An ongoing assessment of the children takes place in their Reception year with the Foundation Stage Profile. This helps to identify the differing range of skills individual children will begin their school life with. This assessment forms the foundations of the children’s development, enabling the class teacher to then set appropriate targets and monitor their progress.
As the children move into year 1 a system of Assessing Pupil Progress is in place. This is system of teacher assessment that is done in the form of informal observations and tasks. Again providing the class teacher the information to plan targets and ensure the maximum progress for your child. This system is then followed throughout the school as the children progress through the different levels of the curriculum.
Formal compulsory assessment takes place for 7 year olds and 11 year olds in the form of Standard Assessment Tasks and Tests (SATS). These take place in the Summer Term and provide an indication of the child's performance in English, Maths and Science. The SATS at 7 take place in as normal and supportive a way as possible. Similar tasks and tests take place for 11 year olds in May each year. The results of the assessments are reported to parents orally and in the annual written reports. The governors have agreed not to publish the annual SATS results as this could lead to identification of individual children. The aggregate results for four years are available. The Key Stage 1 results show an average of Level 2 which is the national expectation at 7. Key Stage 2 results show an average of Level 4, which is the national expectation.
Drugs Education is linked to Personal, Social and Health education work and related topic work. It is dealt with by developing an awareness of a healthy lifestyle and the implications of taking risks with known and unknown substances. The school has a Drugs Policy that is reviewed regularly. Please do ask if you would like a copy.
Food Technology has been introduced to the curriculum since our recent improvements to the school building. We have already had a lot of ‘fun with food’ and intend to keep this area of the curriculum focused on healthy eating, knowledge of food and hygienic food preparation.
All children are expected to read on a regular basis at home. Spellings and times tables are commonly set as challenges to learn a certain amount at home. In addition to this a small amount of regular homework is set on a weekly basis. This increases as the children move on through school. The work is always building on a skill that has been covered in class. This work is expected to be handed in on the set day to encourage the children to establish good ‘work habits’ for when they move on to secondary school.
More and more, ICT is impacting on our work and private life. It is vital that pupils have the opportunity to learn about and use modern technology so that they are prepared for life. Interactive whiteboards with access to the internet are available in both classes making ICT possible in all subjects. Through our whole school planning we ensure pupils receive clear and structured learning that builds on their previous experiences. Our bank of laptops allow for the ICT skills to be applied to classroom activities across the whole curriculum.
The development of good literacy skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening, is imperative for all learning. We foster a love of literacy through our promotion of skills through drama, reading and speaking and listening. The basic skills needed to be independent readers and writers are built into our daily lessons and the Literacy Strategy is referred to in order to ensure a continuity of skills. The children are encouraged to be aware of their own learning and what they can do to improve through our system of individual targets. These are used in class and are shared with parents as progress through them is made.
Modern Foreign Languages
We provide the opportunity to learn some basic skills in French and Spanish for the whole school. MFL is taught at both key stage one and two by a specialist teacher.
Maths sessions follow a structure of a mental maths starter followed by the main body of the lesson. The focus is then discussed at the end of the lesson to consolidate the learning and ensure there are no misunderstandings. Again a big emphasis is placed on oracy in maths, so that pupils are able to verbalise their learning and make sense the strategies they are using. This is an invaluable skill when it comes to applying this learning to problem solving.
Our location provides us a wealth of outdoor opportunities. We use the immediate area to enhance many curriculum areas as well providing gardening, nature and forest school sessions
Although the school does not have any sports facilites we are very creative in the way in which P.E. is provided for. We have a specialist P.E. teacher who teaches this subject throughout the school. Full use is made of the hard area outside school and the village green offers many opportunities for football, cricket, rounders, athletics and general multiskills. The village hall is used on wet weather days and for gymnastics and dance sessions. We also have a wide range of sporting opportunities provided by our links with Kirkby Stephen Sports Partnership. These include specialist coaching in a broad range of skills as well as inter school competitions and events.
Religious Education is also included in the basic curriculum. The education reform act of 1998 states that ‘all pupils should be taught Religious Education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum that promotes spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils.’
Religious education plays an integral part in the school curriculum and provides a means of exploring personal feelings as well as learning about other belief systems. For this purpose a range of religions are studied at an appropriate level. The school has a link with local church and the vicars for the area are frequent visitors to our school, enhancing the RE curriculum. The school also visits the local church for a Christingle, Harvest festival and uses it as part of our studies in the Christian faith.
The National Curriculum requires that the daily act of worship is Christian based. If any parent wishes to withdraw a child from this area of the curriculum they should arrange to discuss this with the headteacher.
Science teaching is based on topic work. The emphasis throughout the school is on developing scientific enquiry and a curiosity about the world in which we all live. It is important that children understand the process of experimentation.
Throughout the school sex education is taught through the science and PSHE curriculum. It is taught in a sensitive manner with age related issues being dealt with in the context of family life and a loving relationship. In years 5 and 6 the children have the opportunity to join with other local schools for a short period of more formal teaching which is done by the school nurse. The school has a Sex and Relationships Policy that is reviewed regularly. Please do ask if you would like a copy.
Special Educational Needs
Children with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, (SEN) are offered full access to a broad and balanced education, regardless of their abilities, behaviour or disability.
If there are specific reasons for concern about progress, individual children may be assessed to help diagnosis of the problem. An individual education plan (IEP) may then be set up to help overcome it. We believe in working in close partnership with parents, involving them in all stages when special needs support is required.
Visits and Trips
These are planned into the curriculum and link to what is being taught so are a great enhancement to learning and the enjoyment of it. As well as day trips the school tries to provide one residential visit every year for the year 5 and 6 pupils. This is greatly enjoyed and allows the children to grow in knowledge and skills connected with the outdoors as well as fostering team work, initiative and empathy for each other.
There is usually a cost implication for these additional experiences and we do have to ask for contributions towards this.