The constant evaluating of our Schemes of Work ensures continuity and progression, with the needs of the individual being taken into account through differentiation. These schemes all make use of a wide variety of resources to enable work to be stimulating, and to help engender a desire to learn.
We use the Assertive Mentoring ethos where an assessment is created at the start of a learning unit to gauge a child’s level of knowledge and targets are set. A further assessment at the end of the unit assesses the child’s further knowledge and understanding and whether their targets have been met. The School’s recent Ofsted report states: ‘The curriculum is wide-ranging and well matched to the pupils’ learning needs and interests’.
We aim to ensure a good command of all areas of English. This includes the ability to articulate feelings and ideas, and communicate with people, as well as to encourage an enjoyment of reading, writing and the spoken work.
Our schemes of work follow the new Primary Curriculum.
Speaking and listening is central to language development, particularly at the Foundation and infant stage, and time is spent teaching the children to convey meaning clearly and accurately through speech, as well as listening with concentration and understanding. In-class work is supplemented by class assemblies and productions.
Reading is built around the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, with a wide variety of texts being used to supplement this. Each classroom has its own set of class reading books, and children are encouraged to make use of the school library. Books are regularly sent home, using a “Home/School Reading Record Book” to enable open, regular communication between the teacher and parent, and help involve parents further in the learning process.
Writing is developed in terms of learning the normal conventions of grammar, spelling and punctuation alongside improving the ability to write with interest and sensitivity. Children are taught how to write in a variety of genres for a range of audiences.
Our scheme of work is designed to enable us to give the children an understanding of number, the “four rules” as well as Shape and Space, Measures and Data Handling. We emphasise the use of mental maths and problem solving in order to help give each child a greater understanding of the mathematics they are undertaking. As the child progresses through the school, there is increased more formal recording of their mathematical work, but the mental processes are still seen as a vital part to establishing true mathematical understanding. The school’s recent Ofsted Report (July 2014) states ‘Improvements in mathematics are impressive’.
Within Science we aim to encourage scientific curiosity and to develop a logical approach to scientific investigation. This development is carried out both as a separate element of the curriculum, and mainly within the contexts of learning scientific knowledge around the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The children also develop an understanding of nature and processes, as well as uses and implications of Science. Where possible we make use of practical activities, which encourage the children to raise and investigate their own questions as well as those provided by the teacher.
Short “mental science” sessions allow children and staff to return to topics with a quick fire, highly stimulating focus.
The addition of a laptop trolley and interactive screens in all classrooms enables us to provide high quality teaching in all aspects of computer technology. Children are taught how to use different pieces of equipment and elements of software relevant to their age and ability. They then have the opportunity to practice these skills, both as independent skills and as part of other curriculum work.
Each class also has an iPad.
Children are also encouraged to use recording devices, CD players, videos and telephones as part of their normal activities so that they will see the relevance of using this technology in their everyday lives and learning.
eSafety is taken very seriously and is taught as part of the curriculum. Members of staff also regularly undertake eSafety training.
The children follow the County Guidelines for Religious Education. Whilst emphasis is placed on the Christian religion, other religions and cultures are studied and discussed. Not only do we make use of our many in-school resources but children also benefit from visits by local speakers as well as trips to a variety of places of religious worship.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child/ren from these lessons and/or Collective Worship. Anyone wishing to exercise this right should notify the Headteacher.
A wide variety of mediums, such as paint, collage, print, clay, needlework, pastel and pencil, are used to teach children new skills and techniques. Specific styles and artists are studied, as well as the opportunity for individual and group work based on imagination. We actively seek out local artists to share their skills with our school, and try to provide opportunities for the children to experience art on a larger scale, for example our Millennium Collages that can be seen displayed in school.
Modeling skills are built up through “Focused Tasks” (learning specific skills) which are then used in “Designing and Making” activities (producing a final “model”). A wide range of activities are undertaken, using a variety of materials including wood, clay and concrete (!). Emphasis is placed on the design and making processes – rather than just on the finished product. Children are encouraged to explore with construction kits, and to select the correct tools, being taught how to use them safely for the correct purpose.
Pupils develop a chronological secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study. They are encouraged to appreciate changes within their living memory, significant events beyond living memory and study important individuals from the past. Children also have the chance to explore local historical events and people who have made a major contribution to local, national and international achievements.
The appreciation of music is taught alongside the development of singing and music making skills. Children are encouraged to participate in all activities, with hymn practice supplementing the in-class work. We are able to offer tuition in certain instruments using peripatetic music teachers to provide instrument tuition, if the demand is great enough. We also bring in musicians and musical experiences for the children eg Gospel choir.
We encourage children to value the benefits of participation in physical activities and to have an understanding of those benefits. In all activities we aim to develop confidence, creativity and initiative, as well as the understanding of the conventions of competition, fair play and good sporting behaviour. We are keen that our children are good spectators as well as participants.
We are fortunate to have a large hall that is used for dance, drama, music and movement as well as gymnastics. We have a large playing field and playground which means we have the hard and soft play areas outside to enable a full and varied curriculum.
We are part of a vibrant District Sports Association and enter teams in a wide range of tournaments and friendlies.
As a school we are very fortunate to have our own outdoor pool which is in use for lessons during the summer term. A community group has been formed to create a committee that is working towards opening the pool out of school hours. In the Spring term, children in Year 1 and 5 have swimming lessons at Dursley pool as it is our intention that all children can swim a distance of 25m before leaving for Secondary school.
Children in KS2 are taught French, which includes the French culture. The children learn a balance of spoken and written so they can understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing.
We actively promote equal opportunities through a policy of non-discrimination in our classroom preparation, resources and teaching. The school takes into account the needs of all children with special educational needs, be they the more able or the less able.
Although we live in a predominantly white, British community, we feel strongly that the education we offer our children should be multicultural. Our children will benefit from meeting, at some stage in their lives, people of different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, a knowledge and understanding of these different cultures is essential to ensure a more co-operative, tolerant and peaceful society.
As a school we wanted to improve opportunities for play and the quality of children’s play. We believe that play is essential for physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development. In a time where outdoor play environments and opportunities are on the decline, the school grounds provide a crucial place for children to experience self-initiated play. As a result, we introduced the OPAL (Outdoor Play and Learning) programme. The aim is to help us to create happier playtimes and improve play throughout the school and to make better use of our extensive school grounds.
We have specific aims which are:
We aim to give the children the opportunity to:
We introduced the programme in September and we will be working with the OPAL team over an 18 month period on establishing OPAL in our school. We are already beginning to see the benefits in children’s increasing engagement with the ideas and their enjoyment of playtime. We have created an open storage stables in the open shed which has made it much easier for the children to access the increasing range of ‘junk’ materials they are using for play. We have also received donations of ride-on toys, scooters, trikes, skateboards etc for children to use at school.
We have also appointed a new Play Coordinator who has lots of exciting ideas to develop the OPAL project further and all of our Midday Supervisors we have re-designated as Play Workers with their roles focused on improving the quality of lunchtime play.
A key part of the project is also focused on making the best possible use of the outdoor areas and the school grounds to enable things like den building, tree climbing and bug hunting to take place. We were also lucky enough to get the Woodlands Trust to supply us with over 100 new trees and spent several days last week planting them: every child in school planting a tree in what we are starting to develop as our forest school area in which we have plans for a mud kitchen, a fire pit and an outdoor theatre.