The National Curriculum for Science places emphasis not only on knowledge, but also on the development of scientific skills. All our science activity offers opportunities to develop these skills.
Our science curriculum is not seen in isolation. Opportunities are provided within a cross-curricular framework in order to maximise learning and to transfer knowledge and skills from one area of the curriculum to another. We aim to foster positive attitudes to science by ensuring that work is both enjoyable and relevant. Some topic work will be purely science based in order to focus on specific scientific knowledge.
Technology is an integral part of everyday life these days, so we encourage our children to embrace technology from an early age to enable them to be confident and successful in our ever-changing and demanding world. As well as developing confidence, knowledge and skills, a huge amount of effort goes in to enabling our children to grow up using technology in a safe and responsible way. Weekly lessons both in class and as part of home-learning, weekly messages giving parents advice on how to stay safe and events such as Safer Internet Day and Google Legends give our families the confidence, knowledge and skills that they need to stay safe.
At The Willows Primary, we see technology as a vital area of development in all subjects and make significant steps to ensure that all staff and children have access to relevant, high quality technology. Online safety is a fundamental part of all areas of ICT and, at The Willows, it is a priority across all areas of the school.
With the great speed at which technology that accesses the internet is becoming easily available in the forms of mobile phones, tablets, games consoles and smart TVs, it is imperative that all children at The Willows understand the benefits and dangers of using these devices. As the use of technology is an integral part of the teaching and learning, we view the teaching of online safety as a fundamental part of our curriculum. At every opportunity, online safety is taught and discussed with our children where appropriate to everyday use, as well as having a specific focus on relevant areas of online safety, for example, where there are issues identified involving our children, in the media, on Safer Internet Day and where there are concerns over common recurring issues.
We aim to support the education and implementation of online safety with our parents/carers through providing links to relevant websites accessed through our school website; a weekly section of online advice and help on our newsletter; the online safety Policy being available from our website; holding online safety meetings for parents/carers and including relevant information in our Acceptable Use Policy that is renewed annually.
The statutory curriculum expects pupils to learn how to locate, retrieve and exchange information using technology. In delivering the curriculum, teachers plan for and make use of this, for example, web-based resources and e‑mail. Access to life-long learning and employment increasingly requires computer and communications use and pupils are taught to develop these skills efficiently. Access to the internet is a necessary tool for staff and pupils. It is an entitlement for pupils who show a responsible and mature approach towards its use.
We ensure that children and staff at The Willows are protected in their use of technology through encouraging and modeling appropriate use, for example, during a staff meeting or lesson, being supervised and having appropriate restrictions and filters in place.
Knowledge of what to do when problems occur is also a priority for our school and this is delivered effectively through staff meetings and sound knowledge instilled in all children during lessons.
Computing and the related technologies such as e‐mail, the internet and mobile devices are an integral part of our daily life in school and we therefore strive to give pupils and staff the opportunities to:
- access world-wide educational resources;
- participate in new initiatives;
- gather information and have cultural exchanges between appropriate staff and pupils in other schools;
- participate in staff discussions with experts in many fields;
- provide access to educational materials and good curriculum practice;
- communicate with the advisory and support services, professional associations and colleagues;
- have access to and become skilled in the use of emerging technologies;
- carry out all of the above safely and responsibly.
Children at our school are becoming digital citizens who have the confidence to use many forms of technology for positive benefits in as safe a way as is currently possible. They use computing as a way to support learning in all subjects as well as being a subject in its own right. They use technological benefits such as collaboration to push each others learning on and support each other. They are encouraged to challenge each other and ask why questions to further their knowledge and understanding. Staff ensure that children progress through our planned curriculum as well as in individual ways depending on their personal experiences of devices.
Staff assess children through regular monitoring and observation against our curriculum objectives and support individuals as necessary.
We also want our children to have a healthy lifestyle and recognise the need for balance when it comes to screen time.
Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) & Citizenship
Through assemblies and class discussions (circle time) children develop a strong sense of community and their place in the community. Children are encouraged to understand their rights and responsibilities. The children are consulted about school rules and they expect them to be followed by their class mates.
Design & Technology
Design and technology is an intricate part of our day to day lives and it is therefore important that our children are taught how this subject is of great importance in our rapidly changing world. Children are encouraged to think creatively in order to solve problems and make improvements to existing ideas and products. It is through these methods that they can make positive changes to their own and others’ lives.
The teaching of Design and technology enables children to identify needs and opportunities, and to respond by developing ideas and eventually make products and systems. Through the study of design and technology, they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as of functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and impacts.
Design and technology gives the children the opportunity to work and think both as individuals and as part of a team, which helps them develop and learn while demonstrating the key values of our school.
Design and technology offers opportunities for children to:
- take part in creative and practical activities;
- understand the importance of design and technology in the wider world;
- develop imaginative thinking and enable them to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making things;
- talk about how things work, and to draw and model their ideas;
- explore computing as a means of design (CAD);
- be analytical and critical when they are considering and analysing products;
- select appropriate materials, tools and techniques for making a product;
- follow safe procedures when using equipment;
- explore attitudes towards the ‘made’ world and how we live and work within it;
- develop an understanding of technological processes and products, their manufacture and their contribution to society;
- foster enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making things.
Design and technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They learn to think and intervene creatively to improve quality of life. The subject calls for pupils to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects. Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.
Design and technology is taught in KS1 and KS2 as an integral part of the Lancashire planning scheme. It may be taught weekly or in a block series of lessons depending on the teacher’s choice. Research and evaluation into the product being created is often the starting point to enable children to experience finished products linked to their project. Designs are made with the end goal in mind, using their findings from their research. Focused practical tasks are used when needed to develop and practise particular skills and acquire knowledge before moving onto a larger project piece. Children are then supported with the evaluation of their model, relating it back to their original design. Opportunities are given, where appropriate, for individual work and collaborative projects.
Meaningful assignments set within familiar contexts are used by class teachers. Where appropriate they are linked to other subjects through the overall approach of the Lancashire Curriculum.
As teachers we consider:
- Design and technology opportunities arising within the curriculum and how they can link with other subject areas and bodies of knowledge made relevant to today;
- How we present the teaching of new skills to the children, i.e. group based, class taught or at an individual level;
- The role of design and technology in the teaching and learning process throughout the curriculum;
- How to encourage children to produce quality work that they are proud of;
- How to encourage the safe, economic and appropriate use of materials, tools and equipment;
It is important to us that the tasks presented to pupils help them make progress in DT. The sequence of tasks and assignments are laid out so that clear progress is made by all children.
During The Foundation Stage we encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help reception children make sense of their world as an integral part of their school experience. We relate this development to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals. This learning forms the foundations for later work in design and technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction materials safely and with increasing control. Work is often linked to the children’s interests and provides an enabling environment offering a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion.
During Key Stage 1 pupils learn how to think imaginatively and talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making. They build on their early childhood experiences of investigating objects around them. They explore how familiar things work and talk about, draw and model their ideas. They learn how to design and make safely and start to use ICT as part of their designing and making.
During Key Stage 2 pupils will work on their own and as part of a team on a range of designing and making activities. They think about what products are used for and the needs of the people who use them. They plan strategically what must be done and identify what works well and what could be improved in their own and other people’s designs. They draw on knowledge and understanding from other areas of the curriculum and use computers in a range of ways. Their products are of a high standard and fit for purpose.
Pupils are given opportunities to:
- Research and record relevant information where appropriate to meet a need/brief.
- Develop realistic outcomes to assignments.
- Take increasing responsibility for their own work.
- Critically evaluate their work and the work of others and suggest improvements.
- Work individually and in teams, groups, partners or pairs.
- Work with a range of materials and to use them appropriately.
- Use a variety of tools safely and correctly.
- Communicate ideas in a variety of ways.
- Develop skills and apply knowledge and experience when working on an assignment.
- Develop the ability to solve problems.
- Examine and evaluate design features in simple products including their historical development.
Teacher assessment is used to inform future planning and to review children’s capability. Design and technology assignments are used throughout the key stages to assist with formative and summative assessment. Children are encouraged to make oral and written evaluations of their work in technology throughout the key stages. Children use our design booklets to plan, record, assess and evaluate their work. Photographs are taken as evidence and stuck in their design book.
At the end of a unit of work teachers make a judgment using the school’s assessment materials (Klips) which are linked to the National Curriculum levels of attainment. Children will be assessed on whether they are developing, secure or exceeding these key objectives and skills so that they can be developed the next time they revisit the area of the subject. Teachers then use this to plan future work and to make an annual assessment of progress for each child, as part of the annual report to parents. This information is passed on to the next teachers at the end of the year.
Art is a subject in its own right and has specific skills and knowledge, which need to be taught and learnt. Once learnt, these skills can be applied across the curriculum to support work in many other subjects, such as Science, RE, Mathematics, Geography and DT.
Children learn to draw, paint and sculpt as well as design and create aesthetically pleasing objects in two and three dimensions. Pupils learn about the achievements of great artists, designers and craft workers. We give the children the opportunity to use as wide a variety of materials and resources as possible including textiles, clay, chalk, ink, oil pastels, watercolour, poster paints, collage, charcoal, printmaking and mixed media. Our children also have sketch books to gather, collect, experiment and reflect in.We have special Art days, where the children can really explore a topic or artist and use both indoor and outdoor learning experiences, with different scales. We also award an annual Art trophy for both Key Stages to acknowledge artistic ability and endeavour.
History & Geography
Through topic work children develop a sense of history and of the world beyond their own locality. Teaching is closely linked to children’s experiences and a sense of wonder is developed through the use of artefacts, field trips, visitors and multimedia.
Our PE activities incorporate the development of early games and gymnastics skills. Co-operation and team spirit are encouraged through a variety of activities. The Willows competes in a number of extra activities across the Fylde including football, netball, cricket, rounders and athletics.
We love being a musical school. All children are taught curriculum music by our specialist music teacher Miss Mallinson. In lessons they are given the opportunity play, sing, compose, listen, appraise and perform. Much of the work is again linked to cross-curricular topics, but musical skills are clearly emphasised in each lesson.
We offer brass, violin, cello, woodwind and guitar lessons to pupils from Year 3 upwards and all children in Year 4 are given the opportunity to learn a brass instrument, free of charge, as part of the Wider Opportunities programme from Lancashire County Council. All children in Year 3 also learn to play the recorder.
We look forward to being in Year 3 because we start to learn French. All the classes in Key Stage 2 are taught by Mrs Spacey. We begin by learning colours, numbers and the names of items of clothing. We have even held a French Fashion Show for our parents and friends.