English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and is a vital part of all children’s educational experience. High priority is given to all three key areas of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.
Children are encouraged to listen carefully to others and to speak clearly and confidently in discussion, drama and role play activities. From a young age, we are committed to developing the children’s phonic awareness, their understanding of spelling and their awareness of sentence structure. This is carried out through ‘Letter and Sounds’.
A strong emphasis is placed on reading for pleasure and for information. Daily reading experiences are provided in English sessions through shared and guided reading and this is supported by the use of a structured Book Bands reading scheme. A reading card enables pupils, parents and teachers to record and celebrate reading progress.
Children are encouraged to communicate clearly and confidently in written form, using a variety of styles and to develop a neat and legible cursive handwriting style. We aim to make both writing and reading a pleasurable experience for all children, by making links to other areas of the curriculum and, therefore, providing opportunities for creativity. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught throughout the school from the Early Years Foundation Stage into both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and all children are encouraged to write freely from Foundation Stage onwards in order to develop confidence and imagination. Good examples of writing are celebrated through display and opportunities to read work aloud to others.
Mathematics is also a core subject in the National Curriculum as well as a key life skill. Our Mathematics teaching is based on providing practical experiences to enable the child to develop logical thinking and a sound understanding of all aspects of Mathematics.
Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 follow the objectives set out in the National Curriculum for Mathematics and Years 2 and 6 will continue to follow the New Primary Framework until September 2015. All classes have a designated Mathematics lesson daily. Children are encouraged to develop a range of mental skills for dealing with number and solving problems. Written approaches to Mathematics are developed from practical work and mental strategies. Regular lessons also encourage the children to apply their knowledge and skills to investigations and problem solving situations.
Science is taught throughout the school with a strong emphasis on practical work. Through Science, the children are taught to understand the world in which we live and to develop the skills of scientific exploration and investigation. In line with National Curriculum requirements, scientific enquiry is taught at KS1 and KS2 through contexts taken from life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes.
In the Early Years, Science is based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The emphasis is on a first-hand experience and fundamental skills of observation and communication. Good use is made of the local environment and trips are organised to support work in Science at all levels.
Computers are now part of everyday life, while technology is essential to our lives, at home and at work. The subject of computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Pupils studying computing will gain an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers.
‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be ready for the workplace and able to participate effectively in this digital world. Our computing curriculum has been developed to equip our pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding of computing they will need for the rest of their lives. They will learn how computers and computer systems work, they will design and build programs, develop their ideas using technology and create a range of content.
We have strong commitment to the teaching of computing in which we aim to develop every child’s confidence and competence in the subject. A computer suite is used by classes across the school and this provides an environment where the specific skills can be taught. There are sufficient computers in the suite to ensure every child in the class can work individually.
Interactive screens and whiteboards with access to the internet are also available in all classes, making the use of ICT possible in all subjects. Computers are heavily used to support work across the curriculum and we also have a suite of mobile laptops for daily use. The school follows a scheme of work that ensures pupils receive clear and structured learning that builds on their previous experiences. In addition, pupils also have the opportunity to extend their learning at home through our virtual learning environment.
We aim to give children a wide range of experiences in Art, to develop their creative and practical skills. They use a variety of tools, materials and medium to develop techniques such as drawing, painting, printing, textiles, pottery and model-making. The children are also taught to develop their appreciation of artists and art in other cultures and use techniques to develop their own artwork and to experiment with new ideas.
Children are encouraged to enjoy physical activity individually and within a team to improve their skill levels, physical fitness and spatial awareness. The school offers a wide range of extra-curricular activities including netball, football, tag rugby, athletics, cross country, gymnastics, multi-skills, martial arts, cricket and table tennis. There are plenty of opportunities to compete in teams against other schools.
Physical Education is a compulsory subject. There are two hours timetabled each week for every class in the school. They cover games, gym and dance. When a medical condition exists which prevents a pupil taking part for a period of time, a medical certificate should be produced. Pupils who wish to be excused a lesson must bring a note from parents explaining the problem. Children wearing gold ear studs must either remove them or cover them in P.E. Parents are required to send in plasters to cover ears if studs are not removed. Letters will be sent to parents if children persistently forget their P.E kit.
In recognition of the amount of quality sport offered, we have gained the Active Mark award in sports.
The school considers Music to be an important aspect of school life. Class music is taught throughout the school and children are able to participate in and attend concerts and workshops. In KS2 there are opportunities to play an instrument in school. The Amersham Music Centre provides peripatetic teachers for woodwind, cello, violin, brass and guitar lessons. There is a charge for this service. To contact the Amersham Music Service to enquire about music lessons for your child please click on the following link. Amersham Music Service
Children who take peripatetic lessons and who have reached a certain standard are given the opportunity to join our expanding orchestra.
We consider singing to be a vital part of our music teaching. Weekly hymn practices offer children the opportunity to sing collectively and to learn new songs – both traditional and modern. Children are given the opportunity to join the choir at various stages of their school life and may participate in local music festivals and concerts.
Classes regularly learn and perform songs for whole school celebrations such as Harvest, or for Christmas productions and class assemblies.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Children in KS2 study French in Years 3 to 6 following guidelines from Bucks County Council. They also have an opportunity of joining an extra curricular French and Spanish club run by external providers at a small fee. Children in Year 6 participate in a five day residential visit to France where they compare and contrast the culture, history and traditions. It is also an opportunity for them to practice the French language with the locals.
Religious Education is taught according to the guidelines laid down by the County’s Agreed Syllabus. The main religion studied is Christianity but children also gain knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, other religions. Daily assemblies are held at the school and have religious, moral and social aims. All children are expected to participate in Religious Education and assemblies unless their parents have made a formal request to the headteacher for their child to be withdrawn.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL, HEALTH, SEX EDUCATION AND CITZENSHIP
At Little Kingshill, PSHE and Citizenship is recognised as an important part of the curriculum. It involves the development of healthy attitudes to bodily welfare and care, aspects of safe living and personal relationships both in the family and wider community. It may be taught as part of a class topic or in PSHE and Citizenship lessons.
PSHE and Citizenship aim to provide pupils with the knowledge, skill and understanding from which they can make informed choices and decisions about their present and future lifestyles. PSHE is grouped into four broad headings – drug, alcohol and tobacco, sex and relationships, healthy lifestyles and financial capability.
The Governors of the School have agreed that Sex and Relationships Education will form part of the School’s curriculum. It is not taught as a separate subject but as part of a topic concerned with the development of children as whole individuals. It is dealt with in a sensitive, balanced manner, which emphasises caring relationships. A talk is held on puberty for girls and boys at the top of KS2. Parents have a right to withdraw their child(ren) if they do not wish them to participate.
The aim of teaching History at our school is to introduce an enjoyment and an appreciation of the past whilst developing the historical knowledge of the children. The teaching comes in many forms, using class or small group situations. The children work from historical sources, artefacts, videos and learn through drama, ICT and visits to sites, museums, etc as well as the more formal methods of teaching. History is also brought alive through themed days and visits from guest speakers.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them. In Key Stage 1 the local area is used as a basis for geographical study and the children are encouraged to make comparisons with other areas in Great Britain and localities within a non-European country so they can begin to understand their place in the wider world.
In Key Stage 2 geographical skills and concepts are developed through a wide variety of approaches including fieldwork, videos, the use of ICT, problem solving and decision making, the investigation of topical issues, simulation and role play. In recognition of the high standard of Geography taught across the school, we were awarded the PGQM Bronze Quality Mark in 2011.
The children use a wide variety of materials to design and make artefacts and working models. They are encouraged to select and use tools with confidence and safety. They learn to plan, test, evaluate and make improvements to their work.
EXCELLENCE AND ENJOYMENT
As part of a broad and balanced curriculum, Little Kingshill School is committed to the promotion of excellence for all and enjoyment. Music, literature and art are an integral part of the curriculum, and children regularly participate in drama, musical activities and assemblies. Throughout the school, children make visits to museums and galleries, as well as attending the theatre and concerts. In addition, we regularly invite actors, storytellers, authors, illustrators, speakers, science visitors and musicians to talk to the children and the whole school benefits from visiting theatrical productions.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND DISABILITIES
The School has a Special Educational Needs Policy in line with the SEN Code of Practice (2014). It includes identifying children with learning or behavioural difficulties. There is a member of staff responsible for Special Educational Needs (SENCO) and a SEN Governor. The class teacher is responsible for supporting a child with special educational needs within the classroom setting, either individually or in a group situation. If the child requires an individual learning programme, either a provision map or a SEN Support Plan will be put in place. Advice may be sought from other professionals eg a Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologist, Specialist Teacher. Children with complex needs will be supported by an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). Children with an EHC Plan or a SEN Support Plan will be placed on a SEN Register. For more information please see the SEN Annual Report for Little Kingshill Combined School on the Bucks Family Information Service website www.bucksfamilyinfo.org