A school where the sky is the limit
Our School Context
Woodlands Primary School is a thriving primary and nursery school located in the south of Sheffield, serving approximately 450 students aged 2-11. We are fortunate to be part of Mercia Learning Trust, which offers exceptional support to our school in a variety of ways.
Our classrooms are led by compassionate, enthusiastic, and highly skilled professionals who value the development and wellbeing of each child under their supervision. We cherish and appreciate the distinctiveness of each of our students and strive to assist them in growing confidently and flourishing in their unique identity.
If you would like to apply for a place in Reception Class or upwards, please click here to visit the Sheffield Council website.
Click here to view our Admission Arrangements Policy.
If you would like to apply for a place in our 2-3 or 3-4 provision, please click here to visit our Early Years Admissions pages. You can also find lots of information about starting Reception here.
For Early Years admissions, you can also email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, this email address is for Early Years admission enquiries only. For all other enquiries please contact the school office.
Woodlands Primary School has determined its Admission Arrangements for 2024/25 in accordance with Regulation 17 of the School Admission Regulation 2012. Any objection fo these arrangements should be made to the Schools Adjudicator by 15 May 2023.
We hold regular open mornings, or you can contact us for a bespoke visit. Find out more here.
Download the booklet here
High Expectations of Excellence — Nothing But the Best
In addition to our nurturing approach, therapeutic offerings, and inclusive environment, we hold high expectations of excellence and hold every child to the same standard. We take great pride in our exceptional curriculum that has been carefully planned and sequenced by experienced teachers with the children at the centre of every decision.
Our students spend their days exploring new experiences, developing their language skills, and cultivating a sense of wonder and curiosity. We believe that reading is at the heart of our curriculum, as it is the gateway to new knowledge, people, and worlds. We systematically teach phonics to ensure that students "learn to read" and provide ample opportunities to improve reading fluency until they become fully independent readers who can "read to learn."
We also foster a love of reading from the very beginning and make time for shared story time every day, which we call "A time to read." This is a sacred time in every classroom where everything else is put aside, and a book is read aloud and shared for the sheer pleasure of it. By emphasising reading, we aim to equip our students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to succeed in their education and thrive in their adult life.
Wellbeing & Mental Health
We are passionate about the beneficial effect that nature and the outdoors can have on the mental health and wellbeing of both children and adults. We consider ourselves fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic outdoor area, which we use to its full potential at every opportunity. Our Physical Education Leader is a qualified Forest School practitioner and champions our outdoor learning activities.
Moreover, we have several school pets, such as guinea pigs, rabbits, stick insects, and snails!
Inclusion & SEND
At our school, inclusion is a top priority. We strongly believe in inclusive education that values diversity and acknowledges the unique contributions that each child brings to the classroom. In a truly inclusive environment, all children feel secure and have a sense of belonging. This is something that we strive hard to achieve and take pride in.
We go the extra mile for children with additional needs or vulnerabilities. Our staff members invest time in getting to know every child they work with, so they can offer the best possible support and meet their specific needs. The classroom teachers collaborate closely with the Inclusion Lead and SENDCo to provide support to children in the class who have needs like dyslexia, ASD, ADHD, sensory processing issues, and attachment needs.
We recognise the vital role of nurturing in children's development, and how it can affect attachment and relationships within the school. In addition to our standard primary classroom resources, we have a full-time nurture provision, staffed by certified Nurture UK professionals who are dedicated to teaching and developing the six principles of nurture.
The primary objective of the Nurture programme is to evaluate social and emotional requirements, enabling us to provide the necessary support and assistance to eliminate barriers to learning. As the children advance academically and socially, they gain confidence, become more responsive to others, learn self-respect, and take pride in exhibiting good behaviour and achieving their goals.
Personal Development & Character
The personal development of our children is a top priority for everyone at our school. We recognise that the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural awareness of children has a significant impact on their employability and career opportunities as they enter adulthood. By directly teaching and developing their character, we aim to build positive attributes in all our children.
Our curriculum actively encourages children to build their confidence and self-awareness. Teachers work closely with children to help them recognise their strengths and develop a positive self-image.
Our beautiful outdoor provision provides children with opportunities to manage risk during play and to push themselves to achieve their own goals, which contributes to their physical and emotional wellbeing.
We believe that character development begins from the moment a child joins us at the age of two in Tiny Seeds, and with our nurturing approach, our children flourish into successful and valued members of our community.
Attachment, Relationships, Love & Care
The team here values the significance of early connections and collaborates with BAPT accredited therapists to consistently enhance their knowledge and expertise. We strive to ensure that all of our actions promote relationships and demonstrate love and care for each child who enters our premises.
While learning is always our primary focus in the classroom, we recognise that children can only succeed academically if their fundamental needs are met. We provide a family breakfast each morning and encourage mindfulness practices, such as meditation and yoga. We regularly discuss the zones of regulation, explore emotions, and teach coping strategies. Above all, we place great emphasis on building attachments and nurturing relationships. Every interaction with a child - whether it's in the classroom, hallway, or during lunchtime activities - is regarded as important.
Coaching, Reflection & Therapeutic Language
As a coaching school, we place great value on coaching at all levels. We believe that coaching encourages reflection, empowers both staff and students, and underscores the significance of personal development. Our Senior Leaders provide coaching to teachers to help develop their practice, while teachers and support staff coach children in both academic learning and behaviour support. Additionally, we offer therapeutic services with highly trained play and filial therapists and art therapists. These therapies provide a self-guided and collaborative process to help children express their emotions and cope with difficult life experiences, including developmental trauma.
In our The Tree House classroom, we provide children with EHC Plans with the necessary life skills and academic knowledge appropriate for their age and stage. We utilise therapeutic and reflective language to help children better understand their emotions and provide social and emotional learning opportunities, especially for those who may struggle with this aspect of life the most.
What our families say
I say to everyone how amazing my girls' new headteacher is and how much she's done for our school. She's an absolute credit to our community.
N Root, parent
I am so glad my daughter started this school when she did. I have to be honest, the reputation Valley Park had in 2019 made me avoid putting it on her admissions form, even though it was our catchment school. After a lot of thought I changed my mind at the last minute. It was the best decision for both her and me. She is excelling and loving school.
Mrs Johnstone has turned the school around in such a short time, we can't wait to be part of the Woodlands community and see the school grow into something wonderful. Thank you to the staff for making the school what it is today!
J Bennett, parent
Woodlands is a primary school where children are supported emotionally, socially and academically.
They have a fantastic team of teachers and support staff, led by a fabulous headteacher that all want the very best for each and every child.
Parents are encouraged to share their thoughts and feelings and the school ensures they work with families to see that all the children are happy.
K Simpson, parent
Woodlands offers a calming environment, enthusiastic teaching and constructive support.
I particularly love the “back to nature” approach and forest school.
My son is really happy here and he’s continually progressing, not just academically but socially and emotionally too.
K Scothorne Allen, parent
What our pupils say
I loved it as Valley Park, but this is a lot better. I cannot believe how much it has changed. When I walked in I thought it was a whole new school.
There is much better learning now.
Year 4 pupil
The changes have affected the pupils' behaviour positively, and they are taking more care of classrooms. They are more empathetic in learning and discovering.
Year 4 pupil
The classrooms and corridors have had a fantastic makeover. They are outstanding now!
Year 4 pupil
What our visitors say
Working at Woodlands
If you share our belief in high expectations for ALL children, possess resilience and a strong work ethic, we would love to hear from you. At Woodlands Primary School, we provide an exceptional staff offer, a high-quality curriculum, and a team of talented staff members to support you. Additionally, we offer numerous trust-wide opportunities, including an annual trust conference featuring keynote speakers.
What we can provide for you:
- An outstanding staff profile. We have excellent teachers, teaching assistants, and a specialised team dedicated to supporting children with complex needs.
- A forward-thinking Senior Leadership Team who is unwaveringly committed to improving outcomes for all children.
- A trust curriculum framework and assessment system founded on research and the knowledge of our pupils.
- Numerous Continuing Professional Development (CPD) opportunities, both within our school and across the trust.
- Wonderful children who are polite, courteous, and a joy to teach!
Visit Mercia Learning Trust's Careers pages to find out more and to check for vacancies at our school.
All applicants for any post within Woodlands Primary School will be subject to detailed recruitment checks including reference checks, DBS checks and prohibition checks. All shortlisting procedures include safer recruitment checks and further checks may be undertaken where necessary.