The Foundation Key Stage Curriculum is followed in the Reception Year moving on to the National Curriculum programmes of Study in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Assessment is ongoing in school to inform teachers' planning. We follow the requirements of Foundation Profile at the end of the Reception Year, and Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) at the end Year 2 and Year 6. We also chose to adopt the optional tests for Years 3, 4 and 5.
Children are taught in a variety of ways: - individually, in small groups, or as a whole class, whichever is most appropriate. All work is carefully planned so that each child may make progress.
The Foundation Curriculum is centred on six areas of learning: Mathematical Development, Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy Development, Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Creative and Physical Development. There are specific goals for the children to achieve and much emphasis is placed on speaking and listening and on role-play. Work often has a thematic approach.
The school follows the National Literacy Strategy. A complete range of language skills is taught throughout the school which include talking and listening, writing in a variety of forms and for different audiences, reading with understanding, research and retrieval of information and appreciation of works of literature. Children learn grammar and spellings appropriate to their needs and to help them to write with fluency and efficiency.
In Reception and Year 1 we also follow the Early Reading Recovery programme that has proved very successful in increasing children's reading ability. A colour-coded reading scheme is used throughout the school, which consists of a wide variety of books that have been carefully graded to ensure progression. Our library is also colour-coded and children are encouraged to take books of their choice, usually selected from their colour band but possibly from the colour to either side, for reading at home.
The school possesses a reference library, which contains a central stock of material available for use in class, these may also be chosen for reading at home.
The school follows the National Numeracy Strategy. Great emphasis is placed on number work and mental arithmetic, work on shape, space and measures, data handling and problem solving form a part of each year's work.
A carefully structured scheme, based on a thematic, investigative approach, is used throughout school. This is designed to cover all the National Curriculum Science needs.
Much of the work in this area is developed through the other areas of the curriculum but information technology skills are developed in each year group following a structured programme. All classes have permanent use of at least one computer and there is an extensive range of software and CD ROMS to support the curriculum. The school has an Internet Connection and we now have a purpose built ICT suite for use by all classes.
Religious Education at the school is in accordance with the Agreed Syllabus of the Local Education Authority. The school day includes an Act Of Worship, either as a whole school or between classes, as required by the Education Act.
Parents wishing to withdraw their children from Religious Education and the Collective Act of Worship should consult the Head Teacher and alternative arrangements will be made.
In addition to the above Core subjects the school follows the QCA guidance for History, Geography, Art, Music, Physical Education and Design Technology.
We have a rolling programme for these subjects giving breadth, progression, relevance, knowledge and skills appropriate to each age group. These subjects are equally important to the development of the whole child.
The school places a high degree of importance on independent work, as we believe that by following this philosophy we are able to bring out the best in each child no matter what their age or ability.
Sex Education takes place as part of the Science Curriculum. Prior to undertaking this element of the work parents are informed so that those who wish to withdraw their children from these lessons may do so.
Children with Special Educational Needs
The needs of each child are our main concern. Children with special learning needs are given extra help, either individually or in small groups by the class teacher, the learning support assistant, or by a member of the County's Learning Support Provider Unit. Children, identified by staff or by parental concern, are brought to the attention of the Special Needs Co-ordinator. The process of providing support is begun. Parents are involved with all stages of Special Education and are kept fully informed by attendance at regular review meetings. It is recognised that Special Educational Needs relate to both ends of the ability range.
Sport and Swimming
The school makes use of both its indoor and outdoor facilities to deliver the Physical Education programme. Competitive matches take place with our cluster of schools. We are fortunate to have a new, fully equipped hall.
Each week the school makes use of the sports centre swimming pool in Saffron Walden. This activity, which is undertaken on a weekly basis throughout the year, is funded by voluntary contributions. Pupils attend swimming for two out of three terms from Reception to Year 6.
Pastoral Care and Discipline
The school is a community in which behaviour is based on mutual respect and consideration for others. The class teacher, who knows each child well, is responsible for the care of the children in his or her class. Particular problems can be referred to the Head Teacher or the Deputy Head Teacher. The values, standards and attitudes of the school community are made clear to children by example and discussion. The few rules that exist are primarily for the safety of the children within class, on the playground and on the field. If a child displays persistent anti-social behaviour, parents will be informed by letter and a consultation arranged so that an attempt can be made to correct the matter.
Curriculum Complaints Procedure
As a requirement of the Education Reform Act, the Authority has developed formal procedures, which specify how complaints about the curriculum and collective worship can be handled. (These procedures are not concerned with the actions of individual teachers, or matters other than the curriculum or collective worship.) When a complaint about such matters is made it should be dealt with, in the first instance, by the Head Teacher, as is established practice in all schools. In the rare instance where the matter cannot be resolved informally, the next stage is for it to be considered by the Governing Body as a formal complaint, if the complainant wishes to pursue the matter. A copy of the complaints procedure will be made available upon request to the Head Teacher.
Homework, in the form of reading, spelling, tables, mathematics and research work, is given to the children. The amount and frequency of this work depends on the child's age. However we recognise that the children have worked hard during the school day and they deserve, and need, a break after school.
The amount of homework recommended by the Government is as follows: -
Years 1 and 2 1 hour a week
Years 3 and 4 1½ hours a week
Years 5 and 6 30 minutes a day
There are many valuable things that parents can do at home to help their children's education. They can pass on important lessons about the enjoyment of books and the pleasure to be gained from reading together; they can help with tables, practice addition and subtraction facts. A tremendous amount can be gained simply by talking with your child, discussing practical activities, which you undertake together and by asking questions about things seen on family outings, etc.