At Radipole Primary School we believe that the School Curriculum should be broad and balanced, offering children the opportunity to achieve success in many different areas. Although our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, there are other planned opportunities that make up the wider curriculum. The curriculum consists of core subjects; English, maths and science and foundation subjects; art and design, computing, design and technology, French at key stage 2, geography, history, music and physical education. Religious education is also taught throughout the school.
We aim to lay a firm foundation for future learning and prepare pupils for the challenges they may face in each phase of education and growing up in today’s society. We seek to provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum and offer a wide range of exciting, challenging activities and experiences to all pupils irrespective of ability, background, ethnic origin or gender.
We acknowledge that people learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that suit them. Opportunities are planned to cater for a range of different learning styles to ensure that all children can access the curriculum and learn in a way that is best for them.
English & Literacy
We are committed to developing literacy skills through uniting the important skills of reading and writing. We teach children to read initially by using Storytime Phonics, which is a fun and child centred approach to teaching literacy through synthetic phonics following the Letters and Sounds programme.
In addition to individual reading at home and school, regular ‘Guided Reading’ sessions take place in the classroom where children are supported in a small group and encouraged to read and discuss a variety of texts , developing their comprehension skills and enjoyment of reading. The children have the opportunity to select from a wide range of good quality reading books, from an extensive range of reading schemes (including Rapid Readers, Oxford Reading Tree, Story Worlds, Ginn Pocket Books, Collins) as well as a well-stocked library.
We know that the development of early reading and writing skills are of paramount importance and children’s progress in reading and writing is carefully monitored throughout the school. A variety of opportunities are provided across the curriculum for children to develop their writing skills. For example, writing reports, stories, poems, notes, plays, lists and diaries and frequent creative writing days to promote writing across the curriculum.
To help children progress in their learning and understand what they need to do to improve, they have individual targets, which are shared with parents.
Children are provided with regular opportunities to develop the essential skills of speaking and listening. This is done through discussion, drama and specific listening activities in pairs, groups and as a class. Good oral work enhances pupils’ understanding of language in both oral and written forms.
In Foundation Stage, children are taught letter formation and then taught to join letters following our cursive handwriting scheme in subsequent years. This enables children to develop an independent, mature style of writing. Good presentation is expected at all times and displaying children’s work is an integral part of this process. Ultimately we want each child to develop a fluent, legible and attractive style of handwriting.
Mathematics / Numeracy
Our aim is to develop children into confident mathematicians who are able to use mathematics as a tool in a wide range of activities both in and out of school. Throughout the school the children are involved in mathematical activities based on the requirements of the National Curriculum.
A high priority is given to teaching children mental strategies to calculate independently. They partake in problem solving activities and use both basic and more advanced numeracy skills as they move through the school. The children are given many opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical experiences in the classroom.
We use a number of tools to support maths in school, with a particular focus on mental maths. The children use Mathletics to practise their mental skills in school and at home and Numicon resources within the main body of lessons.
Science teaching follows the National Curriculum guidelines through a topic approach, providing a broad, relevant science curriculum for all the children. Active engagement in learning is encouraged and children often work co-operatively, communicating scientific ideas to each other.
Basic scientific concepts are developed with the aim of helping children understand their world and encouraging them to develop a sense of responsibility towards it.
Pupils are encouraged to combine interest and curiosity with a responsible attitude towards health and safety, as well as respect for living things and the physical environment. Scientific ideas are applied to real life problems including those that require aspects of design and technology to solve them.
The children are taught to use maps, atlases, globes and compasses. We endeavour to extend children’s interest, knowledge and understanding of people and places both near and far. We ensure that all children learn about their locality in order to have pride in where they come from.
Carefully planned visits are arranged where appropriate. Children are encouraged to think deeply about the environment in which they live and the scarce resources that the Earth provides and upon which all life depends.
We encourage our children to find out about the past by looking at evidence and considering informed opinion by using original sources. We aim to bring history to life and to instil a desire to find out about our predecessors.
We organise a number of visits to sites of interest and have a wide range of historical artefacts that we use with the children. We help our children to understand that history means everything that has happened in the past, and also our actual record of what has happened.
Design & Technology
Design and Technology encourages the development of knowledge, skills and understanding in a practically based subject. Pupils are taught to develop, plan and communicate ideas, building on the knowledge they gain each year.
They work with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products. Upon completion of their task, they evaluate the processes and products.
There are three main strands to music – singing, listening and performing. Children are taught a wide repertoire of songs appropriate to their age group. These include traditional songs from other lands and cultures and songs from former times as well as modern songs.
Children are encouraged to develop an awareness of the different effects of instruments used in music, as well as to give a thoughtful and sensitive response to recorded music.
Children are taught how to play pitched and unpitched percussion instruments. They are taught to recognise and discriminate between the various elements of music such as pitch and rhythm.
Children are given regular opportunities to perform to a range of audiences including their peers, parents and the wider community.
Additional Small Group Music Tuition
A number of different music teachers visit the school to deliver individual and small group lessons in brass, guitar, woodwind and strings. We also offer a variety of music clubs which change during the school year.
Art & Design
Our sporting aims are to provide children with a balanced range of activities and the opportunity to develop these in more specialist clubs. Each week our children work on at least one area of the physical curriculum. The children benefit from a wide range of qualified coaches, who deliver lessons and provide support for teachers. In the past year these have included: tennis, golf, rugby, cricket, football, dance and table tennis.
Gymnastics and dance both take place in the school hall and involve all the children following various themes. Through dance and movement, they learn how to express themselves whilst being able to work at their own level. Whereas gymnastics, involves learning how to use equipment safely and acquire, develop and gain new skills.
Games, outdoors and adventurous activities take place outside and children learn a variety of skills that are developed into small games and team building situations. All children swim in the school pool during the summer term, with most year groups having 3 lessons each fortnight.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
The aim of religious education is to enable children to develop an understanding of the nature of religion, its beliefs and practices.
Children acquiring knowledge of religion, exploring and reflecting on human experience, as well as developing sensitive attitudes will achieve this. Children will be encouraged to develop sensitive attitudes towards others. We follow the Discovery RE scheme.
Parents retain the right to withdraw their children from religious education. In such cases, this is done after prior arrangement with the Headteacher, and alternative arrangements are made.
There is a daily act of collective worship for each child, sometimes as a whole school or in a smaller group. This is an important feature of school life, and a positive focus of its ethos and values.
As a community school, collective worship is mainly of a broadly Christian nature, promoting British values. Parents also retain the right to withdraw their children from collective worship by prior arrangement with the Head teacher.
As part of our ethos we value the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education and provide opportunities for pupils to have ‘reflection’. This is often delivered within RE or PSHE.