The National Curriculum is described in separate terms by the documentation that has been published. Whilst the National Curriculum is being taught throughout this school, the subjects may or may not be taught as separate items. Topic and thematic work provides pupils with the opportunity to study aspects of History, Geography, Science, Technology, Language, Mathematics and so forth under half-Termly topics e.g. “Ourselves, Autumn and Materials, Houses and Homes, Electricity, and Christmas”.
During the course of the year pupils will cover the full range of subjects within the National Curriculum though at different stages of the year there may be a different emphasis (and therefore time) allocated to each curriculum area. Children will also have the opportunity to improve their knowledge – through Cross Curricular Themes and Dimensions – Personal and Social Education, Careers Education and Guidance, Environmental Education, Citizenship, Health Education, Economic and Industrial Understanding, Equal Opportunities and Multicultural Education.
The National Curriculum (and the accompanying assessment) as delivered in this school, is a legal requirement and ordinarily no pupil may be excused. The school and nursery curriculum documents, schemes of work and policy statements are available in the school at all times.
Core Curriculum Subjects
The school uses a range of carefully graded books to help children to become fluent and independent readers who approach reading confidently and with enjoyment. Teachers use a variety of approaches to meet children’s individual learning needs. We use the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme and Jolly Phonics/Letters and Sounds.
Opportunities to use Language for a variety of purposes are planned for throughout the curriculum using the conventions of letter forming, spelling and punctuation, developing children’s confidence, precision and competence in speaking and listening and in written English. In line with the National Literacy Strategy, the Literacy Hour is presented by teachers in all appropriate year groups every morning.
Our Mathematics curriculum aims to develop skills and concepts in using and applying Mathematics, Algebra, Data Handling, Shape, Space and Measures. Pupils’ activities are planned to encourage the development of knowledge, skills and understanding of concepts. Children work with tasks that encourage both accuracy and an open-ended approach to problem-solving, enabling children to confidently approach Mathematics at an appropriate level. In line with the National Numeracy Strategy, the Numeracy Hour is presented by teachers in all appropriate year groups every morning.
Through practical investigations children are encouraged to develop skills and concepts, to explore and use all their senses to make discoveries about the world around them. Activities are carefully planned to promote questioning, predicting outcomes and recording and to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of the world in which they live. The school fulfils all the requirements of the National Curriculum in Science, providing opportunities for pupils to appreciate systematic enquiry, science in daily life, Scientific ideas, Communication, Health and Safety, Experimental and Investigative Science, Life Processes and Living Things, Materials and Physical Processes.
Every child is helped to become more aware of the role of Technology through a range of curriculum activities that are designed to allow children to work with a variety of materials. Children design and make things, evaluate their products, understand how things work and the effects that technology has in the environment
Information and Communication Technology
We use ICT as a tool across the whole curriculum to enhance, enrich and extend our children’s learning. We are well resourced with Promethean Interactive Whiteboards, computers, printers, concept keyboards, tape recorders, etc. We encourage our pupils to gain pleasure and confidence when using ICT and to recognise its appropriate use. Pupils will use a range of ICT equipment/software, explore the use of Promethean Interactive Whiteboards and computers, examine and discuss ICT experiences. They will be taught to communicate and handle information, control and model.
Children are given opportunities to develop awareness of the past and of the ways in which it was different from the present. They learn about these differences through pictures, photographs, artefacts and by talking and asking questions about changes in their own lives and those of their family and adults around them. The children will be helped to place their study within a chronological framework and to understand some of the methods of finding out about the past.
Enquiry forms an important part of children’s work in Geography. Work is linked to the immediate locality and children are encouraged to observe and investigate the use of buildings, types and uses of materials, natural and man-made and the effects they have on our environment. Children are encouraged to use geographical vocabulary and skills to identify familiar features in the area and another place in the world with physical and human features of contrast to our own locality.
Children are helped to develop the appropriate skills necessary to participate in musical activities as a listener, appraiser, composer and performer. The school has an informal recorder group for those children who show particular interest in this aspect of our Music curriculum. All children are given the opportunity to perform for a range of audiences.
Art and Design
Art is frequently linked with other areas of the curriculum, but is also a means of stimulating and encouraging personal expression. Children are introduced to the work of famous artists and encouraged to make their own responses, developing a range of practical and aesthetic skills. Art will embrace Craft and Design. Understanding and enjoyment of Art will be developed by combining, investigating and making with knowledge and understanding.
Arts Policy and Provision
(To support the National Curriculum) Horndale County Infant and Nursery School recognises and places a great emphasis on the importance of the arts in the curriculum. We have an effective arts policy that is available for you to see in the school at all times. The children a Horndale School and Nursery are offered a full range of cultural experiences and opportunities throughout the academic year.
Sporting Aims and Provision
Horndale County Infant and Nursery School recognises and places a great emphasis on the importance of sport and physical education in the curriculum. We strive to achieve a high standard of sports and physical education provision from Nursery to the end of Key Stage 1. We have an effective policy for promoting physical education. All activities are available for both boys and girls. Our aims at Key Stage 1 are divided into three categories – those for:-
- Educational Gymnastics to establish skilful control of body movement through balance, travelling and rotation
- Dance to develop an awareness of the body as a vehicle for expression and communication
- Games Skills/Athletic Activities to provide the opportunity for children to acquire a variety of game skills and to provide opportunities and practice for the children to create their own games
Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
We know that children learn best when they feel emotionally secure and have the skills necessary to understand their feelings, the reasons why they have certain feelings and what to do about their feelings so that they have emotionally stable relationships with their peers. We deliver the National SEAL strategy that enables pupils to explore and develop the necessary life skills that underpin the maintenance of healthy relationships. The programme is progressive and builds on skills learnt previously, it equips pupils with the understanding of how they can strengthen their friendship[s and how to deal with people that they have difficulty with. Our pupils learn to make choices and become responsible for their own decisions in a community environment.
Healthy Dispositions and Attitudes
We understand that pupils arrive at school in the morning from a variety of home experiences and in a range of emotional states, to this end we deliver our “Wake up, shake up” and “Brain Gym” programmes in order that we can develop pupils co-ordination, attention and concentration skills prior to beginning lessons. During the lunch hour we offer pupils ‘Huff and Puff’ activities. these activities are delivered by our dinner supervisors and comprise of a selection of games and equipment designed to extend pupils co-ordination skills and develop a teamwork ethic based on co-operation, sharing and tolerance. We have achieved the Active mark Award because we offer two hours of physical activity a week.
RE and Collective Worship
The Education Reform Act of 1988 requires the school to offer Religious Education in the basic curriculum of the Durham Agreed Syllabus to all pupils. This reflects the Christian traditions that are predominant in this country but teaches and introduces two other main religions that are found in Britain today, Judaism and Buddhism. An act of daily worship is carried out each day through collective worship in the form of an assembly. This is non-denominational and reflects Christian teaching and values.
Please note: All teachers present Religious Education although this is not a National Curriculum requirement. Pupils may be withdrawn from Religious Education and Collective Worship. Parents who feel they may wish to withdraw their child if this conflicts with their values and beliefs should discuss this with the Head Teacher. If parents have any queries or require further information about the school’s curriculum, again they should not hesitate to discuss this with the Head Teacher who will be willing to assist.
Sex education forms part of the education of all children throughout all phases of the school, the content and method being matched to the maturity and needs of the pupil involved. The subject is covered within a topic or theme across a number of subjects as well as being part of the pastoral curriculum. The presentation of sex education encourages all pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life. The school offers equal opportunities to boys and girls throughout all areas of the curriculum. All lessons are taken by all pupils unless other special arrangements have been made and work programmes are supplemented by computer activities at appropriate levels. Any questions or concerns of individual pupils will be answered in a simple and honest manner as they arise naturally.