Curriculum Year 1 – Year 6 (ages 6 - 11)
Our curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum
The key subjects are English and mathematics, which are carried out daily, and science, computing, and RE, which are always an important part of every topic. The other subjects the children study are Art and design, Design and technology, Geography, history, French, Music and Physical education. We also cover Personal Social & Health Education.
We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, with a wide range of activities and experiences to stimulate the children’s interest and imagination.
Much of our work is carried out in topics which cross curriculum boundaries.
We have long term curriculum plans with details of our rolling programmes available for parents. Medium term are available on the website located within each year groups site.
English is taught daily and pupils are taught the important skills of reading, writing, and speaking and listening. Progress in these areas is very carefully monitored.
Children are read to regularly by the class teacher as we believe a love of reading is a lifelong skill. Children also have opportunities to read individually, in small groups and in paired reading sessions. We use a range of published reading schemes including Ginn 360, Oxford reading tree and Wordwise , together with other fiction and non-fiction books. These are shelved in levels and the children progress through them. Children are encouraged to take books home and to turn to books for pleasure. They are also taught to use books to find information in the course of their subject work. Our library is in the newer part of the school and children are encouraged to borrow books and use it for research.
The children are given many ‘reasons for writing’, such as reporting, recording, expressing thoughts and feelings, and telling stories. To enable the children to write fluently, we teach basic grammar, punctuation and spelling at a level appropriate to the child’s development, aiming to ensure they reach or exceed the year group expectations as outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum. We also aim to develop a neat and legible form of handwriting using the Nelson Scheme. Infant and Junior children have weekly spellings for homework.
Phonics and spellings are taught across the school using letters and sounds. Phonics is taught daily in the Foundation stage and infant classes and at least three times a week in the older classes.
Speaking and Listening
Through drama, discussion, circle time and debate we aim to enable the children to express themselves with ease and clarity, whilst valuing the opinions of others.
We follow the 2014 National Curriculum as a guide to the expectations of each year group. We use Abacus mathematics scheme which has been designed to align with the National Curriculum expectations. However, work is planned to take account of the ability of each child and planned according to those needs. Every child has a daily Mathematics input, (approx. one hour), following the prescribed yearly objectives and set programmes.
We aim to enable the children to attain the basic skills and concepts in Maths and to develop the insight to apply these skills in new situations. We have a wide range of materials and resources, which are used to provide a mixture of practical experience and investigation together with the teaching of new concepts and the consolidation of number skills.
Science is taught weekly and is presented in topic form. The children are encouraged to make careful observations, to notice differences and similarities, to ask questions and form hypotheses and set up fair tests to achieve their purpose. They are expected to record their findings in a variety of ways: diagrammatically, in written form or verbally. We aim to encourage the children to be curious about and to investigate the world around them. Each year in March we hold a Science week when all children participate in workshops either with visitors to school or at other local locations.
In History we aim to develop an awareness of continuity and change; to encourage the children to begin to assess the historical ‘evidence’; and to develop some awareness of a sense of time. Wherever possible we give the children practical experiences, by visiting historic buildings, handling historical objects, and acting out past events.
In Geography we aim to develop an interest in the local environment and inquisitiveness about the wider world. We study the effects of climate and seasons on peoples in different parts of the world. The children are encouraged to use globes, atlases, maps and to make their own plans and maps, and take part in some fieldwork or orienteering activity on a yearly basis.
School visits and residential journeys are shared with Thundridge School and the children’s social skills also benefit from the shared experience away from home.
In an increasingly technological society we aim to give the children confidence and competence to identify and solve practical problems using a variety of approaches, materials and methods to give the children a sense of enjoyment in their ability to design and make, and to encourage a progression of skills.
Children also have the opportunity to cook so that they understand the basic principles of a healthy and varied diet.
In our technological age it is vital that children are taught the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science. We have planned the curriculum using the Hertfordshire guidelines which outlines the expectations for each year group. This can be found on our website.
The school has enough laptops for every child to use when computing is being taught. Ipads have also been purchased and our aim is that by the end of 2015 we will have 25 which can be used to teach a class lesson. Software covers all areas of the curriculum from Nursery up to Year 6 and above. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard which vastly extends teaching and learning opportunities.
Art and Design
Through Art, Music and Drama we aim to give opportunities for individual creative expression.
In Art, the children experience the use of a variety of media – paint, dyes, fabrics, wax, clay, plaster, plastics etc. All children have the chance to develop skills in painting, batik, printing, pottery, sewing, weaving and modelling. Inspiration for their use of shape, texture and colour is drawn from the immediate environment.
We are fortunate in having music expertise on the staff of the school, the children are taught a variety of experiences in composing and performing, listening and appraising.
We have a large collection of percussion and multi-cultural instruments for the children’s use. We play recorded music to the children as we feel it is important that they should experience a wide range of music and develop a sense of musical appreciation.
The children are given the opportunity to perform in collective worship, and in various entertainments throughout the year.
We are fortunate to have a guitar teacher and piano teacher who teach pupils on a one to one basis (there is a cost to parents/carers for these lessons).
In PE we aim to promote the growth and development of each child, to provide regular opportunities for each child to develop skills, to grow in awareness, ability to co-operate, persevere and to encourage a life long interest in regular exercise.
Our PE programme includes athletics, swimming, gymnastics, dance, games and outdoor activities. Currently a professional sports coach teaches the children two afternoons a week. We have a large selection of apparatus for both gymnastics and games.
Swimming is also taught in Year 2 and 3 when the children go swimming one afternoon a week for two years.
We have developed our whole school RE syllabus in conjunction with the Diocese and follow a rolling programme.
Whilst giving the children access to stories, beliefs and traditions of the Christian faith we also aim to foster an awareness of other people’s religions, customs and points of view, and to give the children factual knowledge of major religions.
As a Church school we encourage the children to behave according to the Christian ethic by fostering an atmosphere of friendliness, tolerance and mutual respect between staff, parents and children. The Rev Myrtel Cook, Vicar of St John’s Church is a welcome visitor to school. Each term, especially at festival times, we take part in services at the Church.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
Personal, Social and Health Education is incorporated into the timetable. The school Nurse or Health Visitor may give talks where appropriate. Sometimes the children take part in circle time in class, where they are encouraged to respect the opinions and feelings of others.
The older children are taught citizenship and Year six pupils take part in a ‘citizenship day’ at Morgan’s School on an annual basis. Guidance on Sex and Relationship Education has recently been published by Herts Childrens, Schools & Families (CSF). The Governing body have a policy on sex education which follows this guidance. It will be appropriate to the pupil’s age and experience and will be presented within moral, family orientated and Christian framework and according to the Governors policy on sex education which DCSF guidelines recommend that Sex and Relationship Education is delivered through the PSHE and Citizenship Framework.
Promoting British Values at Puller Memorial
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Puller Memorial Primary school these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is rife within the school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council and our Buddy group system. The school council, supported by a parent representative, currently Mr. Powell meets with the Headteacher twice a term. This is an opportunity for them to present their views and suggest ideas. Buddy Group assemblies are led by the top buddies, Year 6 pupils (not school council members). This provides another opportunity for pupils to express their views.
The Rule of Law:
The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school collective worship. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Lifeguards etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
As a church school the CORE Christian values of peace, love and forgiveness ensure an inclusive and welcoming ethos. The school behaviour policy and our Values in Education program continually reinforces mutual respect. These values form part of our work and discussion in collective worship and PSHE. Values are displayed throughout the school and are continually referred to.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs and those of non faith
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Collective Worship and Religious education involving visitors from different faiths help children understand and value those of different faiths.