About the Curriculum
To comply with the statutory obligations, the National Curriculum is taught and each child's progress is monitored and assessed. The National Curriculum stipulates the teaching of certain core subjects, and beyond these, a breadth of learning is provided.
- Information Communication Technology
- Design Technology
- Art & Design
R.E. is taught in accordance with the Agreed Syllabus.
All staff are designated as co-ordinators for different subjects in the National Curriculum. This means that they have responsibility for the development, monitoring and resourcing of these subjects.
The National Curriculum is only part of what is experienced by the pupils. We believe that the formal and informal, the direct and the indirect experiences and opportunities for development and learning provided by the school are all an important part of a child's education.
Art & Design
In Art & Design lessons children are taught to draw, paint, print, produce collage and three-dimensional work. The work of famous artists is studied and their techniques interpreted. Work of local crafts people is valued, and visits to Galleries take place. We aim to give the children a sound educational background in art and a love and enthusiasm for art in its many forms.
Whilst Science investigates the environment, Technology re-shapes it. Children learn how to design, make and evaluate objects. This involves them in the use of a variety of tools and materials to build their designs and to test their effectiveness and to look for improvements. Children are taught how to use tools and materials safely and confidently from an early age.
Since Language is the principal vehicle of communication and has an influence on all areas of the curriculum, the Language policy of the school is of immense importance. Our Language teaching incorporates the National Literacy Framework., and comprises three distinct areas.
Speaking and Listening
It is important that a child is able to communicate his/her thoughts by speaking clearly and is able to listen to what is said. Children, when they start school, bring a wealth of varied experience of speaking and listening with them. The school is able to build on this by creating opportunities for the children to interrelate with one another either formally or informally.
Drama techniques are taught and used in Drama productions and in cross-curricular activities to enhance learning. The children watch drama productions in school and are taken to the theatre. They are given the opportunity to respond to drama they have watched, as well as that in which they have participated.
The love of books and reading is our highest priority. From the moment that children enter school they are surrounded by a variety of both fiction and non-fiction. The children are taught to read by a variety of methods according to individual needs.
There is a Red House Book Club in school where children can select books from a list twice a term. There is an opportunity for children to save money weekly and then to spend it on the book club.
Children are encouraged to become writers from an early age. Different forms of writing are taught e.g. narrative, recount, procedures, reports, explanation, persuasive. Punctuation and spelling are taught from an early age.
Geography contributes to our school curriculum by stimulating the children’s curiosity about the natural and human world and introducing them to people, places and environments.
Children undertake geographical enquiry, in which they address geographical questions both inside and outside the classroom. They learn to analyse evidence, evaluate information and express their ideas and views.
The children are provided with opportunities to reflect critically on their place in the world and their rights and responsibilities in relation to other people and the environment.
Children follow the programmes of study as presented in the National Curriculum. Wherever possible, the children will learn from primary source material and from visits to museums and sites of historical interest. Through the study of history the children’s understanding of themselves, the influence of the past on their lives and their place in the wider community will be enhanced.
They learn about change and continuity in the locality, the British Isles and other parts of the world.
Their learning will also be stimulated through discussion and role-play.
Information Communication Technology
Computers are an integral part of classroom teaching at Whitley, there being a network of computers in school with 5 computers in each classroom and 2 computers in the Reception classroom. ICT is used to support, enhance and extend the quality of learning across the curriculum. Children develop their skills in using hardware and software to manipulate information. Through ICT teaching children gain in knowledge and understanding of the importance of information, how to select it and prepare it. The children explore the value of IT for themselves, others and society.
School provides a wide range of mathematical experiences and seeks to highlight the relevance of mathematics in everyday life. Positive attitudes are fostered so that children gain confidence and an enthusiasm for mathematics. The content of the school’s maths programme is largely determined by the National Numeracy Strategy, in conjunction with the National Curriculum.
To ensure that there is adequate time for developing numeracy skills each class has a daily lesson for mathematics, lasting from 45 to 60 minutes. During each lesson the emphasis will be on direct teaching and questioning of the whole class, a group of pupils, or individuals.
In all parts of the lesson a strong emphasis is placed upon mental methods of calculation, with the children expected to employ a range of strategies in problem solving.
Music is very much a practical activity within the school curriculum. Children are encouraged to take part in the singing of a wide variety of songs in differing styles as well as action songs and singing games, which they may accompany by hand-clapping rhythms or percussion instruments.
As they progress through the school children gain in confidence by playing pitched or unpitched instruments or singing individually in groups or as a class. All children from Year 2 to Year 6 learn the recorder. Guitar, violin, clarinet, flute, and keyboard are taught to children from Year 2 upwards by an instrumental teacher, for which a charge is made.
There is a strong emphasis on performance so opportunities are created where children can share their music with other children and parents at assemblies or concerts. Children are encouraged to compose music in groups using musical instruments and technology.
When listening to music, either for enjoyment or its expressive qualities, children are encouraged to recognise the main characteristics of the music and the instruments which produce the sounds. Works of famous composers are used in class and assemblies and through discussion children begin to appreciate the importance of music in our culture.
Through PE children develop physical co-ordination, artistic and aesthetic understanding and also learn to cope with both success and failure in competitive and co-operative physical activities.
We provide a programme covering a range of activities including gymnastics, dance, swimming, athletics and outdoor education. We play team games such as football, netball, hockey, rounders and short tennis. These activities are taught within the curriculum and are also catered for in an extra-curricular PE club. We aim to develop the children’s skills, so that they can play effectively as part of a team, and are encouraged to play with determination and good sportsmanship. These activities involve the development of qualities such as commitment, teamwork, integrity and fairness.
We aim to engender a love of sport in all our children, and we believe this is reflected in our PE club, which is attended by 90 - 95% of our Junior children. The PE club is run by the PE co-ordinator. She has an ASA swimming teachers qualification and a football-coaching certificate. Parents who have specialist skills are encouraged to help with PE club.
We are keen to encourage that sport is for all and prefer to provide mixed teams. We have contacts with the local rugby club, who run occasional coaching sessions, and we have had some cricket and football coaching by outside agencies.The whole school have visited Warrington Rugby League ground, and we have links with Broomfields Recreation Centre, where we take the children swimming.
Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Cheshire Religious Education Agreed Syllabus which is based on encounter and response to the main world religions.
Children celebrate the main Christian festivals and are introduced to the wide richness of world culture through Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Islam.
Through the teaching children learn to respect other peoples views and beliefs.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education or from daily school assemblies.
Every child fully explores the Natural, Biological and Physical Sciences, building on previous experience and developing his/her concepts, skills and knowledge. The teaching of Science aims to encourage an attitude of learning centred on a practical approach. We believe that children learn by doing and discussing and we provide experiences to help them make sense of the world around them.
Our main aims
to ensure children develop a positive attitude towards Science
to ensure that children develop and practise scientific methods of investigation, propose reasoned explanations, devise fair tests and evaluate results
to develop children's scientific knowledge
to provide a rich environment so that interest and curiosity are aroused and children are stimulated to ask questions
to use the immediate environment as a source of investigation and enquiry
A variety of apparatus and suitable attractive books are available for the children's use.