Subjects at Kingsholm C of E Primary School
The development of children’s oral language is vitally important. We give children plenty of opportunity for commenting, expressing a point of view and explaining, as well as learning how to speak appropriately in different situations.
We encourage children to listen quietly for an increasing amount of time so that, gradually, they can develop their ability to evaluate stories, to recall details and to listen to and carry out instructions.
At Kingsholm we teach synthetic phonics following 'Letters and Sounds'. We ensure that the sessions are pacey and interactive using games as an opportunity for the children to apply the knowledge that they have learnt.
We aim to develop in children a desire to read and a love of reading. In Key Stage 1, we use a more structured approach to the teaching of reading by the use of a variety of reading schemes. This structure continues into KS2 with the aim being for all the children by Y5 to be making free but informed choices about their independent reading books. As children progress through the school, there is a greater freedom of choice and a wider use of the school library.
Group reading is taught daily throughout the school and regular assessments of reading ensure the text here is at the children’s instructional (unable to access alone) level of reading. Follow up activities support the group reading session and extend the children’s understanding. Shared language in the teaching of comprehension across the school ensures consistency of approach and equips our children well for the rigours of secondary education as they move up through the school.
Please discuss with your child’s teacher ways in which you can be involved at home in the reading development programme.
Children are taught to develop a neat and legible hand and be taught the correct formation of letters. As children move up through the school they will have sufficient control of handwriting, spelling, punctuation and syntax to be able to be efficient with different forms of writing - note taking, reporting, imaginative writing, poetry and stories and presenting a coherent argument. The children are encouraged to take a pride in the appearance and presentation of their work.
Spellings are taught in school with objectives coming from the National Curriculum and then taught using resources such as Support for Spelling and the Spelling Bank. Children are encouraged to learn spellings at home but rather than be tested in lesson time the children work towards completing a termly Spelling Bee house competition.
Grammar is taught throughout the school and teachers embed this teaching in lessons but where necessary teach it discreetly. The National Curriculum expectations are used as guidance and resources such as Grammar for Writing are used for support.
As a school we have embraced Talk for Writing and employ these strategies in the teaching of fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction writing is linked to exciting and stimulating texts which in turn link to our curriculum themes. Fiction writing is taught through a story telling approach by first imitating then innovating a story and ultimately using all their skills to invent a new story. Classes study three novels a year which are carefully chosen at an aspirational level for the year group. Writing opportunities in this teaching are varied with the novel being the most important aspect. The Big Write takes place weekly throughout the school and has been adapted to meet the needs of our children. Poetry is linked to festivals such as Christmas and the poems are read aloud by the children as they become part of a house competition in school.
Children are given the opportunity of exploring and experiencing a wide range of practical and meaningful mathematical activities. Through a planned programme the children are taught how to use and apply mathematical concepts. Much of the mathematics taught is of a practical nature at all ages and related directly to everyday situations. In the early years you can help your child by teaching him/her counting rhymes and talking about lengths, weights, capacity (e.g. washing up, setting the table for meals) and generally using the full range of mathematical vocabulary. Later you can help your child by playing ‘tables’ games and encouraging him/her through games of logic e.g. draughts, chess and counting games.
A calculation policy, available through the school website, gives clarity to the teaching of the four operations which are taught progressively. Resources such as base 10 and numicon enable the children to make the transition from concrete to abstract concepts. Interventions such as Springboard and other catch up programmes enable rapid progress to be made where children are identified as needing further support.
Science is taught through our themed curriculum. We provide children with the opportunities for observing, handling and exploring natural and manmade materials and encourage them to test their ideas and experiences. Where necessary science concepts are taught discreetly to ensure coverage of the 2014 National Curriculum.
I.C.T. / Computing
ICT as a teaching tool is embedded and used to good effect throughout the school. Each class has an interactive board and projector and these are used to make lessons stimulating and accessible for all children. Each year group has a bank of 30 laptops which are used to deliver the new National Curriculum. Programmes like Scratch are used to deliver aspects of the new curriculum such as algorithms. There are 6 Ipads currently available in most classes with more planned. Ipads are used across the curriculum for research, group reading activities and other activities across the curriculum. I.C.T. education supports the learning that is already going on and, with carefully chosen software, acts as a stimulus for investigation and imaginative work.
Design and Technology, History and Geography, Art, Music and dance are all taught through our theme work.
In school we have two spacious halls which are time tabled for all classes to use both the fixed apparatus and small activity equipment. The school field is used extensively throughout the year giving extended opportunities for a variety of games activities.
In the school curriculum physical education builds on children’s enjoyment of and need for activity and movement. It seeks to develop co-ordination, skill, enjoyment, a sense of well-being, healthy lifestyle and a feeling of self-confidence. Every child is expected to participate in the various activities unless there is a specific medical reason for not doing so. A letter from the parents will be required if the child is to be excused from a lesson.
Religious Education and Worship.
As a Church of England Controlled School the Religious Education is according to Gloucestershire’s Agreed Syllabus which is consistent with the Act’s requirements that it “shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking into account the teaching and practices of the other principal religions”. Daily acts of worship are led by the Head Teacher, teaching staff, children and many local clergy. Parents wishing to exercise their rights to withdraw their children from this area should contact the Head Teacher.
Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)
At Kingsholm we have welcomed the new curriculum guidance which recognises that teachers are best placed to understand the needs of their pupils and do not need additional central prescription in the teaching of PSHE.
Therefore through our PSHE policy we aim to provide opportunities for children to increase their understanding about their bodies and how they work, hygiene, diet, how to keep fit, use/misuse of drugs, what it means to keep healthy, their personal responsibility for this and factors which promote it. Specific areas of the curriculum, themed work on Food, Ourselves, Healthy Living and the range of physical activities offered, support this.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex and relationships education has now been removed from the KS1 and KS2 curriculum. Aspects of sex education are now covered in Y5 and Y6 through the science curriculum. Specifically these are:
Year 5 (statutory requirements): Describe the differences in the life cycles of a mammal, an amphibian, an insect and a bird; Describe the life process of reproduction in some plants and animals; Describe the changes as humans develop to old age.
Year 6 (statutory requirements): Recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents.
Relationships education is now taught in the wider context of health, personal and social education, sometimes in conjunction with religious education.
We believe that home learning can make an important contribution to pupils’ progress at school. The recommended time allocation for home learning is:
Reception – ½ hour every week Years 3 and 4 - 1½ hours every week.
Years 1 and 2 - 1 hour every week. Years 5 and 6 - 2½ hours every week.
Home learning will mostly be English or Maths activities plus finding out relevant information about the current term’s Kingsholm Curriculum theme.