St. John's Mead School
"Valuing effort, valuing others, valuing self"

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THE CURRICULUM
CURRICULUM AIMS

· To provide opportunities for all pupils to learn and to achieve.
· To promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare all pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life.


The National Curriculum applies to all pupils of compulsory school age. It is organised on the basis of four key stages. The first two stages, Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7) and Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11) apply to this school. Pupils aged 3-5 (Nursery and Reception classes) are referred to as the Early Years Foundation Stage. This stage was introduced in September 2000 and the curriculum for this age group is based on the DfEE document , Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage.


The National Curriculum covers the following subjects:-

English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, PE, History, Geography, Art, Music, Design Technology, Modern Languages.

For each subject and for each key stage, programmes of study set out what your child should be taught, and attainment targets set out the expected standards of pupils' performance.
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English

At St John’s Mead CEVC Primary School we teach synthetic phonics throughout the school. We primarily follow Letters and Sounds but use many other resources to support our teaching, including using interactive computer games and videos. The programme is split into six phases. It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of key Stage 1. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you which phase they are working in. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, introducing sounds to the children. Children will then learn further sounds in line with nationally agreed progression. Regular assessment is carried out to inform teaching. Phonics is taught to children in years 4, 5 and 6 where needed in small groups, which may move more towards spelling patterns.

We give a high priority to the basic skills of reading, writing and speaking. Children are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes and we aim to develop legible and fluent handwriting with which they can express themselves clearly. They are encouraged to develop an understanding of the use of language and the need for grammatical structure. Spelling is taught and is strongly linked to their handwriting skills. Regular reading habits are encouraged both at school and at home. Reading is developed through a variety of teaching methods. The school has a well-equipped library, which is used extensively by the children. Fiction, non-fiction and poetry are read to the children throughout the school.

The school follows the National Curriculum, introduced by the government in September 2014. Pupils receive a daily Literacy lesson, which lasts about an hour. This lesson involves all children reading a shared text, whole class teaching on phonics, grammar or punctuation, some time spent working independently or in a group and finishes with a plenary session.

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Mathematics

Our aim is to help children understand and enjoy using Mathematics in their daily life. The school teaches the National Curriculum, introduced in September 2014.  The curriculum is divided into separate strands including: number and place value, fractions, calculation, geometry, measure,algebra and statistics, ratio and proportion.  Children learn Mathematics in daily lessons and in other subjects where relevant. Time is spent on a wide range of mathematical skills and concepts with a strong emphasis on mental calculation to enable children to develop a range of skills (adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing and estimating) and the ability to apply them within a variety of contexts. 
The school has a Maths Games Library available to all children. This provides children with games designed to develop and practise at home the mathematical skills acquired in school.  The popular  home-school 'Number Clubs' promotes the learning of key mental number and calculation facts and skills across key stages.

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Science

Science teaching follows the National Curriculum 2014 guidelines and gives children a balance between knowledge and investigational skills. Active engagement and questioning in learning are encouraged and children work both individually and co-operatively, when exploring new scientific ideas.  Scientific concepts are developed with the aim of helping children understand their world in depth and encouraging them to develop a sense of responsibility towards it as well as respect for living things and the physical environment.  Children are encouraged to combine interest and curiosity with a responsible attitude towards health and safety.

Scientific skills such as observing, testing, classifying, comparing, questioning, predicting and problem solving are developed at all ages, appropriate to the child's development. Much of the work is practically based and involves the use of the child's immediate environment to study both living things and the physical aspects of the world.

 

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Computing
Information Technology is the use of systems which can store or process information. Such systems include: tape recorders, video recorders, cameras, fax machines, photocopiers, calculators and computers.

Information and Communication Technology prepares pupils to participate in a rapidly changing world. Pupils will use ICT to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information.
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History and Geography

Geography

​Curiosity and fascination about the world and its people will remain with children for the rest of their lives – a high quality geography education should inspire this. The immediate environment and children's own experiences are often the starting point for investigations, which are the first steps towards basic geographical skills. Throughout their journey, children will acquire knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As pupils progress, their growing knowledge will help them to deepen their understanding of the difference between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. We aim to help the children consider the world and their responsibility to it.

History

Children’s own experiences form the starting point for exploring history and taking the first steps towards basic historical skills, learning about significant local and world-wide historical events, people and civilizations.  As children broaden their historical experiences they acquire an understanding and appreciation of the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.

 

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Design Technology
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject that combines designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding in order to design, make and evaluate products. Children create products using a wide range of materials and components, evaluate what they have created, and investigate and analyse existing products. The subject includes a focus on: cooking and nutrition combined with experience with construction materials, textiles, mechanisms, programming and control and computer aided design. Children learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable people. 
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Art and Design
Art and Design stimulates creativity and imagination. We aim to develop the skills of drawing, use of colour, painting, printing, modelling and the use of textiles and texture. Children will be introduced to the works of different artists, different cultures and different periods. Skills and techniques appropriate to the children's development are taught so that they can develop a sense of fulfilment in self-expression and an appreciation for the aesthetic qualities of life.
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Music

We believe music enriches the quality of life. At St John’s Mead we proudly promote singing as an essential part of musical education. All of the children are involved in a wide variety of singing opportunities, whether that is performing within school in assemblies or concerts, or in the community as part of local music festivals and events.  Practical music making is an important part of our music curriculum, where children can develop their composition skills through listening, appraising and evaluating music from a range of eras and genres. Individual interests and skills are encouraged and there are opportunities for the older children to play recorder, violin, electronic keyboard, fife, brass or guitar.

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PE and Games
The children have regular PE lessons and a well-equipped gymnasium gives the children opportunity to develop physical skills. The extensive playing field also allows children of all ages to participate in outdoor games, which in the Junior years become more structured. Junior children have the opportunity to experience a variety of game skills including football, netball, hockey, kwik cricket, rugby and rounders. A balanced programme of dance, gym and games is designed to be both physically and mentally demanding.

There are separate Sports Days for Junior, Infant and Nursery children, held during the Summer term, to which parents are invited. These are essentially fun events in which we expect all the children to participate and to do their best.

Teams in football, rugby, netball, athletics and rounders are run as extra curricular activities. Years 3 to 6 have swimming lessons at Yate Leisure Centre. (We encourage children to enter for the various swimming award schemes.) Our main aim is to ensure that all children become competent and safe in the water.


Other Subject Areas
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Religious Education

As a Church school we believe it is important to introduce children to the religious and spiritual dimensions of life.  Religious Education makes an unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion.  Religious Education is taught in accordance with the South Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus which develops children’s knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions.  Within lessons, children are encouraged to explore their own beliefs and to develop an understanding and respect for beliefs and faiths different from their own, building their sense of identity and belonging and promoting their responsibilities to themselves and others. 

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Collective Worship
There is a daily act of collective worship. Arrangements for collective worship are made by the Governors and reflect the Church of England Foundation in accordance with the school's trust deed. We celebrate major Christian festivals in St John's Church and parents are most welcome to join us on these occasions. Reverend Christopher Wray leads worship at the school on a regular basis. Under the terms of the 1944 Education Act parents have the right to ask for their child to be withdrawn from Religious Education and Collective Worship. Please inform the Headteacher if you wish to exercise this right.
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The Pastoral Curriculum
This school puts special emphasis on the pastoral care of children. All staff have an undertaking to offer help, support and guidance to children and concern for children's general well being.
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Sex Education
Sex Education provides an understanding that positive, caring environments are essential for the development of a good self image and that individuals are in charge of, and responsible for, their own bodies. It provides knowledge about the process of reproduction and the nature of sexuality and relationships. It encourages the acquisition of skills and attitudes that allow pupils to manage their relationships in a responsible and healthy manner.

Sex education will be taught within a moral framework and be presented within the context of family life, loving relationships and respect for themselves and others. It will be, whenever possible, part of an integrated curriculum and be approached as part of topic work at an appropriate level for the children's age and understanding. When children reach Year 5 a more formal lesson in Sex Education is taught. The school nurse is involved with the lessons and uses a video and leaflets to enhance the children's understanding. Subject content includes puberty and personal hygiene. Parents are invited to watch the video prior to it being shown to their children.

Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any or all part of the school's programmes of Sex Education, other than those elements which are required by the National Curriculum. Parents do not have to give reasons for their decision nor do they have to indicate what other arrangements they intend to make for providing Sex Education. Any request should be made in writing to the Headteacher.

Copies of the school's policy on Sex Education can be obtained from the school.
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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
It is important for the children to develop an understanding and appreciation of other races, religions and cultures and to value their influences in our society. We endeavour to present children with a balanced and positive picture of the value of different cultures and customs through the curriculum. Unfortunately racial harassment exists in society and, as a school under the control and direction of South Gloucestershire Council, we wholeheartedly subscribe to the Council's policy on anti-racism. The school will not tolerate any form of racial harassment and, if it occurs, the school's guidelines will be followed.
 
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Equal Opportunities
Access to all aspects of the curriculum is considered a pupil's right whatever their gender, race, ability or disability. An individual's needs may differ, depending on their own circumstances and the school endeavours to meet those needs.
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Special Educational Needs
The school will seek early identification of any child needing particular attention through normal monitoring procedures used for all children throughout the school. We will try to provide special help ourselves and also call on the Support Services provided by the Local Authority. This may take the form of visits from specialist teaching staff and/or from an educational psychologist. Parents will be involved at all stages of this process.

There is a designated Governor for Special Educational Needs and the school also has a Special Needs Co-ordinator. The names of the current holders of these positions are listed in the Special Educational Needs Policy.

Children with a Statement of Special Educational Need will be given extra support to meet the needs identified in the statement. The school has a policy for children with Special Educational Needs, a copy of which is available for inspection in school and via the website.

The school is committed to the full integration of pupils with learning difficulties or physical disabilities and endeavours to provide the best possible education for all children.

With regard to the admission of pupils with SEN or disabilities, the school adheres to South Gloucestershire's Admissions Policy.
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Facilities for the Disabled
The main building is suitable for wheelchair access and there is a ramp allowing access from the junior playground to the Green Hall. There is a toilet for the disabled by the main entrance.
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