The curriculum is organised under a single broad topic umbrella every half term. The curriculum is delivered by good teaching of basic skills and weeks of high focus which highlight different curriculum areas such as Maths, Science and Art. ICT plays a vital role and the school is using standalone computers and iPads to integrate ICT fully in the curriculum.
The teaching of English has a high priority throughout the school. We encourage the children to improve their skills of speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and handwriting. Speaking and listening is encouraged from their earliest times in school when they bring in favourite things to talk about. By Year 2 they are able to take large roles in school drama productions.
We have high standards of literacy throughout the school. We encourage the children to take pride in their work and produce work of good quality, improving their writing skills throughout their time with us. We try to make Literacy fun.
As reading is a source from which much learning stems, we encourage enjoyment of books and enable children to refer to books for information. In order to provide children with a feeling of success, we follow reading schemes which provide a gradual build up of vocabulary. Such schemes give confidence and equip the children with a base on which to build. We use a range of reading strategies including phonic skills, look and say, context clues, language patterns and comprehension. The children have regular phonics lessons which use the Floppy Phonics and other schemes to make the lessons interactive and fun
We aim to enable the children to develop an appreciation of all books and to be able to review them with a critical attitude. In school, there is a library through which we teach the children library skills. There is a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction, which cater for the needs of all children and their varying abilities. The children in Year 1 and Year 2 also visit the local library regularly.
We encourage parental support for our reading activities and the children take home reading books. The children are assessed in reading and writing at regular intervals throughout school so that they can be given accurate targets to extend their learning.
Pupils are introduced to mathematics through guided play with materials such as sand and water, shopping and domestic play. They have the opportunity to acquire familiarity and confidence in the manipulation of whole numbers and their application to everyday situations.
They learn to appreciate spatial relationships and start to exercise formal logic. Pupils are given the opportunity to observe and to develop measurement concepts with increasing precision.
Maths is taught acress the school with appropriate levels for each year group. We encourage using and applying skills and try to do as much practical Maths as possible. Every half term we have a Maths day across the school. In addition we are developing High Focus Maths weeks.
Mental mathematics, helping the children to gain confidence in number facts, is a daily feature of maths lessons. The school teaches Numeracy using the Abacus Primary Maths Scheme and teacher generated material.
The aim of science teaching is to enable pupils to develop a progressively deeper understanding of some of the central concepts of science, using their spontaneous interests and natural curiosity.
Children are encouraged to become increasingly familiar with the scientific processes of observation, measurement, description, investigation, prediction, experimentation and explanation. This is achieved through the study of scientific investigation, life and living processes, materials and their properties andphysical processes. We use science to build on their awe and wonder of the world around them.
Design and Technology
Pupils work individually and in groups to recognise a need, create a design through discussion with others, produce a finished article and evaluate it. Pupils must take care at all times for their own safety and that of others. For the implementation of these processes a wide range of materials is provided. All children experience cookery and sewing.
ICT is used across the curriculum and we deliver a very high standard of work in ICT. It is delivered through group work and whole class work.
We have the following equipment:-
Wide range of software
Interactive Whiteboard and DVD
Wide range of software
Interactive Whiteboard and DVD
Wide range of software
Interactive Whiteboard, DVD and Video player
Interactive Whiteboard and PA system
Interactive Whiteboard and DVD
I pods and I pads. are available for use throughout the school. The PCs in school are networked, including the office and the office photocopier. All PCs have access to the internet and e-mail. In addition to this we have some wireless networked Notebook PCs for use in any classroom.
By the end of Y2 our children can switch on, log in and access files on the computer. They are able to write, save, retrieve and print material. We have a large variety of programmes that cover Literacy, Numeracy and other curriculum areas. ICT is used to extend the curriculum and provides an exciting way to stimulate children’s knowledge.
Every child by Y2 is also given an opportunity to surf the net. Some homework is set on web-based sites.
Our children are given 21st century skills and learn to regard ICT as a valuable learning tool.
The teaching of geography cultivates an awareness of the world as a whole and of its composition, shape and position in the universe, with particular reference to season, night and day. This overall picture is then linked with personal experience and experience of the local environment. We explore the local area and visit the City Centre. Children learn about the world and compare where we live to other places. The Year 2 residential at Castleton is an ideal opportunity to compare and contrast town and countryside.
The teaching of History cultivates interest in the past and an understanding of the influence the past has had on the present. It aims to give the children a sense of identity with their culture and an appreciation of their heritage. Visitors to school and artifacts are used to enhance our History teaching.
Religious education encompasses many aspects of the world in which we live. Fundamentally, it is the teaching of belief and, as a Church of England School, that of the Christian faith. Religious education helps lay the foundation of concern for others whatever their colour, creed or background and teaches the children to work in partnership.
We endeavor to prepare every individual for the multi-ethnic society in which we live. Where possible we invite speakers in to give the children their first hand experiences. We also use artifacts and visits to places of worship to help teach RE.
Every year our traditional Christmas Nativity is held in St Andrews Psalter Lane
The purpose of collective worship in our school is to reflect on the significant features of human life, to explore our response to the world we live in, to learn about the Christian traditions upon which our society is based and to enable us to develop our own response to the spiritual side of life. Children will be encouraged to respond positively to the religious experiences of others.
The daily act of worship usually includes a prayer, hymn and a Christian based theme or story. Our normal pattern of worship is:
- Monday - St Andrews Psalter Lane Church leaders
- Tuesday - Staff Assembly
- Wednesday - Birthday Assembly
- Thursday - Mrs Preston or Visitors
- Friday - Family Assembly and an afternoon assembly with Mrs Preston
We welcome parents to Family Assembly every Friday and to attend on the day their children have Birthday assembly. We have many visitors to the school who enrich our worship. The law allows parents to withdraw their children from collective worship. Teachers are also allowed to withdraw from collective worship. It is hoped, however, that as a Church School, the worship in Clifford School is of a kind that includes everyone.
At Clifford School, music is seen to be an essential part of the development and education of the whole child. The whole school enjoys singing together once a week and we have a Silver Sing Up award. The children also have weekly music lessons with a music specialist. Live hands on music is valued and we have termly African Drumming workshops with Unbeatable Energy.
Music is a very important part of all our whole school celebrations such as Harvest Festival, Christmas and Easter. Our Summer Show is a showcase for the music work done in the school. Choir is one of the most popular after school clubs.
The teaching of Art encourages the development of perception skills, investigation skills and creativity skills, using a variety of images, objects and materials. Opportunities are provided to explore a number of ways in which tools, techniques and materials can be used. Children are helped to experiment and enjoy art. They look at the work of artists and often attempt work in the style of artists.
PSHE (Personal, Social & Health Education)
We value PSHE highly at Clifford, using this subject to show how every child is special and individual. We teach PSHE across the curriculum and also teach it as a discrete subject, often using games and fun activities to support the teaching and learning. Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) materials are used throughout the school and work in conjunction with PSHE.
The aim of PE is to encourage pupils to use opportunities given to develop a range of simple movements in a variety of activities with and without equipment.
Planning, performing and improving skills to in corporate different levels, directions, rhythms and speeds is an integral part of PE. Incorporation of both individual and group work is achieved in the following areas - athletic activities, dance, games, gymnastic activities, outdoor and adventurous activities. Currently most of our PE is covered by outside specialists.
SRE (Sex and Relationship Education)
We aim to ensure that the children develop confidence in talking, listening and thinking about feelings and relationships. We teach them to name parts of the body and describe how their bodies work. They also learn how to protect themselves and ask for help and support. At Clifford, this subject is taught at a level appropriate to the young age of the children, usually as a cross-curricular activity. In Year 2 the children receive sex education using a channel 4 video. You are very welcome to view the video before your child sees it and you may withdraw your child from this part of the curriculum.
Special Educational Needs
All children follow an individual programme in basic subjects and it is the aim of the school to meet the needs of each child. We try to identify learning needs as soon as possible using various assessment tools. If it appears that a child’s needs are not being met then the class teacher or Headteacher will discuss the situation with the parents in private so that the appropriate help can be given. This may be because a child is finding difficulties in certain areas of work or because they are able to achieve a much higher level than their age expectations.
Parents of children with special educational needs are consulted on a regular basis. If the children are not progressing as expected despite extra help the school will, with parental approval, consult the LA Educational Support Services and their help will be enlisted if appropriate.
If a child requires, or already has, a statement of S.E.N. / Education, Health and Care Plan, the child may receive extra individual support.