Curriculum Subjects


The Curriculum

English

The skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are fundamental to a child’s development across the curriculum and are therefore taught every day.

We aim for children to reach their potential in these areas through discussion, role-play and drama and a wide variety of reading and writing experiences. At Buckland children become enthusiastic readers and writers.

Children learn in different ways and at different speeds. We therefore use a mixture of methods to teach reading and writing. These include the use of phonics and the learning of key words. Children are encouraged to use emergent writing from the beginning, and their early independent attempts at writing are highly valued.

Alongside this, the teacher will ‘scribe’ what the child says, moving into using phonics and spelling key words. We also use shared writing, where a group of children work with the teacher to produce a letter, poem, list or story, for example. As children progress they develop skills which enable them to write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences in all areas of the curriculum.

Handwriting is taught formally and children begin learning the correct formation of printed letters in the Reception classes. They are then introduced to ‘lead ons and offs’ to join their writing when their hand control is appropriately developed.

Reading is given a high profile and we encourage children to choose and share books from our structured reading scheme and the school library.

We currently use the Jolly Phonics system for Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 and the Letters and Sounds system for Years 1 & 2. In Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6) we use Support for Spelling.

 Mathematics

Maths is all around us. As soon as children begin exploring their world they are making mathematical discoveries about the way things fit together, about length and distance, about weight and balance and of course, about numbers. Learning about maths helps us to make sense of the world and communicate ideas. We aim for children to become increasingly numerate and help them to build on their existing knowledge by providing them with a range of practical and intellectual challenges. Our children are encouraged to consolidate and extend their mathematical understanding after instruction in the areas of number, shape, space and measures by applying their knowledge in practical situations. In Key Stages 1 and 2 all children have a daily maths lesson which usually incorporates an oral and mental session as well as whole class, group, paired or individual work. Children learn to record and explain their work in a variety of ways which helps to clarify their thinking and consolidate their understanding.

 Science

We approach Science in many different ways through the school, from hands-on free exploration and investigation to more structured activities involving predicting, testing, hypothesising and recording. During their time at our school children will learn about living things – plants, animals and themselves; how living and nonliving things differ and something of the properties of materials; about light, electricity, magnetism and forces. We aim for children to have a wide range of experiences, from the observation of tadpoles, butterflies and stick insects, to the prediction and testing of the best materials for parachutes and planes.

Experiences and topics are revisited as the content and concepts of the science curriculum extend. We want to develop enquiring, investigative thinkers who are disciplined and understand issues of safety and take responsibility for their learning.

Computing

At Buckland Primary School every classroom has a computer and an interactive whiteboard. We have a well equipped ICT suite, timetabled for the use of every class. We also have a number of laptops which are available for use in the classrooms to support children’s learning. Wireless capability is available throughout the school. The children learn to use computers in a wide variety of ways to support their work in other subjects and learn how to store and retrieve the work they do. They learn many skills through our range of computer programs, from word processing, drawing and design, to more complex decision making and searching for information. Older children learn to present their work using PowerPoint and spreadsheets. All classes are linked to the Internet and the children learn to use it to support their learning. We also have a range of programmable toys and robots for the children to control, which help the children to understand the process of planning a sequence of instructions to achieve a desired effect.

We also use cameras, videos, DVDs, television programmes and CDs to stimulate and to record work. We teach the children to use them sensibly and to appreciate that information can be stored and presented in many different ways.

 Religious Education

The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education was revised for 2017 and as a maintained school we are required by the Education Reform Act (1988) to follow the local Agreed Syllabus delivered by SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education). Through this children learn about and from Christianity, as the main religion of Great Britain; but also other principle religions, learning to compare the different teachings of other faiths around the world. They will gain knowledge and understanding of religion, and build their confidence to share and express ideas, beliefs and insights through these world religions. In addition, children gain an understanding of people who practice non-religious worldviews and of families with no faith. We believe this now offers a true reflection of the diverse backgrounds of children at Buckland school.

SACRE supports pupils’ personal development, including their spiritual, moral, social and cultural needs and understanding. This is achieved through learning supported by stories, poems, role-play, discussion, music, exploring artefacts and having time for reflection. Thereby creating opportunities for children to grow and tolerate the beliefs of others, fostering respect and gaining a deeper understanding of how religion can contribute to people’s lives.

At Buckland, Key Stage One children learn about Christianity, Judaism and Islam, considering bigger questions such as, ‘What do Christians believe God is like?’ and ‘Why should we look after our world’ (covering environmental as well as religious thinking). Whereas, Key Stage Two children gain deeper thinking by consider big questions such as, ‘How is God Three, and yet One?’ They also begin to explore Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and then compare these religions, including non-religious worldviews such as Humanism. Progression in RE through ‘What’s the ‘big idea’ about Easter, Christmas, The Church, Bible and Jesus Christ is now scaffolded and built upon as children grow from EYFS to Year 6.

We have short daily assemblies which are designed to support the learning of tolerance and respect for one another in each child, and to be a point of contact and reflection for the whole school community.

Please Note: Should parents wish their child/ren not to take part in Collective Acts of Worship, or Religious Education, please discuss this with the headteacher. We are, however, keen that as far as possible all children should feel comfortable in assemblies and find them enjoyable and inspiring.

 History

In History we give children opportunities to develop an awareness and understanding of the past and how it differs from the present. We investigate famous people, events and places. We start from the children’s own experiences, progressing from familiar situations such as family relationships and past events in the children’s lives, to those more distant in time and place. In Key Stage 2 children focus on specific periods in British and world history and extend their understanding about why past events occurred, the effects on the people of the time and their impact on our lives today. Children learn to look at evidence and make deductions based on their acquired knowledge of the past.

Children explore historical concepts through role-play, discussion and the examination of artefacts, photographs, pictures, videos, CD ROMs and a bank of relevant information books. We aim to further inspire children’s learning through visits to museums and historical buildings.

 Geography

Geography topics are often linked to other curriculum areas, particularly History and Science. The children investigate the features of their immediate and local surroundings and are then encouraged to become aware of the world that extends beyond these. Wherever possible field studies support the children’s learning. We use the school grounds, the local environment and trips and residential visits to develop geographical skills such as mapping and comparing localities. The children are taught appropriate geographical vocabulary to describe their work and use a variety of sources for their investigations such as pictures, photographs, maps, globes, atlases, videos and CD ROMs. As in Science, many topics are revisited later on in greater depth.

Art and Design

Art work is often inspired by other topics the children are studying. We provide opportunities to experience many different approaches to the production of a piece of work: individually, in groups and as a whole class project when appropriate. Children work with a wide variety of media, including paint, crayon, chalk, charcoal, clay, and 3D collage materials. They are taught to use a range of techniques to express their ideas and are introduced to the work of famous artists from various countries, times and cultures as inspiration for their own work. All these experiences help the children to develop critical and evaluative approaches to their own and others’ work and to understand the basis of art appreciation.

 Design and Technology

At Buckland the children have regular opportunities to develop their design and technology capability within our programme of topics. They design and make products using a variety of materials, including construction kits. They have the opportunity to cook, sew, and to investigate and evaluate products and their packaging. The children plan and evaluate their designs through discussion and, when they are able, use drawings and diagrams which they compare with the finished result. The older children increasingly learn how to identify strengths and weaknesses and to make improvements to their designs.

 Music

At Buckland we see music as a vital element in the development of the whole child. We teach singing in class and to the whole school and children learn to sing in unison and to sing rounds. The older children learn to sing in harmony. All children have access to a wide range of tuned and percussion instruments from all over the world which they use to compose, practise and perform. They listen to and appraise different types of music from various cultures, artistes and styles. Children have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder from Year 1 and a brass instrument from Year 3.

 French

French is taught from Year 3 onwards. The infant children have short weekly sessions. Throughout the school there is an emphasis on the spoken word.

 Physical Education

Our aim is to help the children to understand the importance of keeping fit and healthy. At Buckland we encourage a high level of fitness and an enjoyment of physical activity. All children find areas of PE in which they can achieve well and many children develop strengths and skills in all areas. Through the year each class has regular time-tabled sessions for games, gymnastics, dance, athletics and outdoor and adventurous activities. During their time at school children also have swimming lessons at local pools.

We put a strong emphasis on cooperation, fair play and sportsmanship. Children are also taught to recognise the importance of rules and safety procedures. In Key Stage 2 our school teams compete in inter-school football, netball and hockey tournaments.

 

 PSHE and Citizenship

Personal, social and health education and citizenship (PSHCE) are important parts of the curriculum and permeate all our work at Buckland. One of the ways we explore these themes is through our School Council which works with members of staff and governors to help make decisions for the school’s development. The children from each class elect a boy and a girl to represent the views and concerns of the class. The Council meets approximately every three weeks.

We use a programme called SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) across the school which promotes social and emotional development for the whole school community. A sense of citizenship is developed through our work with and for charities and the local community. We have close links with the Health, Fire and Police services who visit the school regularly.

 E-Safety

Children are taught to use technology safely and respectfully.  They learn what personal information is and how to keep it private.  They also identify where to go for help and support if they have any concerns and they are also taught how to behave online.  Full details can be found in our E-Safety policy below

All children in Years 1 – 6 are asked to read through an E-safety agreement with their parents and the children are asked to sign to say they understand.  Please click on the buttons below to view these agreements.