information-for-parents 4

Information for Parents

If you cannot find the information you require below or elsewhere on our website, please feel free to contact us to make an enquiry.

General Information

The New School offers a two-year pre-school programme (Early Years Foundation Stage) for children aged 3 to 5. The Primary School runs from Year 1 (aged 5+) to Year 6 (aged 10+) and the English National Curriculum is followed throughout allowing for easy transfer from schools in both the UK and abroad. Programmes of study make provision for the international nature of our student body and the wealth of cultural and historical heritage available in Rome. Parent participation is actively encouraged at all levels and in all aspects of school life. Regular teacher/parent interviews are organised in order to share information and discuss each child’s progress.

New Parents’ meeting (early September)

  • All parents new to the school are invited to meet one another and all the teachers.

Parent meetings - Early Years and Years 1 to 6

  • Each class teacher organises a whole class meeting with parents at the beginning of the first term to present the class programme.
  • Individual/scheduled meetings with parents take place at the end of October and again in February.
  • Early Years also meet with the parents in June to discuss each child’s Learning Journey.
  • All new Early Years parents are invited to school to meet one another and the teachers in order to discuss settling in for the forthcoming year.

End of Year Reports to Early Years and Years 1 to 6 (June)

  • Children in Early Years receive an end-of-year report and their Learning Journey in June.
  • Children in Years 1 to 6 receive a written report in the last week of the Summer term. This includes reports from the Italian/Music/EAL/LS teachers as appropriate.

We ask for your help with the following

Punctuality: Please make sure children arrive at school on time. Classrooms are open from 8.30am; the register is taken at 8.45am and then lessons begin. The school day finishes at 3.30pm. Children who are in school before 08:30 or after 15:30 must be supervised by an adult.

Absences: Please notify us of any absences, either by phone or email before 08:45.

Adults collecting children: Please inform the class teacher of any changes in the person collecting your child.  ID must be provided in advance.

Bags/toys: As space is limited please do not send children to school with large school bags. We don’t allow electronic toys or toy guns in school. Children are responsible for their own toys from home, please ensure they are named. Book bags are available from the office in September.

Change of clothes for PE/Gym: We do not have a school uniform but supply New School T-shirts, shorts and sweatshirts. The New School PE kit, available from the office, must be worn by all children.

Hair: Please ensure that children’s hair is tied back for the school day.

Hot weather: Children should bring a hat for the garden and sun cream if needed.

Jewellery: Children in the Primary school are advised not to wear jewellery to school.

Lost property: Please could children’s coats, jumpers etc. be named so that they can be returned to you. Lost property is kept for 1 term.

Phones: Children in the Primary School are not allowed to bring mobile phones to school.

Snacks: Children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2) are given snacks. Children in Key Stage 2 (Years 3 – 6) should bring a healthy snack from home. No chocolate, sweets, crisps or fizzy drinks.

Transport: To avoid misunderstandings, please inform both the driver and the office in advance of any changes regarding the school transport.

 

Below you will find an overview of the areas which affect the Primary School as a whole

After-school

Primary children are collected from their classroom at 15:30.  After 15:30 children who remain must be supervised by an adult and may only play in the Primary garden.

After-school activities

We currently offer several after-school clubs including football, judo, art and volleyball. Children sign up for these at the beginning of a term and there is a small fee paid directly to the organisers of the individual club.

Annual Events

  • Autumn Term - Harvest collection for charity; Christmas parties; Christmas Concert; Book Fair; Choir concert
  • Spring Term - Carnival Parade; Easter Bonnet Parade; Eggshibition; Technology Challenge; Egg hunt; World water Day/week; Choir concert
  • Summer Term – Early Years Summer concert; Summer Fair; Primary School Music Concert; Residential trips; Year 6 play; Sports Day; Class visits to meet new teacher for the following year; Primary Football Tournament; Book Fair; Choir Concert; New School Talent Show.

Assemblies

Each week there is a separate assembly for Key Stage 1 & 2 lasting for 20 minutes and 25 minutes respectively. The focus for each assembly will vary but will include topics such as belief systems, relevant festivals for the time of year and social and moral issues. Assemblies are also a time for children to share the work they have been doing in class with others from their Key Stage. Gold Book awards are also given out. These are certificates given to children from each class who have excelled over the previous week in some aspect of the school day, be it in a curriculum area or a social area. Each child is also a member of one of the four primary houses: Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix or Griffin. Children earn points for their house in a variety of ways and each week these are added up. At the end of each term the winning house is announced and a small prize is awarded to its members.

Drama

From Year 1 onwards every class receives a 4 week cycle of 4 drama lessons, taught by our specialist Drama teacher.  The course aims to extend physical, vocal and performance skills in drama. It develops skills for movement, voice and characterisation. There are activities for solo, pair and group work. The activities on voice focus on solo speech, duologue work, the use of accents and dialects and how to project the voice. Dramatised texts may also be used and improvisation is an important part of the programme.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

The aim of EAL is to build English confidence, fluency and accuracy so that our students can fully and independently access their learning, both in and out of the classroom. Children who have English as an Additional Language are supported by our EAL teachers. When children come to the school their English language support needs are assessed and if support is necessary, they are placed in the appropriate group. Beginners and younger children focus on speaking, listening, communicating and understanding. Older and more experienced students work on reading, writing and grammar. Each child’s individual language development is tracked and this information is shared with the class teacher. Support may be given in the classroom or in another room and children usually work in small groups. Children in Early Years are offered support within the classroom.  As children progress, provision is adapted or withdrawn. We stress the importance, to all our parents, of the need to support their child’s mother tongue in all areas of literacy.

Stages of language learning:

Basic language

Classroom language

Social language (takes up to 2 or 3 years)

Academic language (takes 5 to 7 years)

Homework

The aim of the homework for younger children is to give a minimal amount of work to complete at home thereby consolidating work done in class and allowing the children to develop independent working skills. For older children the workload is greater and gives the children practice at organising their homework times to prepare them for Senior School.

For all year groups it is expected that homework will be completed and handed in on time and approximate completion time is suggested. If for some reason homework has not been completed, please let us know by writing a note. Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 may be expected to finish their homework in their play time, if there is no valid reason for unfinished homework.

During holidays, written homework will not usually be set, but children are expected to continue reading regularly. It is also vital that they continue to practise their English skills over the holidays.

Please see specific Year group sections for relevant homework guidance.

Italian

Italian is offered to all children from Year 1 onwards.  Each class is divided into two groups: mother tongue and foreign language. Each group is taught by a specialist teacher and has its own programme. Year 1 & Year 2 receive two lessons of 30 minutes a week, Years 3 & 4 receive two lessons of 45 minutes a week and Years 5 & 6 receive two lessons of one hour a week.

Learning Support

A 4-step programme is in place to support children with individual needs. At all stages students, teachers and parents work together. Support may be in the form of simple strategies involving parents and the class teacher, or small group support with the learning support teacher. For further details, see the Learning Support section at the end of this booklet.

Music

Music is a vital and integral part of the curriculum and is taught by a specialist music teacher. Each class receives one music lesson and one singing lesson per week. We aim to develop the children’s listening, appreciation, composing and performing skills.

In the Spring term every class from Year 2 to Year 6 starts to study recorder. Students should bring their own recorder to school from January onwards.  The recorder required is a descant recorder, or a flauto barocco soprano.  We follow the English National curriculum guidelines for music.

Children in KS2 are invited to join the New School choirs. Years 3 and 4 take part in the Junior choir, which rehearses on Mondays at lunchtime, and Years 5 and 6 are invited to join the Senior choir which rehearses on Wednesdays at lunchtime. The Senior choir is also made up of students in the Senior School who have elected to join the choir as part of their Wednesday options.  There are performances in school and at special events generally every half term.

Instrumental lessons

In addition to class music, we have several peripatetic instrumental teachers and it is possible for the children to sign up for lessons within school time for a small fee. Lessons are usually offered to children from Year 2 upwards, although younger children may begin if the teacher feels he/she is ready. At present we offer piano, violin, flute and guitar.

Physical Education (PE)

Physical Education is important in Key Stage 1 for the introduction of basic skills. In Key Stage 2 the children will adapt, refine and extend these basic skills. In Key Stage 2 there will be a change in: the complexity of the rules used; the contexts in which children are asked to work; details and volume of tasks set and the need for increasing levels of responsibility.

The aim is to ensure children have access to a full range of movement, coordination and manipulation skills. As progression is often rapid, we will ensure that activities are challenging and stimulating.

To help achieve this, children will go by school bus once a week to a private gymnasium where they will cover the gymnastics and dance programmes. They will also use the school’s sports pitch for games activities on a weekly basis.

The three main areas covered within the Primary PE Curriculum are:

  • Games - Invasion games; net games; striking and fielding games.
  • Dance - Body control; coordination; self-awareness and flexibility.
  • Gymnastics - Travel; body shape; balance; rotation; flight and inversion.

In the interest of hygiene and safety and free movement in PE, children must change into The New School PE kit, including suitable footwear for the gym and the sports pitch. Jewellery (including earrings) should be removed and hair tied back for all gymnastics and games activities.

Residential Trips

Children from Years 1 to 6 also take part in a yearly residential trip. These are important in developing independence and social relationships within the class whilst having a lot of fun! Years 1 & 2 go for a 2 day (1 night) stay in late May or early June; Years 3 & 4 go for a 3 day (2 nights) stay, while Years 5 & 6 go for a longer stay of 4 days (3 nights). Trips can have, for example, a nature/environmental theme such as a visit to a farm in Umbria or an historical/cultural theme such as a visit to the Tuscia area. The costs are kept to a minimum.

Trips, visits and Guest Speakers

Educational visits to a variety of places related to class work are an important part of the curriculum. Class teachers regularly organise trips related to curriculum topics. There is no added cost for day trips/outings. In addition to this, the school takes every opportunity to invite guest speakers to talk to/work with the children. In the past these have included poets/artists carrying out workshops and parents who have come to talk to a class about their field of interest or expertise. All suggestions and volunteers are much appreciated.