'Leaders, staff and governors are strongly committed to pupils' safety and well-being.'
'Staff are united in their committment and ambition for all pupils to do their best.'
Ofsted May 2017
Abbots Way, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, ST5 2ES.
Telephone: 01782 694580

Curriculum provision content and approach

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Friarswood school strives to provide our children with a rich and broad curriculum within which all pupils can learn and achieve their best. The curriculum delivers the National Curriculum in an exciting and purposeful way – cross-curricular links are exploited to make learning interesting and meaningful. The curriculum is enhanced through visits, visitors and special events throughout the year.

 

Each term every class updates the “this term we are learning about ..” section of the website outlining the learning planned for the term with suggestions for activities to support learning at home.

 

Here is a short 'whole school' overview of each subject:

 

ENGLISH

At Friarswood Primary School, English underpins the curriculum; the ability to read, write and to communicate well enables all other areas of the curriculum to become accessible. We aim to put English at the heart of our creative curriculum by using English skills to research other subjects, and by using other subjects as the purpose for English work.

English lessons are comprised of a balance of reading and writing, as well as speaking and listening and are normally taught every day. In Reception and Key Stage One, children have a daily systematic synthetic phonics lesson using Letters and Sounds as the scheme, supported by a range of resources including 'Phonics Bug'. A variety of reading schemes are used with the books being banded into colour bands to support the appropriate use of texts to support learning.

The children are encouraged to listen attentively, to speak clearly and to express themselves confidently through conversation, class discussion and drama.

Pupils are given opportunities to read from a wide range of materials. All children are encouraged to read daily in and out of school.

Pupils are taught to write for a variety of purposes and audiences, producing both fiction and non-fiction genres. They are given opportunities to explain, recount events and to express ideas, thoughts and feelings. Every effort is made to ensure that children develop a legible, fluent style of handwriting and we encourage the development of a cursive style from the beginning.

English is also supported by the use of ICT.

 

MATHEMATICS

The National Framework for Mathematics has been introduced into the school to enable teachers to provide pupils with a firm foundation in mathematics and set targets for raising standards in key skills. We believe in interactive, whole-class and group teaching using a variety of approaches that meet the diverse needs of individual children.

Mathematics is taught through a daily mathematics lesson, which uses a three-part structure, starting with oral work and mental calculation using whole-class teaching. The main part of the lesson is used for teaching new topics or consolidating previous work. Finally, the plenary plays an important role, allowing teachers to draw together all that has been learned. Lessons focus on whole-class teaching with a strong emphasis on mental calculation and, throughout the lessons, pupils are given the opportunity to explain their answers and suggest new ways of tackling problems.

We also try to relate maths to real life whenever possible and use our surroundings to learn outside the classroom on a regular basis.

 

COMPUTING

Computing encompasses two main areas:

 

     Preparing our children to be competent, safe users of a range of digital equipment (computers, photographic and recording equipment, tablets, mobile phones etc).

     Developing our children’s understanding of how the technology we use daily actually works, the science behind the computers.

 

During KS1 the children will progressively develop skills in programming, creating digital content and using technology safely and respectfully. These skills will be further developed in KS2 and in addition the children will learn about computer modelling, networking and how the internet and search engines work.

 

Where learning is enhanced by it’s use children will use a variety of ICT equipment across the curriculum, selecting the appropriate hardware and software for the task, on a regular basis. Computing skills however will be taught in a dedicated weekly computing lesson.

In addition to a well-equipped ICT suite, each classroom has up-to-date ICT hardware so that pupils have continuous access to appropriate aspects of ICT. From Nursery upwards our aim is for pupils to become as confident and skilled as possible in order to fully empower them in our increasingly technological age.

 

SCIENCE

Science is an exciting active part of the curriculum. All lessons aim to have skills developed by using enquiry methods. What if and Why are important starting points to lessons.

Science has three key areas of knowledge in the curriculum; `Life Processes and Living Things’, `Materials and their Properties’ and `Physical Processes’. These are taught through a range of activities, visits and visitors to school. Upper KS2 children enjoy links with Newcastle Community High School and regularly visit the school to make use of their facilities.

There are many cross-curricular links in. Mathematical understanding is developed as children interpret data and collate results on graphs whilst children may also write a list of instructions as part of their English.

 

ART

The Art curriculum offers children the opportunity to develop their understanding and use of a variety of media and processes in order to record, communicate and express their own ideas in many different ways.

Through art our children are encouraged to develop and express their creativity and imagination. The children take part in activities which allow them to explore, enjoy, discuss and respond to art in its many forms that has been produced by a range of artists, including famous artists, themselves and their peers.

 

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY

Design and Technology draws from and contributes to all other areas of the curriculum and is essentially practical. Pupils learn to work with a variety of materials to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding.

They will be taught to use a range of tools safely and techniques for problem solving. As they progress they will develop an understanding of technological processes, products and their manufacture. Finally the children will be encouraged to develop a critical awareness of their own and other’s responses to their work as well as responding to designs around them in the man-made world. Cross curricular links are made wherever possible and ICT is used where appropriate.

 

GEOGRAPHY

Children have a natural interest in the world around them and this curiosity is used to develop their knowledge and understanding of not only their locality but of contrasting localities in the United Kingdom and the wider world.

In all Key Stages we value the importance of trips as an important element in stimulating work in geography and broadening their understanding of the world around them. As well as the study of places, children are taught the essential skills of using resources such as maps, atlases and photographs as a means of gathering information. They are encouraged to ask probing questions, make relevant observations and develop a good geographical vocabulary.

Links with current world events are made whenever possible and displays are used to encourage children’s interest.

 

HISTORY

History is a very powerful subject in our curriculum as it sparks curiosity of the past in Britain and the wider world. Children find out about past lives and societies and how these have influenced the present. Pupils learn skills of chronology to help place significant events and people over time. Pupils also learn enquiry skills – how to gather and interpret evidence from a wide range of sources.

We seek imaginative ways to bring history to life for our pupils by organising a range of trips to museums, historical sites, visitors who have lived in historical times and re-enactments which allow pupils to live as others would have in the past.

 

PERSONAL, SOCIAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is a highly valued subject within the school. It holds a precious place within the schools ethos and is a subject that is delivered carefully in each class every week. The children are very much encouraged and helped to develop the skills necessary to listen to and value the views of others. Throughout the school circle time is used to discuss issues of relevance to the children in a sensitive and caring way. Policies are in place for the teaching of drug and sex education.

 

MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

French is taught to children from Year 3 onwards we use an interactive teaching programme to assist in the delivery of French lessons and also have a visiting French teacher from NCHS who delivers lessons to the children. The teaching of French is very active and fun in its approach using song, games, and activities etc – the development of the spoken word is our main focus.

 

MUSIC

Music is taught to each class by their class teacher. Music lessons allow children to listen to a range of music thus developing their music appreciation skills, to sing a variety of songs and to compose and perform music with a range of musical instruments. Music is a key feature of our assemblies providing children with the opportunity to listen to many different types of music and to perform their songs and compositions to an audience. At present we have a piano teacher, violin teacher, clarinet teacher and flute teacher in school once a week. We also have vibrant and popular choirs in KS1 and KS2.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Children in our Nursery and Reception classes have a mix of Physical Development through timetabled lessons and provision within their learning environment. All pupils in KS1 and KS2 have two hours of P.E. timetabled each week to cover the main areas of the curriculum: gymnastics, dance, games, swimming, athletics and outdoor and adventurous activities. Swimming is offered to Year 3 and Years 5 and 6, with lessons being provided by qualified swimming instructors.

During their PE sessions the children are encouraged to set challenges for themselves and to improve their own performance. Fun, enjoyment, confidence, self-esteem and team work skills are at the forefront of PE lessons. A healthy and active lifestyle is promoted. Young children are supported to develop the fundamental skills such as aiming and throwing, balance, co-ordination, control and movement. In KS2 pupils are able to further develop these fundamental skills and to apply them in a range of situations, including invasion, net and striking and fielding games.

Extra-curricular P.E. opportunities are on offer to pupils of all ages - some provided by staff volunteers and some by outside agencies/companies. Older pupils compete in inter-school tournaments, leagues and competitions.

Intra-school competition includes our annual sports days, where pupils compete against each other in their school teams.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

RE is about helping children to understand how people with different beliefs make sense of life, and to have confidence to think through big questions for themselves.

We find out what people do in different religions. We learn through shared stories, drama, creativity, study of artefacts, visits and visitors or `virtual’ experiences through ICT.

We need to know how we fit into the world around us, what is important to us and how what we do will make a difference to other people – and to ourselves!

 

SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION

Discreet units of sex and relationship education are taught to Years 5 and 6 building upon the earlier PSHE programme which deals with friendship, conflicts and family life. Issues and questions are dealt with in a sensitive and appropriate way. The lessons within years 5 and 6 are carefully planned and delivered by the school nurse using a range of approved resources, such as videos and books which are based on relationships and puberty. Some aspects are taught within the science curriculum. Parents of children are invited to attend a parent information session prior to the lessons where the resources can be viewed and the nurse will answer any questions. Permission will be sought from parents prior to the lessons being delivered and parents will have the option to withdraw their child from the lessons.