Our School Curriculum
The curriculum at Longhoughton emphasises activity and experience whilst incorporating Statutory Guidelines of the National Curriculum.
At Longhoughton the children are taught as individuals, in groups and as a class. Children's needs vary according to their age, ability and the subject being taught. We endeavour at all times to teach to the needs of the child.
We follow the recommended guidelines of the National Curriculum. English lessons are structured around units of work, which include learning in reading, writing and speaking and listening.
The children read in class with the teacher, and will also be given an independent reading book, which they are expected to read at home. Your child may be asked to complete a set amount of reading for homework. Once your child has read his / her reading book, they should be encouraged to read a library book or a personal reading book. We set great store by children being able to read, and encourage our children to read for pleasure and enjoyment. Parents are asked to share in their child’s reading development by reading to them and hearing them read regularly. The continuous link between home and school reading is much valued and beneficial to the child, even after they are able to read independently. The children are given a Reading Record book to track their progress in reading. These give opportunities for comments by parents and staff, as well as encouraging a personal response from the child. Please add comments in your child’s reading record book.
We invite parents into school to share in children’s reading. We ask that all parent helpers be DBS (Disclosure and Baring service) checked.
We have a wide range of reading schemes and materials to support reading, some of which are: PM, Read Write Inc, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Rockets, Rigby Star and Rising Stars. In addition we have a wide variety of fiction and reference books within each classroom and in the school library.
Children’s speaking and listening skills are developed through the whole curriculum. We use drama to explore ideas, and children learn how to make their own presentations to their class, the school and the wider community. We encourage good listening, and children take part in conversations, debates and council meetings.
The children are taught to write in a range of styles and for a variety of purposes. Writing skills learned in English lessons are reinforced through writing across a range of other curriculum subjects. Children are taught to write using the Nelson joined handwriting script. They are actively encouraged to improve their written work by redrafting or correcting spellings and handwriting.
Spellings to learn or related activities are sent home regularly. The activities may take the form of finding words that begin with a certain sound, or sound the same, e.g. all, tall, fall, or learning words which we all use frequently, e.g. the, friend, people. In Key Stage 2 children’s spelling will be related to spelling rules learned in Basic Skills lessons.
We follow the ‘Read Write Inc.’ phonic scheme.
The approach to teaching mathematics is that recommended by the Guidelines of the National Curriculum. We aim to ensure children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, are able to reason mathematically and are able to solve problems. We do this thrugh dedicated mathematics time:
- dedicated mathematics lessons every day;
- direct teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class and groups;
- an emphasis on mental calculation – this is taught through the CLIC sessions (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New and Calculation)
- differentiation, with all pupils engaged in mathematics relating to a common theme.
The children are encouraged to apply their mathematical knowledge and understanding to every day problems and investigations in other curriculum areas.
Through a range of topics each child has opportunities to investigate and develop essential scientific skills such as observing, classifying and fair testing as well as developing good attitudes to their work such as curiosity, perseverance and co-operation. These skills and attitudes enable a child to acquire an informed and critical understanding of the world.
History and Geography are taught as part of a creative curriculum which is topic based. We aim to give the children as much hands on experience as possible through trips and visitors. Topics are based on
guidelines from the National Curriculum.
This subject calls for pupils to become creative problem solvers, both as individuals and members of a team.
The children will be asked to investigate ideas, dissemble and evaluate objects. They will be taught how to build structures or components and will learn new skills. Finally the children will be asked to ‘design and make’ something based on knowledge and skills gained. Children will be asked to evaluate their work and the work of others; considering what improvements could be made.
Children are taught to make and use a range of joins and mechanisms, and how to choose and use a variety of materials e.g. wood, card, paper, food, clay, together with appropriate tools. Time is taken to familiarise the children with the safe use of a range of tools. The safe use of the equipment is stressed at all times.
Children cook regularly in school. Classes are also offered the opportunity to join ‘Let’s Get Cooking’ after school club during the course of the school year.
Art is taught as a subject in its own right, and is also used to support work across all areas of the curriculum. Children are given the opportunity to explore a range of materials and techniques.
We use computer work as an integral part of the curriculum. Children will gradually develop a variety of skills and use computers to enhance work in all other curriculum areas. As children progress through the school, they will have experience and growing expertise in many basic ICT skills. We embed ICT throughout the curriculum using multi media computer programmes to enhance our learning.
We use multimedia windows based computers and laptops; we have wireless internet facility throughout school. All classes have an interactive whiteboard. The children use video and digital cameras to record their work. CD players are in every classroom. Have a look at our website, www.longhoughton.northumberland.sch.uk
Our aim is for children to enjoy listening to and making music and for this to be a positive, enriching and creative experience.
Through listening, appraising, performing and composing children develop an understanding and appreciate various styles of music.
All children learn to sing songs together that are appropriate to their age and interest. They sing together during worship and whole school productions, a tradition that enhances the community feeling in the school. Children learn how to use a wide range of percussion instruments, as well as having access to instrumental lessons provided by the County Music Service.
Children learn to appreciate the music of other cultures through discovery of multi-cultural instruments from around the world.
Physical Education and Physical Activity
The children participate in a diverse and wide range of PE lesson twice a week. The school also follows a progressive exercise programme called ‘Activate’ as well as a whole school ‘Wake ‘n’ Shake’ programme. We make good use of local sports clubs, qualified coaches and teaching specialists giving the children a wide variety of sporting experiences e.g. football, rugby, and cricket within the curriculum and after school clubs.
KS2 children participate in a block of swimming lessons each year with wall bouldering and free style gymnastics.
Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
(PSHE & Citizenship)
Through PSHE and Citizenship the children learn the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active responsible citizens developing healthy relationships.
Pupils will gain knowledge and understanding about Christianity and other world faiths. Children will be taught in a way that respects and maintains the integrity of all religions.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
We aim to foster an interest in language learning by introducing children to other languages in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all pupils. Classes are named after countries of the world and children will learn a variety of words and phrases from that country to use throughout the year e.g. hello, please, thank you, numbers, colours.
French is taught to all children in Key Stage 2. It is taught through interactive resources, speaking and listening activities and games.
Daily Act of Worship
Our school has a daily act of worship. Parents may, if they wish, withdraw their children from these assemblies and R.E. Such requests should be made to the Headteacher in writing.
Arrangements for the act of Collective Worship are made by the school in accordance with requirements of the 1944 Education Act and the Education Reform Act 1988.
In accordance with our Trust Deed and statutory requirements, Collective Worship and R.E. are placed at the centre of the school life.
Extra Curricular Activities
Instrumental Music Lessons
Instrumental Music Teachers visit school weekly to teach a variety of instruments (dependent on number of pupils interested) to children in Key Stage 2. This has included violin, guitar and keyboard lessons. Parents who wish their child/children to have lessons pay on a termly basis.
After school clubs are an important part of school life and we see these as important learning opportunities for the children.
After school clubs are organised on a half termly basis.
Whenever possible we look for ways to enrich the learning experiences for children. These may be achieved by attending special events, taking part in sporting and musical activities and by visiting places.
Out of Hours Care
Acorns provides out of hours care, Monday to Friday, for Reception to Y5 age groups, through:
Morning session - 7.45 – 8.45am
Evening session - 3.15 – 5.45pm
Please ask at the office for more information or a booking form.
Information can also be found on the school website:
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Children who have difficulty accessing the curriculum have programmes of intervention work specifically planned to meet their needs as well as receiving additional support so that they can access the curriculum and reach their full potential.
We firmly believe that the partnership between teachers and parents working together is paramount in best supporting and helping the child concerned. It is hoped that the child will overcome his/her difficulties, but sometimes it may be necessary to call in outside agencies, such as the Educational Psychologist who will make further assessments and suggest other strategies to be used.
ASSESSMENT AND REPORTING TO PARENTS
All children are regularly assessed to ensure they are making progress and that tasks are appropriate to their learning.
Parents are invited to Parent Consultation Meetings in the Autumn and Spring Terms to discuss their child’s progress and next steps to learning. An annual written report is sent home in the Summer Term.
At the end of the Foundation Stage, parents receive a report summarising their child’s achievements in all areas of the curriculum. A weekly comment is also made informing parents of what the children have learnt that week and any necessary comments on their progress to enable parents to support their child at home through a home school book.
In accordance with Government regulations the children in Year 1 have a phonics assessment check and Year 2 and Year 6 take part in the annual Standard Attainment Tests (SATs). These results are given to parents and reported to the Governors and the LA.