The Curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2: Core and Foundation Subjects
RE forms the basis of all that we do in the school.
The curriculum part of RE follows the Margaret Carswell units of work and cover all aspects of the Religious Education Curriculum Directory. Children follow approximately one unit per half term, which usually link in with the Liturgical Year.
We set out to develop the children’s use of language in the areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Great emphasis is placed upon this subject, as we want children to read avidly and fluently, with understanding and enjoyment. We stress both reading for pleasure and developing the skills of reading for information.
We want children to see themselves as readers from the very beginning. Starting in the Foundation Stage classes, children read books in school and take them home. The emphasis in the early stages is on sharing books and supporting children to develop their own competence in reading. We aim to provide a wide range of books, both within the classroom and in the library.
During the day all classes will have a period of collaborative group reading or sessions when books are shared with the teacher, other adults or other children.
'Teachers will move children on through our star banded books as and when they feel pupils are both fluent and showing good comprehension at the current star banding. See attached document for explanations of the star banding'.
In the early stages children are encouraged to write about their own. Children are encouraged to see writing as a process and we expect them to develop skills of drafting their work to become independent writers. We encourage them to be creative in story writing and poetry and they learn to write for different purposes.
Handwriting and presentation are important skills in the later stages.
We aim to give all children confidence and competence with numbers and measures. Through our teaching we give children an understanding of the number system, a repertoire of computational skills and an inclination and ability to solve number problems and carry out investigations. Children learn through a process of concrete apparatus, pictorial representation and abstract recording. They present their work in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
The teaching programme is based on identified learning objectives and is planned thoroughly to ensure high expectations, consistent approaches and good progression throughout the school. The foundations of mental calculation and recall of number facts are established thoroughly before standard written methods are introduced.
Science is a fundamental part of our lives. It is a way of finding out about the world around us, trying out ideas and looking for explanations. We help children to develop lively, enquiring minds so that they can evaluate evidence and have a concern for their environment. We encourage children to observe, collect information, make predictions, develop ideas, ask questions, appreciate cause and effect, record and interpret results and solve problems.
Information Communication Technology
Computers play a large part in the learning of all within the school. They are used in a variety of ways which include word processing, data handling and graphics. Access to the Internet is available for both staff and pupils. The school has a Managed Learning Environment.
History and Geography
Through History and Geography we aim to help the children understand the world in which they live in the context of both the past and the present. Both of these subjects are taught through topics so that the children cover a wide but relevant and balanced curriculum.
The history programme helps children to develop a sense of chronology and to acquire a knowledge of the past. We also encourage children to study and analyse changes and developments that have taken place over long periods of time. Local history helps them appreciate their immediate environment and to link the people and activities around them with past developments.
Through geography children become aware of the world in which they live and of developments in their own neighbourhood as well as the wider world. The children are taught to appreciate and care for their environment and are made aware of issues of global concern.
Physical activities enhance co-ordination, growth, agility and social skills. Children experience a programme of dance, gymnastics and games. We also have short fitness sessions where children engage in physical activities such as skipping or running.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology involve the children in planning, designing, making and evaluating models and products. Many of the activities arise out of the topics being studied and are carried out through group work which enables the children to discuss and solve problems collaboratively.
Music has a high profile within the school and we have a wide range of instruments including steel pans and African drums. Children are given every opportunity to develop their musical appreciation and talents through regular music and singing lessons with a specialist teacher. Hymns are taught for assemblies and Masses. We are well supported by LA specialist teachers and children can benefit from private instrumental lessons if they wish.
Children receive tuition from a specialist teacher to learn French in curriculum time and after school and lunch time clubs support language teaching through the school.
Art enables all pupils to express themselves through a variety of mediums and we aim to ensure that all pupils experience success and satisfaction in this subject.
Personal Health & Social Education
We follow the S.E.A.L. (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) Programme which is the one recommended by the Government. The scheme is expanded through our Religious Education teaching and includes Circle Time which focuses on the self esteem of the child, and enables all children to raise and talk about issues important to them, in an atmosphere of trust and support.
Health education is promoted through many of the topics covered and the children are encouraged to consider the health and safety issues related to their daily activities.
Our School Council enables the children to have a voice within the school.