Curriculum

We aim to develop your child and his/her potential in every sphere of growth and learning. We believe very strongly in a broad and balanced curriculum and value creativity as an essential part of children’s learning but we also have a strong emphasis on every child’s achievement in English and mathematics.

Organisation of the curriculum

The school is organised in the following way:

Early Years Foundation Stage Reception
Key Stage 1 Infants [Years 1 and 2]
Key Stage 2 Juniors [Years 3 to 6]

Reception children follow a foundation curriculum with early learning goals which should be achieved by the end of their reception year. The foundation curriculum covers education in pre-schools and nurseries and operates from the ages of 3 to 6 and, therefore, provides continuity from pre-school to school. The curriculum is a balance of free exploration, play and set tasks. There is an emphasis on literacy and numeracy as the children progress through their time in this class. Children are not functioning within the National Curriculum at this stage but will have gained valuable experiences in readiness for National Curriculum requirements in Year 1.

The curriculum is organised around the National Curriculum which consists of English, maths, science, ICT, art, geography, history, PE, music, technology (information and communications, design) and PSHE (personal, social and health education) which incorporates citizenship.

Religious education is not part of the National Curriculum but is regarded as a main subject to be taught. All Cambridgeshire schools follow the Local Authority’s syllabus for RE which aims to provide children with knowledge and understanding of the nature of religions, their beliefs and practices. Parents retain the right to request withdrawal of their children from RE lessons and from assemblies, which under the 1988 Education Act are required to be broadly Christian in character. 

English

At Bar Hill School, we strive for all children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’.

By the end of Year 6 our intention is that every child should be able to:

  • Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding with the ability to self-monitor and edit.
  • Have a love of books and read for enjoyment.
  • Develop a rich vocabulary, suitable technical vocabulary to communicate effectively using speech and language and make appropriate responses through active listening.
  • Make good use of their grammatical knowledge and understanding to support them in their acquisition of language at Bar Hill School. 

English is a core subject which is taught daily throughout the school. Children follow the Early Years Framework in the reception class.  However, teachers in KS1 and KS2 follow the National Curriculum and ensure that children have opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills such as performing drama, reading and analysing text and writing.  From Year 1 to Year 6, children study units of work under the themes of fiction, non fiction and poetry. Spelling patterns/phonics, grammar and handwriting is also taught.

Children are introduced and encouraged to use a range of different writing styles through a range of purposeful activities across all curriculum areas; for example: poems, stories, lists, captions, brochures, letters, invitations, explanations, research and much more.  Children are taught within guided reading and writing groups as well as a whole class and independently.  They are encouraged to share ideas with response partners and check work against success criteria.  Teachers provide written and verbal feedback to children when marking work through writing three stars and a challenge.

We aim to develop within the children an enjoyment of books, fiction, non-fiction and verse, and to enable them to read confidently with pleasure and to find information. Parents are encouraged to help their child read at home.

Mathematics

Mathematics is a language which helps us describe the world around us and solve many of the problems we encounter.  It is full of: certainties and predictables which behave in reassuringly constant ways; patterns, sequences and laws which captivate a spirit of wonder; and, puzzles the solving of which promote a real drive to share reasoned findings with interested others.

In our work with children, within the realms of mathematics, we aim to facilitate a fluency of understanding, which will underpin thinking, enabling an increasingly confident, self-directed and creative development of mathematical concepts!  It is our intention to equip our children well for a bright future in an increasingly technological, mathematically-demanding world.

Mathematics is taught as a core subject throughout the school, from EYFS to Year 6.  In the reception classes, children follow the Early Years Framework.  From years one to six the statutory requirements of Curriculum 2000 in mathematics are met by referring to: the Primary Framework for Mathematics, the older National Numeracy Strategy and the latest (February 2013) Draft National Curriculum for Mathematics.  When the final order is agreed, we will be publishing our response to it by setting out our own schemes of work for each year based on guidance within the document and our own Vision for Mathematics.  There will be an increased emphasis on developing fluency of understanding, creative thinking and an ability to solve problems.

We already have our own calculations policy which outlines appropriate progression within the four operations of number.  Computer programmes and languages are used whenever possible to enhance mathematical understanding; and, practical apparatus, visual models and images are used to develop a fluency of understanding which will underpin reasoning. We tailor our maths lessons to include practical, ‘hands on activities’ and investigations, and we set work in the context of ‘real-life’ situations whenever possible.  Work is differentiated according to the individual needs of the children, and we encourage our more able mathematicians to take part in local and national mathematical challenges.

Science

At Bar Hill Primary School, we believe that by providing a high-quality science education, we are creating children who are naturally curious about the world around them and want to explore and question it. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be given the opportunity to develop their scientific knowledge and investigative skills. By offering pupils the opportunity to gain key scientific knowledge and concepts, they will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about the world around them. They should be encouraged to understand how knowledge and concepts can be used to explain what is happening all around them, predict how things will behave, and explore their causes.

Children follow the Early Years Framework in the reception class. Science in the EYFS is an integral part of the topic work covered during the year. Science is taught flexibly within KS1 and KS2, allowing units to be drawn out to enable longer term investigations, or grouped so that an experiment may be planned, carried out and reviewed all on the same day.  It is generally approached through subject specific lessons using a comprehensive scheme where children learn through practical investigations, developing skills of observing, comparing, predicting, testing, communicating, recording and interpreting results.

Teachers plan to cover all of the National Curriculum Programmes of Study over a two-yearly cycle.  Teachers use the ‘Thinking Wheel’ to guide children through an experiment, thus developing thinking skills.  Children work in mixed ability groups to encourage speaking, listening and sharing ideas and concepts.

Visitors are encouraged to speak to the children, especially during Science Week and when the opportunity within the topic studied arises.          

ICT (Information and communication technology)

We have a strong commitment to ICT skills for all children and celebrated once again receiving the ICT mark in July 2012!

We are well resourced with ICT equipment, have a dedicated computer suite, and computers and interactive whiteboards in every classroom.

ICT is embedded across the curriculum so that the children have a chance to implement the skills they learn in ICT lessons. The ICT scheme of work is sorted under the three key themes: Exploring, Investigating and Informing, and the importance of e-safety underpins it all. The children use “Starz”, a Virtual Learning Environment, to explore themes related to their work in class that they can continue to use at home if they choose. All pupils are regularly assessed for the tasks they undertake.

PE

Children receive a varied and balanced PE curriculum with every child receiving at least two hours of high quality PE per week.  Physical education includes games, dance, gymnastic, swimming (in year 5), outdoor adventure activities and athletics. The school is very well resourced including a fully equipped hall for gymnastics, all weather courts, school field and access to an Astroturf area and tennis courts.  Throughout the year the school offers extra curricular activities including street dance, kwik cricket, gymnastics, netball, cross country running, tri golf aand  KS1 and KS2 football..  In KS2 there are opportunities for children to participate in sports festivals with other local schools.

SOUTH CAMBS SCHOOL SPORTS PARTNERSHIP
‘Giving every  young person a sporting chance’

Our school is part of the South Cambs School Sport Partnership. The Partnership aims to give every young person their sporting chance by developing high quality Physical Education and school sport for all young people; an ambition which lies at the heart of the legacy aims of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Through the work of South Cambs School Sport Partnership our school benefits from a comprehensive programme of training opportunities for staff, more sports coaches to support the delivery of extra-curricular clubs and activities, regular opportunities for our children to take part in inter-school competitions and festivals, additional funding to deliver a wider range of extra curricular clubs, a top up programme to help our pupils meet the Key Stage 2 standards for swimming, links with local community clubs, play leader training for children in year 6, and support with delivering high quality PE.

Visit the Partnership website at www.scssp.co.uk for more information, latest news updates, forthcoming events and courses, competition dates and a community sports clubs directory

ASSESSMENT

Foundation Stage Profile

This is a form of continuous assessment which takes place throughout the child’s reception year and culminates in a final summary at the end of the year.

SATs (Standardised Assessment Tests)

  • End of Key Stage 1 (year 2) in English and maths.
  • End of Key Stage 2 (year 6) in English, maths, with teacher assessment in science.

Tests are administered nationally during the summer term.

Other forms of Assessment

From year 1 to year 6 we use Assessing Pupils Progress (APP) materials to monitor progress in reading, writing and maths.

Homework

Homework is an integral part of our school ethos of life-long learning and ensures a clear link between learning within school and home. Homework includes the improvement of skills in literacy and maths and there is also a ‘Discovery Detectives’ project once a term. Further details will be communicated to by your child’s teacher. 

Cycling Training

A cycling proficiency course is taught by trained instructors and is usually held in the summer term for Year 5 pupils. This course involves a bicycle road-worthiness check by a Road Safety Officer and practice in safe cycling. The school is part of the Cambridgeshire County Council ‘Bikeability’ scheme.

Complaints against the curriculum

If you have any complaints about our curriculum you should first contact the Headteacher. If the problem is not resolved the complaint or query should be directed to the Chair of the Governing Body. If neither the Head nor governing body provide satisfactory solutions, a complaint may be made to the Local Authority.

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