Ashfield Primary School Curriculum
Ashfield offers a broad and balanced curriculum that ensures continuity and progression for each child. The curriculum is relevant to our children and meets all their educational needs. We have high aspirations for our children and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of their daily and future adult life.
In the Early Years Unit children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 we follow the National Curriculum. We place great emphasis on Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) as we believe this is a vital area of learning for all our children.
For all our children we place great emphasis on active learning and on developing children’s confidence and their ability to work with others. We strongly believe in the principles of ‘Assessment for Learning’ – that children fully understand exactly what they are asked to do, how they are to achieve this and to share responsibility for their own learning.
We understand that different children learn in different ways, so they are taught through a variety of approaches – whole class sessions, group work and individual teaching. In addition, a variety of learning styles are catered for. Much of their learning takes place through practical experience, investigation and problem solving. In an ever changing world, we feel it is vital for children to be comfortable with new and emerging technologies, and therefore ICT is integral to the way children learn in all subjects.
Ashfield aims to develop the important language skills of: listening with interest and talking fluently; reading for information, enjoyment and pleasure; writing clearly, with an appropriate style for a variety of audiences and purposes.
Throughout school there is a daily one hour literacy lesson. Also, children have sessions where reading, spelling and handwriting skills are developed, often in guided groups.
Speaking and Listening
Children are expected to spend a significant amount of time talking – in a structured way – during literacy lessons. This gives them opportunities to express their ideas, develop their thoughts and rehearse what they are going to write. (If you can’t say it, you can’t write it!)
Children from Nursery learn to read using Read, Write, Inc – a phonics based reading and writing scheme. In reading sessions, children read a variety of genres – both fiction and non-fiction. As well as reading aloud fluently, children are expected to understand, infer, deduce, predict and discuss their preferences. We encourage children to read and be read to at home to foster a lifelong love of reading
At Ashfield we have radically improved our standards by using Ros Wilson’s strategies for improving writing. This focuses on four key areas – vocabulary, connectives, sentence openers and punctuation. Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing strategies are used so that children throroughly understand what they are going to write before they start and how they can structure it well Regularly children complete an extended piece of writing which gives them an opportunity to demonstrate the skills they have learned. Children enjoy this session – special pens and paper are used, classical music is played and scented candles enhance the mood. After writing, they receive detailed feedback which recognises their successes and enables the teacher to set individual targets which are taught the following week.
Ashfield uses the new framework for maths as the basis for our planning.
From Early years to year 6, teachers always try to find imaginative and practical activities in the daily maths lesson, to encourage pupils to understand why mathematical knowledge is so important. Maths homework is used to reinforce knowledge.
The 4 areas of maths are all covered throughout the year:
The school has a calculations policy (which is available to parents) to provide a consistent approach to understanding calculations. We also try to offer parent workshops to encourage parents to engage with maths as it is taught now.
The science curriculum is divided into 4 parts.
All children develop scientific skills through practical activities. Children have opportunities to predict, plan and carry out fair tests, record, observe and reach conclusions about their findings.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Our school has a well equipped ICT suite in which children are taught at least twice a week. Each key stage 2 class has access to a class set of laptops or Chromebooks which are used in the classroom. In addition there are computers and interactive whiteboards in every classroom. Children have sessions where they learn specific ICT skills – such as using a graphical modelling programme or analysing data in a spreadsheet. Furthermore, they enhance their learning in other subjects through the use of technology – perhaps creating a multi-media presentation on an aspect of learning in history or using a data logger to record information in science.
Our school follows the ‘Leeds Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.’ Religious Education is non-denominational but follows broadly Christian principles, whilst encouraging our children to develop an understanding and respect for the beliefs, values and practices of other people throughout the world. During their time at Ashfield, they will learn about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. We regularly invite religious speakers into school to share knowledge and experience and visit places of worship in the community.
Daily acts of worship
Assemblies are held every day – again these follow broadly Christian principles. We use this time to promote the positive ethos of the school and children’s social, moral and personal development. Every Friday afternoon we hold a celebration assembly in which we applaud the outstanding achievements of children in and out of school. Parents and carers are often invited to special assemblies for example harvest festival, anti-bullying, multi-cultural and World Book Day assemblies. During the year, each class will present their own assembly and you will have the opportunity to attend. At Christmas all children are involved in the productions and you are welcome to join us for our Christingle service in school.
Parents and carers have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of collective worship and religious education.
Children will also learn history, geography, design technology (DT), art, music, Spanish and physical education (PE). We make clear links between subjects. We draw on the children’s own experience where possible as starting points, and use meaningful contexts. Another way in which we make learning relevant is to take our children out of school on educational visits. Furthermore, we are keen to develop children’s enterprise skills – particularly in year 6 where children have successfully raised money for a number of charities.
Sex and relationship education
We believe children need to be prepared for the changes that they will encounter as they grow up. It is important that they are given the appropriate information and skills at the right time so they are able to cope with these changes as they occur. We also feel it is important that Sex and Relationship Education should take into account the child’s social and cultural background and should be set in the context of family life and loving relationships.
Sex and Relationship Education at Ashfield is an ongoing development process beginning in Early Years and continuing through each year group up to Year 6. It is about preparing your child for the physical and emotional changes that take place as they grow and develop.
In KS1, children learn that all living things, including humans, reproduce and have babies which grow and change and need a lot of care. A great deal of time is spent helping children to develop the right kind of social skills so that they are able to form appropriate relationships.
In Years 3 and 4, children will continue to learn about and explore the wider nature of friendships and relationships and develop skills in managing these. They will extend their knowledge and understanding about physical growth and change through topics related to life cycles, the body and keeping healthy.
By the time children reach Year 5 they should be aware that they are continually growing and changing both physically and emotionally – they will learn about the changes that affect both boys and girls during puberty.
In Year 6, the work covered in Year 5 will be revisited and in addition children will learn how a baby is conceived and born.