Prospectus Main School
‘My daughters attended Silverhill from Transition until Year 6. During that time they experienced a fantastic education with many extra-curricular activities including the study of wild life at the Silverhill Coach House pond and an educational trip to France. We are lucky enough to have some very fond memories of our time at the school including some fantastic drama and choir productions, not to mention Sports Days where each and every child is encouraged to do their very best. Our daughters moved onto senior education armed with confidence, great social skills and a solid foundation from which to develop their academic ability. The teaching staff at Silverhill are second to none and small class sizes mean that each child is given the required level of attention. Silverhill became our extended family during our time with them and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a first class education for their child in a warm and friendly environment.’
‘Silverhill is a family school for people who want to be part of a community which welcomes and nurtures all.’
Reception and Key Stage 1
Reception and Key Stage 1 benefit from having well-qualified teachers and support staff to ensure all their educational needs are met. The children are also offered Spanish, PE, Games and Music by specialist staff. In Year 2 they are introduced to French. (note made of Year 1)
Reception is the introduction to children’s main school career. It is the end of the Foundation Stage and the children still follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. When children begin their Reception year, they attend full time from the beginning.
Children are taught by their own class teachers as well as specialist P.E. and Spanish teachers.
There continues to be a focus on learning through play as well as structured activities. The children have reading books sent home daily alongside daily phonic sessions that are fun and interactive.
We make the most of our beautiful grounds and also take part in Forest School initiatives. At break times, children in Reception will play with children in Year 1 and 2 in the playground or the Orchard.
The children have lots of fun whilst learning and laughter can be heard every day!
Year 1 is the start of more formal schooling, a time where children learn to take ownership of their own desk and belongings. However, although we follow the National Curriculum framework, their learning is often led by the children’s own ideas, allowing their questions and creativity to enhance their learning.
Morning lessons are primarily literacy- and numeracy-based and children are given weekly spelling tests and encouraged to read regularly. During afternoon lessons children experience a variety of subjects, including Spanish and Topic work. They also go swimming fortnightly and are taken to visit the local library.
Year 1 sees the children mature emotionally and independently as they enjoy being part of the Key Stage 1 (KS1) community.
In Year 2 children continue to consolidate and extend the skills and knowledge they have gained in Year 1.
As their reading becomes more proficient, the children begin to answer more complex comprehension questions and widen their experience of different genres, covering fiction and non-fiction. Literary skills are strengthened and creative story writing is developed.
In Maths, multiplication and division is introduced and children begin to use their number skills to solve simple problems both mentally and using written methods.
In other subjects, including Science, the Humanities and the Arts, a cross-curricular approach is taken enabling the children to make links between their learning.
Key Stage 2
The curriculum becomes more subject-based: Latin, Spanish, Classical Civilisation and IT are introduced and taught by specialist teachers. Not only are the pupils prepared for SATS and, where required, entrance exams to independent secondary schools, but they are also given the opportunity to develop as confident and well-mannered people in their own right.
Debating has become a very popular and energetic item on the curriculum for Years 5 & 6, who are becoming increasingly articulate about national and local issues.
This is the beginning of Key Stage 2 (KS2) and the children start to take on additional responsibilities and are encouraged to become more independent in their approach to school life.
A unique feature of KS2 at Silverhill School is that children are taught a number of subjects by specialist subject teachers in different classrooms. This encourages movement around the site and starts to prepare children for life at secondary school. In addition, children in Year 3 are introduced to Classical Civilisation where they learn about the Chaos theory and hear stories of the gods and goddesses of Antiquity.
Children are now also offered the opportunity to do Speech and Drama and prepare for Lambda exams.
The annual Year 3 trip is linked to the history curriculum and will be either a Roman or Viking related activity day which is highly interactive and greatly enjoyed by all.
At playtimes, Year 3 children join their older friends in the ‘big field’ with its obstacle courses, green spaces and den-building areas.
Year 3 offers a great start to children’s more senior years here.
New specialist subjects, Latin and Grammar, are introduced in Year 4. Grammar, having now returned to the National Curriculum, is assessed at the end of Key Stage 2 in a separate Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling paper.
The use and usefulness of Grammar is reinforced in Latin lessons and the children build on their knowledge of Classical Civilisation from Year 3.
During Year 4 the children begin to consolidate their organisational skills, taking responsibility for looking after all their belongings and ensuring all their homework is handed in on time. This puts them in good stead for secondary school.
This is the beginning of Upper KS2 and we now expect the children to be more independent in their organisation and personal life.
Extracurricular activities start to feature more and in Year 5 the children are involved in a number of clubs such as Dance, Art, Music, Science and Drama.
In addition, at Year 5 children are introduced to Debating. This is a very important part of our curriculum as it helps the children to think beyond their immediate world to the diverse issues that may occur globally e.g. pollution and global warming, along with national issues such as whether or not to remain as a country in the European Union, etc. Here the children’s knowledge about our world and its social issues are debated and analysed.
A pupil who moved to secondary level wrote in to say:
‘Debating. Wow, I miss debating so much. It was the lesson I loved the most and it was the lesson when in fact we became the teachers.’
The KS2 play is staged alternate years in the summer term and Year 5 are involved in all aspects of its production both front and back of stage. This gives the children a chance to experience working within a team, whilst helping them to develop new skills and grow in confidence.
A residential French Trip is offered to children in KS2 and takes place every other year. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to develop independence away from home as they enjoy a diverse French cultural experience.
Year 6 is the final year of the Primary Phase where the main aim is to prepare children for Secondary School. During Year 6 children will be given the opportunity to take on roles of responsibility within the school such as register monitors, librarians, IT monitors and buddy workers with KS1 children. They are called upon to show parents around the school during Open Days and to set up the hall for assemblies.
By Year 6 the children are exclusively taught by specialist subject teachers and they are used to moving around the school. We greatly encourage independence and the children always rise to the challenge.
There is currently a statutory end of year assessment in Maths and English during the Summer Term (May). The children enjoy the challenge of the revision programme and feel a huge sense of achievement when the tests are over. They also delight in the opportunity to eat a varied breakfast each day of the exam week, prepared by our wonderful kitchen staff, which includes bacon sandwiches and Pain au Chocolat!
In Year 6, children visit the Lifeskills Learning for Living Centre in Bristol – an invaluable experience – where they are put into real life scenarios, learning and demonstrating safety skills and facing emergency situations.
As outlined in the Year 5 details, children either take part in a whole school drama production or enjoy a wonderful trip to France.
Year 6 is a memorable and exciting year and we aim to have prepared the children well for the next stage of their academic career. Past pupils often come back to visit us and tell us that they will always remember their time at Silverhill School.
The site is ideal for Silverhill’s sporting activities, which include Football, Netball, tag Rugby, Cricket and Hockey – not to mention Tennis and Athletics in the spring and summer terms. Swimming is also timetabled. Competition with local schools is a regular feature.
A former pupil had this to say about rugby:
‘I started playing rugby at Silverhill when I was 7. We played tag during games and I also went to the after school club. Doing this encouraged me to join a club out of school.
Playing tag taught me about teamwork, spacial awareness and core skills as well the rudiments of the game.
When I was in Year 5, I ran a lunchtime club for the Year 2s teaching them tag rugby. This helped to improve my communication as well as my understanding and perspective of the game.
When I went on to secondary school, I captained my school team and also got selected to play for the year above.
In Year 8, I was put forward to play rugby for Bristol Academy. As well as playing for my school and club, I now also train weekly with Bristol Academy.’
Specialist Sports Teachers, both male and female, are an equally important part of the children’s educational environment. Self Defence classes are taught by a Black Belt Taekwondo champion and we also have football and rugby specialists.
We are able to consult with a Dyslexic and Dyspraxia specialist and a Speech and Language therapist if your child needs an assessment and ongoing support. We are also able to offer intervention programmes to support those who have dyslexia and difficulties with literacy and numeracy. There is an educational therapist on our staff to support those children with emotional needs.
To sum up . . .
Our goal in main school is to develop the children both academically and socially to ensure that they are well prepared for all aspects of their life.
The teachers nurture the children’s social development to ensure that they are happy and contented so that they are able to fulfil their potential academically.
‘Most importantly our children have been extremely happy at Silverhill. When our son left Year 6 he moved to secondary school with great confidence and ease, which is testament to the great education he has received at Silverhill.’