About Our School
Horton St Michael's is a small rural village First School set in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands, close to Leek. We currently have 80 pupils on roll from reception to Year 4and a further 15 children in our nursery. from a varied catchment of mixed socio-economic groups, largely consisting of a farming community, drawing on the two villages of Horton and Rudyard. Increasingly, pupils are attracted from further afield from the towns of Leek, Biddulph and Congleton. Historically, the school was founded in 1895 in what is now the village hall at Horton Lea; it has always benefited from its diocesan links with Lichfield and is now a voluntary controlled Church of England school. It moved to its present site in 1962.
Our aim is that children find their learning enjoyabe and is based on the belief that learning enhances life's experience through greater understanding and by cultivating an enquiring mind. We hope to harness the natural curiosity of the young child, foster it through a rich variety of ways to learn and send them on to their next school bubbling with a desire to carry on finding things out. The teaching methods are related clearly to the children's developmental journey and tailored to each individual child's need
Ofsted highlighted why the school in their opinion was, 'Outstanding in all areas', which included these comments:-
- 'A personalised education system where pupils are valued and difference is celebrated'
- 'Staff being caring and supportive'
- 'A vibrant learning environment, always practical'
- 'Strong assessment and tracking systems, which ensure the progress of individual pupils in reading, writing and mathematics'
- 'That pupils have a say in their own learning, where Afl techniques involve the children in their own assessment'
- 'A strong governing body, who, in conjunction with the Head teacher and Deputy, are prepared to take calculated risks and move the school forward'
- 'Rigorous financial systems'
- 'Supportive parents and students'
- 'Pupils' exemplary behaviour, which contributes strongly to the outstanding quality of learning in lessons'
- 'Pupils are taught according to their ability, not their age'
- 'Excellent teaching and Teaching Assistant support'
- 'The voice of the children is heard'.
One of the successes of Horton has been the availability of outdoor education. With three trained Forest School practitioners and an impressive woodland, it is not unusual to see children being taught the art of den making, weaving willow, using sharp tools and heating their hot chocolate over fires which they have laid. Our three classrooms also have outdoor creative areas; the woodland contains an amphitheatre, a bird-hide, wild spaces and reflective areas. Our after school clubs provide varied and exciting opportunities for children to learn beyond the curriculum.
It is hard to pinpoint the reason for the success of Horton, St. Michael's First School. We believe that it is down to teamwork, the joy of learning for us all, hard work, commitment and a belief that small rural schools can unite a community.