The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum has given us the opportunity to tailor our curriculum so that there is more emphasis on using our locality as well as using our strengths as a school and staff. We have also kept topics that we know engage the children, such as The Romans (due to our proximity to Colchester) and other topics will continue to be taught through English, such is their appeal to children.
The curriculum offered to our children promotes learning, personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the extra - curricular activities that the school organises in order to enrich the experience of our children. It includes the ‘hidden’ curriculum, or what the children learn from the way they are treated and expected to behave. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, resilient, responsible people who can work and cooperate with others while developing knowledge, understanding and skills so that they achieve their true potential.
These are the main values of our school, upon which we have based our curriculum.
We value the way in which all children are unique, and our curriculum promotes respect for the views of each individual child, as well as for people of all cultures. We value the spiritual and moral development of each person, as well as their intellectual and physical growth.
We value the importance of each person in our school community. We organise the curriculum so that we promote cooperation and understanding between all members.
We value our environment and we aim, through our curriculum, to teach respect for our world and how we should care for it for future generations as well as our own.
Organisation and Planning
We plan our curriculum in three phases. We agree a long-term plan for each year group. This indicates the topics that are taught each term. We review our long-term plans in line with national initiatives and new legislation.
Within our medium term plans we give clear guidance on the planned objectives when teaching an area/topic.
Our short-term plans are those that our teachers write on a weekly basis. You are welcome to see these through prior arrangement with the school.
We follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Suffolk Schools.
As well as the National Curriculum subjects, the school develops important themes that are cross-curricular and encompass more than one subject. Examples are health and safety, gender issues, multi - cultural aspects, sex education and citizenship.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
The curriculum that we teach in the Early Years unit (Reception age children) meets the requirements set out in the revised Early Years/Foundation Stage Curriculum. Our curriculum planning focuses on the Early Learning Goals and on developing children’s skills and experiences as set out in the document.
Our school fully supports the principle that young children learn through play and by engaging in well-planned structured activities. Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage unit builds on the experiences that the children bring from home and playgroup. Throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage, teachers observe and assess the skills of each child. We work in close partnership with the parents and families of our children in order to support the development of the child.
The ‘Core’ Subjects
We use the new National Curriculum (2014) as a framework for teaching. English is taught discretely for at least one hour each day, although it will sometimes be taught using the class topic's content, bringing purpose to the work as well as deepening the children's understanding of the class topic. Reading and writing will also be taught in other subjects, such as Science or History, with additional time for phonics teaching in Key Stage 1 (daily) and Reading in Key Stage 2.
We use a range of reading books. The main scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree, but this is supplemented with a broad range of books e.g. 'Sprinters', 'Mammoth', 'Young Puffin', 'Code X' 'Jelly and Bean' as well as encouraging the children to read from the class libraries and their own books from home.
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, the children are taught a daily phonics lesson, using materials from 'Letters and Sounds' and 'Jolly Phonics'.
In Key Stage 2, the children learn spelling from schemes linked to the new National Curriculum guidance and expectations.
We follow the National Curriculum (2014) which is a framework setting out the teaching objectives for each year group.
The programmes of study provide a clear progression of skills and understanding throughout the years. The children learn both mental and written ways to calculate, although there is a more emphasis on learning written methods earlier in the new curriculum. Children are expected to know their times tables to 12 x 12 by the time they are in Year 3. The curriculum also includes exploration of number and shape, measurement and data handling, problem solving and calculations.
Maths is taught in Year groups in Key Stage One. In Key Stage 2 the children are streamed, allowing for more able students to access a higher curriculum including Key Stage 3 curriculum, and for those children who need it, more time on practical and hands-on Maths.
Science at Shotley School provides children with many opportunities to acquire and develop the scientific skills of investigation, prediction, observation, recording, interpretation and the skills of thinking and applying knowledge.
Children are encouraged to question and find solutions. They are guided towards an understanding of the natural and physical world around them. An emphasis is placed on the importance of precision and the use of scientific language.
The Foundation Subjects
The new curriculum now includes a programme of study for programming and coding. This is taught from Early Years where children learn to move a beebot, or use ICT equipment in the setting independently, to Key Stage 2 where children use Scratch to code or Sketch Up to design.
The new curriculum puts fresh emphasis on competitive sports. We have been able to increase opportunities for competition in our extra-curricular time through the use of the P.E. premium (see web page) whilst retaining current values in our teaching. We challenge the pupils to enjoy being active and use their creativity and imagination. They learn new skills, find out how to use them in different ways, and to link these skills in order to create actions, phrases and sequences of movement. We encourage the pupils to communicate, collaborate and compete with each other. They are also encouraged to take on leadership roles within lessons, particularly the older children who also assist with inter-house tournaments and sports events by leading the children in their house and organising equipment, scoring and timing.
We help children gain an understanding of the local area, as well as other contrasting areas in the world. We investigate a variety of places, environments and peoples, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and start to make links between different places in the world. The children find out how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. We ask geographical questions and use geographical skills and resources, such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT in order to answer the questions.
At Shotley School we encourage all children to enjoy a wide range of music. This includes an appreciation of musical influences from other countries, cultures, and throughout history. The children are encouraged to play a range of percussion and tuned instruments to interpret different experiences, including stories, poetry and feelings. We follow a scheme called Charanga.
Art and Design
Aspects of Art and Design are developed through individual and collaborative work at Shotley School in two and three dimensions and on different scales. Children use a range of materials and processes and have opportunities to investigate the work of artists, crafts people and designers. We encourage the correct use of vocabulary, the use of ICT and teach children the health and safety issues that apply.
Design and Technology
Children are taught the importance of Design and Technology in a rapidly changing world. The children are given the chance to design, are taught the skills needed to make items and given the opportunity to evaluate and improve their work.
We teach children to develop an awareness of the past and to understand that we can learn through the use of different sources and interpretations of historical events. We teach chronology, change and continuity. By asking questions, children are able to access and use the following: artefacts, photographs, documents, the Internet, film, music, oral accounts and buildings. The children learn about local, national and world history with an emphasis on chronology in some units such as Kings and Queens, History of Homes and History of Music.
PSHEe and Citizenship
Children are taught to become responsible members of society. They are given opportunities to make choices, take responsibility for their actions and develop an awareness of the morals and values of society.
We teach French from Key Stage 2. French is currently being developed as we aim to meet the criteria for Suffolk County Council's quality mark: LinguaMark Bronze level.
These are an important part of children’s education and are linked to the curriculum. The experience gained from a visit helps to increase levels of interest and enthusiasm, and provides opportunities to enhance social skills.
These visits cannot take place without sufficient financial contributions from parents. If there are particular difficulties, parents will be listened to sympathetically, and where appropriate, financial support may be given.
Extra Curricular Activities
Our children enjoy a variety of activities provided by the staff at lunchtimes and after school including seasonal sports, multi-skills, cooking club and art club. Themed days or weeks are also taught.