A Curriculum for the 21st Century
The Bowerhill School classroom day runs from 8.50am until 3.15pm. However, the school ‘curriculum’ means everything that the child experiences during his or her time at school and includes activities beyond the classroom.
Our Early Years Foundation Stage classes may well be your child’s first experience of sustained contact with adults and children outside your close family and circle of friends. We hope to make the transition from home to school a positive and happy experience for children and their parents. We want children to go home bursting with stories of their exciting day at school.
Children joining our Early Years Foundation Stage classes find themselves in an exciting learning environment. They are taught in well-equipped, modern classrooms. They use an all-weather covered area and hard surfaced area for outdoor learning. They have their own separate field and all- weather safe surface for their playtimes.
Each child will know their own teacher and Teaching Assistant. However, the two Early Years classes are open plan, with activities arranged across both rooms and the shared outdoor area. In the course of the day the children may work alongside children and adults from the other class. Children are encouraged to make choices and decisions in their learning and develop a sense of independence in preparation for work in the coming years.
The adults they will meet at school will be enthusiastic, well-trained people who enjoy the activities almost as much as the children!
Our provision for these children is validated each year against the Bristol Standard for Early Years, a quality assurance scheme.
Visit the website at www.bristolstandard-cyps.org.uk for more details.
Later Years – Years 1 & 2 (Key Stage 1)
Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 (Key Stage 2)
The basic classroom curriculum for all schools is comprised of two main elements: The National Curriculum and Religious Education (agreed locally).
Our curriculum has to take into account the principles of
·Breadth – It should introduce children to a wide range of knowledge, skills and understanding.
·Balance – Each subject of the curriculum should have sufficient time to make its special contribution.
·Relevance – Subjects should be taught so as to draw on, and show applications to, the child’s own life experience.
·Differentiation – What we teach, and how it is taught, must be planned to extend each child’s ability
The Learning Challenge Curriculum – A New Approach to Topic Work
At Bowerhill Primary School we have worked with education consultants Focus Education to introduce the ‘Learning Challenge Curriculum’. This is not a list of specific topics to cover or knowledge to impart as the areas of study and skills to be taught are provided by the National Curriculum. It is a way of organising a series of lessons which captures the interests of the children and makes the learning relevant to them, whilst meeting the National Curriculum requirements.
The Learning Challenge concept is built around the principle of greater learner involvement in their work resulting in a meaningful curriculum which promotes high standards. (Focus Education)
The Learning Challenge Curriculum requires teachers to actively think what their curriculum needs to include in order to meet the needs of the children at this school – leading to high standards in all areas of the curriculum. The approach allows teachers to focus on the best way to present their lessons rather than what they need to teach.
At Bowerhill School we have used a topic-based approach to the curriculum for many years. This involves linking some subject areas through a common topic or project designed to ensure the children are interested in purposeful learning. The Learning Challenge Curriculum is a natural development and improvement of this work.
This diagram below called 'The Learning Journey' shows how teachers plan a class topic.
Alongside the class topic planning, the teachers will also focus on basic skills in the core subjects of Maths, English and Science.
English - Phonics and beyond
In 2014 Bowerhill School introduced Read Write Inc as a scheme through which to teach basic skills in reading and writing which will then be used across all subjects in the years to come. Read Write Inc focusses on a very structured approach to teaching reading through phonics in EYFS and Year 1. Click on the link below for more information about the Read,Write Inc scheme.
Click on the links below to see our year by year expectations for reading and writing from September 2014.
(These are minimum expectations or 'non-negotiables' for each year group. Children will receive targeted support to ensure they keep up with these expectations. Some children will be working at a level above their actual age group.)
Bowerhill School uses Abacus Maths as its core scheme. Please click on the links to our Calculation Policy below to see the year by year expectations for maths. Choose either Key Stage 1 (KS1) or Key Stage 2 (KS2)
Bowerhill School uses the Kent Science Scheme of Work for teaching science. Click on the link below to see an overview of the year by year science topics using the Kent Scheme of Work
The other National Curriculum subjects
The link below shows our year by year expectations in the other subjects of the National Curriculum from September 2014.
The Extended School
We offer lots of first-hand experience from Early Years classes right through to Year 6, with visits and visitors supporting work across the curriculum in all year groups. We usually expect Our children have residential visits in Years 5 and 6.
When school trips are planned it is usual for us to invite contributions towards the cost from the parents of pupils involved. However, it is our policy not to exclude children from taking part in such excursions when contributions are not forthcoming due to financial hardship. Parents unable to make a contribution should discuss the matter in confidence with the teacher organising the visit or with the Headteacher.
Extra – Curricular Activities & Music Lessons
In addition to the main curriculum, there are activities organised as a valuable extension to the school day.
Many of our staff give their time at lunchtime or after school to offer a range of activities which are free of charge. Activities change from term to term depending upon what members of staff are able to offer. A typical range of activities would include netball, football, cookery, rugby, choir, ICT and art.
Although our children have weekly music lessons, they are also offered the chance to learn a musical instrument. These lessons are organised by the school but are paid for by parents. Children can learn the guitar, woodwind instruments, piano or drums.
Some extra-curricular activities are offered by outside organisations. For example, Judo lessons and Tae-Kwando are taught in our school hall in the evening.
For further details of when parents are asked to pay for activities, please see our ‘Charging and Remissions Policy’