Curriculum, Organisation and Teaching Methods
We aim "to give all pupils the opportunity to achieve their highest potential"
The school is committed to delivering a broad and balanced curriculum in line with the National Curriculum. We aim to enable every child to master the important skills and knowledge they will need in the future. We place particular emphasis on the basic skills of literacy and numeracy within a broad and balanced framework to enable your child to reach his or her full potential.
We, like every other state primary school, follow the National Curriculum in accordance with our legal requirements. This is a nationally set programme for the pupils, in which your child will be formally tested as to what they know, understand and can do at the ages of 7 and 11. At each of these ages, you will be informed as to how your child has performed in the tests and you will be given a clear idea of how this compares with other pupils of the same age both in this school and nationally. In 2012, a new phonics test for Year 1 children was introduced by the Department for Education. This short screening test takes place towards the end of Year 1 in June. The screening test gives information about whether a child has reached the expected standards in their phonics development for ta Year 1 child and enables each child development to be compared to national standards. Parents are informed how their child performs on this test by their child's class teacher.
The core of the National Curriculum is the study of English, Mathematics and Science. Bamford Academy has adopted the guidelines set out in June 2012 by the Department for Education for a 'Curriculum of the Future' . These subjects are taught to and experienced by the pupils from Year 1 onwards. Alongside these core subjects there are six foundation subjects : Art, Design Technology, History, Information Technology, Geography, Music, Physical Education and Religious Education. Personal, Social and Moral Education and Spanish are also covered in our curriculum.
The delivery of our curriculum is through 5 half termly themes called Prime Learning Challenges. These Prime Learning Challenges are posed to the children in the form of a question, with a series of smaller questions or subsidiary questions guiding learning each week. The use of questions encouragies children to enquire, research and investigate about their learning. Prior to the beginning of each theme, children are involved in a pre learning task that establishes what children already know about the learning challenge as well as what they would like to know. These ideas are then integrated into the following planned learning sequences so that the curriuclum is personalised to the children's needs and relevant to their interests - thus making it more engaging for them. At the end of the half term, children are expected to demonstrate an aspect of their learning to their peers through a variety of imaginative ways such as role plays, ICT Powerpoint presentations, newsrounds, documentaries etc. In addition, we create opportunities through class assemblies, special celebration assemblies such as Harvest, themed week sharing assemblies and evening presentations for children to share their learning to a wider audience.
The curriculum list above divides the curriculum into specific subject areas, but good primary teaching involves the pupils in many areas at once. For example, a pupil may be doing a science activity, but also be using mathematical and reading skills, as well as recording results using writing skills. The science activity may also involve historical and geographical knowledge. The teaching staff of the school will plan for, and therefore, be aware of, the different components.
Every day each pupil takes part in an hour of English and also an hour of Mathematics. These generally take place in the mornings, but not always. Children also learn about and from the six major world religions for an hour each week following the Rochdale Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Pupils from Year 5 upwards are 'set' for mathematics according to ability and are allocated to the appropriate teaching group. We believe that children flourish when their emotional wellbeing is nurtured and so when children enter our foundation stage, they learn how to do peer massage on each other, this fosters a sense of trust between the children and a sense of emotional wellbeing. We also offer children specialist Spanish, Music Technology and Musical Theatre tuition each week from external specialist teachers as a part of the normal school timetable. These skills usually culminate in an end of term production : at Christmas time for Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children and at the end of the Summer Term for Key Stage 2 children.
We aim to give each pupil a broad and balanced curriculum, relevant to and catering for individual needs. Such a curriculum will be kept under review both by the Governors and the teaching staff of the school, so that it stays fresh and effective, capturing the best of the pupils' enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge.
The curriculum is about all the intended learning that takes place during the school day. We use a variety of teaching strategies to deliver the curriculum ranging from whole class, setting, groups, investigations/research and individual. At our school we provide a curriculum that caters for the development of the whole child so that all aspects of physical and intellectual growth can develop.
At Bamford our curriculum planning follows a two yearly cycle. This ensures that all pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum and that regardless of which class within an age group the child is in, they will receive the same curriculum and entitlement. For example, children in Year 1 and 2 will follow the same 'topics' but the work will be differentiated according to the children's ability. The same follows for children in Years 3 and 4 and also Years 5 and 6. The long term overview of the curriculum is attached.
It is important to remember that because the school aims to meet the individual needs of the pupils, the activities and work of each class will be appropriate on an individual basis. Children do not all learn at the same speed, so children in the same class may often be working at different levels.
We cater for a range of interests, talents and gifts at Bamford Academt and offer a range of after school clubs ranging from Steel Pans, Choir, Ocarina, Homework Club, Sewing Club' Craft Club, Art/Photography Club, Eco Club, Gardening Club to Football Club, Dance Club and Tennis Clubs. We believe that each child has a gift/talent and that offering a range of after school clubs will give children the opportunity to explore and find theirs.
To see our Curriculum Long Term Plans from Key Stage 1 click here.
To view our Long Term Plans for Year 3 and 4 click here.
To view Long Term Plans for Year 5 and 6 click here.