At Great Whelnetham School we teach the National Curriculum compulsory subjects alongside other subjects that are key to our role as a Church of England primary school. For each subject below we have also included our thoughts on why they are important and how we teach them.
English / Literacy
Reading, writing, speaking and listening are the cornerstones for the whole of the curriculum. The aim is to teach children to read a wide variety of materials, both fiction and non-fiction. We use a programme of synthetic phonics which supports reading, spelling and writing skills.
We encourage children to read using the school library and book collections, Kindles, through book fairs and special book weeks.
Children are offered a wide variety of opportunities to develop their writing skills including short and extended stories, poetry, plays, letters, factual writing and the design of posters.
Pupils are encouraged to use the spoken word in a suitable manner through the use of role-play, performance of plays, giving instructions, carrying messages, factual reporting, reading and reciting poetry and in general conversation. Listening skills are developed throughout the school.
How Parents and Carers can help:
- Talk to your children
- Read to them and with them
- English homework is set and there are regular spelling tests for all children
We aim to provide the children with a wide range of experiences through which they develop numeracy and mathematical experiences. A range of practical activities, written activities, investigative work and calculator work is incorporated into our daily routine.
The National Curriculum identifies 4 areas of study:
1. Using and applying maths
3. Shape, space and measure
4. Handling data
From the early years our science sets out to enable the children to understand the world in which they live by showing them how to investigate it. We aim to develop our children's interest, enjoyment and curiosity.
Science is an imaginative subject and finding out by trying out and making careful observations is key. We try to teach in varied and interesting ways both within the classroom and by using our rich outdoor environment.
Design and Technology [DT]
Children have the opportunity to design and make, investigate, disassemble and evaluate familiar products. They learn to use a range of materials and techniques, components and mechanisms, safely and effectively. Children also examine existing products in order to assess their design quality. Children are encouraged to ask probing questions and are taught the skills of systematic enquiry which will help them suggest answers and find solutions to problems.
Although DT is treated as a subject in itself, there are times when it is taught with other subjects, like ICT.
Information and Communication Technology [ICT]
Children are taught to use ICT equipment and software confidently and purposefully, to communicate and handle information, input programming, produce recordings and expressive work and to assess the value of ICT in their work.
ICT is an ever-expanding and constantly changing area of our lives and the school considers it essential that children grow up using it as a tool for a variety of learning purposes. Children, therefore, experience the use of computers and tablets from the start of their school lives and gradually learn a range of applications. ICT has been and continues to be an area for school development with continued updating of resources and training for staff.
Art and Design
Our children have many opportunities to express themselves and communicate ideas and feelings through art and craft activities. They will use a range of media including painting, drawing, printing 3D work and textiles, clay and mixed media work. They will become familiar with the work of artists past and present and work from other cultures.
Our school walls are covered with the work that our children have designed and we love to show it off. In December 2016, the children created tableaux of London to illustrate and decorate the Great Whelnetham Players' Christmas Pantomime, Dick Whittington.
We are proud to hold an Artsmark award.
Children will experience study units on themes such as ‘Victorian Britain’, ‘Local History’ or ‘Ancient Egyptians’. They will develop a range of skills and knowledge to help them study history. These may involve recreating some situations or visiting suitable sites or museums. Understanding a ’time-line’ and interpreting different kinds of historical evidence is also of great value.
Sometimes, as when we study the locality of Great Whelnetham, connections are made between history and geography and they are taught together.
In developing their geography skills, children are asked to show a sense of curiosity about, and responsibility towards, the environment. They are required to raise questions, make observations and collect evidence about the natural and man-made world.
During their early years at school, children are taught a range of skills encouraging sensitive listening as well as playing simple musical instruments. They are progressively taught to understand the fundamental elements of music and hear how these are used in combination.
A Music Specialist teaches these progressions throughout the school. There is a school choir and the children are able to have violin lessons from Reception upwards and piano and voice lessons from Year 2.
Physical Education [PE]
Physical Education covers gymnastics, games, dance, swimming and athletic and outdoor activities.
In all activities, we aim to develop teamwork and co-operation, to know the importance of practice, and to learn to be sympathetic to the abilities of others. The school hall, the playing field and the playground are all used for P.E. and games sessions.
We have a variety of coaches who visit the school. An external sports company provides games coaching for each class on Monday and Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings.
As a member of the Bury Schools Partnership we are able to participate in competitive sports including hockey, rugby, tennis and cross country.
Lower KS2 children go to Bury Swimming pool once a week during the Spring Term. Here, the children learn water safety and how to improve their swimming strokes and confidence.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 68% of pupils within our Year 6 cohort met the National Curriculum requirement to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.
We have achieved Activemark status. This is because at least all of our children take part in at least 2 hours of high quality PE and school sport per week. It also reflects the commitment the school has to offering new and enhanced sporting activities to the children.
Modern Foreign Languages [MFL]
All schools are required to provide MFL teaching at Key Stage 2 and we teach over and above the required hours per week. Our children have French lessons for an hour per week and across the whole school we embed the regular use of French language, even in the Reception year. Each term the school learns a French song and we also include extra activities from time to time.
Religious Education [RE]
As a Church of England school we take our RE seriously. RE is governed by an agreed Religious Education syllabus and school’s approach to RE is one which draws upon and contributes towards, wider personal, social and spiritual development. We promote the principles of a “democratic, multi-cultural society”. Children learn to understand the nature of Christianity and of other principal religious traditions.
Personal, Social and Health Education [PSHE]
PSHE helps to give our children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to live confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. As such, children are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of our school and community. During KS1, children learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experience and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development.
They learn the basic skills for keeping themselves healthy, through sensible eating and exercise. They learn how to keep safe and to behave in a sensible manner. They begin to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and adults. During KS2, children learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their community. Children learn about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. They develop their sense of moral justice and responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour affect local, national or global issues. They learn how to take part more fully in school and community activities.