Curriculum – Provision, Content and Approach
From Sept 2014, we have adopted the new National Curriculum into our planning and delivery.
At Earl Sterndale School we provide a curriculum that is broad, inclusive and comprehensive. We ensure that learning experiences for our children are challenging yet accessible, interesting and effective and are pitched to suit every child’s age and ability. Above all we aim for a school in which children feel relaxed, happy, comfortable and safe.
We plan, prepare for, deliver, assess and amend learning experiences for our children in 14 areas: Maths; English; Design and Technology; Art and Design; Religious Education; History; Geography; Information and Computer Technology; Citizenship; Personal, Social and Health Education; Science; Music; Physical Education and Modern Foreign Languages. These are often taught as discrete subjects in their own right, though in many circumstances there will naturally be dovetailing e.g. English and History – writing a report about how the Tudors prepared food will include elements of historical knowledge and understanding as well as using literacy skills to produce a piece of written work.
Our teaching priority is to focus on English skills and Maths skills as they provide the building blocks for learning across the rest of the curriculum. We also acknowledge that it is essential to learn how to apply these skills.
Infant Class (Early Years Foundation and Key Stage 1)
When the children start in Early Years Foundation Stage they take part in a variety of early literacy and numeracy activities at an appropriate level, to ensure they become familiar with letters, sounds and numbers. They participate in a range of listening games and practical activities inside and outside the classroom. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the local environment and get involved in regular creative sessions. In Key Stage 1 children take part in literacy and numeracy lessons which are pitched at the individual child’s ability. We aim to approach tasks across the curriculum in many different ways to ensure the children’s continued enthusiasm and interest.
Junior Class (Key Stage 2)
In Class 2 we follow the new National Curriculum (Sept 2014) combined with an adapted version of the Numeracy and Literacy Strategies. This helps provide a framework around which to plan a curriculum which remains relevant, accessible, challenging, interesting and appropriate to all children regardless of age or ability. In a class with four age groups it is essential to provide differentiation so all children’s needs are being met. Our small class sizes allow us to do this effectively. So much so, each child essentially has their own individual learning plan whether they have ‘Special Needs’, are considered ‘Gifted and Talented’ or anywhere in between.
Planning across the school and across the subjects is carefully done to ensure the curriculum is fully covered with little or no repetition. We monitor teaching and learning rigorously to ensure they are properly resourced and prepared, age-appropriate, challenging and effective.
We provide a wide and interesting range of learning experiences –
• We use our stunning local environment to its best effect.
• Lots of outdoor learning.
• Active teaching which addresses the needs of all learners.
• Active learning where every child participates positively in their own education.
• Children regularly taking control of their own learning.
• Children setting their own targets and being aware of how to improve.
• Encouraging children to be creative, logical, analytical, thoughtful, considerate, independent, collegiate, literate and numerate.
• After school clubs have included sports, arts and crafts, foreign languages and cookery.
With only two classes we take every opportunity to work as a whole school. We have regular theme days, even theme weeks allowing the children to work in mixed-age, mixed-ability classes. Children are encouraged to work in groups, in pairs and individually. We welcome a range of experts into school; PE and sports coaches, musicians, overseas guests and dance teachers as well as students on work placements or teaching practice and multi-faith, multi-cultural visitors.
We are a very inclusive school and our excellent Special Educational Needs and Disability provision was commented on by our latest Ofsted inspection (January 2012).
For the last 7 years we have shown consistently high levels of attainment at the end of each Key Stage. Low numbers prevent us from publishing exact results and while attainment may appear to be low at times, we always show high levels of progress through the school.
Curriculum – Provision, Content and Approach