When they first start school at the age of four, Reception children are paired with a Year 6 child who becomes their School ‘Buddy’. The older children look out for the little ones and it is a pleasure to see them playing together.
‘A major strength is in encouraging and developing social and emotional skills and encouraging friendships and inter-year links.’
All the children belong to ‘houses’ which include all ages, from 4 to 11. This promotes good relationships between the whole range of age groups so that the younger children gain confidence, and the older children develop a sense of responsibility.
The school houses are Swan, Heron, Mallard and Kingfisher. The children are awarded house points for being kind and helping others. At the end of each week the house with the most points receives a trophy. Each house has House Captains and Deputy House Captains from Year 6.
At Bathampton we have a strong, committed School Council. The School Council is made up of children from Years 1-6. The children are voted to be Councillors by their class and to make sure this is fair, children cannot be voted twice during their schooling.
The Council meet with the Head Teacher once a fortnight. They have a regular agenda and work on current school choices and debates. Recent decision making includes; a child-friendly anti-bullying policy, input into the new school rules as part of the Behaviour Policy and helping choose the new Friends-funded play equipment.
The School Council has been on trips to the Regional Modeshift Star Awards in Bristol picking up BANES Active Travel Primary School of the Year award two years running. They also represented our school by visiting The Houses of Parliament, which was a wonderful experience.
Parental support at home is invaluable in a child’s education. As a school we aim to involve parents in school life in a variety of ways. Throughout the year there are information sessions for parents, to tell them about individual class routines or developments in subjects, and to encourage them to ask questions. Teachers build positive relationships with parents, welcoming them in the morning and being available to chat after school. As a school we strongly believe in communicating and addressing any issues quickly and effectively.
Parents are encouraged to offer their help in school, by listening to children read, or accompanying class trips. Sometimes, parents or relatives may showcase a particular skill to inspire children to learn.