When children join us in Nursery they follow the Foundation Phase Curriculum, which covers the seven areas of learning, these are:
Personal and Social development, well-being and Cultural diversity
Language, Literacy and Communication
Knowledge and Understanding of the World.
Welsh Language Development
This provides the foundation upon which all other learning is based.
Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 follow the Key Stage 2 Programme of Study of the National Curriculum.
The Key subjects are:
Maths, English, Science (core)
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Art / History / Geography
Design - Technology / PE / Music / Welsh / R.E.
Our Curriculum aims at to ensure all pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum. Great emphasis is placed on planning the Curriculum so that there is continuity and progression, challenge and pace.
THE FOUNDATION PHASE CURRICULUM (3-7 YEARS)
Personal and Social Development, well-being and Cultural Diversity
This area is concerned with emotional well-being, knowing who you are and where you fit in. It is about children's view of themselves; their self-esteem and their relationships with others. Children are naturally interested in other people and we offer opportunities to help to develop independence, confidence and resourcefulness as well as their understanding of:
relationships, feelings and needs;
acceptable social behaviour;
right and wrong;
the world around them - the people in their community and those in the wider world;
the diversity of cultures (different customs and festivals).
LANGUAGE, LITERACY AND COMMUNICATION
It is through language that children learn and make sense of the world around them. Language, written and spoken, enables children to explain themselves, interact with others and to organise their thoughts.
We offer children many opportunities to speak and to listen; to express their ideas in words and in pictures; to share a rich variety of stories and poetry and a love for books and language.
We develop knowledge and understanding of print and that it conveys meaning; that it is possible to record language; that letters stand for something; that print flows in a particular direction and that the alphabet has upper and lower case letters.
Use of mathematical language to help develop concepts during a range of activities forms the foundations on which mathematical understanding is based.
Knowledge and understanding of number; shape and space; pattern; symmetry and positional relationships; measure (time, weight, length, capacity) are all explored. The first hand experiences we offer the children help them to sort, count, sequence, measure and compare.
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
Children learn about themselves and the world around them and begin to make sense of their world. We provide opportunities for children to find out about past and present events in their own lives; to explore their environment and to learn about other living things.
Children develop knowledge and understanding of materials and their properties; of why things happen and how things work. They design and make models using tools and equipment and use information technology to support their work. We provide the opportunities that will help children to develop enquiring minds and the skills of observation, prediction, problem solving and experimentation.
Through the daily nursery routines we encourage children to develop the skills of physical control, co-ordination, movement and manipulation. We help children gain confidence in what they can do and to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active indoors and out. We provide opportunities that allow the children to develop knowledge and understanding of how their bodies work; of health and hygiene; the need for safety; how to move with confidence and increasing control; to improve their fine motor skills.
Children learn through their senses. They need time and opportunity to explore and experiment with ideas and materials; to develop their own ideas and to be imaginative; to observe carefully and to develop the ability to use a variety of tools and techniques. We help children to develop a knowledge and understanding of texture, colour and shape; of drawing and painting; musical forms and rhythm; and of imaginative play, drama and dance.
WELSH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
Welsh Language skills are developed through communicating in a range of enjoyable, practical planned activities and using a range of stimuli that buildon children’s previous knowledge and experiences.
NATIONAL CURRICULUM - KEY STAGE TWO (AGES 8-11 YEARS)
We aim to teach our children to use language as effectively as they can in a wide variety of situations, as laid down in the National Curriculum and the National Literacy Strategy. They will be introduced to many types of literacy including fiction, non-fiction and poetry and will be encourages to read widely. Our aim is that all our pupils will be able to:
Read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding:
Be able to use and apply a range of reading skills to monitor their reading and correct their own mistakes:
Understand and use their knowledge of phonics and spelling to read and spell accurately:
Have fluent and legible handwriting:
Have an interest in words and their meanings and develop a growing vocabulary:
Know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction, poetry and understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through ideas such as setting, character and plot:
Understand, use and write a range of non-fiction texts:
Plan, draft and revise their own writing:
Have access to suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing:
Be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences:
Through reading and writing, develop their powers of inventiveness and critical awareness:
The school has three libraries for study in school and a wide variety of texts for home reading.
The library has an extensive range of books. They cover a wide range of subjects and are extensively used by the children. As children progress through the school they are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for the maintenance of the library. Visits are also made to our local library to encourage membership.
We aim to help children develop their knowledge and understanding of Maths in an enjoyable way, but one which will also fit them for adult life as well as help them achieve the appropriate levels in the Attainment Targets of the National Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy. Our children are given the opportunity to work both in groups and individually using a variety of resources including the Abacus Mathematics Scheme.
Children are encouraged to co-operate within a group and to discuss the task in hand by thinking and planning, trying, observing and checking. We aim for all our pupils to:
Have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system;
Know by heart number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves;
Use what they know by heart to figure out answers mentally
Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and with pencil and paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies:
Recognise when it is appropriate to use a calculator and be able to do so effectively:
Make sense of number problems, including non-routine problems and recognise the operations needed to solve them:
Explain their methods and reasoning using correct mathematical terms:
Judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary;
Suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurement;
Explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
Through our Science curriculum we aim to give children the experience of a wide range of practical work as well as developing scientific skills and attitudes. Science helps children to understand more about the world around them and encourages them to question aspects that they don’t understand. Children are given an awareness of the role and importance of science in everyday life together with a consideration of the part that science has played in the development of everyday items. Our children are also given the opportunity to consider ways in which living things and the environment need protection.
We are continually developing the ICT facilities we have at Cross Ash Primary. All classes have access to computers and I pads within their classrooms. Children have access to the Internet, which is carefully monitored to ensure that children are protected from inappropriate material.
We have a school web site, which is updated regularly.
We teach ICT as a discreet subject as well as encouraging our children to use and develop their ICT skills across all other subjects. Our aim is to provide children with the skills to live in the 21stCentury and we are constantly updating our facilities to ensure our children have access to the best.
Through Art our children are encouraged to develop their creativity and imagination. Children are encouraged to build on skills to develop their control of materials, tools and techniques. We develop our children’s critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art, craft and design in different times and cultures. Our aim is for children to become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think.
Through History our pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the World. They look at History in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious and cultural perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
Good use is made of the local environment, which is rich in resources. Visits are made to Llancaiach Fawr, Caerleon Roman Museum, Imperial War Museum and Local Museum.
Pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad, including the local area, then find out about different environments and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. Children are encouraged to ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and ICT.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Design and Technology draws from and contributes to all other areas of the curriculum and is essentially practical. Cross Ash encourage children to:
Develop their designing and making skills;
Develop knowledge and understanding;
Develop their capability to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding.
Nurture creativity and innovation through designing and making;
Explore values about and attitudes to the made world and how we live and work within it;
Develop an understanding of technology processes, products and their manufacture and their contribution to our society;
To exercise their initiative, proposing, planning and developing ideas;
To enjoy exercising and developing the manipulative skills that realising these ideas entails;
To develop a critical awareness of both their own and others responses to their designs as well as responding to designs around them in the man-made world.
Children participate in a range of musical activities, which include singing, composing and performing using tuned and percussion instruments. They listen to and discuss a variety of styles of music. Those children who wish to do so have an opportunity to learn to play the recorder. In Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to learn a brass, string or woodwind instrument through the Gwent Music Support Service. There are opportunities for children to join Music clubs and choirs run by the staff throughout the year. We also have a very successful school orchestra.
Children are expected to participate in all PE activities. Throughout their time at Abertillery Primary children will have experience of dance, gymnastics, athletics and outdoor games. Together, these promote the children’s physical development, an awareness and understanding of the body, the development of skills and imagination and an appreciation of creative performances. Most importantly, it is hoped that the children will gain enjoyment from physical education and pursue sporting activities in their private lives, thus promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Pupils also have the opportunity to take part in Outdoor Pursuits in Year 3-6..
Religious Education must be provided in school under the terms of the1944 Education Act and the 1988 Education Reform Act. The Gwent Agreed Syllabus lays down broad guidelines within which the school is able to plan its own scheme of work. Each school day features an assembly for religious worship, within broadly based Christian practice. A daily assembly is an important part of our school day. Assemblies link together religious teachings with social and emotional development and the promotion of the UNCRC.
Visitors including local clergy and church groups are invited to take our Thursday assembly. A special rewards assembly takes place on a Friday, this assembly is a celebration of achievement where certificates are given out
Within Religious Education lessons teaching takes account of the church calendar, well known stories from the Bible and the study of a variety of different faiths and cultures including Judaism and Islam.
During the school year the school joins together at local churches to celebrate annual Christian festivals such as Harvest and Christingle. We take every opportunity to extend the pupils knowledge and understanding of Christianity and world religions through undertaking projects with local clergy, visiting places of worship and welcoming visitors from different religions.
Parents may ask that their children are withdrawn from religious assemblies and religious education lessons and such requests should be made in writing.
Welsh is taught across all key stages. Pupils take part in a range of activities which encourage their speaking, listening, reading andwriting.
PERSONAL HEALTH AND SOCIAL EDUCATION
We believe that here are many areas of knowledge and understanding that lie outside the National Curriculum. In particular, the personal and social development of the children is an area that has become an increasingly important part of children’s education. In order to allow individuals, friendship groups, and classes to react to, and cope with, the pressures of the world around them, we allow time for talk, discussion and reflection so that everyone knows that they are important and that their opinions are valued.
Circle Time allows children to participate as partners in the responsibility for their own behaviour and learning. It aims to encourage the development of self-esteem, interpersonal skills and strengthen relationships; whilst at the same time allows all involved to have fun together. This forms an integral part of our discipline policy and pastoral support for the children.
The SEAL programme is delivered at all key stages and through assemblies.
We aim to give pupils a greater understanding of themselves by covering aspects of diet, hygiene and exercise. Torfaen team of school nurses works closely with the school and staff and offer advice and support generally and in relation to individual care plans.
Many aspects of Health Education are covered in the Science Curriculum.
SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS EDUCATION
Our school governors are responsible for the nature of sex education within the school. The subject of sexual development is handled sensitively as children progress through the school, particularly in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. We offer our parents the opportunity to discuss the programme of study before delivered to the children. The school’s Sex Education Policy is available for parents to view. Please enquire at the school office.
WORKING TOWARDS THE NATIONAL MISSION AND NEW CURRICULUM FOR WALES
As a school we are activity working towards the new curriculum, through staff training, links with curriculum pioneer and professional pioneer schools, professional reading and research and trailing various projects and processes on the journey towards implementation
As we continue to transition into the new Curriculum for Wales we will no longer separate pupils learning journey into Foundation Phase and Key Stage Two. Pupils will develop at their own pace and their achievement will be monitored through the progression steps within the learning continuum.