We aim to develop your child and his/her potential in every sphere of growth and learning. We believe very strongly in a broad and balanced curriculum and value ‘creativity’ and an essential part of children’s learning. Our curriculum in underpinned by our ALBS (Accelerated Learning at Bar Hill School) philosophy and the Government’s Primary Strategy.
Organisation of the Curriculum
The curriculum is organised in primary schools in the following way:
- Early years Reception Foundation stage
- Key stage 1 Infants (Years 1 and 2) Key stage 1
- Key stage 2 Juniors (Years 3 - 6) Key stage 2
Reception children will follow a foundation curriculum with early learning goals to be achieved by the end of their reception year. The foundation curriculum is followed in playgroups and nurseries also as it operated from the ages of 3 to 6 years and, therefore, provides continuity from pre-school to reception class. The reception class is an introduction to more formal education with a balance of free exploration, play and set tasks. There is an emphasis on numeracy and literacy as the children progress through their time in the reception class. Children are not functioning within the National Curriculum at this stage but will have gained valuable experiences in readiness for National Curriculum requirements in Year 1.
The curriculum is organised around the National Curriculum which consists of three core subjects - English, Mathematics and Science, and non-core subjects - Art, Geography, History, Physical Education, Music, Technology (Information and Communications Technology and Design Technology) and PSHE (personal, social and health education) which incorporates citizenship.
Religious Education is not in the National Curriculum but it is regarded as a main subject to be taught. All Cambridge-shire schools follow the LEA’s syllabus for Religious Education, which aims to provide children with knowledge and understanding of the nature of religions, their beliefs and practices.
Parents retain the right to request withdrawal of their children from Religious Education lessons and from assemblies, which under the 1988 Education Act have to be broadly Christian in character.
The rest of the curriculum is organised through a series of projects, which groups together aspects of science and other foundation subjects. Some subjects are also taught separately.
Over the past few years a national numeracy, literacy and, latterly, Primary strategy have been introduced in order to support and develop the curriculum. The Primary strategy, in particular, emphasises a creative approach to teaching and organising the curriculum and maintains the high standards achieved by the literacy and numeracy strategies.
Information Communication Technology
We have a strong commitment to information communication technology skills for all of the children in the school and celebrated receiving the NAACE award (a quality mark for ICT) in December 2003. Only a minority of schools in Cambridgeshire have achieved this award.
We are well resourced with ICT equipment including a dedicated computer suite, banks of classroom computers and interactive whiteboards in all classrooms
The scheme of work for ICT covers the skills of communicating information, handling data, control, modelling and monitoring. We also ensure that children’s skills are regularly assessed and recorded.
To find out more about our school, please visit our web site (some of which was written by our year 6 computer club)
Assessment of children’s progress in curriculum areas
We believe in assessment for learning, which helps us to deliver appropriate learning experiences for each child and provides the basis for continuity and progression. All children are continually assessed by their teacher during the course of the year and are set targets in literacy and numeracy. Giving children feedback both verbally and written is an essential part of our assessment policy.
In addition children are formally assessed through:
This is a form of continuous assessment which takes place throughout the children’s reception year and culminates is a final summary at the end of the year. Children are assessed on six areas of learning: personal, social and emotional development; communication, language and literacy; mathematical knowledge; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development and creative development.
Year 2 - Standardised Assessment Tests in English and Mathematics. (Key Stage 1)
Year 6 - Standardised Assessment Tests in English, Mathematics and Science. (Key Stage 2)
The SATS are administered during the spring and summer terms and are supplied by the Department for Education and Skills.
Year 3/4/5 Optional Standardised Tests
These are administered by our school staff to give an indication of how the children are progressing between year 2 and year 6.
In October 1999 a homework policy was introduced for all children from Year I to Year 6. This policy was based on guidelines issued by the DfES in November 1999 and concentrates mainly on English, Mathematics, Science and the current project the children are engaged in. The amount of homework recommended in the guidelines is shown below.
Years 1 and 2 1 hour a week (reading, spelling, number work)
Years 3 and 4 11/2 hours a week (literacy and numeracy and occasional module work)
Years 5 and 6 30 minutes a day (regular numeracy and literacy work and occasional project work)
The amount and content of the homework will be varied to meet the needs of individual children and is reviewed on a termly basis by the staff and on an annual basis by the governors.
Children with learning, emotional, behavioural and social disabilities
As a school we place a high priority on SEN provision and have a multi-agency approach to providing care for our SEN pupils. Further details can be obtained from the SEN co-ordinator, Helen Paterson, via the school office. Many children will have an individual education plan (IEP) and may be placed on a school action stage or school action plus stage according to their needs. All parents will be fully communicated with regarding any actions or decisions made regarding their children. Parents can request an assessment if children have special educational needs.
Children who are more able/ gifted or talented.
All children who are more able / gifted and talented are given differentiated / additional activities to meet their needs. We have a more able / gifted and talented register within the school . Children are placed on this register for a variety of reasons such as having exceptional talents or high ability in music or other creative arts, mathematics, literacy, any of the core or foundation subjects or sport. Parents will be involved in drawing up individual action plans for children placed on the register. It is always helpful if parents could inform us of any talents children may display in activities outside school.
A Code of Practice [January 2002] drawn up by the DfES provides guidance to schools on their responsibility for pupils with SEN. Children may be placed on a School Action Stage or School Action Plus Stage or parents register a concern about their child’s progress. Children will be given an Individual Education Plan to set targets to help them with their specific area of need and these plans are reviewed termly. .If children haven’t responded to relevant and purposeful school provision at School Action Plus Stage then the LEA will consider the need for statutory assessment following a request by the school and parents. A very small minority of children are then issued with a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Children with Special Educational Needs are assessed by the schools own specialised teacher (SENCO) , LEA specialised teachers or the educational psychologist. Parents can request an assessment if children are at the School Action or School Action Plus stage.
Children with disabilities
At Bar Hill School we are proud to be a fully inclusive school. Our building is equipped for disabled pupils who have made excellent progress whilst at our school. We also have accessibility plans in place for future improvements to the school buildings and access to the curriculum by disabled pupils.
The LA operates a Parent Partnership scheme for parents to get independent advice about their children with SEN. However, it is advisable to contact the Headteacher or SENCO in the first instance to register any concerns.
The official complaints procedure for Special Needs, is stated below.
If you have any complaint about the Special Educational provision for your child, or about Special Educational Needs generally, please speak to the Headteacher or to any member of the Governing Body. If you speak to a Governor then s/he will, in the first instance, refer the matter to the Headteacher The Headteacher will investigate and then contact you as soon as possible. If s/he has not resolved the matter to your satisfaction it will be referred to the Special Needs Governor who will raise the matter at the next Governors’ Meeting and reply to you as soon as possible.
It is important for you to note that the education we deliver at Bar Hill School is operated within our Statement of Equal Opportunities.
We believe that education has a crucial role to play in bringing about a fair and just society. It is important that pupils learn to respect themselves and each other as future citizens so that we can build a society which is based on mutual respect and understanding.
The education that we provide for our pupils should therefore;
- promote and value racial, cultural and religious diversity
- establish a socially inclusive ethos and environment
- ensure that all pupils are prepared for life in a diverse and multi-ethnic society
- ensure that expectations of all pupils are equally high.
Complaints against the Curriculum
If you have any complaints about our curriculum you should firstly contact the Headteacher. If the problem is not resolved the complaint/query should be directed to the Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the Governing Body. If neither the Head nor the Governing Body provide satisfactory solutions, a complaint can then go to the Local Education Authority.