NATIONAL CURRICULUM – KEY STAGE 1 (Years 1 & 2)
We base our teaching on the core subjects of the National Curriculum—English, Mathematics, Science, Computing and RE, together with the foundation subjects Design and Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art and Physical Education. These subjects are regularly reviewed to ensure we are in line with current developments and initiatives providing a broad, balanced and creative
As an inclusive school we aim to provide for the needs of all our children. The curriculum we offer is enriched and differentiated to ensure breadth and challenge for all pupils, including those with special needs and higher attainers. We use a variety of teaching and learning strategies incorporating ‘Thinking Skills’ activities across the curriculum. ICT is used extensively to support children’s learning.
English is taught within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, drama, role play, reading and writing. The children will be taught to communicate and express themselves clearly and effectively in speech and writing. They will be encouraged to listen, understand and respond to others. The children will experience a wide variety of reading material at appropriate levels of complexity and interest so that they become competent, independent, enthusiastic and fluent readers.
We use a variety of reading materials, predominantly Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat. We have also invested in additional phonic-based text to support early reading. The emphasis is to teach literacy skills; reading, writing, phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation. In addition, the children receive daily phonics sessions, using Letters and Sounds, subsidised with a variety of phonic activities and books. The children also have weekly guided reading sessions to ensure they are confident in all aspects of reading.
The children will be encouraged to develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activities, exploration and discussion. They will learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 100 and beyond and to develop a range of mental calculations.
The curriculum aims to develop the children’s basic skills and competence with numbers, calculations, problem solving, shapes and measures. This will involve direct teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class and groups of pupils with an emphasis on mental calculation. Whole class teaching will be followed by related group work aimed at developing concepts and skills in all mathematical areas. Number, counting, matching games, investigations and problem solving play a vital role in developing mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding. Children are taught to apply their developing knowledge and understanding through problem solving activities and challenges.
Science curriculum is taught using themed topics as outlined in the National Curriculum. Scientific skills are developed within the context of the programmes of study relating to Plants, Animals including Humans, Everyday Materials and Living things and their Habitats. Discussions around seasonal changes are continuous throughout the year. A variety of teaching methods and stimuli are used to enable us to achieve our aims and objectives. They are matched to the abilities and interests of the children and include whole class teaching, group work, individual/partner work and discussion sessions.
The school has been awarded the ICT Mark twice (2010 and 2013). This prestigious award recognises the school’s success in developing the use of ICT across the curriculum to support and enhance the children’s learning. The children are taught specific ICT skills, for example, to understand what algorithms are; how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; and that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions; to plan and debug simple programs; to use logical reasoningto predict the behaviour of simple programs;to use technology purposefully to create, organise, store manipulate and retrieve digital content; to recognise common uses of technology around school. Children are also taught how to use technology safely and how to keep safe online through e-safety lessons.
The children become familiar with a range of hardware and software as they progress through the school. They use I.C.T. effectively to support their work across the curriculum. The children have access to a range of computers – including laptops, ipads, interactive whiteboards, digital cameras, colour printers and floor turtles (Pixie, Beebots and Probots), in the classrooms. In addition we also have a wireless system installed in school which enables each class to have access under supervision to the internet using laptops.
Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard. Our laptop suite provides a mobile ICT facility which enables all children to access ICT across the curriculum. The school is connected to Broadband and our school website is regularly updated and includes parent information and children’s work.
Our school follows the South Tyneside L.A. recommended syllabus for R.E. This is a Community School, with no particular affiliation to any religious denomination. Our RE curriculum aims to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding, critical thinking and personal reflection. We study two major faiths: Christianity and Judaism, the children are also encouraged to learn about and become aware of other faiths and festivals. There is also daily act of worship in which the whole school joins together.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
Our work in Design and Technology focuses around the key features of Designing, Making, Evaluating, Technical Knowledge and Cooking and Nutrition. We try to ensure that our work in Design and Technology motivates and excites the children. The children are taught specific skills and techniques, e.g. using scissors safely and correctly, joining materials in different ways. They are also taught to select the tools and techniques best suited to a given task.
HUMANITIES (HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY)
The teaching of humanities enriches the children’s lives and by talking about and actively exploring a variety of physical and human features in the past, present and future all pupils will gain a true feel for the world around them.
In History the children are taught about changes within their living memory and events beyond their living memory that are significant nationally/globally. They are also taught about the lives of significant individuals who have contributed to national or international achievements. They will be continuously thinking about significant historical events, people, places in their own locality.
The children will be introduced to Historical events through stories, eyewitness accounts, photographs, TV, museum visits and artefacts. Children are encouraged to use documentary evidence to enhance their understanding and develop their historical skills.
In Geography the children are encouraged to learn about the local environment and the wider world. They will be thinking about the world’s seven continents and five oceans as well as identifying the countries that make up the United Kingdom and their capital cities.
They will be thinking about similarities and differences between the United Kingdom and a non-European country. Children will learn about the Physical and Human Geography of countries and develop their fieldwork and geographical skills.
They are given the opportunity to develop their skills and understanding through the use of resources including maps, pictures, photographs, stories, information texts, videos, artefacts and visits. We encourage the children to appreciate and protect the environment. We use the school environment, building, playground garden and the local area in our studies.
In Art children are provided with opportunities to develop skills and experience a variety of different techniques and materials. They will use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their imagination, ideas and experiences. The children are introduced to a range of artists and their work as well as art work from different cultures.
We aim to foster an interest and appreciation of music encouraging the children to develop their skills through active participation. They will use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs; play tuned and untuned intruments musically; listen with concentration to high quality live and recorded music and experiment with, create, select and combine different sounds.
We have links with the Sage in Gateshead and have established a Foundation Studio providing opportunities for children to develop their skills using string instruments (violin and cello).
We have dedicated singing sessions with our pianist, Mrs Woods every Monday.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL, HEALTH AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION (PSHCE)
PSHCE enables children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society and is promoted through cross curricular links. The children are encouraged to take a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. They are taught to know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and to be aware of safety issues.
We encourage the children to develop good relationships, to have respect for others and become independent and responsible members of the school community. We place an emphasis on active learning by including the children in discussions,
investigations and problem-solving activities. The children take part in a range of practical activities that promote active citizenship, e.g. charity fundraising, the planning of school special events such as an assembly, or involvement in an activity to help other individuals or groups less fortunate than themselves. Classes are organised in such a way that pupils are able to participate in discussion to resolve conflicts or set agreed classroom rules of behaviour. We offer children the opportunity to hear visiting speakers, such as health workers, police and representatives from the local church, whom we invite into the school to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community.
The Department for Education recommends that all primary schools should have a sex and relationship education programme tailored to the age and physical and emotional maturity of the children. In the school the focus is mainly on relationships and is taught in a very sensitive manner and is age appropriate.
The children are given the opportunity to develop their skills in movement and co-ordination through games, gymnastics and dance activities. We have links with local sports coaches who come into school to enhance the delivery of our P.E. curriculum. The enhanced curriculum offered includes a range of sports activities. In addition we offer a range of extra – curricular after school activities. The school has been awarded the Active Mark for 2008 for enabling pupils to access at least 2 hours of high quality PE/games per week.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
We have introduced the teaching of French into our curriculum. All of our children will be taught French through counting, rhymes, games and songs. In addition we run after school French and Spanish clubs
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
We aim to provide a range of activities to enrich and enhance the children’s learning. These consist of educational visits from theatre groups, authors, story tellers, artists etc. who come into school to work with the children providing interesting and exciting stimuli on which to develop the children’s learning. In addition we provide opportunities for the children to go on education visits out of school. We also provide opportunities for children to develop their skills and learning through after school clubs. To enable us to provide these activities parents will be invited to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost. We also run a variety of after school clubs.
As part of our Home-School Agreement we have a Homework Policy which we would ask parents to support. These are issued when the children start school. For infant children homework should consist largely of reading and sharing books with parents, learning spellings, phonics, number games and activities to develop key skills.