Oakley Lower School
 
 
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Curriculum Information

 

Select an area

Philosophy and Aims
Ethos
The Curriculum
Organisation and teaching methods
Use of Staff Expertise

 

 

Subjects

English And Literacy
Reading
Spelling
Handwriting
Mathematics and Numeracy
Science
Technology
Information Communications Technology
Art
Physical Education (P.E.)
Music
History & Geography
Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)
Sex Education
Religious Education (R.E.)

 

Philosophy and Aims:

We believe that education begins at home and continues throughout life.  We recognise education as a process of growth where the lower school begins to equip children for their future lives and careers in a multi-cultural society.  It will help them to contribute to a better understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.  Oakley Lower will endeavour, to encourage the participation and cooperation of families, friends and members of the immediate community.   Through our ethos and broad and balanced curriculum, in accordance with the National Curriculum, we aim to develop the child’s knowledge, experience and imagination and increase his/her awareness of moral values and capacity for enjoyment.   By providing a wide variety of experience suited to the age, developmental and equal opportunity needs of the child - physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally. aesthetically and spiritually - we aim to ensure  each child achieves his/her full potential.

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Ethos:

The whole school environment shall be stimulating, welcoming, happy and secure, and one in which children develop self-discipline and show respect for others and property.  The children are expected to take a pride in all that they do.  In promoting an awareness of self and sensitivity to others, positive attitudes of courtesy, consideration and care are developed.  The school is part of a wider community and is committed to teaching its pupils both to be aware of that community and of those overseas, so embracing a broad range of human needs.

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The Curriculum:

Oakley LowerAll areas of the curriculum are built up on the child's own experience.  The curriculum is, therefore, broad, balanced, relevant to the pupil's own experience and matched to his/her abilities and aptitudes.  Although much of the work attached to the foundation areas of the National Curriculum during the early years will cross the traditional subject boundaries, it is recognised that a high priority must be given to the three core subject areas, i.e. English, Mathematics and Science in years 1 - 4.  All subjects are taught in discrete lessons, although Art and Design Technology are sometimes taught in the same lesson to ensure continuity and progression.  The programmes of study in all subjects except English and Mathematics are taught through a two year rolling programme of themes in KS 2 and most subjects in KS1. A child will thus encounter specific areas either in Years 1 + 3 or Years 2 + 4.

Policies are written and reviewed through general discussion and consensus of opinion of all staff and governors with particular reference to the Curriculum Committee.  Curriculum coordinators lead the discussions in their areas of responsibility and supervise the development of that curriculum area, attending relevant courses, disseminating ideas and monitoring resource provision.

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Organisation and teaching methods

The children are organised into classes, each with its own teacher for most of the teaching timetable.  The Reception class admits all children in the September following their 4th birthday (Refer to Admissions policy).  Class grouping is chronological where possible. 

Within the subject guidelines drawn up and agreed with the head, staff and governing body, the individual class teacher has some degree of teaching autonomy as to internal classroom organisation and his/her teaching style.  The guiding principle is “fitness for purpose” thus a combination of individual, group and class teaching will be undertaken.  Children may be required to work within the class in ability groups, mixed ability groups or friendship groups as appropriate for the task in hand.

There are designated resource areas in the main school - Mathematics, Language, Special Needs, Science & Technology, History & Geography, Computer, Music and P.E.  There is also a separate library.

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Use of Staff Expertise

The role of subject co-ordinator is continuously being developed through appropriate training and staff discussion.  Co-ordinators monitor and evaluate their subject(s) through a combination of analysing test results (for English, Mathematics & Science), observing lessons, talking to pupils, looking at their work and scrutinising plans.

Subjects

English And Literacy

Development of such is fundamental in all areas and therefore is given high priority in this school.  The four language modes - listening, speaking, reading and writing - are interdependent and of equal importance.  The purpose of language is communication, therefore the child must learn to speak clearly, listen attentively, read with comprehension and write with clarity and legibility.  In order to do this, the basic skills have to be mastered and the practice of them will be consistent, progressive and balanced in line with the National Curriculum and National Literacy Strategy.

In Reception the Foundation Stage curriculum is followed and Literacy is taught through the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning. Early Reading Research is also being undertaken in Reception and KS1. Children are taught to read and spell through 2 daily sessions of 15 minutes. Within each session children practice synthesis, segmentation, phonic and sight vocabulary skills and read a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books. Children are taught on a whole class basis through a strategy known as “my turn” (where teachers model how to read), “let’s do it together” (where teachers and children read together) and “your turn” (where children read on their own).

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Reading

We believe that reading is an essential skill for life, used for both enjoyment and information and as such we consider it to be a major task in our teaching. Our aim is to help children to develop as independent, critical readers, who have a good understanding of books and stories and who enjoy reading for a wide range of purposes.

We teach reading using structured reading books and other relevant resources and provide children with access to a wide range of quality reading material in a variety of genres and which reflect different cultures.

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Spelling

In order to be able to write independently and with fluency children need to be able to spell and most children have to be taught this skill. Spelling is taught as a planned progression following the guidelines in the National Literacy Strategy and Early Reading Research.
The main approaches used to teach spelling are:-

  • Phonics – children are encouraged to listen carefully to sounds in words in order to help them make phonetically plausible attempts to spell them.
  • Learning high frequency words – in Reception and KS1 children learn to spell high frequency words through ERR (Early Reading Research).

In both KS1 and KS2 high frequency words taken from the National Literacy Strategy are regularly given as spellings for the children to learn and their knowledge of these is assessed each term.

From Year 1 all children are expected to learn spellings at home for a weekly test.

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Handwriting

Children are taught to write clearly and develop a fluent, legible handwriting style. Correct formation of letters is taught, progressing to joined up writing when appropriate

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Mathematics and Numeracy

We aim to provide opportunities for all children to experience and acquire mathematical concepts and the mathematical language necessary for their description.  Introduction in the early years will be through structured play and practical activities and discovery.  Children will be encouraged to discuss their work and be taught to record clearly, make logical deductions and carry out mathematical investigations in accordance with the National Curriculum and National Numeracy Strategy backed by a variety of resources. Teacher-assessment is continuous.

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Science

Children are encouraged to tackle problems in a logical and methodical way by observing, seeking and finding their own solutions in accordance with the National Curriculum as a specific subject as part of their class theme.  We aim to promote in young children the kind of enquiring minds, knowledge, skills and attitudes they can confidently apply to other areas of the curriculum and later to the challenges of adult life. 

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Technology

Children are given opportunities to design and construct, using a variety of materials and skills, including cookery and needlecraft, and will be encouraged to evaluate and modify their work where appropriate, thus promoting such qualities as inventiveness, resourcefulness and flexibility.

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Information Communications Technology

We believe that all pupils are entitled to be prepared for a technological society by having access to ICT experiences so that they can develop the required knowledge, skills and values that combine to form ICT capability. Opportunities are provided for all pupils to have access to the necessary ICT resources and ICT processes are promoted throughout all curriculum areas. ICT capability (knowledge, skills, values) is  developed in all pupils.

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Art

Art and craft permeates the whole curriculum.  Emphasis is placed on skills and techniques involving the use of a variety of materials and the children also have the opportunity to create in two and three dimensional forms, and to recognise and appreciate the work of past and present artists and those from other cultures.  We aim to encourage high standards and a sense of value in the efforts of every child through careful displays of their work. 

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Physical Education (P.E.)

All full time pupils have at least two P.E. lessons each week.  Our aim is to encourage the children to work cooperatively and individually to develop both an understanding, an awareness of their own capabilities and mastery of body movements by providing activities to develop control, coordination and mobility, giving opportunities for motor-control through the use of large and small equipment.

We aim to promote a positive attitude towards an active and healthy lifestyle. Enjoyment of a range of physical activities, including those in different environments, participation in co-operative and competitive group and team activities are of great importance.

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Music

Musical appreciation is developed by the pupils being taught rhythm, pitch and a basic understanding of musical notation in line with the National Curriculum. Children are offered the opportunity to learn the recorder from year 3.  Parents of pupils in years 3 and 4 also have the opportunity to pay for instrumental lessons from the County peripatetic staff through the County Music Service.

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History & Geography

History is more content based and Geography a skills based subject.  As such they are taught in line with OLS schemes of work which reflects the National Curriculum.   Every opportunity is taken to utilise the local environment to illustrate theory and to consolidate local awareness.  Pupils cover the national curriculum requirements through a 2-year rolling programme ensuring that they encounter all the areas once during each key stage.

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Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)

We believe that P.S.H.E. and Citizenship help to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. By its very nature P.S.H.E. permeates the whole curriculum both formally and informally.  We aim to guide and promote development by offering our pupils particular learning opportunities and experiences. These include participating in social groups, relating to others in a supportive atmosphere, learning personal and social skills, trying out new roles, taking responsibility and developing relationships. 

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Sex Education

Sex Education is not taught as a formal subject, but is addressed through Science and P.S.H.E. lessons when the family, plant reproduction and Living & Growing are studied as part of the National Curriculum.  Children’s questions in this area will be answered as sensitively as possible. Parent’s wishes are considered to be of paramount importance in this respect and any concerns should be addressed to the headteacher. 

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Religious Education (R.E.)

Our aim is to help children to acquire some understanding of what religion is and to learn about and respect different faiths and traditions in a multi-ethnic society.  At Oakley Lower School we follow the Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus which has been written in consultation with all the major faith groups from the area.

R.E. may be taught both in its own right, or as part of a particular theme, in addition to Collective Worship.  The local Methodist and Church of England ministers regularly take school assemblies and the whole school attends a service in one of the churches at the end of each term.  Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education lessons and collective worship.  Any children withdrawn on religious grounds will normally remain in their classroom. 

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Oakley Lower School, Station Road, Oakley, Bedford MK43 7RE oakleyl@deal.bedfordshire.gov.uk T: 01234 822104 F: 01234 826472
 
 
   
 
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