The National Curriculum 2000 consists of a range of subjects, with five being considered "core" subjects, English, Mathematics, Science, RE and Information Communication Technology. The others are defined as 'non-core' as follows: - Design, Technology, History, Geography, PE, Art and Music. Children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are working to the requirements of the National Curriculum including the Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. The Early Years children follow a specific Foundation curriculum for their age range which is based on "Early Learning Goals" and covers six areas of learning - Personal and Social Development, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Knowledge and understanding of the World, Physical Development and Creative Development.
The intention of "Early Learning Goals", the National Curriculum and associated assessment is to ensure that all children will study essential subjects and that children will be helped to progress at the rate that is right for them. All progression is at the rate required to meet the child's needs and not to match a particular age band or class.
In designing the curriculum the school pays attention to the four elements of learning: -
Concepts - these are fundamental ideas, which are the keys to our understanding of the world. They are usually developed from definite experiences and will include the concepts of pattern, interaction, change, communication, movement, spatial awareness, process, systems and resources.
Skills - these are a range of activities which children are encouraged to develop in each area of study. They may be intellectual, physical, personal or social skills, which are often transferable to a variety of situations.
Attitudes - the school considers the development of positive attitudes to be of great importance within the development of the whole child. All adults who come within the school community should have, and encourage in the children, high standards, values and expectations, self-respect and a respect for others and the environment.
Knowledge - the National Curriculum describes the essential content that any child needs to cover at any particular time in school. Teachers, working in co-operation, are able to use their professional judgement in order to develop specific schemes of work that the school will use to deliver the National Curriculum. The content of the schemes of work should be worth knowing, understandable, interesting to the pupils and relevant to their immediate stage of development and to their future.
There are also certain characteristics that help the school in defining the nature of the curriculum. These are: -
Breadth - in order to bring pupils into contact with all areas of learning and experience including aesthetic and creative, human and social, linguistic and literary, mathematical, moral and spiritual, physical, scientific and technological; also to give due attention to the development of concepts, skills, positive attitudes and worthwhile knowledge. The curriculum should also hold and maintain the pupil's interest and be understandable.
Balance - this will enable each area of learning and experience to receive appropriate attention during the school year, in relation to the others and the curriculum as a whole.
Relevance - this will enable the curriculum to be seen by the pupils as meeting their present and future needs. Both teaching and learning should be acknowledged as being valuable in the eyes of pupils, parents and the community.
Differentiation - the broad aims of education are the same for all the children whatever their ability. The curriculum is designed to allow for differences in the ability of children and to enable them to achieve relevant progression, in all areas, at the rate, which is appropriate for the individual.
Progression, continuity and coherence - is provided for by the framework of the National Curriculum where pupils' progress is ordered from level to level and stage to stage. This requires close liaison between teachers within our school, and between schools when pupils change schools, so that the continuity of experience is achieved which leads to a coherent education for the individual child.