OUR SCHOOL’S APPROACH TO THE CURRICULUM:
We aim to provide a rich, broad and balanced curriculum full of experiences which delight and challenge each and every one of our pupils as they pass through their seven years of schooling with us. We have carefully designed our curriculum so that it provides a blend of key skills and knowledge which are built on in a progressive way as our pupils move through school.
On entry to school, the Foundation Stage makes a crucial contribution to children’s early development and learning. We provide children with a rich variety of teaching and learning experiences that are appropriate to their needs. The Foundation Stage is about developing key learning skills such as listening, speaking, concentrating, persistence and learning to work and co-operate with others. There are seven areas of learning and development in the Foundation Stage; they are all important and interconnected.
There are three prime areas:
• Personal, social & emotional development.
• Communication & language.
• Physical development.
There are 4 specific areas:
• Understanding the World
• Expressive arts & design
The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the Foundation Stage curriculum. As such it is carefully planned for and available each day. The reception class has its own specially modified outdoor area. The teaching to achieve these early learning goals will be through first hand experience and structured play. The areas of experience will be linked to the National Curriculum. The teacher and teaching assistant will keep records on children’s experiences and attainments with assessments of developmental and learning needs throughout the school year. We encourage children towards reading, communication and mathematical skills from the very beginning. Much of this earlier learning is achieved through carefully structured play.
Young children who cannot read or write often express their ideas and feelings through play. It is an important way of developing new skills and building up relationships with other children both individually and in groups. Reading is taught through structured reading schemes supplemented with a wide range of other books. We follow a structured approach to the teaching of phonics. Books are used in a structured, graded way to allow children many opportunities for consolidation of key vocabulary. We encourage parents to work with their child at home by hearing them read on a daily basis. We are always pleased to discuss ways in which parents can help their child at each stage of their reading development. We aim to make all children feel secure and confident within the school environment and to develop a sense of achievement through learning, finding it to be a pleasurable and rewarding experience.
Throughout the school as they move into Key Stage 1 and 2, children follow the National Curriculum, as in all state schools. This means that they follow nationally agreed programmes of study in Maths, English, Science, Computing, Art, Music, PE, History, Geography, Design Technology and the Somerset agreed syllabus for RE. Much teaching and learning is cross curricular in nature. We aim to provide a stimulating, creative, broad and balanced, uninterrupted learning journey for all children as they progress through the school.
Progress and attainment is assessed by the teachers and is also monitored through national assessment tests and tasks.
PHONICS AND READING SCHEMES INFORMATION
Our school uses the Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds schemes to provide an enjoyable and effective learning experience for our pupils in Foundation and Key Stage 1 and both of these schemes enable our children to become proficient readers able to recognise letter sounds as they move up through the school.
The Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme is used in both Foundation Stage (Reception) and Key Stage 1. This scheme allows our pupils to progressively build their vocabulary and comprehension skills as they practice reading key words and become increasingly fluent readers.
Our ambition is that the curriculum here at Preston Primary School is enriched over and above the basic entitlement which all pupils should have. To this end we ensure that our children experience regular and varied trips out of school as well as residential visits to enhance their learning. These are often tied in with topics which are being studied in school.
Every year group in the school has the opportunity to be in a play ranging from nativity productions in the lower part of the school to full costume drama performances to parents in Key stage 2.
We also regularly invite visitors into school to offer our pupils different perspectives into subject areas such as P.E. art and drama. This allows our children to achieve outcomes which they can be proud of and may take the form of 3 -D art work or whole Key Stage Sports festivals. Examples of these may be seen around our school and in the form of photographic evidence on our website.
Our wide ranging extra-curricular provision in the form of after school clubs is carefully designed to allow every child in our school to sample something which will appeal to him or her. Clubs such as archery, Spanish and Ukelele enable all of our pupils to experience a special thrill as they are taught something new on a weekly basis. The vast majority of our after school clubs are free to parents. Some of these clubs such as athletics club, football club and cricket club offer our children the chance to take part in inter school competition which further enriches their experience if this is something that they would like to be a part of.
Any further information on our curriculum may be obtained by contacting the school directly where we will be happy to discuss this with you.