Our Creative Curriculum
Our Creative Curriculum
Detailed below are the principles as to how at Cale Green we deliver the National Curriculum in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2:
- Planning for the delivery of the curriculum is a 3 stage process – long term (annual), medium term (each theme) and short term (daily/weekly). The teaching staff plan to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum which demonstrates continuity and progression across the whole of the school and which will give each child the confidence, independence, resilience and ambition necessary to prepare them for the next stage in their learning.
- A range of teaching methods are used. The class layout, location of learning, resources, length of lesson and the type of teaching is tailored to ensure the desired outcomes. Teaching at Cale Green has the use of ‘Formative Assessment’ strategies at its heart.
- English and Mathematics are taught daily. Reading (and phonics where appropriate), handwriting, spelling and rapid recall of number facts also takes place each day. Science and Computing is usually taught weekly. In Key Stage 2 there is a weekly reading comprehension lesson.
- As each term in each school year varies in length we have addressed this by planning 4 themes of equal length – each 9 weeks long. The first 3 themes of each year are discretely planned. The 4th theme each year is left ‘open’ for a whole school theme. These have previously included ‘Down Our Way’ (local History / Geography project), a joint Olympics + Jubilee theme, ‘Identity’ and ‘Fantastic Tales’. Our 4th theme for 2015 will focus on the environment and sustainability. All the themes promote research and project based learning.
- Each of the 9 weeks has a ‘Learning Challenge’ based around a ‘Key Question’. These Key Questions are formulated by the children during a ‘pre-processing’ day prior to the beginning of a new theme. During this day, the teacher explores what the children already know about the theme and the children explain what they would like to find out about and which skills they would like to develop.
- An ‘enrichment and engagement’ activity is planned for each theme to enhance learning and to engage the children. This could be a visit to a museum (local visits are encouraged to create a sense of ‘local identity’) or a visitor into school or looking at relevant artefacts.
- Each theme has a final outcome or activity. This gives a real meaning and value to the children’s work. For example, this could be a scripted puppet show or a class museum based on the theme. This is to encourage project work and provide a real motivation for the theme. Each theme also ends with a class visit by parents who can see the work completed by their children and an ‘Animoto’ presentation detailing the work completed during the theme. All the ‘Animotos’ are then shared in a Family Assembly. This gives the opportunity for children to reflect on their own learning and celebrate their progress.
- Links are made where possible between the themes and with English and Maths to allow for the application of the knowledge, skills and understanding in the core subjects.
- There is a very close link with existing Year 6 transition theme ‘The Chameleon Project’. This contains elements of the Student Leadership Project and Higher Futures 4U (Careers) as well as visits to school by past pupils and visits to High Schools.
- Swimming / PE / Music / RE are also in 9 week blocks (or are currently being developed). A Foreign Language (usually French) is supported by a Foreign Language Assistant.
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is delivered through the PSHE Scheme of Work, elements of the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) curriculum and the Local Authority ‘Spiral Curriculum’ for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Education (DATE). Activities such as ‘Circle Time’ , ‘Relax Kids’ and ‘Peer Massage’ are also used in the classroom to support PSHE. We stress the importance of being an ‘Active Citizen’ and have a special award for children who make a real contribution to the school and the wider community.
- Specialist teaching is used wherever possible. This may be from local High Schools and Colleges (recently this has included developing art skills / music). The children in Year 2 learn how to play the ukulele and all the children in Key Stage 2 learn how to play the guitar – this is provided by the Music Service in Stockport. Further examples are: a specialist PE teacher is provided using Sport Premium funds (along with a sports coach at lunch time), Stockport Lacrosse Club, Sale Sharks, Cheshire Cricket who all provide coaches.
- There is an extensive range of ‘enrichment and engagement’ activities both during the school day and as extra-curricular activities. These include sports, dance, drama and parents and children working together as well as trips to the theatre, author visits, Gifted and Talented enrichment events, residential visits for Year 3 and Year 6, etc. (A list of some of the activities which took place in 2013/14 is attached to the end of the July 2014 newsletter – also available on this website).
- In Religious Education we follow the locally agreed syllabus which is called ‘Learning for Life’. We also have a ‘comparative’ approach to celebrating and learning about the similarities and differences between cultures and religions. The children regularly visit different places of worship and we also have visitors from the Ethnic Diversity Service and the Bible Encounter Trust.
- There are a number of additional curriculum events throughout the year which complement the planned curriculum and assist in the delivery of the National Curriculum. These include Design and Technology Week, Internet Safety Day, Anti-Bullying Week, Art Week, RE Week, ‘Keeping Ourselves Safe Week’ and Eco Activity Day.
- Homework is provided for each child. This includes reading, spelling, learning number facts (number bonds and times tables), guitar homework as well as activities related to the theme.
- Regular curriculum events are held for parents who are also kept informed through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) about activities taking place in each specific class. There are also 3 parent Consultations throughout the year, an annual school report and 4 opportunities to visit the school at the end of each of the themes.