A brief description of Sowerby Village CE (VC) Primary School curriculum
The development of key skills in Reading, Writing and Mathematics plays a crucial role in everything we do at Sowerby Village to ensure our pupils are prepared as independent learners, ready for the next stage in their education. In this aim, the school morning is in three parts allowing a session dedicated to teaching and learning in each of the key areas: reading skills, writing and maths.
Reading: Sharing books with adults and friends plays an important and enjoyable part in the school day and develops a love of reading in our children. A systematic approach to teaching phonic skills ensures children quickly decode words when reading simple texts independently and careful questioning by adults during individual, paired, guided and shared reading sessions ensures children develop sound comprehension of text and begin to develop opinions about stories, authors and characters. Pupils enjoy reading online both in school and at home using their personal login for the 'Bug Club'.
Writing: In writing, children again put their phonic knowledge to good use when segmenting words into their component sounds to support spelling. Writing areas in younger classrooms are always busy and a whole school writing celebration display is updated weekly following the whole school 'Friday Write' to further inspire our pupils'. Pupils are encouraged to correspond with other stakeholders in writing and update our governors through reports and letter writing; following exciting trips and activities pupils write articles for publication in the school's weekly newsletter and enjoy entering competitions such as the Bearder Poetry Festival where our team won the trophy for best presentation in summer term 2014!
Mathematics: Children learn about numbers and number systems with a high proportion of time each week devoted to teaching calculation to ensure children make good progress and develop confidence in manipulating number. In addressing national curriculum'14 we teach data handling skills early on in the term with time allocated to practise and consolidation within other curriculum lessons such as science and topic, this allows pupils more time in maths lessons to focus on number and calculation. Skills in measurement, pattern and shape are also developed through discussion, problem solving and investigations within real contexts where possible and with practical resources where appropriate to task, age and/or ability.
Topic: Children in each Key Stage become engrossed within a topic which spans the half term and includes the foundation subjects of geography, history, music, communication, art and design technology. Each topic leads the children to learn about a key person from history eg, Monet or Christopher Wren, and appreciate their legacy. Our cross curricular approach to teaching topic, ensures children have ample opportunity to consolidate their key skills of reading, writing and maths within exciting and creative contexts that are meaningful to them. Hooks and celebration activities and events such as a classroom invasion develop curiosity at an early stage in the topic and then acknowledge and celebrate the entire learning experience through eg, a visit to the Sea Life Centre.
RE: Each class are taught RE on a weekly basis through discussion, research, reflection and practice. Our vicar, Reverend Jeanette visits each Monday when she enjoys collective worship with us before leading a KS2 class to St Peter's for their RE lesson. Upon her return, Reverend Jeanette reads a bible story. The whole school take part in acts of collective worship on a daily basis either as a class, key stage or whole school with a special clergy visitor leading worship each Thursday. Worship is an interactive time when children reflect on their day, sing hymns of praise, listen to and learn the message behind bible stories and consider how they can continue to develop into a caring valuable citizen. For children of other faiths and whose families have requested it, we arrange alternative provision based on the SEAL programme of study.
Science: Science is taught as a discreet lesson on a weekly basis in each class, with contextual links into topic where possible. Our practical approach ensures children develop an enquiring mind and learn to question why or how things happen. Through making predictions, testing, analysing results and drawing conclusions children make sense of the world of which they are part. Each year we plan exciting events to celebrate science week with a 'who dunnit' workshop for each year group in 2014.
PE: The aim of PE curriculum is to ensure that all children experience a range of broad and balanced activities which challenges, develops and promotes bodily health, strength and skills. Teamwork is developed in addition to a sense of fair play and good sportsmanship. Sowerby Village have very good links with the neighbouring High School and our children enjoy the many sporting events organised at Ryburn High. In addition to this, high quality sports coaching is delivered by Pro Soccer Sport each week at our after school football club offered as part of our free enrichment program. This provides our children with good role models from the community and serves to develop a love of sport.
Educational visits: Each year, Class 6 take part in a residential visit. Last year the children, Mr Priestley, Mrs Paynter and Miss Lansdale visited York and had a wonderful time taking in the famous sights and experiences of our county's capital. All teachers plan educational visits and visitors into the year to enrich the curriculum and further develop the children's interests within topics. This year, several stall have taken a mini bus driving test thus reducing transport costs and making visits more affordable for our families. This means children can enjoy more rich experiences off site, weave these into learning experiences when in school and enjoy a fun and memorable learning experience at Sowerby Village.
By ‘aiming high, together with friends’ we really do hope ‘to achieve the best’ for all our pupils, celebrating our differences in belief, economic background, race and strengths.