Curriculum by Subject
At Fell Dyke, we have worked hard to develop a curriculum which meets the needs of our children and fulfils the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum September 2014. Teachers select half-termly themes for their year group which are highly engaging for pupils but also act as a vehicle to best deliver the demands of the curriculum. Our curriculum is constantly evolving. Ongoing evaluation and reflection ensures that each year it is reviewed and updated to reflect the interests of our children and significant events.
Our Curriculum – Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception)
The focus for learning within Early Years is based on each child as an individual and is personalised to suit the many varied interests of the children. A wide variety of adult-led activities and child-led play opportunities occur both indoors and outdoors. Activities are carefully planned and based on the seven areas of learning in order to provide opportunities to achieve the Early Learning Goals specified in the Early Years Curriculum, Development Matters.
These are broken down into three prime areas of learning:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language Development
And four specific areas of learning:
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and language development
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Personal, social and emotional development
Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.
Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Understanding the world
Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
Expressive arts and design
Expressive arts and design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role-play, and design and technology.
Our Curriculum – Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Children are taught a rich and varied curriculum which includes the skills, understanding and knowledge required to meet the standards set down in the National Curriculum. We further enhance this by ensuring we teach a curriculum which gives them the best opportunity to acquire the basic skills they need to reach their full potential both at Fell Dyke and beyond. Outdoor learning (in our very own forest school) is highly valued at Fell Dyke.
We aim to develop cooperation and tolerance alongside academic skills and a will to succeed and excel. We aim to equip children with an understanding of global, national and local issues. We encourage children to be independent learners who, as they grow older, take responsibility for their actions. We are a Rights Respecting School and follow the UNICEF convention fully.
Learning is continually assessed and teaching adjusted to meet the needs, abilities and interests of our children. A range of teaching styles and approaches are used to actively engage and enthuse all children to achieve high levels of involvement in their learning.
Children are taught:
The core subjects – English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Design Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art and Design and Physical Education through a creative integrated curriculum.
Children are also taught Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship.
Each day your child will have an English lesson based on a key text linked to the class topic for the half term. All English lessons involve your children taking part in speaking and listening activities. The teacher teaches the children a key writing skill each lesson. Each child is clear on what learning they are developing. Children apply punctuation, spelling and grammar skills by applying these to a range of written tasks.
Children also take part in a daily reading session where they will develop their reading skills. Reading is taught systematically by a clear acquisition of reading skills, acquired from focus reading teaching. They will read with their teacher at least once a week and have various reading activities to complete when working independently.
We are very excited to have been selected to be involved in the Great North Maths Hub and will be working collaboratively with like-minded schools to ensure that the teaching of the mastery mathematics curriculum is the best that it can be at Fell Dyke. Our children are encouraged to use equipment and diagrams to support them with their mathematical reasoning.
Every maths lesson consists of three elements. These are fluency/acquiring basic skills; mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Children are expected to practise these mental maths skills independently at home as part of their ongoing learning and homework. Children are taught a new maths skill each lesson and will be given time during a lesson to practise this skill and apply it with problem solving or investigational activities. There is a strong focus on applying mathematical skills to a range of situations and the children choosing the most effective methods. This encourages children to apply maths skills to real life situations.
In addition to the daily Maths lesson, there is also a 15 minute fluency session each afternoon to support the children with building strong foundations in their understanding of mathematical concepts and ensure that recall is rapid and accurate.
The science curriculum is based on the National Curriculum. Broadly, it includes these key areas:
- Working Scientifically
- Life Processes & Living Things
- Materials and their Properties
- Physical Processes
Our curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Principles of Effective Science at Fell Dyke
We know that effective science learning occurs in our school when:
- Children enjoy science
- Children use scientific vocabulary/terminology accurately and confidently
- Children work collaboratively
- Children can use a range of equipment
- Children have the opportunity to conduct hands-on investigations in a real-life context, and are given time to explore and solve problems
- Children ask questions and make choices during their investigations
- Children can make links between the areas of science they have studied
Our integrated creative curriculum includes art, design and technology, music, history and geography. All themes are taught in a cross curricular way where links are made between subjects. Across all year groups, new themes are covered each half term. This allows children to make meaningful links within their learning. Children will develop research, analysis, and comparison skills within their creative curriculum lessons. Children are often encouraged to work in groups to share their understanding and develop key communication skills. Every child attends a singing assembly every week where they learn new songs. The children also take part in a production each year where they have a chance to perform. Each class has a class assembly once a year where they will share their learning with parents and carers, as well as a song they have learnt as part of their topic.
Essential computing skills are taught across the curriculum within most areas of learning. Fell Dyke has a range of I.T. equipment available for children to develop key skills. Laptops and IPads can be used within the classroom to facilitate your child’s learning. We also have a range of other equipment which is used by teachers to enhance your child’s learning experience.
Physical Education (PE)
Children take part in two hours of physical education each week. This consists of gymnastics, dance or outdoor games. As part of the Year 5 and Year 6 PE curriculum, children attend swimming lessons each week. The children take part in a sports day event during the summer term each year. Children from across the school also regularly take part in sporting activities and tournaments organised off site.
Religious Education (RE)
Your child will take part in an RE lesson each week where they will learn about different religions and relate these teachings and understandings to their own life. The school celebrates the diverse cultural and religious differences found in the school. Religious festivals are celebrated in assemblies and links to festivals throughout the year are made through the creative curriculum.
Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)
At Fell Dyke, we have a strong focus on children understanding how to look after themselves and each other – personally and socially. We support children with their understanding of emotions and how best to deal with any difficult situations they may face in life in a safe way. Children are asked to discuss and think about how to deal with different situations they may come across in life. In Key Stage 2, children take part in essential sex and relationship education where they find out more about how bodies develop and change. Parents can choose to remove their child from these sessions.
Primary Modern Foreign Languages
Children are taught French in Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. The children focus on oral acquisition of language. Pupils develop their vocabulary, phrases and sentence construction alongside clear pronunciation using games and role play resources. They also use written recording to show their developing knowledge, understanding and application of the language.