Withinfields Primary School bases its curriculum on the National Curriculum 2014 for Years 1 to 6 and, for Reception and Nursery, the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Children learn Maths and English daily in Y1 to Y6 and in the Early Years of Reception and Nursery they focus on either English or Maths on an alternative week basis but always have a phonics session each day.
Our Phonics, Early Reading and Early Writing are delivered through a programme called Read, Write Inc. Once children have progressed beyond Read, Write Inc, they receive Reading sessions during English lessons and in small group Guided Reading sessions. Key Stage 2 classes and Year 2 are also taught a weekly DARTS (Direct Activities Relating to Texts) session where they develop reading comprehension skills.
During English sessions, children focus on developing their understanding of different text types and are given opportunities to produce pieces of extended writing while also learning about grammatical structures and rules. The school utilises the Read, Write Inc Spelling Programme in Y2 and in KS2.
In Maths sessions, all children are given opportunities to develop fluency in mathematics while also developing the skills to solve problems, reason and explain their mathematics.
Within the school day, the children practise a range of essential skills on a regular basis e.g. number facts, multiplication facts, spellings, reading and handwriting.
Our Y1 to Y6 topic curriculum is centred around subject focused topics which may last for 1, 2 or 3 weeks. They incorporate an in depth study or development of skills in a subject (Science, Design Technology, Geography, History, RE, Music or Art and Design) and children work on this most afternoons in the week. In some lessons, they cover work in the discrete subjects of French (KS2 only), Computing, PE and PSHE.
We are keen for children to develop long term memory of the facts and knowledge that they learn in school and therefore we make links between learning where we can to encourage the recall of previous knowledge on which to build their new learning. We also use knowledge quizzes which require children to recall facts and understanding from a previous half term's topics in order to answer the questions in the quiz.
Our EYFS curriculum is centred around longer topics which develop as the half term progresses to follow the interests of the children. The topics in EYFS cover a range of areas of learning.
The topics during the year involve a number of enrichment opportunities which may be a visitor, a trip, a special event etc. Each half term, a number of classes demonstrate their learning to parents, carers and other visitors during our 'Demonstration of Learning' assemblies. Parents are also provided with Knowledge organisers which outline the relevant facts, vocabulary and knowledge that their children will learn through each topic.
British Values and SMSC
At Withinfields, we recognise the importance of developing children's skills outside those linked with academic subjects. We therefore promote British Values and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. This is in tandem with our own school values of Trust, Happiness, Fairness, Forgiveness, Respect and Friendship. British values are recognised as Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs, Democracy and The Rule of Law.
Our assemblies relate to each of the British Values at least termly and are enhanced by other activities across the school and in particular classes. We democratically elect the School Council to develop children's understanding of this important process. We have ensured that our curriculum includes learning relating to different faiths and beliefs including visits to a range of local places of worship. We encourage children to appreciate that we are all unique and often remind children that 'It's okay to be different'. We teach children about historic events which did not allow for individual liberty and compare to the present day. Our behaviour system relates directly to our school values and develops their understanding of the Rule of Law.
We are proud of the work that we do to promote all values and collate photographs and pieces of work in a scrap book which can be found in the entrance area.
Sex and Relationships Education
We cover Sex and Relationships Education in all ages within Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education but it is explored in more detail in Year 6. Sessions relating to changes during puberty are delivered to Year 5 by the school nurse. Parents are informed prior to any sessions led by the school nurse so that they are aware of the content to be covered and how it will be delivered. If you are not happy with your child participating in these sessions at school you can withdraw your child from the lessons. Please let the Head know if you want to do this.
We are in the process of reviewing our Relationships, Sex and Health Education in light of the new Department for Education statutory guidance.
Religious Education (RE)
Withinfields School is not affiliated to any religion or religious denomination. The School follows the Calderdale agreed syllabus for RE. Copies of this are available for you to look at in school. The syllabus has a multicultural approach and covers a range of key religions with a strong emphasis on Christianity.
Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from religious education and collective worship. If you wish to do so can you please speak to the Head Teacher.
Our Wider Curriculum
By ‘curriculum’, we mean any aspect of the school’s work that develops children’s knowledge, skills and understanding. This includes but is not restricted to:
- Group and individual intervention sessions (academic as well as Personal and Social)
- Enrichment events such as workshops, enterprise events, speakers, special theme days and educational visits
- Family Learning events and Performances
- Extra-curricular activities before and after school and during lunchtime
In addition to covering the National Curriculum, we aim to mould our curriculum so that it prepares children for the next stage of their education and promotes British Values alongside our own school values and ethos that ‘It’s okay to be different’. We enrich our curriculum through additional content and skills as determined by the specific needs of our children, our community and the wider society.
Through our curriculum, we also aim to address the following issues which we know are pertinent to Withinfields:
- We need to focus on building children’s vocabulary so that they are quickly able to learn early speaking skills which will support their reading and writing and enable them to write well as they progress through school.
- We need to prioritise speech and language development on entry in Early Years so that children are able to distinguish between sounds for early phonics development.
- We need to enable children to acquire knowledge across all subjects and understand the distinction between different subjects so that they all have the chance to recognise their strengths and talents.
- We need to ensure that provision for Personal, Social and Emotional development is strong in Nursery so that children start Reception as confident learners.
- We need to ensure that children are able to access a range of childhood experiences so that they are not disadvantaged because of their home and family circumstances.
- We need to focus on developing children’s learning behaviour and positive personal traits so that they can grow into responsible citizens who flourish in society and make the most of their learning opportunities.
- We need to enable children to develop their long term memory so that they can understand how to move relevant information between their working memory and their long term memory when they need to.
- We want children to learn about different cultures and religions so that they understand and appreciate cultural diversity beyond their own community.
- We want children to recognise dangers and negative influences online, within their families and in the wider community so that they are able to keep themselves and others in their families safe and are able to live as law-abiding citizens.
- We want children to believe in their own potential, not placing a ceiling on their aspirations, and learn to accept and overcome any difficulties they experience so that they have high aspirations for their educational performance and future careers.
- We want children to develop strong reading skills so that they can enjoy a wide breadth of stories and find information as they need it.
- We want children to have an understanding of financial capability so that they can manage their own finances and budgets later in life.
- We want to engage parents with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences so that they set high expectations for their children while in school and promote education as a positive feature in their lives.
- We want children to recognise issues with their own health (physical and mental) and know who to discuss these with so that they understand how to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
- We want children to develop leadership skills so that they can take on trusted roles in school and demonstrate reliability and responsibility.