The primary curriculum will include the core areas of learning and experience which are essential to the child’s development and which are now defined within the new National Curriculum. These are:
• language and literacy
• science and technology
• Religious education
For the curriculum to have adequate breadth and balance the following areas must be included:
• Personal, social, health education including sex and relationships education appropriate to the ages of the children
• Environmental studies, including elements of history, geography and social studies
• Foreign language
• Aesthetic and creative arts
• Physical education
• Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural experiences
At Mordiford Primary School our specific aims for the various curriculum areas are as follows:
This curriculum area covers speaking and listening, reading and writing (including handwriting). Children enter school at different stages of development of their English skills. We aim to develop these skills so that each child becomes an increasingly confident and proficient language user.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening skills are developed in a variety of settings and throughout all curriculum areas. We encourage communication in a purposeful, clear and orderly dialogue that is appropriate for a range of occasions and purposes.
Parents Information on Phonics
Reading has a very high status within the school and we seek to create fluent, discerning, life long readers who value books. We actively involve parents in the processes of reading and acknowledge the role of parents in the development of reading. We encourage parents and children to enjoy reading and sharing books together. Where this is a regular practice children make significant progress. We place great importance on having a wide range and variety of quality books available around the school and in the library. Time is set aside for regular reading and the children are given the experience of reading alone and together and they are encouraged to discuss these and make choices about their reading. We aim to provide attractive book corners which are an integral part of the classrooms. We aim to help develop the literacy skills of reading with enjoyment, be able to use prediction skills and retrieval skills with books as a source of knowledge.
We have a well resourced library from which children can borrow books.
We aim to encourage children to recognise the skills they have acquired already at a very early stage and help them understand that writing is a purposeful and meaningful activity. We actively encourage children to ‘have a go’ and then, with skilful teacher input and intervention, we work through the recognised stages of development to achieve standard written English, Spelling and punctuation are developed gradually in the context of children’s writing.
As they develop, children are encouraged to see writing as a powerful means of self expression and communication and to write for a range of purposes and different audiences. We believe that good content is essential and by encouraging the practice of refining first draft, we aim to produce interesting content and quality presentation. Handwriting is recognised as a skill which can only be improved by constant practice and refinement. Children are encouraged through Computing to develop and extend word processing skills in order to have alternative formats for the presentation of their work at their disposal.
Provision is made for children who may be bi-lingual and who write in more than one script and due status is given to their linguistic flexibility.
Through the use of spontaneous and rehearsed Drama and Dance we try to provide opportunities for both individual self expression and the collaborative exploration of issues and attitudes of importance to the children. Drama is used as a means to explore feelings and emotions and to help children understand social and personal situation. Drama can be used to reinforce learning particularly Literacy skills. Particularly enjoyable for the children, (not to mention the staff) is the annual production in which the whole school participates, with class four having the main roles.
Our aim is that children acquire mathematical skills and concepts in a way that has relevance for them in the world outside the school as well as throughout the curriculum. We work within the new National Curriculum framework which covers areas such as– Using and Applying Mathematics, Number and Algebra, Shape, Space and Measures and Handling data. We aim to help the children understand the processes involved in mathematics by presenting a range of experiences. Children need to practice mathematical skills regularly and to facilitate this supplementary materials are used to provide children with investigative experiences through class, group, paired and individual activities, and to progress at different rates. A published mathematics scheme is used to support the teaching of mathematics throughout the school but is not used exclusively and various published materials are also used.
Children follow a programme of scientific study which covers four main aspects:
Experimental and Investigative Science
Life and Living Processes
Materials and their Properties
Science may be a focus of a topic, part of a topic or taught as a discrete subject. Our aim is to help children increase their knowledge of the world and to develop the skills of observation, recording, analysis and interpretation through scientific investigations. We encourage the children to devise ‘the fair test’ and introduce basic scientific methods with due regard for curiosity, healthy scepticism and critical evaluation. Children are involved in planning and setting up their own experiments. Results are recorded in a variety of ways and often incorporate Computing. The school has its own Wildlife Garden which allows children to study plant, pond and animal life at first hand as well as observing growth and development of plants and change in the environment through the seasons. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for this area themselves. Many of our subjects are taught through a ‘Theme’ this is where children improve skills in many areas all through the study of one topic.
Children will be taught to use purposefully sources of energy, basic business and economic skills, systems, structures and mechanisms. Children will be actively involved in problem solving and devising a solution. Children are encouraged to work cooperatively towards arriving at a feasible solution and evaluate their finished task. Children will be taught how to select and use tools and materials safely and purposefully.
Computers are used for a range of purposes by children including programming, control, processing information, modelling and handling data. It is also used to support the teaching of other subjects, maths, games, use of the internet, word processing and investigating CD ROMs. Initially the work involves activities to gain confidence with the computer and knowledge of the keyboard. Children often use the computer to publish their stories and poems and print these for display purposes. To teach Computing we have a trolley of fifteen laptops all classes have timetabled access to this facility. Each class has at least two stand alone computers. The school also has a set of 15 iPADS.
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1 cross-curricular topics are used, a specific study of a history led theme forms the basis of the programme of study of the new National Curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to draw on immediate family history and to explore the historical background and way of life of people in the past beyond living memory. Lives of famous men and women and different past events will be taught. Some information will be obtained second hand by visits to museums, castles and National Trust properties, and use of artefacts, photographs, video programmes, books, films and the Internet. Children are encouraged to ask questions about the past, challenge information and discover more about their lives and surroundings. At Key Stage 2 children are challenged further regarding their investigative and deductive skills again through cross curricular items but, due to specific demands of the national curriculum, it is necessary sometimes to treat a historical subject on its own. The children are taught how to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. Broader more structured understanding of people and civilisations are developed as pupils progress through Key Stage 2. The units covered are:
1. Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age
2. The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain
3. Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots
4. The Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor
5. a local history study
6. A study or aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066
7. The achievements of the earliest civilizations
8. Ancient Greece
9. A non-European society that contrasts with British history
Foundation Stage and KS1 children develop their Geographical knowledge and understanding through learning about their local environment leading to a contrasting area within the United Kingdom and beyond. They are taught to understand the vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills. Key Stage 2 children extend their knowledge and understanding beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America. This study includes the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. Skills such as following direction, map reading and map making are covered, as are weather observation, surveys and data collection. Further skills taught are observation and investigation about the quality of the environment in a locality, economic factors about the use of land, communications and studying rivers and their effect on the landscape. The children’s enquiry skills are developed through careful questioning and individual projects.
All children are given a range of opportunities to develop skills in art, craft and design activities. They work individually, in groups and as a whole class. They build on their understanding and appreciation of art in a variety of forms and style and from a variety of cultures. All children are given a range of opportunities to develop skills in art, craft and design activities. They work individually, in groups and as a whole class. They build on their understanding and appreciation of art in a variety of forms and style and from a variety of cultures.
All children are given the opportunity to experience a variety of musical activities which include:
Performing and Composing
Listening and Appraising
This is achieved by curriculum lessons which include playing and singing, performing with others, composing and arranging pieces of music, listening to and appraising musical styles from all cultures, developing a sense of pitch, timbre, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, developing ideas of notation and using music as means of self expression and a source of pleasure. There is opportunity for all children to learn to play the recorder and currently parents have the choice of paying for individual music lessons (woodwind, brass and string instruments). Children are taken to music appreciation concerts where possible and
occasionally live performers come to the school. Children take part in school and cluster concerts. Music plays an important part in celebrations, assemblies and productions, to which families are invited.
We aim to provide a well balanced programme of physical education through gymnastics, involving floor work and large and small apparatus, games, dance, athletic activities, outdoor and adventurous activities, a variety of team and individual games and swimming for all pupils. This area of the curriculum fosters a positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle, coordination and body control. Participation in all physical education activities helps children to develop high self esteem and interpersonal skills. Children are in receipt of two PE lessons a week and have access to a number of after school sporting clubs.
Pupils have the opportunity to represent the school in sports matches and local regional tournaments, at which good sportsmanship is always a priority. In Years 3,4,5 & 6 children are coached in various sports such as hockey, tennis, football, tag rugby and cricket when the school arranges for specialist coaches to come into school to work with the children to improve their skills. Physical Education is a compulsory subject and all children are expected to participate fully.
It is acknowledged that we are members are members of a multi-cultural society and we seek to develop an understanding of and respect for all religious beliefs. The teaching of religious education is primarily through our curricular topic work and the celebration of festivals for the six major world faiths, these being:
The aim of Religious Education is to help children achieve a knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, insights and practices, so that they are able to continue in, or come to, their own beliefs and respect the right of other people to hold beliefs different from their own. The Religious Education provided at the school follows the RE Agreed Syllabus adopted by the Children’s Services Directorate.
Collective Worship occurs daily, either as a whole school or in Key Stages. Children are encouraged to take a leading role in some assemblies. Assemblies reflect the rich and varied heritage of other cultures as well as the Christian heritage. Examples from the lives and literature of many cultures and faiths provide inspiration and role models. Each class prepares an assembly to share with the school and parents at least once a year. Every Friday the school gathers together for a ‘special’ assembly where achievements are recognised and celebrated together. The presentation of celebrations and seasonal festivals increases knowledge and understanding.
Parents may make a request to withdraw a child from assemblies and religious education. Such a request would need to be discussed with the Headteacher.
These are key aspects in the preparation of children for their lives now and as adults and, possibly, parents in the future. It is hoped that the ethos of the school – which emphasises a caring and considerate atmosphere – develops respect for the individual, values achievements of everyone and encourages attitudes which enable children to make a positive contribution to, and live harmoniously with others in the community. At appropriate times, opportunities are provided for responding to the needs of others by supporting charities and appeals both local and international. Mordiford School is a Healthy School and was accredited with this status in the summer of 2005.
In Health education the aim is to provide opportunities for children to increase their understanding about their bodies and how they work, hygiene, diet, how to keep fit, use/misuse of drugs, what it means to keep healthy, developing relationships, their special responsibility for achieving this and factors which promote it. Our school nurse often supports us in this area. Sex and relationship education is fundamental to the personal, social and emotional development of a child. It is a subject which needs to be handled sensitively, and one which requires openness and honesty where responses to children’s questions are concerned. The school provides a planned programme of Sex Education using a variety of approaches suited to the maturity levels of the children. These could be integrated in a cross curricular topic, through a Science or Health focus, and the use of published TV or video programmes – after consultation with parents. The Governing body agreed a Sex and Relationships policy statement in 2002 which is reviewed regularly. Parents have the right to withdraw a child from Sex Education issues/lessons. It would be necessary to discuss this with the Headteacher.
All children are encouraged to be aware of the wider world around them. This is done through studies of particular countries but also through links with other schools. The school currently has links with five schools in Europe as well as links with a school in Tanzania, India and Birmingham, UK. We have gained the International School Award for our Global and Community Cohesion work. All pupils have opportunities to learn another language. We focus on French as our main language, but also provide experiences of other languages as much as possible.
The children take part in one philosophy session a week, this can last anything from 20 minutes to 1 ½ hours depending on the topic and the age of the children. These sessions are led by the children and facilitated by the teacher. They give children the opportunity to share ideas and discuss any troubles they may have. It is also an opportunity to talk around issues which can be sensitive or worrying for children.