At Ilmington Church of England Primary School, we aim to provide an academic environment which is vibrant and challenging. We have high expectations of ourselves and the children and provide appropriate support and ‘stretch’ for each child, enabling each to achieve to his or her full potential: ‘to be the best they can be’.
We have an ongoing learning dialogue with our pupils and encourage them to take ownership of their studies, fostering independence and instilling a lifelong love of learning. Our creative curriculum takes full advantage of cross curricular links and teaching is strongly thematic. This strong academic focus is complemented by our continuing emphasis on supporting the development of wider learning and life skills. Learning to think systematically, manage information and learn collaboratively is all part of knowledge and skill development. This in turn helps to develop confidence, self-discipline and foster the ability to adapt and generalise learning.
We aim to engage our pupils fully in their learning and there is much to enjoy and experience at Ilmington School. Workshops and special themed days enrich the curriculum. We arrange visits beyond the classroom, which promote ‘real life’ learning and foster curiosity and an inquisitive nature about the world. Curriculum breadth is further enhanced by the extra-curricular opportunities on offer, which allow children to take part in a range of activities, developing their talents and discovering new interests.
We offer opportunities to exercise initiative and take responsibility for learning and decision-making, and actively promote teamwork and co-operation, both inside and outside the classroom. There are leadership opportunities, including sitting on the School Council, and service opportunities where the children entertain their village ‘friends’, (older residents in our village community) and raise money for charity. Children are actively encouraged to lead our daily Collective Worship, signing up in pairs to lead for a week. Some children also play their musical instruments to accompany the hymn. Older children take the lead during our ‘family’ service lunchtimes, supporting the younger children on mixed age tables.
There are many performance opportunities at Ilmington Primary School, especially in Drama productions at Christmas time, or taking the lead in special services held during the year in St Mary’s Church, and these help the children to become increasingly self-assured from an early age. Singing is ‘good for the soul’ and is an important part of school life! We enjoy weekly lessons with specialist music providers, assemblies where we learn new songs and practise for forthcoming events. Music ensemble groups perform to the school and in the wider community and we are working with some outstanding professional musicians to offer the children collaborations outside of school.
Our popular and varied sports programme, ensures that the children are active and are given the opportunity to learn a variety of sports. Many children participate, with considerable success, in fixtures against other local schools in a variety of sports, including swimming, football, athletics, cross country, netball, floor ball, fencing, golf and tag rugby.
Our curriculum seeks to promote the holistic development of every child, educating in the broadest sense of the word: it teaches knowledge, skills and learning attributes or character. We instil a respect for and understanding of Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social issues in the world and look at customs and celebrations within our own community and beyond. We believe passionately in the importance of a nurturing and supportive community. We are proud of our identity as a Church of England school and our strong values programme is delivered through our collective worship and positively reinforced throughout the school. We focus on a different value each month e.g. respect, trust, determination. These ideas are supported by our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education and strong pastoral care.