Victoria Park Primary Academy Prospectus 2016/17
Welcome to Victoria Park Academy
Choosing the right school for your child is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make as a parent. I hope that this prospectus helps you to make the right choice. Although, it can never replace actually visiting our school for yourself, to see how great a place it is to learn.
Victoria Park Academy, is an independent primary school located in the heart of Smethwick, one of six towns in Sandwell. We serve a thriving multicultural community where more than 40 languages are spoken by the children. Our school is situated on its own secure site and includes a Nursery, two large playgrounds, a school field, a Forest School, garden and excellent facilities.
Our Governing Body is made up of members from the local community, including parents and staff. Unlike some other Academies, we do not have a sponsor and remain entirely independent. The governing body is responsible for overseeing the educational direction of the school, to ensure all our children achieve as well as they can.
Children and staff love their time at Victoria Park. Everyone at the Academy is proud of our achievements and we all want to be the best that we can be.
Our pupils are lead learners, developing their independence and a ‘can do’ attitude as they progress through the Academy.
We want our school to transform the lives of all our children, to ensure they grow up to be happy, proud and confident young people. Our Core values are very important to us, these are:
- Focus on Family
- Insist on Excellence
- Do Good as You Go
- Embrace Innovation
- Family First
Applying for a Place
We have places for 90 new Reception children each year. We can also admit children in other year groups so long as we have places available. Sandwell Local Authority co-ordinate the admission of pupils entering Reception and when transferring to a secondary school at age 11. Application forms are available from the school or from the Local Authority.
Our nursery has 52 part-time places for three to five year olds. Sessions are for half a day for five days per week. Children who enter our Nursery are not guaranteed a place in Reception.
The Academy is committed to equal opportunities. Every child has the right to apply for a place at this school. We have good access arrangements for disabled pupils, especially those in a wheelchair. As a school, we are determined to remove the barriers that prevent children from learning. More details about access and admission of disabled pupils are available from the school, including our accessibility plan.
‘The whole school is currently buzzing with excitement.’
Learning at Our Academy
We believe that learning has to be memorable, exciting and fun. As an Academy we are free to innovate and re-design our curriculum to suit the needs and interests of our children. Our curriculum is made up of a number of irresistible activities which the children have told us they want to experience before they leave the Academy. By combining these with a rich and varied diet of exciting ways to learn outside the classroom and planning hooks to interest our children, we guarantee that children will love learning at Victoria Park.
Back to Basics
All of our children receive a curriculum which meets their needs. Whilst ensuring the children get to experience as many new opportunities as possible, we also ensure every child becomes a confident reader, writer and mathematician. Daily lessons in these core subjects ensure that all of our children leave the Academy with the key skills they need to achieve well in life. Children are taught their letters and sounds (phonics) from an early age, so that they are confident readers and writers as soon as possible.
Creativity, Imagination and Thinking Skills
We specialise in ensuring that creativity and the arts are at the heart of all that we do. We are a ‘thinking school’ which means that all of our children are taught how to think both independently and as part of a group. Our outstanding curriculum ensures all our children have plenty of opportunities to use their imagination through play, structured learning, problem solving, enterprise and creativity. We are an Artsmark Gold school, where a national award is given to those schools providing the highest level of quality arts provision available.
Innovative Learning Resources
The Academy has excellent ICT resources. All of our classrooms have interactive boards, iPads and laptops which are linked to our network, allowing full access to the internet. Children are also able to make their own movies using video editing software and our green screen and upload these onto our learning platform to share with families at home.
A Typical Day at the Academy
Although school starts at 8.45am, a number of our children will be in school as early as 8.00am for one of our study clubs or to have a breakfast before school starts. Mid-morning playtime depends on when the children want to stop learning and have a break (usually with a slice of toast!). Almost every child stays at school for a healthy lunch (noon to 1.30pm). This is understandable as we cook all our meals from fresh in our own kitchen.
As a ‘healthy school’ our children help us design the menus to ensure they are balanced and nutritious. With bellies full, children enjoy an afternoon of learning before home time at 3.15pm. For many children though, they will stay on at school to enjoy a range of after-school clubs and activities such as VP Zine (our very own school magazine, Spice Ambassadors Club (a group which run our social enterprise – Ballot Street Spice), gymnastics and sports clubs and the list goes on.
Traditional Values and Excellent Behaviour
All staff at the Academy have very high expectations of behaviour. We believe that good behaviour is at the heart of a successful school. Children at the Academy are taught how to manage their behaviour from an early age so that they can make the right choices. We hold the anti-bullying charter mark which means that as a school, we adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying.
All of the children in the school are taught our simple school rules and they are aware of the consequences if they break them. Good behaviour is promoted with rewards, incentives and praise such as our ‘Zone Awards’.
We believe that if children look smart, they think smart. Every child at the Academy is expected to wear school uniform. More details about this, including costs can be found in the pull-out section of this prospectus.
Every Lesson Counts
Our children know full well that coming to school every day, helps them with their learning. As an Academy, we expect all parents to support our policy on this by ensuring children attend school every day (unless of course they are sick). Unfortunately, a small number of our parents still take their children out of school for holidays during term time. These children always fall behind, which is why the Governing Body does not allow it! On 1st September 2013, the government changed the law on family holidays during term time. We expect parents, who accept a place at the Academy, to support this policy by not taking their child out during term time for extended leave or family holidays.
The Academy welcomes every opportunity for parents and teachers to work together. We run a successful weekly parent and child workshop for which we have received a national award. We also encourage parents to come into school to listen to children read or get involved in the classroom. Parents regularly attend a weekly class assembly as well as the several school productions each year.
Teachers keep parents informed of the progress their child is making in class, with an annual written report. We also hold open evenings several times a year, so that you can meet your child’s teacher to discuss their progress. All parents are automatically members of our Parents’ Association and can get involved with helping to plan a number of fundraising events throughout the year.
Want to Find Out More?
Contact: Victoria Park Primary Academy
Ballot Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, B66 3HH
Victoria Park Primary Academy is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (company number 7887796)