There are three phases of learning and development referred to within the primary years. Foundation Stage refers to children aged 3 to 5 years (this includes children in our Reception year). Key Stage One refers to those children in Years One and Two. Key Stage Two refers to those children in Years Three to Six.
The School Curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that the school plans for its pupils. The National Curriculum for the primary years is an important element of the school curriculum. All children have equal access to the full range of National Curriculum subjects and Religious Education. These are English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Design and Technology, History, Geography, Art & Design, Languages (KS2), Music and Physical Education. We also plan and teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education and Citizenship, sometimes as separate aspects but often through other National Curriculum subjects and the every day life of the school.
We aim to give pupils the skills, knowledge and understanding to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens.
We are aware that the youngest children have very specific needs when entering school. Children in the Reception year will be involved in a very practical curriculum providing activities and experiences that involve the seven areas of learning and development recognised in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework: Communication and language; Physical development; Personal, social and emotional development; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the world; Expressive arts and design.
Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development.
Children will also be supported in the four specific areas of,
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design.
Art and Design
Through a balanced programme of art activities children are taught to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. All children’s work is valued and displayed when possible. Children explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers and they learn about the function of art in contemporary life.
We have a computer suite that contains fifteen computers and a trolley accommodating sixteen laptops with wireless connectivity. All computers are networked and have internet access. There are computers, interactive whiteboards and visualisers in all classrooms. We also have ipads, digital cameras, video cameras, and a scanner. Computing is taught as a discrete subject to develop knowledge and skills in the use of technology and is applied through other subjects.
The Arts are important to our school and children have the opportunity to participate in a range of cultural experiences. Once a year all children visit the theatre and travelling groups often perform in school. Whenever possible live music features in collective worship and music lessons.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology involves children in designing and making. Its practical nature involves them in developing their own personal skills and knowledge of a wide range of materials, skills and equipment.
Learning to read, write and speak effectively are essential tools for life and therefore English is given a high priority in the curriculum. All children have a daily English lesson when they work on developing key skills in Speaking and Listening: We encourage children to listen attentively and respond to stories, plays and poems. They have many opportunities to discuss, explain and describe situations whilst also listening to the viewpoints of others. They learn to use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings through drama.
Reading: We aim for all children to become fluent, independent, enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry, drama and non-fiction texts. The children will be taught a range of reading strategies including phonic knowledge, grammatical awareness, work recognition and contextual understanding. They will have opportunities to read and respond to a range of literature and non-fiction texts.
Writing: In writing the children learn to communicate meaning in both narrative and non-narrative forms. They will be taught about composition, planning, drafting and editing, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. They will learn about writing for a range of purposes and a variety of readers through using different styles.
Children learn about their immediate surroundings of Welford and Northamptonshire, as well as Great Britain and its place in Europe and the world. The associated map-reading skills, geographical language and experiences are planned to be taught and learnt through first-hand experience as well as through books, aerial photographs, atlases, globes and technological resources. Children have the opportunity to take part in a residential trip at least once during Key Stage Two.
Through learning history, young children can begin to learn and understand something about the past and its influence on life today. The children are taught to use surviving evidence which may be from their own past or from a range of historical sources, to answer questions about former times and thereby develop a curiosity about the past which informs their understanding of the present.
Good mathematical understanding from an early age makes for a firm foundation for life. We develop mathematical ability through practical activities wherever possible, solving relevant and meaningful problems. We use a wide range of resources to support teaching and learning. Children are taught all aspects of number (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). They also learn about shape, money, algebra, measurement and handling data.
Modern Foreign Language (MFL)
All children in Key Stage 2 receive their entitlement to language learning through both formal tuition and by integrating French across other areas of the curriculum where appropriate. All teaching staff deliver a locally approved language scheme within school.
The teaching of music develops a child’s ability to sing, listen, appreciate and recognise different styles of music. Active involvement is encouraged and children compose and interpret music.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)
This aspect is at the moment non-statutory but it is included as an important part of the school curriculum. It is a subject area which is taught by and ‘lived by’ the school. PSHE includes work on self-esteem, drugs education, citizenship and learning about healthier lifestyles. Each class has a weekly Circle-time where the whole class can discuss issues, problems and concerns. Most PSHE is taught within other subjects.
Physical Education (PE)
PE is about developing children’s enjoyment, confidence and skill in physical activity and introducing them to the pleasures of sport. At our school we aim to foster co-operation, tolerance and self-esteem through individual and team activities. All children take part in gymnastics, dance, games and athletics with their class teacher.
We seek to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and awareness of Christianity, as the main religion in Great Britain and the other principal religions represented in this country and to encourage respect for those holding different beliefs. Parents may withdraw their child from RE if they so wish.
We believe that Science is about children developing a sense of enquiry and extending their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Their skills are developed by observing, questioning, measuring, making and testing hypotheses and planning and carrying out investigations.
We are able to use the school grounds and the local environment as an aid to the natural science work. The children learn about plant and animal life, conservation and caring for the environment. They also learn about human life, including their similarities, differences, nutrition, digestion and healthy living.
In physical science the children are taught about different materials (natural and man-made), electricity, magnetism, forces, sound, light and the solar system.
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)
Sex and Relationships Education is taught as part of our Personal Social, Health and Economic Education programme of work. It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is not about the promotion of sexual orientation or sexual activity – this would be inappropriate teaching. We follow a programme of SRE lessons developed to meet the needs of all Key Stages and it is always age-appropriate. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons if they wish. However, children cannot be removed from the SRE programme that is covered by the Statutory National Curriculum Science Orders.
The aims of sport in our school are to develop children’s enjoyment, confidence and skill in a variety of physical activities including swimming and to foster co-operation, tolerance and self-esteem that will continue throughout their lives. In addition to sports provision within the curriculum, our links with Welford Sportsfield Association offer all children the opportunity, with the help of qualified coaches and enthusiastic parents, to participate in football, hockey, cricket and rounders. There are school football and netball teams who compete in local leagues.
Children in Years 3 and 4 will swim at Montsaye Community School. Children will need swimming costume/swimming shorts or trunks and a swimming hat together with a towel. Goggles are not permitted. Items of jewellery must not be worn. The sessions are subsidised through the school budget.
Recent curriculum enrichment activities have included: Bikeability training, enrichment days for more able learners, educational visits (Mandir, New Walk Museum, Wicksteed Park, Mini-Meadows Farm, Pizza Express, residential visits, whole school theatre visit) and visitors into school eg, Education Group: Chinese New Year Dance, Anthony Pedley, story teller and Quantum theatre.
Extra- Curricular Activities
Clubs vary termly but have included art and craft, drama, board games, construction, sewing, knitting, cooking, welly walking, gardening and cinema club. Sports clubs have included football, netball, athletics, rounders, Tag rugby, basketball, multi-skills and country dancing.
Musical Instrument Tuition
Visiting specialists provide tuition for vocalists, stringed instruments, brass, woodwind, keyboards and guitar. There is a charge for these lessons.