Our carefully planned curriculum aims to be rich and varied, challenging and inspiring, providing the children with a broad and balanced education that meets the Foundation Stage Profile and the National Curriculum statutory requirements and acknowledges the individual needs of each child. The Literacy and Numeracy hours are major features of each school day for all children.
· Speaking and Listening
Great emphasis is placed upon the child’s ability to communicate effectively. Children are encouraged to express themselves clearly and accurately while developing confidence in expressing their views. Vitally important listening skills are also developed through individual and group activities.
The children are given every opportunity to develop a love of reading. We encourage the children to read for both enjoyment and information, while enabling them to become fluent and expressive readers of a wide range of books and other materials.
The school follows the system of shared and guided reading led by the Class Teacher as recommended by the National Literacy Strategy and we use sets of colour coded books. Children are guided to choose one from their colour box to take home each day. Group reading is supplemented by individual reading in the early years which is supported by many volunteers and our Teaching Assistants as well as the Class Teacher. The colour coded books are supplemented by an additional range of material in the class and school library.
Parents are encouraged to help and share in their children’s reading and we use a home/school reading record to foster this.
Children are encouraged to become fluent and accurate in their use of written English. The children are taught the skills of handwriting to enable them to develop a fluent, legible style. We use a wide range of activities to help children spell correctly; this includes learning spelling lists. The children are given opportunities to develop as authors, with great attention paid to punctuation and grammar and to the quality and presentation of all written work both within the Literacy Hour and for other curriculum subjects.
Our aim is to enable each child to become confident and competent in mathematics. Within the Numeracy Hour, the children are encouraged to make use of their knowledge, skills and understanding outlined in the prescribed National Curriculum areas of study: number, shapes and space, measures and data handling.
Great importance is attached to the learning of basic numeracy skills and quick mental recall. As the children progress through the school they learn their multiplication tables and number bonds. Working independently and in groups, they are also expected to make decisions, to reason, to communicate, to plan and make models and to use calculators and computers.
The science curriculum encourages children to develop the intellectual and practical skills that allow them to explore and investigate the world around them. They are given the opportunities to carry out meaningful experiments, evaluate scientific evidence and present their findings in an appropriate way. We aim to raise children’s awareness of their own environment and to develop responsible attitudes towards it.
ICT is taught as a skill and is used across the curriculum to support learning in all other subjects. There are at least two computers in every classroom plus a set of laptops and four computers for shared use in the library corridor. The school has a Broadband Network and use of the Internet and email are taught and encouraged at appropriate times. All classrooms are now fitted with Interactive Whiteboards and Overhead Projectors using Smart software.
Arrangements for Religious Education follow the guidelines of the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus.
The teaching, which broadly reflects Christian traditions, helps the children to understand the nature of religion, its beliefs and practices. It also helps the children to develop an understanding of themselves in relation to other people through learning about festivals, places of worship, stories linked to different traditions and discovering people whose lives have been influenced by their faiths and beliefs.
Parents have the option to request that their child be excluded from this subject and collective worship. Requests should initially be made to the Headteacher and then to the Governors when alternative arrangements will be made.
The D&T curriculum promotes children’s skills for planning, designing, making and evaluating. The children are given the opportunity to explore artefacts and raise questions related to design and purpose. Children are also encouraged to refine and redraft their ideas and become critical in their craftsmanship in order to meet the needs of design specifications. We have a Food Technology area providing resources for groups of children to work through a progression of structured activities.
The children are provided with a wide range of learning experiences to extend their awareness and understanding of their surroundings and the world in which they live. They are given opportunities to investigate historical sources which include the study of documents, artefacts and photographs, visits to historic sites, museums and the use of drama. Over some years a number of topic boxes have been resourced to support different areas of the history curriculum.
Children are encouraged to develop geographical skills by extending their interest, knowledge and understanding of people and places, near and far. A number of visits are planned each year to encourage the study of the local village and surrounding area through first hand experience. Comparisons with wider geographical areas are provided through residential school trips. Over some years a number of topic boxes have been resourced to support different areas of the geography curriculum.
The art curriculum aims to provide interest and enjoyment for the children while helping to develop the essential skills of eye/hand co-ordination, observation and perseverance. Colour mixing skills begin in class 1 and children use the same system throughout school. This builds an increased confidence in the children to mix paint and helps to encourage appreciation of colour in all forms of art.
Children are given the opportunity to investigate and communicate their ideas by using a wide variety of different media and techniques. Visits from artists are encouraged during Art Week.
The children are encouraged to have a positive attitude towards all sport and physical education through the acquisition of skills and the development of co-operation and confidence.
The children take part in apparatus work and educational gymnastics, movement and dance, team games, swimming and athletics. All children have the opportunity to use the school learners’ pool in the summer term.
Netball, football, hockey, tag rugby, rounders and cricket matches and tournaments are played regularly against other schools during the appropriate seasons. We also have an annual Fun Run, a Sports Day and Health & Fitness Week in the Summer Term in which the whole school participates.
Physical education activities are an important part of all children’s education and all children are expected to take part unless there are special grounds for exclusion. If a child is unfit for any particular physical activity, parents are asked to let the school know in writing so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Children are encouraged to listen critically and responsively to a wide variety of music from different periods and cultures. They are given the opportunity to create their own music and to develop their skills in vocal and musical compositions. The school encourages visits from musicians and groups such as recently, the Coldstream Guards.
All juniors have a weekly recorder lesson and have the opportunity to pay for individual and group instrumental tuition in flute, clarinet, violin and brass.
The school also has an excellent choir which meets weekly after school; all junior pupils have the opportunity to belong. There is also a community choir for past pupils and other young people.
Pupils participate in music festivals at both KS1 and KS2 with other schools in the Linton Cluster. Recently older pupils have taken part in a local Young Musician of the Year competition.
This is not part of the National Curriculum, but we believe it to be one of the most vital parts of the school curriculum. It is taught by a variety of approaches following the Cambridgeshire PSHCE scheme of work and using the resources “Health for Life” and “Staying Safe”. These are available for parents to look at in school.
Sex and Relationship Education is covered in the context of an understanding of human development and relationships. Children’s questions will be answered as they arise. The school policy and scheme of work are currently being reviewed. Parents are informed when these lessons are programmed and invited to preview the materials and resources to be used. Parents have the right to withdraw their children if they feel that these sessions will be unsuitable for their child.
In preparation for the requirement that all KS2 children be taught a foreign language by 2010, children at our school are introduced to French from Year 3. This is taught orally in a fun way about once a week.
Questions and Complaints about the curriculum
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Any questions or complaints about curriculum matters should be first directed informally to the Class Teacher. If this does not resolve the matter it should be discussed with the Headteacher. It would be helpful if an appointment is made with due notice of the complaint so that it may be investigated before the interview. The matter, if then unresolved, should be reported to the Chair of Governors who may refer it to the Curriculum Committee if appropriate. There is a helpful leaflet provided by the Local Education Authority, available in school to help you, if you feel the need to complain.