All National Curriculum subjects are taught in order to provide children with a broad and balanced curriculum. Within the planned programmes of work children are given opportunities to achieve success and confidence through different teaching and learning styles.
The school plans topics, using the National Curriculum programmes of study and curriculum areas are often inter-related. We work closely with the link schools in the Debenham Pyramid to ensure continuity for those children who will transfer to Debenham High School, our catchment High School. We also ensure that pupils who choose to attend other high schools are prepared for their move.
Religious Education (R.E.)
For more information on RE, please look at our RE page.
English plays a central role in the school’s curriculum. We aim to:
ensure the children develop good verbal communication skills, speaking with confidence and listening attentively to others
encourage children to become enthusiastic readers over a range of reading material
provide a structured programme to acquire the skills of phonics, key words, grammar, spelling and punctuation
encourage the children to write for a variety of purposes both fiction and non-fiction
help the children to develop a fluent handwriting style
Some of the resources we use include ‘Letters and Sounds’, Oxford Reading Tree and Floppy’s Phonics. An on-line resource used for writing is ‘Literacy Key’. Every few weeks the children in Year 2 and above take part in a Big Write, writing at length independently on a cross-curricular topic.
Mathematics is based on the National Curriculum, which emphasises the importance of oral and mental work and problem solving along with the key skills of arithmetic.
The children’s experiences of Maths will include the study of number (number and place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions) investigations, measurement, geometry and statistics.
We aim to:
ensure children learn a variety of number facts as useful tools for solving every-day problems
develop their knowledge and understanding through practical experiences
encourage children to carry out investigations suggesting their own strategies
equip children to use and apply their knowledge in all areas of maths across the whole curriculum
We subscribe to an on-line maths programme, ‘Mathletics’, which can be used at home too.
Children are natural scientists. Much of our science builds upon the child’s natural curiosity and encourages a scientific approach based on a rich resource of experience.
Children’s knowledge develops through practical work, which involves careful observations, exploring, testing, classifying and writing about their findings.
Much of our science learning takes place in the outdoor classroom (our school grounds).
Across the school teachers use ‘Snap Science’, a practical science scheme with on-line tools.
This new curriculum subject was formerly ICT. We are constantly purchasing new resources to teach children how to write programs and gain the skills they need for the 21st Century. We have several class sets of netbooks, laptops and i-pads, a scanner, digital cameras and visualisers. Interactive Touchscreens are found in each classroom and an Interactive Whiteboard in the hall, all connected with a local wireless network.
Children will develop practical skills of word processing, storage and retrieval of information, graphics and data logging, and will be supported in applying these skills in a variety of situations across the curriculum. There is opportunity for supervised use of the Internet. Each child and family is required to sign our Internet agreement, a copy of which is sent home at the beginning of each academic year.
We have our own Learning Platform for children and staff to work at home and school with a secure password protected web page. The older children use this added dimension in their work. Lessons in e-safety are an integral part of the curriculum and staff are trained in this aspect of safeguarding. We hold parents’ meetings to raise awareness on keeping safe on the internet.
Children compare aspects of their lives with those of people in the past.
We place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources. We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’ about information given.
We aim to motivate the children to gain an understanding of places and environments.
We wish to encourage ‘thinking geographers’ by providing activities based around enquiry. We make good use of our local environment and help children to recognize the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
Design and Technology
The children are provided with a stimulating, educational environment in which to acquire and develop with confidence their designing and making skills using an appropriate range of materials. All children participate in cookery from time to time.
We wish to develop in the children the valuable attributes of initiative, ingenuity, resourcefulness, self-involvement, motivation, co-operation, patience and commitment.
Art and Design
We aim to stimulate children’s creativity and imagination by providing visual, tactile and sensory experiences. We encourage the build-up of a sensitive awareness to the natural and man-made world.
The children will explore ideas and meanings in the work of artists, craftspeople and designers both in their own lives and in different times and cultures. Occasionally we hold our own art exhibition and regularly display our work in larger venues such as St Edmundsbury Cathedral Schools’ Art Exhibition.
Children are taught French from Year 3 in an exciting visual and oral way, and later with the written word, using DVDs, songs and practical activities.
Music can play an important part in the personal development of children. It acts as a vehicle for personal expression, as well as contributing to social development and building confidence.
Through listening, singing, composing, performing and playing a variety of instruments, we hope to inspire and motivate the children to enjoy music and music making for its own sake. Older pupils have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. We work with the Schools County Music Service and independent musicians. We give all pupils the opportunity to perform in concerts in school.
Physical Education (P.E.)
Our main aims are to develop the children’s strength, stamina and co-ordination as well as enjoyment, through gymnastics, games, athletics and dance. They are taught individual skills and how to work as part of a team.
Children in the older year groups visit Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre for a weekly swimming lesson in the spring term. We enter many inter-school competitions and events and hold extra training sessions after school. We have gained the Bronze Kitemark for School Games and PE three years running.
Personal and Social Education and Citizenship
Various aspects of health, safety, and moral issues are covered, including guidance on the danger of drugs and medicines. One resource we use is the S.E.A.L. programme which teaches ‘Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning’ in a relevant way.
Sex Education is offered to pupils in Years 5 & 6 and we work with parents to ensure they are informed about the content of these lessons. The emphasis in school is to highlight the value of a caring family life and the importance of each member within it.
We aim to enable children to relate to, and express their feelings and emotions and to develop respect for themselves and others.
Each class has regular lessons in Philosophy encouraging the children to think, discuss and pose questions that are relevant to them. The skills gained by studying philosophy permeate the whole curriculum and beyond.
The Early Years Curriculum
Children in Reception receive a practical curriculum based on educational play which underpins all future learning by supporting, fostering, promoting and developing children’s:
Communication and Language Skills
Personal, Social and Emotional Skills
Understanding of the World
Expressive Arts and Design Skills
Much of their learning takes place outside in their purpose built outdoor area. They are encouraged to lead their own learning and explore, discover and enjoy finding out together about the world around them.
On entry to school each child is assessed on their development. This is carried out as part of the normal classroom routine.
A real strength of our school is that children move from Early Years into Key Stage 1 within the same class so staff know how to move their learning on seamlessly.
Our homework policy was developed in consultation with parents.
We ask children to regularly share books at home with their parents, even when they are fluent readers. Each child has a reading journal in which parents, children and staff can record comments about the child’s enjoyment and successes in reading.
Children in Years 1 – 6 have weekly spellings linked to their handwriting and the phonics programme. Children in Years 2-6 have weekly homework. Years 5 and 6 have more written homework to prepare them for High School. They also build up their own Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at home and school.
We provide summer holiday homework to try to ensure standards do not dip during the long break.
Special Educational Needs, Able, Gifted and Talented
Many children will have special needs at some time during their school career. Often this will be a short-term problem, which can be solved by the Class Teacher and Parent/Carer. Sometimes, longer-term support may be needed. Support may also be sought from the County Advisory Service.
Children causing concern are placed on an Education Healthcare Plan. At all stages parents and carers are consulted and professional advice is sought where necessary.
For those children who are specially gifted, work is carefully planned to ensure that they are working to their full potential. Further opportunities are offered in conjunction with the High School and other feeder primaries.