All children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that is relevant and suited to their needs. At Burton Agnes, we aim to make this curriculum stimulating, vibrant, enjoyable and focused on each child developing the skills and knowledge required to be successful in later life. We aim to enable each child to reach the highest standard to which s/he is capable through providing a challenging yet supportive learning environment in which all pupils feel safe and secure to take risks and rise to challenges. All of our curriculum content covers the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each term parents receive a ‘learning overview’ explaining what their child will be learning about that term and how you can support this learning at home.
Parents are informed of the curriculum through the termly curriculum overview, newsletters, through information on the school website, through Special Mention Assemblies and relevant performances. They also gain information about the curriculum through Parent-Teacher meetings, receiving annual pupil reports and by attending parent information events. Parents are most welcome to speak with the Headteacher or their child's class teacher should they require any further information about any aspect of the curriculum
The core subject skills of reading, writing and mathematics are vitally important and are taught daily within the context of our personally designed curriculum. This curriculum, which is organized into topics, provides relevant learning opportunities for pupils of all ages, as part of which they develop independence, questioning skills, the ability to investigate and ask questions and a well-rounded appreciation of the world around them in addition to a sound grounding in the ‘3 Rs’.
We place great emphasis on our core subject teaching and knowledge as we believe that the skills and knowledge learnt in these lessons are vital to enable pupils to access the full range of opportunities available to them in later life. Pupils are given regular homework tasks that
Mathematics is taught as a subject daily in all classes as well as being taught as a tool across the curriculum. Pupils at all levels are given the opportunity to develop new skills and processes, investigate number patterns and rules, solve problems and puzzles, explore shape, space and measures and learn key facts by heart through a special Space Mission Challenge.
In The Foundation Stage, pupils learn mathematical processes and number facts through a range of play based and investigative activities. They learn songs that help with counting and recognising numbers and use the environment around them to learn more about shape and space. They take part in activities that allow them to use their mathematical skills in real life such as setting up a market and selling things they have made to parents.
Pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 are encouraged to read daily to develop their independent reading and comprehension skills. We teach reading in a variety of ways. Our younger pupils read to an adult regularly to develop their ability to recognise common words, breakup unknown words into segments and begin to understand the texts that they are reading. They learn initially through the Oxford Reading Tree scheme but other books are used to develop a wide range of reading and comprehension skills. As pupils get older, they take part in ‘book talk’ where the teacher works with the class who work in groups reading at a similar level and, through setting focused reading and comprehension objectives, is able to help the group progress with their ability to read more challenging texts and comment on what they have read.
Pupils in the Foundation Stage experience books in a range of contexts, listen to stories, retell stories using puppets and begin to recognise letter sounds, and common words.
In EYFS and in KS1 children are taught to read through phonics. Teaching in EYFS is based upon the prime area of learning; “Communication and Language”. To assist teaching we use the Letters and Sounds programme , which encourages our children to start to read and write quickly through the teaching of synthetic phonics. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to sound-blend words for reading (decoding) at the same time as developing handwriting skills and spelling (encoding). Crucially, they read lively story books and non-fiction books with words they can decode, so they achieve early success in reading. The more sounds they know the greater the range of texts they can read.
As our children are taught to decode and encode, they are also taught to comprehend and to compose – out loud. The quicker their decoding the more they comprehend; and, the quicker their encoding the more they write of what they have composed out loud. Phonics is taught for, at least, twenty minutes every morning from in EYFS and Key Stage 1. Phonics continues in Key Stage 2 for those children who require more opportunities to develop these skills.
Writing skills are taught within our daily Literacy lessons. Pupils are also given a wide range of opportunities to write for real purposes across the curriculum. A confident and skilled writer has the ability to write in a range of contexts such as letter writing, emails, reports, persuasive texts and fiction writing. Our topic based curriculum provides many opportunities for children to develop their writing skills in real and relevant contexts.
Pupils in the Foundation Stage develop early writing skills by engaging in a range of gross and fine motor play activities. When ready, they develop their early writing skills on paper by learning letter formations and writing familiar words and short sentences.
Science is taught within our long term plan of topics. As part of our science teaching, pupils are given the opportunity to develop the following skills and processes:
- Observe and measure
- Classify and conclude
- Identify patterns and relationships
- Make predictions and explain results
- Devise and carry out investigations
- Handle equipment and a wide range of materials safely and effectively.
Science topics focus on the following main areas:
- Working scientifically
- Life process – plants, animals and humans
- Physical Processes
- Materials and their Properties
Religious Education and Collective Worship
We follow the Diocese of York Syllabus for RE teaching in Key Stage 1 and 2. Pupils are given the opportunity in RE lessons and as part of the wider curriculum to learn about aspects of the Christian faith and other major faiths as well as discuss feelings, values and moral issues that are pertinent to them. All pupils take part in an act of daily collective worship which is broadly Christian in nature. These sessions are led by teaching staff and members of the local clergy. Parents can request in writing that their child does not take part in collective worship should they so wish.
In a world where computers, electronic communication, mobile phones and virtual learning environments are becoming a bigger part of daily life, it is vital that we prepare our pupils for the future in providing opportunities across the curriculum for them to develop ICT skills. We are well equipped to teach ICT skills as part of our wider curriculum and our pupils enjoy a range of opportunities to use ICT in the different subject areas.
The Wider Curriculum
All children are entitled to a broad and balanced curriculum that is relevant and suited to their needs. At Burton Agnes, we aim to make this curriculum stimulating, vibrant, enjoyable and focused on each child developing the skills and knowledge required to be successful in later life. We aim to enable each child to reach the highest standard to which s/he is capable through providing a challenging yet supportive learning environment in which all pupils feel safe and secure to take risks and rise to challenges.
The core subject skills of reading, writing and mathematics are vitally important and are taught daily within the context of our recently designed ‘creative curriculum’. This curriculum, which is organized into topics, provides relevant learning opportunities for pupils of all ages, as part of which they develop independence, questioning skills, the ability to investigate and ask questions and a well rounded appreciation of the world around them in addition to a sound grounding in the ‘3 Rs’.
In addition to music teaching within the school curriculum, peripatetic teachers from the County Music Service come to school each week to teach the children. Children learn how to play different percussion instruments, trombones and guitar.
Modern Foreign Languages
French is taught throughout the school, with a focus on the acquisition of spoken skills. This teaching is informal for younger pupils and consists of simple spoken commands, counting and the learning of phrases. For our older pupils, French is taught more formally and pupils are given the opportunity to develop early conversational skills.
PE and Sport
As part of our PE Curriculum all of the pupils have access to 2 hours physical activity per week. All children receive 1 hour of specialist PE teaching which is funded through our Sports funding and the rest of PE is delivered by class teachers.
Special Educational Needs
A child with special educational needs, whether gifted, with learning difficulties or behavioural problems, is cared for in the first place by the class teacher within the classroom. Agreed procedures are followed under the direction of the Special Needs Coordinator (SENCo). If a child has a specific special need or disability, his/her needs will be met in consultation with parents, class teacher, SENCo and, where appropriate, Local Authority representatives.