The curriculum is the course of learning that each child undertakes both in and out of the classroom.
Beckley school follows the requirements of the National Curriculum
There are eleven subjects in the National Curriculum at Primary level:
- Art & Design
- Design & Technology
- Languages (French at KS2)
- Physical Education
An additional requirement is that a programme of Religious Education is taught throughout the school. Schools are also encouraged to teach (PSHCE) Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education.
Some of the National Curriculum is taught through topic or thematic approach. At all levels there are aspects of the curriculum which occur in more than one subject; for example, clarity in speaking and writing is essential and is not limited to English lessons; solving problems is not confined to Maths lessons. A central theme is chosen which will provide work in specific knowledge and skills covering the main curriculum areas. Knowledge and skills are also reinforced through structured, timetabled sessions. As well as topic work, children are taught basic literacy and numeracy each day. Before the start of each term teachers plan a programme of study which forms a basis for their individual lesson plans. Great care is taken so that the range of subjects taught is balanced across the whole curriculum. A six year programme has been devised by the teachers to ensure that the whole curriculum is covered and there is continuity and progression in the six years of a child’s life at the school.
Essentially, children acquire the ability to communicate effectively by developing their skills and understanding through a wide range of activities which in turn gives them confidence and competence in language and literacy. This is encouraged in our school by listening, by discussion, and by working together through the medium of sharing stories and books.
The school recognises the fundamental importance of children becoming fluent and accurate readers. By constant guidance and encouragement we increase confidence in the child’s growing reading skills and foster an interest in books for pleasure and information.
The School has a Home/School shared reading policy which helps to establish a partnership between parents, child and class teacher. A carefully selected range of books is provided from which a child may choose with the guidance of the class teacher. A quiet reading time is time tabled when children can read to the class teacher, on their own, or to friends. Children are encouraged to take books home to share and read with their families. Guided by the teacher, children also take part in group reading sessions and whole class reading from a single text.
At first words and ideas will come mainly from children’s conversations, familiar stories and experiences. They put words into order or convey messages through their writing. As skills and understanding develop, children will be producing independent pieces of writing using complete sentences. They will learn how to revise and redraft pieces of written work and with the teacher, will check the clarity of meaning, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Children are taught the conventional ways of forming letter shapes, lower case and capitals. They are taught to produce clear and legible joined up writing in a comfortable writing style. Children are expected to take a pride in their finished pieces of work.
As children become familiar with the conventions of writing, common spelling patterns are introduced. Through the use of word lists, phonics, letter families, prefixes and suffixes etc. children are encouraged to remember correct spellings and spell words for themselves. The use of word books and dictionaries is taught, after the introduction of alphabetical order.
It is essential that we provide the children with basic numerical skills and an understanding of place value, i.e. to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and learn tables, etc. We aim to increase confidence in their understanding and use of mathematics. Through this children develop the ability to think logically, problem solve and have proper understanding of mathematical ideas. These skills can be developed through investigation and practice in:
Number – understanding number and notation
Algebra – recognising and using number patterns
Measures – estimating and measuring using a variety of units
Geometry – properties of shapes (2D and 3D), position and direction
Statistics – collect, record and interpret information
At all times children will be expected to see the relevance of mathematics to practical tasks and real life situations.
It is important that children work as ‘young scientists’. This involves asking questions, trying out their own ideas, using everyday materials and developing language and maths in a practical way. Science involves working in small groups as part of the normal classroom activities. The work may arise as part of a topic or from the children’s own curiosity. In science children will improve their skills of observing and planning, of making and testing working models and of solving problems and sharing ideas.