Curriculum

Specific information on the individual subject areas will be added when the new National Curriculum is finalised. In the meantime we hope the following general information will be useful.

Teaching and Learning

We provide a broad balanced curriculum which fulfils the requirements of the Foundation Stage Guidance and National Curriculum in an exciting and imaginative way.  Where appropriate we link curriculum areas for a more holistic approach to learning.  We use varied activities to appeal to different learning styles and to extend the understanding of everyone.  There are opportunities to work independently, in pairs, in groups or as a class.   

Our emphasis is on learning and we encourage children to compare what they achieve today with what they achieved before, i.e. what they have learnt.  All have the capability to learn or develop skills though starting points are not the same.   Work is differentiated so all have the support and challenge they need to be successful.

Learning objectives and success criteria are shared with the pupil.

Children are encouraged to evaluate their learning and think about the next step.  

Major targets are formally shared with parents at termly consultation meetings and in reports.  Next steps are discussed and often recorded with pupils.

Teachers assess constantly and adapt their lessons accordingly.  Annually children in year 2 and 6 have SATs and year 3, 4 and 5 take other standardised tests to support teachers’ assessments.

During the year there are opportunities for some gifted and talented pupils to work with like minded pupils from other schools.

Parents are invited to discuss their child’s progress each term.  Written reports are given in the summer term.  Additional meetings can be arranged as applicable.

Gifted and Talented

Work is differentiated to ensure challenge for our most able children and performance is tracked to ensure they make appropriate progress and do not under achieve. Occasionally they may need additional support to meet their needs.  There are also opportunities to work with the most able pupils from other small schools.  

If parents wish, school gives a series of focused lessons to support a child’s preparation for the selective tests in year 6.  Some able pupils have gone on to Chelmsford County High School for Girls, King Edward VI Grammar School for Boys and Westcliff High School for Boys.  
Depending on their child’s talents pupils have gone on to Specialist Sports Schools e.g. Great Baddow High School and William de Ferrers, or to be fast tracked in Science and Maths in The Sandon School.  

Foundation Stage

In the foundation stage there are six areas of study:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication, language and literacy
  • Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
  • Knowledge and understanding of the world
  • Physical Development
  • Creative Development

Curriculum Enrichment

To enhance the teaching and learning of pupils we look for opportunities to make the curriculum more exciting, through visits and visitors, special curriculum events and whole school projects.  

Teaching the Curriculum is supported by DfES guidelines, DfES numeracy and literacy strategies, the QCA documents, published materials, policies and Schemes of Work. 

Homework

Homework is set to enhance the teaching and learning that is taking place in class.

Activities are appropriate to the child and designed to:

  • Practise skills, possibly through games
  • Develop understanding, by using new knowledge in different ways
  • Enhance memory, through a range of strategies

It is expected that parents and carers will support the child, by listening to reading, discussing tasks, joining in the activity and giving feedback to the teacher through the home/school diary, in which homework is recorded.   

Parents should always sign homework/ reading record books, recording reasons for non completion, particular difficulties, special effort or time taken are helpful.

How and when homework is set varies with age and class logistics and is shared at the beginning of the school year at “Meet the Teacher” sessions and in writing.

School Trips

School trips support children’s learning and bring the curriculum alive.

The ratio of adults to children is always appropriate, at or above legal requirements.  Risk assessments are carried out before trips and children are instructed on expected behaviour.  Everyone travelling on a coach wears a seatbelt.

Occasionally parents or staff may transport children, e.g. to a sports match.  The driver needs comprehensive insurance for the vehicle used which is valid for carrying passengers on a school off site visit, a valid driving licence, vehicle road fund licence and MOT certificate (if required by the vehicle). Volunteer drivers will be asked to sign a declaration indicating that all these requirements are in place.

Each child must use a seat belt and, if under 135cm, use a booster seat.

Parental consent is requested for each trip involving transport.

Parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution to cover costs.  Although no child is excluded, if there are insufficient donations the visit will not be able to go ahead.  The head teacher can be contacted in confidence if financial hardship is a factor.

In accordance with legal requirements, adults with regular contact with children have been policed checked.
    

Residential Trips

Children in year 5/6 are given the opportunity to participate in a week long residential trip, organised biennially. The week includes a range of fieldwork related to the National Curriculum and provides great opportunities for social and personal development and is one of the highlights of the children’s time at our school.  In the intervening year there is a local opportunity for adventurous activities such as archery and abseiling provided by nationally approved and qualified instructors.

Collective Worship

An act of Collective Worship takes place each day and children are expected to attend unless parents have written to the school to withdraw their child from Collective Worship and R.E.

The Head teacher, teachers, children, and invited visitors including representatives of the Church all contribute to our worship. Pupils all say grace before meals and the day ends with a prayer.

Collective worship is in line with the Trust Deed which states that worship is in accordance with the tradition and practice of the Church of England.

Special Educational Needs

What to do if your child has known special needs

If your child has a disability or you have other specific concerns please raise them so we can discuss them.   Reasonable changes to the building and necessary staff training, if applicable, can then be arranged in advance of your child’s start so your child can access the whole curriculum.

Health Protocols are agreed for individuals as applicable.

What happens if your child appears to be having some difficulties at school

The teacher or parent may initially flag up a concern and the starting point is to discuss and assess your child’s needs.  One of the following may be the outcome of the discussion.

  • Your child’s difficulties are viewed as temporary, limited and within usual age range of ability- no further action required at this time.
  • Your child may have educational needs beyond the normal differentiation and may be designated School Action or School Action Plus.  He/she will then have an Individual Education Programme (IEP) to support them and help them to overcome their difficulties.  In some cases the targets on the plan may challenge and extend your child.
  • If your child has more severe special needs he/she may have statutory assessment and have a statement of needs.

Our special needs teacher co-ordinates appropriate programmes with class teachers and learning assistants, and when necessary liaises with other agencies.    

Parents are involved in all stages.  The stages and reviews are in accordance with the 1996 Education Act and LA procedures.    

The school has completed an Access audit and action plan as prescribed in the Disability Act of 2001, which forms part of this handbook appendix.