety of peers in different contexts – an invaluable, transferable life skill to both older and younger children.

Focus on personal growth
Collaboration across year groups is important to us and a key differentiator of St. John’s as we believe it to be of value to our children when developing their skills for later life. Many children develop a wide circle of friends as they get to know those in the year group above and below them, as well as those in their own class and year group.

If you would like to learn more about our school organisation and the many benefits it provides, please contact the school office on 0117  903 0251 and we will be delighted to answer any questions you may have.

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