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SCHOOL FOCUS: Royd Nursery Infant School

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar. Pictures: Chris Etchells
Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar. Pictures: Chris Etchells
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Royd Nursery Infant School is a creative place – there is no better word to describe it.

Through every lesson and activity children are encouraged to use their creative side as much as possible.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Whether this be taking part in a maths lesson in the Forest School or creating an animation in the ICT suite – there is no end of opportunities for youngsters to thrive.

Assistant headteacher Sean Sly said: “We are a forward-thinking proactive rather than reactive school.

“We have a broad and balanced curriculum but we have a big focus on being creative.”

The school, in Deepcar, has been awarded an Artsmark, which recognises schools which are making the arts come alive.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

There is an arts week every year where children go off timetable for a week and focus on the arts. Foundation Stage children focused on a woodland theme while Key Stage one did the decades, with each class looking into a different time period.

Mr Sly said: “My Year 2 class, for example, looked at the 1960s. We did sketches, digital photographs and rock and roll dances.

“Wherever possible we link work to that topic.

“We are a very creative school. Children have lots of opportunities to take part in sports and creative things, but we do that in a broad and balanced curriculum.”

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Children take part in a yearly school production, the school choir also performs regularly at community events and the Year 2 leavers assembly gives pupils the chance to do a creative performance, such as a dance or karate routine.

Youngsters also get the chance to take part in a variety of sports and the school has won a Links School Sports Partnership gold award.

Mr Sly said the school has great links with local sports clubs so children can further develop their skills outside the classroom, while one-off events give pupils the opportunity to try out new sports, such as judo.

The school is committed to children taking part in two hours of PE a week and Year 2 pupils enjoy swimming lessons.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

There is also focus on moving and keeping fit at lunchtimes, with balance bikes and sports equipment available to use.

Gymnastics is an area which the school is strong in, with lessons developed with Real Gym and children taking part in floor and apparatus work, focusing on shape, balance, travel, rotation and flight.

The school also has a lot of sports clubs, and pupils take part in an intramural competition, as well as an annual sports day.

Staff make the most of the outside space, with children taking part in outdoor learning as much as possible.

In the popular Forest School youngsters make woodland potions and flags and build dens. Maths and writing lessons often happen outside.

The school also has a wildlife and garden area with flower beds.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Pupils at Royd Nursery Infant School in Deepcar.

Another award the school has secured is the Naace ICT mark, which is awarded to schools with good use of technology to support teaching, learning and school administration.

The curriculum features algorithms, art and music, audio, desktop publishing, digital photography, spreadsheets, data and graphs and animation.

“We have invested quite heavily in ICT,” said Mr Sly.

“We make it cross-curricular. One class did a topic on Victorians and made a Powerpoint presentation.

“When we got the award, the people that came in were amazed and they didn’t give us any areas for improvement – which is great.

“The said the only thing we could do was to get tablets, but they said ‘we know your budget won’t stretch to that’.

“But we got a grant and have purchased some.”

Academic standards are also extremely high with pupils achieving above the national average in reading, writing and maths.

Staff are also encouraged to further develop their careers with opportunities for further training available.

The school has an open door policy with parents regularly coming in for special events and updates.

Parent feedback meetings are held, along with parent workshops where they work alongside their children to help them continue their learning at home.

Mr Sly said: “One thing people comment on is that we are a nurturing and caring school.

“Staff are very approachable – they are really enthusiastic and interested in the children.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the staff, parents, children and governors at the school.

“There really is a community feel and they make it absolutely brilliant and a really nice place to be.”

Read more at: https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/education/forward-thinking-school-encourages-pupils-to-be-creative-1-9278094