Four Dwellings is a happy friendly school. The quality of relationships is crucial to us: we are concerned with the needs of individuals and consider everyone in the school community.
As a school we aim to be a learning community where everyone is viewed as a learner and all, whether young or old, are actively involved in the learning process. Children are not seen as ‘empty vessels waiting to be filled’, but as individuals with their own feelings, interests and needs. Learning is based on the children having first hand practical experiences, since we believe that the skills and processes of learning are as important as knowledge and facts.
We aim to let children experience success and encourage calculated risk taking by providing the freedom to fail. Through the personalisation of a lively, broad and interesting curriculum, we aim to capture children’s interest in life-long learning and to encourage them to develop as independent learners.
Four Dwellings School believes in the home/school partnership. Schools are not the sole educators of children and we value the involvement of parents in the life of the school. The effectiveness of the school can be greatly enhanced if there is support from the home, therefore every effort is made to explain the work of the school and involve parents as much as possible.
Good behaviour at Four Dwellings is based on the development of mutual respect of individual children and all staff. Our approach to positive behaviour is proactive and centres on self-esteem. Parental support is encouraged and appreciated.
Four Dwellings School believes in the equality of opportunity for all children regardless of gender and race. We promote self-esteem for all pupils and children feel that their contributions are valued and their voice heard. If children value themselves as individuals and see their experiences reflected and valued in school and home, then they will become effective learners.
The Pupil Premium Grant
The Pupil Premium Grant is an allocation of additional funding provided to schools to support specific groups of children who are vulnerable to possible underachievement. These include pupils who are entitled to free school meals; those looked after by the local authority and children of armed service personnel.
At Four Dwellings we are committed to promoting the progress and attainment of all our pupils, whatever their backgrounds.
Our Pupil Premium Grant
Four Dwellings received a total of £234,000 pupil premium for the period September to August 2014 as a direct grant from the DfE. From 2012-2013 this funding is to support pupils eligible for FSM at any point in the last six years (known as the Ever 6 FSM measure).
During this academic year approximately 50% of Four Dwellings students receive Free School Meals (Census January 2014). Listed below is a series of bullet points detailing how this has been allocated to Free School Meals (FSM) students:
Allocation of Pupil Premium
All phases within our school have additional adult support. This ensures that the needs of our pupils can be met in small groups;
We have a dedicated team of support staff who work across the school to ensure access to the curriculum by the provision of interventions in reading, writing and mathematics for children who are not making expected progress or reaching national levels of attainment;
We also have the Big Community support in school. This support ranges from emotional wellbeing, family support, speech and language support, and attendance;
We have a high adult:child ratio in our Early Years classes to ensure that children can be taught in small ‘family’ groups and this helps us to address needs around communication and language from early on in a child's school career, alongside the strengthening of Personal, Social and Emotional Development;
We have a tracking system which enables us to track the progress and attainment of children in Reading, Writing and Mathematics on a half termly basis. This is analysed to ensure that all children, whatever their backgrounds are able to access the curriculum and are striving to make increasingly better progress in their learning.
Our literacy based curriculum is resourced to ensure that all children have access to quality texts and books throughout their school career.
Investment has been made in resources to maximise engagement. An example being that our breakout areas have been equipped with quality ICT equipment, ensuring quality provision of small group work.
Impact of pupil premium
Children in receipt of free school meals do well at our school.
In the academic year 2012-13, the average progress of our children in receipt of FSM was roughly in line with all our children. The FSM children made an average of 3.4 points progress in reading, 3.6 points progress in writing and 3.3 points progress in mathematics. Nationally, the expectation for good progress is 4 points (2 National Curriculum sub-levels) a year. These figures are targeted to increase in line with national in 2013 and 2014, as a focus of pupil premium money.
Attainment of our FSM children was roughly in line with or slightly from our end of Key Stage data. In YR to Y6 FSM children are targeted to be in line or better than all children in terms of attainment.
For more details on the Pupil Premium, please visit:
Our Admission Arrangements
The school’s admissions are managed by Birmingham City Council.
Further details are available on the Birmingham City Council website http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/school-admissions
Four Dwellings School caters for the full academic, emotional, social and moral development of all its pupils. We teach the full range of the National Curriculum.
There are two core subjects:
These are the heart of the curriculum and take up the larger part of teaching time with ICT underpinning all subjects. We are determined that all children succeed and reach high standards. Science and the foundation subjects; History, Geography, Citizenship, RE, Art, Music and PE, are taught through an integrated topic approach where appropriate.
French is taught from Y3.
A variety of teaching styles are used to deliver the curriculum effectively according to age, experience and ability. For the youngest children at Foundation Stage, the emphasis is on learning through structured play. In Key Stage One, children work in small groups with less time given to whole class teaching. Literacy and Numeracy are the priorities and are supported by computer based learning.
At Key Stage Two, there is more class teaching but there is also opportunity to work independently, either alone or in a small group. It is a feature of the school’s ethos that pupils should develop a strong sense of self-discipline and acquire a positive attitude to learning.
Preparing Pupils for the 21st Century
If children are going to succeed in the post-primary phase and in the world of work and higher education they need to be well prepared. There are five main areas that we seek to develop:
As well as being literate and numerate, children need to have good personal and communication skills. They need to be able to work independently and as part of a team. They need to be able to think for themselves and to be creative. Most importantly for future success, they need to be confident with, and competent in ICT.
At Four Dwellings, we are developing the opportunity for the children to be able to rise to a level that is well above average. This gives the children a high level of self esteem and confidence. All children have Internet access. The work they do supports all other subjects of the National Curriculum.
E-Learning (electronic learning – using internet resources, multi-media, tutorials etc.) is promoted throughout the school, using class sets of netbooks to support independent learning. Each class teacher has an iPad to support learning. Each class has a blog to inform parents of the work that is going on in classes.
All children in Year 4 are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, with elective pupils continuing to Year 6.
A programme of residential trips for Year 4 and Year 6 pupils have been established to develop social, behavioural and independent skills.
Independent Time in Foundation Stage
Every day the children have the opportunity to develop their own learning.
The school day begins with an ‘Independence Time’ session and parents in the Foundation years and year 1 and 2 are welcomed into the school to work alongside their children. We will be extending this to all year groups in the school in the near future.
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