There is a new curriculum in place from September 2014. This will be taught in integrated units of work within each year group. These units will either have Science, History or Geography as a main subject focus. When a subject is the focus of an integrated unit it gives an opportunity for a context to be established which gives meaning and interest to the children as learners and also allows us to plan in experiences which make the most of our own unique local environment and costal locality. In all integrated units, English will be one of the linked subjects. Mathematics is still taught as a single subject, although aspects of mathematics are also used and applied across the curriculum. We are extremely proud of our curriculum in this school and the opportunities and enjoyment it affords our pupils.
Assessment of children's progress is monitored throughout their time at the school by means of teacher assessment, in the course of lessons, or by specific tasks and tests: the outcomes from these inform planning to enable the needs of all children to be met. Towards the end of Year 6, children take end of Key Stage 2 national tests in English and Maths. (SATs).
English is about gaining the skills to communicate effectively with everyone around us; now and in the future. This is achieved through exploring and enjoying a wide range of books and texts, asking and discussing questions, trying out different types of writing and expressing ourselves clearly and creatively. The use of structured reading schemes, general fiction and nonfiction books, group reading books and games, support the development of both reading and writing. Book fairs, visiting speakers and readers, along with visiting theatre productions and performances also play an important role in enhancing the language experiences of our children.
Children are encouraged to enjoy mathematics which helps them to develop a confident, positive attitude to the subject. Mental maths is an important element and is practised daily. It is our aim to enable children to become numerate and confident to tackle mathematical problems successfully, not only in mathematics lessons but also in everyday life.The children will develop their mathematical knowledge and skills through contextual activities and through lessons focused on specific areas of learning, using a variety of appropriate resource materials. We provide a daily numeracy lesson for all pupils, as well as incorporating maths into learning within our integrated units of work whenever possible.
There is an emphasis on practical activities and investigations in science, where children are encouraged to develop their skills of observing, predicting, making comparisons, testing, communicating and recording. Science is the focus of several integrated units of work taught each year. Educational visits to study various environments further field are also a feature of our work in this area.
Computing in the new curriculum offers children the opportunity to develop their understanding of how computers and computer systems work and experience how they are designed and programmed. Computing offers much scope for creative work in programming and digital media and provides fundamental links with other curriculum areas. Children are also encouraged to become digitally literate, providing them with the ability to express themselves and develop their ideas through the use of information and communication technology. Children have access to a suite of computers as well as portable technology. They also have access to the internet and E-safety is taught and promoted throughout the school. All parents and pupils are requested to sign an ‘acceptable use policy’ when they join our school.
Children investigate aspects of Christianity every year as well as being introduced to other principal religions. They learn about different beliefs and the world around them. They talk about what is important to them and to others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging.The syllabus follows Norfolk's agreed syllabus. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and/or collective worship and if they wish to do so are invited to discuss this with the Headteacher. Collective worship assemblies may be held as a whole school, upper or lower school and in year groups.
History forms the central focus of several integrated units of work each year. Children learn about people’s lives and lifestyles from the recent and more distant past, including those from Britain and the wider world. They learn to place events, people and developments in the periods studied within a chronological framework and are given opportunities to look at history from a variety of perspectives. The children have access to a variety of sources of information, including texts, computer software, contemporary accounts, pictures and artefacts, to support their studies. Visits to historical sites are also made in connection with certain units of work.
Geography forms the central focus of several integrated units of work each year, with children learning about the physical and human features of their own surroundings, as well as the wider world. There are also opportunities for fieldwork in the form of educational visits where contrasting environments are studied and skills and knowledge learned in the classroom are applied.
Design and Technology
Children learn how to work safely with a range of tools and materials in order to design and produce good quality products. An emphasis is placed on the development of the children’s designing and making skills. They are also encouraged to evaluate their work and that of others. Design and Technology opportunities will arise in a number of integrated learning units and may be scientific, mathematical, artistic, historical or geographical in their context.
Children learn about music from different times and cultures. They listen, compose and perform using a wide variety of instruments. Extra- curricular provision means children have the opportunity of joining a variety of lunch-time activities including recorder groups, choir and orchestra. Children who have private music tuition outside school are also able to join these ensembles. The school choir, orchestra and other ensembles perform during various school events and also, by invitation, perform at out-of-school venues in the wider community where they have a very good reputation for high quality performance. We regularly take part in the St. Andrews Music Festival with much success. Many children have been successful in examinations of The Associated Board of The Royal School of Music.
Children will have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of art media and to develop the related techniques and skills. Art also allows each child to express themselves creatively and hopefully to come to appreciate the aesthetic nature of the subject, through learning about the work of other artists and art from different cultures. Visiting artists contribute to children’s experiences whenever possible.
Lessons include dance, gymnastics and a number of athletic activities which promote a healthy lifestyle. The games lessons include strategies and skills in all the major sports. Our curricular activities, including a block of swimming lessons, are supported by a wide range of lunchtime and after-school clubs of both a competitive and non-competitive nature. Children must always come to P.E./games/swimming lessons with the full appropriate kit. It is important that all children take part in P.E. lessons which form a statutory part of the National Curriculum.
Learning a language enriches the curriculum. It provides excitement, enjoyment and challenge for children and teachers, helping to create enthusiastic and creative learners and to develop positive attitudes to language learning and other cultures throughout life. At Ormesby Village Junior we teach French to both Years 3/4 and 5/6. Children also learn about the culture of this country.
Through P.S.H.E. children are encouraged to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. They are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth and develop positive relationships by playing an active role in school life and contributing to the wider community. Our children have the opportunity to take on many responsibilities. This includes the opportunity to become a house captain in Y6. Children also experience the process of democracy in school through the School Council. Through School and Class Council meetings all children are given a voice and a chance to be a decision-maker! In addition we provide opportunities for children to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse society. Children are given regular opportunities to discuss their ideas, thoughts and feelings as well as taking part in a range of activities that promote active citizenship such as organising events to raise awareness and fund-raising. Children also have opportunities to meet and work with members of the community, such as health workers, fire fighters, police and representatives from the local church, whom we invite into school to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community.
To assist our overall objective of helping each child at Ormesby Village Junior School achieve his/her potential, we set homework activities that are designed to support learning carried out at school by helping children to: Consolidate and reinforce skills and understanding, particularly in literacy and numeracy Extend learning through additional reading Have time to learn spellings, vocabulary, number facts etc. Exploit resources for learning at home, including opportunities to talk about what they are learning to an interested adult Develop those skills and attitudes which are important to independent learning; such as confidence and the self- discipline needed to study on their own. A regular pattern of homework assignments is important, since a familiar routine is helpful for children, parents and teachers. The amount of time that a homework assignment takes to complete may well vary from child to child and from assignment to assignment. Sufficient time needs to be spent on homework assignments to ensure that they are completed as required and to the best ability of the child. It is hoped that parents/carers will support their children with homework by encouraging a positive attitude and giving support when difficulties arise. Also, it is hoped that parents/carers will ensure that their children read or are heard to read, as appropriate, on a daily basis.
Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Children may have special educational learning needs or disabilities throughout their time at school, or for specific periods of time, for a wide range of reasons. It is the school’s duty to treat every child equally and to cater for their individual needs within the classroom whenever possible. Sometimes children’s needs are such that they may require specialist support in school or from outside professionals. Parents are always kept fully informed about their children and how they are being supported so that they can work in partnership with the school. In line with government requirements the school has produced a document detailing how it will support children with special needs and disabilities and also a policy. These are published on the school’s website.
We identify more able children at Ormesby Village Junior and recognise, celebrate and encourage their achievements both in and out of school. We provide, where appropriate, a range of extension activities for these children, so they can achieve their potential. We also sign-post clubs and activities we find out about that take place outside of school to parents.
Several areas of the curriculum are enriched by educational visits to such places as museums, historic sites, and contrasting environments - local and further afield. Such visits, made during the school day, are a planned part of the curriculum and much preparatory and follow-up work flows from them. Children who do not experience the visit will find follow up work difficult. Parents are requested to make a voluntary contribution towards the costs of these visits. We can only afford to make such visits if enough parents are willing to support them financially. However, it is our policy that no child should be excluded because of hardship and we endeavour to ensure that all benefit from the experiences offered. Please speak to us if finance is a problem or a barrier to your child being included. We will do what we can to help.
A residential visit is planned once in Year 3/4 and once in 5/6.
Parents and School Working Together
Parents are always welcome in school as volunteers in the classroom and opportunities also exist to support our annual events – particularly our school concerts/productions, sports events, sponsored walk and summer fair.
Evenings are set aside in the autumn and spring terms for parents’ evenings and children are given an annual written report to give to parents to read and sign in the summer.
The successful education of children involves an effective partnership between school and home. We need and depend on your support.
Children are happiest and learn best when their environment is rich, enjoyable and stimulating; boundaries and rules are clear and they understand the consequences of their actions. They need to know that staff care about them and are prepared to give their time to assist them and to listen. Positive attitudes and behaviour are rewarded and celebrated through merits, house points and recognition in assemblies.
The School and the Community
We believe that children should recognise that they are part of a wider community, as well as being members of our school. We encourage children to engage with this community in a variety of ways to encourage community cohesion. Broadly, our school’s contribution to community cohesion can be grouped under the three following headings:
- Teaching, learning and curriculum teaching pupils to understand others, to promote common values and to value diversity, to promote awareness of human rights and of the responsibility to uphold and defend them, and to develop the skills of participation and responsible action.
- Equality and excellence – ensuring equal opportunities for all to succeed at the highest level possible, removing barriers to access and participation in learning and wider activities and eliminating variations in outcomes for different groups.
- Engagement and ethos – providing a means for children, young people and their families to interact with people from different backgrounds and build positive relations, including links with different schools and communities locally, across the country and internationally.
Every child will join one of the following houses, named after broads in our locality:
Children can earn house points for their work, by being helpful, kind to others and polite. Points are also gained for sporting events, competed for in houses. A cup is presented to the house captain of the house with the most points at the end of every academic year. Points are read out in our good work assembly every Friday. Children also collect merits for exceptional pieces of work and these build towards personal awards of bronze, silver and gold certificates.