The curriculum taught at ChristChurch complies with the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. The school has adapted the various new initiatives to cater for the needs of our children with the overall view of continuing to raise standards within the school.
Recently we have reviewed our whole curriculum teaching and learning to produce a curriculum unique to our school which would focus on our personalised learning approach. We wanted a curriculum which would enhance the individuality of the school and create a feeling of ownership.
Our aim is to produce a skills based curriculum which will promote excellence and enjoyment whilst providing the optimum opportunities for learning. We started with our mission statement
‘We encourage a love of learning and promote a child’s natural curiosity, through varying challenges, experiences and opportunities’
We are currently looking at how we can best implement the new curriculum ready for September 2014. As a staff we are developing new schemes of work but we want to ensure that we continue to promote excellence and enjoyment
This year’s topic cycle (2016-17)
Reception: What makes me special? & Are all houses & homes the same
Key Stage 1: Why did the Titanic sink?
Key Stage 2: Who were the Mayans & what have we learnt from them?
Reception: Why is it always cold in winter? & Nativity…
Key Stage 1: Why can’t a meerkat live in the North Pole?
Year 3 & 4: How would we survive without water?
Year 5 & 6: Could you be the next CSI investigator?
Reception: Who can I ask for help? & What happens down on the farm?
Key Stage 1: How have Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks & Florence Nightingale helped to make the world a better place?
Year 3 & 4: What makes the Earth angry?
Year 5 & 6: I’m a Christ Church pupil- get me out of here!
Reception: Are all mini-beasts scary? & What would you take to space?
Key Stage 1: What makes our world so great?
Year 3 & 4: What do rocks tell us about the way the Earth was formed?
Year 5 & 6: Have we always looked like this? & How different will you be when you are as old as your grandparents?
Reception: Who lives under the sea? & Would a dinosaur make a good pet?
Key Stage 1: What was it like when the Queen came to the throne in 1953?
Key Stage 2: Were the Vikings always victorious & vicious?
Reception: Which fairytale character would you like to be? & Would pirates only steal jewels & gold?
Key Stage 1: Where would you prefer to live England or Africa?
Year 3 & 4: How did that blossom become an apple? & Which wild animals & plants thrive in your locality?
Year 5 & 6: Could Spiderman really exist? & Do all animals & plants start life as an egg?
When children first start school, this is called the Foundation Stage or Reception, children’s work at this age is planned to incorporate all aspects of the Early Learning Goals. This learning lays the foundations for the National Curriculum which is introduced in Year 1. The Foundation Stage has three prime areas of learning. These are:
Personal, Social & Emotional development
Communication and Language
There are 4 specific areas:
Understanding the World
Each area of learning has early learning goals that establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Foundation Stage.
Pupils in Years 1 to 6 follow the National Curriculum. This consists of four core subjects: English, Mathematics, Science and Information and Communications Technology (ICT). There are also six foundation subjects: History, Geography, Music, Art, Design and Technology and Physical Education. Children are also taught Religious Education, Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) and citizenship.
All these subjects have to be organised within school to form a broad and balanced curriculum which matches the needs of infant children (Key Stage 1) and junior children (Key Stage 2). We need to ensure progression and continuity both within and between the two stages.
The English Curriculum is directed towards the achievement of high levels of literacy in reading, writing, speaking and listening. A sound grasp of these skills will enable children to make good progress in all other areas of the curriculum. We introduce children to a wide range of learning experiences through whole class, group and individual teaching.
Phonics the children have a daily phonics session in Reception and throughout Key Stage 1. We use a range of different materials including Jolly Phonics in Reception and Letters and Sounds. The sessions are very practical and fun. This provides an excellent framework to support their reading and writing.
Reading Reading is of paramount importance and we devote much time and effort to ensuring that children learn to read as soon as and as well as they are able. We use a variety of approaches and encourage children to use a range of strategies whilst reading. We foster children’s love of literature by providing appealing texts, story time and ensuring a range of reading experiences. We use the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme in Key Stage 1 and online Bug Club across the school for guided reading. The development of reading skills will continue throughout your child’s primary education. Children are encouraged to develop a critical response to texts as they become fluent and independent. Teachers monitor reading development and plan for progression. Parents and carers have an important role to play in helping children to become good, keen readers and we value the help children get at home.
Writing We have a developmental approach to writing, where the emphasis is placed on developing children’s written ideas. From the beginning children are encouraged to write unaided and to organise their writing for different audiences and purposes. Pupils are taught to plan, draft, proof read and edit their own work with support and direction from the teacher. As developing writers children will be introduced to and expected to use, with increasing accuracy, conventional spelling, punctuation and grammar. Neat, legible handwriting is encouraged and children are taught to form letters correctly to enable them to use joined-up writing as soon as they can manage to.
Speaking and Listening Pupils are encouraged to develop good listening skills through a variety of activities, including drama activities. We provide many opportunities for children to develop the vocabulary with which to express themselves clearly and confidently.
Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logic, reasoning, problem-solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. We aim to provide a strong foundation through practical activities in maths to ensure that all children gain a firm understanding of concepts. We try to ensure that maths is enjoyable and that children develop the understanding needed to use maths with confidence. To support the maths curriculum we use a wide range of learning resources and materials. Computers are an integral part of our mathematics teaching, as are games which help children to memorise facts and to practise skills. We use problem solving and investigational tasks to provide children with opportunities to use their maths and make links with everyday situations.
Learning about science helps children to understand the world around them. From starting school, children are given every opportunity to consider their surroundings and find out as much as possible about them.
We encourage children to make observations and comparisons, to test their own ideas, consider evidence and provide their own possible solutions to problems. Science is as much to do with the way we find out as what we find out.
As children progress into Key Stage 2, scientific knowledge about subjects such as magnetism, electricity, light, temperature , growth, plants, weather, and space is acquired through observation, investigation, experimentation, access to books, use of computers and visits out of school all play an important part.
Information and communication technology ( ICT) prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. We have invested in laptops so group lessons can now be taught and skills developed for a range of purposes including word processing, producing graphics, making databases and spreadsheets. The laptops are also used to increase knowledge and skills right across the curriculum, especially in numeracy and literacy. Each teaching area has an interactive whiteboard and software which allows us to enhance the teaching and learning of all areas of the curriculum. The children have opportunities to use digital cameras, camcorders, beebots as well as ipods and ipads to enhance their learning.
Design and Technology
Design and technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.
Children will be taught a range of skills including the correct and appropriate use of tools and equipment and experience the use of a wide range of materials including food, textiles, construction kits, electrical and mechanical components.
Through this process children can learn to identify needs, create designs, make good quality products with a variety of materials and finally, evaluate and improve upon their work.
Our starting point is the child’s own history and experience. We want to help children to develop an historical understanding of time and place. We encourage them to develop an interest in events of the past and to question why things happened as they did and why change has occurred. As they develop their thinking, children learn to distinguish between fact and fiction and gradually to realise that past events have many different and often conflicting explanations.
We want children to develop the ability to give their own explanations as to why events may have occurred based upon sound interpretation of evidence. We encourage children to listen to the views of others and to find and handle information in a variety of forms.
Children are taught about important episodes and developments in Britain’s past. They will also study ancient civilizations and historical events in other parts of the world.
Geography develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of investigative and problem – solving skills both inside and outside the classroom. We want children to be inspired to think about their own place in the world, their values, their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment.
The children will have opportunities to investigate their local area and contrast it with another area in the region. The children progress in their studies to the consideration of places in a wider world context. Trips are as an important element in stimulating work in geography and the children will broaden their understanding of the world in geographical terms on one-day field trips.
Art and Design
Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a unique way of understanding and responding to the world. The visual arts have the power to enrich our personal and public lives.
We encourage children to become confident with a range of art materials and techniques by exploring their use. Children are taught art skills, such as drawing, painting, collage techniques, printing and model making.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. Music also increases self- discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfilment.
We provide a range of musical opportunities which allow all pupils to explore and experiment using a range of instruments. They will gain experience of performing, composing and listening to music in a variety of styles and from various historical and cultural traditions. Each key stage has a regular music session and there are opportunities for learning to play the recorder. In Key Stage 2 we offer the opportunity to have brass lessons.
Physical education develops pupils’ physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities. Through this process pupils discover their aptitudes, abilities and preferences, and make choices about how to get involved in lifelong physical activity.
We aim to give all children a varied programme of athletics, dance, gymnastics and team games including cricket, football, hockey, netball, lacrosse, basketball and rounders. All Key Stage 2 children have swimming lessons. We have a dedicated PE teacher who organises the PE in school. We use the Sports Hall at the Village Hall and the school grounds for our PE lessons.
R.E. contributes to children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. It deepens understanding of feeling curiosity, us and appreciation of the wonder and mystery of creation. It encourages a positive attitude to the search for meaning and purpose in life.
Religious education fulfils the requirements of the syllabus laid down by Oldham Education Authority. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E. lessons which allow each individual to establish their own religious beliefs. There is provision in place for any children whose parents do not wish them to participate in R.E. lessons.
Personal, Social and Health Education
A strong emphasis is placed on developing children’s personal and social skills and promoting safety. We want children to acquire knowledge about themselves and to be able to use their knowledge to help them make choices and decisions that are right for them.It is important that we all learn about living in a community and become useful members of the community. This learning starts at an early age and continues throughout life.
Modern Foreign Languages
From September 2006, the school has adopted Spanish as its modern foreign language. All children throughout the school have started to learn the language and have a weekly session led by one of our members of staff.
It is the policy of the Governors of Christ Church to incorporate in its general curriculum appropriate teaching on matters of human love, the function of the body and an understanding of God’s creative love as embodied in human reproduction at a level suitable to the growing child at various stages of development. Sex education is not taught as a subject in itself, but is incorporated into P.S.H.E. lessons.
The Education Reform Act states that each day must contain an act of collective worship but leaves schools to organise this in a way which suits them. Our school has a daily collective worship when either the whole school or separate key stages come together. A close association between our village church and the school is encouraged. We have a weekly act of collective worship across in the church and hold our Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter services in the church. It is expected that parents will want their children to participate in the daily act of Collective Worship but they have the right to withdraw them if they so wish.