Curriculum

 Curriculum

All the opportunities for learning which are planned to promote the intellectual, personal, social and physical development of our children make up the curriculum. Learning is about doing and understanding as well as knowing.

The National Curriculum subjects are part of the total learning which takes place in our School, comprising the core subjects of Mathematics, English and Science and ICT together with the foundation subjects of Art, Design, Geography, History, Music and Physical Education. Additional areas of experience include Religious Education, Drama, and Personal and Social Education. All classes use every opportunity for first hand experience including educational visits and visiting groups or speakers to enhance the child’s learning experience. We encourage the children to think of others less fortunate than ourselves and regular appeals are made either directly or through fund raising events. Programmes of work may be planned in a variety of ways. Several subject areas are developed through a topic or theme. while others may be covered under subject-specific teaching, although it may also have a real application in a topic. There will be for each child, an appropriate balance of the main areas of learning. The curriculum is carefully planned to ensure that the requirements for the National Curriculum are covered at each key stage.

The buttons below provide parents with an overview of the curriculum structure for each class base. Where classes contain mixed age pupils it is delivered over a two year cycle.

The teaching of Mathematics is built upon the National Numeracy Strategy. Each class has a daily, dedicated Mathematics lesson of between 45 and 60 minutes duration. Children are encouraged to develop their mental skills through a variety of whole class activities and games, and we particularly welcome the support that parents are able to give in helping children to learn number facts, such as pairs of numbers which make ten, or the times tables, thus enabling children to take a full and confident part in class activities. We aim to provide interesting experiences which will foster an enjoyment of Mathematics, leading to understanding, discovery and clear, logical thinking. All of the children should then be confident in applying knowledge and experience in new situations and in their every-day life.
English is crucial to our children’s development and is taught through daily literacy lessons in every class. Literacy lessons follow the national programmes of study and are carefully planned to develop children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Children are taught to read, write and understand a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Skills in phonics, spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught. Children learn to read following a structured programme which enables them to use their reading ability to gain access to a world of information and enjoy books. Work at home is set for all pupils and partnership with parents to support their children’s learning is encouraged. Provision is made for challenging able pupils and group or individual support is available for those who need extra help. Our school is well resourced with books of all kinds. Several well-planned published programmes support work in literacy hour and provide progression for children as they move through the school. Pupils have access to our school library which has a wide range of books. All children in EYFS and KS1 undertake a daily synthetic phonics session to develop early language skills.
Through topic based science we are exploring the world around us. The children are asking questions, solving problems, predicting, evaluating, setting up fair tests, and co-operating with others in a group situation. In Science we work on a two-year cycle following a scheme of work. Several trips and visitors enrich the programme of science delivered in school to help make it an interesting and enjoyable subject.

The school recognises the importance of outdoor education. We have wonderful facilities including our Peace Garden, outdoor classroom and pavilion. All children have the opportunity to learn in the outdoor environment. We have a very popular lunchtime environmental club as well as on going whole school projects to create our own compost and grow our own vegetables.

The school has been awarded the top prize for green grounds development at the Environmental Awards, organised by Harrogate Borough Council, beating 20 other schools. We also currently hold a silver award for Environmental Education.

Your child will have many opportunities to discover their local environment through first hand, hands-on activities.

Environmental education is a crucial part of a vibrant curriculum and our children make full use of the outdoor learning areas.

The school has continued to build upon the strength of our environmental education. We have an active and flourishing environmental group called the ‘Eco Experts’. For 2012 we were Asda’s gardening partner school and we have worked with them on a project to grow a range of vegetables in our gardens.

All the children have the opportunity to use the computer as a tool for learning across many areas of the curriculum. The children gain confidence and a familiarity with the use of ICT; they develop the ability to handle information, use word processing skills, to control mechanical or electronic devices and to solve problems. The School is networked and we have an interactive white board, a PC, netbooks and iPads in each classroom. Our laptops enable children to have individual access to computers on a daily basis. Our school website is an important link between school and the outside world. Visiting our website is a good way of finding out what is happening at school.

The school also uses texting and email services to share messages with parents. The children also have access to digital cameras, hand-held digital recorders and a number of programmable toys.

The school’s new ICT suite was opened in 2010 as part of a new library built at the heart of the school. It has increased our capacity for ICT and is used by every class in school. In the last three years we have added a large number of netbooks and iPads to make sure all pupils have access to ICT.

In 2012 the school has updated its wireless network to improve speed of access to the internet.

The children are given the opportunity to participate in and enjoy a large variety of art, craft and design activities. Through building on their own experiences and achievements the children acquire knowledge and understanding of different art techniques. The appreciation of art by other artists, past and present, enables the children to develop aesthetic judgement applied to their own work, to the work of others and to the environment. They will have the opportunity to learn a wide range of skills, use different equipment and follow a scheme of work designed for our school.

Design and Technology combines imagination and practical skills and provides the opportunity for children to work safely in a variety of problem solving activities. They will be able to use a wide range of materials and equipment and develop skills that are useful in everyday life. Design Technology puts learning in the hands of the child as they learn through the planning, making and evaluation of their own work.

An Ofsted subject inspection carried out in December 2009 reported on the high standards of teaching and learning in this area.

Geography is about places, the human and physical processes which change them and the people who live in them. Any geographical focus to a topic helps children to make sense of their surroundings and of the wider world. Children learn skills through field-work and practical activities, such as using maps, plans and atlases, as they work through a scheme of work.

French is taught throughout KS2 using the NYCC scheme of learning. It is organised into 6 units of work for each year group, based on themes including food, animals, people and hobbies. Our children are encouraged to read, write and speak French with confidence, accuracy and fluency as well as having opportunities to explore the culture and traditions of French life. Speaking and listening skills are incorporated into lessons so pupils can communicate and understand French and be able to hold conversations using a range of language structures. Rhymes, songs and stories support the children’s learning journey, teaching French in an exciting and fun way in order to encourage our children to have a life-long love of learning languages and deepen their understanding of the world.

In History we aim to introduce children to the past, beginning with their immediate past and moving towards a clearer historical perspective. We believe that learning about the past should be interesting, stimulating and enjoyable. In discovering the past children will learn about real people and real events which will help them to make sense of the world in which they live. Our topics cover a wide range of historical periods and events. Trips and carefully planned activities make it a creative and effective area of our curriculum.

We aim to give all children the opportunity to participate in and enjoy a variety of musical activities, developing musical knowledge and skills in an imaginative and enjoyable way. In Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to join the choir; extra curricular music groups include orchestra and recorder.

The school currently has a flourishing choir containing over 70 children and the school orchestra which meets on a weekly basis and perform regularly during the year.

The school was awarded the P.E Active Mark in 2008 in recognition of the high standard of physical education provided.

In P.E. our aim is that all the children should be physically active and develop flexibility, strength and skills. The children are encouraged to respond to tasks, apply themselves to activities and develop confidence in managing their bodies. Children are enabled to explore, select, modify, adapt and perfect movement to achieve a particular task. In P.E. all children have the opportunity to take part in athletic activities, dance, games and gymnastics. Children will also be given the opportunity to go swimming. Children are encouraged to be responsible members of a team and demonstrate sportsmanlike behaviour.

During the year we enter a wide range of sporting events allowing children to experience and enjoy competition in sport. Children in year 6 are trained to be sports leaders through a programme organised and run by St. Aidan’s High School. Orienteering, cycling proficiency and outwards bounds activities also support physical education in school.

In 2012 the school won regional tournaments in athletics, orienteering and rounders.

We understand R.E. to be an essential part of our school’s curriculum, which will make a distinctive contribution to each child’s development, both individual and social. In R.E. we aim to teach about religion:

to help children to understand what R.E. is and what it means to take a religion seriously.
to develop a respect for moral and religious values.
to promote tolerance and sensitivity towards others irrespective of their differences.
to develop an awareness in the children of their own value as an individual and within our school community.

As a church school we aim to ensure that our Christian tradition is expressed through the values we hold, through the curriculum, the ethos of the School, our expectations of behaviour and concern for one another.

A time of worship takes place each day. Sometimes we meet as a whole school, sometimes as separate younger and older groups and sometimes as individual classes. As a school we attend St John’s Church at least 4 times a year.

The clergy of St John’s Church lead weekly acts of shared worship. Members of clergy from a wide range of local churches are also welcomed into school to lead acts of worship.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from R.E. and assemblies, but Governors expect that in choosing a church school parents will support their children in taking a full part in the religious activities of the School, including R.E. and the daily act of worship.

   
Personal, social and health education has always been an integral part of our school curriculum. Children who have confidence in themselves, respect others and who are able to work co-operatively, quickly develop learning skills and make good progress. We want our children to be healthy, responsible and participating members of society and we aim to create an environment for this to happen. The SEAL programme (Social and Emotional Apects of Learning) is the structured framework used to deliver the curriculum.
Throughout the school, children are taught about relationships and family life, taking into account that not all families are the same. Mostly this work is undertaken in PSHE and RE. At Key Stage 2 children follow the science curriculum where sexual reproduction is covered in the programmes of study, though this is not taught with specific reference to human reproduction. In Year 5 the school nurse undertakes a puberty programme with the girls referring directly to bodily changes, emotional well being and period management. This work is followed up in Year 6 when boys and girls have separate talks and a session together when they are encouraged to ask questions. Throughout their years at Richard Taylor, children’s questions are answered sympathetically in an age appropriate way. By parental request, children can be withdrawn from any sex and relationships education.
We value highly the partnership we have with parents and recognize the importance of the support they give to their child with home learning. Any work we give will be to reinforce or extend what is learned at school and will be appropriate for the ability, age and maturity of your child.
While many children begin school with experience of structured learning, reception is still a major step on the education ladder. The staff at Richard Taylor are committed to the importance of early years and its continuing development. A friendly, secure and encouraging environment is the backdrop to active learning, attending children’s physical, mental, social and emotional needs. Through carefully planned structured play, children at Richard Taylor are offered a balanced curriculum.

The North Yorkshire Education Committee definition of SEN is when children have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of their age. We identify and assess all children’s Special Educational Needs and make provision which will enable them to attain curriculum targets and learning objectives. We involve outside agencies as necessary for individual children and regularly review progress. We aim to provide gifted and talented children with challenging opportunities to develop their full potential through an exposure to a variety of thinking strategies.

At Richard Taylor School we welcome children of all abilities and where possible, provide facilities for any who are disabled. We have access for wheelchairs into the school grounds and buildings via ramps, and also a disabled toilet.

Children with disabilities have access to all areas of the curriculum and are included on school visits and residentials.