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At Air Balloon Hill we believe that it is our job to inspire and enthuse children, leaving them with a thirst for knowledge, wanting to explore new topics and individual subjects further.
Topics are planned to encompass all wider curriculum subjects, and include a WOW day designed to build excitement and leave the children wanting to know more. Topics have a primary focus of history, geography or science and teachers plan lessons that immerse children in all the skills they need to learn in each year group, whilst being interesting and informative. At the end of every Topic, parents are invited in to school as a celebration of the children’s learning.
Specialist teachers and instructors support music, physical education and the teaching of French. All subject leaders are given training and opportunities to keep developing their own subject knowledge, skills and understanding so they can support curriculum development and their colleagues throughout the school. Theme weeks, whole school activities and opportunities within and outside school all enrich and develop the children’s learning. After school clubs and events extend these opportunities further.
Four guiding principles shape practice in Reception. These are:
The areas of learning and development
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in Reception. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
These three areas, the prime areas, are:
We also provide support for children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
A high priority is given to the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening so the children can communicate effectively. They are taught and encouraged to write for a wide variety of purposes in our daily literacy lessons. The children have access to a large range of texts, both in books and on the interactive whiteboard to supplement their reading and writing skills. Children also use drama and role play in their literacy lessons as well as discussion, talking partners and the use of their own whiteboards to project responses. Spelling is taught as an integrated part of literacy, and is linked to handwriting skills. Reading is developed through a variety of teaching methods so that the children can become attentive, independent readers. Guided reading is taught in small groups and using texts of all genres. The children have access to a well equipped library to enhance their own personal reading, and to research and consolidate their own cross curricular topics. Models of good reading are shown through the teacher in literacy lessons and through story time everyday. A literate environment can be seen in every classroom, through displays of children’s work, word bands and information displays.
A very well equipped school library is used regularly by children.
Mathematical coverage is determined by the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for each year group. A daily maths lesson is taught in each class in a mastery style. This means the children get the chance to deeply explore their curriculum rather than speeding on to new content.
In 2016 we adopted Maths No Problem as our teaching aid. (www.mathsnoproblem.co.uk) Children work on a concrete problem, exploring and recording their maths in pictorial form before expressing their thinking as an abstract calculation. We call this approach CPA. The children are required to explain their thought process and operational choices in their maths journals, therefore they write about their maths as well as attempting calculations.
If children demonstrate a firm understanding of the concepts presented in a lesson they are given the chance to attempt a greater depth challenge. Through these activities they are expected to make links and widen their understanding.
An understanding of the importance of information technology is gained by the children in a variety of ways across the curriculum. We have two ICT suites each with 30 networked computers and two lap tops is where discrete ICT skills are taught. We also have fifteen laptops which are set out as a suite for FS and KS1.
We have a huge range of software installed on all the computers, including our subscription to Espresso. There is also an interactive whiteboard in each classroom which is used to supplement and enhance lessons during the school day. In FS there are also at least two computers in each classroom. Children can further extend their ICT skills by attending ICT club after school once a week.
At Air Balloon Hill Primary School we recognise the contribution of PE to the health and well-being of the children. We believe that an innovative and varied PE curriculum and extra-curricular opportunities have a positive influence on the concentration, attitude and academic achievement of all children. In addition, we endeavour to educate pupils on how to lead and enjoy active lifestyles, with a focus on promoting lifelong participation.
We aim to improve both curriculum and extra -curricular provision for all children, regardless of sporting ability. We aim to include all children with special education needs or disabilities. If a programme needs to be adapted then the class teacher will do this with support from the PE Co-coordinator and Inclusion Manager.
The safety of pupils during PE is paramount and risk assessments are carried out for all programmes.
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was an opportunity to inspire the nation to enjoy a memorable cultural and sporting experience. The government was determined to secure a significant and lasting legacy from the games and to develop children’s enjoyment of sport and physical activity from an early age. From September 2013, the government has provided additional funding of £150 million per annum to improve provision of physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools. This funding is ring‐fenced and therefore can only be spent on provision of PE and sport in schools. Each school will receive £8,000 plus an extra £5 per pupil in Years 1-6.
Inclusion – Children with special educational needs will be included in all physical education lessons. If a programme needs to be adapted then the class teacher will do this in consultation with the PE coordinator.
Health and Safety – The safety of pupils during PE lessons is paramount. Risk assessments are made for each scheme of work and teachers use lesson plans which are in accordance with health and safety guidelines.
Other Christmas reminders....
Children are welcome to wear a Christmas jumper to school on Thursday 14th December for Christmas Lunch Day. Please note that this is not a non-uniform day - children will be expected to wear the rest of the school uniform.
We still have some spaces left for Stories Around the Christmas Tree on 11th December - Please sign up at the school office