What Is The National Curriculum?

The National Curriculum is a programme of studies which sets standards in all areas of the curriculum.  It is laid out by the government and is divided into Key Stages according to children’s year group. These are broken down as follows:

National Curriculum Stage Year Group Class at Georgeham
Early Years Foundation Stage Preschool to Primary School Reception children Class 1 (Reception)
Key Stage 1 Years 1 and 2 Primary School Class 1 (some Year 1s)

Class 2 (some Year 1s and Year 2)

Key Stage 2 Years 3 and 4 Primary – ‘Lower Key Stage 2’

Years 5 and 6 Primary – ‘Upper Key Stage 2’

Class 3

Class 4

Key Stage 3 Years 7, 8 and 9 Secondary School
Key Stage 4 Years 10 and 11 Secondary School

 

At Georgeham we work hard to give the children a very broad and enriching curriculum.  However, underpinning the whole ethos of our school is the belief in the value of the individual and that individual in relation to others.  A new curriculum was launched by the government in September 2014.

Early Years Foundation Stage at Georgeham

The Early Years foundation Stage curriculum is used in Class 1.  We enhance the learning experience for children by using a holistic cross-curricular approach to learning. We engage children using topic themes such as “Dinosaurs”, “Under the Sea” and “Explorers” and use questioning to develop the children’s understanding.

The EYFS is broken down into 7 key areas, these are:

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

In addition to the above areas, the children are encouraged to develop the characteristics of an effective learner, these being:

  • The ability to play and explore
  • The ability to be an active learner
  • The ability to be a creative and critical thinker

Key Stages 1 and 2 at Georgeham School

All children in School are taught the following subjects in an age-appropriate way, which is relevant to the children and often within a thematic approach. We try, whenever we can, to include visits and visitors to inspire and enthuse the children.

SCIENCEWe aim to teach science through practically based investigations, initially using the child’s own environment as a stimulus.  The children will be introduced to many scientific concepts and skills which together will encourage them to develop an enquiring mind and a scientific approach to problem-solving, developing skills in observation, communication and prediction.

COMPUTING. Technology was always seen as a tool that could be used, if appropriate, to enhance learning and skills. Schools have moved beyond this now, just the same as the 1 year olds who are able to manipulate iPads and such technology.  We use various hardware and software at school to develop an understanding of what these things can be useful for and the appropriateness for their use.  Children should leave us for Key Stage 3 with a firm understanding of how to control and manage software and enhance their learning.

HISTORY. We aim to arouse an interest in the past and an understanding of it, together with skills of interpretation, investigation, analysis, evaluation and communication.  Even though the National Curriculum has provided a bit of a straitjacket with what to teach and when, we endeavour to make History relevant and exciting for the children.

GEOGRAPHY. Comparing and valuing our locality with others is a very important aspect of Geography and Citizenship.  We have a link with Bolembu in Swaziland, Kiigya School in Uganda and a school in inner-city Bristol to support our work about a contrasting location.  We also work with the National Trust as ‘Guardians’ to a local NT property, Baggy Point, under the NT Guardianship Scheme.  Geography aims to stimulate children’s interest in their local surroundings and in the variety of physical and human conditions on the Earth.  The techniques and skills necessary for geographical enquiry are also taught.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. All classes participate in Religious Education and our scheme of work is based on the Devon Approach to R.E.  We aim to help children develop an understanding of the Christian faith and other world religions and lead them to an understanding of social and moral values.

ART. Art activities aim to develop creativity and self-expression, with children given the opportunity to explore the relationship between line, shape, colour, texture and materials. Children will learn from the work of famous artists and gain experience in using a wide range of media such as paint, wood, card, dye and clay.

DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY. This involves designing and making, using a range of materials and components.  Construction, food technology, textiles, materials and control systems are some of the areas covered. Bookmaking skills are taught and the mounting and display by children of their own work, is considered important.

MUSIC. Throughout the School, children will be involved in activities, which aim to develop their ability to perform and compose music.  We try to do one large inclusive performance each year for the community.  The children will also have opportunities to listen and respond to music from a variety of musical traditions.  For those children who wish to, there is the opportunity to take part in music tuition, where they can learn to play wind, string, brass or keyboard instruments.  Recorder, guitar and drumming is taught in school.

SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATIONPhysical Education is very important in our school and vital for a healthy lifestyle.  We have the Active Mark Gold award and this encourages children, through enjoyment, to lead a healthier lifestyle.  They will become more skilful, understand a variety of sports and P.E. activities and manage success and failure in competitive and co-operative situations.

Children will experience a range of sports and physical activities such as football, netball, tag rugby, cricket, rounders, short tennis, gymnastics, athletics, dance and outdoor adventurous activities.  We use the Village Hall, our playgrounds, the hall and the playing field.  We work together with neighbouring schools and the Braunton Learning Community both to cooperate with courses and challenge with competitions and festivals.

Our standard of swimming is very good and we aim for all Year 6 children to swim 50 m in the deep end of a pool and be able to use skills for water safety and survival. This is a priority to us, living so close to the sea.  We target and teach children in KS2 but many parents take their children to swimming lessons and local clubs prior to this where the provision is excellent.

SEX AND RELATIONSHIP EDUCATION. We know that most parents want to play a major part in helping to prepare their children for the physical and emotional changes inherent in growing up.  There is a policy to offer Sex and Relationship Education at Georgeham School and this is complementary to parents’ roles and aims to give children confidence about, and knowledge of, the processes and challenges of growing up.  This preparation is broad based and is given within an age appropriate curriculum throughout the school.  At all stages children are encouraged to value relationships, family life and to consider issues of right and wrong.
Throughout the school, the school nurse, teachers and other agencies work together to provide a structure based on choices and healthy lifestyles.  Parents are fully informed about these sessions in advance and are invited to watch the videos.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex and Relationship Education. Parents who wish to exercise this right should contact the Head teacher.

For more information about our approach to Mathematics and English please see our pages dedicated to these subjects.

Rising Stars –  A Summary of the National Curriculum by Year Group.

Getting to grips with the National Curriculum can be challenging for parents and children.  A new curriculum was introduced in September 2014 that has changed significantly the way we approach learning in many subjects and the expectations about what children should learn in each Key Stage.  Rising Stars have compiled a series of useful summary documents aimed at outlining the National Curriculum expectations for each year group.  We encourage you to have a look at them – they are really useful!

pdfroundicon Click here to download ‘The New National Curriculum:  A Guide for Parents’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum Map’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 1 Parents Guide’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 2 Parents Guide’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 3 Parents Guide’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 4 Parents Guide’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 5 Parents Guide’

pdfroundicon Click here to download the ‘Year 6 Parents Guide’