Our schools offers a wide range of stimulating and carefully planned enrichment activities as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.
We believe school trip are vital to the enhancement of the curriculum and to development of broad life experiences of our children. Therefore, educational visits and visitors are planned regularly and are organised with great care so as to link with and stimulate work covered in school and ‘to bring the curriculum to life.’ Classes ensure that there an array of school trip opportunities within a year, including trips to the local library and surrounding places of worship.
Annually, Key Stage Two will attend an outdoor countryside day hosted at Englefield Estate. This trip offers topical based learning through presentations, displays, demonstrations or interactive experiences within the areas of Farming, Sustainability, Community, Environment, History and Skills and are staffed, primarily, by the estate staff and people actively doing the job today.As a whole school, we watch a panto at Christmas and go on school trip together. These visits are always highly anticipated by all and are an excellent way to end the year. Previous whole school trips have been to the beach, Science Museum, Beale Park, Bird World, Wellington Country Park and Marwell Zoo.
In addition to this, our school enjoys excellent relations with many local organisations and firms. Every opportunity is taken to visit local venues such as South Hill Park Arts Centre, 3M and ‘The Look Out’ Environmental Centre.
The school has close links with the ‘Maestros’, the South Berkshire Music Centre who provide brass instrument tuition and also perform occasionally for children in school. The Pines has an innovative, highly successful programme teaching all children in Year Four to play a brass instrument. The school has its own brass band, open to children in Years Four to Six, and also serves as a base for the local Bracknell Forest Beginners Band. Both the choir and the band regularly participate in local and regional events, such as Easthampstead Baptist Carol Concert, Bracknell Forest School Concert and Young Voices held in the O2 Arena.
Several times a year the normal weekly timetable is set aside so that children can work intensively on one aspect of the curriculum. These weeks are an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of a subject and work together as a whole school. The children will also meet experts in these fields, who work with the children to show how these subjects are used in the real world. Each week begins with a hook into learning and finishes with an opportunity to celebrate all that we have discovered.
Local Democracy Week
At The Pines we are keen to educate children about local democracy and engage them in the key decisions the council makes which will help make Bracknell Forest a great working town and a great place to live. During this week, we talk about democracy and the importance of it in our society. We hold our School Council Elections to elect our new School Council, who then meet together for the first time. This year, the Mayor of Bracknell Forest led an assembly and local councilors were invited into the classrooms to talk about their role. Our Year 5 & 6 children were about to discuss in detail their views and opinions on the regeneration of the Bracknell Town Centre.
This week puts one of our school rules into action. During this week, all members of our school community show kindness but deliberately carrying out acts that demonstrate this. Opportunities are given for children to volunteer in the community, carry out random acts of kindness of their peers and actively practise gratitude. Our aim for this week is for students to increase their knowledge of the positive impacts of kindness on themselves and those around them and experience how giving leads to improved self-esteem and empathy.
English Week is always a highlight of the year. It takes place in March, coinciding with World Book Day. Every other year, English Week is turned into 'Film Week', where teacher use film as a vehicle to enhance reading and writing opportunities. Students spend the week exploring a film and produce high-quality writing that has been inspired by this. They may also study the film industry, making costumes, using drama, building sets or creating digital films of their own. We have been visited by ITV and the BBC during these weeks, where film directors, producers and scriptwriters have shared their expertise and spoken about how they use reading and writing daily in their jobs. We finish each 'Film Week' by holding our very own Oscars, celebrating the work of each of the children.
On the alternate years, we hold a book week where we celebrate authors and stories that we love. During this week children will write their own stories to be formally published, meet authors and publishers and have the opportunity to purchase new books.
During Maths Week, children have fun investigating with numbers, shape and measures. They explore how Maths is used in the real world to problem solve and create solutions. The children make Maths games, applying their mathematical knowledge creatively. Key visitors help to bring Maths concepts to life in a variety of ways and show how they use their maths knowledge in their jobs.
This week celebrates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths. During this week, teachers come off curriculum to provide project-based learning that helps children to understand the link between these subjects. They are given opportunities to strategically plan, work as a team, design, create, innovate and test ideas. We encourage high levels of practical activity and use of technology to support their learning during this week. In the past, children have built rockets, created moving fairgrounds, built bug hotels and musical instruments from junk, become architects and create 3D buildings from willow and used virtual reality in the classroom.
We provide a wide range of lunchtime and after-school clubs and activities to cater for a range of interests and ages. At the beginning of each half term, clubs are announced and families have an opportunity to sign up to the activities that they are most interested in. As our clubs are very well attended, we do operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Clubs that we have run during the past year include:
Some are organised by members of the teaching staff, others by specialist tutors and coaches and so will have a cost attached to them. Our school library is open before and after school for parents to read with their children.
We believe Home Learning has the potential to make a difference to the progress a child makes in school, as school and home work together. Each Key Stage has different expectations and share these with parents during 'Welcome Meetings' at the beginning of the year. All classes expect children to read daily at home.
For more information on the specific home learning your child will receive, please refer to the Home Learning Policy