At St Lawrence School, we believe that the learning process depends on different teaching styles, according to the individual child's age, stage of development, aptitude and ability. Work is differentiated to match these needs.
Children are taught using a variety of methods. These will include whole class lessons or may be organised into groups. These will vary in composition, i.e. ability, social, depending on the purpose of the activity. At other times, children will work individually or in pairs.
Children at St Lawrence School will be provided with a curriculum which enriches, enlightens and encourages, allowing children to develop and grow into balanced individuals who are prepared for future opportunities and responsibilities.
In order to provide a purpose for learning we link the National Curriculum Subjects through a topic cycle. Through this, children not only learn specific skills but see links with their learning.
The new National Curriculum becomes statutory in September 2014 and planning of curriculum for available for all year groups to access on class pages.
English and maths skills are taught every day, as separate lessons, and children are provided with opportunities to apply the skills learnt within their topic work.
We aim to enhance effective learning by relating the curriculum content to children's own experience, engaging their interest, and enabling their education to be enjoyable, purposeful and rewarding.
English is the foundation stone of all learning. Therefore, we believe that children must be able to communicate effectively in speech and writing, and to listen with understanding. Above all, they must become enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers.
The English curriculum covers many areas including:-
l Spoken Language
3 Writing and Handwriting (presentation)
4 Phonics (we use the Letters & Sounds resource scheme)
5 Spelling, punctuation, and Grammar
We teach children to become effective listeners, which means showing their understanding of what they hear by making relevant comments, and by following instructions.
Activities are planned to help children speak to a variety of audiences in a wide range of situations and for different purposes. We work closely with parents to ensure that any children who may need support with speech get the correct guidance to show improvement.
The children at St Lawrence School are provided with a wide range of quality books, both fiction and non-fiction. We believe that all experiences are connected with reading should be non-threatening, positive and pleasurable. All classes have access to a range of books within their class bases and also can go into the school library. We make frequent visits to the Library in Lechlade. Each child spends some of the day in quiet reading, sharing a book with their teacher on a regular basis.
Children are taught various strategies to help them learn to read, including phonics (sounds), whole word recognition and picture clues. The school recognises that no one reading scheme is sufficient or stimulating. Therefore, we have introduced Cliff Moon throughout the school which incorporates a wide range of schemes and authors. Every child participates in guided reading alongside opportunities to read in a range of forums including reading to members of the community and buddies in other year groups.
Writing is a way of developing, organising and communicating ideas and information. Writing starts as marks on paper (scribbles) and develops into recognisable letters, words, phrases and sentences as the child grows older. Children at St Lawrence School are encouraged to develop different types of writing skills; lists, instructions, letters, posters, advertisements, diaries and creative stories and poems.
They learn to plan, draft and improve their work, and are taught the rules of grammar and punctuation.
Children are encouraged to develop a neat and legible form of handwriting. This depends on correct letter formation, which enables them to link or join letters as soon as possible. ( see our handwriting policy)
Spelling, punctuation and Grammar
Correct spelling is felt to be very important by all who teach at St Lawrence School. Spelling is taught in a consistent and systematic way, and children are expected to perform a variety of spelling activities including investigations. There is a great focus in our new curriculum on spelling, punctuation and grammar and children are put into groups of ability for targeted teaching of these areas 4 times a week throughout Keystage 2. In keystage 1 a similar approach is applied to phonics.
At St Lawrence School we aim to develop pupils' understanding of maths by using as much practical experience in as wide a context as possible. In this way, we encourage them to relate maths to their world in and out of school, in preparation for adult life.
We balance the maths curriculum by:-
· teaching new maths skills and concepts in individual group or whole class lessons;
· using maths which arises naturally through topic work or the children's own interests;
· reinforcing basic skills through practice, tests, games, etc;
· develop children's mental facility.
Children will be provided with a variety of learning experiences.
· collecting information, reading and interpreting it;
· looking for patterns, differences, similarities;
· explaining results, clarifying ideas, reflecting - are the results
sensible? Could I do this another way? What if?
· communicating results using apparatus, drawings, diagrams, graphs and written reports.
We use published materials (Maths Schemes) to support our teaching, and encourage our children to use a wide variety of tools and equipment independently, including calculators and computers.
Children are naturally curious and we aim to use this to teach them how to solve problems in a scientific way. The following skills provide a focus for our practical work:-
Systematic enquiry, science in everyday life, the nature of scientific ideas, communication, and health and safety.
Our teaching programme reflects current thinking, and involves children in science-based topics. These are studied at greater and greater depth as they progress through school, and children are encouraged to plan experimental work, obtain evidence, and consider their results.
The Science Topics which the children will cover during their time at St Lawrence include the following:-
l Life Processes, humans as organisms, green plants as organisms, variation and classification and living things in their environment.
2 Grouping materials, changing materials and separating mixtures of materials.
3 Electricity, forces and motion, light and sound and the earth and beyond.
The study of history helps children to develop an awareness of the past, a sense of chronology, and the ways in which the past differs from the present. Learning about the past also develops important study skills such as enquiry, investigation, interpretation, organisation and communication.
At Key Stage l, children learn about History through looking at everyday life in the past, by studying the lives of famous people, and from learning about past events of national importance.
At Key Stage 2, children learn about ancient civilisation, important episodes in Britain's past and carry out local history investigations.
Geography enables children to gain an awareness of where and how they live, and how they fit into the wider geographical and social context. Looking at other people's environment and way of life broadens children's horizons. This area of study also helps them to realise how important it is to look after the environment, for their own benefit as well as for others!
At KSl, children study their own locality, and another, whether in the UK or overseas. They learn about weather, land use, physical features, and directions.
At KS2, children investigate many more places in the world, as well as comparing different localities in the UK. KS2 children also study rivers, weather, settlement and environmental change. They develop skills in map and plan-making, use globes and atlases, and become aware of other sources of evidence which can inform their studies.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Design and Technology introduces children to the world of making and constructing, giving them a basic grasp of the laws of structure and engineering. It also provides an insight into the working characteristics of a wide variety of materials.
During their time at school, pupils will design and make various models and artefacts, working with a range of materials, components and tools.
They will be encouraged to select the techniques, tools and resources which they think are most appropriate to the task, to evaluate what they have made, and to make improvements where necessary.
Computing is taught to ensure children are enabled to access an ever developing technological world. and enhance, enrich and extend learning in all other subject areas.
Pupils are taught to use hardware (equipment) and software (programs) confidently and purposefully, to communicate and handle information, to support problem-solving, and to record and express work in other areas of the curriculum. Each child is provided with an equal opportunity to have "hands on" experience, to use the Interne safelyt, send and receive e-mails, to learn word processing, to save information to be used at a later date, to compose music, use adventure programs and handle data. Children will write and debug their own programs, understanding how algorithms are used in digital devices.
French is a language that is also taught as part of our curriculum. French is taugth informally as an introduction up to Y2 and formally timetabled from Y3 to Y6. The children have the opportunity to develop their oral French skills and apply into real life situations. An interactive approach is taken to the teaching of this language in order for us to address the children’s broad learning styles. We have a partnership with one of our local feeder Secondary schools to help deliver this curriculum involving gifted pupils in KS3.
As a church school the teaching of RE is an important part of the learning for our children. Our teaching of RE aims to assist pupils in their own search for meaning and purpose in life, by examining those aspects of human experience which give rise to questions about value and belief.
We aim to provide pupils with knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and familiarity with the other major religions of the world.
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from acts of Collective Worship, and all or part of the religious education provided by the school. The school will make every effort to supervise any child withdrawn from these activities.
The 1988 Education Reform Act lays down that all pupils shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship and that Religious Education shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Worship in school is to take account of family backgrounds of pupils and their ages and aptitudes. Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Collective Worship if they so wish.
The staff and governors at St Lawrence School see the main purpose of the school as that of providing an excellent education, both academic and social in a Christian context for all its pupils.
Collective worship is an important part of the school’s daily life. Our Collective Worship is based on ‘Values’. We focus on a different value each term, these include friendship, forgiveness, courage and honesty. Representatives from the local church lead our worship regularly and the children visit the local church to celebrate Christian festivals throughout the year.
Parents are invited to our Harvest, Easter and Christmas celebrations.
Through daily acts of Collective Worship we aim to provide an opportunity in the school day to express a sense of community and reinforce the Christian values the school holds. The unique worth of the individual is given emphasis, as in the sharing of common experiences.
St Lawrence School believes that every child's understanding and enjoyment of music should be developed through activities which bring together the performing and composing and listening and appraising elements of the National Curriculum wherever possible. We extend the child's experience of music by playing music from different times and cultures and by well-known composers, past and present during acts of Collective Worship and in music lessons. Each element of music is taught discretely within class groups by the class teacher.
Peripatetic music teachers visit the school and tutors children who wish to develop their personal expertise on an instrument. This is a fee-paying service, and is a private arrangement between the parent and the tutors.
Children are encouraged to perform with others and to develop an awareness of audience and occasion, in class acts of Collective Worship to which parents are invited, and in in-house concerts. We regularly perform at local carol services and concerts.
We aim to make music accessible to everyone and to allow children to realise how much enjoyment can be derived by listening to and performing music and at the same time, increasing and enhancing their understanding and expertise in this subject.
Children are encouraged to express themselves through drawing and painting. Their skills are developed by using various media and by learning a variety of art and craft techniques. Our programme for art focuses on a different visual media type each term. Children will also learn about a variety of famous artists through the ages.
All children use art as a means of exploring and coming to terms with their world. It acts as a vehicle for expressing ideas and solving problems and poses intellectual demands on the children. Children have the ability to learn and form an understanding through observation and by acting upon this observation. They learn to become excited by the world, seeing and understanding in a unique way through art activities.
The National Curriculum for Art signalled a new approach to the teaching of art in primary schools. It requires a structured approach to children's practical work, and a wider consideration of art and culture in the curriculum.
We aim to:-
. encourage the natural abilities that every child possesses;
. promote enjoyment in all art activities.
Physical Education promotes a healthy lifestyle, fosters team spirit, develops a sense of fair play, and helps children come to terms with defeat and success.
Children at St Lawrence School experience a range of games, gymnastics, dance, athletics and swimming.
Key stage 2 children have visiting sports coaches to teach them alongside our own staff.
The school takes part in a range of activities with other schools. These include Inter- School Sports Day, football, netball and tag rugby tournaments.
There are After School Clubs which focus on sports throughout the year.
With the allocation of funding from the government we have enriched our provision for sport by using specialist sports coaches improving the skills of teaching which have a direct impact on pupils.
Special educational needs (SEND) are seen as an integral part of our curriculum. We believe that all our children have the right to a broad, well-balanced and differentiated curriculum. The principle that pupils with SEND share a common entitlement to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum is not only the statutory right of every child, but also one of our guiding principles towards SEND.
We adhere to The Code of Practice for children with special needs (learning difficulties) 2014. All schools must follow this code, which states that teachers must identify children with special needs and plan to meet those individual needs within the ordinary school context.
The deputy headteacher, our SENCO, works with pupils, staff and parents to ensure the needs of individual children are met. The school's Special Needs Policy explains fully the different steps taken to help children with learning difficulties. This document is available for reading in the School Office.
ABLE, GIFTED AND TALENTED PUPILS
Just as there are pupils who experience learning difficulties, so another group of children perform well above the national average. These children are classified as "More Able Pupils".
St Lawrence School aims to extend and enrich the curriculum in order to meet the needs of our More Able Pupils.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL, HEALTH & ECONOMIC EDUCATION
Our aim is to encourage the children to become healthy, happy and responsible members of society. The main components of our PSHE programme are:
Substance Use and Misuse, Sex Education and Family Life, Safety, Fitness and Exercise, Food and Nutrition, Personal Hygiene, Environmental Health, Economic understanding and Work to raise pupils' self-esteem.
The school links the PSHE curriculum to the Every Child Matters Statements:
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well-being
The school uses DfE recommended materials to teach the PSHE curriculum.
The Governors have agreed that Sex Education is to be included in the curriculum for Y5/Y6 children.
Parents are invited to view all resources used in the Sex Education programme prior to the children starting the course.
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
St Lawrence School recognises that the early years are an important time in a child's life - during this time, the foundations for all learning are laid.
By the age of four, children have already developed a range of skills, and an understanding of the wider world, according to their cultural heritage and home experiences.
There are certain characteristics which most four year olds share, and we consider these when planning for our youngest children. They need time and opportunity to develop co-ordination, to master new skills in a concrete, not abstract way, and to be in a safe, secure environment.
St Lawrence School aims to provide a stimulating and challenging environment, where children can question, explain, discuss and develop important language skills.
Four year olds are egocentric and socially immature. We encourage the development of their social skills by providing a caring environment, by encouraging sharing and working together, and by making children aware of the needs of others.
At St Lawrence, we recognise that parents are the prime educators of young children, and we hope to meet the needs of your child by working in partnership with you. To this end, we have 'Curriculum Meetings', explaining the reasons why we do what we do, and we are always pleased with the response we have from parents who attend these meetings. We hope that you will be one of them.