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Reports to Parents 2017/18
Mrs D Ellison
Tel. 01926 426773
Fax. 01926 337755
Langley Road, Leamington Spa, Warwick, CV31 2EX
‘Learning, growing and succeeding together’
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At Whitnash Primary School we are committed to raising standards for all children in Maths so that all children become confident and successful in this subject.
Pupils are given opportunities to acquire skills and knowledge appropriate to their Age Related Expectations and also to mathematical situations that they will meet in life.
Maths sessions have a particular structure, during the morning session. They begin with some challenging and paced oral mental work which is designed to re-
The work is planned to encourage children through developing their confidence and competence with number. They gain an understanding of the number system, a repertoire of calculation skills (outlined in the school's Calculation Policy) and an ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts. Wherever possible children's mathematical understanding is developed and encouraged through hands on resources, manipulative apparatus, models and images.
Mathematics involves the children searching for patterns and relationships to solve both practical and theoretical problems by analysing and communicating information and ideas. Therefore we encourage the development of children's mathematical vocabulary and encourage them to verbally explain their reasoning. Children are encouraged to talk about their own work, ask questions and make predictions based on experience.
The school use 'Prove it' tables in every class as a resource base. These tables are integrated into the planning and deliver of a lesson and children are encouraged to access the resources to verbally explain and visually demonstrate their understanding of a concept or calculation.
The curriculum for Mathematics at Whitnash focuses on 3 crucial elements of maths. These are:
Mathematics is an extremely important subject area and therefore every opportunity is also taken to promote Maths in cross-
'Numeracy is an essential key life skill'
A good command of English is essential to the all round development of every child leading to their success not only at school, but also in later life. Therefore the curriculum at Whitnash Primary is thematic and cross-
Reading is taught throughout the school using a variety of strategies and methods. These include:
The children are guided to appreciate the significance of print, to build up a sight vocabulary with a good knowledge of phonics and encouraged to develop their skills of inference and deduction. These skills are taught from Reception onwards.
From Reception, children are taught to focus on the sight and sound of words. They are also shown how to identity words within words, word families, letter strings, rhymes and patterns. They are taught these skills through focused Phonic sessions from Reception onwards. Daily children have opportunity daily to learn a new phoneme, consolidate previous skills and apply there skills to a reading or writing task.
Whilst they become familiar with the conventions of writing they are also introduced to simple punctuation, capital letters and the spacing between words.
Once children have mastered their phonics, attention is given daily to Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG). Children are given weekly opportunities to demonstrate their competence and confidence with these skills through 'Grammar Hammer' sessions.
The children are positively encouraged to take books home. Each child has a Reading Record book where parents are invited to comment on progress alongside the teacher. Parents are strongly encouraged to read to their child as well listening to them read. Working in partnership with parents we hope to stimulate children's interest in books and encourage the habit of reading for pleasure.
Writing begins in our Early Years curriculum where there is a strong focus on encouraging emergent writing. Through a balance of direct teaching and extensive opportunities to explore their writing independently through the classroom environment children develop the appropriate skills identified in the Early Learning Goals. As children progress through Reception and the rest of the school they have frequent opportunities to write for different purposes and audiences.
As children become more competent writers they are encouraged to revise and redraft work, paying attention to clarity and meaning a well as to the skills of punctuation, consistency in tense and spelling. Cross-
Throughout the school great emphasis is placed on sentence construction, grammar, punctuation, spellings and handwriting so please support you child with any spelling or written work which has to be completed at home.
Handwriting is taught through guided practice in a style that has an entry and exit stroke, enabling the children to develop a joined and cursive handwriting style from Year 1 onwards.
From Year 1 onwards the children are encouraged to develop their cursive style through the use of 'Pen Licences'. Once they have mastered a neat, consistent cursive style, the individual children will be rewarded with a certificate in Friday's assembly and given a pen to write with. We find this is extremely motivational and children are encouraged to strive and aspire to a 'Pen Licence'.
Encourage your child to write some sentences using the spellings that are given in order to understand their meanings which will in turn reinforce the knowledge of sentence structure.
Speaking and Listening is also a strong focus throughout the curriculum. We aim to develop children's confidence, self-
All our children take part in a wide range of activities for different audiences, such as reading aloud, group discussions, drama activities, presentations to the class, class assemblies to the school and annual productions to parents and carers.
'Literacy is an essential key life skill'
Science is recognised as the third core curriculum subject alongside English and Mathematics and provides an enjoyable and stimulating way to put into practice the skills acquired in the other two core subject areas. Science in this school provides a range of opportunities for all children to explore, discover and investigate the immediate environment of the classroom, school grounds, home and the wider environment.
The teaching of Science is directed towards increasing our children's knowledge and understanding of the natural world and the world as modified by human beings. They progressively develop a knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and facts through practical 'hands on' activities. Teachers often present a study unit in Science through a theme or topic.
National Curriculum Science includes:
~ Life & Its Processes (Plants, Animals & Ourselves).
~ Materials & Their Properties (Solids, Liquids & Gases).
~ Physical Processes (Forces, Energy, Light, Sound & Spaces).
As well as developing scientific knowledge, we also aim to introduce our children to the processes of Science by teaching from an early stage the skills of observing, sorting, grouping, comparing, raising questions, predicting, testing, seeking patterns or relationships, interpreting, evaluating, communicating and recording through investigation.
They gradually develop these skills, which enable them to tackle new problems and consider real situations with increased confidence and make informed decisions based on previous experience.
Our children are taught and encourage to use appropriate scientific language to discuss and explain their findings and thoughts to others. Pupils are made aware of hazards involved in using and handling certain materials and living things. Teachers and support staff are also regularly kept up to date with current health and safety advice.
We believe they should be able to relate scientific knowledge to everyday life, to use appropriate apparatus with the relevant techniques safely and confidently. This school is fortunate to have a spacious area affording the children hands on experience about caring for wildlife and their environment.
'Science is a Core Subject'
The History curriculum makes our children aware of the scale of time in history from the earliest people, hunters and gatherers right through to the Second World War and the present day.
Pupils look at the way people have lived through different periods of History and the varying influences that have affected changes on their way of life. Classroom teachings and learning strategies include handling artefacts, documents and pictures to distinguish between old and new using reference materials to extract relevant information.
An important part of historical enquiry involves collecting actual evidence together with the ability to deduce information from real sites and in-
Very early on children study from their own experiences and their immediate family. A basic understanding of life in the past is developed through fold legends and stories about famous people.
At Key Stage 1 pupils will develop an awareness of the ways in which the past is different from the present through themes or class topics such as Homes, Schools, Transport, Travel, Toys, Games and Clothes. They will also study a variety of people and events from the local area, the wider community, Britain and other countries.
The main skills that are being developed at this time is an awareness of time and the ability to sequence events in addition to the attainment of historical knowledge.
At Key Stage 2 pupils will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills acquired at Key Stage 1. Pupils are helped to grasp an understanding of the periods studied as well as considering change over time.
They will have opportunities to develop their chronological awareness and to learn about the past from a range of historical themes. History may be taught through a topic approach or as discrete units which are often 'blocked' to allow an in depth study over a half term or term.
The emphasis is primarily on social history studying the way of life of people at different times in the past including key events and personalities. They will study four main historical periods and throughout these periods pupils will compare and contrast change and development.
We believe that Geography is primarily about stimulating pupils' interest in their immediate surroundings and is about fostering their sense of awe and wonder at the beauty of the world around them. Geography helps children to understand and respect their environment and how it relates to the wider world by learning about places and the interaction of people within those places.
Geography provides a means of enquiry, observation, exploration and description of the features of the Earth, its d influences that create them by including a study of the weather and its effects, jobs, journey, economic activities and landscape features in a range of places.
By studying Geography children can begin to respond to questions such as:
~ What is this place?
~ What has made this place like it is?
~ How does this place compare to other places?
~ How is it different, how is it the same?
~ How is this place changing, what might happen in the future?
Children will be given the opportunity to:
~ Develop and apply a widening range of appropriate geographical skills and
~ Observe, describe and compare places and their features.
~ Offer explanations for what they have observed and discuss how they are linked to
~ Record their ideas logically.
~ Become aware of places beyond their own local area.
~ Investigate and identify changing and contrasting geographical patters and how they
relate to physical and human processes.
Geography in both Key Stages is based on fieldwork and classroom activities which may involve school excursions as appropriate.
At Key Stage 1 Geography tends to be taught through a thematic or topic approach which can be cross curricular. By the end of Key Stage 1 the children will have carried out studies of at least two places and one or more themes.
At Key Stage 2 Geography may be taught through a topic approach or as discrete units which are often 'blocked' to allow an in depth study over a half term or term. During Key Stage 2 they carry out studies of three places and four themes.
Design Technology is a practical problem-
Design Technology encompasses the area of food technology including preparing, cooking and tasting together with textiles, structures and mechanisms.
Design Technology not only has very close links with Science, Mathematics, Art and ICT but also contributes significantly to the development of pupils' aesthetic awareness and creative experiences.
One of the aims in DT is to promote the development of the imagination and the creative use of media and materials thus making DT a thoroughly enjoyable and interest subject albeit on certain occasions rather messy.
DT involves investigating, designing, making and evaluating products in order to develop knowledge and understanding. All activities are appropriate to the child's age and ability.
Extensive use is made of tools, materials and various types of constructions kits. This may include glue guns, scissors, knives, hammers and certain electrical components as well as raw food, glass, wood and fibres.
Extreme care is taken in the teaching and delivery of this subject. Every effort is made to ensure that there is adequate supervision of the children when they are handling the relevant equipment.
The health and safety of the children is of paramount importance and as such there are stringent guidelines relating to the use of certain tools, materials, glues and other adhesives which are strictly enforced.
Parents and carers are asked to update their child's class teacher of any known allergies or reactions on a regular basis.
'Design Technology is creative and aesthetic'
The term ICT includes the use of any equipment which allows users to communicate or manipulate information electronically. ICT is increasingly affecting all our lives and the school staff regard this as a very important part not only as a National Curriculum subject but in the role it plays across the curriculum. It is our aim to direct and help children to ICT with purpose and enjoyment. ICT is taught, developed and applied throughout the curriculum to provide the children with a tool for learning.
Pupils use ICT to explore and solve problems across a range of subjects. They learn how to communicate and handle a variety of information including text, graphs, picture and sound together with using ICT for control, monitoring and modelling purposes.
We intend to strengthen our children's practical skills and their ability to apply these skills to the solving of problems. The ICT provision in our school includes computers around school, Ipads, digital cameras/video equipment and portable laptops/Notebooks. All computers are networked and have secure internet access. Unsupervised access is not allowed and the school is supported through the Warwickshire Education Service to ensure that our internet is appropriately 'Firewalled'.
In addition the school has it's own website where from time to time pupils' work and images are displayed and parental consent is required for these to appear on our website. Consent for displaying pupil's work and photographs is sent out when a pupil starts at our school.
The ability to use ICT effectively is a vital life skill in the modern world and is therefore an important curriculum requirement.
'ICT is an essential key life skill'
While not a National Curriculum subject it is a compulsory part of the total school curriculum. The teaching of Religious Education follows the Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus. The schemes of work provide pupils with a broad religious and moral education making them aware of all the main world religions with emphasis and all aspects of Christianity.
The children are encouraged to develop an awareness of their own experiences of life, religion and the way in which it differs from that of other people.
Pupils' knowledge, understanding and awareness of Christianity and other principle religions is developed over the Key Stages providing continuous, progressive and meaningful learning experiences. RE topics or themes are designed to complement other work in the class in a variety of subjects.
The children will explore religion by expressing their own experiences and feelings though discussion, literature, stories from around the world, drama, dance, workshops, writing, art, music, worship and singing leading on to the ways other people have expressed these feelings.
Religious Education aims to encourage throughout the school community a sense of respect, tolerance and empathy for the beliefs and practices of other people.
Assemblies are held for collective worship which is non-
Children are encouraged to be involved in the planning and presentation of class assemblies to the whole school to which parents are invited. Local religious leaders and various organisations are invited to take assemblies on an occasional basis. Special Assemblies are organised to celebrate a range of festivals throughout the academic year.
Whilst we hope that every child will take part in these aspects of school life, parents and carers have the right to withdraw their child from acts of worship, religious instruction or elements of it if it is their wish. In this case, parents and carers should consult the Head Teacher and alternative arrangements will be made to accommodate their child during these sessions.
Physical Education plays a very important part in the school curriculum It uses movement as a medium for learning and expression allowing the children to develop both physical skills and creativity. It contributes to the overall education of young children by promoting physical activity and a health lifestyle.
Pupils have the opportunity and are actively encouraged to take part in a wide range of sporting activities.
At Key Stage 1 children have the opportunity to partake in three areas of activity, games, gymnastics and dance.
At Key Stage 2 in addition to these three areas pupils are also introduced to more adventurous activities including swimming, athletics and outdoor pursuits.
The school aims to offer each class indoor gymnastic/dance session and a session of games per week. This routine is occasionally altered to accommodate other events which need to take place in the school hall.
Physical Education takes place in the main hall, playground or on the playing fields where the physical competence and co-
The hall is used for floor work, dance, drama and gymnastics where pupils have access to large and small apparatus. The playing fields and grounds are utilised for rounders, football, rugby, cricket, hockey and athletics. The firm surface of the playground is used for developing ball skills such as netball, basketball and tennis skills. Basic skills are incorporated into small group games progressing to whole team games. As often as possible inter-
Year 3, 4 pupils undertake swimming lessons and these are arranged in the Spring Term.
In Key Stage 2 the school offers pupils the opportunity to partake in a residential outdoor pursuit's course at Marle Hall which is a credited centre with approved instruction in activities such as canoeing, abseiling, orienteering, archery and hill walking. This is a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the children and the staff.
We aim to promote healthy lifestyles through physical activity and to introduce children to the enjoyment and achievement of participation in all sports.
Currently the school is supported in the development of our Sports Curriculum through a company called 'Fit4Schools'. Through the targeted use of Sports Premium funding our aim is to improve Sport provision, children's interest and engagement is physical activity and staff confidence with delivering high quality lessons to our pupils. Through a bespoke programme Fit4Schools is supporting Whitnash with these key objectives. It is hoped that through this high quality support, these improvements will be sustainable for the future.
Art work at Whitnash Primary is cross-
Art can be a wonderful means of developing visual thinking and creativity and our school believes that art is for enjoyment for self-
Children in both Key Stages explore the visual language of art in a wide variety of materials, tools, methods and techniques using their own experiences, memory and imagination when expressing themselves.
Pupils are taught as individuals, in groups or as a whole class, as appropriate. They are encouraged to talk about their work and that of others and explore the history of art, artists and craft workers.
There are three main strands: understanding, making and investigating, which are closely interwoven in the learning opportunities we create. Through art children can experiment, explore and develop their creative and aesthetic awareness. The children produce art work in both two and three dimensions using a wide variety of skills including drawing, painting, printing, collage, textiles, clay and Plasticine.
Children are encouraged to take care and pride in producing their best efforts. All art work produced by the pupils is valued and respected. Children's work from all classes is displayed throughout the school and many pieces of priceless art work will find its way home for all the family to enjoy.
Children's art work plays an important part in creating exciting learning environments within classrooms and art displays provide eye catching focal points in which to present work in other curriculum areas.
Pupils are offered a varied and comprehensive scope in the field of music. At both Key Stages pupils undertake activities within the areas of composing, performing and appraising.
Musical concepts are taught within activities where the children are encouraged to explore, experiment and create music themselves. These opportunities extend to the children's knowledge and understanding of the musical elements; pitch, duration, pace, timbre, texture, dynamics, structure and silence.
The music curriculum at Whitnash is supported by the 'Charanga' programme. This is a comprehensive and progressive planning and teaching tool to support the delivery of music.
Children are encouraged to perform to others within the classroom, during assemblies and in various performances throughout the year.
Those pupils who show an interest in brass, woodwind, string, keyboard and guitar have the opportunity to learn to play these instruments from the service of a peripatetic teachers who visit each week for which a charge is levied. The programme of music tuition may change annually. For more information concerning additional music tuition please contact the school office.
Extra curricular activities include a choir which enable Key Stage 2 pupils to develop their skills and take part in various concerts.
The school also participates in wider musical opportunities throughout the year e.g. Young Voices.
Personal and Social Education aims to cover the key aspects concerned with preparing our children to understand and care for their lives now, as teenagers and as adults.
It is hoped that the ethos of this school which emphasises a caring and considerate atmosphere develops respect for the individual, values the achievements of everyone and encourages attitudes which enable children to make a positive contribution to our community and live harmoniously with others.
The school uses a progressive scheme of work for the whole school, incorporating Social, Emotional Aspect of Learning. Protective Behaviours and Prevent. This scheme supports the delivery of discrete PSHE lessons, but also the pitch and expectation of the wider PSHE focus for each year group.
The aim of personal health education is to provide further opportunities for children to increase their understanding about their bodies and how they work, personal hygiene, diet, how to keep fit, use/misuse of drugs, the effects of smoking and alcohol. Pupils are made aware of the risks of an unhealthy life style, of what it takes to keep healthy and their personal responsibility of achieving this.
The school also places a strong emphasis on healthy eating. Wider opportunities to encourage this are maximised. This is done through cooking and nutrition lessons linked to the Creative Curriculum and the use of external visitors, such as 'Change Makers'. We would ask all adults to join us in educating the children about the importance of healthy eating.
Children have the opportunity to debate sensitive issues in circle time sessions are able to listen, understand and empathise with their peers. Teachers and support staff carefully guide the discussions and offer advice and suggestions to both individuals and the class as a whole.
Topics for discussion commonly include teasing, bullying, E Safety, fears and anxiety and the importance of honesty and following rules.
At various times throughout the school year the school responds to the needs of others by supporting charities and appeals both locally and internationally. This normally involves a sponsored event or a non-
We promote all aspects of health and safety and we strive to teach the importance of healthy living. Sex Education and Drugs Education are seen as natural progressions within Personal and Social Education.
Sex Education In this school Sex Education may be dealt with directly, and out of topics naturally arising from the curriculum, or an informal basis arising out of children's questions on the subject.
At all times Class Teachers and any outside agencies deal with this area sensitively and carefully, bearing in mind the atmosphere of family life, good loving relationships, respect for others and the moral framework of our society.
Sex Education is partly based on the Personal and Social Education Programme and partly based on the national curriculum requirements for Science.
Children are introduced to the basic ideas of reproduction, encouraged to use the correct vocabulary for parts of the body and to respect their own and other people's bodies. All lessons are age related and delivered in a manner appropriate to the children’s needs and level of understanding.
Year 6 pupils have a series of lessons arranged which emphasises the importance of family life and personal development ensuring that the children have a sound basis of fact in preparation for puberty and subsequent adult life.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Sex Education if they so wish. Parents will be given prior notice of any topic which involves sex education and will be given the opportunity to view the Governor approved teaching materials with a synopsis of the content of the lessons to be undertaken.
We have a Sex Education Policy which has been approved by Governors and is available from school.
Drugs Education The Schools Police Liaison Officer assists the school and its teachers in delivering this aspect of the curriculum which will reflect the immediate needs of the school in an appropriately sensitive and age related way.