The curriculum we offer our children is varied, rich and relevant. It consists of all the learning activities, experiences and interactions which promote our school values, meets the requirements of National Curriculum and also includes what we believe is important for our children’s all round development. We have updated our schemes of work to reflect the content and challenge of the new National Curriculum and our staff have received training in the key areas of curriculum change.
The National Curriculum in England sets out the knowledge and skills to be taught in all state funded in schools. It states that all state schools must offer a curriculum which is balanced and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and society and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum consists of three core subjects - Maths, English, Science, plus Religious Education and non-core foundation subjects - History, Geography, Computing, Design and Technology, Music, Art and Design, Physical Education and Languages (French). We structure and plan the curriculum to ensure that good practice remains central, equality of opportunity is ensured and we integrate the requirements National Curriculum into our topics, projects and subject teaching
We have formulated a series of guidelines and schemes of work designed to aid the delivery of the National Curriculum. These guidelines are used by staff when planning both over the whole year and termly. It enables us to ensure a balance of learning from Nursery to Year 6.
Stages of Learning
At Christchurch School, education is divided into phases of learning linked to the National Curriculum.
a) Foundation Stage: In September 2000 a new Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) was introduced. This covers the period of education from 0 to 5 years. It begins in the Children’s Centre, then Nursery and continues to the end of the Reception year. Children in the Foundation Stage will be working towards the Early Learning Goals which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding across the seven areas of learning and development that young children should gain. The seven areas consist of three prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal Development and four specific areas of learning; Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Most children will be able to reach goals these by the end of Reception. This will prepare them for work on the National Curriculum at Key Stage 1.
b) Key Stage 1: In years 1 and 2 children are following the National Curriculum. The learning is delivered via a topic based approach linked to programmes of study. Statutory Assessments in Mathematics and English are undertaken at the end of Year 2.
c) Key Stage 2:
Years 3 and 4. In Year 3 children begin studying the next phase of the National Curriculum. They continue with a topic based approach with more opportunity for independent research. They will use and further develop skills learned in earlier phases.
Years 5 and 6. The children continue with Upper Key Stage 2 phase of the National Curriculum. They will continue with project work and will be introduced to specialist subject teaching. This will culminate in formal assessment (SATS) at the end of Year 6. It will also prepare them for the style of secondary education at Key Stage 3.
Core Subjects & None-Core Subjects
Click on the links below for information about the subjects we teach.
(Art and design, Computing, Design and technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music, Religious Education, PHSE & SEAL, Physical Education)
Approach to Learning
Our approach is founded on the belief that the curriculum should be child-centred, based on practical, hands-on, concrete experiences, so that each child can build his/her knowledge, skills, concepts and attitudes through understanding.
We assess where each child is when s/he enters school at whatever key stage. We begin from that point and take the child through the curriculum at a pace appropriate to individual needs, so that each may be offered an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.
Our aim is to deliver a broad, balanced, relevant and exciting curriculum which is designed to develop a love of learning which will last a lifetime and cover the physical, spiritual, moral, social, aesthetic, literate, mathematic and scientific development of our pupils.
Our classes are organised in mixed ability groups usually according to age, and children normally remain in the same class for a year. At Key Stage 1 much of the teaching in school is done on an individual or small group basis in order to accommodate the widely differing abilities and stages of development of the children within a class, but class teaching is not neglected as it contributes to the community spirit of the class and school. We do, however, set for Maths from Year 2 onwards and for English and Maths in Years 5 and 6.
Provision is made for additional help to be given to individual children where this is considered to be beneficial.
We use a thematic topic based approach with younger children as a vehicle to teach all areas of the curriculum and develop basic skills.
This approach enables older children to become more independent learners – undertaking research, presenting investigations, and setting personal targets.
As teachers we strive to improve the teaching and learning in our school through a process of on-going personal evaluation. In the same way we believe that the children should develop the skill to evaluate their own performance against agreed success criteria leading to the setting of achievable targets designed to help them move on their learning. This approach is a way of developing lifelong learning skills that can be adapted to any area at any stage of life.
Subject teaching for the oldest children offers the opportunity to study a subject in its own right to a greater depth.
It is essential that we also teach Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education, and seek to ensure that cross-curricular issues of global and environmental education and equality of opportunity are included in all topics as part of our aim to offer a curriculum that goes beyond the confines of the National Curriculum to educate the whole child.
Putting into Practice
Each term every year group chooses an overall theme/project, divided into units of work, to deliver the curriculum. Each theme/project is planned and developed using National Curriculum, as well as school policies and guidelines. From the termly plan staff prepare weekly timetables for the class to deliver concepts and skills. The teacher prepares differentiated activities for each of the subjects and through on-going assessment and record keeping, addresses the needs of all the children. Yearly plans and termly suggestions for trips and activities are for parents to support learning at home, are published on the schools website.
Evaluation of themes/projects and subject areas taught should ensure that breadth and balance are maintained and that all curriculum areas are covered. It is also necessary at times to teach an aspect of a subject area outside a unit of work, to give the aspect further emphasis and depth.
The teacher is continuously assessing his/her children as a natural, integrated part of his/her practice: his/her intentions are to sum up where a child is (formative), so as to plan where to take the child on next, and to diagnose any difficulties (diagnostic). Detailed records are kept. At the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 all children undergo the national SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) (summative) and results are reported to parents. Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress three times a year in the autumn, spring and the summer terms. At Year 2 and in Key Stage 2 the spring term meeting allows parents an opportunity to meet their child’s set teachers, whilst autumn and summer meetings are with the class teachers.
Also at the end of each year a written report will be sent to parents. Full records are kept on all aspects of your child’s school life, and are available for parents to see. If you do wish to see any of these, please contact the Headteacher.
We all have high expectations of the children; we give them praise and encouragement; we aim to deliver a full curriculum which is aimed to develop the whole child. The emphasis is always upon what the individual child CAN do. However, it is also an opportunity for parent, teacher and child to identify targets at which to aim so as to address any areas identified as needing further work.
How do we know it works?
The Headteacher, leadership team, senior staff and curriculum subject leaders undertake a programme of regular monitoring of the planning, delivery and organisation of learning across the school.
Assessment at the end of each Phase
a) Foundation Stage. At the end of Reception, based on classroom observations, a Foundation Stage profile will be completed for every child in line with statutory requirements. This helps teachers plan appropriately for each child’s next phase of learning.
b) Key Stage 1. At the end of Key Stage 1, children will be assessed as part of the Statutory Assessment Tests (S.A.T.S.) (summative). This will take place in their last term of Year 2, within their normal classroom environment, and will consist of assessment by their own teacher and a variety of tasks externally set, but implemented by their teacher.
During the summer term, over a week specified by the Department for Education, children in Year 1 are given a phonics screening check to assess their progress in this aspect of reading.
Parents are informed of their child’s results.
c) In order to ensure progression in learning and the development of skills, data from end of Key Stage 1 assessments is used to plan each child’s work as they begin Key Stage 2 programmes of study.
d) Key Stage 2. At the end of Key Stage 2, following the timetable for a week specified by the Department of Education, children in Year 6 sit statutory national tests in English and Mathematics. Levels achieved by the children in the tests, together the teacher’s assessment across the subject for the year, are reported to parents.