Mill Lane - a virtual tour!
Welcome to our virtual school tour. Usually, we welcome all visitors to the school but, in line with the current Covid-19 restrictions, we cannot do this at the moment. Therefore, please take a look at our school through this page. Nothing can replace the feeling of actually being in the daily hive of activity that is our school. Don't forget to checkout the class pages to find out more about what goes on in each year group and also have a browse at our home learning page to see the types of activities children undertake.
Come on in! Here you can see the main entrance, reception, library, central display area and hall. Our staff work tirelessly to create a learning environment that is stimulating and enriching, and one which celebrates all of the wonderful work and experiences that go on in school.
Windmill Nursery and Reception Class
This is our Early Years department. The Windmill Nursery and Reception Class work closely together to ensure that all children have an excellent start to their time at Mill Lane. Many children begin their time here in the Nursery, but others join us at the start of their Reception year. This is our most-recently refurbished part of the school and a large bi-fold door between both areas means that one huge space can be created, when needed. This is wonderful in supporting the transition between Nursery and Reception-aged children.
Key Stage 1
Classes 1 and 2
Once the children leave the Reception class, they move onto Class 1 and enter Key Stage 1. Classes 1 and 2 work closely together as a teaching team and share the same topics each term across a two year topic cycle. Each class has its own independent outdoor area, alongside the spacious classrooms and additional teaching and learning spaces.
Key Stage 2
Classes 3 and 4
Once children complete their time in Year 2, they move into lower Key Stage 2 - first in Class 3 and then in Class 4. Classes 3 and 4 work closely together as a teaching team and also share the same topics and experiences across the two year topic cycle. Both classes share an open plan teaching space, with each having their own class 'pod' adjacent to several shared spaces. This normally allows for a very integrated style of teaching between both classes which is very beneficial for progress and transition. Currently, the classes work in separate bubbles in line with the Covid-19 guidelines.
Key Stage 2
Classes 5 and 6
The children complete their final two years at Mill Lane in Classes 5 and 6, before going to secondary school at the end of Year 6. Here the children work in a terrapin building situated closely to the main school, known fondly as the 'Huts.' This is all shortly due to change as plans are well underway to replace this with a brand new permanent building which we are very excited about.
As with the other classes in Key Stages 1 & 2, Classes 5 and 6 work closely together as a teaching team, sharing their topics over the two-year cycle.
Additional Learning Spaces
We are very fortunate in being able to have several other learning spaces in addition to our classrooms. We have a well-equipped ICT suite, complete with Laptops, PCs and iPads, and also designated Art and Music suites which can accommodate a whole class or smaller groups of children. The music room is also used for individual and group peripatetic music lessons with a wide variety of instruments on offer. These lessons generally take place within the school day.
The school library is situated in the heart of the school building and is used by all year groups. It was designed by and fundraised for by the children. Here there are spaces for individual quiet reading, group story telling and teaching.
Our small hall, once part of a vast kitchen, provides another space for class and group activities, as well as a space for serving and eating lunches. This is the usual home of our Breakfast and After School clubs, although these are currently taking place in the hall to allow for socially-distanced sessions.
Our main school hall is kitted out with sound and lighting facilities for performances, a range of PE equipment and also a projector and interactive whiteboard. This space is used as a community hall during the evenings and at the weekends and is regularly used by a number of local groups. In the daytime, it is in almost constant use for PE, dance and drama sessions, assemblies and lunchtimes.
Outdoor learning is very important to us and a crowning glory at Mill Lane is the amount of outdoor space we have available. All year groups have access to large and well-equipped playgrounds, with some classes having sole use of a space. Our Early Years and Key Stage 1 classes also have undercover outdoor spaces, which allow activities to continue in bad weather. In addition to our playgrounds, we also have an expansive field which is used both for playtimes and sporting activities. Adjacent to this is a trim-trail with climbing wall, balance beams, monkey bars and more!
At the end of the school field, nestled into a corner, is our forest school area which is used throughout the year by different year groups in specially supervised sessions. Here the children can climb trees, build dens, explore nature, get messy in the mud kitchen and sit around a camp fire toasting marshmallows - to name but a few of our forest school adventures.
As if all of this wasn't enough, we also have a nature reserve at the side of the school, named 'Gruffland' as it was once home to the school's pet goat, Gruff. Within the nature area is an ecologically-friendly greenhouse (built from plastic bottles) and vegetable garden, bird hide, large pond and an expanse of natural woodland trails. It is a fantastic outdoor classroom and changes constantly with the seasons!
Our ongoing plans involve the creation of a sustainable fruit and vegetable garden at the front of school, with the aim of supplying the school kitchen with fresh ingredients in the future.