CURRICULUM AND TEACHING METHODS
We believe that the curriculum in this school encompasses the requirements of the Education Reform Act in its widest sense, in that it is balanced, broadly based and differentiated, promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of the pupils and helps to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
Therefore we aim to provide a happy, secure environment and ensure that all children, including those with special educational needs, achieve the highest possible standards in all areas of the curriculum prior to leaving this school. We deliver the National Curriculum July 2014. Much of the curriculum is introduced through topic work, but some subjects such as Mathematics, English and Science are taught separately as well as within topics. In the course of their studies children will encounter English, Mathematics, Science, Musical Activities, Art and Craft and Design, Computing, History, Geography, Physical Education, Religious Education and PSHE. The children will be encouraged to ask questions, seek answers, and be provided with learning situations that are structured, relevant and stimulating through a variety of teaching methods.
Please bear in mind that we cover only half of the KS2 phase, with the Middle School covering the other half in Years 5 and 6.
In line with the National Curriculum September 2014, our school’s aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information;
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences;
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas;
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In this school we aim to promote reading through the use of a variety of reading materials and approaches. Children are taught to read using whole word and phonic methods and we request parents to assist with this by reading with their child at home each day. On a purely practical level we ask you to provide a bag for your child to carry home his/her reading book.
We provide your child with a Homework/Reading Record Book which accompanies their reading book. In it you will find their current book recorded and any comments the teacher wishes to communicate to you. Please feel free to write anything you wish the teacher to know in this record book.
Early reading skills in Reception are developed through the Jolly Phonics Scheme and the children will have sounds and blends to practice at home.
We use other reading schemes throughout the school to broaden experience of reading.
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
- develop understanding of nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;
- are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Science is undertaken by all children from the time they enter school. Initially it takes an exploratory form but, by the time children leave the school, they will have learnt to explore and question, to record and ultimately to predict what is likely to occur.
The National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2 requires that:
Pupils should develop an awareness of the past, using common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. They should know where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework and identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. They should use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. They should ask and answer questions, choosing and using parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events. They should understand some of the ways in which we find out about the past and identify different ways in which it is represented.
In Key Stage 2 pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history.
History is taught either as part of a topic or theme. Through this subject pupils are helped to develop an awareness of the past and how it has influenced and continues to influence the present. Whenever possible, pupils visit historical sites or participate in living history days to enhance their studies.
The National Curriculum 2014 states that in Key Stage 1 pupils should develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. They should understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
In Key Stage 2 pupils should extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America.
The National Curriculum 2014 states that in KS1 pupils should develop fundamental movement skills become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. They should be able to engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities, in a range of increasingly challenging situations.
In Key Stage 2 pupils should continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.
Year 3 pupils go swimming during the summer term. We make full use of the government grant for PE to provide a wide variety of PE experiences for the pupils and, in turn, training for our staff.
Music: Dance: Drama
The National Curriculum 2014 music section states that Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to:
- use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes;
- play tuned and un-tuned instruments musically;
- listen with concentration and understanding to a range of high-quality live and recorded music;
- experiment with, create, select and combine sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.
In Key Stage 2 pupils should be taught to sing and play musically with increasing confidence and control. They should develop an understanding of musical composition, organising and manipulating ideas within musical structures and reproducing sounds from aural memory.
Music, dance and drama are also part of the child's education and children are involved in at least one school production per year. We have class assemblies in the Summer Term where each class has the opportunity to share with the school and their parents all that they have enjoyed over the course of the year. Apart from the educational benefit of taking part in productions, children increase their own self confidence when performing for their parents and other adults. We aim to provide all pupils with opportunities to sing, use a variety of percussion instruments, compose and perform simple tunes within the class or to a wider audience.
Furthermore we are also able to offer keyboard, guitar and recorder lessons to pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 should they be interested in learning to play an instrument. We also are having whole class instrumental tuition in ukuleles provided by the Local Authority from 2016-2017.
Art, Design and Technology
The National Curriculum 2014 for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 states that through a variety of creative and practical activities, pupils should be taught the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to engage in an iterative process of designing and making. They should work in a range of relevant contexts (e.g. the home and school, gardens and playgrounds, the local community, industry and the wider environment).
We aim to encourage our pupils to develop their creative and technical skills in Art, Design and Technology so that they can express themselves through these media using a variety of tools, materials and techniques. They begin to develop an aesthetic appreciation of the world in which we live.
Cooking and Nutrition
Pupils in Key Stage 1 should be taught to:
- use the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet to prepare dishes;
- understand where food comes from.
In Key Stage 2 pupils should be taught to:
- understand and apply the principles of a healthy and varied diet;
- prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques;
- understand seasonality and know where and how a variety of ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed.
The National Curriculum 2014 says in Key Stage 1 pupils should be taught to:
- understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions;
- create and debug simple programs;
- use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs
- use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.
- Recognise common uses of information technology beyond school;
- Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.
- design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts;
- use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output;
- use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs;
- understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration;
- use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content;
- select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs, systems and content that accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
- use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
- All pupils will have the opportunity to become competent in the use of computers. Currently in school we have 5 P.C.’s, 15 laptops and 25 ipads. Each class has access to the Internet, digital cameras, printers and other control technology. There are also interactive whiteboards with projectors in every class.
Health Education is taught as a cross-curricular subject throughout the school.
Sex education is an integral part of the Health Education Programme in this school. The content concentrates on developing skills, knowledge and understanding of all aspects of a healthy life style. Biological facts about reproduction are not formally taught, though should they arise, children's queries would be dealt with in a sensitive manner. A copy of the Sex Education policy is available in school.
We follow the Local Authority Agree Syllabus supported by materials suggested by Newcastle Dioceses.
As this school was originally founded by the Anglican Church in Ovingham, strong links have been maintained with the Parish Church. The children visit the Parish Church regularly during the school year e.g. Harvest Festival, Christmas Carol Service, Easter. Visitors from other faiths may be invited into school to address the children. Parents who wish to withdraw their children from daily acts of collective worship or from religious education lessons are asked to inform the Headteacher.
Children identified as having special educational needs are given as much help as possible within the classroom, and, if necessary, additional help is sought from the Educational Psychologist and other agencies. Parental permission is always sought before we refer to any agency. These arrangements are in line with the Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs (2014).