The main areas in English (Literacy) are speaking and listening, reading and writing.
An important part of the reception year involves children in a wide range of activities including dramatic play to encourage them to broaden their use of spoken English and to listen attentively to others. This is built upon throughout the academy as children’s vocabulary widens.
Reading is at the heart of literacy and is approached through a wide range of activities. Children will be involved in shared reading as a class, guided reading in a small group working with a teacher or helper and some individual reading from a variety of sources. Children will experience all types of reading material drawn from fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Writing builds on children’s experiences of reading. As with reading, writing will be approached through a mixture of shared writing as a class, guided writing in a smaller group and individual writing in a variety of styles.
We want children to understand maths and, therefore, a lot of the things they do will be based on practical work and investigations. They will also use a variety of other resources including books, worksheets, workcards, as well as being taught in class, group and individual situations. In the early stages of Key Stage One many of the tasks will be of a practical nature as children come to find out what maths is about.
Not all maths will be written in books. Some work will be recorded in other ways, for example, as a class chart or on loose worksheets. Not all mathematical work will be recorded, playing mathematical games, measuring, counting and thinking are valuable exercises in themselves and need not always be written about afterwards. All children will carry out work which involves investigations into number, shape and space, measure and data handling, often involving problem solving.
Children will also be involved in mental maths activities to help them develop a quick recall of number facts and the ability to work with and manipulate numbers.
Children will cover a variety of topics in science as they progress through the academy. Their work will have a large component of practical activity in it. Children will be encouraged to investigate and think about what they find out. At the earliest stages it might be experimenting to find out which things sink and which float, in later years it might involve making complex electrical circuits. All children will investigate the natural world around them, materials and physical processes as part of their science education.
Information and Communication Technology
Each class has its own computer and we have a wide range of programs to support all curriculum areas. We have a specialist room for ICT where children will gain experience of word processing, using the internet, control, monitoring, art, design, data and information handling as they move through the academy.
History and Geography
We aim to stimulate and interest children, to make children aware of their surroundings and give them a sense of time and place. Key Stage One history may include inviting a grandparent to come and talk about life when they were at school, later years geography may involve children investigating land use whilst on a residential visit.
There will be opportunities for children to design, make and test models. They will have the use of a variety of simple tools in carefully supervised situations. Sometimes they will use construction kits, at other times they will make use of everyday materials. Children will also take part in cookery in our specially designed cookery area.
Children will be given the opportunity to work with different media, including paint, fabrics, threads, dyes, modelling, weaving, etc. We have our own kiln for pottery. Children will be introduced to the work of famous artists so that by the time they leave us we hope that they will have had a chance to develop their own skills as well as admire the work of others.
Music is an important part of our work and essentially a practical subject. From their earliest years children will take part in playing instruments, singing, and composing tunes. Children will be introduced to the work of famous composers and given the chance to listen to and appreciate the work of others. We also aim to give as many children as possible the chance to learn the recorder. There are also limited opportunities for children to learn to play string, brass and woodwind instruments with visiting music teachers.
Dance, Games and PE
This takes place in one of our halls using large or small apparatus. We also have a field and two hard surface areas used for team games and athletics. Right from the start, children will be encouraged to develop physical skills and, as they get older, learn how to become part of a team. In Year 5 and 6, the children go swimming at Brockworth Sports Centre.
Other Subject Areas
Through religious education and in daily school assemblies children will be encouraged to think about those aspects of human life and the natural world which raise questions of ultimate meaning and purpose and reflect a spiritual dimension of life. Through stories of people, past and present, and myths which communicate religious ideas, children will be introduced to the central elements of Christianity and other major religious traditions. In this way we hope to help children appreciate the way religious beliefs shape life, and help them to develop the tolerance and understanding necessary for life in society today. Parents do, of course, have the right to withdraw their children from RE and collective worship.
Personal Social and Health Education
PSHE and Citizenship is an area of the curriculum where our working partnership with parents and the wider community is essential. As a separate unit it is taught from reception to year 6 but often it is linked to the core and foundation subjects like RE. With the younger children we try to join forces with parents and develop those important skills that help children to manage themselves on a daily basis, learning to do up shoe laces, taking turns etc. As children progress through the academy they address increasingly challenging issues. In PSHE children also examine their own attitudes and commitments and how they can already make a contribution as future responsible citizens.
We do not have a formal sex education programme but rather think that such matters can be dealt with satisfactorily within the context of a caring home environment. We do, however, deal with aspects of health education through different areas of the curriculum. Such work would include some knowledge and understanding of the human body, the conditions which promote healthy growth and development, and health and safety. In this context, children’s questions about the physical differences between the sexes and human reproduction will be dealt with factually, as they arise. In year 5 children will study a health related topic in which specific reference is made to human reproduction and associated matters. Details of this work will be provided for parents before the children begin the topic.