The Curriculum

Key Skills and Attitudes

Our aim is to support children to be successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens

The Key Skills and Attitudes support children's development and these are embedded throughout the curriculum.  

There are level descriptors for 11 different key skills and attitudes as identified in our school curriculum.

The descriptors are based on the key skills/ thinking skills in the National Curriculum and are listed under the appropriate year group.

The level descriptors help to teachers to assess pupils’ levels of attainment. We believe, that, by supporting children to develop thier skills in these areas that they are more likely to be active, successful and engaged learners.

A copy of the document can be downloaded here

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Please click on the links below to see how we have organised our curriculum for 2017-8:

 Nursery  Reception
 Year 1  Year 2
 Year 3  Year 4
 Year 5  Year 6

 

Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship Education

(Me, myself and P.S.H.E) 

We understand, recognise and believe in the importance of personal, social and emotional education and its place in ensuring the best outcomes for our children. This is a new curriculum for the school for 2017-8 and is part of the school's work towards Healthy School status.

Details of our curriculum to follow.

Religious Education

In line with DfE guidelines, Gildersome Primary school follows the LA agreed RE syllabus. Assemblies and lessons are broadly Christian in nature but do cover aspects of spiritual, moral and social education including information about other religions. Assemblies end with a prayer / reflection. Children can choose how they wish to participate in this. The school may also visit other places of worship throughout their time in school. We hope parents will support us in educating our children about all religions and developing tolerance and understanding, in line with British Values teaching.

Parents do have the right to withdraw children from assemblies and RE if they feel the need. Please contact the Head Teacher to discuss this further.

 

Firm emphasis on Reading and Writing

We have worked hard to develop out teaching and phonics, reading and writing over the last 4 years. All staff have been trained to teach:

'Read, Write Inc' - a Ruth Miskin scheme. This scheme forms the basis of the school's phonics programme.

This has had positive benefits in equipping our children to be skilled at reading and writing. It is taught throughout Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2 and early indications show that the scheme is having positive benefits on children's confidence and skills.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. Programmes:

  • Participation - our teaching strategies ensure that all children participate fully in the whole lesson – there is no chance for children to lose concentration and miss key elements of the teaching
  • Praise – children work together, as partners, taking turns to teach and praise one another and they are motivated by the focused praise they receive from teachers and teaching assistants
  • Pace - a lively pace keeps all the children fully engaged
  • Purpose - teachers know the purpose of every activity and how it leads into the next. Teachers make the purpose of each lesson clear to the children so that they understand why they are learning to do something.
  • Passion - it is easy for teachers to be passionate about their teaching because they see their children make such rapid progress.

Click here for further details

Whilst 'Read, Write, Inc' scheme forms the basis of our reading scheme, we also use a wide range of other schemes including Oxford Reading Tree to support children to become effective, efficient, inquisitive and deductive readers.

Our topics are carefully designed to support the children's learning in Literacy. Constructive links to other subjects are made throughout.

An example of how the focus of a topic can enrich writing can be seen in the Year 2 topic, 'Castles'. Here pupils learn about 'Traditional Tales'. Many of these are set around castles, thus providing good opportunities to compliment the learning in both History and the English.

Providing Challenge

In order reach their full potential children should be challenged. We build this into our curriculum by beginning each topic with a challenge. The challenge provides our pupils not only with motivation, but also adds a sense of purpose to their work.

In many cases the challenge involves entering a local or national competition, such as submitting a film to the Leeds Young Person's Film Festival. In other topics the challenges might include performing dramas, or holding exhibitions for parents.

Learning with experts

Children respond well to seeing a different face in the classroom, to enhance each topic, where possible, we identify key partners with whom we can work. Many of our partners are now regular visitors to school. Currently our teachers are regularly supported in school by professional dance instructors, sports coaches and representatives from our local churches.

Other partners, such as Total, BP, BAE, Mars, Yorkshire Water and Lloyds TSB provide specialist resources through their educational outreach work and national competitions and schemes.

If you'd like to share your area of expertise with our children, please contact us to discuss the potential opportunities.

Learning with families and our community

Parental support has always been a strength of our school and community. To build on this, opportunities for parents to become involved in the learning are identified at the very beginning of each topic. These opportunities are primarily communicated to parents via the 'Learning Blogs' on this site.

Through using these it's our intention to open up life in school, enabling parents to gain a clear view of what their children are learning, how they can best support this at home and what opportunities exist for them to become involved in school itself.

Each term, we hold an 'Open' session where parents and carers can come into school to join in with our curriculum and see what a typical day is like. The focus for these days have been closely linked to the currciulum and have included lessons on 'Numicon' and 'Friday activities. The feedback from these days has alwys been overwhelmingly positive. Watch out for more next academic year.

Learning Creatively

Children are individuals. They learn things in different ways and enjoy variety in how their learning is acquired. To provide this we carefully plan our topics making sure that opportunities to learn through performing arts, ICT, design technology and art are all provided. Over the past two years we have worked closely with Education Leeds Artforms developing our expertise in this  area.

Recent examples of how we have used Creative Learning to develop our children's Literacy skills include Year 4 pupils making digital film versions of their playscripts and Year 6 pupils producing digitalised soundtracks to accompany their poetry.

To provide an even better environment in which to achieve this, plans for our new school building include the following features:

  • classrooms paired with complimentory specialist features. For example in each pair, one class contains high quality DT and wet areas to facilitate large scale practical activities. The second class in each pair contains high quality IT provision to enable maximum use of technology in all lessons.
  • Dedicated Food and Design Technology area.
  • Media-suite with sound recording studio and 'green walled' film studio. 
  • Large sports hall with retractable auditorium style seating to increase audience capacity and comfort.
  • two outdoor amphitheatres

 

Learning outside the classroom

Children enjoy being outside. Each topic of our curriculum provides opportunities for learning outside the classroom. To provide our pupils with more opportunities to do this, plans for our new building contain the following outdoor features which have been planned to improve our outdoor learning environment:

  • direct external access from each classroom.
  • secure fenced outdoor gardens and learning areas for Foundation Stage and Year 1.
  • covered, hard surfaced outdoor learning areas for all classrooms in Key Stage 2.
  • outdoor amphitheatre in the court yard
  • outdoor seating/classroom in existing courtyard.
  • new habitat areas to be created.
  • allotments have been created in school grounds.
  • natural outdoor amphitheatre to be created in school grounds.
  • there are plans to create an outdoor classroom structure with support from the PTA.

 

 Learning about money

Managing money is an important part of all our lives. All our topics provide opportunities for our children to develop their financial capabilities. To achieve this we work in partnership with HSBC and Lloyds TSB through the Personal Finance Education Group (PFEG).

An example of this was at last years Summer Gala where the children in each class we allocated a small budget of £20 each from which to design, stock and run their own stalls; collectively they raised over £600. Each class now has the responsibility for deciding how their profits are used. 

Click here to find out how PFEG can enhance the curriculum in your school.

 

 

Learning through fun

Education should be fun. Children should leave our schools with a life-long passion for learning. By providing inspiring challenges, welcoming parents and experts into our school and working hard to make sure that our lessons are not boring, we hope to achieve that.

There is however, one final aspect of our curriculum which is perhaps, the most important part of all when it comes to planning our topics. We listen to our children and place their ideas at the centre of our teaching. By doing this we make sure that there is sufficient flexibility in topics and lessons to allow our children to learn in the ways which are most effective for them, and that's usually fun.

One example of how we encourage this is through providing children with open-ended homework challenges allowing them to explore subjects in their own individual way.