The staff team has worked hard to establish the 'best practice' in teaching.
In our school staff ensure that lessons are well organised and prepared. Teachers provide a range of practical experiences to give your child the best opportunity to learn.
Your child will be given clear expectations and targets to help them improve over time and specific lesson objectives and feedback on achievement of these will be given either verbally or written.
The Education Act of 1988 states that children between the ages of five and eleven must study four core subjects: Maths, English, Science and ICT, as well as seven foundation subjects: Design and Technology, History, Geography, Art and Design, Music and Physical Education. There is also now a requirement to teach a modern foreign language in Key Stage 2. Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship are taught across the curriculum.
Children learn in many, many ways and because of this we vary our teaching methods, eg. whole class, group and individual. These different methods allow children to develop a deeper understanding of what has been taught by direct teaching, playing, investigating, exploring, experimenting, problem solving, listening, researching, interacting and applying what has been learned.
We have overviewed our school curriculum to ensure the best balance and opportunities to our children.
September 2014 sees the introduction of the Governments latest Curriculum and during the remainder of this academic year we shall be using the new guidelines to design a curriculum that meets statutory requirements and meets the needs of our pupils.
New Primary Curriculum
The Government have released a New National Curriculum which is to be implemented from September 2014. The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
English is central to all learning and an integral part of all our work at Allens Croft. It is the main way for your child to develop their thoughts, feelings and ideas as well as their language expertise. Speaking and listening are fundamental to this development and our teachers plan for opportunities for children to speak in pairs, groups and to the whole class as well as through drama and role-play.
A rich variety of reading materials and frequent writing sessions enable children to acquire the essential skills required at this primary stage of their education. At Allens Croft we encourage Literacy skills to be developed in all other subjects.
At Allens Croft we use the Letters and Sounds programme to assist our teaching of Phonics.
Mathematics is a real and relevant subject that is required throughout life. We base our Numeracy work on the revised Numeracy framework and children are taught to apply mathematical knowledge to solve problems.
A variety of mental strategies are taught to develop confidence with number. Practical and mental skills form the essential foundation for written maths methods. We look for every opportunity to teach Mathematics across the curriculum and in relevant contexts.
Our programme of study in science aims to develop enquiring minds and to gain knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas and skills.
Children are encouraged through a variety of situations to develop skills of imaginative and systematic questioning.
Through practical activities children can develop the ability to formulate and test ideas and gain an understanding of scientific knowledge.
We encourage the use of historical artifacts and documents, so giving the children first hand evidence and a chance to make up their own minds about past events. This develops an awareness of past events and learning to prepare them for life in the community and helps them to understand how we can learn from the past.
The study of Geography helps children towards an understanding of the world in which they live. The work involves investigation and exploration of their local area and further afield.
We aim to establish a sense of personal responsibility for their own actions on the environment and the world in which we live.
"Computers are now part of everyday life. For most of us, technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world. The new national curriculum for computing has been developed to equip young people in England with the foundational skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. Through the new programme of study for computing, they will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content." Simon Peyton-Jones - Chairman, Computing At School
At Allens Croft, we have a computer suite that enables a whole class to be taught simultaneously. We have also invested in a class set of iPads to ensure that every opportunity for computing based learning is maximised.
In addition, each classroom is networked, giving all the children access to the via classroom computers and the Interactive White Board. Curriculum areas including, but not limited to, English and Mathematics have individual software packages geared towards individual learning needs. Software throughout the network is recommended by the Local Authority and covers stages of learning from Early Years (reception), through Key Stages 1 (infants) and 2 (juniors).
Creative activities in art and craft, drama, music and dance are encouraged throughout the whole curriculum. The children are encouraged to enjoy and experiment with a wide range of media to develop their capacity for innovative thought.
In Key Stage 2, the children get the opportunity to learn the Ukelele in whole-class teaching sessions. If they opt to take it further, they may continue learning more advanced Ukelele in small groups.
Design Technology fits well into our cross-curricular approach, linking to many subjects, especially Maths and Science. It provides the opportunity for children to engage in imaginative and creative work.
Technology provides an opportunity for the children to design, investigate, plan and construct. Planning and evaluating their designs and artefacts gives children a chance to learn by their mistakes, as well as their successes.
This curriculum area helps children to learn how to tackle new problems and tasks with confidence.
Allens Croft follows the revised Agreed Birmingham Syllabus which focuses on values which are common to all the major religions (and several minor religions). The values are followed as twenty four 'dispositions'.
At Allens Croft we see Religious Education as not only academic, but as our children's emotional, social and moral development. We aim to nurture not only self-esteem but respect for and understanding of each other. We aim to inform the children about many faiths so as to aid development of their own beliefs and values.
Children have a daily act of collective worship. These gatherings take many forms including: assemblies, class reflection and whole school celebration.
If parents wish to withdraw their child from collective worship, on religious grounds, it is the responsibility of the parents to ensure their child's religious needs are met.
All children are encouraged to participate in regular exercise to maintain their health. Children are offered an appropriate range of activities through the curriculum in all Key Stages. At times, extra-curricular activities and clubs are often offered. Once a year all children will participate in a 'sports' Fun Day where they can demonstrate the development of their skills.
We place great emphasis on children participation for fun and not just winning.
Throughout their time at Allens Croft, children are offered a balanced range of games, dance, gym and athletics activities. Swimming sessions are also offered for certain year groups on rotation.
At Allens Croft we have used the Sports Premium money to improve and enhance our PE teaching and the PE curriculum in a variety of ways.
We have amalgamated with Baverstock Academy to work in affiliation with their PE department.
Being a member school of the Baverstock School Sports Partnership has provided us with endless benefits and opportunities for both pupils and staff.
Impact and benefits:
- Linking with a close network of local schools (17 primary schools) for various sporting competitions and festivals.
- PE resources.
- CPD opportunities.
- Leadership and management advice for PE coordinators.
- 6 week coaching blocks delivered by specialist teachers (cricket and cheerleading coaching will begin in February 2015 for KS1 and KS2).
- Opportunities to partake in Playleaders Training for Years 4 and 5 (this will take place on 5th December 2014).
- Opportunities to partake in Bronze Ambassador programme for Year 6 (this is ongoing throughout the year, first session was on 24th November 2014).
We employed a specialist PE teacher who worked closely with our staff to upskill teachers and teaching assistants.
She helped staff learn in more detail about the PE syllabus and gave advice on how to teach a high quality lesson. She also assisted with planning and did lots of practical PE sessions, which were extremely beneficial to staff. She evaluated our strengths and weaknesses, and alongside the specialist we reviewed our scheme of work and made changes and developments to ensure the children have a broad and balanced PE curriculum.
Staff feedback has been very positive:
- "It has made me more confident teaching PE." Year 3
- "It’s improved my delivery of PE, in particular the warm up activities and games." Year 5
- "It has given me a huge bank of ideas to work from." Year 2
- "The specialist helped me differentiate more effectively in my lessons." Year 1
Impact and benefits of specialist expert advice:
- Increased pupil participation.
- Enhanced, inclusive curriculum provision.
- More confident and competent staff.
- Enhanced quality of teaching and learning.
- Increased capacity and sustainability.
- Improved standards of PE delivery.
- Positive attitudes to health and wellbeing.
- Improved behaviour and attendance and pupil attitudes to PE.
- Easier pupil management.
- Positive impact on whole school.
We purchased more specialist PE equipment and PE teaching resources.
Benefits and impact of purchasing of PE equipment:
- Enhanced quality of teaching and learning.
- A wider and more exciting variety of equipment to use during lessons.
- Increased capacity and sustainability.
- More confident and competent staff.
- A more inclusive curriculum which inspires and engages all pupils.
- More equipment to use in our after school clubs.
Footie Bugs coaching for Reception and Year 1 for the second half of term 1 (2014) and all of terms 2 and 3 (2015).
FootieBugs is a child development programme specialising in children aged three to nine years. It is a professional football based coaching session that promotes individuality and encourages this by building confidence and self-assurance. Children enhance their core skills by playing and learning together with their peers.
The FootieBugs team includes professional footballers and individuals experienced in working with young children. All FootieBugs coaches are professionally trained, passionate about football and are suitably screened to ensure our child protection standards are upheld. The FootieBugs coaches encourage and promote the importance of exercise and healthy eating in each session.
It introduces children to the fundamental football skills in a fun and innovative way. All of the football sessions are conscientiously woven into an ever evolving programme that places as much emphasis on concepts like learning colours and developing number skills as on fine-tuning a child’s basic balance, agility and co-ordination skills.
Impact and benefits of Footie Bugs training:
- Increase pupil participation.
- Engage the less active and encourage them to lead healthy lifestyles.
- Improved behaviour and attendance.
- Improved pupil attitudes to PE.
- Improved football skills.
- Links to all curricular areas.
- Improved self-esteem and confidence in pupils.
PE vision statement:
SPORT for LIFE: Learning Inspiring Fitness Enjoyment
The EYFS Framework explains how and what your child will be learning to support their development.
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.
Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan your child’s learning and activities. The professionals teaching and supporting your child will make sure that the activities are suited to your child’s unique needs. This is a little bit like a curriculum in primary and secondary schools, but it's suitable for very young children, and it's designed to be really flexible so that staff can follow your child's unique needs and interests.
Find out more in our Foundation Stage Guide.
Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside.