We know you’ll have some questions. We’ve answered the most common ones below…
There are currently 240+ children on roll representing 25+ different nationalities. There are six classes in our First School for children, aged 6 weeks +-5+ years, Baby Sensory – Year 1 1; 4 classes in our Middle School or Key Stage 2 for primary aged children aged 6+ – 10 years. Our Upper School, Year 6 – Year 9 is for children aged 11-14 years. The size of our classes does not exceed 20 children, and this ensures that the needs of our children are met well and that they receive a high-quality learning experience.
The ratio in EYFS is one adult to 6 children, and this includes one teacher, two teacher assistants and in some classes additional learning support assistants. At different times during the school day such as continuous provision or at the swimming pool, staffing is organised in an optimum manner to ensure children’s safety and to meet children’s individual learning needs. For example, during the daily PBL (play-based learning) when the inside and outside learning environments are used simultaneously, subject teachers and First School staff work together to lead activities and occasionally volunteer parents provide additional support with cooking activities, etc.
In Middle School, the ratio is one adult to 10 children with additional learning support assistants in some classes. The addition of adequate support staff plays an important role in facilitating children’s full access to our curriculum, and we consider it to be good practice to employ a generous number of support staff to work alongside teachers in all classes as appropriate.
Our school nurse is an effective member of our team who promotes health and safety for all children, staff and parents. The school nurse follows agreed protocols to administer first aid and all medications taken at school. This includes a carefully managed system of record-keeping that ensures the safekeeping and timely delivery of medication and reporting back to parents. Children who feel ill during school hours are well cared for in our medical room, and it is well-stocked by the school nurse. The nurse plays an active role in the school environment.
We welcome parents/carers in school as partners in helping children to learn in the classroom and as part of a team working to further our school aims by fundraising and celebrating in the success of the school through events such as assemblies, performances and community activities.
Our after school club programme, ECAs provide a broad range of activities which are very popular and well attended by children starting from age 4+. To meet individual needs, children who would benefit from participating in a particular club are given advice by teaching staff or the head of school to ensure that every child has a broad and balanced range of experiences. The selection of ECAs varies term-by-term and year-by-year and reflects children’s interests and parent requests. A full list of clubs can be found in the Parents section of this website and on our Parent Portal.
We are a highly inclusive school, with an exceptionally caring and nurturing ethos and pride ourselves on meeting individual needs. At Samakee children come first, we know every child well, what he or she needs and is capable of, and have a remarkably high regard for every aspect of their care, learning and development.
A secure wall surrounds our campus and security guards control the exits 24 hours a day. Entry to the school is made via Turn Gates using School Identification Cards; this system ensures that we have an accurate record of who is in school at any given time and maintains a secure entranceway and security on campus. The school campus is under 24 hour CCTV surveillance. The ID cards provide identification when children are collected from school. All families receive three ID Cards free of charge, one each for your child or children and one for each parent or carer. Families requiring more than three ID Cards need to purchase these from the school office. Replacement cards need to be purchased. Parents/carers, children and staff are expected to carry their cards at all times when on the school campus and full-time security guards manage this effectively.
From Year 2, homework in all subjects is carefully alternated and follows an agreed whole school plan to ensure that children have a balance of homework assignments throughout each week. Children evaluate their learning as they complete assignments and constructive feedback tell children what they need to do next.
Consistent and effective assessment practices are in place to monitor children’s progress and this is carefully tracked across core subjects using cloud-based software, Tapestry, and includes standardised testing outcomes e.g. NGRT (New Group Reading Test), PIRA (Comprehension, Language and Reading Test) PIM (Progress in Maths) scrutiny of work, evaluation of children’s performance during lessons and discussions with children.
Excellent sport’s facilities including a swimming pool, basketball court, playing fields, multi-use games and sports arena promote exceptional progress in physical education and a very good understanding of the importance of keeping fit. At the start of the day, an energetic and fun ‘Move to Learn’ or ‘Boot Camp’ session highlights the importance of exercise to everyone.
Children in KS1-3 enjoy a full programme of dance, gymnastics, swimming, games and athletics. In First School the children gain confidence and gross motor skills through an active programme of swimming, games and other physical activities that are successfully integrated into the daily programme.
Reports provide information on children’s progress and achievements in learning and social development and share children’s strengths and development needs. Written reports and Tapestry observations provide information on your child’s progress and achievements in all areas of development. Parent/teacher consultations take place three times per year. During parent consultations, children’s targets or next steps are used as a basis for dialogue and parents have the opportunity to talk with all subject teachers and specialists working with their child.
Staff have high expectations of children’s behaviour both in school and on school trips. Evidence from lesson observations indicates that children demonstrate an excellent enthusiasm for learning, they are well focussed and rarely off task. Behaviour in the classroom is outstanding, and children speak politely to their teachers and each other. Visitors to the school frequently comment on children’s exemplary behaviour, and positive feedback is received when children are engaged in off-site visits.
‘Behaviour is almost always exemplary, both in lessons and around the school. Students are extremely polite and cooperative. On the very rare occasions that behaviour falls below the school’s high expectations, it is addressed sympathetically, positively and effectively. The school uses rewards successfully to encourage further good behaviour. ‘ EDT May 2018
The school catering service provides two light snacks of milk, juice and healthy finger foods during the school day, morning snack before 10:00 a.m. and afternoon tea from 2:00 p.m. is available for First School children. A hot lunch is available at midday for all children, and there is a choice of Thai or Western food. Vegetarian food is also offered. Fresh drinking water is available at all times. Please see the school menu, published weekly for further information.
The first time many children eat food outside the home regularly is at school. We aim to serve for lunch, snack and tea only wholesome home-prepared foods with good bread, fresh fruits and vegetables and so on. As our school policy is to encourage ‘healthy eating’ we do not permit the children to eat sweets in school. Therefore, no lollies, chocolates, cakes, sweet biscuits or chips should be brought to school except on special occasions. We do appreciate your support in this matter.
To prevent severe allergic reactions the following foods must not be brought into school: peanuts or peanut-related products and tree nuts e.g. almonds, macadamia.
Full-Day Session: 8:00 – 2:30 p.m. Upper School starts at the earlier time of 7:30 am
Morning Session: 8:00 – Noon.
Lunch Time: 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.
Little Learners: 8:30 -10:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
Afternoon Clubs/ECAs: 2:40 – 3:30 p.m.
Parent-teacher consultations are scheduled each term and are marked on the school calendar. These scheduled consultations provide an excellent opportunity for significant adults in your child’s life to discuss his/her school progress. Children attending our Upper School are expected to attend the consultation meetings with their parents or carer.
All our pupils are expected to wear the school uniform which is available at the school shop. Please check that your child’s school uniform is clearly labelled right down to their shoes! It is surprising how frequently confusion occurs when garments and even shoes are identical.
Our swimming pool is an excellent environment to introduce children to swimming and offers an important addition to our programme that starts with Nursery class. Water safety and swimming are life skills, which should be introduced as early as possible and we are committed to making certain that the children’s first experiences of swimming at school will be active, enjoyable and fun. As children become confident swimmers, there is an opportunity to be a part of the swim team that regularly participates in events with other schools.
At St. Andrews we make a point of praising each child every day to promote positive thinking and self-esteem. In this way, we encourage and promote our curriculum with recognition and praise and develop a sense of belonging to the school community. This is achieved through the modelling and discussion of appropriate friendly behaviours in our day to day programme. The foundation for children to become independent learners and thinkers begins at this stage. Younger children who display unacceptable behaviour will be redirected to a more constructive activity. They will be guided towards acceptable behaviour and will be given a clear example of how conflicts can be resolved.
‘Students thrive and become highly confident, independent, resilient and caring learners who enjoy their learning and are not afraid to take risks.’ EDT May 2018
Older children resolve conflicts sensibly by making choices, having first considered the consequences, which may include the school’s comprehensive use of rewards for good behaviour and a restorative approach. On the rare occasions when children do misbehave, they reflect on the consequences of their actions and then decide what they should do to put things right.
At St. Andrews Samakee we believe in challenging the perception that the classroom is the only space for learning. We know that learning in the outside environment makes a significant contribution to the development of all children. Therefore, opportunities to learn outside the classroom are built into the school day and beyond, providing our teachers with a powerful resource to bring the curriculum to life and the children with enjoyment and achievement. Thus, ensuring our children become fully engaged and enthusiastic learners.
Learning outside the classroom at our school is embedded in our programme and aims to give our children real-life ‘hands-on’ experiences; when they can see, hear, touch and explore the world around them. In this way, children learn that school relates to their life outside and the world around them.
‘Children explore freely, ask questions and learn through discovery and being curious. The farm provides extensive opportunities for real-life learning. Here, children grow their own food, look after and feed the ducks, pigs and goat, build fires and go pond dipping, for example.’ EDT May 2018