THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM (YEARS 1-6)
In studying English, children develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with each other effectively.
At English Martyrs', English forms part of the daily timetable. In English lessons, we aim to ensure that all children:
- Develop a range of speaking and listening skills through a range of activities, such as drama and role play.
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding. They will have the opportunity to read a variety of genre and respond to different texts. The school uses the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme to support reading in school.
- Participate in daily phonics lessons in Reception and Key Stage 1. These lessons will help develop children’s knowledge and understanding of letters and sounds. The school uses the ‘Jolly Phonics’ and ‘Letters and Sounds’ schemes to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of phonics.
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently for a variety of contexts, audiences and purposes. Children will be encouraged to plan, draft and edit their work in order to improve it.
- Develop their knowledge and understanding of grammar, spelling, vocabulary and punctuation through a wide range of activities.
- Develop a neat joined handwriting style.
Mathematics is important in everyday life. In school we provide opportunities for children to develop their mathematical skills knowledge and understanding through a range of problem-solving and investigative activities.
Again, Maths is taught daily at English Martyrs'. In Maths we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop Mastery in the essentials of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time
- Develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalizations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering to find solutions.
Science is one of the core subjects and is taught weekly. Science stimulates children’s curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. Through Science children begin to understand how scientific ideas contribute to technological change and they learn to question and discuss science-based issues which may affect their own lives.
We aim to link scientific ideas with practical experience. We aim to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop scientific knowledge and understanding
- Develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science
- Are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
English Martyrs' is a Catholic School, seeking to encourage each child’s deeper love and understanding of our faith; the family, the school and parish community are the main influences in the development of this. Religious Education, although part of the curriculum, is at the centre of our school life.
In teaching RE, the school uses the Diocesan approved scheme ‘Come and see.’ Children learn about the Catholic faith through a variety of topics and activities during the year.
Our Religious Education programme also provides opportunities for pupils to study other religions & cultures, fostering respect and an understanding for the beliefs of others.
Each day begins and ends with a classroom act of worship or a school assembly. Class liturgies take place throughout the year. These are an opportunity for prayer and reflection based on RE topics. Parents and carers are welcome to come into school to participate in these liturgies with their child. Mass is celebrated on a number of occasions throughout the term.
The school and the Parish Community of English Martyrs' prepare children for the Sacraments of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and Reconciliation (Confession). From September 2016, these Sacraments will be received in
Parents are reminded that our school exists to give a Catholic Education to its pupils. It is therefore expected that parents be in sympathy with the philosophy, values, aims and objectives of the school. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all aspects of RE and collective worship.
Computing prepares children to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology.
We aim to enable pupils to use technological equipment to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly and creatively. They learn how to employ technology to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences.
We continue to increase the provision of and access to personal computers. All pupils use educational software to consolidate knowledge across the whole curriculum including access to the Internet, where appropriate.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology prepares children to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities to respond to them by developing a range of ideas and making products and systems. They learn to combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetics, social and environmental issues and functions.
We aim to encourage pupils to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects.
History inspires children’s curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world. Through history we aim to develop children’s chronological awareness of significant people and events and their ability to find evidence, to weigh it up and to reach their own conclusions and skills, which are essential in adult life.
Geography develops children’s knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, their understanding of maps and a range of investigative and problem-solving skills, both inside and outside the classroom. Such skills prepare pupils for adult life and employment.
Art and Design
Art, craft and design encourage creativity and imagination. In studying art, craft and design pupils use colour, form, texture and different materials and processes. They learn about the work of artists, craftspeople and designers.
We aim to encourage children to make informed valued judgments and aesthetic and practical decisions. We hope an understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts will enrich their lives.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication which encourages active involvement in different forms of music making, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness. Through music we aim to develop the children’s ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgments about musical quality.
Music tuition is also available for violin, guitar, recorder and drums in selected year groups.
Physical Education provides opportunities for children to be creative, competitive and to face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams. It promotes positive attitudes towards active and healthy lifestyles. In PE children learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, ideas and performances to improve their quality and effectiveness.
All children receive 2 hours of curriculum PE a week.
Children in Key Stage 2 receive swimming lessons as part of the curriculum.
After school clubs linked to PE regularly take place throughout the school year.
French is taught to children is Key Stage 2. At English Martyrs' our staff work closely with our Secondary feeder school St Anthony's to provide specialist language teaching. We teach the children to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources.
We are currently in the process of developing links with culturally different schools both nationally and internationally.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
PSHCE aims to cover the key aspects concerned with preparing our children to understand and care for their lives now, as teenagers and as adults.
Children are made aware of what it means to be a good citizen, the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle and their responsibilities to themselves and others. They have the opportunity to explore sensitive issues in circle time sessions. The school participates in National Anti Bullying Week in November, participating in a range of activities to address this issue.
Sex & Relationships Education
This is taught in Year 5 & 6 in a caring and supportive environment. Support is usually provided by the School Nurse in teaching this subject. Certain aspects of Relationships Education are also covered in our Science, Religious Education and PSHCE programmes.
Homework is given to support the teaching and learning in class and gives valuable additional practice to pupils. It is important if homework is set that it is completed and handed in on time. Homework may take the form of reading, spellings, multiplication tables and other tasks.