Curriculum Statement

Our Curriculum

As an academy we have the freedom to select the most appropriate curriculum for our pupils.  We have elected to follow the national curriculum, particularly as since September 2014 this provides schools with much greater freedom in adapting this to suit their needs.  Our objective is to provide a curriculum that is engaging and meaningful and which prepares our pupils for later life by equipping them with key skills and content they need to succeed.  We believe in learning by doing and wherever possible we seek opportunities to enrich our approach by using visitors, the school grounds, local environment and off-site visits further afield.  Where appropriate, we teach the foundation subjects through a topic-based approach.

Topics are carefully selected to provide pupils with high levels of interest and engagement.  Generally topics are taught across the four learning phases (Early Years, Years 1&2, Years 3&4 and Years 5&6).  Topics will normally be covered over the course of a season (Autumn, Spring or Summer) and may have a launch event perhaps using a visitor or off-site visit.  There may also be a culmination event where perhaps the children can share their work with a wider audience, eg. an exhibition or presentation for parents.

Where it is not appropriate for content to be addressed through a topic then this is covered separately.  English, mathematics, RE and PE are normally taught as separate subjects.  Ongoing and regular information for parents on the approach to be followed by their children is provided on the class pages of the school website.  We encourage and welcome the active engagement and support of parents in achieving our goals.  This is particularly relevant in our approach to homework and pupils may be presented with tasks that relate directly to their topic work in school.

For further information on the curriculum please contact Mrs Jennie Dwight Head Teacher.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage

The reception year at school builds on the children’s pre-school experiences and establishes a foundation of skills on which their later education is built.  The approach is based on development through play and interaction.  The early years environment is carefully designed to present a stimulating and engaging range of opportunities for the children to develop their skills.  Outdoor learning forms a key feature of this provision and a large outdoor classroom adjoining the reception classrooms provides extensive opportunity for this.  We also use Forest School sessions in the dedicated area of our school grounds to extend this work.  We recognise that, along with the development of core skills in reading, writing and numeracy, the development of personal and social skills is of equal importance at this stage.  We are proud of the pastoral support we provide children.  Staff carefully plan opportunities for pupils to develop confidence and self esteem alongside developing skills such as communication, collaboration, negotiation, enquiry, tolerance and respect.

 

English

We follow a clear and detailed programme of work to support the development of skills in English.  Reading forms the core of our provision and is given strong emphasis throughout the school.  In the early years, initial reading and writing skills are taught through daily exposure to synthetic phonics. Phonics are taught using Jolly phonics and the letters and sounds scheme. This is linked to our reading scheme that provides pupils with a structured approach to reinforce and extend their growing prowess.  A wide variety of reading schemes are used including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star and Heinemann. The books in our scheme have been banded using the book bands system. Real texts are used whenever appropriate to imbue pupils with appreciation and enthusiasm to apply their reading skills.  Weekly guided reading provides teachers with opportunities to help pupils engage fully with reading.  Writing is promoted as a key communication tool from early emergent writing to extended writing tasks in the later years.  Grammar, spelling and punctuation are also given specific attention in all years so that by the time they leave the school all pupils are expected to demonstrate high levels of proficiency in these areas.

 

Mathematics

We place great emphasis on the importance of helping pupils become numerate and confident in the application of mathematical skills.  Pupils are exposed to mathematical concepts both through the exploration of separate teaching and by applying mathematical knowledge to everyday situations.  Problem-solving and mathematical investigations are key tools in achieving success.  The key challenge for us is to expose the children to a range and depth of knowledge where they develop confidence to apply these skills themselves in different contexts.  So it can be seen that a rigorous approach to the learning of tables and number bonds is a key element in helping pupils use their mathematical knowledge in creative and meaningful ways in real-life contexts.

 

Religious Education

The school follows the Diocese of Gloucester agreed syllabus for RE.  This provides pupils with a broad range of content to give a rounded understanding of the characteristics and significance of a number of world faiths, although as a school with a Christian foundation, emphasis is placed on the teaching of Christianity.  As well as being introduced to specific religious content, the pupils are encouraged to reflect on the role and contribution of spirituality in the development of a balanced perspective.

 

Worship and School Ethos

Pupils experience a daily act of worship based on Christian values.  This is a time for the school community to reflect on the application and implementation of these values in our lives.  A thematic approach is followed each school term and this is linked to our four core school values.  In this way, British values such as tolerance and respect are reinforced and applied on a daily basis.  Parents are entitled to request withdrawal of their child from acts of worship if they see this as being in conflict with their own belief or faith.

 

Science & Technology

We want pupils to develop a sense of enquiry and a thirst for knowledge that can be explored and tested through the development of scientific skills.  Hypothesising and testing, together with an appreciation of the importance of rigor are all key to this approach, as well as being introduced to specific scientific content.  This also links with work on Design and Technology in which pupils may plan their own investigations or design and build tasks.  Properties of materials are given full consideration and pupils are fully engaged at all steps of  product design.  Food technology plays a particularly significant role in our provision and we have a dedicated food technology classroom to support this.

 

History & Geography

Many of our cross-curricular topics are based on areas of history or geography.  Pupils are introduced to key elements and stages of British and world history.  They are encouraged to use a wide range of historical skills and appreciate how we know about our past through the use of different historical sources.  We also encourage in pupils an appreciation and understanding of our world and how both physical and human processes shape this.  In doing this we hope to develop in pupils a sense of responsibility in responding and caring for the environment.  Local history and geography has an important role to play here and we help pupils to understand and appreciate the significant features of their local area.

 

Computing & Information Technology

We recognise the important role information technology has to play in our developing world.  We try to keep apace with this change and provide pupils with opportunities to use new technology where this can enhance their learning.  All our classrooms are equipped with Smart boards and up-to-date networked computers.  We also have a dedicated IT Suite equipped with 30 PCs which all pupils have access to.  Pupils use a range of applications to support their learning and we are now incorporating the new Computing strand to introduce pupils to algorithms and the rudiments of coding.

 

Physical Education

As a health promoting school we recognise the importance of incorporating daily exercise into our provision.  This may be through our carefully planned programme of PE, through lunch-time and after-school clubs, through dance or ‘wake and shake’ type activities or by competition through sport.  Our sports teams have achieved a high degree of success and this is celebrated as a key strength of the school.  (See section on Sports Premium for further details of how we support this area of our activities.)

 

Music & Art

The school has a strong tradition in music and the performing arts.  The children prepare high quality productions each year and we are proud of the standards of singing in the school.  The love and appreciation of music is actively promoted across the school and children have the opportunity to learn to play a number of different instruments.  A visit to our classrooms provides evidence of the high profile of art across the school, whether this be through exploration of visual media or in ceramics using our own pottery kiln.