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The Curriculum

The Curriculum
The governors have adopted the Local Authority's Statement of Curriculum Policy 5 - 16 without alteration.
Aims of the Curriculum
 We aim to help all pupils to:-
·      enjoy learning and perceive education as a life-long process;
·      develop the attitude, understanding and skills necessary, now and in the future, to exercise independence and initiative and to work, participate and thrive in a democratic society;
·      develop lively, enquiring minds and the ability to -
      find and use information;
      question and debate rationally;
      apply understanding and skills in order to address issues, solve problems and carry out practical tasks;
·      develop worthwhile personal values and attitudes and gain a clear understanding of the ways of life of other people and other cultures;
·      understand the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations;
·      develop appreciation and concern for the environment;
·      work co-operatively with others.
These aims are achieved using a range of approaches to teaching and learning, supported by the requirements of the core and foundation subjects of the National Curriculum.  Children learn within whole class, group and individual situations.  Children are always well supported in their learning with access to a variety of resources.  Children are expected to be able to learn directly from instruction and be independent in their own search for knowledge.
The National Curriculum core subjects are English, mathematics, science and information and communication technology (ICT).  The foundation subjects are technology, history, geography, music, art, design technology, physical education and PSHE & C (personal, social and health education & citizenship.  Great emphasis is placed upon a broadly based curriculum in which it is possible for subjects to complement and reinforce one another.
Organisation of the Curriculum
 Pupils in the nursery and reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum which progresses through developmental ages and stages. There are seven areas of learning and development; personal, social and emotional development; physical development; Communication and Language; Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
At both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 the programmes of study for all National Curriculum subjects are built into programmes of work ensuring continuity and progression throughout the primary years.  The programmes are divided into termly units of work which form the basis of the teachers’ planning.  This has been carefully devised to promote appropriate and meaningful curricular links and also to identify elements that are best suited to discrete teaching.
The curricular framework describes each term’s unit of work for teachers.  They then write their plans which outline how they intend to combine subjects and which aspects of the curriculum will be taught separately.  Teacher’s weekly and daily plans show the aims of lessons, how the curriculum will be delivered, how activities are matched to pupil’s abilities and how assessments will be made.
Core Subjects
There is an emphasis placed on the four core areas of the curriculum, English, mathematics, science and ICT.
Read Write Inc is a phonic scheme that we use throughout the school. Children in Foundation and KS1 have a daily phonics lesson. The spelling programme from the scheme is used in KS2, as well as the Fresh Start programme for children who need some additional support.
English and maths are taught separately during daily literacy and numeracy lessons.  Each lesson, lasting approximately 1 hour, begins with a whole class introduction and is followed by group work in which the children are mainly organised by ability.  A plenary session at the end also involves the whole class.  The school follows the National Literacy Strategy programme for English and the National Numeracy Strategy for maths.
All classes undertake science for 2 hours each week.  Through an investigative approach children study life processes (plants and animals), materials and physical processes (electricity, forces, light and sound).
The school has considerable ICT facilities. There are a large number of laptop computers in each corridor and a wireless network across the whole building. In addition, each class has an interactive whiteboard. A wide range of software is used to deliver the National Curriculum and pupils have supervised access to the Internet when appropriate. Our own monitoring software also allows us to monitor pupil access to websites.
Foundation Subjects
The foundation subjects are history, geography, music, design technology, PE and art.  Generally these are taught through a theme or topic.  Children are often encouraged to undertake some independent research at home about themes being studied in school.
Religious Education
 Religious education, moral and spiritual education are planned as part of the curriculum, based on the Shropshire Agreed Syllabus.
Parents/carers who wish to withdraw their children from the daily act of worship and/or religious education should let the school know of their intention in writing.  Children who are withdrawn will be provided with alternative work from another area of the curriculum.  This will be carried out in an area of the school where the child can be supervised by another adult.
Sex Education
 The school’s Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship Policy (PSHE), which includes both health and sex education, has been considered and agreed by the Governing Body. The subject is approached and taught in the classroom, through both PSHE and science, by the class teacher. The scheme of work is mapped out across all year groups. Some aspects are taught as a whole class whilst others are covered with girls and boys separately. The school nurse supports sessions with Y6.  Parents/carers who wish to withdraw their children from sex education should inform the school of their intentions in writing. Please note that parents cannot withdraw their children from any aspects included in the science curriculum.
Forest School
We have qualified level 3 Forest School practitioners at Old Park Primary and are fortunate to have an allocated area specifically for our use with some well established trees and lots of newly planted saplings. Forest School acknowledges individual learning processes and helps support the children at their own pace to follow their ideas as they explore the stimulating environment regardless of the season.
It strives to set the learning needed in life in different and interesting contexts using the outdoors; it is an effective method of developing a nature connection and respect for the out doors within the children. We engage in a variety of activities ranging from bug hunts to 3D sculptures with a spot of mud painting and potion making regularly thrown in.
Throughout the sessions we encourage the children to take calculated risks and enable them to learn different skills that we can use to enhance classroom learning such as collaboration and perseverance.
Even the least confident children have discovered some area of the Forest School experience that they have enjoyed and want to come back and do again.  Hopefully the experience will encourage more children to explore and engage with their learning as they 'play' in the woods, to the benefit of all.
In Harmony
The whole school is involved in ‘In Harmony’ which promotes community change through music and the orchestra. Children in nursery, reception and Y1 have a weekly music lesson to develop their musical skills and understanding. From Y2 onwards, all children are provided with an orchestral instrument and given a weekly lesson. They also have weekly sessions in singing and orchestra. Children are allowed to take their instruments home over the weekend to practise. Parents are invited to termly concerts.
In Key Stage 1 children are expected to read each day and learn spellings when appropriate. In Key Stage 2 daily reading, spelling and mental maths is expected. An additional piece of homework is also set each week. This can be Maths, English or linked to other subjects being studied. The amount of homework set increases as children get older. Many classes use learning logs which allow children to be creative in response to a given title.
School Council
It is important that children have a say in how the school is run and their views are taken very seriously. To do this we have a School Council with representatives from each class. The council meets regularly to discuss relevant issues and they then report back to their own classes.
In this school sport is seen as the progressive development of the children’s skills and is taught through games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming and outdoor and adventurous activities.  In line with the national curriculum guidelines we seek to develop children’s:
·      true potential in a range of sporting activities;
·      mobility, flexibility, strength and stamina;
·      spatial, locomotive and manipulative skills;
·      understanding of the benefits of general health and well being;
·      concepts of team work, co-operation, competition and sportsmanship;
·      individual talents and skills;
·      sense of achievement, satisfaction and pleasure from physical activity.
All classes are timetabled for two PE lessons per week each lasting about an hour. From Y2 onwards Crossbar coaches lead one of the PE lessons.  The areas of PE are balanced across the year.
Swimming takes place in the summer term at the Shortwood Swimming Centre.  Year 6 and Year 4 attend for the term. 
The school facilities include:               A fully equipped Sports Hall;
Football pitch;
                                                            Running track;
                                                            5-a-side football facilities;
                                                            Volleyball net;
                                                            Hockey equipment;
                                                            Netball posts;
                                                            Rounders pitch;
                                                            Cricket facilities.
                                                            Basket ball rings
                                                            Tennis rackets
Whenever possible the school enters local competitions which include football tournaments, badminton, basketball, athletics and cricket.
Sports Day
An annual sports day is held towards the end of the summer term which combines competitiveness and the enjoyment of taking part. 
Children who have a special educational need or a disability
Old Park Primary School’s policy and practice is based upon the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice issued by the Department for Education and Skills (2001) and guidance from the Local Education Authority.  The school also pays due regard to the Disability Rights Code of Practice prepared by the Disability Rights Commission (2002).
The staged approach to the identification and provision for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) involves a graduated response from within school resources and the involvement of outside support agencies, if necessary.  A record of children having SEN is maintained by the school’s co-ordinators for special needs, Mrs S Machin and Mrs J Bebb.
Parents/carers are encouraged to participate with the school in supporting a child with special educational needs.  They are also fully consulted and informed about interventions to help their child, and progress being made.
The majority of children having SEN will have their needs met from within the school’s own learning support provision.  If additional resources are likely to be needed for a long time the child’s needs may be assessed under the provisions of the 1996 Education Act.  Such an assessment may lead to the issue of a Statement of Special Educational Needs.  This document describes the child’s needs in detail and the resources which will be made available by the LA to assist the school in meeting the child’s needs.
A principle of the school’s policy is that all children with special educational needs, or those with disabilities, are fully integrated into school and have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.  Care is taken to ensure that all children are treated equally in both admission arrangements and daily school life.  Modifications have been made to certain areas of the school to assist access for disabled children.
The Governor with responsibility for SEN is Mr Geoff Harding