CURRICULUM STATEMENT - AN OVERVIEW
In September 2014 the new National Curriculum was introduced in all primary schools.
A major part of the school’s curriculum is the National Curriculum, which consists of the core subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and Computing; and the foundation subjects of design and technology, modern foreign languages, history, geography, art, music, and physical education (P.E.).
The curriculum of the school is broad and balanced. Great emphasis is placed on planning the curriculum so that there is continuity and progression, challenge and pace.
In all primary schools pupils age bands have been grouped into the following stages, namely:
Whilst English is taught as a discrete subject it is an integral part of the whole school curriculum, and comes into all areas of teaching and learning. It includes reading, writing, speaking and listening.
One of the greatest gifts that the school can give to a child is the ability to read. The school approach to reading is based on it being an enjoyable activity. In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 there is a great emphasis on the teaching of reading. As part of this children have a daily phonics lesson where the ‘Letters and Sounds’ guidance is used to build up phonic skills.
The school uses a wide range of reading books from a variety of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. These are all banded according to national published book bands, and children progress through these bands at their own pace. Upper Key Stage 2 has access to a further range of books including longer novels and a variety of different genres.
The school aims to foster a love of reading and children are encouraged to take books home and share them with parents/carers. Children need to be able to read with understanding, for pleasure and information.
Reading is structured in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and pupils are helped and guided towards suitable reading material. As the children progress through the school they are given responsibility for making their own informed choices. The school has a broad selection of good quality reading material with books kept in each classroom and in the central library area.
Children are helped to develop the ability to express their thoughts and ideas on paper, and to be able to communicate through the written word. From entry to school in Reception every effort is made to ensure that children develop a command of basic written English. This includes the technical skills of punctuation, grammar, spelling and correct letter formation, as well as developing an understanding of the different purposes for writing, and learning skills to write in those styles. Cross curricular opportunities are maximised so children can apply their writing skills in meaningful contexts.
It is important that the children see their work as having purpose, and that they regard themselves as authors of their work. Opportunities are provided for the children to develop the necessary writing skills required for different purposes and audiences. The link between reading and writing is strongly emphasised.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to a child’s learning. Children are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings. Similarly, and just as important, is the need to listen to others and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in speaking and listening. Every child from Year 2 onwards has the opportunity to lead an assembly on a topic of their choosing at some point over the academic year.
All children receive a daily Maths lesson of 45-60 minutes. The Abacus Maths Scheme provides a basic framework for Maths teaching and learning in the school, and this is supplemented with a range of other materials as appropriate.
Maths is taught in a number of ways, but much of the work is related to, and supported by, practical activities in order to develop a sound basic knowledge and understanding of number and calculation, measurement, shape and data handling.
The school aims to develop the children’s confidence and enthusiasm, and their ability to apply mathematical skills and knowledge to the world around them.
A variety of resources are used to support Science planning including Plan Bee, Hamilton Trust and Twinkl. These help to provide a framework for science teaching throughout the school. The aim is to develop the children’s scientific skills, knowledge and understanding through first hand experiences.
The children are encouraged to solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair-testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. Every effort is made to foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things.
Each classroom is equipped with an interactive whiteboard. Various other resources and ICT equipment are available to support computing and the school relies heavily on a bank of laptops that are shared between classes.
Emphasis is placed on the development of:
Good use is made of the internet with a clear protocol in place for its use, and for the protection of children. The school uses protection provided by Mercury AVS to ensure that inappropriate material cannot be accessed and our data is secure.
History and Geography
Throughout the school history and geography are taught mainly within a topic framework with subjects becoming more specialised in Key Stage 2.
Geographical skills, e.g. map reading and atlas work, are taught and used to investigate areas of physical, human and environmental geography.
Knowledge and understanding of British and world history are developed by studies through time and investigations using a variety of historical sources and artefacts.
The children follow a varied programme of activities in which they are able to explore their immediate local environment. First hand experiences, including educational visits, are useful in stimulating imagination, acquiring understanding and extending knowledge and language.
Design and Technology
Children are provided with opportunities to work with a wide variety of materials such as clay, textiles, and food. The children are helped to develop skills which enable them to plan, design, make, evaluate and modify their work.
Design and Technology activities help to prepare children for living in the world of great technological change and innovation. Activities are also used to promote healthy food choices and a balanced diet.
Music is essentially a practical subject. Children are encouraged to sing, compose and use percussion and tuned instruments in order to develop their creative skills. Through active listening their awareness and understanding of different periods, styles and genres are developed.
Peripatetic teachers can provide instrument lessons as an extra curricular activity on demand - these lessons are paid for by parents. An after school choir club runs weekly for children from Year 2 to Year 6.
Art and Design
Art and Design is for most children a natural form of expression and source of great pleasure. Children are encouraged to develop their creative and imaginative talents through learning skills and techniques using a variety of materials and tools. Children also learn to appreciate works of art and use artistic language to describe paintings, sculptures and other artefacts.
Physical Education (P.E.)
The school aims to develop agility, co-ordination and confidence through physical activity. All children have two hours of P.E. each week. Dance, gymnastics, athletics, swimming and games are taught.
A competitive spirit is encouraged with the emphasis on recognising the value of co-operation with others. Participation in sporting activities with other local schools is a feature of life at the school.
Children in Years 4, 5 and 6 who are unable to swim a length confidently attend Dronfield Leisure Centre throughout the year until they are competent swimmers.
It is important that children wear the correct clothing for physical activities, details of which are listed in the school Uniform Policy.
Religious Education (R.E.) is taught in all classes and follows the procedures and guidelines laid down in the New Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Through R.E. the school aims to encourage and enable children to understand the nature, benefits and practices of religion, as well as develop an ability to question and reflect.
In R.E. lessons children are introduced to the major world faiths, as well as ideologies and philosophies.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E. lessons if they wish after having discussed the matter with the Headteacher.
Collective Worship is based on Christian teaching and principles, but can include other areas including British Values and current affairs.
Assemblies take place throughout each week with different themes explored over the year.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Collective Worship if they wish after having discussed the matter with the Headteacher.
The Modern Foreign Language we teach in school is German. This is taught from Year 1 upwards. The teaching provides an appropriate balance of spoken and written language. Children are encouraged to show understanding of German by listening and responding appropriately. They learn patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes. These are linked to spellings and the meanings of words in German.