The class teacher will get to know your child very well and will be pleased to involve you in their life at school. Children make progress at their own rates and in their own ways. It is important to value them as individuals and to provide learning opportunities that will build on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses. The curriculum is broad and balanced and provides for the academic, moral, physical, creative and personal and social development of every child.
The children are taught by their own class teacher in mixed ability classes with children of approximately the same age. There is one class per year group and 2 Year 1 and Reception classes. The staffing complement for each class in KS1 is a fully qualified teacher and a trained teaching assistant. Every classroom is fully furnished and equipped with the highest quality learning resources. Each class has access to up-to-date technology to enhance their learning.
The Foundation Stage
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in our early years. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- communication and language;
- physical development and
- personal, social and emotional development.
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- understanding the world; and
- expressive arts and design.
To achieve the early learning goals (statements which summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the Reception year) teaching and learning will be through firsthand experience and structured play. The teachers and teaching assistant will keep records on children’s experiences and attainment which are available for parents to access online.
The outdoor environment is also a very special part of the Foundation Stage curriculum. As such it is carefully planned for and available each day. The nursery and reception classes share their own specially equipped outdoor area (which was redesigned in 2014).
THE NEW NATIONAL CURRICULUM 2014
At Bridgewater, we ensure that the new National Curriculum is taught by all staff at our school. We worked hard during 2013 to create the changes necessary to ensure that the new National Curriculum was fully implemented for September 2014. Please see the Department for Education Website for further details. Please click on the individual class areas to see what the children will be learning in each year group throughout the year.
Why the big curriculum change?
The main aim is to raise standards. Although the new curriculum is intended to be more challenging, the content is actually slimmer than the current curriculum, focusing on essential core subject knowledge and skills such as essay writing and computer programming.
What are we doing to ensure a smooth transition?
At Bridgewater, we worked over the previous academic year to create a long term plan to ensure we were ready to implement the new National Curriculum and began teaching it in September 2014. For us there are a few, but not too many, changes.
We thought you might like to know about the new Curriculum and what changes we have made. We have also purchased new resources for English, Maths, Science, History and Geography to make sure pupils are engaged in learning using up to date resources. Staff have undertaken training for new areas of learning e.g. Computing- where we have benefited from collaboration with the TEN centre. We are using a Learning Challenge curriculum by Focus Education to teach our Foundation subjects to ensure consistency of coverage and teaching of topics that the children will find engaging and rewarding.
Non-denominational Religious Education is provided for all children as part of the curriculum and is in accordance with the local agreed County Religious Education syllabus. Assembly is an important part of the school day when we meet together as a community. It is a time when we place emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us. Assemblies are non-denominational and although they are of a broadly Christian nature due consideration is given to the multicultural society in which we live.
The main changes.
The information below summarises the main changes in the core subjects.
• Stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling (for example, the use of commas and apostrophes will be taught in KS1)
• Handwriting (not currently assessed under the national curriculum) is expected to be fluent, legible and speedy- we teach cursive letter formation from Reception onwards.
• Spoken English has a greater emphasis, with children to be taught debating and presenting skills.
• Five-year-olds will be expected to learn to count up to 100 (compared to 20 under the current curriculum) and learn number bonds to 20 (currently up to 10)
• Simple fractions (1/4 and 1/2) will be taught from KS1, and by the end of primary school, children should be able to convert decimal fractions to simple fractions (e.g. 0.375 = 3/8)
• By the age of nine, children will be expected to know times tables up to 12×12
• Calculators will not be introduced until near the end of KS2, to encourage mental arithmetic.
• Strong focus on scientific knowledge and language, rather than understanding the nature and methods of science in abstract terms
• Evolution will be taught in primary schools for the first time
• Non-core subjects like caring for animals will be replaced by topics like the human circulatory system
Design & technology
• Design and Technology has become more important in the new curriculum, setting children on the path to becoming the designers and engineers of the future
• More sophisticated use of design equipment such as electronics and robotics
• In KS2, children will learn about how key events and individuals in design and technology have shaped the world.
• Computing replaces Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with a greater focus on programming rather than on operating programs
• From age five, children will learn to write and test simple programs, and to organise, store and retrieve data
• From seven, they will be taught to understand computer networks, including the internet
• Internet safety – currently only taught from 11-16 – will be taught in primary schools. We had already embedded Internet safety into our PHSE and ICT curriculum in previous years.
• A modern foreign language or ancient language (Latin or Greek) will be mandatory in KS2. Children will be expected to master basic grammar and accurate pronunciation and to converse, present, read and write in the language. We are teaching Spanish to the children at Bridgewater.
We offer a wide variety of clubs that take place before school, during lunch break and after school. These are run by members of staff, parents and outside agencies. Some of the clubs we offer are: art and craft, health and beauty, zumba, choir, street dance, cross country running, football, ICT club, eco action team, gardening, science.