Ysgol Rhostyllen is an English medium school with Welsh taught as a second language to all pupils from Nursery through to Year 6. All pupils are taught in eight straight year groups with the school departments organised as follows:
Foundation Phase (Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 2)– Pupils aged 3-7 years
Key Stage Two (Years 3-6) – Pupils aged 7-11 years
The school aims to provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which gives varied opportunities to develop the essential skills of literacy and numeracy. Through carefully structured schemes of work and an integrated approach there are many opportunities for developing and applying these skills within the cross curricular nature of topic or project work. Within the Foundation Phase curriculum pupils’ skills are developed across the following seven key areas of learning which incorporate opportunities to learn about themselves and their place in the wider world.
• Language, Literacy and Communication
• Mathematical Development
• Creative Development
• Knowledge and Understanding of the World
• Physical Development
• Personal and Social Development
• Bilingualism and Multi-Cultural Understanding
At Key Stage Two the central focus of the curriculum is on further developing the essential skills of literacy and numeracy with a balance of both subject specific and thematic teaching approaches. To develop these skills pupils will be taught English, Mathematics and Science as core areas of learning and will be applying their skills across the curriculum in the following subjects:
• Information and Communication Technology
• Design Technology
• Physical Education
• Religious Education
Religious Education and Collective Worship
Through Religious Education we aim to develop an awareness of the importance of religion and to appreciate and respect different religious beliefs.There are three acts of collective worship per week and on the other two days short assemblies are held in class. There are regular visits from the local Minister and occasionally from representatives of charitable organisations. Parents and family members are invited to join the staff and children in class assemblies throughout the year. Parents who wish to withdraw their children from such activities will need to inform the school of their decision.
English is the language of the day to day business of the school, but some Welsh is also used as a language of communication with the pupils. As a school within Wales we pride ourselves on celebrating our country’s language we pride ourselves on celebrating our country’s language and culture through drama, music, dance, stories and visits to the Urdd organisation’s residential centres in Bala and Cardiff. We endeavour to promote the Welsh language so that it can survive as a living tongue as our pupils acquire second language skills. Although there are attainment targets in our programme of study, we will take into consideration that the pace of progress in second language development varies from child to child, situation to situation and that the same levels of achievement will not correspond to particular ages, or to every teaching situation, but we hope to ensure that all our pupils will attain some measure of second language success. The normal expectation is that pupils will transfer to English medium secondary provision and continue to learn predominantly through the medium of English,learning Welsh as a second language.
A Personal Development and Relationships Policy and scheme of work have been approved by the Governors. The school has a progressive sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical maturity of pupils. This covers basic life processes and human life development. Teachers arrange separate sessions for boys and girls in Years 5 and 6 to discuss puberty and emotional development. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or some sex and relationship education lessons. This can be done by arrangement with the Headteacher.
In Physical Education sessions we aim to develop the skills essential for taking part in a variety of sporting activities.The school has a good sized hall for indoor work, adequate outdoor hard surfaces for class lessons such as short tennis and netball and a grassed area which includes a football pitch. This is also used for rounders and athletics.
At Ysgol Rhostyllen we regard homework as a very important aspect of children’s learning. We see homework as an opportunity for parents to share activities with their children and to encourage their learning. The involvement of parents or carers can be so effective, not only in assisting the child to make educational progress but also to reinforce the values of learning. Children in Nursery and Reception will have ‘Home Activity’ books which are varied, often practical tasks. Reception pupils will also practice their key words,phonics and reading.Children in Years 1 and 2 will also have ‘Home Activity’ books. In addition they should spend time practising their reading, spelling and phonics. In Year 2 pupils who have a computer may access some of their Maths homework on line.Children in Years 3 to 6 should spend time each evening reading at home. They will also have spellings to learn each week and at least one piece of homework which At the beginning of each year, class teachers will inform parents of the arrangements for homework in their class.