Through our creative and inspired planned learning opportunities based on a full range of subjects, learning the key skills is exciting and fun. Our teachers bring the National Curriculum alive by making links between individual subjects and applying them to topics.
For Reading, Writing and Maths our emphasis is upon individualised learning. We are committed to teaching in small groups with children working at the appropriate level of challenge and with the support they need. We split the school into three teaching groups during the morning sessions so that children are taught in groups of approximately 15 children. For the younger 2 groups these also have 1 or 2 Teaching Assistants to support them in addition to the class teacher.
Children have their own ‘Learning ladders’ for writing and maths so that they can see their next steps for learning and teaching staff are able to teach and assess as part of an on-going process. In this way the teaching can be adapted to meet the needs of the child and any misconceptions or extension work can be addressed quickly.
English / Literacy
The development of good literacy skills, including reading, writing, speaking and listening, spelling, punctuation and grammar is imperative for all learning. Mrs Regan has extensive knowledge of British, and children's, literature and she also inspires and enthuses pupils through drama and a range of teaching approaches.
Fostering a positive attitude to literacy, lessons are structured and based around the developmental needs of each child. Each child has their own set of 'pencil' targets, which will be used for writing across the curriculum as well as in English lessons. Where possible English is linked with other subjects to ensure that skills are used for and transferred to other curricular areas.
In the early years and Key Stage 1 class a synthetic phonics programme, Letters and Sounds, is taught. For further details parents should discuss the programme with their child's class teacher. We use a range of published reading schemes as well as banded books based on ability levels. Children are listened to every week and we encourage the changing of books every couple of days. Children’s reading skills are regularly assessed and, when appropriate, they are moved up a band.
We aim to make maths an exciting and enjoyable real life subject with lots of practical activities. The subject leader who has recently gained Mathematics Specialist Teacher status, ensures the curriculum is covered in a creative and fun manner. Pupils are encouraged to discuss their work openly, sharing strategies and any mistakes they have made, from which they are able to learn. Pupils are taught within small ability groups and have their own ‘learning ladders’. This allows the teacher to instruct at various levels and ensures all children are appropriately challenged and supported.
In addition to topic teaching, mental maths is also covered on a daily basis. Children are given fast paced oral questions within lesson time and on a weekly basis, pupils within Key Stage 2 undertake a mental maths and tables test. This ensures all children develop the skills and confidence for calculation in daily life. Children are also encouraged to use and apply their skills, especially in the shopping environment, where they can work out whether “Buy one get one free” deals etc. are in fact a good deal or whether alternative products can be purchased for a better price!
Science teaching is based on programmes of study within the new National Curriculum. There is a 2 year rolling programme in place for years 1/2, years 3/4 and years 5/6. Key skills have been identified using a skills based curriculum for each year group and teachers use these skills to teach the various scientific topics.
Where possible the science curriculum is linked to the theme being taught. 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.
Currently, we are able to benefit from Dr. Regan's teaching and experience, who has an extensive scientific background. Through her imaginative approach, children are able to learn through enquiry and experimentation.
ICT - Information Communication Technology
ICT is increasingly important in all aspects of life. It is vital that pupils have the opportunity to learn about and use technology so that they are prepared for life. A mobile laptop suite is used by classes across the school. In addition the Infant class also have desktop computers in their classroom. This provides the opportunity for specific ICT skills to be taught and for individual use of laptops to support work across the curriculum. Interactive whiteboards, data projectors and internet access are also available in all classes making ICT possible in all subjects. The school follows a scheme of work that ensures pupils receive clear and structured learning that builds on their previous experiences.
Religious Education (RE)
We follow the Gloucestershire syllabus for our RE learning and being a church school we ensure that there is a strong focus on Christianity. Children, through their lessons learn about and from various religions. They also have the opportunity to reflect upon their feelings and beliefs during these sessions. Weekly collective worship led by the Senior Leader:Dr Regan, local vicar or the Open the Book team focuses on the school values, which are also threaded throughout the rest of the curriculum. We have a strong emphasis on how Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural issues can be discussed within all our subjects.
Humanities - History and Geography
Through these two subjects pupils learn about their past and their place in the wider world. The school follows a thematic skills-based curriculum linked to topics identified in the National Curriculum. Whenever possible, children undertake some fieldwork to help them find out about our local villages, towns and British History, amongst other themes.
Children have the opportunity to cook, sew, use wood and card to design their own projects. Many of the skills of DT, such as planning, reviewing, measuring, tool use and safety are valuable in later life. The DT projects undertaken by the children link to the theme being taught each term. Often this work is undertaken as a block to support a project.
Art is highly valued at the school. Art allows pupils the opportunity to create, explore, learn techniques and use their imagination as well as offering an opportunity to enjoy themselves. We use Art across the curriculum to support learning - especially in science and as part of our creative curriculum sessions. We hold an annual art exhibition in school and as part of our federation.
Music is an integral part of school life. Children are given the opportunity to sing on a frequent basis within collective worship, and both musical and drama skills are showcased in two productions per year. In addition to this, children have been given the wonderful opportunity to take part in Opera productions, performing alongside professional musicians at Longborough Festival Opera.
Apart from singing, children are taught about the history of music and various genres, following a scheme entitled, Music Express. Composition and musical notation is also covered, and children frequently compose their own music within a group setting, performing the same using a variety of instruments.
Pupils also have the opportunity to learn a number of instruments by use of a peripatetic teacher. We currently offer the following; piano, guitar, ukulele and recorder. Music lessons are taken during school time and pupils are taught in small groups or individually. In addition, we offer all children in KS2, a 10 week instrumental teaching programme delivered by a music specialist. This has so far included percussion, recorder and violins.
Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)
This is taught as a specific subject to all pupils. The intention is for all pupils to develop a wider understanding of society, community and their place in it. We follow the Learning for Living scheme and circle time discussion is used as a driver to discuss key moral issues and incidents that arise. Visits by the police, fire service, school nurse and many others help pupils prepare for their role in society. Children are encouraged to develop an awareness of others in need of help and much charity work is linked to PSHE topics.
The school’s health education programme includes sex and relationships education (SRE) as an integral part of the curriculum development. We follow the Love and Sex Matters scheme, which has a strong moral base from which our SRE lessons stem. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons, and must inform the Headteacher in writing if they wish to do so.
Physical Education (PE)
We believe that PE plays a vital part in keeping us all healthy and well. The school is part of the Bourton on the Water Partnership of schools that aims to provide at least 2 hours of PE every week, as well as our own High Five Partnership which regularly organises inter-school competitions and training sessions. We employ a specialist Sports Coach who teaches one afternoon every week in each of our federated schools as well as working at 2 other schools in our Partnership. Children in Years Rec to 6 all take part in 10 swimming sessions a year. A number of extra curricula clubs also takes place on a weekly basis, led by the teachers or our Sports Coach.
We believe that much can be gained from 'on site visits' as well as trips out to various places. Each class teacher will periodically arrange such visits, which usually form an integral part of the children's work. A voluntary contribution is sometimes required to meet the costs of transport, insurance and entrance, although the use of the school minibus gives us a great deal of flexibility and reduces costs for families.