The School Curriculum
The School Curriculum
As in all schools we are keen to ensure that the children receive a thorough grounding in English and Mathematics. We teach the Literacy and mathematics to all children each day, as required by government legislation. However, it is our aim to ensure that they receive a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is integrated into almost every aspect of a curriculum that includes the following areas: Geography, History, Design and Technology, Art & Design, Physical Education, Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE), Science, Music and Spanish. We follow a skills based curriculum which means that the children are taught a wide range of skills through a particular theme. For example in Year 4 the children learn about the Anglo-Saxons applying skills acquired in Geography, History, Art and Design, Design and Technology and ICT. We also follow the Warrington Syllabus for Religious Education.
In our Reception class we employ a great variety of structured play activities designed to develop personal and social skills, to enhance early literacy and numeracy and to contribute to the children's knowledge, understanding and skills in other areas. Together these experiences lay firm foundations for Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum.
The children are organised into mixed ability classes of a single age-group. Children are taught principally by their own class teacher (or teachers, in those classes where we have a job-share arrangement, i.e. Year 1 and Year 4). We aim to keep class sizes to a maximum of thirty children, although there is some variation from one class to another.
Within each class the children are taught using a range of teaching and learning strategies. We encourage the children to be involved in evaluating their own learning – they are actively encouraged to identify their own areas of strength and similarly areas for development. They are involved, with their parents and class teachers in setting and achieving targets in Mathematics and English.
Children are encouraged to work collaboratively and independently – we think that it is important that the children are given the opportunity to shape their own ideas.
During the early years of schooling, in Reception and at Key Stage 1, teaching methods are very much a mixture of practical activities and small-group working, with whole-class teaching also included, especially in Literacy and mathematics lessons. At the upper end of Key Stage 1 the work gradually becomes more formal as the children are prepared for their first SATs. Typically this might involve a whole-class introduction, followed by group or individual work at the appropriate level of difficulty, and a final plenary where there is a whole-class session to review and summarize what has been taught and for the children to assess their own progress against clearly defined learning criteria.
As the children progress through the school into Key Stage 2 they are encouraged to work collaboratively and independently, depending upon the task focus. We seek to offer a curriculum which caters for the needs of our children very much as individuals, and not simply as members of a larger group. It is also our aim to offer equal learning opportunities for all children, irrespective of sex, race, physical ability or creed.
There is a whole-school act of worship each day. This is led by the Headteacher, one of the two Assistant Headteachers or a member of the Senior Management Team and normally includes a distinct time for worship and reflection. Modern and traditional hymns are a regular feature of these assemblies, which are mainly Christian in content. Local clergy regularly take whole-school assemblies.
Religious Education forms part of the taught curriculum throughout the school. Pupils explore the belief systems of other major religions apart from Christianity, which does form the major part of the Local Authority's Religious Education syllabus. The teaching of RE is approached in much the same way as the other humanities subjects. This means that each half term the children spend a whole week where there is a focus on a religious theme and it is used to develop their skills in a number of areas including: Communication Skills, Information Technology, Improving Own Learning and Performance, Problem Solving and Working with Others.