The Curriculum at Eslington Primary School
At Eslington Primary School, we recognise that children do not all learn in the same way and that it is important to engage pupils in a range of learning opportunities, styles and activities. Our children can be visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners and the curriculum we offer reflects this so that children are able to access the education they need, and to learn in the way that suits them as individuals.
We believe that all children have the capacity to achieve if given the right learning environment, with suitable levels of intervention to meet their learning needs and with access to relevant educational opportunities. Our exciting and stimulating curriculum is fundamental in ensuring that each child makes optimum levels of progress.
The curriculum at Eslington Primary School is broad and balanced to ensure coverage of all the subject areas and to enable children to make the best possible progress. Children are taught as a whole class, in small groups and individually when applicable. Our programmes of study are based upon the National Curriculum and upon the recommended Religious Education curriculum.
The National Curriculum is made up of core subjects, English, mathematics, science and ICT plus foundation subjects which include geography, history, music, PE, technology and art. In both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, we teach maths and English each morning. For the remaining teaching time, our children follow a Creative Curriculum which combines the foundation subjects, science and ICT and teaches them through an integrated approach. Where appropriate, subjects such as RE are taught in discrete or separate modules.
At Eslington Primary, we will ensure that all programmes of study are adjusted in line with government recommendations. However, we always ensure that our pupils’ needs come first and where the National Curriculum is not relevant to our children, we will modify programmes of study accordingly.
The English curriculum contains three major elements – Speaking and Listening, Reading, and Writing. At Eslington Primary, we encourage children to develop their vocabulary through speaking and listening activities, to develop their reading skills through access to a range of texts and to develop their ability to write in a variety of genres.
We use the Read Write Inc scheme to teach phonics and key word recognition in Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. It also encourages the recognition and use of punctuation, basic spelling patterns and decoding skills. Oxford Reading Tree is our main reading scheme and supports the acquisition of sight vocabulary and the development of reading strategies. Children take home readers from this scheme every day and parents are encouraged to listen to their children read on a regular basis. We have a well-stocked, recently refurbished library from which the children are encouraged to borrow books to develop and foster a love of reading.
Children are taught to write in a variety of genres and for a range of purposes. Stories, newspaper accounts, and children’s own interests are all used as stimuli to promote creative and independent writing on a daily basis. Opportunities are also given on a daily basis to develop writing skills in all subject areas.
A cursive handwriting programme, the Kingston Scheme, is used throughout the school and children are encouraged to use the cursive script in all their writing. When pupils reach an appropriate standard of presentation in their work, they may use a special handwriting pen at school. A personalised spelling scheme has been devised by the English Manager, to meet the individual needs of our pupils. It enables children to build upon their recognition of phonics and spelling patterns to spell unfamiliar words.
At Eslington Primary, we believe that mathematics is an exciting and stimulating subject that should engage all pupils. We use a variety of teaching methods to cater for the different learning styles of pupils in mathematics lessons based around the White Rose Maths Scheme. We develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in lessons where they are encouraged to ask as well as answer mathematical questions.
We encourage and promote talking about maths wherever possible, in order to develop children’s ability to express themselves fluently, use mathematical language correctly and to deepen their own understanding. Opportunities are provided for children to use and apply the skills they have learned in a variety of situations and contexts.
We believe that mathematics helps children to make sense of the world around them. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and patterns in their everyday lives.
In science lessons, we aim to develop scientific knowledge, vocabulary and skills through practical investigations, individually and in groups. Pupils are encouraged to make links between what they observe in the world around them and scientific processes. We aim to develop through enquiry and exploration understanding of the key scientific areas:
- Life processes and living things
- Materials and their properties
- Physical processes.
The science curriculum encourages children to devise their own experiments and fair tests, to predict outcomes of investigations, and to evaluate and compare their findings. There are also opportunities for critical thinking, questioning and reasoning. Skills acquired in other key areas of the curriculum – English, maths and ICT are regularly applied and practised in science lessons.
Pupils have many opportunities to use a variety of ICT equipment and software, and to carry out different functions in a range of contexts. They are taught to generate and communicate their ideas, and to retrieve, process and display information as well as to understand and to write simple computer code themselves. Pupils are also encouraged to interpret, analyse and check information held on ICT systems. Children are given opportunities to explore the internet in a safe and secure environment, to use search engines appropriately, and to present data using a range of electronic formats.
These core subjects are the building blocks of knowledge to which children relate and attach knowledge from other areas of learning. We develop skills and knowledge in our efforts to promote independent learning, objectivity and self-assessment of attainment.
Children are taught the necessary skills to improve their co-ordination, balance, and spatial awareness. They are also taught the rules of games nd to understand the importance of fair play within a team setting. Children are competing in weekly intra and inter-school competitions.
We encourage children to take part in extra-curricular sporting activities and have links with Gateshead Storm Rugby Club. Children are working as a cohort towards achieving the Sainsbury’s School Games Mark.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education
We teach them the importance of resilience, self-respect, self-esteem and self-confidence. The children are encouraged to work with others, to share and take turns, to take care of living things and to understand the part humans play in environmental changes. They learn how to resolve disagreements appropriately, and how to resist and report bullying. Children are also taught about the changes that will occur in puberty, the dangers of addictive substances and the importance of keeping themselves safe in their home and in the community.
We use the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) material to develop all areas of the children’s social, emotional and behavioural skills.
Sex and Relationships Education
Parents can withdraw their child from all or part of the Sex Education offered except those elements taught as National Curriculum science.
We live, work and exist in a multi-faith society and it is important that children are taught to recognise and respect the views and beliefs of other faiths. At Eslington Primary School, RE is mainly Christian in nature, but the beliefs and practices of other religions are also taught. Pupils will take part in festival days and visit places of worship in the local community as well as study and experience religious rituals or stories for themselves. Children are encouraged to make comparisons between the major religions and to develop their own belief systems.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children are taught about Life Skills, Mindset, Physical Development and Health, Cultural Studies, Environmental Respect and Understanding, History, The Arts, and Global Dimensions. The National Curriculum subject areas are woven in and through these topics. The creative aspect of the curriculum is very important at Eslington Primary School. Children are encouraged to be imaginative and to explore their creative talents through a range of hands on activities. Where appropriate, peripatetic teachers are employed to develop these skills: for example by giving drum or guitar lessons. Children have the use of musical instruments, tools and materials to help them to express their own ideas and to consolidate their skills.
The children still receive weekly spellings and focus times tables; they should also read every night. Sometimes children may also receive additional home-learning specific to their individual targets in maths and English throughout the term. Older pupils in Key Stage Two may be expected to complete more homework or to engage in independent research.