INSIDE OUR CLASSROOMS
Whether they are walking down a corridor, eating in the lunch hall, spending time in the playground or exploring our forest school, the children at Heyford Park School are always learning. The bulk of children’s formal learning takes place in our classrooms at the Officer’s Mess site. We work hard to make sure our classrooms are purposeful, stimulating and supportive learning environments – whatever the age of the learner!
Each class has an animal-based name chosen by the class teacher; the teacher leads the class supported by a range of additional adults (including Teaching Assistants) who work in a targeted way across a group of classes. In addition to these ‘grown ups’, we are also often helped by volunteer readers, other helpers and external professionals (such as Educational Psychologists, Specialist Teachers etc) who visit us from time-to-time.
Our children love their classrooms because they are spacious, bright and safe places to learn and work. We place great importance on keeping classrooms well organised and clutter-free creating a purposeful and comfortable learning environment for every child. Following advice from external professionals, we ensure every classroom is as inclusive as we can make it; we carefully follow specialist guidelines to ensure children with sensory needs and autism are not overwhelmed by their classroom environment.
Every classroom has a visual timetable; this is updated each morning so that everyone knows what will be happening throughout the day.
Our classrooms are great places to learn. Each classroom has specific wall displays for English, Maths, Science and other wider topics. Displays are designed to be engaging and informative; they are always used as a route to reinforce children’s learning. Our displays are designed to be autism-friendly and to be as inclusive as possible. New vocabulary is always displayed – this is particularly important whether you are studying English, science or Spanish.
Our English displays are used as ‘working walls’ so that children can see how specific topics, knowledge and skills develop over time. Our maths working walls focus on our ‘See It- Say It – Solve It’ approach to Maths Mastery which is used across the school.
All of our primary classroom have a Zones of Regulation display which is used alongside our PSHE lessons and other Zones of Regulation activities to help children to learn how to self-regulate, manage their own emotions and maintain good learning behaviour (see the Zones of Regulation page of our website for further details).
We want all of our pupils to be self-initiating, confident and independent learners. In each classroom, we display the 5Bs (Brain – Board - Book – Buddy – Boss) to encourage children to self-solve when they become stuck – though adults are always on hand to help! We celebrate life’s challenges as a natural part of learning. To further encourage independent learning, each classroom is equipped with an English Help Desk and a Maths Help Desk. The help desks are full of resources which children independently select to help them learn. Our English Help Desks contain items such as dictionaries, word cards, spelling sheets, Write Like a Ninja books, examples of texts and more. Our Maths Help Desks are packed with practical items such as number lines, bead strings, counters, clocks, hundred squares, measures, cubes; these hands-on resources support children when learning maths.
All our classrooms are equipped with screens which are used in lessons as whiteboards/blackboards; they can also be used for showing PowerPoint and video content as part of a lesson. Classrooms in Key Stage 1 (Reception, Years 1 – 2) have both desk and carpet spaces; younger children sometimes sit on the carpet to listen to the teacher then use their desks when they are writing. As children get older and progress into Key Stage 2 (Years 3 – 6), children have their own larger, allocated desk space in which to work. Desks are placed so that all the children can clearly see the teacher and the board.
All our pupils have access to a carefully-curated selection of fiction and non-fiction books chosen for specific age-groups and reading abilities. Classrooms have dedicated book/reading areas and many of our year groups also have separate reading and study rooms which are used throughout the school day.
A hydrated brain is a happy brain - each day, children bring in a fresh bottle of water which they have access to throughout the day. Outside of the classroom, all our pupils have their own personal storage space for coats and lunch boxes. Children in Year 1 – 4 have shared lockers in which they stored their personal items. In Years 5 and 6 children each get an individual cubby in which to put their books and other possessions.