The school’s curriculum is made up from the following subjects in line with the National
|Foundation Subjects |
Design and technology
PE and Games
PSHME (Personal, Social and
Health and Moral Education
The Curriculum is organised on a three year rolling programme to ensure coverage of the entire programmes of study and to accommodate the fact that, in common with most village schools, we teach in mixed age classes. The programmes are introduced by means of a topic which provides a focus, giving breadth and continuity.
Teachers assess the progress and achievements of children regularly in order to provide for their future needs. Pupils in Years 2 to 6 are tested annually with Standardised Assessment Tests in English and Mathematics along with Science at Year6. Copies of the National Curriculum and Schemes of work and policies are available from the school office.
English is the most important subject in our curriculum. The ability to speak and listen with confidence, and to read and write fluently enable all of us to function well in the society in which we live and provides access to all areas of learning.
The amount of time we devote to teaching this subject - 6 hours each week in Key Stages 1 and 2 - reflects its importance. We follow the National Literacy Strategy framework in daily 'Literacy Hours' and give the additional time to extended writing and drama.
The children at Ilsington School become confident speakers, happy to present their work to their peers or parents and able to discuss issues sensibly in forums such as their School Council.
We believe that reading is a great source of pleasure, as well as information and our class and school libraries are well stocked with a variety of fiction and non-fiction books. The reading scheme books in Class 1 are colour banded according to their level of difficulty. The children can take a banded book at their own reading level home to read to you, or a general fiction or information book of their choice to share. Some of the books in Class 2 are also graded for difficulty and the children are encouraged to take class books home to independently or with you. Information about how we teach reading is given to parents at regular curriculum evenings.
Mathematics can equip children with the skills to think logically, develop problem solving strategies and think in abstract ways. The programme of work follows the National Numeracy Strategy framework, with a daily maths lesson. This includes time to practise mental calculations, as well as written recording. Throughout the school the children are generally taught in groups that reflect their ability. They are given every opportunity to use and apply their skills in other areas of the curriculum and to use ICT to support their learning.
Science teaching at Ilsington School seeks to develop the children's natural curiosity about the world around them and to encourage their skills of observation. In Science lessons they make predictions, then explore what happens and relate what they have learnt to previous knowledge. Our garden and pond area, as well as our beautiful local surroundings, are used to the full to find out at first hand about habitats and the plants and creatures which inhabit them.
Information and Communication Technology
Known in school as ICT, this area of the curriculum is developing rapidly. The school is constantly updating resources and we now have six PCs, two laptop computers and two digital camera for the children's use, as well as an extensive range of software. There is internet access in both classrooms, giving the children the opportunity to develop the skills of computer literacy which are essential for their lives in the 21st century. Both classes have timetabled ICT sessions during which skills are taught. We have recently purchased a data projector which greatly enhances teachers' ability to deliver ICT and other lessons. We are planning to purchase 8 wireless laptops in the near future. ICT is a valuable resource to broaden our pupils horizons. We hope to use these laptops flexibly in the classroom, on field trips and for the pupils to take home for particular projects.
The study of the History helps children to consider what past societies were like, how they were organised and the beliefs and cultures which influenced people's actions. At our school, History is taught through topics, with the younger children learning about their personal and family histories as well as the lives of others long ago. Older pupils investigate some important periods of British history, as well as Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt.
The immediate environment plays a large part in the Geography curriculum and is the starting place for the children to understand their own place in the community. We make extensive use of our location between Dartmoor and the South Devon coast, organising regular geography-related activities. As they progress through the school, the children acquire geographical skills which enable them to describe how places have developed and our responsibility towards managing environments in sustainable ways.
Design and Technology offers the opportunity for children to apply themselves intellectually and creatively in providing solutions to technological problems.
D & T spans the curriculum, drawing on and linking other knowledge and skill areas. While covering the scheme of work, the children are engaged in focused practical tasks where they learn skills and techniques; product evaluation tasks, where they explore existing products and 'design and make' assignments, where they can apply what they have learnt. Food technology and textile work form part of the D & T curriculum, and in these and other areas the children learn to use tools safely and confidently.
Art and Design
Art has a unique role in the development of every child. It promotes confidence and enjoyment in communicating and expressing ideas, as well as playing a supportive role in other curriculum areas. We aim to provide pupils with the skills and appreciation of art to enjoy throughout their lives. The children gain experience of a wide range of techniques including drawing, painting, printing, 3-D work and clay. They are introduced to the work of famous artists and craftspeople, as well as, where possible, working alongside local artists. A mosaic artist and silk painter have both worked in school this year, creating beautiful pieces of work with the children.
Music is a very important part of our curriculum and the children have many opportunities to listen, play and perform. We are fortunate in having on our staff Mrs Downton, a talented musician and music teacher. As well as teaching music to both classes, she offers individual or small group instrumental tuition. The children can learn to play guitar, keyboard and violin with her, or any of the brass or woodwind instruments, including recorder, with our visiting music tutor. Many of the children play in the school orchestra, bell group, guitar group, etc., and they perform both at school events and in the wider community. The school takes part in the Devon Schools' Proms, held annually in Torquay and at concerts in South Dartmoor Community College.
Our aim in P.E. is to promote physical activity and a healthy life-style. We aim to teach children the skills and encourage enthusiasm which will last a lifetime. PE lessons take place in the playground, at our school field, in the nearby Village Hall and at Dyrons Swimming Pool in Newton Abbot. We are fortunate to have good links with South Dartmoor, our local secondary school and members of their P.E. staff visit weekly to work with the junior class. Our pupils have lessons in games, gymnastics, dance, swimming, athletics and outdoor & adventurous activities. In addition to work in the P.E. curriculum, the school has it's own football team and after-school clubs in games, netball and athletics run most terms.
At Key Stages 1 and 2 we follow the scheme of work that accompanies the Devon Agreed Syllabus. The children are introduced to the main beliefs and practices of Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, as well as aspects of Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism. In lessons they are able to discuss and explore their own feelings and beliefs, and are taught the importance of respecting the beliefs and religious practices of others.
Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
In this area of the curriculum the children learn how to keep themselves safe and healthy. They learn about relationships, rights and responsibilities, and the environment. They explore their own views, feelings and needs and learn the importance of respecting those of others. Developing their own role as an active member of their community is encouraged, in particular through participation in the School Council. Each class has a 'Circle Time' session at least weekly where many of the above areas are developed.
Sex Education is part of Science and Health Education lessons throughout the school. Children in Class 1 may study, for example, the video 'Cats have Kittens' as part of their work on Pets. In Years 5 or 6 the children see and discuss a series of television programmes on dealing with puberty and sex education. Parents have the opportunity to preview these programmes before we use them with the children, and to discuss the syllabus with the class teacher.
Special Educational Needs
Children who have learning difficulties or a particular need work on individual educational programmes, to ensure that they have equal access to the curriculum. Identification and assessment of those requiring special arrangements are made as early as possible, in consultation with pupils and parents. Where necessary, external support services and agencies are consulted, to ensure provision is appropriate. The degree of intervention required reflects the Code of Practice for children with special needs. Teaching is flexible so that, where possible and appropriate, the children work with a group of similar ability. Extra support may be provided by teaching assistants. The school also has a policy for children who are particularly gifted to enable them to extend and enrich their learning.
Residential and Other Visits
Children in Years 5 and 6 have the opportunity to take part in a residential visit each year. Recently, these have been to the Heatree Centre on Dartmoor and to Grenville House in Brixham. Activities such as orienteering, archery, abseiling and a variety of water sports are offered. In addition, both classes make regular visits in connection with their topic work, sometimes with the children from Widecombe Primary School.