At Barnfield School we believe that literacy is the key to education and life long learning. Through the teaching of English, all children will learn important skills which will enable them to communicate with others and will help them to understand and access the rest of the school curriculum. Our aim is that children are able to read, write and speak with confidence.
All children at Barnfield have a daily Literacy lesson. During these lessons, children are taught the key skills of reading and how to understand the texts that they have read. This happens in whole class ‘Shared Reading’ and also in more focused ‘Guided Reading’ where small groups of children work specifically with the teacher to develop reading skills. Children learn to read and comprehend wide range of texts such as stories, poems, plays, newspapers and non-fiction texts. In order to develop their reading skills each child has a reading book and parents play a large part in ensuring that their child learns to read by hearing them once a night and writing in the home/school reading record. Furthermore, all children go to our school library once a week and can select a book from there to read and share at home with their parents.
Children are also taught how to write for a range of purposes and audiences. They learn the key rules in spelling which will enable them to communicate their ideas to each other. They learn the importance of punctuation and sentence structure and are taught to use full stops, capital letters, speech marks etc.. within their writing. They also learn to plan, revise and edit their own work to ensure that they are achieving their very best.
Presentation is an important aspect of all work and we initially teach the children to form their letters correctly. We then have a handwriting programme in place so that children can develop a neat, joined legible style.
The skills that they learn in English, are transferred and used in all other areas of the curriculum and help children to communicate ideas and feelings as well as gain an understanding of the world in which we live.
The main aim in the teaching of mathematics at Barnfield School is to enable our children to become numerate so that they can apply their mathematical skills and knowledge to every day life. Every child has a daily Mathematics lesson which follows the objectives set out in the National Numeracy Strategy. Opportunities are then planned to enable the children to demonstrate, explain, discuss, practice and do practical work within their lesson.
A lot of the mathematics that is taught involves developing mental skills which can be applied to a range of problems and situations. We encourage a lot of ‘talk’ in maths so that children can share their thoughts and reasoning with the class and share the different strategies that they have used to solve the problems. As children explain their ideas and their strategies to others, it helps to increase and consolidate their own mathematical understanding and vocabulary. We initially encourage children to develop informal methods of recording, working through calculations in a horizontal format so that they understand how to manipulate numbers to solve problems, using the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Children are then introduced to more formal written methods of calculations in Year 3 and 4. Calculators are used by our older children as a tool to reinforce and extend their learning. At Barnfield School we also ensure that our children develop a solid understanding of shapes and their properties as well as the range of measures that they need to use. Furthermore, they learn to handle data and to organise it into graphs and tables which enables them to draw conclusions from these different representations. All lessons are structured to help children to develop confidence with numbers, shape, space and measures and ultimately to develop an enthusiastic and positive attitude towards mathematics.
Through the teaching of science, we build upon children’s natural curiosity. We develop their knowledge and investigative skills and enable them to observe, record and report their findings. All children are encouraged to carry out practical activities so that they can see themselves as scientists, working in a scientific way – asking why things are the way they are and what happens when things change. Additionally, children are taught to select and use equipment safely to carry out their own experiments and link their experiences with major scientific ideas.
All science work is based on four key areas;
- Experimental and investigative work
- Life and living processes
- Materials and their properties
- Physical processes
Through their work in Science, children learn to develop an inquiring approach when faced with new situations and are encouraged to make informed conclusions.
Information Communication Technology is the fastest developing area of the curriculum and the School has a fully equipped ICT Suite, which all classes use regularly. Through the use of up to the minute technology, children are given supervised access to the internet and use e-mail. All children are taught to use technology appropriately, with confidence and growing independence.
The children use a range of appropriate software, including:
- Data handling
- Problem solving
- Keyboard skills
- Graphics packages.
Each class has their own computer which means that ICT is taught within other subject areas. The use of interactive whiteboards in classes ensures that teaching across the curriculum is exciting and inspiring. The children also have access to laptops and minibooks to support other areas of the curriculum.
Through PSHE we aim to promote children’s understanding of themselves on a physical and emotional level. All children learn how to stay as healthy as possible and how to keep themselves safe. Children are also taught to respect the differences between people and to develop independence and responsibility. All classes have a regular circle-time session where children learn to listen to one another and develop respect for the feelings and viewpoints of others.
Design and Technology
In Design and Technology, children develop an awareness of their environment and how technology can be used to solve problems. Children are encouraged to produce ideas from their own experience and group discussions. They develop their ideas through making models, applying skills that they have learnt and experimenting with a range of materials. At the end of the process, children evaluate the work and look for areas where improvement can be made.
Art is a natural language for the expression of ideas and feelings. It develops the imagination and stimulates creativity. It helps children to explore and communicate their response to both the real worldand the world within themselves. At Barnfield, children use a wide variety of media and techniques to express their ideas. They also explore the work of artists from different times and different cultures. The children learn specific art skills as well as the work of famous artists. We annually hold an Art Day, when the whole school looks at developing a piece of work or a skill. It is always a fantastic day.
In History, we aim to ensure that children develop an understanding and knowledge of past times, learning about many of the reasons for historical events and changes. We also offer children the opportunity to think about the past and how it differs from the present. Children are taught about key civilisations, dates and historical characters in ancient history as well as developing an understanding about more recent historical event. Children also study the history of our local area and identify the changes that have occurred.
Through Geography, we help children to develop an awareness of the world in which they live. They learn to recognise and appreciate the similarities and differences between places and people throughout the world. Children are taught about environmental issues that face the planet and begin to identify strategies which could help to ease the problems for the future. Map skills are developed through all topics and an awareness of local issues as well as global ones are taught. Children learn to record their ideas in a variety ways and to ultimately develop an enquiring mind about the world.
Children are provided with a range of opportunities to develop their physical skills through sport, gymnastics, swimming, dance and games. They are taught the importance of ‘warming up’ at the beginning of sporting activities as well as ‘cooling down’ properly. Children are taught to develop specific skills, such as catching and throwing or forward rolls. They also participate in team games and learn to work with others and learn from each other. In Year 4 and Year 5 the children get the chance to go to a local swimming pool. Here they are taught by qualified instructors. They develop water confidence for those who are non-swimmers and teach more advanced skills to those who can already swim. Through PE we also teach the important skills of sportsmanship, co-operation and how to keep fit and healthy for life.
Children at Barnfield enjoy a music curriculum which includes class music lessons with their teachers and weekly Infant and Junior singing assemblies. Our children benefit from access to large music room which has a range of resources enabling children to develop listening and rhythm skills.
In addition to this, children have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, taught by one of our peripatetic teachers. We currently have piano, drums, flute, violin and guitar lessons being taught.
When our children enter into Key Stage 2 (Year 3) they begin to learn a Modern Foreign Language. At Barnfield this language is French. All of our classes from Year 3-6 have a weekly French lesson which is taught by our specialist French Teacher. The children begin by learning a basic vocabulay which they then develop through playing games, singing songs and learning rhymes. Each year we hold a French afternoon to celebrate the French culture and all that we have learnt.
Religious education and collective worship.
We believe that the school plays an important role in helping children to develop strong moral and spiritual values.
Our assemblies focus on the teaching of right and wrong and promote values of honesty, respect, courage and caring, as well as encouraging a sense of wonder for the world that we live in. Celebrations of major religious festivals enrich our school life and help each child to develop a respect for other beliefs, while safeguarding a confidence in their own. Parents and carers are warmly invited to share in class assemblies and cultural celebrations. Religious education at Barnfield is concerned with the growth and development of the whole child. We explore, with children, the place and importance of religion in human life. Children learn about the main world traditions, through a thematic approach, studying different aspects of religion each year, such as places of worship, religious symbols and sacred writings.
Parents have the right to remove their children from religious education and collective worship.