Stainland Road, Greetland, HX4 8LS
Mrs Fiona Gardiner
WEST VALE PRIMARY SCHOOL CURRICULUM YEARS 1 - YEARS 6
The programmes of study for the National Curriculum set out what the school is required to teach. We have created a curriculum for West Vale pupils, linking learning around topic themes in order to ensure that learning is relevant and purposeful. Our children enjoy their lessons, which are full of exciting activities and chances to experience the world. The curriculum is rich and varied, including many trips out of school, special events and visitors. Children regularly learn outside for their classroom, whether in the playground, on the school allotments, or in our Forest Schools area. "The quality of teaching, as shown by pupils' good achievement and lessons observed during the inspection, is consistently good overall and some is outstanding." (Ofsted 2012) Curriculum plans are under review currently and will be updated during September. For more information, please make an appointment to see Sally Scott.
Assessment of Pupil Learning
The National Curriculum Tests and Teacher Assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Key Stage Two were reported in levels for the last time in the Summer Term 2015. From September 2015 Key Stage Two test outcomes will be reported as a scaled score, where the expected score is 100, pupil attainment will be determined in relation to whether a child is above or below the expected score. Progress will also be measured using the scaled score and a conversion between each child’s end of KS1 score and end of KS2 scaled score.
At West Vale Primary, we use a wide range of ‘Assessment for Learning’ strategies in school. This is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.
Children are assessed throughout each lesson and through their work in books by their class teachers and other members of staff in school. This information is then used to plan and adapt learning effectively to ensure that all children are learning at the appropriate level and are challenged in their learning.
We use internal electronic tracking systems to plot pupil’s progress and attainment and use this information in half termly pupil progress meetings to ensure that all pupils are achieving to the best of their ability. This information is shared with parents during the school year, as the children being assessed within a 6 point scale at either Beginning, Within or Secure age appropriate learning goals.
The Early Years - Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS) is taught in Reception. The staff in Foundation plan and deliver a hands-on curriculum around topic themes and children's interests. The topic might relate to the time of year, for example “Autumn”, exciting times in the children’s lives like the birth of a baby or extensions of their imaginary play (Dinosaurs is often a popular theme).
The topic enables staff to enhance the experiences of the children through structured play and teaching activities. The Foundation Stage staff teach phonics to help children off to a flying start with reading.
Pupils in Foundation work towards the Early Learning Goals (ELGs) as outlined by the Department of Education. The areas of learning and development consist of three prime areas and four specific areas.
The prime areas cover the knowledge and skills which are foundations for children’s school readiness and future progress.
The specific areas apply and reinforce the prime areas:
At the end of their Reception Year, the children will be assessed against 17 Early Learning Goals. This is called the Foundation Stage Profile. The Profile will be shared with parents, and used by the child's next teacher for planning his/her learning in Year 1.
ORGANISATION OF TEACHING IN KS1 & KS2
The children are grouped in classes of approximately 26 pupils.
During the working day children may be taught as a whole class or in mixed ability or ability groupings. Children may take part in targeted interventions for Literacy and Numeracy as part of their day, helping them to accelerate their learning.
Key Stage 1 and 2
The New National Curriculum came into force in September 2014. We have spent the last year developing our curriculum to meet the new requirements and will continue this work into 2014/15.
We expect that our new curriculum will enable our children to learn, achieve their best, and enjoy finding out about new ideas. In line with our school values we will nurture, challenge and inspire our pupils, families and staff to achieve their best.
Our children really enjoy learning through the foundation subjects, many bringing in related work which they have done spontaneously at home.
As we develop our curriculum in a way that suits our school, we link the core subjects of English and Maths onto the back of it, accelerating and promoting a love of life-long learning. That’s not to say everything will be taught around a theme. There will still be dedicated English and Maths lessons, but where there is a genuine link to the topic theme, we will use it to give relevance to the learning. Similarly ICT whilst sometimes taught as a discrete subject, may be linked where appropriate to the topic.
Our curriculum needs to start with our children’s home lives and work out from there. This is the hub of our thinking. We want to involve parents more, using their experiences and knowledge. We believe that when our children see their parents contributing to their education, they will also think, “This is something that my family do!”
We see the value in linking learning to life and life back to learning. “Through schooling, both scientific and everyday concepts become objects of study.”
The implementation of the curriculum, will go hand in hand with our drive to include parents. Both strategies feature largely in our School Development Plan.
We have decided that the following are the priority areas that would make the biggest difference to our children’s rate of success: Active Listening, Resilience and Effective Communication. These are our Curriculum Drivers. By emphasising these again and again throughout the curriculum, our children will gain these attributes, enabling them to succeed as learners.
A crucial element will be the use of group work to enable the children to benefit from communicating with one another.
Every Half Term we will strive to use a “Wow event” to gain the interest of the children. This might be an event to spark their interest and imagination at the start of the topic, or alternatively later in the term to further inspire and enthuse, enabling them to use some of the knowledge they have acquired.
Once they leave Reception and the Foundation Stage, children are taught The National Curriculum (Years 1 to 6). Key Stage 1 is made up of Years 1 & 2. Key Stage 2 is comprised of Years 3 to 6.
Click on the links for a brief outline of each curriculum area.
The children have daily English lessons. Children with English as an additional language are well supported. As part of their English studies children develop skills in:
Being able to speak clearly and confidently is crucial. It also helps children to read and write more successfully. Communication skills are fostered throughout our pupils’ time at West Vale, from Reception to Year 6. Talk is planned for, discussion in the classroom encouraged during lessons and role play/drama is an important part of the curriculum across school. All children are given the opportunity to perform in public in class, in assemblies and year group plays. In Key Stage 2 the children take part in history days in role as Vikings, Tudors, Victorians, and World War 2 evacuees. We often have visiting theatre groups to perform to the children.
Children are introduced to the Oxford Reading Tree in Reception and this, together with the Song Bird scheme and Collins Big Cat scheme, are the basis for their reading work in Key Stage 1. Phonics learning plays a major part in our teaching of reading.
In Key Stage 2 we have an additional reading scheme and the children progress to reading a range of fiction and non-fiction material. There are libraries in all key stages.
Children are taught to read on an individual basis in one to one reading sessions with a teaching adult and during group, guided reading sessions.
Children are encouraged to read with their parents at home and fill in the reading record. When children read at home they make more progress.
Phonics – Children are taught phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. They have daily phonics lessons from the start of Reception until the end of Year 2, so that they will develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling. During the sessions the children learn how to sound out and then blend the sounds together in order to read unfamiliar words quickly and accurately. They also learn how to segment a word into its different sounds in order to spell it.
We teach children to write in a variety of styles and for different purposes.
Accurate use of grammar, vocabulary, spelling and punctuation is taught as part of our English programme.
Leading lines joined handwriting is taught in school and we expect most children to be using a fluent joined-up script by the end of year 3. Children are taught to write fiction and non-fiction. They are taught to edit and improve their work.
West Vale pupils have daily mathematics lessons with a strong emphasis on mental mathematics and number concepts. We use Numicon and other practical resources to help children develop an understanding of value.
In Reception children work on developing mathematical understanding and language through teacher led and child initiated learning activities. Through practical tasks children begin to discuss and record using numbers and simple diagrams. This focus on conceptual understanding and “real life” number continues through school, with children putting number, shape, measure etc. into everyday contexts.
Children are taught in ability groups. They are expected to learn times tables and number facts. Children are taught to develop problem-solving skills and to use calculators wisely.
Children follow the National Curriculum for Science which covers scientific knowledge and the practical skills of scientific investigation.
The three disciplines of science is taught in a fun, practical and skill based way. We teach Science because it provides children with the opportunity to explore, observe, investigate, question and organise their thought processes. “I really like it when we do experiments because it makes me think and I can find the answers myself.” We encourage children to look beyond themselves - at the world around them. We promote collaborative working, allowing them to stimulate and excite their curiosity and give them opportunities to communicate their findings in a creative way. “I like sharing my ideas with my team and finding out what they think.”
We have a rich PE curriculum supported by specialist coaches and visits from organisations such as Project Sport. We enter teams in many local tournaments and competitions. There are a variety of sports clubs that children can attend after school. Children have swimming lessons in KS2.
We offer children a residential in Year 6 where children take part in outdoor adventurous activities.
There are computers in all classrooms, which are linked to the Internet. We have sets of laptops and IPads for classroom work. There are Smart Boards in each classroom. Children are introduced to a wide range of technology including digital cameras, video, and digital radio. Children are taught about safety on the Internet and cyber-bullying. ICT is an integral part of all subject teaching as well as a subject taught in its own right.
Geography and history are taught mainly through topic work. Research and field trips form an important part of children’s learning. The area surrounding the school is a rich source of historical and geographical interest and the children study the local area in depth before studying other areas and different countries.
All topics are supported by visits to places of interest or visitors who are invited into school. For example children may visit our local places of interest including; the Bankfield Museum, the Piece Hall, a Viking village…
As well as teaching the skills of learning associated with these subjects, the teachers link the themes to other areas of the curriculum – for example English.
At West Vale our pupils are taught French following our own scheme. The children also learn through a combination of songs, action rhymes and games, and to celebrate their achievements, each year we put on a “European languages day” with songs and food from European countries.
We follow Charanga in lessons and pupils can join our choir which meets in an after school club.
Children explore painting, drawing various media, printing, clay work, papier-mâché and collage. Many of the starting points for the work come from observations of works of art. Visiting artists come to school to work with classes.
This is a practical subject that allows the children to design and make artefacts and moving systems. They solve problems using tools and equipment to make an object they are proud of. Children are trained to handle materials and equipment safely.
Religious education is part of our weekly lessons and is also included in assemblies. Parents should tell the school in writing if they wish their child to be withdrawn from this. We aim to help our pupils know right from wrong, and find ways to understand and behave in our complex society. By knowing about and understanding other peoples’ beliefs we can hope to develop a more respectful and tolerant society for the future.
Close links exist between the school and local places of worship, including churches, mosques and synagogues.
We teach a full citizenship programme from reception to year 6. It covers all aspects of the children’s social, personal, emotional and health education. The children have circle time every week, where children explore their thinking about various topics. There is an ethos statement for every week which children will discuss in class and assembly. Children are taught road safety, water safety and to do basic emergency first aid.