Curriculum Provision

At Harrold Lower School we believe that learning is an enjoyable, lifelong process through which everyone can achieve their potential and exceed their expectations. We challenge and support our pupils to do their very best by providing a range of learning experiences.

Harrold Lower School is committed to meeting the requirements of the new primary curriculum which was introduced in September 2014.

This year we have updated our schemes of work to reflect the content and challenge of the new curriculum. Teachers received training in the key areas of curriculum change and we strive to provide outstanding curriculum provision.

The curriculum will be taught with the consideration of the needs of all learners. Our curriculum will be exciting and will inspire children to nurture a passion for learning.

Teaching Methods

In each class, the teacher plans meticulously to meet the needs of your child and to satisfy the requirements of the National Curriculum. There may be times during the week that the teacher plans for the learning of a small group of children or an individual child to be supported by a teaching assistant. This support may take place within the classroom or in the school library or ICT suite.

On occasion a teacher with a particular expertise, e.g. mathematics, music, P.E., science and dance will take another teacher’s class for a specific lesson.

On some days you will find children from one class working on different activities at the same time, equally you will see formal whole class teaching taking place.  The key to which method is used in our school is a combination of the needs of the children and the requirements of the subject being taught.  We will always attempt to match our teaching to the learning styles of our pupils.

Pupils are set by ability in Phonics and following assembly, the children go to their Phonics groups where the teaching and learning is closely matched to the ability of the children.

The Organisation of Learning

At Harrold Lower School the programmes of study for all the subjects of the National Curriculum are followed.

The Government have published a New National Curriculum which is to be implemented from 1 September 2014.

The National Curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps to develop and encourage their appreciation of human creativity and achievement.

The structure of the national curriculum, in terms of which subjects are compulsory at each key stage, is set out in the table below:

Figure 1 – Structure of the National Curriculum

Key stage 1

Key stage 2

Age

5 – 7

7 – 11

Year groups

1 – 2

3 – 6

 Core subjects
English

Yes

Yes

Mathematics

Yes

Yes

Science

Yes

Yes

 Foundation subjects
Art and design

Yes

Yes

Citizenship
Computing

Yes

Yes

Design and technology

Yes

Yes

Foreign Language

Yes

Geography

Yes

Yes

History

Yes

Yes

Music

Yes

Yes

Physical Education

Yes

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

All schools are also required to teach religious education at all key stages.

Figure 2 – Statutory teaching of religious education and sex and relationship education

Key stage 1

Key stage 2

Age

5 – 7

7 – 11

Year groups

1 – 2

3 – 6

Religious education

Yes

Yes

Sex and relationship education

 

For more information or to access the full document ‘The national curriculum in England’ published by the DfE, please go to www.gov.uk/dfe/nationalcurriculum.

 

In Harrold Lower School, our curriculum planning, we produce schemes of work which identify appropriate content, teaching and learning activities for each subject area. We always endeavour to ensure that activities are matched to the individual needs, development and ability of the children.

Each September, the class teachers hold an Information Evening for parents on areas that will be studied throughout the year. Parents are invited to come into their child’s classroom every Tuesday morning at 9.00am to be informed by the class teacher of the following week’s learning and ways in which that learning can be supported at home.

The School Curriculum

Reception – Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

In Reception Class we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The Early years Foundation Stage (EYFS) applies to children from birth to the end of the reception year. The EYFS is based upon four principles;

  1. Every child is unique
  2. Children learn to be more independent through positive relationships
  3. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments
  4. Children develop and learn in different ways and different rates

The EYFS curriculum is made up of three prime areas and four specific areas:

Prime

  1. Personal, social and emotional development
  2. Physical development
  3. Communication and language

Specific

  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the World
  4. Expressive Arts and Design

All areas of learning are delivered through a balance of adult led and child initiated activities. “The characteristics of effective learning are the demonstrated in the ways in which the child engages with other people and their environment,

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically
  • underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner” (Pg 4, Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – Early Education supported by DfE 2012)

Assessment in the EYFS takes the form of observation and this process includes all the adults supporting the child’s learning journey. We record judgements against the EYFS goals. At the end of the reception year, the EYFS profile indicates whether each child is emerging, at expected or has exceeded levels of development.

The Curriculum – Years 1 – 4

In Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2, ages 5 – 7 years) and 2 (Years 3 – 4, ages 7 – 9 years) our school’s curriculum follows the National Curriculum. This curriculum is the ‘basic’ school curriculum and includes the ‘national curriculum’, Religious Education and sex education. It encompasses the range of subjects taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

English

At Harrold Lower School, we provide engaging opportunities for children to learn lifelong literacy skills, allowing them to communicate both in written and spoken form.  From the very first literacy experiences in Reception class through to Year 4, speaking and listening plays an essential part for the children’s progression. As the children begin to experiment with the written form, our ‘SoundsWrite’ phonics programme allows them to explore the language. Our flexible programme allows children to learn and apply new reading and writing skills within targeted groups.

Children enjoy producing many forms of writing throughout their school life at Harrold Lower School. They have opportunities to explore the different writing genres within regular writing sessions. With literacy targets to achieve, children pay regard to grammar and punctuation. They take pride in their work, through their use of cursive handwriting.

Mathematics

Maths is taught through a daily numeracy lesson which follows the principles of the Primary Numeracy Strategy. This ensures a broad and thorough coverage of the main aspects of numeracy: number, shape space and measure, data handling and using and applying mathematics. There is also a strong emphasis on mental arithmetic and children are set regular tasks to develop this skill.
In order to develop mathematical skills and concepts, children are grouped within their class according to their ability but these groups are often changed according to individual strengths and weaknesses across the main aspects of numeracy.

Considerable importance is attached to the children achieving and understanding mathematical processes and it is our aim to ensure children feel confident and encouraged about their learning in maths. This is achieved by planning interesting and enjoyable lessons that give each child the opportunity to actively participate in the learning process. Class teachers also plan for opportunities to develop and apply key mathematical skills in other subjects throughout the year and to real life situations.

Parents can greatly help their children by practising number bonds and multiplication tables with their children.  Multiplication tables are tested weekly from Year 1.

Science

Science begins from the children’s own observations and experiences. The teaching of this subject offers the children opportunities to be inquisitive, to explore and find out about the world around them. Their curiosity is promoted and the progression of questions, the use of books, measuring and recording, sometimes over a period of time, and finally predictions are encouraged. As they progress through the school, the children carry out practical investigations with greater independence and have the opportunity to research information, use a variety of equipment and resources and sometimes go on visits to other establishments to gain first-hand experience. In their work, children develop a variety of strategies to analyse what they have found out and are encouraged to record their findings accordingly. The Science units can also be linked to other areas of the curriculum such as ICT, Maths and Art and topics covered include Light and Sound, Changing Materials, Forces In Action, Life Cycles, Habitats and Healthy Living.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

ICT is embedded in all areas of the curriculum. Through a variety of subjects and activities, pupils are taught a range of knowledge, skills and understanding through four areas of learning: finding things out; developing ideas and making things happen; exchanging and sharing information; reviewing, modifying and evaluating work as it progresses. They use word-processing, multimedia, graphics, data handling and modelling software. Throughout the school, the children have access to a range of digital resources including PCs, laptops, iPads, digital cameras, microscopes and programmable toys.

The school has a programme of investment in ICT to ensure that children have access to resources that reflects the constantly changing technology that they encounter in the wider world.

Geography

Geography is presented to the younger children with the focus of themselves. They explore their home, school and the local environment. They continue to focus on what’s familiar to them by looking at journeys and transport, and why people decide to make journeys.
In KS2 children develop their map skills and how to read and create various maps, they study settlements, and land use. They look at environmental issues by comparing and contrasting areas around Britain and locations around the world.

History

Foundation stage and Key Stage One are introduced to history through sequencing, listening to stories and looking at photographs or exploring artefacts. Then as the children travel up the school the children go on to study from a range of topics, such as the Romans, invaders and settlers, Britain since 1930, Victorians and Ancient Egypt. All the children have the opportunity to visit museums and we also have visitors come into the school to present workshops and performances.

Art & Design

Children have the opportunity to work with a wide range of media and materials to develop their skills and techniques in Art and Design.  These include the use of paint, pastel, charcoal, textile, clay and digital media.  They are encouraged to express themselves creatively in both 2D and 3D, indoors and outdoors using a range of stimuli which provide different starting points. Children study the work of artists and designers, considering how a piece was made or created and how it made them feel.  They discuss and evaluate their own work and that of their peers.  Children’s art work is valued and displayed prominently throughout the school.

Design Technology

Children are encouraged to develop their skills in D.T. through practical tasks and projects.  They are invited to find solutions to a range of problems.  Children are engaged in their own designing and planning, testing of ideas, and product creations.  They discuss, evaluate and amend their solutions/ products throughout the project, and support each other to improve upon original ideas.

Music

Music is taught throughout the school by our specialist Music teacher from Year 1 to Year 4. In Reception, the children are taught by the class teacher. The weekly lessons provide the children with a wealth of musical experiences and opportunities to develop their skills and understanding of how music is made. The content of the music curriculum includes using sounds and music to make responses, singing in parts as well as unison, playing a whole array of percussion and other instruments; composition and music appreciation. There is also a programme of music appreciation so that children learn about composers and their works. The children are also taught how to create music using technology

Music plays a major part in school through assemblies and performances and the children have many opportunities to participate by singing or playing their instrument

Physical Education

Physical Education is an important part of children’s development and an essential part of school life.  All children have the opportunity to develop a variety of skills, confidence and self-esteem through a wide range of sporting activities including gymnastic movement, dramatic dance and games skills.

Physical Education develops children’s controls of their bodies, communication and co-operation and a healthy attitude to exercise. Health and Safety and hygiene are taught and discussed as appropriate.

We hold a sports day during the summer term.  The PE curriculum extends beyond the school day and a varied selection of extra-curricular clubs are offered during each term.

Religious Education

Through the teaching of the six major world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism), it is our aim that children will recognise, value and respect all people from all faiths and cultures. They will learn to appreciate and develop a consideration for others whilst learning to work together with a sense of social responsibility and compassion.

The children will be encouraged to develop as individuals and members of society by the fostering of a reflective approach to life in the context of a growing understanding of the experiences, attitudes, beliefs and religious practices of humankind.

PSHE – Physical, Social and Health Education

The school aims to provide a safe, happy and caring environment where children have opportunities to develop individual responsibility, respect and concern for others.
We believe that PSHE will provide pupils with the knowledge and skills to understand their own bodies and to give them a sound basis to lead healthy, independent and confident lives.

SRE – Sex and Relationships Education

Children’s questions are answered so that they understand that a positive caring environment is essential for the development of a good self-image and that individuals are in charge of and responsible for their own bodies.  Questions are answered as the need arises.

Our Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) Policy clarifies the content and the manner in which sex education is delivered in our school and is available on request.

Homework

Children are expected to practise reading daily from the Reception class onwards. We encourage parents to take an active interest in their children’s schoolwork. To aid the development of reading skills, it is extremely helpful and encouraging if parents not only listen to their children read but also discuss the storyline and characters at home on a regular basis.  From Year 1, children will be expected to learn set multiplication tables and learn spellings for a weekly spelling test.  From time-to-time children will also be asked to do preparation, learning revision, research at home or to finish off work.

Children in the Reception Class have weekly challenges related to their learning to complete at home. When the children are ready, spellings are given on a weekly basis.

Classes 2, 3 and 4 will also bring home regular homework which may be drawn from across a range of subjects of the curriculum.

Pupils in Class 4 also have Mathematics homework every week which assists in the transition process as the children prepare for their move onto their next school.

Assessment

Children’s progress is assessed on a regular basis to ensure they are making the expected progress. Their progress in all areas of school life is formally reported to parents in two Parent Consultation Evenings per year (autumn and spring term) and one detailed written report (summer term). Informal consultations may take place at other times during the school year. A selection of the children’s work will be sent home each half term so parents have the opportunity to discuss their child’s work with them.

Children Get Involved in Their Learning

Wherever possible the school seeks ways in involving the children in their own learning. The school considers that this motivates and inspires children to achieve their best and to develop positive attitudes to future learning

Example of this may include

  • Children are sometimes given choices about how to present their work to their teacher, their class, their group or their parents when studying a topic.
  • They sometimes have choices about the role they will take in a group project.
  • Children may choose to study a particular area of interest in more detail.
  • They self-assess their own learning in addition to their teacher’s assessment.

The children may also:

  • discuss and debate and vote for issues in their learning and related to their learning
  • assist in the planning of themed days and weeks
  • plan and run cake stalls to raise funds for charities

Enriching and Extending Learning

In addition to the subjects taught, the school has a programme of enrichment activities.

These have included:

  • A programme of day trips, visits and visitors in every year group
  • A range of clubs and groups that meet at lunchtimes and after school
  • Recorder lessons (for which an extra charge is payable)
  • Cycle training in Years 3 and 4
  • Themed days – World Book Day
  • Themed weeks – Science Week
  • Competitions – Sumdog; BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words; National Handwriting Compettion; poetry and art competitions
  • Inter school sports activities with local lower schools
  • Charitable activities linked to topical events such as Children in Need; Comic Relief; other local and national charity events