The Curriculum at Sidemoor First School
WHAT WILL MY CHILD BE LEARNING AT SCHOOL?
At Sidemoor we fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum within a
topic-based approach that inspires and engages pupils, encourages enjoyment in learning and promotes high standards of achievement. We make full use of the learning environment, both indoors and outdoors. ICT, visits, visitors to school and special events are all used to make learning exciting, motivating and fun.
We aim to:
- ensure that children acquire a good command of English and an ability to communicate with other people through talking, listening, writing and ICT;
- develop an enjoyment of reading and the skills to read a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts;
- develop knowledge, understanding, enjoyment and application of mathematics;
- encourage scientific enquiry, experimentation and investigative skills;
- develop awareness of the children’s place in history and the world through enquiry and research;
- encourage children to express themselves fully through the creative arts;
- promote respect and appreciation for our environment and make children aware of their responsibilities;
- promote a healthy lifestyle and provide an enjoyable experience of a wide variety of physical activities and skills.
- At Sidemoor we have a creative curriculum with increased links between subjects under topic headings, underpinned by clear learning objectives. We are also encouraging greater use of thinking skills and group work through problem solving activities which help in establishing the principles and habits needed for lifelong learning.
The curriculum covers:
- The National Curriculum ‘core’ subjects English, Mathematics and Science.
- Its seven ‘foundation’ subjects History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Computing, Physical Education and Music.
- Religious Education for all pupils.
- Personal Social Health Education, and Citizenship.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children in the Nursery and Reception classes, the Early Years Foundation Stage, follow a carefully planned programme of activities in Personal and Social Development, Communication, Language and Literacy, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy, Physical Development, Creative Development and Knowledge and Understanding of the World.
Learning through structured play and practical activity is emphasised at this early stage of learning, as it is through play that most early skills and concepts in these areas of learning are acquired and consolidated.
Key Stage 1 and 2
From Year 1, all children in State Schools must follow a National Curriculum in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, and the foundation subjects of Design and Technology, Computing, Geography, History, Art and Design, Music, Physical Education, Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education and Modern Foreign Languages (KS2). Religious Education is also a statutory requirement. There is also a focus on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development which is covered through class activities such as Philosophy for Children (P4C) and Circle Time, visits and visitors, assemblies, and opportunities to develop team skills in the Forest School for example.
In our English teaching we aim to develop pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing, to listen with understanding and to become enthusiastic and responsive readers.
Pupils’ abilities are developed within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. This is usually implemented through a daily Literacy lesson for Years 1 to 4, and is linked to the class topic whenever appropriate.
Children are encouraged to speak clearly, fluently and with confidence in groups of varying sizes and ages and to listen and respond to other people. Drama is used whenever possible which helps in bringing the curriculum to life.
Reading is an important daily activity and children are encouraged to read and enjoy the wide range of books we have available. We aim to teach reading through the enjoyment of books, and reading activities are planned for every day, including guided reading and story. Reading skills are taught as part of English lessons, through carefully structured shared and guided reading sessions. The teaching of phonic skills is a key part of early reading.
Alongside the daily English sessions is our scheme of individual reading. This is a colour-coded scheme with a wide range of books at each level. These books are brought home by the children to read with you. This parental help and support forms an essential part of the reading process. We ask all parents to ensure that the individual practice needed becomes part of the daily homework routine and that each child keeps a ‘Reading Diary’. Parents can make a huge difference to a child’s reading development.
All Reception and Key Stage 1 children have a daily phonics session. This is based on the structured Letters and Sounds programme and takes the children's learning through initial, medial and final sounds to blends and vowel digraphs and trigraphs and introduces them to spelling strategies for tricky words and sounds. Regular practice enables children to apply this to their reading and writing. At the end of Year 1 all children in England have to do a Phonics Screening Check to assess their skills. Those children who do not meet the standard in Year 1 will be checked again in Year 2 following a structured intervention programme.
Children are encouraged to express themselves on paper and with a computer as soon as they enter school. A wide variety of work is undertaken, including writing news, poems, letters and descriptions, recording facts, making lists, composing sets of instructions and imaginative writing. Each child is expected to write for different 'audiences', e.g. the class teacher, other classes, friends and family, local press, organisations and celebrities. Handwriting and spelling skills are taught through structured programmes. We use the Talk for Writing (based on the work of Pie Corbett) approach across the school to scaffold the writing process for children, enabling them to rehearse and plan prior to writing.
Written work takes place as part of English lessons and across the curriculum, as appropriate.
Speaking and Listening
Children are given the opportunity to express themselves in a variety of ways, ranging from play situations in the Reception Class (in a shop, on the telephone and in the home corner), to more demanding experiences, such as class or group discussions in topic work, science and other areas of the curriculum. Children are also encouraged to talk about their work and achievements in assemblies. Children also have Learning Partners or Trios with whom they are encouraged to talk about their learning. Reasoning and dialogue are an important part of your child’s learning.
Listening effectively is a valuable skill and children are encouraged to develop this throughout their time in the school. Story-times, assemblies, visitors in class, discussions, partner work and music are just a few of the situations where a child develops active listening. We also develop Philosophy for Children across the school for children to consider and discuss Big Questions.
There is a maths lesson every day. It usually consists of a whole class session followed by group and individual work, and a final time for drawing together the main points of the lesson.
In mathematics, we build on the children's previous experience to develop their understanding and enjoyment. Children are encouraged to use and apply their mathematics to work things out for themselves, whether in a maths lesson or as part of topic work. A wide range of practical apparatus is used to ensure that children build a good understanding of the number system, including Numicon which is used across the school to develop number concepts.
The work is matched to each child's needs, bearing in mind the requirements of the National Curriculum and is structured through the school’s Calculation Policy which ensures continuity and progression.
There is liaison with the middle schools to ensure continuity.
Maths objectives for each year group are on the school website to enable parents to support their child’s learning.
Science is an integrated part of the overall curriculum of the school, which is taught by staff from reception age upwards. It is incorporated into all class topic work and usually includes material with which the children can identify and which has relevance to their everyday lives, encouraging them to look for solutions to a problem in a scientific manner.
When developing a new theme with the children, account is taken of their previous experience and how they can build upon existing knowledge and skills. The children are encouraged to ask questions about their observations, make predictions based on previous experience, plan fair tests, experiment for themselves, collect evidence by making measurements, record their findings, apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills in a different context.
Computing is used throughout the school as a cross-curricular tool. E-safety is an integral part of our Computing work and support for e-safety can be found on our Website.
Children acquire and develop a range of skills in Computing., including collecting, entering and retrieving information on the computer, and presenting a range of information in words, pictures and sound using the computer.
The children also experience a range of control activities using 'Pip' and ‘Logo’.
The children experience Computing in a variety of ways through their topic work and computing supports all areas of the curriculum.
Progress and attainment in each child's Computing skills is monitored to ensure continuity throughout the school.
The school has a well-equipped I.C.T. Suite with 16 computers and two additional trolleys with 16 laptops and a trolley of 30 netbooks to be used in the classrooms. Each class also has a computer linked to the suite and an Interactive Whiteboard. Visualisers, iPads and Wireless technology are also available.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
All children will be given the opportunity to design and make, with a degree of problem solving, developing as the child's aesthetic sensibilities, values and dexterity matures.
Work in this curriculum area is usually linked to the topics and themes studied. This enables the children to see that their environment can be changed and shaped to suit particular needs, and in this way, art, craft, science and environmental studies, mathematics and language may be learned together in 'real life' situations. Design and Technology encourages children to solve problems and work effectively through a process to reach a specified outcome. During Design and Technology lessons the
children experience working with a range of materials and tools. Children are presented with a problem or a design brief and they are encouraged to work as a team to produce items which match the criteria given. Children ask questions, research, practise and refine their skills before producing a final product. They then evaluate their produce against the original objectives of the project. Through DT children combine practical skills (textiles, cooking, woodwork and modelling materials) with an understanding of aesthetic qualities, functionality and usefulness.
At Sidemoor we aim to provide a high-quality history education which will help our children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. History aims to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. We equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Children are introduced to the skills and content required to enable them to develop an awareness of the past, and to understand and interpret different types of historical sources.
History is built into the class termly topics. The periods of history covered in Key Stage 2 include:
Local History - WWII
The programmes of study for Geography cover geographical skills, knowledge and understanding of places, physical geography and human geography, including sustainability. This curriculum area is often linked with science and studied through different themes. Through Geography children begin to make sense of their surroundings and gain a better appreciation and understanding of the variety of physical and human features of our world.
Geography is taught at Key Stages 1 and 2 through the programme of topics within our creative curriculum. We use our own school environment to study direction, position, climate and care of the environment. This is extended to cover the local area, particularly in Key Stage 2, where the children learn skills of map-reading and are introduced to geographical vocabulary. The children are encouraged to extend their
knowledge through enquiry and investigation in independent research.
All children are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of music by listening, singing and playing an instrument. The teaching of music at Sidemoor develops children’s ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to begin to make judgments about musical quality.
Each year, the older children are involved in the District Music Festival. The school occasionally welcomes instrumentalists who perform for the children.
In addition to this, peripatetic lessons are offered to the older children. All Year 3 children participate in the Play2Learn scheme which enables them all to learn to play 2 instruments, such as violins and cornets, with expert tuition.
We aim to provide our children with a variety of experiences in this curriculum area. Much of the children's artwork will stem from cross-curricular activities. They are also given the opportunity to practise skills and techniques and to appreciate the work of various artists. In addition, we have an annual Arts Week with a whole school theme.
We teach Art and Design through our topics in a way that aims to stimulate imagination and creativity. Our planned curriculum provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, think and feel through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials, media and processes. Children become involved in shaping their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed choices and judgements, and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers.
Through learning about the roles and functions of art, the children can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and on different periods and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enrich all our lives.
We have a well-equipped gymnasium, which is used every week by your child. Classes also do PE outside. A variety of ball and game skills are encouraged as preparation for such activities as rounders, cricket, football, netball, basket ball, hockey, volleyball and tennis.
All children have the opportunity to go swimming at the Dolphin Centre in Bromsgrove during Year 3.
We are part of the School Sports Scheme and benefit from a wide range of additional opportunities and inter-school festivals and tournaments.
P S H E & C
Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship is integrated into our curriculum with each age group as appropriate. This teaches children to take care of themselves and encourages a healthy lifestyle. We have a visit from the ‘Life Caravan’ each year.
The children’s voice is heard through the ‘School Council’. Each class sends two elected representatives to fortnightly meetings.
SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION
In compliance with Section 17 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, the Governors of Sidemoor First School have considered that sex education should form part of the secular curriculum of the school.
The following is a proposed statement of policy regarding the content and organisation of the subject in the school.
Section 46 of the Act requires that:
“where sex education is given to any registered pupils at the school, it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard for moral considerations and the value of family life.”
With this requirement in mind, sex education, as such, will be taught to the children in Year Four as a natural progression to the Health Education curriculum. Parents may ask the Headteacher for their child to be withdrawn from all or part of sex education. Children in Year 2 also receive development education using a Channel 4 SRE resource, ‘Living and Growing’.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION and COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Religious education is provided for all pupils in accordance with the County Agreed Syllabus.
We aim to ensure that children develop an awareness of their own and others identity, worth and needs; to help them reflect on the natural world and to develop a respect and responsibility for it; to teach them about the Christian faith and other world religions and to encourage their attitudes and moral values.
R.E. is taught through discussions arising from the sharing of common human experiences, topic work, as a subject in its own right and through the celebrations of festivals and special occasions.
There is an act of non-denominational collective worship at some time during the day, either as a whole school, or in groups within the school. Acts of worship are mainly Christian; they are appropriate to the children bearing in mind their ages and background.
Parents may ask the Headteacher for their child to be withdrawn from R.E. and collective worship.
There is a Hereford and Worcester Standing Advisory Committee on Religious Education (SACRE), which has a statutory duty to advise the L A. on religious education and collective worship in maintained schools. It consists of representatives from:
Christian and other religious denominations that reflect appropriately the principal religious traditions of the area;
the Church of England;
the local education authority.
Any parents who wish to express their expectations in regard to Religious Education are invited to write to the Clerk to the SACRE, County Education Office, P.O. Box 73, Worcester WR5 2YA.