Curriculum Overview

OUR CURRICULUM

The curriculum at Vincent Edwards emphasises activity and experience whilst incorporating Statutory Guidelines of the National Curriculum.

At Vincent Edwards the children are taught as individuals, in groups and as a class.  Children's needs vary according to their age, ability and the subject being taught.  We endeavour at all times to teach to the needs of the child.

EYFS Curriculum

Much of the children's learning will be through play where children are offered a range of activities each with an underlying educational purpose. Play is the means by which the children explore a variety of experiences in different situations for a variety of purposes. It is a process which provides for children a way of learning about the world around them. Staff plan activities and experiences that promote children's development and learning based on the ‘Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage’

Curriculum for KS1 and KS2

English

We follow the recommended guidelines of the National Curriculum.  English lessons are structured around units of work, which include learning in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

The children read in groups with the teacher, and will also be given an independent reading book, which they are expected to read at home. Your child may be asked to complete a set amount of reading for homework. Once your child has read his / her reading book, they should be encouraged to read a library book or a personal reading book. We set great store by children being able to read, and encourage our children to read for pleasure and enjoyment. Parents are asked to share in their child’s reading development by reading to them and hearing them read regularly. The continuous link between home and school reading is much valued and beneficial to the child, even after they are able to read independently. The children are given a Reading Record book to track their progress in reading. These give opportunities for comments by parents and staff, as well as encouraging a personal response from the child.  Please add comments in your child’s reading record book.

We invite parents into school to share in children’s reading.  We ask that all parent helpers be DBS (Disclosure and Baring service) checked.

We have a wide range of reading schemes and materials to support reading, some of which are: PM, Read Write Inc, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Rockets, Rigby Star and Rising Stars. In addition we have a wide variety of fiction and reference books within each classroom and in the reading area.

Children’s speaking and listening skills are developed through the whole curriculum. We use drama to explore ideas, and children learn how to make their own presentations to their class, the school and the wider community. We encourage good listening, and children take part in conversations, debates and council meetings.

The children are taught to write in a range of styles and for a variety of purposes. Writing skills learned in English lessons are reinforced through writing across a range of other curriculum subjects.  Once children have mastered the basics of letter formation they are taught to write using a joined handwriting script. They are actively encouraged to improve their written work by redrafting or correcting spellings and handwriting.

Spellings to learn or related activities are sent home regularly. The activities may take the form of finding words that begin with a certain sound, or sound the same, e.g. all, tall, fall, or learning words which we all use frequently, e.g. the, friend, people. In Key Stage 2 children’s spelling will be related to spelling rules learned in grammar lessons.

We follow the ‘Read Write Inc.’ phonic scheme.

Mathematics

The approach to teaching mathematics is that recommended by the Guidelines of the National Curriculum and is based on four key principles:

dedicated mathematics lessons every day;
direct teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class and groups;
an emphasis on mental calculation;
fluency in, and mastery of, learned concepts before moving on to new areas.

The children are encouraged to apply the knowledge and understanding they have learned to solve every day problems and carry out investigations.

Science

Through a range of topics each child has opportunities to investigate and develop essential scientific skills such as observing, classifying and fair testing as well as developing good attitudes to their work such as curiosity, perseverance and co-operation.  These skills and attitudes enable a child to acquire an informed and critical understanding of the world. 

Humanities

History and Geography are taught as part of a creative curriculum which is topic based.  We aim to give the children as much hands on experience as possible through trips and visitors.  Topics are based on guidelines from the National Curriculum.

Design Technology

This subject calls for pupils to become creative problem solvers, both as individuals and members of a team.

The children will be asked to investigate ideas, dissemble and evaluate objects.  They will be taught how to build structures or components and will learn new skills.  Finally the children will be asked to ‘design and make’ something based on knowledge and skills gained.  Children will be asked to evaluate their work and the work of others; considering what improvements could be made.

Children are taught to make and use a range of joins and mechanisms, and how to choose and use a variety of materials e.g. wood, card, paper, food, clay, together with appropriate tools.  Time is taken to familiarise the children with the tools.  The safe use of the equipment is stressed at all times.

Children cook regularly in school. Classes are also offered the opportunity to join an after school cookery club during the course of the school year.

Art

Art is taught as a subject in its own right, and is also used to support work across all areas of the curriculum.  Children are given the opportunity to explore a range of materials and techniques.  We have mixed aged art projects and welcome visiting artists into school to help enhance their skills.

Computing

We use computer work as an integral part of the curriculum.  Children will gradually develop a variety of skills and use computers to enhance work in all other curriculum areas.  As children progress through the school, they will have experience and growing expertise in many basic ICT skills.  We embed ICT throughout the curriculum using multi media computer programmes to enhance our learning.

We use multimedia windows based computers and laptops; we have wireless internet facility throughout school.  The children use video and digital cameras to record their work.  CD players are in every classroom.  Children’s work is regularly uploaded to class pages.

Music

Our aim is for children to enjoy listening to and making music and for this to be a positive, enriching and creative experience.

Through listening, appraising, performing and composing children develop an understanding and appreciate various styles of music.

All children learn to sing songs together that are appropriate to their age and interest.  They sing together during worship and whole school productions, a tradition that enhances the community feeling in the school.  Children learn how to use a wide range of percussion instruments, as well as having access to instrumental lessons provided by the County Music Service.

Children learn to appreciate the music of other cultures through discovery of multi-cultural instruments from around the world.

Physical Education and Physical Activity

The children participate in a diverse and wide range of PE lessons.  All children from Reception upwards go weekly to the Willowburn Sports Centre in Alnwick for swimming lessons and access to a range of other activities led by qualified coaches, for example gymnastics, trampolining, badminton and the bouldering wall. We make good use of local sports clubs, qualified coaches and teaching specialists giving the children a wide variety of sporting experiences e.g. football, rugby, and cricket within the curriculum and after school clubs.

Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship (PSHE & Citizenship)

Through PSHE and Citizenship the children learn the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active responsible citizens developing healthy relationships.

Religious Education

Pupils will gain knowledge and understanding about Christianity and other world faiths.  Children will be taught in a way that respects and maintains the integrity of all religions. 

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

We aim to foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to other languages in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all pupils.  Spanish is taught by a native speaker to all children in Key Stage 2. It is taught through interactive resources, speaking and listening activities and games.

Daily Act of Worship

Our school has a daily act of worship.  Parents may, if they wish, withdraw their children from these assemblies and R.E.  Such requests should be made to the Headteacher in writing.

Arrangements for the act of Collective Worship are made by the school in accordance with requirements of the 1944 Education Act and the Education Reform Act 1988.

In accordance with our Trust Deed and statutory requirements, Collective Worship and R.E. are placed at the centre of the school life.

Extra Curricular Activities

Instrumental Music Lessons

Instrumental Music Teachers visit school weekly to teach a variety of instruments (dependent on number of pupils interested) to children in Key Stage 2.  This has included violin, guitar and keyboard lessons. Parents who wish their child/children to have lessons pay on a termly basis.

School Clubs

Out of school clubs are an important part of school life and we see these as important learning opportunities for the children.

The School Council canvas their class mates to establish which clubs they would like to have on a half-termly basis.

Out of school clubs are organised on a half termly basis and are open to all children from Reception upwards.

Whenever possible we look for ways to enrich the learning experiences for children. These may be achieved by attending special events, taking part in sporting and musical activities and by visiting places.

SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS

Children who have difficulty accessing the curriculum have programmes of intervention work specifically planned to meet their needs as well as receiving additional support so that they can access the curriculum and reach their full potential.

We firmly believe that the partnership between teachers and parents working together is paramount in best supporting and helping the child concerned. It is hoped that the child will overcome his/her difficulties, but sometimes it may be necessary to call in outside agencies, such as the Educational Psychologist who will make further assessments and suggest other strategies to be used.   

In the case of children who are specially gifted, classroom work is carefully planned to ensure that their talents are both developed and challenged.

 Take a look at the most up to date curriculum information by reading the class newsletters - click on the 'Classes' tab at the top of the page, then choose a class and open up their most recent newsletter to find out what the children are learning about at the moment.