From September 2014 the school will be following the New National Curriculum
- The core subjects of English and Mathematics.
- The foundation subjects of Science, Computing, History, Geography, Physical Education, Music, Art, Modern Foreign Languages, Technology and RE.
- In addition there is a daily act of worship, either as a whole school, department or within class which is ‘broadly Christian in nature.’
- Computing– Increasingly the curriculum is delivered incorporating ICT. We have a set of portable notebooks available for class use as well as computers and laptops in each class base. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard which is a teaching aid. All classes are networked and have internet access. Children are encouraged to use a wide range of ICT in all aspects of their learning. E-safety is an issue that the school takes very seriously and we incorporate this into our teaching throughout the school. Our aim is to create responsible digital experts who are able to access and use all technologies safely.
DELIVERING THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM
The staff constantly reviews the best way to deliver the curriculum. We aim to provide as broad and as balanced a curriculum diet as possible. Sometimes Foundation subjects are ‘blocked’ rather than taught separately each week.
The approaches used within any one class during a single week are varied, and will include:
Whole class teaching
Group teaching (including occasional setting for certain subjects in parts of the school).
As with the organisation of teaching groups, so the manner in which the children are encouraged to learn includes both formal and informal approaches …. and yes, we do teach tables, and we do have a structured spelling programme which arises from the Letters and Sounds phonic approach initiated as soon as the children start school.
Children attend acts of worship and RE lessons, but it is open to parents to request that their child should be wholly or partly excused from either or both of these activities. Any such request should be made to the Headteacher. Religious Education in Local Authority maintained and controlled schools is given in accordance with a syllabus agreed by the Authority on the recommendation of a Standing Advisory Council and Syllabus Conference, which includes representatives of the various denominations of the Christian Church in Devon, as well as representatives of the Authority and the teaching profession. The position is somewhat different in Voluntary Aided Schools. In these schools, Religious Education is under the control of the Governors.
The school recognises the importance of learning directly from hands on experience. In its attempt to broaden the curriculum and make it more creative there is an expectation that all classes either go on a class visit or have a class visitor each term.
In addition, year groups are encouraged to link areas of the curriculum including literacy to termly project themes.
The school aims to fulfil the potential of all children in all aspects of their development – including, of course, physical development. To this end the school provides a range of sporting opportunities both within the normal school day and beyond it. We have been awarded the Active Mark for Sports in recognition of the work we do relating to sport.
The school Sports Day is held in the school grounds usually at the end of May/June. All children participate in a combination of skills based and competitive events.
SWIMMING INTENSIVE COURSE
At present Year 3 children take part in an intensive three week swimming course in the Summer and this is followed up by a further swimming programme in the Spring term of Year 4. Distance tests for certificates are taken and, if sufficiently confident, children can obtain their preliminary safety award. This meets the requirements of the National Curriculum.
CURRICULUM FOR THE UNDER FIVES
The age group 0-5 years is called the Foundation Stage and our 4-5 year olds access the Early Years Foundation Stage (2) Curriculum, known as EYFS. This is based around the characteristics of Effective Learning, which move through all areas of learning: –
- Playing and Exploring,
- Active Learning and
- Creating and Thinking Critically, which underpin learning and development across all areas.
The ‘Areas of Learning and Development’ are broken down into three ‘Prime areas’ –
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication of Language
- Physical Development
Specific Areas: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design then provide essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.
We try to use the curriculum so that the tasks are constantly matched to each child’s individual needs throughout the year. We like to develop the children’s independent skills as much as possible and we really appreciate the help parents give us in their preparation of the skills each child needs when they begin school. This then gives the children a head start as they have the ability to organise themselves and not have to continually rely on adults. We like to work with our parents and welcome your help in building up a complete picture of each child so we can cater for their individual needs appropriately.
We have a happy, thriving and exciting department and we believe the use of the outdoors is an absolute necessity for our children, many of whom have limited access to garden areas at home. We assess our children continually and at least every term we enter these results on the Development Matters assessment tool, School Pupil Tracker On line. At the end of the year we report back to the local authority with an assessment against the EYFS end of year levels.
The governors have decided that Sex Education will be taught in our school. Our Sex Education Policy adopts a ‘whole school, whole subject’ approach and much of the work is covered in Science and in Health Education. This policy is available for you to look at in school and on the school website.
At Y6, children undertake an intensive four-week study, dealing with human reproduction and associated issues. Care is taken to ensure that this work is set in the context of a loving and caring family, and parents of Y6 children are invited to view the material, which the children will be using, if they so wish.
The school recognises and welcomes the vital part parents have to play in helping their children to understand this sensitive subject.
The Education Act 1993 has changed the rights of parents to withdraw their children from this part of the curriculum. You should contact the school for further information if you have any concerns about Sex Education.
During Year 5, the school nurse talks to the girls about menstruation and this is repeated with the whole year group in Y6.
During the school year, Y5 pupils undergo an intensive project on keeping healthy.
The school embraces the practices essential to ‘Accelerated Learning’ including mind-mapping, brain gym and ‘sipping’. All children are encouraged to have with them a 500ml water battle (sports top type) for use during the school day. Research has shown that dehydration is common amongst children at school, and this measure is very effective in reversing that trend, and keeping the children alert and on task – and feeling better too!
BLP (Building Learning Power)
For the last few years the school have been using a learning model called Building Learning Power which develops and encourages lifelong learning skills. The theory is that the brain can develop its capacity to learn, like a muscle, providing it receives the correct amount and correct type of exercise. The brain’s muscles are called the four R’s, Resilience, Resourcefulness, Reciprocity and Reflectiveness. Children at the school are introduced to different ways of learning following this model. More detailed information is available at school or on the website.