All classes are of mixed ability and follow the subjects of the National Curriculum plus Religious Education and Personal, Social & Health Education. The core subjects of the National Curriculum are English, Mathematics and Science. The foundation subjects are History, Geography, Art, Music, Design & Technology, Information & Communication Technology, Personal Social and Health Education and Physical Education.
Children of non-statutory school age are taught the Foundation Stage curriculum whilst Years 1 and 2 are taught the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1. Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 are taught the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2.
In all classes teachers plan work matched to the needs and abilities of the children after carrying out ongoing assessments. Whole class teaching, group work and individual work are all used in appropriate situations.
All classrooms are very well resourced, including interactive whiteboards, and children regularly use computers as well as laptops with wireless connection to the internet.
For information on the curriculum for each year group please see other pages.
The playground and field are used for PE on a regular basis, weather permitting. All children are taught the basic skills required for team games such as hockey, football, netball, cricket and rounders, although Key Stage 1 children are most likely to work in small groups rather than in teams. Sports clubs are run regularly for Key Stage 2 after school, except when it gets dark too early. The school is a member of the local Scholls Sports Partnership and participates in local football, netball and cricket tournaments and matches. Children also have opportunities to take part in cross country running, badminton and tennis. Athletics skills are practised in the summer and children take part in local events, including our own sports afternoon at Iden Playing Fields.
Gymnastics takes place regularly for all age groups in the hall at Tilling Green school. During the summer extensive use is made of the heated school swimming pool and all the children in Key Stage 2 swim once a week at the Rye Sports Centre, taught by Miss Newton.
ART and DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
The school believes these subjects to be a vital part of the curriculum, providing children with opportunities to express themselves creatively as well as developing skills in designing, planning and organising. Apart from ensuring that children progress through a variety of learning experiences to increase their skills we encourage them to exhibit their work in the community and plan visits to enhance their learning and artistic appreciation. We have had children’s art work displayed in exhibitions at the Gardner Arts Centre in Eastbourne and at Brighton University and County Hall, Lewes, and it is always visible around the school.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND COLLECTIVE WORSHIP
Assembly, including Collective Worship, is held every day and the vicar of Iden and Playden parish churches usually leads the worship once a week. Our Nativity play is performed at Iden church and the Leavers' Service in the summer takes place at Playden church.
Religious education is given to all pupils in accordance with the East Sussex Education Authority’s Agreed Syllabus. The syllabus is Christian and non-denominational, but recognises other spiritual beliefs. If parents do not wish their child to be taught the agreed syllabus or to take part in the acts of worship which are held at school, they should let us know so that the child can be excused. Suitable alternative arrangements would be made, having regard to the wishes of the parents.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Throughout the country it is estimated that about 20% of children will be in need of special help at some time in their school life. At St. Michael’s children with special needs are not considered to be ‘different’ and they are integrated fully into the life of the school and of their own class.
The statutory Code of Practice is the basis for our Special Educational Needs policy. The headteacher also acts as SEN co-ordinator, (known as the SENCO). There are also five trained teaching assistants. They work closely with the class teachers and the SENCO to identify and then help children who have problems. We aim to identify children’s difficulties at an early stage and then devise carefully drawn up Individual Education Plans which include targets. The progress of each child is reviewed regularly, and parents are kept fully involved and informed by meeting with the class teacher to discuss the targets set for the child and how we propose to offer support to meet those targets. In some cases it may be necessary to ask for further professional advice (e.g. from the Learning Support Service) in which case the way forward is always discussed with parents first and their permission sought to proceed.
We also give every attention to more able children to ensure that they are taught according to their abilities and are able to reach their potential.
Our homework policy was drawn up in close consultation with parents as we believe that, if homework is to be effective, children must have the support of their parents.
Parents of children in Key Stage 1 are asked to support their child in reading at home, including playing games to help read high frequency words on sight. The children may be asked to complete handwriting activities, which link to spelling and phonic work. Maths activities are sent home twice each half term. Children and parents are shown a strategy to help support the learning of spellings from Year 1.
In Key Stage 2 we expect children to read regularly. They have maths homework weekly and are set tasks to develop writing skills twice each half term. They have Spelling Journals and are expected to learn identified words which are tested weekly. They are also asked to research a particular subject or topic each half term. Parents are fully informed as to when the homework is set and how long the child has to do it.