The Curriculum at Montgomery
The National Curriculum provides the framework for work in the major subjects. The Children being admitted this year as four year olds, will be leaving school well into the 21st Century. The demands of an ever changing, highly technological society will have to be met in their daily lives. At Montgomery we intend to lay firm foundations and develop positive attitudes to prepare them to meet this challenge with confidence, flexibility and enthusiasm.
We place a great emphasis on children’s literacy and numeracy as being the basis for most of the later work they will do. We recognise that children start school with a great variety of experiences and abilities, and we take some time to find out what they can do, and then take them on from that point.
Most other subjects such as science, history and geography are taught in units of work that focus on that subject, rather than topics that cover lots of subjects. We recognise, however, that children need to see knowledge about the world as interlinking, and we try to exploit links between subjects whenever possible. We try hard to use some subjects [such as maths, IT and English] to help understand other subjects [such as science and geography].
Teaching takes place in single age groups throughout the school, with children being put into ability sets for maths and English from the second term of year 4 onwards. There is specialist teaching in French from year 3.
In September 2000 the government introduced a new curriculum for Nursery and Reception children [ages 3 – 5]. This covers six areas of learning and sets out early learning goals to be achieved by the end of the Foundation Stage.
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication, language and literacy
- Mathematical development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Creative development
The emphasis is on practical activities and play within a well-resourced and well-planned environment – inside and outside. As a school we welcome the recognition this gives to such an important time in a child’s education.
‘In this way, standards of learning and teaching will be raised, so helping to give children secure foundations on which future learning can build’ Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.
The foundation stage is also where we begin our partnership with parents which we hope will continue through the whole of your child’s time with us.
English is taught through the four inter-related components of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Much of our English is taught through the daily literacy hour but we also recognise that children need and use language in every aspect of their lives. Children are put into sets for English from the second term in year 4.
A strong, flexible and thorough reading programme runs throughout the school, which enables children to learn to read through a variety of methods, and has features suited to all abilities.
There is a booklet for parents on the school approach to reading which includes suggestions on how you can help.
All the children in years 1-6 have a daily maths session and our approach closely follows the principles expressed in the National Numeracy Strategy. We use a wide range of resources and approaches to help children develop the skills laid out in the strategy, with teaching placing great emphasis on mental work, being able to relate mathematical concepts to real life situations, as well as being able to estimate and solve problems.
A very practical approach is emphasised with children being encouraged to find answers, become actively involved in making observations and comparisons, considering evidence and testing their own ideas. Our scheme is based on the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority guidelines. Science is taught in units of work subject, particularly to the older pupils.
Information and Communications Technology [ICT]
The use of ICT has grown considerably over the past few years and the number of computers and other ICT items in school is growing continually. At present we have a computer suit with all the machines linked to the Net as well as stand alone machines in most of the class rooms.At the time of writing we have two main strands to our approach running from Foundation Stage to year 6:
- We provide children with skills on a range of applications and in more generic computer skills such as manipulating files.
- We are developing the use of ICT to support work in subject areas.
The National Curriculum and QCA documents for History and Geography provide the framework for units of work throughout the school. These subjects are taught in units of work that have either a History or geography focus. The areas covered are shown in the charts of units of work.
Religious Education is planned in accordance with the latest Devon Agreed Syllabus which draws on the National QCA guidelines and comes with the recommendation of a Standing Advisory Council, which includes representatives of the various denominations of the Christian Church in Devon as well as representatives of the LEA and teaching profession. As well as the main aspects of the Christian faith, children are also made aware of other people's pathways to God through the study of beliefs, worship, festivals and celebrations in other world faiths.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the religious education programme.