All children receive a well-balanced, broad-based curriculum, centred around the National Curriculum subjects and Religious Education. There is a strong emphasis upon the skills of English, Maths and Computing which give access to all other areas of learning. The core subjects are English, Mathematics, Science and Computing. The Foundation subjects are Design Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education, History and Geography. We also provide R.E. and P.S.C.H.E. (Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship). Years 2 - 6 also receive one session of French a week.
We believe that there are aspects of learning such as independence, collaboration, responsibility and self-confidence which are essential for children to develop, not only as pupils but as members of society. Moral, social, spiritual and cultural developments have a high profile in our school community. We promote a positive and succeeding ethos which we believe enhances self-esteem and self-motivation. The Christian ethos is central to our thinking and we encourage children to be tolerant, caring and kind to one another.
Children are taught mainly in mixed-age classes, depending on number of pupils in 2015.
In 2015/16 we shall have 5 classes as follows: Willow YR/Y1, Rowan Y1/2, Cedar Y3, Maple Y4/5 and Oak Y5/6.
Teachers plan their work in a variety of ways, depending upon the needs of the children and the task involved. Children may work individually, in pairs or small groups, or in whole class sessions. Sometimes the session is a key-teaching situation where the whole class participate in the same task. Independent or group work is normally differentiated to support or challenge pupils, depending on ability and needs. We aim to include a balance of teacher-instructed and child-initiated learning in our provision.
Our planning is based on a 1 or 2 year cycle for most subjects, in order to cover all units of work. However, Maths, because of its skill-building nature, is planned for from each year group’s objectives. In this way, units are revisited frequently but skills developed further each time. This ensures continuity and progression throughout the Key Stages. All our children are taught Maths, Computing and English as specific time-tabled lessons. Almost all other subjects are taught in topics or integrated units. Some subjects may be taught as stand-alone e.g. PE, RE or Music if they do not sit comfortably within a given topic.
In the term before children start in Reception we offer a series of induction sessions (half and later full days). The children experience the routines and atmosphere in the class. In Reception the children follow the curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (0-5 years). This will include the areas of the Early Learning Goals. The interests of the children are at the centre of our planning and we strive to maintain a constructive balance between teacher-led sessions and child-initiated activities.
We employ a wide range of teaching strategies and have a well-structured scheme of work, based on the National Curriculum for English.
Speaking and Listening
The children are encouraged to develop fluent language skills in their oral work, whilst working in groups or with the whole class. They are given the opportunity to tell stories or read poems aloud to the rest of the group, as well as a wide range of drama skills such as role play, hot seating, improvisation and scripted tasks. Self-confidence in the spoken word is important and this, together with the ability to listen, is encouraged.
Reading is taught primarily through the phonic approach using structured reading schemes as a complementary resource. From 2012 we implemented a comprehensive reading and writing scheme in our Foundation stage and KS1 called Read Write Inc. This scheme encompasses reading and comprehension alongside spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting. We are very pleased about the obvious benefits that this scheme offers to our children and the rate of progress that pupils achieve. Many have now completed the scheme in Y1.Children are assessed every half-term and then taught in groups of similar ability. The ratio of teachers to pupils is extremely good, sometimes as low as 1:6. Pupils are encouraged to take their reading books home every night to share with their parents. Each child has a reading diary and a reading record is kept daily by both parents and School. Adult helpers listen to children read aloud regularly, as does the class teacher or teaching assistant. As pupils complete the Read, Write, Inc scheme they move onto the Language and Literacy programme which provides the creative application of skills learnt in KS1. Children later read silently or in small groups in timetabled sessions. At least twice in every year the reading age is monitored as a check on an individual child’s progress.
Writing skills are developed which should enable the children, by the end of KS2, to write both fiction and non-fiction forms, for a variety of purposes and audiences. Spelling, basic grammar, punctuation and good handwriting style all have a part to play in the development of language users and are considered important factors in the skills needed by a child. Pupils from Y1 upwards have daily grammar, punctuation and spelling sessions.
We follow the Big Write scheme and assess pupils regularly on their progress and achievement in writing.
Should your child require some additional support in English, we offer extra help with one to one tuition, small group interventions and booster classes are offered in Y6. We offer similar extension opportunities for our more able pupils in years 2 and 6.
In Mathematics we follow the yearly objectives outlined in the National Curriculum for Maths. We aim to develop the children’s awareness and concept of number, measure and shape and data-handling. The children are taught the basic mathematical skills but are also challenged to apply them in problem-solving situations from the real world.
Our planning and provision is based on the Abacus maths programme which is also accessible at home as a resource for homework and reinforcement of learning.