The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum forms part of the whole curriculum we offer children in Years 1-6.
English, maths, science, Physical Education and Religious Education are generally taught separately. Children spend a minimum of an hour each day on English and maths. All other subjects are taught through an integrated, topic based approach. Wherever possible, meaningful links are made between current topics and the core subjects of English, maths and science, e.g. through the choice of genres and texts in the main literacy learning.
The children are taught as individuals, in small groups, or as a whole class. Groupings can be by ability or mixed ability, depending on the work planned by the teacher.
English encompasses spoken language, reading and writing.
- Word reading
Children are encouraged to take a book home every day. Children change their books regularly, so book bags should be brought to school every day. Book bags are available from the office.
- Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
- Phonics and spelling
In writing, children learn to write for a variety of purposes (e.g. stories, letters, poems, information) and develop their skills by a drafting and redrafting process.
We use materials from the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ and ‘Language and Literacy’ programmes to deliver aspects of the English curriculum, particularly early phonics, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. For these sessions, children are taught in small groups, grouped by attainment, for up to one hour each day.
We use the ‘Oxford Owls’ spelling scheme to teach spelling rules and patterns.
The maths curriculum covers:
- Number, place value and rounding, approximation and estimation
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Ratio and Proportion
- Geometry (properties of shapes, position, direction and movement)
The school uses the 'Mastery' approach to the teaching of mathematics. Children are taught as Year groups. Through careful planning, they are given time to learn maths and vocabulary and to explore and practise maths ideas and skills. They are supported and encouraged to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the mathematical concepts through reasoning and problem solving challenges.
Children are taught scientific knowledge and understanding across the three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics as follows:
- Living things and their habitats
- Animals, including humans
- Evolution and inheritance
- Everyday materials
- States of matter
- Properties and changes of materials
- Seasonal change
- Forces and magnets
- Earth and space
At Garway, we have a two year rolling programme of science topics.
‘Working scientifically’ is taught across all the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. Children learn to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them through a variety of approaches including: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.
Art and Design
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. They reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. We aim to engage and inspire children by linking art and design themes to class topics, focussing on great artists, craft makers and designers and exploring the historical and cultural development of art.
Children are encouraged to explore their own ideas, develop their creativity and gain proficiency in techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture.
Children’s art is celebrated through displays both in school and at community events and through participation in school festivals, such as the annual Eisteddfod and Archenfield Arts.
We aim to use technology to prepare children for a rapidly changing world and to equip them to understand and change the world through logical thinking and creativity. Where relevant, links are made with mathematics, science, and design and technology.
The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, and how digital systems work. Children are taught to become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
Design and Technology
Design and technology is a practical subject in which pupils use creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. It has links to mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Through D&T, pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. They learn about identifying needs, finding solutions, designing and, where appropriate, making solutions to meet these needs. They will learn the process involved in seeing something through the various design stages, how to select appropriate materials and actually make articles within limits (e.g. a budget).
Through geography, we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, and to equip them with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments. We teach pupils about the formation and use of landscapes and environments and to understand the interaction between physical and human processes.
The key areas of geography are:
- Locational Knowledge
- Place knowledge
- Human and physical geography
- Geographical skills and fieldwork.
These key areas are taught alongside science and history through our topic cycle.
Teaching is supported by fieldwork and offsite visits which provide real contexts for exploration of geographical processes and opportunities for children to develop a sense of place.
Our history curriculum aims to enable pupils to gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, and to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
History is taught alongside geography through our Humanities topic cycle.
Teaching is supported by fieldwork and offsite visits so that children gain an understanding of their local history.
Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures, fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. At Garway, we aim for pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in reading and writing. Pupils become proficient in communicating for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language, providing a solid foundation for learning further languages.
At Garway, we teach French.
At Garway, we value music as a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Our aim is to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
We are very fortunate in having a specialist music teacher, Mrs Connolly, who teaches music across the school, ensuring exceptional music provision for all our children as well as individual violin lessons. Our music curriculum links to our science and humanities topics to provide meaningful contexts for the study of great musicians and the historical and cultural development of music.
All children learn an instrument which is practised daily in class. At KS1, the chosen instrument is the ocarina. At KS2 it is the descant recorder.In addition, pupils can learn a range of instruments through individual or small group lessons provided by specialist peripatetic music teachers such as piano, flute, clarinet, saxophone, guitar and cello.
Singing forms a big part of our school life. The whole school sings daily in assemblies. We have a thriving school choir which frequently performs to a very high standard at school and community events.
Our P.E. curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident and supports their health and fitness. In addition, sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect.
At Garway, all pupils have two timetabled P.E. lessons every week. During these lessons, qualified sports coaches work alongside our teachers to ensure high quality provision.
In addition, physical activities are provided at playtimes (including use of our outstanding adventurous play area) and after school every day as part of our after school clubs provision.
We value opportunities to engage in sporting activities with other schools, including inter school competitions and tournaments.