At the start of every term the school will send information to parents about the year ahead, including the topics to be studied, anticipated activities and trips. Our aim across the whole curriculum is to include all the children and our schemes reflect the school’s rich cultural diversity as well as our support of special needs. If parents require more detailed information they may, by appointment, consult the detailed plan of work for their child’s class.
Children learn to communicate and to understand themselves and the world in which they live through the four modes of language; reading; writing; speaking and listening. Development of these skills is therefore central to the curriculum, not only through English lessons but through learning in other subject areas too. As a school where children’s levels of achievement in English are high, we place great emphasis on literacy, aiming for one and a quarter hour’s work specifically on this area of the curriculum each day, using the National Literacy objectives. English is also taught at other times during the week, often under other subject headings.
The Maths curriculum is now made up of hourly blocks called Daily Mathematic Lessons. The main feature of these lessons are mental and oral work, class introductions and activities based on a learning objective and a conclusion. The balance between number and topic work has been retained and the lessons allow the children to work at a pace appropriate for their own needs within appropriately supported ability groups. According to children’s progress these groups are reviewed regularly. A variety of resources are used including text books, photocopiable sheets, work sheets and games using simple equipment such as cards, dice, counters, number lines etc. There is now a very strong emphasis on mental calculation which may result in less written recording. All children are encouraged to learn their tables. Every effort is made to use and apply mathematical knowledge in other areas of the curriculum.
Science is taught almost exclusively in topics. Whilst the content of what is taught is important, we are also concerned to develop in children scientific approaches and skills, as emphasised in the National Curriculum. A variety of teaching methods is therefore used, with particular importance being attached to practical work. Children are helped to identify the need to explore and learn through practical investigations. Through these children develop scientific skills. They are taught how to devise a ‘fair’ test, observe, record, draw conclusions and communicate findings.
Design and Technology
Children follow a structured programme of design and technology activities through the school. They are given the opportunity to develop their capability in a variety of ways. They undertake assignments in which they design and make products; they carry out focused practical tasks in which they develop and practise particular skills and knowledge and also engage in activities in which they investigate, disassemble and evaluate simple products.
Information and Communication Technology
The school has a purpose built computer suite, equipped with eighteen networked PCs with CD-Rom facilities; two printers and an interactive whiteboard. In addition, every classroom has a PC with three more in the library and two specifically for special needs teaching.
Every child is given the opportunity to use a variety of programmes which allow the national curriculum guidelines for ICT to be fully met. Pupils experience word processing, data and information handling, multi-media presentations, simulation and control technology.
History and Geography
History and geography are taught as separate subjects but are also included in other lessons when appropriate cross-curricular links can be made. Children develop their understanding of the world in which they live through direct experience wherever possible and learn to use a range of resources, including ICT, as part of their work. A variety of teaching approaches is used; whole class lessons; group activities and individual work. Field trips and visits to historical sites are an integral part of the work. Children are encouraged to become increasingly independent and organised in their learning.
Children develop their creativity and imagination through activities, which build on their skills in using a range of materials and processes. They investigate art, craft and design made for a variety of purposes, developing their ability to use visual language to communicate their own ideas, feelings and meanings. The value placed on children’s work is underlined through displays, which contribute to making the school an attractive and stimulating environment.
All classes have regular PE lessons each week. We make full use of the hall and outdoor areas around the school as well as occasionally taking groups to Endcliffe Park. Activities include gymnastics, dance, games and athletics. Y5 children will have a series of swimming lessons at King Edward’s pool with the aim of ensuring that every child can swim before leaving the school.
Extra Curricular Activities
Teachers voluntarily organise extra activities in their free time. These will vary from time to time. The range of extra curricular activities varies according to the particular skills and interests of the staff.
The school also runs special events such as a cross-country run and sports events in which all children are encouraged to take part.
We aim to develop children‘s enjoyment and appreciation of music through regular class lessons. There are other opportunities for children to develop their musical skills. For part of the year all children sing in either a Y3/4 or Y5/6 choir during the school day. In addition there are choirs, which practise either at lunchtime or after school, and these are open to any child who wishes to join. Children learn the recorded at school – we have several lunchtime clubs which cater for all years.
There are opportunities for children to learn musical instruments at school – parents contribute to the cost of this according to the LEA’s charging policy. When children have been playing an orchestral instrument for about a year, they can join the school string orchestra – these groups take place as an extra curricular activity.
Modern Foreign Languages
The teaching of Modern Foreign Languages at present is done in every class. We aim to provide the children with some knowledge of life in the country and to teach them to begin to understand, speak and read French and to see it as a living language, and to develop in the children an enthusiasm for foreign languages.
Y3 & Y4 experience tasters of different languages. Y5 & Y6 have programmes in French.
Non-denominational assemblies, of a broadly Christian nature, are held each day. These feature a wide range of topics and a number of different approaches. Religious education based upon the Sheffield Agreed Syllabus is provided throughout the school. The development of reasoned moral values and the multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of society are important features of this aspect of the curriculum.
Parents who wish to exercise their right to ask for the children to be excluded from the assemblies or from religious education lessons should let the headteacher know of their wishes. Alternative arrangements will be made.
In 1999 the Government decided that all children should do homework in some form. There has always been homework at Hunter’s Bar and so the good practice was used as a foundation. In Y3/4 the work should take about 20 minutes a day, about 1_ hour a week. In Y5/6 it should be about _ hour a day, approximately 2_ hours a week. Often the homework might include reading, spelling and number practice. Year groups and class teachers provide details. Probably the most important aspect of working with children at home is that they feel relaxed and supported in their learning. They should be able to receive individual attention and view the experience as part of a regular, positive routine. School provides a folder for homework, which needs to be carried to and from school every day.
We aim to offer all children, at least one residential opportunity during their time at school. These are planned and designed to be accessible to all. They compliment work done in school as well as contributing to their social development.
Central to the whole curriculum is the growth of the individual child as a person who has a healthy sense of self-esteem and can relate well to others. Children should develop an awareness of each other’s worth as individuals and learn how to appreciate the feelings and view points of others. They need to learn how to work together and how to resolve conflict, developing a sense of fairness and justice. We believe they must be helped to understand their own culture and society and further their understanding of other people and their cultures. They also need to develop a concern for both the immediate and the world environment.
These personal and social issues are addressed both directly, in specific lessons, and through day-to-day learning situations. The building of good relationships is a vital part of the curriculum, permeating all aspects of school life.
The school has a policy on personal, social and health education, which has been developed in consultation with governors.
Children with special needs
Each child is an individual and needs a programme of learning which meets his or her requirements. However, some children have special educational needs. These might be connected with learning, physical, behavioural or emotional difficulties. Up to 20% of children will have such needs at some time in their school lives. Class teachers regularly review the children in their classes to assess and monitor development and special needs.
The school has two special needs support assistants whose role is to ensure, through monitoring and review, that the needs of children with special needs are being met as far as possible.
The school also has a special needs support teacher whose role is to support some of the children with special needs by withdrawing them in small groups for specialist teaching, supporting individual children in the classroom and by helping to identify additional specialist work for children to do with their class teacher.
We bring in specialist support teachers or our educational psychologist for advice where necessary. The school employs Learning Support Assistants according to the needs of the particular children. Each year group has a Teaching Assistant who is used to support differentiating and children with special educational needs.
The School has special needs policies which are in accordance with the DfEE’s Special Needs Code of Practice.
The main emphasis is on a graduated response to childrens’ needs, involving school, parents and the child. In each class there may be a few children who will be monitored more closely by the class teacher. ‘this is our own first level of concern and parents will be informed. We call this teacher Action.
- School Action – the next level of concern, when a higher level of support may be given and there is a recognition that difficulties may be longer term. Children at this level will have an individual Education Plan (IEP) or an Individual Behaviour Plan (IBP), with specific targets agreed with parents usually in October and March, to be reviewed in February and July.
- School Action Plus – we now seek advice from expertise outside the school as progress is not being made in spite of extra help. We use the LEA’s support services. We frequently work with Jatinder Singh, our Educational Psychologist, Ron Baynes, our Learning Support teacher and the Behaviour Support service. We also draw on other areas of expertise to assist us.
The partnership between parents and teachers if of extreme importance and we will always inform parents if a child’s work or behaviour is causing concern
Any parent concerned about their child’s work or behaviour should contact their child’s teacher, the headteacher or the special needs co-ordinator
To continue reading online, click here.