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Curriculum

At Saltersgate, we recognise and cater for the importance of the core subjects but we also know that to encourage children to develop a well-informed perspective on their lives and the world around them, we have to safeguard a broad and balanced curriculum.  To this end, we ensure that a wide range of subjects is represented within our provision and we continually seek to ensure natural cross-curricular links between specific subjects.  All aspects of the curriculum are now covered through our Cornerstones Curriculum, which offers an innovative and child-centered approach to learning.  Through Cornerstones the children access the foundation subjects of Science, Georgraphy, History, PSHCE, Music, Art and Design and Technology.  Each unit has a primary focus although they also cover a range of different areas as well.

In seeking continuity of skills, knowledge, understanding and experience, we have policies and schemes of work for each subject area, based upon national guidelines.  Our planning takes account of children’s previous and future learning and we liaise closely with our feeder school and the local secondary school in this regard.  We seek to deliver teaching and learning in an interesting way using a variety of resources, especially ICT, to make the learning more accessible to the children.  There are many out-of-hours opportunities for pupils to extend their learning.  These may be in the form of clubs at lunchtime or after school or specially organised events such as our ‘twilight technology’ family learning sessions.  Curriculum delivery is enhanced by regular drama workshops for children, particularly related to history and literature, and with day trips to local venues to focus upon specific tasks, usually related to science, RE, geography and PSHE.  In addition to this we also organise residential visits to promote self-esteem and independence.

Our curricular provision is reviewed regularly and we aim to ensure it is appropriate to the children’s needs at any given time. 

We currently teach French throughout school. Madame Moiso, a qualified teacher from Junior Jam, is employed to deliver French lessons to pupils in all year groups. Planning is in line with the new curriculum and she uses a range of practical resources to facilitate teaching and learning. Pupils enjoy the lessons and, through speaking and listening activities, have a great deal of opportunity to practise their pronunciation.  

We are now using the Cornerstones Curriculum and the topics covered are as follows:

Year 3

Scrumdiddlyumptious - Design and Technology focus

Gods and Mortals - History focus

Predator - Science focus

Heroes and Villains – Music focus

Urban Pioneer – Music focus

 

Year 4

Blue Abyss – Art and design focus

Potions – Science focus

Burps, bottoms and bile - Science focus

1066 – History focus

Playlist - Music focus

 

Year 5

Stargazers - Science focus

Pharaohs – History focus

Time Traveller - Art and Design focus

Princes, Peasants and Pestilence – History focus

ID – Science focus

 

Year 6

Frozen Kingdom - Geography focus

Hola Mexico - Music focus

Blood Heart - Science focus

A Child's War - History focus

Updated July 2016

 

Science

During the key stage, pupils should be taught the knowledge, skills and understanding through:

A range of domestic and environmental contexts that are familiar and of interest to them;
Looking at the part science has played in the development of many useful things;
Using a range of sources of information and data, including ICT-based sources;
Using first-hand and secondary data to carry out a range of scientific investigations, including complete investigations.

During the key stage, pupils should be taught to:

Use appropriate scientific language and terms, including SI units of measurement eg, metre, Newton to communicate ideas and explain the behaviour of living things, materials, phenomena and processes;
Recognise that there are hazards in living things, materials and physical processes, and assess risks and take action to reduce risks to themselves and others.

Science is now covered through the new Cornerstones Curriculum.

 

 

Design and Technology

Design and Technology plays an important role in the lives of our pupils and will continue to do so at an increasing rate through their adult lives.  Design and Technology is taught within the Cornerstones topics where we try to give children the chance to plan, evaluate, solve problems and be inventive.  This is a very practical subject and we try to offer a wide range of experiences in different materials, techniques and of different cultures.  Each pupil learns about health and safety issues and diet and has the chance to prepare and cook in our newly constructed food technology room.  Here the children work in small groups under the watchful eye of an experienced member of staff. 

As well as the timetabled lessons, the children in Year 6 take part in annual national and local technology challenges.  In recent years the pupils have been very successful in local competitions and have enjoyed taking part.  For other members of the school we have forged very strong links with local industries and their representatives have visited the school to pass on their expertise and give an insight into industry. 

  1. The words of Prue Leith sum up our reason for giving this subject a high profile – “Tell me and I forget – show me and I may remember – let me do it and I learn.”    Learning through making works.

 

 

English

At Saltersgate, English, one of the three core subjects, is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum.  Our children learn and consolidate language skills through planned progression in all areas of the subject: oracy, spelling and grammar, writing (in a wide variety of genres), reading (both for enjoyment and gathering information), handwriting. 

English is taught daily in each year group, and our children are given, through planned progression, opportunities to learn and practise skills, enabling them to communicate in both spoken and written forms.

Speaking and listening: our children
· speak to different audiences and use language for effect
· listen carefully, picking out the main points of what people say
· ask questions or make comments
· work flexibly in independent, paired and group situations
· write scripts or improvise plays
· learn about how language changes in different situations and between speech and writing

Reading: they
· read a broad range of materials and use their knowledge of words, sentences and texts to understand the meaning
· read increasingly challenging texts on their own

Writing: they
· write in a range of genres to explore feelings, explain, persuade, review and comment
· plan and draft their work
· check their work for spelling, punctuation and grammar
· write legibly in joined-up and printed styles

Homework is set according to the Homework Policy and varies from year group to year group, but each week there will be some homework provision for writing, reading and learning spellings.  Homework may also be set to practise and consolidate grammatical skills.

Assessment is ongoing, and at the end of years 3, 4 and 5, there are non-statutory SATs (assessment tests) and statutory SATs in year 6.  Reading and spelling ages are taken twice a year, and together with the data from assessments, they enable us to track each child and set realistic targets - for individuals or groups - that consolidate and challenge.

However, although it is important that children can communicate orally, write accurately, and access information, it is also our aim to foster a love of language.  Therefore, we encourage children to read for enjoyment, write for different audiences and use ICT and audio equipment.  There is the chance to join workshops and watch performances from visiting theatre groups and writers.

We encourage children to take their reading scheme books home so that parents and guardians can participate in their children’s learning. We also ask that, even when their children are no longer on the scheme, they hear them read at home on a daily basis and liaise with school via the Reading Record book.  It is important, too, that other areas of English, such as: learning spellings, reading a variety of genres, having the opportunity to write for different audiences (eg in the form of thank you letters), using the library or Internet and CD Roms for research, giving opinions and contributing to discussions are seen as a partnership between home and school.

 

 

 

Geography

Geography at Saltersgate aims to stimulate children's interest in their surroundings and in the variety of human and physical conditions on the Earth's surface; to help children develop an informed concern about the quality of the environment and the future of the human habitat, giving children a sense of responsibility for the care of the Earth and its people.  Teaching Geography is about skills, knowledge and understanding, relating to people, places and environments at different scales, in the U.K. and overseas and an appreciation of how places relate to each other and the wider world:

Year 3 Units of work    -         

Food miles and fair trade

Ancient and modern day Greece, using maps.

Fieldwork, using maps to locate countries and continents.

Geographical skills and fieldwork.

 

Year 4 Units of work   -          
seas and oceans of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, Environmental issues.

Human and physical features in the local area.

Location of countries.

 

Year 5 Units of work  -         

Locating physical features.

Human and physical features of Egypt, The River Nile, Tourism.

Changes in local time.

Using maps

Local community/Where I live. 

 

Year 6 Units of work  -          

Features of the Polar regions

Using maps, Human and physical geography of Mexico.

Human geography, cities of the UK


Geography cannot be adequately taught only in the classroom: closely linked to geography, therefore, are fieldwork opportunities. Y4 spend 3 days on a residential visit to Castleton to investigate a contrasting area; Y5 and Y6 develop their fieldwork skills at Kingswood and in France.  Geography also makes a distinct contribution to the wider aims of primary education by providing opportunities for PSHE / citizenship and education in sustainable development. Geography also continues to make an important contribution to English, mathematics, science and ICT.

 

Art and Design

Creative ability is something which all children have and is not a special talent restricted to a small number who are especially gifted.

So Saltersgate Junior School encourages all children to develop both their understanding of ideas, feelings and experiences and techniques through an active and purposeful use of varied art materials in safety.

To enable this process to happen, children are given experience of a wide variety of materials and artistic techniques, including the use of ICT.  They are also given opportunities to discuss art and to see different styles and techniques, particularly that of other cultures and famous artists.

Displays of children’s work and art, as well as that of artists, provide sources of inspiration, encouragement and opportunities for discussion.

Art is taught within the Cornerstones topics, so the amount of lesson and time can vary from year to year.  In addition to this, every year a number of art projects are organised by the art manager.  This is displayed in a central area and reflects the pupils' progression and range of skills.

Every year the pupils produce a school calendar that celebrates their art work.  This can be purchased during the autumn term every year.

Some pupils have the opportunity to attend the weekly art club that is run by two teaching assistants.

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History

At our school we hope to fire pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world.  They can see how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised their politics and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions.  They see the diversity of human experience and understand more about themselves as individuals and members of society.  What they learn can influence their personal choices, attitudes and values.

Year 3 studies; Significant individuals, Gods and Mortals and A Local History Study

Year 4 studies; 19th Century Ocean Exploration, Historic use of potions and 1066 The Norman Conquest.

Year 5 studies; Significant individuals, Isaac Newton, 1960’s space race, Ancient Egypt, Changes over the last century, 14th century England and Social reformers.

Year 6 studies; Emigration and exploration in the Early 1900’s, The second World War and Ancient Maya Civilisation.

 

We would be very grateful if you have any artefacts or CD ROMs etc, which you would donate to the school to swell our resources.  History needs to be looked at in a variety of ways, for example, from political, economic, technological, social, religious and multi-cultural perspectives.

The teaching of history is integral to a well-rounded education.

 

 

Religous Education

Saltersgate Junior School, in accordance with the 1988 Education Reform Act, provides Religious Education for all pupils registered at the school.  We foster strong links with our local community in working together to provide rich learning opportunities for our pupils.  The ethos of our school provides a welcoming, secure and stimulating environment and is reflected in a religious education programme that is inclusive and relevant to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all our pupils.  

Religious Education has the same status and importance as any other subject and the same high standards are applied to Religious Education as to all other subjects.

We teach Religious Education according to the aims of the Doncaster Agreed Syllabus and it is clearly stated that Religious Education should not attempt to alter a child's own beliefs but to provide knowledge of their own and other's beliefs.  We also make use of the LCP RE scheme, which is fully compatible with the Doncaster Agreed Syllabus.

Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from religious education, though we hope that any who may wish to do so will contact the school to discuss any matters of concern before making a decision.

RE is fundamentally concerned with an exploration of the important aspects of life and what it's like to be human.  It provides opportunities for pupils to ask questions seek answers and develop ideas in a quest to discover more about their own identity and that of others.  RE can provide a context for the exploration of moral and ethical opinions and dilemmas by learning about lifestyles and behaviour in real, historical and fictional situations.  It can help our pupils to understand the power and meaning of belief and religion for individuals and communities in the United Kingdom and across the world.  

Within their learning in RE, pupils develop specific attitudes that are open, reflective, and critical and a skill base which allows them to be curious, play with ideas, empathise, listen, imagine, question, make links and reason.  They need to appreciate how the unkown may feel uncomfortable.

For us at Saltersgate Junior School, it is important that all our enquiries within RE relate to clearly defined concepts in order to develop purposeful and relevant learning.  We constantly ask ourselves the questions; 'Why are we learning/teaching this? Where is this learning taking me?'

 

 

 

Maths

 

At Saltersgate Junior School, we teach mathematics in Target Groups in all year groups.  We determine the ability of each child by an assessment test and the results of which determine the child’s Target Group, where children are taught according to their abilities.

 

We base the content of our teaching on the programmes of study within the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2.  These inform our planning and forecasting.  We use the Level Descriptors to monitor the progress of individual pupils.

 

We spend approximately 5 hours per week teaching mathematics, usually during the mornings.  Wherever it is relevant, mathematics is used in other subject areas; co-ordinates in geography, interpreting tables of results in science, using/interpreting datelines in history and in DT where measuring and drawing to scale is needed.

 

We believe

  • that children with special needs do not find themselves in an increasingly narrow curriculum.  The more able children are identified and ‘stretched’ by provision of more difficult tasks, open ended problems or self-initiated work.  The less able and physically disadvantaged children experience a wider variety of apparatus and methodology to enable them to come closer to an understanding of the processes of mathematics. 
  • that differentiation of the teaching of mathematics is best carried out by starting with the whole group, progressing to smaller groups and then to individuals.
  • arranging children in similar ability groups helps children to interact with one another, improves their abilities and aids teacher efficiency
  • the establishment of similar ability groups enables each child to develop to their full potential
  • group members are able to help one another in discussions, explanations and investigations of problems. 
  • That Homework is vital to the proper acquisition of mathematical knowledge. We believe in the regular allocation of homework as outlined in our school's prospectus.