The approach to language teaching is to make it a meaningful exercise for the children. At Stapleford the children are divided into ability groups and the National Curriculum is followed. Written work is closely linked to reading work. Interesting language features of texts are discussed with the children and opportunities given for the children to use that style themselves.
The school promotes a partnership approach to reading, in which the sharing of books is prominent. Each class allocates time for guided reading sessions which enables the children to read in small groups and discuss their comprehension of the text. A wide range of non-fiction and fiction books are studied to foster motivation for all children. Detailed records are kept of each child’s progress in this curriculum area.
Drama is used actively throughout the school curriculum and is seen as an ideal medium to achieve many of the school aims.
Each day the main maths activity is preceded by ten minutes of mental maths work. During the main maths teaching activity the school emphasises the use and application of the mathematical knowledge that children gain. This is achieved through the provision of mathematical investigations and problem solving activities which, as far as possible, are set in the context of children’s everyday experiences and the on-going project. The development of mathematical language is achieved by the use of questioning and the careful grouping of children to encourage them to discuss and think about their work. Specific mathematical vocabulary is targeted as a part of each maths plan. Computer software and varied mathematical games and equipment are used throughout the school as a resource base to support particular learning situations and the National Curriculum.
The school follows the National Curriculum science programmes of study and sees the skills of observing, hypothesising, testing and evaluation as the core of the scientific process through which the body of knowledge is absorbed. The children are involved in a wide variety of first-hand experience in order that these skills may be developed. The school’s ample science resources help greatly to achieve this aim.
This involves both specific areas of learning and the creation of an overall ethos for the school, which, as it is a Church of England foundation, is based on Christian principles. However, we wish the children to embrace today’s multi-faith society and therefore we include study of Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism as part of the programme of learning. Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from this curriculum area.
We teach Religious Education in an open and honest manner to allow the spirit and minds of the children to flourish and develop. We do not seek only to impart knowledge but also to develop understanding of religious experiences, feelings and attitudes. We believe RE is concerned with the spiritual growth of children, with those feelings and beliefs that arise out of experience and that influence the search for meaning and purpose to life. RE therefore offers a distinctive area for learning, making a unique contribution to the education offered at Stapleford.
Many classroom themes develop by looking at common needs of the people of our planet, and how different cultures solve those needs. In this way all the children are able to make a positive contribution to the curriculum and to be proud of their own cultural background. We aim to develop the children’s understanding of a variety of cultures and hence reduce any fear they may have. The school is committed to its policy on equal opportunities and is active in its desire to eliminate racial harassment.
All the children in the school have access to and dedicated lessons in our networked, multi-media computer suite. We have invested heavily in our computer technology to produce a suite where the children can work on fast machines on a one-to-one basis. Computers are seen as a vital tool for the development of learning and information handling and an integral part of the learning process. This is aided considerably by the interactive whiteboards and iPads. The school has a library of software to support all curriculum areas. We aim for the children to understand the important part information technology plays in all our lives, to be able to handle it competently and value this asset.
Geography and History
These areas of knowledge are approached in a manner that encourages children to question and observe primary and secondary evidence. School visits are therefore an integral part of these curriculum areas and are encouraged. Our rich local environment provides many opportunities to clarify and initiate points of learning.
A week’s residential visit is arranged each year for the children in Key Stage 2.
Art, Design and Technology
Teachers plan and organise classroom activity where pupils can engage with and handle a variety of materials and develop skills in drawing, painting, pottery, collage, textiles, printing and modelling. This activity underpins knowledge and reinforces understanding. The children are encouraged to plan, produce and then evaluate their designs. This ethos leads to swift improvements in the children’s achievements.
There is a strong musical tradition at Stapleford School. All children learn to play the recorder in Year Three and a stringed instrument in Year Four. Regular visits from peripatetic staff considerably enhance our music curriculum. Group guitar and individual piano, woodwind and brass lessons are available for children from a very young age so that considerable expertise is achieved by the time the children move on to secondary school.
There are regular concert opportunities for the children to exhibit their increasing musical achievements.