Orchard School is a well-maintained, modern building situated in the picturesque village of Castle Donington. Built in 1970, and extended in 2016, it currently has around 330 pupils on roll aged between 4 and 11 years old.
The extensive grounds, which include two large playing fields, a trim trail, and a wildlife area, have been developed to support learning and provide an attractive and safe environment for all children to enjoy. An outdoor classroom is available for lessons in warmer weather and for shelter during breaks.
Inside, the school offers a rich, rewarding and highly stimulating learning environment. Children begin in our well-equipped Foundation Stage classroom, with a purpose-built outdoor learning environment, in the school year they turn five.
In Key Stage 1, the school is semi-open-plan with three of our four infant classrooms leading to the main corridor and a free-flowing practical area. This provides each class with an enclosed classroom area for formal work but allows for easy movement between the bases for flexible working opportunities. We have an additional Key Stage 1 classroom based in a newly refurbished mobile, with its own courtyard, for outdoor learning opportunities. The six classrooms in Key Stage 2 are enclosed and are based in the main school block, or are part of the ‘new build’.
We have a number of rooms that can be used for small group work, interventions or nurture sessions, including ‘The Rainbow Room’ and ‘The Bubble Room’. There is a multi-purpose hall, which enables the whole school to meet together for assemblies. The hall is also used for PE and extracurricular activities, as well as serving as our dining hall at lunchtime. Additionally, we have a Studio, which doubles up as a teaching area and space for music, drama or PE.
The school is exceptionally well-resourced, with multiple class sets of Chromebooks, iPads and laptops as well as an excellent range of fiction books to support our Accelerated Reader program.
The ‘Learning Centre’ includes an attractive library, with an excellent supply of reference and non-fiction books, a music room, a kitchen for the children to use for cookery lessons, and a radio broadcasting ‘pod’.
The school operates a flexible policy regarding the organisation of year groups. Currently, children attending the school are divided into ten single or mixed-age classes (EYFS to Year 6). Pupil allocation is always decided upon according to age and not ability or friendship. Due to un-even admission numbers, the number of children in each class may vary year upon year.
At the end of the Primary Phase, most pupils transfer to Castle Donington College.
The school is at the heart of the community and places great emphasis on its relationships with pupils, parents and other members of the community.