From September 2014 there is an expectation from the government for all mainstream primary schools to deliver the new revised National Curriculum. We have therefore adapted our School curriculum accordingly, to ensure that we meet the current aims and statutory requirements.
We aim to ensure our curriculum is broad and balanced, providing our children with purposeful and meaningful learning activities. Our curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum (2014), we enhance this by providing a range of additional activities,including visits or visitors, giving children some first-hand experience that helps to develop the individual school curriculum. We strive to build thematic learning opportunities where commonality exists between subjects and aspects. Learning is linked and lessons are taught using a cross-curricular approach. Where this is not achievable, subjects are taught discretely.
We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident independent learners and successful adults. When children start school they follow the Early Years Foundation Stage, EYFS, curriculum. This is a play based curriculum which details the learning and provision for children from birth to five. EYFS defines what is to be taught in the prime and specific areas. The prime areas include communication and language, physical development, and personal social and emotional development. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics understanding the world, and art and design.
Children rapidly begin to learn their sounds (phonics)through daily lessons following the Jolly Phonics and then Letters and Sounds phonic programs. In the end of Year 1 phonics check, the school has consistently achieved above the national average. Children develop good reading skills and are well supported through the provision of a rich diet of reading materials. The backbone of this is provided by the Oxford Reading Tree and Story World schemes, but this is enhanced by Heinemann and ‘real world’ books. The school invests a great deal of time in reading through the daily ERIC, (everyone reading in class), sessions. Initially, this focuses on the teaching of reading, but as the children move through the school it develops their comprehension, text analysis and deductive skills.
All children engage in a daily literacy lesson where they develop their writing and grammar skills, in addition to developing a command of the other all aspects of the English language. To aid their creative writing, the school uses a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach pioneered by the author Pie Corbett. Children learn to write stories and creative pieces through imitating other authors’ work, moving onto innovating by adding in their own ideas. Story maps, plans and boxing up stories allow children to develop their writing in stages ensuring there is quality to their finished pieces.
The daily maths lessons develop children’s mathematical knowledge. Much attention is paid to the ‘know by heart facts’ that underpin mental calculation strategies.These are practiced regularly and are often set as homework activities. The school follows national guidelines on the teaching of standard written methods of calculation for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Shape, space, measurement and statistics are also taught as part of the mathematics curriculum. Opportunities are given for the children to apply their mathematical skills through problem solving and investigation actives.
The national curriculum details the content and knowledge to be taught for science, history, geography, art, music, design and technology, physical education, computing and a modern foreign language (French) in Key stage 2.Religious Education is delivered through the Plymouth locally agreed syllabus 2014.
Beyond the statutory national curriculum, developing children’s life skills is an important part of what is taught at Drake Primary. These skills include teaching the children to be independent, be able to collaborate with others, have good communication skills, be creative, think critically and stay well. The personal, social & health education, (PSHE), curriculum develops a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to a respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality.
A synopsis of the years curriculum studies for your child’s individual year group is available on the website Year Group Pages.
More details on the national curriculum are available at: https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/overview
More details on the EYFS are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework–2