Here is a overview of our curriculum work.
Within our Art and Design curriculum we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
- Develop their skills and knowledge within drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
- Evaluate and analysis art work using appropriate language
- Know about great artists and designers, and understand the historical and cultural significance of their art forms
Computing is an increasingly important aspect of the school curriculum and our aim is to enable pupils to use computing equipment confidently; to communicate and handle information effectively and to extend the range of their skills as they move through the school. A suite of laptop computers and iPads is used to enable a whole class to work on computing activities at the same time. Every classroom within school is equipped with interactive whiteboards which greatly enhance the delivery of the Computing curriculum. Computing is an area which we constantly update. Children are shown how to use the internet and computers safely in order to safeguard themselves when engaged in such activities.
Each class uses different displays to help the children improve their vocabulary and grammar skills. A great emphasis is placed across the school on the development of literacy skills through a wide variety of teaching and learning approaches. Our English curriculum aims to produce children who are literate, articulate, responsive, creative and independent and provides the pupils with opportunities to develop the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening as effectively as possible.
To enable teachers to do this effectively, the school follows the teaching framework laid down by the newly revised National Curriculum. This framework provides teachers with guidance on areas of learning for children from Reception to Year 6.
Our reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. All books are colour -coded to relate closely to children’s ability as well as a wide range of paper backs and non-fiction books. Parents are encouraged to help with their children’s reading development and all children are able to take their books home. This individualised reading approach is operated alongside ‘Guided Reading’ which is part of many literacy lessons. Children in the early years of education are introduced to a variety of phonic strategies using the ‘Jolly Phonics’ Scheme and Letters and Sounds, and Floppy Phonics from our Oxford Reading scheme.
During 2012 we introduced an approach to reading called Accelerated Reader where many of our reading books within school are leveled into specific bands to allow our children to read within a range of books. Children then undertake ‘quizzes’ to assess their levels of understanding and comprehension. We are finding that this approach is really promoting children’s enjoyment of books and reading, as well as aiding their levels of overall progress.
Alongside our Accelerated Reader programme, we have recently bought into an IT reading package by Lexia UK which allows the children to develop their reading skills across a range of IT devices and tablets. Basic vocabulary, phonics, comprehension and deduction skills are all focused upon and are developed across this approach in a bright and lively manner. Staff have led parent information sessions, looking at Lexia and how it can be used at home. These sessions took place during Autumn 2017.
We continue to place a great importance and emphasis upon Reading skills and enjoyment across all areas of the curriculum. Speaking and listening are an important aspect of the National Curriculum and children are given opportunities for oral work and the use of audio equipment.
We encourage children to be creative and to write for a variety of purposes. We encourage children to view writing as enjoyable and purposeful and to share their work with others in the school. However, we also consider the teaching of grammar, spelling and punctuation to be very important and will encourage children to present their work concisely and neatly. Children are encouraged from an early age to develop a fluent and joined cursive style of writing. Much emphasis is placed across the school on the quality and standard of children’s written work and presentation.
Modern Foreign Languages
Within our school the chosen MfL is that of French and this is taught specifically across Key Stage Two (ages 7-11) and where appropriate in Key Stage One and Early Years. Within Key Stage Two French is taught by a French coach who works alongside teaching members of staff to help deliver aspects of the Languages Programme of Study. This is supplemented by a Lunchtime School club which is open to all year groups on a weekly basis. Teaching for MfL follows the relevant Programme of Study laid out in the curriculum.
Music is part of the curriculum for all children. We aim to approach music within school so that it engages and inspires pupils to develop a love of music and so increase their self- confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Our music curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions.
Learn to sing and use their voices to create and compose music on their own and with others and to have the opportunity to learn musical instruments where appropriate.
Understand and explore how music is created and produces using the aspects of – pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
Attainment targets for Key Stages One and Two are used to structure and deliver the subject content across our different year groups.
From Year 4 onwards children with musical ability may be offered the loan of a wood-wind instrument and receive tuition from a peripatetic music teacher. A charge is made for this service and the offer depends on the availability of county owned instruments. All children will have the opportunity to play their instruments as a group in school assemblies and performances.
We want all children to have the opportunity to enjoy mathematics and study it with confidence and a sense of achievement. We wish them to achieve a high standard in numeracy, develop a range of other mathematical skills and apply these skills with confidence and understanding when solving problems.
To help teachers achieve these aims the school follows the teaching guidelines laid down by the new mathematics National Curriculum which provides detailed areas of learning for children from Reception to Year 6. To support this work we use commercially published schemes as well as materials prepared by teachers. Children are assessed using our own school based tracking system as they progress through the school. This allows us to track progress of individuals, groups and cohorts, as well as check children’s overall attainment at specific age expected year group milestones
Design and Technology
Children are encouraged to work with a range of media to produce both 2D and 3D designs across a range of topic areas. Designing, planning and evaluation are all focused upon with the children as part of this process.
Our science curriculum covers a range of topic areas laid out in the National Curriculum. Carrying out practical investigations and tasks, is seen as a key part of the scientific process.
Our school hall is used for dance and drama, gymnastics and games skills. The school grounds are used for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, rounders, tennis, netball and basketball, as well as athletics in the warmer weather. The school takes part in a range of extra-curricular sporting activities. Children receive regular coaching in a range of games skills throughout the year with the opportunity to compete in locally organised festivals . One of our objectives is to enable as many children as possible to represent the school in inter-school sporting events and to achieve success, enjoyment and satisfaction in doing so. The school uses its Sports Premium funding for much of this PE work. During 2018, the school has had a new fitness trim trail and PE yard marking placed within the school grounds in order to promote physical fitness and structured physical activity. All classes take part in the Daily Mile.
For health and safety reasons we consider it important that children change for PE and Games lessons. No jewellery is to worn for PE activities. For indoor work children will need a tee-shirt, shorts and a pair of clean plimsolls, and from Year 2 onwards, children will need extra clothing for outdoor lessons e.g. a sweatshirt, jogging bottoms or similar and outdoor trainers which can be used on the school field.
Our school holds the Sport England Active Mark Gold Award for the work that we do with our children with regard to Physical Education.
We also hold Healthy School Status which again reflects the work that we do with all of our children.
Swimming is part of the curriculum for children in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. They have the opportunity to go for swimming lessons at Wolsingham Sports and Community College. There is no charge for swimming tuition.The school follows the guidelines of the ASA National Plan for Swimming and that of the National Curriculum.
History and Geography
In the early years the children are taught these subjects through a cycle of integrated themes. The whole class will focus on the same theme for that part of the term. However, the teacher will plan work within that theme which is appropriate to the age and development of the child or the group. Aspects of other subjects such as mathematics and English may also be included.
In Classes 2, 3 and 4 the curriculum in geography, history and science is organised in a mixture of specific National Curriculum subjects and joint topics where appropriate. The children should begin to identify whether the work they are doing is science, history or geography, though as earlier, links with other subject areas will be developed as appropriate. For instance a History theme on “Romans” may encompass elements of English, mathematics and technology.
We use Creative Projects on a termly basis across all year groups within school to develop many aspects of the curriculum in a fun and stimulating manner.
PSHE and Citizenship
At Witton-le-Wear Primary School, we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) places a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore provide an education that gives our pupils the opportunities to explore and develop;
- their own values and beliefs
- spiritual awareness
- high standards of personal behaviour
- a positive caring attitude towards other people
- an understanding of their social and cultural traditions
- an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.
Religious education is offered in a broad Christian form and is, of course, non-sectarian. The school follows the topics and themes set out in the Durham LA Agreed Syllabus. This covers a variety of aspects of Christianity and looks closely at a variety of other religions and their belief and values. Collective worship takes place on a daily basis within school and this can cover religious issues but also spiritual, moral, social and cultural themes which develop children’s overall understanding of the word around them and how to live their lives on a daily basis.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children in whole or in part from this area of the curriculum and should contact the head teacher to discuss alternative arrangement