We aim to provide pupils with a broadly based and balanced curriculum set within a framework that expects and seeks to attain high achievement from all pupils. We aim to:
- promote pupils’ academic, personal, social and physical development;
- help pupils to make decisions within an accepted moral code;
- encourage tolerance and respect for others;
- promote the ability to work well with others, showing social skills of co-operation and leadership;
- motivate pupils and enable them to build on experience and to learn from mistakes;
- develop pupils’ ability to remember facts accurately and use them in written form;
- encourage independent working;
- develop pupils’ ability to identify and solve problems independently.
- To develop in pupils a high level of competence in the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science in order to provide a secure foundation for life long learning.
- We acknowledge that every child is unique, each with their own talents and interests. By providing a broad curriculum we hope to ensure that every child is engaged and stimulated so they enjoy the school experience and have the opportunity to succeed thereby developing their self esteem.
- To actively promote our Welsh culture, language and heritage across the curriculum.
- To develop ICT as a tool to enhance learning, and in an increasingly technological world to provide children with the skills they will need for future success.
- To develop and apply basic skills across the curriculum in order to enhance educational success and in promoting life skills.
- To use extra curricular experiences to enhance and enrich children’s development.
Co-ordination of the Curriculum
The Foundation Phase Curriculum and the Key Stage 2 Curriculum are each co-ordinated by a Curriculum Leader, supported by all the teaching staff working in each of the departments. The role of the Curriculum Leaders is to co-ordinate and monitor the planning and delivery of each subject in the curriculum. The work of the Curriculum Leaders is monitored by the Headteacher and the Curriculum Sub-Committee.
THE FOUNDATION PHASE CURRICULUM
The Aims of the Foundation Phase Curriculum
- To provide a happy, safe, secure and stimulating environment with opportunities for children to enjoy learning, develop confidence and self-esteem, and build good relationships with others.
- To support, foster and develop children’s personal, social and emotional well-being.
- To build on what children already know, understand and can achieve.
- To enable pupils to express preferences, communicate needs and make choices and decisions.
- To develop positive attitudes and dispositions for learning.
- To address the individual needs of all children by enabling them to participate in a broad , balanced, relevant and age appropriate curriculum, with due regard to equal opportunities.
- To promote the moral, spiritual and cultural development of the children and to celebrate the distinctive cultures, language and traditions of Wales.
- To value parents/carers as important partners in their children’s learning.
The Structure of the Foundation Phase Curriculum
The Foundation Phase curriculum is based around the following seven areas, where stimulating structured play activities are woven into the learning experiences:
- Personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity
- Language, literacy and communication skills
- Mathematical development
- Welsh language development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Creative development
The Foundation Phase Curriculum at Ysgol Penmorfa is planned as units of work (topics) which are child initiated and provide a framework for planning (long term plan) and determine what is taught and when it happens. These are based on the experiences highlighted by the Foundation Phase Framework and staff knowledge and understanding of how children develop and learn. Medium term plans and short term plans give learning objectives and outcomes as well as activities. The planning allows for flexibility to include topic work and activities which are child initiated.
The wider curriculum consists of :
- Educational visits and visitors
- Outdoor classroom provision
- Links with local community organisations, eg. community police officer, school nurse
- Links with Family Learning
- Religious Education
KEY STAGE 2 CURRICULUM
The curriculum at Ysgol Penmorfa follows that of the National Curriculum for all state schools in Wales.
There are three core subjects (English, Science and Mathematics) and eight foundation subjects (Welsh, Information and Communication Technology, Geography, History, Design Technology, Physical Education, Music and Art) .
The children also study Religious Education.
Lessons are planned by class teachers, working in year groups following consultation with Curriculum Leaders. The subject skills are taught and applied through a range of learning activities.
Topic webs are produced for each term which link curricular areas in a meaningful way. A topic web documents the range to be taught and a copy is sent home as information to parents.
Teachers in each year group meet weekly to ensure lessons have clear learning objectives. A weekly planning grid is completed, which documents the learning objectives and the subject skills taught. The development of key skills are also identified and documented. The emphasis of the curriculum is to foster more child centred learning and topics may vary from year to year but the range covered should remain the same. The weekly year group meetings help to ensure consistency across year groups.
Children’s confidence and competency in language is developed through a variety of activities. At Ysgol Penmorfa, English will be developed within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to develop and apply their literacy skills across the curriculum.
Our aim is to encourage enthusiastic, independent readers. Children in the Early Years Department are introduced to picture books before commencing a formal reading scheme – Oxford Reading Tree. As children become more fluent, they are introduced to a range of literature. Our Home Reading programme encourages children to regularly read at home with a parent and comments are written in the children’s individual Reading Diaries.
The mathematics curriculum includes lessons in a range of Maths topics, investigations and problem solving activities. In this way our Mathematics curriculum is well balanced and covers the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Mathematics lessons are usually introduced as whole class activities followed by individual or group work appropriate to the child’s level. Lessons provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate and apply newly learnt skills. In order to reinforce learning and to clarify their understanding, pupils are encouraged to discuss how they calculate answers and to explain how they solve mathematical problems.
We aim to provide pupils with a grasp of the arithmetic necessary for everyday life and do not restrict the development of pupils’ numeracy skills to formal mathematics lessons. Teaching staff identify opportunities to develop and apply numeracy skills across the curriculum.
A variety of scientific themes is studied in each year group. These themes are covered at progressively higher levels so that pupils are able to build upon their previous knowledge and experiences. Children are encouraged to design and carry out investigations using a scientific approach. Work in science is structured and schemes of work have the flexibility to cater for children at all levels within the National Curriculum.
Lessons are taught through the medium of English. Welsh is taught as a second language. However, pupils are encouraged to use incidental Welsh during the day in order to practise new vocabulary and to promote bilingualism. A ‘wythnos tocyn iaith’ or ‘Welsh token week’ is occasionally held during which pupils are rewarded for speaking Welsh. Our pupils participate in the annual inter-schools Welsh quiz and also in Urdd events such as the Urdd Sports. St. David’s Day is celebrated each year with a special service.
We regard collective worship to be a designated time for pupils to reflect and consider. In line with the 1988 Education Reform Act, which states that collective worship should be ‘wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character’, we normally base our assemblies on the teachings of Christ and traditions of the Christian Church. However, we conduct our assemblies in a manner that is sensitive to the individual faith and beliefs of all members of the school.
While the majority of acts of worship in our school are Christian, we also hold assemblies that reflect other religious traditions that are represented in the school and the wider community.
There is daily act of collective worship for all pupils. Religious Education lessons are provided in all classes. Parents wishing to withdraw their children from such activities are asked to write to the Headteacher. We have established close links with local churches and the ministers visit our school to take assemblies at regular intervals. Harvest Services are held each Autumn. At Christmas the school choir and musicians participate in the Parish Church Carol Service.
Kindness and respect for others is actively encouraged throughout the school.
All children are encouraged to develop ICT skills in accordance with the Foundation Phase Framework and the National Curriculum guidelines. Every classroom has two computers and there is also a class set of netbooks for whole class activities. The use of ICT is integrated in other curriculum areas throughout the school day. Staff, pupils and parents are requested to sign an Internet Code of Conduct form to encourage Internet safety.
One of our main aims in this subject is to encourage the natural abilities that every pupil has. During their education at Ysgol Penmorfa, children will use a variety of media and explore the styles of famous artists. We hope also that by making the classrooms and corridors visually stimulating with displays, children will learn to appreciate and value the work of others.
Pupils engage in a wide range of Technology activities at Ysgol Penmorfa and these activities are often structured to link with work going on in other subject areas. Children are encouraged to design their own products using their own ideas and are guided in the use of tools and materials suitable for making their products. Pupils are then encouraged to evaluate their designs.
All children have P.E. lessons in the school hall. Key Stage 2 pupils also have a period of outdoor games each week. Each area of the P.E. curriculum is covered on a yearly cycle. Children are encouraged to achieve personal bests and activities are designed to bring out the talents of all children at all levels of ability.
Your child will need pumps, shorts and T- shirt for indoor P.E. Key Stage 2 pupils will also need suitable footwear and clothing for outdoor games. From a health viewpoint, it would be appreciated if your child’s P.E. equipment could be brought to school in a bag and not worn to school on the selected P.E. days. Also it would be advisable if jewellery is not worn for any P.E. activity.
The annual Sports Days are usually held during the summer term and parents are welcome as spectators. Pupils in Key Stage 2 are given the opportunity of weekly swimming lessons in either the Autumn or Spring Term. If you consider your child unfit to take part in a P.E. lesson it would be appreciated if you would inform the class teacher in writing.
School teams compete against other local schools in a range of tournaments including football, netball, hockey and cross country running. In addition, a variety of extra curricular activities are available each term including dance, football, athletics, netball, hockey, cricket and cross country running.
History and Geography
History and Geography are taught both as whole class lessons and through individual topic work. History and Geography themes are occasionally complemented by off-site educational visits. From an early age, pupils develop key concepts and skills as they study the local environment. These concepts and skills are further developed as pupils go on to study a variety of historical and geographical themes each year.
Music plays an important part in the life of the school and every child is encouraged to participate fully in musical activities. The children in the school choir perform at local community events. Tuition for tuned instruments is provided at school by peripatetic tutors. Please inform the Head Teacher if you would like your child to receive music lessons e.g. violin, clarinet.
End of Key Stage Teacher Assessments
Classteachers regularly assess pupils’ ability in each subject area. These assessments enable classteachers to decide upon the most appropriate tasks and activities to help the child progress to the next level. In addition, teacher assessments enable teachers to agree upon the overall level at which pupils are working at the end of the Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2. The expected level for pupils at the end of the Foundation Phase is Outcome 5. The expected level for end of Key Stage 2 is Level 4.
Complaints about the curriculum
A parent or guardian with a complaint or concern about the curriculum provided at Ysgol Penmorfa should follow the school complaints procedure.
Further details can be seen on our School Policies page.