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.
The National Curriculum 2018/19
Below you can find out what our children will be taught; across the full range of subjects.
Follow this link to the Department of Education website.
Our School curriculum is designed to engage pupils in a range of stimulating activities, that provide plenty opportunities to practise key skills and become independent learners. The School’s long term plans ensure coverage and progression for every child in every subject. Where possible, we teach subjects together to create more cohesion and relevance for the children, however sometimes subjects may be taught discretely. A variety of teaching techniques are employed to meet the specific needs of a class, a group or the learning objectives of a lesson.
In Early Years (Nursery and Reception) we follow both the statutory framework and ‘Development Matters’ a guidance document for all Early Years settings. Provision is organised into areas of learning and development – personal, social, and emotional, physical and communication and language. There are also ‘specific areas’ that comprise – literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. This Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is very much based on a child’s natural development, allowing them to work towards more formal teaching styles, at a pace that meets their own particular developmental needs and understanding. For some children, this style may continue into Year 1 to assist their transition into the rigours of the National Curriculum.
Our curriculum is regularly monitored and updated to suit the needs of the pupils.
Throughout the school, an emphasis is placed on the enrichment of children’s spoken language and this is viewed as a precursor to any learning. Pupils are given many opportunities to explore their thoughts through discussions in small groups and class, before being encouraged to write for different audiences, in a variety of styles. Phonics and spelling (KS1, KS2) are taught systematically and pupils partake in small group work alongside other pupils, whom are working at the same ability. Grammar is taught from year 1 – 6, using a range of teaching methods to suit the needs of the children. The reading curriculum is covered in class and group lessons. Pupils are assessed regularly and follow a structured programme linked to their needs. Parental involvement with reading is greatly encouraged throughout the school. Where possible English is integrated into class topics but it is sometimes taught discretely.
Maths teaching follows the National Curriculum and our own set of Non-Negotiables skills. There is a great emphasis upon number work and mental agility, providing the basis for pupils to seek appropriate strategies to solve problems relating to all areas of mathematics. Pupils are encouraged to recognise and understand the importance of place value, number bonds and the relationships between number operations. Non-Negotiable Skills are practised daily in ability groups to allow pupils to maximise their progress.
All children are encouraged to develop an interest in the world around them and to develop an enquiring mind. As well as building up a body of concepts and knowledge, children are taught various scientific skills and attitudes to enable them to plan investigations, predict their outcomes and interpret and communicate their findings. Pupils are given as much opportunity as possible to investigate. Science is generally taught as part of a themed topic, however occasionally it is more appropriate to teach it as a separate subject.
Computing is a technical subject, and therefore taught discretely but it is also utilised to enhance the whole curriculum. Children are given opportunities to use computing tools and software to analyse, process and present information and to model, measure and control events. We use a range of technologies in order to give children a rounded experience of computing – this includes Apple iPads, Kindles, laptops, and other handheld devices. A variety of specific subject-based programmes also assist in many other areas of learning, as does supervised use of the Internet.
History and Geography
These subjects will often be taught as an element of a class topic or theme. Selby and the wider environment is much used as a starting point for such projects. Many visits are made to places of interest connected with class topics and such fieldwork gives opportunities for first-hand experience and observation. Children will also learn to use maps and to name and locate key places in Britain, Europe and the wider world.
Art and Design and Technology
These subjects will often be taught as an element of a class topic or theme. The experiences taught include a range of drawing and painting activities, using a variety of media, printmaking, textiles, computer generated art and modelling. The children will also have the opportunity to become familiar with the work of a range of Artists, designers and study particular styles of painting etc. Pupils are taught to analyse, design and make good quality products. Children will make a range of models and structures, learn to cook basic foods and use problem solving skills to work on larger projects.
Music is generally delivered as a discrete subject to ensure curriculum coverage. Opportunity is provided in whole class lessons for pupils to perform, listen, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods and styles. Children learn to sing together and on their own, both through regular whole school assemblies and in class. All children take part in a dramatic performance each year.
Physical Education (PE)
PE is mainly taught as a separate subject. All children are encouraged to participate in physical activities that promote an understanding of the importance of an active, healthy life-style. In lessons, pupils are taught how to improve their individual skills in each area of the curriculum: Games, Dance, Gymnastics, Athletics and Swimming (KS2). A great emphasis is placed on positive attitudes towards themselves and other team members. Where possible competitive involvement against other schools is built into lessons and extra activities after school. Most of the school’s PE sessions are led by the school’s sports specialist.
Religious Education and PHSE
The North Yorkshire Religious Education Syllabus and Guidelines for Collective Worship at KS1 and KS2 are taught throughout school. No denominational teaching of R.E. takes place, but children are introduced to the Christian way of life. There is a multicultural element in the R.E. curriculum, which the school believes to be important in equipping children with respect and tolerance for all who live within our global community.
Our curriculum is regularly monitored and updated to suit the needs of the pupils.
Curriculum Change 2014
The new National Curriculum was introduced in all state maintained Primary Schools in September. As a result, we have made a number of key changes to the curriculum we offer in KS1 and KS2.
Maths in particular is one of the areas that will see significant change. There is now an increased emphasis on developing mental fluency; the ability to use and apply mental calculation skills. In addition, more emphasis is being placed upon making connections between different aspects of mathematics. Problem solving remains a fundamental aspect of the curriculum and is an area that has been developed well in school over recent years. Children will now use and apply their mathematical learning by using written methods efficiently to solve a wide range of problems. You can support your child at home by encouraging them to learn mental calculation skills. More guidance will follow about the multiplication tables and number facts that children are required to learn within each year group.
The English curriculum has largely remained the same within writing and reading and we plan to maintain a cross-curricular approach to most aspects of English teaching. The main changes have been made to the grammar, spelling and punctuation aspects. In KS1 children will be continue to receive daily phonics teaching but now more emphasis will be placed upon teaching specific spelling rules in addition to this. Grammar will be explicitly taught within KS1 and KS2 and the technical aspects will be given particular prominence. We will continue to use the individualised spelling scheme in school, which we believe is an effective way of ensuring your child can progress well at their own spelling level.
As previously mentioned, there has been a change in expectation in certain aspects of the curriculum such as history and geography. There has been a shift in emphasis towards more knowledge based aspects in certain subjects. However, we remain completely committed towards providing a broad and balanced curriculum which fully reflects our children and the context of our school. Part of our aims this year will include developing the new curriculum so that it is meaningful to our children, purposeful and engaging. We will continue to use a cross-curricula approach as we feel this is the most effective way of engaging children through encouraging skill development and the ability to make links between experiences. Emphasis will still be placed upon enhancing the curriculum through educational visits out and speakers in, curriculum days, parental involvement and whole school events.
We feel it is fundamentally important to allow children to drive the curriculum and therefore take ownership for their learning. Teachers will now plan the first few weeks of the topic, allowing the rest of the learning to be shaped around individual classes’ needs and interests.
There will be some changes made to the way children are assessed at the end of each key stage in school. While the Year 2 and Year 6 Standardised assessments will remain the same this academic year, we are now preparing for new testing methods which will be introduced by the DfE in 2015-16. Children in KS1 will be required to sit a spelling and grammar test and a more formal assessment will be used to gather evidence of children’s attainment at the end of the early years foundation stage. The Year 6 tests will be in a similar format but will reflect the different expectations of the new curriculum.
With the exception of Year 2 and Year 6 this year, we will no longer be assessing children in KS1 and KS2 on National Curriculum levels as a shift in expectation has also called for a different assessment system. Instead, children’s attainment and progress will be assessed upon their current year group expectation. Within English and maths, children will be assessed as working below, at or above expectations for their year. Our current report format allows us to report to parents at the end of the school year in this way and will remain unchanged.
As we move through the next academic year, our curriculum will continue to evolve and develop so that it fully reflects national expectations whilst being shaped around the unique character of our school, the community we serve and our children. Please continue to keep an eye on the school website where there will be curriculum and assessment updates posted throughout the year.