THE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
The planning for the Foundation Stage Curriculum is based upon six areas of learning as follows:-
v Personal, social and emotional development.
v Communication, language and literacy.
v Mathematical development.
v Knowledge and understanding of the world.
v Physical development.
v Creative development.
The provision for children of pre-compulsory age in our Nursery and Reception classes is appropriate to the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum including Early Learning Goals. The later development of each area of learning dovetails into both the Key Stage1 and Key Stage 2 curriculum. The school is working towards implementing the new Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (2008). This is an exciting development, that ensures the curriculum is appropriate to the development of the whole child, and continuity and progression is maintained more easily between early year’s settings.
The Curriculum at Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
The school recognises the importance of providing a curriculum that ensures not only breadth and balance, but also creativity and enjoyment, whilst at the same time’ maintaining a focus on pupil attainment.
The school is required by law to teach all children of age five and above, the core and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum. The staff plan the teaching sessions so that all statutory requirements are in place. We aim to deliver the curriculum in an exciting and appropriate way.
The school staff are committed to reviewing their practice and undertake regular training to ensure that they provide the children with the highest quality of teaching and learning possible.
Often the National Curriculum can be achieved within cross curricular teaching but we are also aware of the need for some individual subjects to be taught separately. There is also a recognition that children’s progress in Literacy and Mathematics is essential to their progress across the curriculum. Therefore, these two subjects are taught separately through the National Literacy and Mathematics Frameworks. However, there are many planned opportunities through which children can embed aspects of Literacy and Maths in other subjects – developing their basic skills in rich, relevant and motivating contexts.
The Curriculum at Gainsborough follows all of the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage, Literacy and Mathematics Frameworks and the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum is specified as separate subjects (Mathematics, English, Science, Design and Technology, Information and Communication Technology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Music and Physical Education). However, where effective links can be made, a more cross curricular approach is used, combining related or complimentary aspects of the programmes of study from different subjects, to plan themed topics or units of work. This allows pupils to apply the knowledge and skills learnt in one subject to others, thereby bringing an overall coherence to the curriculum, and therefore to learning as a whole.
The topics/units of work are underpinned by progressive skill, knowledge and understanding development, to ensure continuity and progression through each aspect of the curriculum.
Religious Education and Collective Worship.
We follow the Cheshire Agreed Syllabus for teaching Religious Education which is of a broadly Christian nature. Acts of worship are held daily. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of our Religious Education teaching and Collective worship.
Spiritual, moral and cultural development.
Every child is valued and cared for at Gainsborough. We encourage all children to respect each other, learning that everyone is special in their own way and that we value the good in each of us. They learn to share, take turns, hear another’s point of view and understand the need for rules and conventions within school. This is an essential part of their spiritual, moral and cultural development.
Environmental Education is supportive of all key areas of learning and is a vital element in the creation of a school/community ethos. We place emphasis on:-
- Learning through the environment, by providing opportunities for the children to experience the school and other environments at first hand.
- Learning in the environment, by providing opportunities for the children to experience contrasting environments.
- Learning for the environment, by encouraging the children to care for our world and to realise that each and every one of us has a part to play in ensuring its survival into the future.
We encourage environmental projects including recycling and energy awareness projects. The new building has many eco-friendly features, which will form part of our learning environment.
The children have been involved in planning the design of the new school building, outdoor play areas, the outdoor classrooms and the school grounds.
Personal, Social and Health Education
This important area of the school curriculum is taught throughout the whole school through half termly S.E.A.L. units. (Social and emotional aspects of learning) Many aspects are also included in the cross curricular topics. Emphasis is place on building self esteem as well as general health, hygiene and safety matters. Some aspects are covered by using professionals to discuss specific situations with the children eg. Community Police Officers, School Nurse, Dental Hygiene, Road Safety and Stranger Danger.
Our Sex Education policy details our teaching approach. A copy is available in school for parents to read. Aspects of Sex Education are taught in some Junior Science lessons. These include names and functions of body parts and lessons on life cycles including human reproduction. A specific unit of Sex Education is taught at Year 6, by the School Nurse, including work on pubertal change, emotions and relationships with others. Parental permission is obtaining before these lessons commence. Parents may also request to see the materials used and speak to the School Nurse if they wish.
Special Educational Needs
Gainsborough has a comprehensive Special Needs policy which strives to help children who are experiencing difficulty in school.
It is Gainsborough’s policy to identify those pupils with Special Educational Needs as early as possible. They receive extra support for special class work. A child may be placed on, or removed from, the special needs register as needs are assessed, so a pupil might not always get additional help. A special needs review takes place each term.
We believe it is important to integrate the special needs child into the classroom situation and withdrawal for small group work is only necessary on specific occasions.
Throughout the Primary and Nursery School, specialist Teaching Assistants work closely with the class teachers to provide support for identified pupils. We also work closely with the Learning Support service, Speech Therapy service and the educational psychologist. Some statemented pupils are supported in their learning through Local Authority Funding.
The school’s Special Needs Co-ordinators are Mrs Walden and Mrs Todd. They monitor and review the needs of all children on the Special Needs register. They are responsible for the purchase of resources and equipment for special needs and offer advice and support to teachers, teaching assistants, pupils and parents.
The Governors and Staff of Gainsborough are committed to providing the best possible education to pupils including those with Special Needs. Gainsborough is proud of this policy. This means parents can discuss their child’s needs with understanding and mutual respect. The school will support parents with the management of their children, offer advice and co-ordinate professional bodies as required.
Gifted and Talented Pupils.
We believe in providing a quality education that all pupils can access. This includes those 5-10% of pupils of higher ability who we refer to as “Gifted and Talented”.
We aim to improve the attainment and motivation of these pupils, to enable them to work towards their full potential and provide support for those children identified.
We acknowledge that flexible grouping arrangements can benefit able pupils. We therefore set children in ability groups, within KS2 for mathematics. Within the literacy hour, we set pupils into ability groups for independent tasks.
Gainsborough Primary and Nursery School believe that every pupil has an entitlement to develop their full potential. Educational experiences are provided which develop pupils’ achievements and recognise the individuality. Diversity is valued and a rich resource, which supports the learning of all. Gainsborough recognises a child’s right to a broad, balanced, relevant, challenging curriculum, which is appropriate to their individual abilities, talents and personal qualities. We are proud that we recently achieved the prestigious “Inclusion Quality Mark” award, February 2009, which testifies to the inclusive ethos and practice within Gainsborough.
Every pupil’s progress is carefully tracked, monitored, assessed, recorded and reported in accordance with school policy and Government regulations. Target setting is an integral part of this process. The assessment results of Year 2 pupils at the end of KS1 and Year 6 pupils at the end of KS2, are published annually.
Achievements are celebrated and recorded and evidence of learning is kept in many different forms.
A child’s achievements, progress and targets for the future are discussed at Parent /Teacher meetings, which are held throughout the academic year to maintain a dialogue between home and school. An annual report of the child’s achievements is sent to the parents.
A “Foundation Stage Profile” is completed for each child at the end of the Reception Year. Nationally produced assessments are undertaken annually during April/May in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. As with the Year 6 assessments, the Year 3, 4, and 5 tests are marked and analysed externally.
Extra Curricular Activities
We are delighted to offer our pupils an excellent range of activities during the school day and after school. Activities are available to pupils regardless ability, gender and talent and vary on a termly basis. The activities are led by our teaching staff or fully qualified staff from a variety of outside agencies.
Whole school plays and musicals.
Games, sport and athletics.
Clubs before school, lunchtimes and after school.
Music tuition (violin and guitar), choir and drama.
Inter-school / Regional/ National events, concerts and competitions.
We encourage learners to join in the full life of the school and we welcome parents to enjoy these activities alongside their children.
All children at Gainsborough have at least two PE sessions per week. Physical Education incorporates games, gymnastics, and dance. All Year 3 pupils are taught to swim by qualified swimming instructors at Crewe swimming baths. In their PE lessons, children are taught a wide range of skills, to enable them to participate in small team games. As they grow older, they learn an increasing range of activities, for example football, cricket, rounders, tennis, athletics, dance, rugby and netball.
Pupils are offered a range of extra activities after school. We compete in tournaments and inter-school matches.
During this academic year the school has been represented by football, netball, cricket and athletics teams. Several of our pupils have also represented the area at a higher level in football and athletics. We are very proud of our sporting achievements. Crewe Alexandra F.C. are regular visitors to the school. Staff have attended “Top Sport” and “Top Play” courses and, as a result, the school has benefited from several free bags of equipment and lesson ideas for football, netball, basketball and rugby.
We strive to give as many children as possible the opportunity to represent the school in some way. Whilst we are keen to do well in competitions, we are even keener to provide children with memories, pride and self-esteem. We have created a ‘Sports Day’ in which all children have an opportunity for success and a great deal of fun. Our aim is to encourage all pupils to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to understand sport provides a source of fun and satisfaction for all.
School Council and Buddy Teams.
Gainsborough School has a well established School Council. The Council comprises of elected members from the classes and the Deputy. The School Council effectively represents the inclusion of the “Child’s Voice” in all aspects of school life.
Gainsborough has a thriving, active set of Buddy Teams. The children apply and are interviewed for the respective positions. Once a child applies and becomes a buddy, they remain a buddy for as long as they continue to carry out their duties/responsibilities, attend all relevant meetings/training and do not abuse their position.
The Buddy Teams are as follows:-
Ø Friendship Buddy
Ø Wet Play Time Buddy
Ø Community Action Buddy
Ø Lunchtime Buddy
Each of the teams has specific responsibilities and areas for development within the day to day life of Gainsborough.
Gainsborough Junior School was awarded the National Healthy Schools Award and both Gainsborough Junior and Infant schools were awarded the Cheshire Healthy Schools Award. The principles of these awards underpin many aspects of life at Gainsborough. As a Primary School we are now striving towards achieving the new Healthy Schools Standard and hope to achieve this in the near future.
All staff act in “loco parentis” with every child in their care. We are concerned, not only for the educational progress of your child, but also for their personal and social development. We try to combine high expectations with an understanding approach. Parents are involved at an early stage, so that the child is secure in the knowledge that home and school are caring for them.
Parents are asked to inform the school of any change or disruption in the home situation, which may cause the child to be upset or lead to a change from normal behaviour. The staff act professionally at all times and confidential matters are handled appropriately.