The Academy

 

Benedict Biscop Academy is a Church of England school within the Diocese of Durham and serves the Wearmouth (Sunderland) Deanery. The school became an Academy in 2012, and a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) - The Northern Lights Learning Trust in 2016.  It is an average size primary school with 210 full time pupils and 30 part-time nursery pupils on roll. We provide education for children from 3 to 11 years. The Academy’s standard admission number is 30. There are currently 256 pupils on roll.

The Academy was built in 1972 and opened as a Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School.   It has been extended to create a Foundation Stage, a learning centre, a new library, disabled facilities, medical room, extended 3 classrooms, an entrance which is very safe and welcoming and a meeting/training room. Our ‘postinia’  provides quiet space for reflection and prayer.

Benedict Biscop CE Academy achieved an OUTSTANDING judgement for their SIAMS inspection 2017. We hold several awards, recognising our excellence. We have Basic Skills Award 7 (2017), Early Years Basic Skills Award (2016), several Achievement Awards, Investors in People PLATINUM Award (2017), Healthy School Award, Every School Day Counts Awards - for highest attendance in the City, Sport England Award, International Award (2014), Gold Arts mark Award (2016), RE Quality Mark (2017), Anti-bullying Gold Charter Mark (2015), Rights Respecting Award (2015) and Governor Mark (2016).

The Academy is designed in three blocks of teaching areas separated by a central hall. The areas of the Academy are very closely linked and staff know all the children through daily contact.

The policy of the Academy is to register the children, in mixed ability classes within each year group. Each class has its own teacher who is responsible for general progress across the curriculum and for pastoral care. There are full time teaching assistants in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. There are full time teaching assistants who support each class in Key Stage 2 for some of the weekly timetable. In addition we have IT support throughout the Academy.

The Academy has partnerships with a school in Harbin, China and through European Comenius Awards we have developed links with schools in France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria. This is developing global links and an understanding of our diverse culture.

 

 

The Academy Day

The school day for pupils is slightly different for different age groups. Full details are given below.

 

 

Start

Finish

Nursery morning session

8:45am

11:45am

Nursery afternoon session

12:30pm

3:30pm

 

We offer full day care (Educare) for which parents may pay or we offer free 30 hours for 3 and 4 year olds, if parents are eligible. 

 

Main School - we operate a drop in from 8:45am - 8:55am

 

 

Start

Finish

Start of school day - Registration

8:55am

15:15pm [KS1]
15:30pm [KS2]

Session 1

9:00am

10:15am

Break

10:15am

10:30am

Session 2

10:30am

11:45am [KS1]
12:00pm [KS2]

Lunch

11.30am/11:45am [KS1]
12:00pm [KS2]

12:45pm [KS1]
1:00pm [KS2]

Session 3

12:45pm [KS1]
1:00pm [KS2]

2:15pm

Session 4

2:15pm

3:15pm [KS1]
3:30pm [KS2]

End of School Day

Lunchtime Arrangements

The balanced, healthy meals are cooked on the premises and the majority of our children stay for a cooked meal. Children are encouraged to try a range of foods, with salad and fresh fruit being freely available every day. In the Foundation Stage, children remain within the unit and dine together with the staff. Funding is received for all children in KS1 to receive a hot universal infant free school meal, (UIFSM). Children in KS2 may bring a healthy packed lunch.

The children are cared for by a team of mid-day supervisory assistants and teaching assistants. They socialise and play together on the playgrounds, fields and play areas. There is plenty of practical equipment provided to encourage our children to be active. We have a lunch time sports coach providing a range of multi-skills activities and sports for our pupils throughout the lunchtime period - this encourages healthy wellbeing.

Dinner money should be paid for on the electronic system. This may be paid for termly, in advance. If you feel that your child may be entitled to a free school meal in Key Stage 2, you can obtain further information from the school administration office. It is essential that you do this, as this will bring additional monies into the Academy for your child. 

Out of Hours Care

In our Learning Centre, we offer before and after school care from 7.45 am until 6 pm. The facilities are superb and allow children to socialise with children across the Academy enabling parents to work and access full-time education. Children have the opportunity to take part in  different activities, which encourages independence and builds confidence.

Please ask at the School Administration Office for further details.

Healthy Living 

At Benedict Biscop CE Academy, we strongly believe that children need to be safe and healthy. We provide the children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 with fruit each day, to promote a healthy diet. We provide water bottles and water coolers. Research has indicated that water does have a positive effect on children’s behaviour and learning ability.

All children in Foundation stage receive milk daily in a government funded scheme. All children in the school have the option to purchase low fat milk daily at a reduced cost. This is paid for in advance each term and is given to children as part of their morning break.

 

 

Travel to School

A group of supporters from the wider community work closely with the Academy to ensure that our children are safe on their route to school. Recent research and action has ensured that  Academy signs have been erected, line markings outside the main gate have been painted, trees blocking footpaths have been removed and our coats have reflector stripes sewn into their material. We have re-sited the front gate away from the main road and there is an area where children can wait safely for parents. Fencing has been erected to prevent visitors from parking on the main footpath. The school is connected to SUSTRANS cycle route and we encourage children in year 5 and 6 to cycle to school, providing training in road safety whilst learning skills of cycling.

We actively encourage our children to walk and discourage parents from parking close to the Academy. If possible, we ask that parents park away from the school gates (preferably at the rear of the school) and walk the last distance to the Academy. Our parking facilities are small and access is through one gate only, which is  accessible to staff and visitors via an intercom system, to ensure maximum safety at all times.

We ask parents/carers to bring and collect children in the Foundation Stage via the Foundation Stage entrance. All children in Key Stage 1, are supervised to the gates where they can be collected by an adult. Children in Key Stage 2 who live close to the Academy, may go home unaccompanied by prior arrangement and signed permission with the Academy.

Contact Names & Telephone Numbers

All parents will be asked to give their daytime telephone contact numbers and for the names of other people who can take responsibility for their child when they are not available or in the case of an emergency. Only these people will be contacted in such circumstances. It is very important that parents let us know of any change of address or new telephone number. A password may be required.

Medication

Several staff are able to administer medication under very strict guidelines. This is to protect everyone and also means that all children can be included in activities where medication is necessary. Please ask for a medication leaflet from the school administration office.

First Aid

First aid will be administered to all minor injuries such as cuts and bruises. The Academy has several qualified first aiders. We give all children a bump sticker and a short note to take home to alert parents that minor first aid has been administered. In cases of more serious illness or accident at school, parents will be informed as soon as possible. It is vital that parents provide us with emergency telephone numbers for this purpose. It is also crucial that parents provide information about specific medical conditions that may affect your child whilst in school, to ensure we provide excellent care for your child.

Taking Children Out of School during the Day

If children are to be taken out of the Academy during the day, parent/carers are asked to call at the school administration office, the school administrator will bring your child from the classroom. You will be asked to sign your child out of school, stating the time and reason. If the child is to be collected by an adult other than the parent, the school must be given the name of the person in advance, to ensure our children are safe at all times. A password will be asked for.

Visitors to School

All visitors are asked to report to the school administration office. If parents would like to speak to class teachers, please go to the school administration office first. The school administrator will inform the class teacher of your arrival. Please do not enter the school through the children’s entrances. This protects your children whilst in school and yourselves, in the event of a fire.

Visitors, other than parents collecting children, will be asked to sign the visitor’s book and wear an identification badge for the duration of their visit.

Parents/Teachers/Friends Association of Benedict Biscop C.E. Academy [PTFA]

The Academy is very proud of this association which not only raises money to enable us to enhance the education of the children at Benedict Biscop Church of England Academy but also provides social events for children and parents. The group is always eager to recruit new members and it hopes you will support them in the events they organise.

Charging Policy

By law, no school can make a charge for:

· Education wholly or mainly within school hours.

· Materials and ingredients for things made in school which pupils or parents do not want to keep.

· Visits in or outside school hours which are necessary for an examination

 

Charges may be made for the following:

· Individual music tuition which is not part of the syllabus for an examination.

· Certain excursions where a third party is involved.

· Board and lodging where a school activity involves a residential element.

· The exact cost of "optional extras" ie things not connected directly with the national curriculum.

The Academy Directors/Trustees [Governors] have decided that, in general, charges will only ever be made for a school activity if this is the only way to guarantee the event takes place. This is most likely to apply to some trips and excursions. Voluntary contributions will be requested for such events. We will always inform parents at the outset, and assist parents who have genuine difficulty in paying.

This is a brief summary of a complex area. A full copy of the Academy's charging policy is available from the Academy main office.

Compliments, Comments and Complaints

We are very keen to listen to other views on the service we provide and we would encourage you to  email any comments into school and  tell us how we are doing. We hope to be able to resolve any complaints that parents may have. In the first instance complaints should normally be made to the Principal, and in most cases we find that complaints can be dealt with successfully at this informal level. A copy of the complaints procedure is available from the school administration office and on our website.

 

Our policy on making information available to parents and others  (Freedom of Information)

By law, Academies must make certain information available for viewing by parents or members of the public. All the documents listed below are available for viewing at the school or on our website.

  • Any statutory instruments (including those for national curriculum subjects), circulars and   administrative memoranda relating to powers and duties under the ‘curriculum’ section of the Education Reform Act.
  • Any published HMI or Ofsted reports on the Academy.
  • Any schemes of work and syllabuses currently used by teachers in the Academy.
  • A full copy of the curriculum complaints procedure.
  • The Durham Diocese Scheme for Religious Education.

 

Consultation

We send out an annual questionnaire to all parents/carers, usually in the spring term. The information provided helps us to make decisions about future developments. Parents are actively encouraged to share their views with the Academy Trustees [Local Academy Council]. The results are made known to parents following analysis of the data. This consultation leads to improved practice and provision for our children and families.

Personal Belongings

Your child is encouraged to take responsibility for their personal belongings. Everything your child brings into school - i.e. bags, clothes, books - should be clearly marked with your child’s name. If you forget to label a child’s possessions then we reserve the right to write a child’s name on their property, to avoid spending unnecessary time sorting out personal belongings during valuable school time.

We operate a lost property system which you are encouraged to call in and check.