From September 2014, schools need to follow a new National Curriculum. This sets out what pupils should be taught but it is for schools to choose how they organise their school curriculum. (Academies and free schools do not need to follow the National Curriculum.)
At St. Paul’s CE Primary School, we follow a ‘theme-based’ approach to the curriculum. This means that wherever possible, we group our subjects around a theme. The themes we choose depend on two factors: what areas of the National Curriculum we must cover and the interests and needs of the children. We want to make sure that our curriculum is relevant to our pupils and also teaches them the knowledge and skills they need for the next stage in their education and to become successful citizens of the world.
Not all subjects can naturally ‘fit’ within a theme and so these subjects are sometimes taught separately. Music and Spanish are always taught separately by our specialist staff. Not everything in Maths links well with a theme and so this can sometimes run separately, but it is always taught by the class teacher and links are made whenever possible. Science can lend itself to lots of very engaging themes – space and plants both offer lots of opportunity – whereas other Science areas will be taught as ‘mini-themes’ – a two week theme of Solids and Liquids, for example.
We also have break out weeks within the curriculum where there is a whole school focus around the same theme. We have weeks planned in for RE and Art, Science, Fair-trade, Anti-Bullying and Music. These fit with National / regional events so that our pupils are aware and can contribute to topical events as they happen. We also aim to promote British values and so our curriculum is underpinned by this, alongside spiritual, moral, social and cultural development so that we develop the whole child.
We have a yearly overview and all classes from Y1 to Y6 also have 6 different themes which will be the focus for their learning throughout the year. These are below.
Curriculum in the Early Years
The Early Years Foundation Stage follows a separate curriculum.
There are seven areas which form the basis of the curriculum. These areas are made up of prime areas and specific areas.
The prime areas are:
Personal, social and emotional development (making relationships; self-confidence and self-awareness; managing feelings and behaviour)
Communication and language (listening and attention; understanding; speaking)
Physical development (moving and handling; health and self-care)
The specific areas are:
Literacy (reading; writing)
Mathematics (numbers; shape, space and measures)
Understanding the world (people and communities; the world; technology)
Expressive arts and design (exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative) Each area of learning has a set of related early learning goals which the children are assessed against.
Reading schemes and phonics programmes
In KS1 the children learn to read using the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics books. These reading books feed into the phonics phases that are taught from the linking letters and sounds document. When children are ready, our school uses a 'real book' approach and the children access the Accelerated Reader programme to help assess their reading.
The School operates the following policy on its website regarding the use of photographs and content, to ensure the privacy and safety of pupils at the school:
1. Where pupils are named, only their first names are given unless permission is given by the parent for the family name to be included such as when a pupil receives an award or special achievement. 2. Where a pupil is so named, no photograph of that pupil is shown; 3. Where a photograph is used which shows a number of pupils, no names are displayed. 4. No private information about pupils is ever published on the website
By observing these points, the school ensures that visitors to the website cannot link images of pupils to names of pupils. When choosing photographs for the website, the school is mindful of the way pupils may appear in them, and will not include images which are in any way inappropriate, such as close-up portrait shots of individual pupils. Also, please note that if pupils - or parents - send email messages to school, using the Contact Us email form, any personal details, including the email address are removed before being added to our message board. Finally, although it's lovely to receive messages, we hope pupils will not be offended, but any emails to individual staff cannot be replied to.
Our school website includes links to external sites and free online materials. Such resources are owned by their respective copyrights and we do not lay claim to any material externally produced. Nor do we have responsibility for content on linked sites. These links are checked regularly for appropriateness and continuity. If you find any materials which concern you, please inform us immediately. Should the owner of externally produced material object to a link, the link will be removed immediately.
Children aged three to five (nursery and reception) require access to a play-based Foundation Stage curriculum, with six areas of learning, these are:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication, Language and Literacy
Problem solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
All six areas of learning have equal importance in the foundation stage and all are continually assessed to ensure your child's continuing progress throughout foundation stage.
The children have continual access to our large, purpose built, outdoor play area, every day, in all but extreme weathers. Lots of learning happens out here, through a wide range of activities and resources. Many teaching activities take place outdoors. It is a very important part of our provision.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Children are helped to learn these important skills through their free choice play and in planned sessions with their key person. We try to foster an atmosphere of care, cooperation and self-control, where children can share, take turns and help each other. We help to develop children's self-esteem by developing an atmosphere where a child's efforts are valued by staff and other children.
COMMUNICATION, LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
Speaking and listening skills are a very important part of your child's development. We encourage talk during play and we develop children's confidence to talk about their experiences and interests.
Your child will learn phonics for reading and spelling. Basic phonics skills are taught to nursery children, such as hearing different sounds, hearing rhythm in chants and rhymes and identifying rhyming words. Once children have learned to identify sounds within words, letters are taught, and therefore children learn to spell and read. Once reception children are learning to recognise letters, a pack is sent home for children to practise each night.
At school we will be sharing books together, creating stories, listening to the stories others create and discussing pictures. We have a quiet book area where children can 'read' familiar stories and tell stories with puppets.
We teach specific reading skills to reception children in large and small group sessions each week.
Reception children visit the school library each week to borrow a book to share with parents at home. Nursery children borrow weekly "Talk Talk" bags, they choose these with their carer as they arrive at school each Tuesday and return them each Monday. Reception children bring reading scheme books home each night, in their book bags and hand them in each morning.
Mark-making happens in many parts of the classroom and is highly encouraged to enhance play. We encourage children to form letters correctly, but will make sure that each child is ready to write letters by a variety of activities which develop manipulative skills. They will be proud of their work; drawings and squiggles soon develop into recognisable letter shapes and eventually into sentences.
PROBLEM SOLVING, REASONING AND NUMERACY
Your child will get lots of practical experience of working with numbers to make sure that they understand concepts. They will also participate in oral and mental maths activities with a big emphasis on counting in different contexts. Number rhymes are an important part of this.
There will be lots of opportunities for your child to develop maths vocabulary such as the language of addition, subtraction, shape, space and measure.
Specific maths objectives are taught in large and small group practical activities and learning is further developed through play in many areas of the unit.
We have a well resourced maths area, both indoors and outdoors, where children can continue to develop and practise their skills.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
This area of learning involves children having lots of experiences, with opportunities to investigate and ask questions and to use a wide range of resources. It includes areas of science, history, geography, food technology, information & communication technology, design technology, religion and culture.
Amongst other things, children will:
* handle natural objects
* investigate properties of water, ice, wet and dry sand
* use construction kits and materials
* investigate the outdoor environment
* plant seeds and care for plants
* bake and cook
* use computers, an interactive whiteboard, CD players and programmable toys
* handle topic related resources in our science area or interest table.
In this area of learning, children develop gross motor skills such as whole body movement and coordination, balance, negotiating obstacles, using large equipment and awareness of space. They also develop fine motor skills, such as pencil control, manipulating small equipment and malleable materials and using tools like scissors.
This area of learning develops art, music, dance, singing, imaginative play, role play. Children are encouraged to respond imaginatively to their experiences by using the many resources in class. We have a creative area, a painting area and a malleable area. We have indoor and outdoor role play areas. We have lots of 'small world' toys to match children's interests.
To fulfil the aims of the school, and of the Foundation Stage curriculum, we provide opportunities for your child to learn through their own interests and through well-planned adult directed tasks. We provide a variety of interesting, relevant adult directed activities with specific learning objectives, designed for your child's needs at that time. We also provide a large range of resources and activities, which your child can choose to access. Children will feel they are 'playing' and a great deal of learning will happen through play.