Key Stage 1 and 2 Curriculum
The School Curriculum in England
Section 78 of the 2002 Education Act requires us to provide a balanced and broad based curriculum which promotes spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and which prepares our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The school curriculum consists of all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils. The national curriculum forms part of the school curriculum.
We are required to make provision for a daily act of collective worship and must teach religious education to pupils in every key stage.
We are legally required to follow the statutory national curriculum which sets out in programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects that should be taught. We must publish online our school curriculum by subject and academic year.
We should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. We are also able to include other subjects or topics of our choice when planning and designing our own programme of education.
The National Curriculum in England
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.
The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
We set high expectations for every pupil. We will plan stretching work for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard. We have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. We will use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.
We will take account of our duties under equal opportunities legislation. A wide range of pupils have special educational needs, some of whom also have disabilities. Lessons will be planned to ensure that there are no barriers to every pupil achieving. In many cases, such planning will mean that these pupils will be able to study the full national curriculum. The SEN Code of Practice includes advice on approaches to identification of need which can support this. A minority of pupils will need access to specialist equipment and different approaches. The SEN Code of Practice outlines what needs to be done for them.
With the right teaching, that recognises their individual needs, many disabled pupils may have little need for additional resources beyond aids which they use as part of their daily life. We will plan lessons so that these pupils can study every national curriculum subject. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset of work.
We will also take account of the needs of pupils whose first language is not English. Monitoring of progress will take account of the pupil’s age, length of time in this country, previous educational experience and ability in other languages.
The ability of pupils for whom English is an additional language to take part in the national curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English. We will plan teaching opportunities to help pupils develop their English and aim to provide the support pupils need to take part in all subjects.
Numeracy and Mathematics
We will use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum.
We will develop pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics. We will teach pupils to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and sense check their work. Pupils will apply their geometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data. We will teach them to apply their mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps.
Language and Literacy
We will develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
Pupils will be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They will learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. We will teach pupils to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This will enable them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
We will develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. We will teach pupils to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and encourage them to read for pleasure. We will promote wider reading. We will provide library facilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Pupils will develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. We will teach the correct use of grammar. Pupils will build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. The writing they will do includes narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.
Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We will therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge. We will increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously, also making links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, pupils will expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. In addition, it is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects, and older pupils will be taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they may meet in examination questions. It is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.
Statutory Requirements and Non-Statutory Guidance
We will teach all statutory requirements of the curriculum. In regard to the non-statutory notes and guidance we will be sensitive to the religious and cultural beliefs of all our staff and pupils. Therefore we will…
- focus upon teaching the Y6 evolution and inheritance programmes of study through natural selection.
- ensure all food products are vegetarian or Halal.
- not play music during the holy month of Ramadan.
- be sensitive to the types of music the pupils experience.
- introduce dance as movement to music.
The Local Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Kirklees and Calderdale 2014-2019 is the statutory curriculum for maintained schools in Calderdale and Kirklees. It is authorised by the Standing Advisory Councils (SACREs) in Calderdale and Kirklees for five years from 1st September 2014.
The syllabus requires us to teach about Christianity and another five world faiths: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism. However, there is enormous diversity within these traditions and this will be recognised in curriculum planning. The syllabus also encourages us to study faiths and traditions not included in the six world religions defined in guidance. We have discretion in this and should reflect the community and context within which we work.
In addition, we are required to include other world views throughout the study of RE. This recognises that one of RE’s most important contributions to education is enabling all learners to explore questions of meaning, purpose and value. This is important from a perspective of faith or non-religious understanding and recognises that most people do not adhere to formal religious structures.
The syllabus is supported by an extensive range of units of work which have been written by teachers from within Kirklees and Calderdale and by RE Today Services. The units of work are non-statutory and we are free to use, adapt or change these in line with our needs. Other world views is taken to mean beliefs, arguments or philosophies that approach questions of meaning and purpose without reference to belief in a deity. This may include a structured, named philosophy such as Humanism, or a more general argument or approach relevant to the questions studied. Exemplar materials are provided within the units of work.