How do you ensure new staff follow the Reggio Emilia principles?
Staff are provided with training on the Reggio Emilia principles. Cognitive scientist and prolific education author Guy Claxton, creator of the Learning Power Approach, is a patron of the school and currently provides online CPD for teachers. Some staff have been using the approach for years having worked in the school’s nursery settings at Little Barn Owls, Hayley’s other education business.
Please can you explain the mistake of the week board and how it is used?
During the week children write down mistakes as they make them on a post it note and at the end of the week we celebrate what we have learned from them. It’s a great way to break down the fear of failure, and help pupils feel empowered by expecting mistakes as a normal and necessary process of making progress in life.
Do the children use digital technology/iPads?
Yes we live in a world where understanding and using technology is a necessary part of every-day life. The children use iPads and computers to help them to research topics and use a range of software to enhance learning. Also the children learn how to code on specific days when we have experts who come in to teach it. The children also use technology to create Digital Arts. The school uses light boxes, has its own green screen and lighting in its drama space and is currently developing a studio for recording music and podcasts, and launching Atelier’s own in-house radio station, run by the pupils.
Do the children have their own work books?
Yes, the children have exercise books – in Reception they have phonics books and then in Class 1 and 2 they have books for each subject including ‘Big Studies’.
Which phonics programme do you use?
We use the Read, Write Inc programme. It teaches phonics, reading and writing together intuitively and is a widely popular programme used by many schools.
What do you do for early readers/gifted and talented children?
As pupils learn in small groups we are able to tailor the learning according to the children’s abilities. This means that children requiring support can receive it and others can be challenged further academically and develop new skills in other areas. The teaching ratio is 1:10 as we have a maximum of 20 children with 2 teachers for each primary class. If required children can be moved up into an older class. They will certainly not get bored at Atelier 21
Do the children take assessments and tests?
At Year 9 the children begin to start to train in exam technique with a view to beginning iGCSE in Year 10. Until Year 9, children do not sit exams but are assessed through portfolio work and observations.
How do you manage the data to track and benchmark progress?
The school uses Evidence Me to track and monitor progress and teachers do regular observations. As the classes are so small the staff know the children and their abilities and can track their progress really well on a daily basis.
The school is backed by its Head teacher, Hayley Peacock, supported by the success of her award-winning nursery chain, Little Barn Owls which won Nursery Group of the year in 2020 and has also won local business of the year awards.
The financial backing from the nurseries is a safety net so that the new school can grow organically over time with no rush to get children in all at once. Having said that, the school is already almost full for next year due to its innovative and unique approach and the nurseries’ reputation in the area.
The school currently has 50 pupils and will grow to 85 pupils in September with plans to grow to a maximum of 120 pupils within the next two years.
Fess: The current school fees can found here.
Mini Bus service – The bus currently costs £2.50 each way to Tesco at Broadbridge Heath, Horsham.
School uniform – only PE kit and hoodies are required which are sold at cost price. For example our polo shirts and jogging bottoms are £12 each.
Wrap around care – After school club runs to 5.30pm with last pick up at 6pm. It currently costs £10 per session. We currently do not have a breakfast club but if this is a requirement do let us know as staff are on site from 7.30am.
School dinners/pack lunches – School dinners are provided for within the school fees and are cooked fresh each day by our in-house chef, Marcin. The children are encouraged to eat a healthy balanced diet. Children who are vegetarian or vegan and those with food allergies are catered for.
Do you offer bursaries? The school currently does not offer bursaries as it is in its infancy but hopes to do so in the not too distant future.