At Stow Primary School, we foster an environment where our pupils become active participants in their learning. Education should not be passive but an exciting, fun and challenging time in a child’s life. We aim to give children a breadth of experiences and a hunger for knowledge, equipping our young people with skills they will take to the world of work and life. A Curriculum for Excellence, published in 2004 following the National Debate on Education in Scotland, sets out values, purposes and principles to enable children and young people to reach their full potential. At Stow we have fully embraced the guidance in these documents to improve the quality of learning and teaching as well as increasing attainment and achievement for all children, including those who need additional support in their learning.

Entitlements

  • All learners are entitled to experience the highest possible quality of learning and teaching that prepares them effectively for learning, work and life.
  • All learners are entitled to experience learning and teaching that supports them in becoming literate, numerate and healthy.
  • All learners are entitled to experience learning and teaching that promotes equal opportunity and non-discrimination based on social circumstances, gender, race, religion, cultural beliefs, disability or sexual orientation.
  • All learners are entitled to opportunities and encouragement to participate to their maximum potential and to be consulted and involved in decisions affecting their learning.
  • All children are entitled to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens through the values and principles of Curriculum for Excellence.

The Curriculum

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is bringing learning to life in the way education is delivered for all 3-18 year olds – in ELCC, primary, secondary, at college, workplace or community learning. It takes a fresh approach to what, how and where young people learn. It aims to raise standards, improve knowledge and develop skills, closing the gap between the lowest and highest performers. Ultimately it aims to nurture young people as successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

At Stow Primary School we aim to:

  • Establish a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment where everyone is respected and valued.
  • Ensure that pupils are active participants in their own learning and can confidently identify their strengths and what they need to do to improve.
  • Use a variety of informed, differentiated teaching approaches which take account of prior learning and are matched closely to individual needs.
  • Develop learner’s curiosity, creativity and ability to think critically through well planned tasks which involve solving problems, working collaboratively and independently.
  • Enable pupils to understand the purpose of their learning, make connections and apply their skills and knowledge to real life situations.
  • Provide opportunities for children to develop confidence and resilience through personal success and achievement in our wider learning environment.
  • Reflect upon and share our good practice to ensure inspiring learning and teaching continues to thrive.

Physical Education

  • At Stow PS a PE specialist visits the school weekly to teach all pupils. Class teachers ensure that a further hour of PE is taught so every child has the expected 2 hours of PE a week.
  • Children are expected to wear appropriate clothing (See uniform)
  • Primary 4 pupils have a 6 week block of swimming lessons at Galashiels Pool.

Religious Observance

A weekly assembly takes place in the school. There is usually an end of term service which parents are welcome to attend. Parents who wish to exercise their right to withdraw their child from religious instruction and/or religious observance should contact the headteacher to arrange a meeting to discuss alternative arrangements for their child.

Homework

The policy of the school is that homework will be given when it is considered appropriate. There will be weekly homework which focuses on the practice of skills in literacy and/or numeracy as well as reading tasks. On occasions other homework tasks will be issued and will develop a range of skills. Homework tasks will be suitable for the age, stage and needs of each child. Please ask for a copy of the homework policy for more information.

Extra curricular activities

From time-to-time, extra-curricular activities are available and information about these is provided to parents of relevant pupils.
The school attempts to involve older children in contacts with pupils from other schools as much as possible, thereby helping to ease the settling-in process at Galashiels Academy. Inter-school sport is therefore encouraged, with school pupils usually taking part in hockey, netball, rugby and chess events at different times of the year. The school believes in the importance of broadening and enriching the child’s learning experience and with this in mind, arranges outings whenever suitable opportunities arise.
A residential experience is offered to children in P6 and P7 on alternate years.

Assessment

Assessment is a vital part of learning and teaching. It should be an ongoing process and involve the learner making decisions about their next steps. This takes two forms, assessment that happens at the end of a block of learning that checks how much a child has understood (summative) and assessment that is continuous (formative).

Summative Assessment

This is used to check how successful the learner has been at the end of a piece of work. It is one way of gathering evidence for reporting to parents or measuring attainment. It is only valid when used alongside evidence gathered from formative assessment. Standardised assessments are also used when appropriate to gather evidence on a child’s progress in a curricular area. This reflects on their progress in comparison to a cross section of children of a similar age.

Formative Assessment

Pupils know what they are learning, how they will recognise if the learning has taken place and what steps they can take to bridge the gap between what they know and need to learn by this process. It is evident in many guises in the classroom and is an integral part of learning and teaching.

Some examples are outlined below:

  • Learning Intentions and Success Criteria
  • Wait Time
  • Traffic Lights
  • Thumbs Up
  • Think, Pair, Share
  • Share an Answer with the Group/Class
  • Two Stars and a Wish
  • Self and peer assessment

Assessment evidence allows teaching staff to track the progress children are making and to adapt their practice appropriately. Staff can then identify if a child is struggling for whatever reason and needs extra support. By the same token staff identify children making considerable progress and can consider ways to challenge the child and ensure progress is maintained. It is important that evidence gathered through assessment be used to improve learning and teaching in our school. We are committed to involving learners and their parents in learning and to regularly report on progress they are making.