,
Message sent from:

The Curriculum

Curriculum September 2014

Overview

The ‘basic’ school curriculum includes the ‘national curriculum’, religious education and sex education.

The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools so children learn the same things. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

Broomfields Junior School follows the statutory National Curriculum (published September 2013).

We believe that the curriculum should be broad and balanced and we achieve this by following the statutory National Curriculum and by going beyond this to further enrich the lives of the children we teach.  

New Curriculum 2014 Key Points:

  • The main aim is to raise standards
  • It has been designed to produce productive, creative and well educated students. 
  • All maintained schools will have to follow the new curriculum but Academies and Free Schools are exempt
  • The new curriculum is intended to be more challenging
  • The content is slimmer than the current curriculum
  • It focuses on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming

New Curriculum 2014 Key Facts:

  • Schools are free to choose how they organise their school day, as long as the content of the National Curriculum programmes of study is taught to all pupils.
  • By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programmes of study.
  • The new National Curriculum identifies what to teach but not how to teach.
  • The new National Curriculum does not have levels of attainment, but expectations at each banding.
  • “Literacy” title has been replaced by ‘English’.
  • ‘ICT’ title is replaced by ‘Computing’
  • No PSHE or RE contained within the Curriculum 2014 (but still to be taught).
  • An Act of Daily Worship is expected in all schools.
  • In Maths there will be a greater emphasis on arithmetic, and the promotion of efficient written methods of long multiplication and division.  There will also be a more demanding content in fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • In Science there is a stronger focus on the importance of scientific knowledge and language and a greater emphasis on the core scientific concepts underpinning pupils’ understanding.  For the first time primary aged children will learn about evolution and inheritance.
  • The English programmes of study will embody higher standards of literacy.  Pupils will be expected to develop a stronger command of the written and spoken word.  Through the teaching of phonics pupils will be helped to read fluently.
  • The study of languages is compulsory in Key Stage 2.
  • The current ICT curriculum is replaced with a new computing curriculum with a much greater emphasis on computational thinking and practical programming skills.
  • It is essential to distinguish between the statutory National Curriculum and the whole school curriculum.  All schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils.
  • In other subjects and key stages there is a greater amount of time and flexibility for schools and teachers to design their curriculum and lessons by focusing only on the essential knowledge to be taught in each subject.

What Are The Main Changes?

  • The new curriculum has basically been divided across the three phases in primary schools i.e. Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6). In our school we focus our attention on Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2 with our partner school Cobbs Infants and Nursery focussing on Key Stage 1.
  • There are no specific times during each phase where topics have to be taught nor how long it should take. This is left to the discretion of individual schools and teachers as it is dependent on how quickly children grasp the specific area being taught.

How Broomfields Junior School Delivers The National Curriculum 

The school uses ‘Learning Challenges’ as a basis for the delivery of the National Curriculum and from this we have developed long term plans for:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Computing
  • Science
  • Physical Education
  • Languages
  • Music
  • Religious Education
  • PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health, and Citizenship Education)
  • We have also devised a topic based approach to teaching the following subjects:
  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • Geography
  • History

Where one of the above subjects does not naturally fit within a topic being taught then it is taught discretely for the duration of the topic.

Our Curriculum, therefore, will help children in the following ways:

  1. to acquire knowledge;
  2. to acquire skills and practical abilities;
  3. to appreciate the natural and man-made environment;
  4. to develop a reasoned set of attitudes, values and beliefs - a sense of self respect, respect for others and  the ability to live and work together with others. 

The school values highly the pursuit of academic excellence and strives to attain this objective through a clear structuring of activities within a curriculum organised to meet individual needs. Our objective is to develop basic skills, knowledge and experience side by side. We place high priority on the structured development of linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological and creative skills as a means of laying the foundation for a widely based education. Due recognition is given to the importance of first-hand experiences and practical tasks in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills and regular opportunities are provided for children to reflect systematically upon such experiences and activities. Pupils are led to ask questions and seek answers both individually and in co-operation with others. Their thinking is guided and informed systematically by teachers and other adults. Teachers' expectations of pupils‟ attainment is high and pupils' learning is structured, relevant and stimulating.

We are very much concerned with the development of what may be termed the "hidden curriculum". Moral education, for example, is a central concern of the school, together with a concern for care in dress, manners and habits. We also actively encourage care in relationships with peers and respect for the feelings of others. This, we believe, is as much "caught" in the atmosphere of the school as taught in the classroom.

The encouragement and co-operation of the home is essential if our aims are to be achieved. We believe that education takes place not just in school: the idea that we are educating children goes in hand with the idea that life itself is a great educator. Many skills, experiences and attitudes started in school will be encouraged and bear fruit, through the right support and development, once our children are outside the school environs. For these reasons, we seek to foster links with the community of which we are a part and thus involve parents, governors and friends in the achievement of our aims.

Religious Education

Under the terms of the 1988 Education Reform Act, Religious Education will be taught to all pupils for an "adequate" and "reasonable" length of time.

We accept the fact that the religious traditions in this country are, in the main, Christian. Therefore our teaching will give a prominent and assured place to the study of Christianity, including its basic teachings, its current practice and world-wide growth.

Our teaching will also take significant and due account of the basic teachings, practices and influence of other major faiths.

Our syllabus will be non-denominational and children will take part in daily collective worship.

Parents wishing to withdraw their children from Religious Education or collective worship may make special arrangements with the Headteacher, should they wish to exercise their right under section 9(3) of the Education Reform Act.

Sex Education

Section 18 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 requires that Governing Bodies consider whether Sex Education should form part of the secular curriculum for their school. We have agreed as a School policy that we will introduce children to the fundamentals of sex education in a controlled, sensitive manner, and in partnership with parents, that we will be supporting and assisting them in their development into full maturity. It is our aim to impart not only the factual knowledge necessary but also a mature awareness of the importance of caring relationships. We will answer questions truthfully and in as much detail as would appear relevant considering the maturity of the child. The treatment of sex education in the curriculum is in line with statutory requirements and a copy of our policy is available for inspection in school.

Special Needs and Disability

The Authority makes provision, through a variety of agencies, for children with Special Needs. The school has an established structure for identifying, monitoring and supporting children who have special needs and is able to seek specialist advice and additional support, most particularly through the LEA's Psychological Service and Warrington's Education Support Team. Parents are always fully consulted and involved in these matters. Children receiving direct support in this way have an IEP (Individual Educational Programme) written for them. An IEP may involve modification of material, support programmes and support teachers as appropriate.
A copy of the school's Special Needs and Disability Policy is available for parents to see either via the School Office or online.

Additional Support

Some identified children receive targeted support through schemes such as ALS (Additional Literacy Support), FLS (Further Literacy Support), Springboard 3, 4 & 5 and Wave 3 intervention. You would naturally be consulted about your child‟s involvement in any of this additional support.

Able, Gifted and Talented

Classrooms in our school offer a carefully structured positive atmosphere in which the contribution made by all pupils is recognised, differences acknowledged and enthusiasm for learning is fostered. Teachers provide tasks which promote problem-solving skills associated with clear thinking and a spirit of investigation is encouraged. At Broomfields Junior School we identify pupils as able, gifted or talented by the following criteria:

  • Those pupils who demonstrate in one or more areas, (not necessarily within the academic curriculum), abilities which place them into the highest achieving 20% of our school population and would benefit from an effective and planned differentiation programme.
  • Those pupils who have a broad spectrum of high ability when viewed against national norms.
  • Those pupils who have a particular skill and ability in discrete areas, e.g. art, maths, music, P.E etc
  • Exceptionally able children (top 2%) may have very distinctive needs that may require a significant modification of the curriculum.

At Broomfields Junior School able, gifted and talented pupils will be identified by their classteacher or in the case of some extra-curricular activities by a parent or other adult. It can sometimes happen that pupils develop interests and hobbies outside of school which teachers are not aware of and in some cases this development may be an indicator that a pupil may be gifted and talented. Communicating with parents can therefore provide information to help identify gifted and talented pupils. Evidence of particular skills may need to be confirmed by a subject specialist or advisor from outside the school.

Early identification of able, gifted and talented children will form an important part of the transfer process from The Cobbs Infant school. Close liaison with Bridgewater High School will also ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for Key Stage 2/3 transfer.

Provision for able, gifted and talented pupils at Broomfields Junior School includes opportunities for extension and enrichment built into our schemes of work and a wide range of good practice including:

  • Full class teaching – in an atmosphere of mutual respect where mistakes are accepted as a route to learning.
  • Setting – by ability, social or mixed aptitude groups Withdrawal – to create an atmosphere conducive to enquiry, to use specific resources or materials.
  • Mentoring – for social or skill based needs
  • Enrichment – Visiting experts, range of materials and resources, study skills taught directly, investigation work, increased technical/ specialist language etc. Use of appropriate extra curricular clubs, day trips, sporting events and residential opportunities.
  • Extension – open-ended tasks and questions, deepening understanding of concepts, additional activities around the basic themes. Use of extra curricular clubs where appropriate.
  • Differentiation – matching tasks to ability.
  • Challenge – introducing elements of competition with older pupils or wider arena than the child’s peer group. Also competition against self is important – clear targeting.
  • Problem solving and investigation – to develop reasoning and thinking skills.
  • Pastoral support – to support pupils in their understanding of special abilities and not to single them out as odd or different.
  • Liaison with Parents – open communication of information about progress and strategies adopted.

The school will make use of:

  • The special skills of individual members of staff
  • The use of visiting experts Appropriate Internet access
  • The Cheshire Library Service Specialist clubs and societies

Homework

Homework has an important part to play in the full development of all children, serving as it does to foster greater self-responsibility in the learning process and a deepening awareness that learning extends beyond the confines of the classroom. It is Broomfields‟ policy to ensure consistency of approach and progression through school which will realise the full value of homework to each child. In achieving this, the full involvement of parents in supporting and monitoring their child‟s homework is essential. A copy of the school‟s homework policy will be made available to all parents.

Swimming and Sport

Children in Year 3 and Year 4 have 10hrs of swimming lessons annually. Parents will be made aware of the exact timing of their child's swimming lessons.

Sport is an important part of Broomfields Junior School and in addition to the timetabled PE lessons covering Gymnastics, Dance, Games and Athletics, we have built Outdoor Adventurous Activities into our residential programme and also provide considerable opportunity for children to take part in a wide range of extra-curricular sporting activities.

Broomfields annually organises and hosts inter-school tournaments in football and cross-country as well as competing against other schools in basketball, handball, cricket, football, rugby, cross-country, athletics and gymnastics.

We are also extremely proud of the school‟s Activemark Gold status which recognises the range of sporting opportunities both within and beyond the curriculum at Broomfields Junior School.

Complaints about the Curriculum

At Broomfields Junior School we encourage all parents and pupils to approach any member of staff in the first instance if they have a concern or complaint about the curriculum or any other matter.

In the event that these initial approaches fail to resolve a complaint we have a clear policy which lays out the procedures that should be followed to allay any concerns about a particular issue. (Copy of policy available on the school website and available on request from the school office)

Your complaint will then be investigated fully, ensuring all relevant facts are taken into consideration.

Charging - Remission Policy

The School Governing Body has determined the following policy.

For activities during school time, including visits from outside speakers, workshops or visits by the children to places of educational interest, no charge will be made, but voluntary contributions will be invited. Parents will be informed of the amount of money required. However, no child will be placed at a disadvantage because of a parent's unwillingness or inability to pay. If, as a direct consequence of a number of parents not paying, the voluntary contributions received do not meet a level necessary to cover the costs of the activity/event, it may be cancelled and all monies returned.

The school quite naturally looks to the continued support of parents in this matter, thus enabling such worthwhile visits and activities to continue.

Information for Parents

In accordance with the Education Regulations of 1989, parents have access, at the school, to the following information:-

  • Copies of the Prospectus,
  • Local Education Authority Curricula Statements,
  • Governing Body's Curriculum Policy and Aims,
  • Department for Education Orders and Circulars,
  • Arrangements for the Consideration of Complaints,
  • Policy for Charges and Activities,
  • Schemes of Work in Use for the School.

Evaluation

The school recognises the need for evaluation of the extent to which our stated objectives are being obtained. In certain aspects of the "hidden curriculum" this can only be done through observation of the general atmosphere of school. In the academic sphere, however, more objective assessment is possible. Evaluation in this sense is used as a means of motivating, diagnosing and predicting. It takes the form of regular informal checks in specific curriculum areas, together with annual standardised testing of overall progress in areas such as linguistic and mathematical performance. Particular forms of assessment have been introduced by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) in connection with National Curriculum Policy.

Children at the end of Key Stage 2 (11 years old) are assessed in the core subjects of Mathematics and English. This is a combination of Teacher Assessment and Standardised Test Assessments. In addition to this legal requirement, Year 3 pupils continue to sit National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Standardised Tests in Mathematics, Reading and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The school also elects to administer the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) test material to children in Years 3, 4 and 5. Parents are advised of all test results and these are discussed at Parents' Evenings, when each child's books are available for inspection. Finally, a full written summative report is issued to all parents during the Summer term.

Extra-Curricular Activities

As a result of the wide interests and willingness of staff to give up their own time out of school hours, the school offers an extremely wide range of extra-curricular activities. At the present time, these include an Art Club, Choir, Chime Group, Gymnastics Club, Cheerleading Club, Languages Club Cross-country Club, Football Club, Cookery and Netball. Opportunities are also available for children to participate in Judo, dance, fencing, and rugby activities. Additionally, the opportunity to learn a musical instrument is available through "Halton & Warrington Music Services‟. Further details regarding these activities are available from school.

The clubs generally run after school although gymnastics and Cheerleading take place before school starts, and in the case of instrumental lessons, into the early evening. The school regards these extra-curricular activities as one of its great strengths.

Hours spent Teaching

Whilst difficult to quantify individual subject times, total weekly teaching time is as follows:

23.75 hours

The above weekly estimate excludes time spent in assembly, registration and
breaks (including lunch).

A typical breakdown across the curriculum would reveal the following subjects and their approximate time values:

Year 3/4/5/6 
5.50 hours - English
5.00 hours - Mathematics
2.00 hours - Science
1.25 hours - Design & Technology
1.25 hours - Computing
1.25 hours - History
1.25 hours - Geography
1.50 hours - Art
1.00 hours - Music
2.00 hours - P. E.
0.75 hours - R. E.
0.50 hours - PSHCE
0.50 hours - French / German
2.50 hours Assembly & Registration

These figures only give an indication of the balance attempted within the curriculum.
They do not equate exactly to what is going on in each classroom throughout the weeks of the year.