The School curriculum refers to all the positive things that we try to offer the children while they are at our school. We aim to give the children some idea of what we know about the earth and how we find out about it. We try to make them aware of themselves and their value, and to prepare them for the part they will play when they grow up as global citizens. We want them to be sensitive to and understand individual personal relationships. We want them to be aware of how groups of people behave towards each other, especially in our multi-ethnic multi-faith community. We encourage children to learn confidently and to communicate what they learn through written work, art and craft and by taking part as performers or as an audience in dance, drama and music.
Nursery and Reception Classes
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) for Nursery and Reception pupils is based on seven ‘Areas of Learning’ which provide a broad and balanced foundation for future learning and achievement.
These seven 'Areas of learning' are:
- PERSONAL, SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
- PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
- COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
- UNDERSTANDING THE WORLD
- EXPRESSIVE ARTS AND DESIGN
Practitioners work towards and beyond the ‘Early Learning Goals’. There are constant opportunities for pupils to extend their knowledge, understanding and skills.
Pupils continue to access the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) as part of their transition into the National Curriculum in Year 1.
Throughout the Foundation Stage, pupils are exposed to regular Literacy and Numeracy sessions in preparation for Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily through a range of lessons and activities, using the letters and sounds scheme. These are planned using the DfE Letters and Sounds Publication.
Key Stages 1 and 2
The School is obliged by law to follow the National Curriculum and the areas covered in the National Curriculum (September 2013) are as follows:
ART AND DESIGN
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
Languages is only required to be taught from KS2 onwards.
A Broad & Balanced Curriculum
We believe that children should have the benefit of a broad and balanced curriculum. We are particularly keen to develop childrens' interest in music, art, drama, theatre and dance. We do this by:
- Providing opportunities for individual instrumental tuition during the school day.
- Taking part in resident artist projects.
- Inviting visiting authors, theatre groups and actors to bring the curriculum to life.
- Inviting visiting musicians to perform to children.
- Taking groups of children to local theatres to see performances.
- Providing children with opportunities to be involved in productions at the school.
As the school develops, we want to continue to broaden the experiences on offer to children in these areas and to develop them as potential strengths of the school. Our commitment was recognised in 2008 by the Arts Council in the third award of an Artsmark GOLD.
Musical instruments are allocated on the following basis:
All children who wish to learn to play an instrument are given the opportunity to do so. Children are sometimes "auditioned" to determine whether they have the basic musical skills required to play the instrument i.e. the embouchure for brass instruments and that they demonstrate an awareness of rhythm etc. From this long list, we select children whom the Headteacher, in consultation with class teachers feel would benefit from the opportunity. This could include children who find academic work particularly challenging and therefore could suffer from a low self-esteem or poor image of themselves as learners.
Finally, we look at the balance of the group to ensure that it represents children of both genders, children from a range of ethnic minority groups, children who have special educational needs, and children in receipt of pupil premium. Instrumental teaching is more successful where parents support us by providing children with regular opportunities to practise. We do encourage parents to support us but we do not exclude children who do not enjoy this support. In such cases we try to provide additional opportunities for children to practise at break times.
Literacy & Numeracy
All children, with the exception of Nursery children have a structured hour of numeracy and literacy every day. As of September 2014, children follow the programmes of study laid down by the DfE in the National Curriculum Key stage 1 and 2 framework. Phonics is taught daily in Years 1 and 2 using the DfE Letters and Sounds publication.
Teaching & Learning
We use a variety of teaching methods including whole class, group work and individual learning. We have an interactive whiteboard and iPads in every classroom, which give teachers an opportunity to use interactive software and make greater use of the Internet in their teaching. To make learning more meaningful we aim to teach children some of the National Curriculum in an integrated way through TOPICS or THEMES. The curriculum gives us a framework within which we plan what we want the children to learn. This planning must also pay attention to how children learn. We believe that children learn best when they are actively involved. 'Learning by doing' makes the work more interesting, more meaningful and more likely to make sense to the children and be remembered. Problem solving and investigations are both important for primary children. This kind of learning helps children to think more clearly, to raise questions, try out ideas and to record their findings. Parents can see a copy of the Local Education Authority's curriculum statement which has been adopted by the school on request from the school office.
Keeping records and making assessments of the children’s progress is a vital part of the educational process. Two kinds of assessment take place in school:
- Assessments made by teachers:
- Observations and samples of children’s work are kept over a period of a school year and form the basis of teachers’ records. A summary of your child’s progress is sent to you at the end of the school year in the form of a Progress Report. Parents of children in the Nursery and Reception receive a different kind of report which has been designed to reflect the way very young children learn.
- Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs):
- These tests are carried out nationally and are compulsory. Children are tested at the ages of 7 and 11 and reports will be made available to you at the end of Years 2 and 6. In addition, a phonics screening check is carried out on the children in Year 1. This check is also carried out nationally and is compulsory.
If you would like to learn more about the school curriculum we are always available in school to explain and help.
Teachers plan on a yearly, termly, weekly and daily basis to provide a broad and balanced curriculum which is appropriate to the needs of individual children. Teachers plan in teams in order to work together and share ideas as well as expertise.