Welcome

Thank you for visiting our website – I am pleased to welcome you to Akaal Primary School.

It is my privilege, as Head Teacher, to take this opportunity to give you an introduction to our vibrant and caring primary school.

We are a Sikh Faith school and we opened in September 2015 via the government Free School programme. We began with 23 children in a handful of Portkabins on the site of the Sri Singh Sabha Gurdwara car park. Here we stayed for 3 years and expanded our number to 100 children. This September has been really exciting for us as we have now moved into our brand new, purpose built school, moving locations from Harrington Street to Grange Avenue. It has been quite a journey and, if you would like to know more about our development, please visit the "Our Story" section of the website.

You may be wondering what a Sikh Faith school actually is. Throughout our website you will see many references to how our faith designation influences the way the school works, but in brief our school welcomes pupils of all faith backgrounds, and none, and we put values at the heart of everything we do.

Our Values are those which can be identified by all faith groups and the wider community, in fact by good human beings across the world, as the code by which we should live. Our children live in very difficult times and core to our purpose is to prepare them to be effective, compassionate adults with the courage and conviction to make things better. We use a range of approaches to ensure that our children regularly meet our values, and are challenged by them, in increasing levels of maturity and responsibility as they grow through the school. Exploring our website further, or indeed talking to our pupils, will give you more information about our chosen approaches.

We are proud of the way we teach the National Curriculum, particularly our approach to mastery learning and our thematic learning, culminating in a termly Learning Challenge. We believe that our children deserve to experience as much as life has to offer and we work tirelessly to provide opportunities and learning experiences to develop well-rounded and able learners.

Setting up a school from scratch is the most challenging thing my colleagues and I have ever done. The journey is far from over and we are focused on improving the school until we can say that we are outstanding in all areas. One thing is certain - I am proud to have such keen and open pupils along with capable and committed colleagues.

I hope that you enjoy exploring the rest of the website to gain deeper insight into our school.

Of course, the best way to discover what we are all about is to come and visit us. Please call to arrange an appointment and our children will be happy to share their learning with you.

Thank you and we hope to see you soon.

Mrs Julie Fellowes
Head Teacher

Our Vision

High academic achievement for all


We aim to produce pupils who will excel in academic achievement, and for the school to exceed national average standards. We will lay the foundation of education on pupils’ excellence in literacy, so that we serve our majority group of EAL students well. Language learning skills will be interwoven throughout our curriculum; numeracy will have a similarly strong focus. All groups of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, will achieve as well as other pupils in the school through our high-quality provision. Pupils will develop a love of learning.

We have set high targets for the school so that we can achieve the key tenets of the Sikh faith: economic independence through honest earning (Kirat Karni) and develop mentally for logical inquiry through self-reflection (Naam Japna).


High moral values and exemplary behaviour


Our school will be safe place where every pupil will feel valued, respected and secure. There will be mutual trust, respect and fair treatment for all. Pupils will show exemplary behaviour towards visitors, peers, parents, senior citizens and community members. They will show the high levels of acceptance and understand that they need to allow every person to have space to be themselves, and they will respect the views of others. Pupils will readily participate in community work and contribute to social cohesion regardless of social status, colour, gender or ethnic background.

We have also set challenging targets for behaviour. The primary aspects of our Sikh values reflected in this outcome are: economic independence through honest earning (Kirat Karni); service beyond self (Sewa); and learning to share (Vand Chhakana).


All-round holistic pupil development


We want our pupils to have the highest expectations of their personal potential in the areas of social, moral, spiritual, cultural, physical and mental development. All pupils will become articulate, confident and self-aware, and make good choices about lifestyle, diet and activities that promote health. All pupils will show good all-round achievement and will excel in the areas in which they are talented. We will foster a healthy sense of competition, particularly in sport, where we will provide a range of options in the curriculum, in enrichment activities and in after-school clubs.


Family-centred children with an international outlook


Our school will promote strong home–school partnerships, with the school as a community hub. Parents will be an integral part of pupils’ learning through their own learning, participation in school life, and feedback from the school. We will strive to create strong inter-community cohesion centred on the school. Our global outlook will help pupils’ to learn about their inter-community heritage and create sensitivity among pupils so that they understand and appreciate views and culture of others in very diverse cultures. Pupils will establish links with their countries of origin, and with other communities in the UK and throughout the world.


Further Information


Please take a look at the following leaflets for more information.

Download Our Inclusivity Leaflet

Download Our Uniqueness Leaflet

Curriculum

EYFS


The EYFS is housed in a purpose built classroom with access to a large outdoor area.

We follow the EY Outcomes document to plan exciting learning for our themes.

Children are encouraged to plan their own work for the classroom and to contribute to this as the week goes on.

Focussed, adult led activities are planned for Writing, Maths and Faith Development each week as well as adult guided and child initiated activities.

Challenges are set for the children to complete by themselves and they are given a real sense of responsibility for their own work.

We have 3 visits off site each year to reinforce thematic learning. This year we have had visits to Bolsover Castle, Derby Theatre and Withernsea Lighthouse and the seaside.


Literacy


At Akaal Primary School, we try to link Literacy to our topic as much as possible, to ensure that we cover lots of genres and have a completely immersive experience. When children have completed the Read Write Inc phonics programme, we then run Word Study sessions, which cover each year group’s spelling rules in an exploratory, investigative way.

As well as the reading that takes place as part of Literacy and in other curriculum areas, we also have a designated reading session for 45 minutes once a week. The reading session covers the reading skills needed and we use a range of resources including pictures, videos and written reading comprehensions.


Maths


Mathematics teaching at Akaal Primary School ensures that children will:

  • Develop a high level of numeracy.
  • Develop an ability to think clearly, logically and creatively in mathematics with confidence, independence and flexibility of mind.
  • Ensure an awareness of the usefulness of mathematics in the world beyond the classroom.
  • Have an understanding of mathematics through a process of problem solving, enquiry and experiment.
  • Gain an understanding of the nature and purposes of mathematics.
  • Have an appreciation of the importance of sharing mathematics by discussing, explaining and reporting.
  • Have an awareness of the personal qualities such as perseverance when working individually or as part of a group.

Teachers plan carefully and with detail to enable children to become confident learners, following the guidance set out by National Curriculum.

Children are taught to use a variety of strategies that make the most of concrete (build it) manipulatives, pictorial (draw it) representations and abstract (write it) concepts which allows them to make good progress and take responsibility for their own learning as they can choose from a variety of strategies when faced with mathematical scenarios.

At Akaal we are committed to following the mastery approach in maths, this ensures that pupils make good or better progress, they are able to clearly explain their learning journey and can clearly communicate ideas.

Maths Curriculum

Curriculum Theme Overview


Please use the link below to download our Curriculum Theme Overview:

Download Our Curriculum Theme Overview



P.E.


At Akaal, our PE curriculum is geared towards giving our children a complete and unique experience across a vast range of sports. Developed by Mr Hallam and Mr Peggs, who developed the idea of taking the curriculum quite literally, focusing on particular skills that can be developed in a multitude of different sports. During the Spring and Summer terms, the term is split so that the first half of the term (6 weeks) will be the children working on developing the skills required to play different games that are after the half term, until Easter, and these are usually 1-2 weeks of the games before moving onto a different game. We feel that this gives the children a broader opportunity to play a range of games, fuelling a love for different and more unique sports, which includes (But is not limited to) more traditional sports such as football, cricket, and hockey, and newer sports such as Quidditch, Tchoukball and Kin Ball.

Start of the Year – October Half Term

Within the first autumn term in the year, the children will be working on athletics, as this leads us neatly into Sports Day, which we have decided should take place at the end of the first half term, as the weather is usually a little cooler than summer, but should provide an good enough weather for the event to take place.

After October Half Term – Christmas

As the weather progresses, typically the weather begins to deteriorate into rain and then snow (Along with the colder weather), which we decided would be a perfect opportunity for all classes within the school to do gymnastics. Our new gymnastics programme includes such equipment as trampettes and climbing equipment.

January – Easter

After athletics and gymnastics have been completed, the classes split off to begin their different skill building, which works its way up from Year 1, right the way up to Year 6. The Year 1 children will be learning the skill of movement and jumping, which will build into activities such as obstacle courses, the ninja trail, agility games, and “Tag” games. The Year 2 children are developing their throwing, which leads into sports such as tag rugby, basketball, and bench ball. The Year 3 children are concentrating on their control and balance, and this will lead into Kin Ball and Hockey. The Year 4 children are focusing on kicking, which leads neatly into long ball, Kin ball, and kick rounders. Year 5 will be developing their rolling, and leads into hockey, curling, and bowls. Finally, Year 6 are developing their bowling, which will support dodgeball, bowling and basketball.

Easter – End of the Year

As the weather continues to improve, we wanted as many outdoor activities as possible during this term. As a school, we want to be a leader in the local area for cricket, and so cricket takes a large portion of this term. The vast majority of the areas for skill development are geared towards this effect, and because of this focus on cricket, we decided that it would be prudent to spend 4 weeks of the 6 playing cricket in the second half of the term. To this end, Year 1 will be developing their catching, which will lead into different sports such as handball, netball, and dodgeball (as well as cricket). Year 2 will be working on bouncing, which leads into games such as basketball, and table tennis. The children of Year 3 are developing their throwing at a target, leading into sports such as netball, quidditch, and tchoukball. Year 4 are kicking at a target, which means that they will be playing football, foot golf, and crab football. The Year 5 children will be striking with power, which leads into rounders, cricket and softball, and finally the Year 6 children will striking with accuracy, and playing such games as tennis, badminton and cricket.

As you can see, our curriculum is geared around giving the children a broad range of sports and activities that they can engage and love. We want to remove the traditional stance on PE that for a term the children play a particular sport, and instead we wanted to replace it with something that is dynamic, unique and exciting, which we feel that we have created.

Parents, carers and legal guardians, addressed as Akaal Families in our correspondence, are without doubt, Akaal Primary School’s most important partners. Our ethos is one of working actively with them to enhance the achievement and attainment of all pupils. We will ensure that parents/guardians will be kept fully informed about their child’s learning and encouraged to share in the activities of Akaal Primary School by:

  • Providing a regular newsletter setting out what the children will be learning and how they can offer support at home.
  • Putting curriculum information in the newsletter/website when appropriate.
  • Providing a termly "open" session, where parents can join their children in their learning. This will operate in all classes from Reception to Yr6.
  • Supporting parents by encouraging them to read daily with their children.
  • Sharing teaching strategies with parents to give them the necessary tools to support their children with homework.
  • Providing opportunities for parents to find out about their children’s progress and targets through open evenings, informal meetings and both verbal and written reports.
  • Liaising with school via home-school books where appropriate (e.g. to support behaviour).
  • Providing learning opportunities for parents and carers through Family Learning.
Extra-curricular Activities

Learning at Akaal Primary School will go beyond the normal school day and will provide excellent provision for its pupils and the local community both pre and post school.


Breakfast Club


This runs from 7:50am to 8:30am and, in addition to breakfast, will offer a range of fun activities. Prices are currently 50p per day (without breakfast) and £1 per day with breakfast.


Morning Reflection


From 8:30am to 8:45am there will be a voluntary opportunity for pupils to partake in daily Sikh worship. For those students who don’t wish to be involved they will be invited to say their own faith appropriate prayer, or to reflect more generally on the things in their life that they are thankful for.


Personal Development Time


This additional hour will form part of the normal school day and will allow pupils to engage in activities aimed at supporting and complementing their learning, to take part in sports and physical activities, to pursue their interests in the arts and to learn community languages.


After School Club


This will complete the provision of wrap around care for those pupils who need it, and is likely to run from 4:35pm until 6:00pm. This is something that is still in development.


Adult Learning


Serving the local community is at the core of our vision and we have a clear aspiration to develop as a community hub. We will stay open in the evenings (and potentially Saturday mornings) to provide classes in languages, citizenship, ICT, fitness and any other areas of learning identified by our community. This is something that is still in development.


Enrichment


Enrichment is a part of the extended school day. It gives pupils an opportunity to cover core subjects as well as art, sport, design technology and computing. Various strands will be offered to pupils covering academic activities, religious studies, sports, languages, art, music, dance and drama. We are proud to be partners with SkillForce to offer the Prince William Award (PWA), with YogaBugs to offer Yoga development to our smallest children, and to have access to our own Forest School area.


Further Information


Please download our leaflet on Wrap Around Care for more information.

Download Our Wrap Around Care Leaflet

Pastoral Care

We intend to operate smaller groups for English and Mathematics by using a mix of senior staff, additional support and intervention staff, and teaching assistants to provide the additional resources that will ensure we meet the needs of all pupils. There will also be some whole-school approaches. We will introduce:

  • A buddying system, where older children support our new arrivals or those who are feeling vulnerable. They will be trained, and have support from staff.
  • A friendship bench, where those in need of a chat, or a friend, can sit and a trained buddy (or indeed any child) will come and join them to talk about what is worrying them.
  • A restorative justice approach to deal with situations where there is disagreement or where problems occur.
  • An elected school council which will give pupils a real voice in the way the school is run from day to day.

Our pastoral support arrangements will be supplemented by a wide-ranging personal, social and health education programme and the use of ‘Circle Time’ as part of the curriculum so that important issues and messages can be shared, particularly reinforcing good patterns of behaviour and work.

We will ensure all safeguarding arrangements are fully in place.