Our Curriculum

 

Throughout St. Francis of Assisi VA C of E School, we offer a broad and balanced curriculum that is stimulating, exciting and engages all of our pupils. We cater for a range of learning styles and adapt our teaching strategies to ensure that all pupils achieve their full potential during their time at our school. We provide a range of activities and experiences that challenge and motivate. We have a cross-curricular approach, where appropriate, that allows pupils to apply skills learned across all areas of the curriculum and enables them to see the importance and links between subject areas.  Please see below for further information regarding each subject are as well as our rolling programme for topics and subjects.

How to find out more – Termly team newsletters will offer further information about topics. in addition to the rolling programmes. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher; they will be happy to speak to you.

The Early Years Foundation Stage The Early Years foundation Stage (EYFS) begins from birth, then in school from entry to nursery (when children are three or four years old) and finishes at the end of the Reception class (when all the children in the class will be five years old). Whilst your child is in the Early Years Foundation Stage, they will experience activities which will help them progress in their development and learning. The Development Matters and Early Learning Goals establish expectations for most children to reach by the end of the Reception year. These goals are organised into seven areas of learning and provide the basis for planning and assessment throughout the EYFS. The seven curriculum areas of learning are made up of three prime areas and four specific areas. Three Prime Areas:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Making relationships, self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour),
  • Physical Development (Moving and handling, health and self-care),
  • Communication and Language (Listening and attention, speaking, understanding)

Four Specific Areas:

  • Literacy (Reading, Writing),
  • Mathematics (Numbers, Shape, Space and Measures),
  • Understanding of the World (People and communities, the world, technology)
  • Creative Development (Exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative).

Please click here for information on topics taught within the Early Years Foundation Stage and click here for our R.E. Rolling Programme. Although the topics are followed from the rolling programme, we also follow the children’s interests where able or appropriate, so some activities and information may change. You can speak to your child’s class teacher for additional information.

English

This is an extremely important aspect of our school curriculum.  When children enter school, they bring with them various strengths.   We aim to discover this awareness and develop these skills to their full potential, throughout the whole of their Primary School education. The children will learn to communicate using reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, in order to fit them for the world in which they live. We have an extensive reading scheme, covering many interests, which is carefully structured to help all reading development.  Children are encouraged to take books home to enjoy, and to reinforce skills they have learned at school. A carefully structured writing scheme is used throughout the school with emphasis on clarity of style.   In order to communicate with others it is important that a high standard of spelling and an extensive vocabulary is developed by the children.  The use of dictionaries and other wordbooks is actively encouraged. The many and varied situations presented to the children will help to extend their abilities in the field of language, providing lively discussions, as well as motivation for expressive writing and interesting reading at all stages.   Fluency in both reading and writing is our aim for each child. An extensive range of reference books for all ages is in use in the school.  Children are encouraged to discover information for themselves, to classify it and collate from all resources possible, as their reading and language skills are extended.

Please click here for details of our whole school reading approach.

Please click here for details of our phonics approach within school.

Please click here for our KS2 English presentation for parents/carers.

Mathematics

Our aim is to develop:

  • Competence in handling mathematics and hence the ability to formulate a problem in mathematical terms.
  • An ability to think and converse in mathematics, reflecting a logical yet independent thought process and flexibility of mind.
  • An awareness through personal experience of the many facets of mathematics as an interesting and appealing subject.
  • Mathematical skills and knowledge relevant to the individual and his/her role in society.

We hope to provide an environment in which children can study patterns and relationships in number, shape, time, measurement, money and pictorial representation.   Practical activity is seen as an integral part of learning mathematics. Experimentation with concrete materials enables each child to see in real terms the concept that will be applied later in the abstract. We anticipate that the concepts formed during these experiences in counting, measuring and constructing will develop into an understanding of mathematics in its widest possible sense.

Please click here for our KS2 Maths presentation for parents/carers.

Religious Education

Religious Education is provided in the school within the framework of the York Diocesan Agreed Syllabus. Children learn about the teachings of Christ and the messages of the Bible. Children learn ‘through religion’ and ‘about religion’. Religious Education is taught in a thematic way with every opportunity used to relate the messages from the Bible to the everyday lives of the children.  It is an integral part of all areas of the curriculum, linking SMSC, core Christian Values and fundamental British Values. Children learn about other faiths and are given opportunities throughout the curriculum to raise questions about faith and the various religions of the world. They have the opportunity to visit various places of worship, to experience different cultures through talks from visitors, and are involved on many occasions in worship with St Francis of Assisi Parish Church. Please see the Key Stages 1 and 2 curriculum programmes below for our R.E. rolling programme for Key Stages 1 and 2 or click here.

Special Educational Needs

We cater for all children’s individual needs within our curriculum and tailor our styles accordingly. Any child that experiences specific difficulties is catered for by the provision of an individual education plan (IEP) in liaison with parents/carers. Sometimes external agencies can be involved to support children and offer advice to parents and teachers. This may include Educational Psychologists and Speech and Language Support. Please see our SEN Policy for more information.

Gifted and Talented

Our school aims to  provide the best possible education to meet the individual needs of all learners and to help them develop to their full potential. Learners who have demonstrated high achievement, and whose previous assessments indicate possible future high achievement, are recognised by the school and supported in their development within and outside the classroom. We believe that we can make a difference in enabling pupils to achieve the greatest possible progress and recognise the value and importance of identifying and celebrating their achievements and successes. Research has shown that by making provision for gifted and talented, the standards of achievement are raised for all pupils. High expectations are fundamental in every aspect of our curriculum. Our definition of ability recognises academic and practical performance as well as those who show outstanding artistic musical and creative talent, physical skills, leadership qualities and the ability to process ideas and information. Additional curricular opportunities (workshops) are provided for children deemed Gifted or More Able to work alongside peers who share their talents, developing and challenging in a stimulating environment.

Other subjects in the curriculum

Please click on the links below for our rolling programme for other subjects taught within school. These are subject to change as we are currently updating our topics and subject areas in line with the New National Curriculum. Year 1 and 2 Two Year Rolling Programme, Year 3 and 4 Two Year Rolling Programme, Year 5 and 6 Two Year Rolling Programme.

Below is further information regarding these subject/curriculum areas.

Science

Our aim is to promote a keen interest in science through practical investigations which draw on the child’s first hand experience, own interests, and natural curiosity. It is also to increase knowledge by developing skills: observation, classifying, recording, making and testing hypotheses, designing experiments and drawing conclusions.   It is important to encourage perseverance, self-discipline and ingenuity.  Children should be able to co-operate with teachers and peers in planning, decision making, investigating and communicating the results.

Computing

At St. Francis of Assisi Primary School, we aim to give the children a wide variety of computing experiences as part of their technological education.  There is much evidence that the education of each child in all phases and curriculum areas can be enriched and enhanced by the use of technology. Computing can provide a means of motivating all children in the learning process and can increase pupils’ self-esteem by improving the presentation of their work.  We aim to help all pupils understand the consequences of the use of technology for the individual and society, and to help pupils become proficient in the use and understanding of this in areas such as problem solving and design. We believe that the earlier children have foundations in computing, the greater the benefit is as they progress through the school.  The school has a suite that holds fifteen networked computers as well as numerous technological resources including Interactive Whiteboards, Apple computers etc. Due to the advances in technology, the internet and social media, e-safety is held in high regard. Each year, the school raises awareness through celebration of the Internet Safety Awareness Day. E-safety is woven throughout all areas of the computing curriculum, for all year groups and is a focused part of the school’s PSHE curriculum.

History

An understanding of History helps children to make sense of the world in which we live, therefore History forms the key basis for many of the topics at St Francis of Assisi Primary School. We endeavour for our History teaching to be creative in order to engage and motivate the children. History is carefully planned to utilise links with other curriculum areas and be as cross curricular as possible. We bring History further to life by planning field trips, visitors to school and theme days. Children are taught about a variety of periods from History including ancient civilizations and modern History. They will develop a sense of chronology and learn about the changes in everyday life over a period of time. Children study famous men and women from the past as well as important historical events. As part of their historical learning, children have the opportunity to use a variety of resources. They will also have the opportunity to learn about local History.

Geography

At St Francis of Assisi Primary school, we teach Geography in a way that is both creative and cross-curricular. Topics throughout Key Stages 1 and 2 cover the full National Curriculum breadth of study. We aim to provide children with opportunities to study Geography outside of the classroom by planning field trips which engage the children and extend their learning. We want to stimulate children’s interest in the world around them. As part of their geography studies, children learn an understanding of places and environments. Children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.

Arts

We aim to encourage an enjoyment and delight in experiencing the various media of creativity. Art and craft activities help to develop the child’s sense of shape, pattern and colour and his/her ability to select and use various materials.  Two and three-dimensional work is encouraged through the learning of new skills and the development of ideas, concepts and attitudes. We strive to develop children’s knowledge of artists within year groups. Design Technology is taught as a blocked unit once every term. We alternate between sewing, wood work and food technology units. Some D.T. activities link with our topics, others are taught as stand-alone units (see our topic rolling programme). Drama can help in the development of language and stimulate the imagination.  It can enable a child to fulfil his/her potential and assist in building self-confidence.  It further provides the joy of shared experiences, of creating something, together with other people. Music is taught to provide enjoyment through progressive work leading to the full development of musical potential.  We aim to develop the concepts of pitch, rhythm and time to improve the vocal and aural abilities of the children.

Physical Education

In Physical Education we aim:

  • To develop the best possible physical growth of the individual.
  • To produce efficient use of the body in a wide range of physical skills.
  • To increase individual physical qualities e.g. posture, strength, stamina etc.
  • To stimulate the capacity for creative and imaginative activity.
  • To assist in the development of personal qualities, including social and moral attitudes.
  • To promote positive attitudes towards healthy living and participation.

Our P.E. teaching will include exercises to improve skills of agility and body awareness, games and dance. Children should be suitably dressed for P.E. in t-shirts and shorts (we would prefer white t-shirts and navy blue shorts). Appropriate footwear and warm P.E. clothing is needed for outside activities. There are opportunities for children to compete in interschool competitions as well as cluster festivals/competitions. Children may then be chosen to represent the All Saints cluster at various competitions. More able/talented children could also be chosen to represent the Tees Valley area.

Foreign Languages (FL) – German

The aims of the Primary Languages teaching at St Francis of Assisi C of E School are to:

  • foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to other languages in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all;
  • stimulate and encourage children’s curiosity about language and creativity in experimenting with it;
  • support oracy and Literacy, and in particular develop speaking and listening skills;
  • help children develop their awareness of cultural similarities and differences;
  • lay the foundations for future language study by pupils;
  • provide an added perspective on first language teaching and learning;
  • give an extra dimension to teaching and learning across the curriculum.