At St Oswald’s CofE Primary Academy we believe that learning should be fun and we try to ensure that each day brings new opportunities and exciting experiences for all our children. This is reflected in our curriculum and the learning opportunities provided for all our children.
We aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that motivates and challenges our children, whilst equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in an ever- changing world. Our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum 2014 and has a strong focus on the development of Key Skills. English and Maths are taught daily as discrete subjects daily and as an integral part of our creative curriculum.
An extensive range of enrichment activities is made available to our children throughout their learning journey at St Oswald’s CofE Primary Academy. These include educational visits, visitors into school, workshops, residential visits and extra-curricular activities. These enrichment activities are at the heart of learning at St Oswald’s CofE Primary Academy, as we believe that experiential learning is crucial to children’s cognitive and personal development. We use a wide range of modern technologies to ensure our children are skilled in the digital media that will be the tools of the future. We help them develop as independent learners, effective team workers and resourceful thinkers so that they will be able embrace the opportunities and changes the future will bring. Underpinning all of this are our curriculum drivers of: Britishness, Spirituality, Restorative Practice and Enterprise.
'The school community recognise the distinctive qualities of this church school. Children talked of values such as trust, belief, forgiveness, friendship, respect, kindness and hope being part of school life and gave examples of forgiving each other and respecting each other. These values effectively contribute to the spiritual, social and cultural development of the pupils. Relationships in school were described as having 'real warmth' (National Society Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report - May 2013)
In the Foundation Stage we follow the EYFS curriculum, encouraging the children to be active learners. The children are encouraged through play and exploration to develop the skills that form a strong foundation for their future learning. This is supported with the provision of a range of real life experiences through educational visits and visitors in school, focused activities, along with carefully planned and resourced continuous provision.
We teach synthetic phonics from Nursery, using the Letters and Sounds and Floppy’s phonics programs.
The teaching of reading is supported by a number of reading schemes in school such as Project X and Oxford Reading Tree in KS1 and Ross Forrera in KS2 which, along with our well stocked library, provide a huge range of reading materials for our children to experience. Reading is taught throughout school as a discrete subject. Children are encouraged to read a range of challenging texts and develop a love of reading. These texts make links to learning in other areas of the curriculum. This is supported by adult led small group, differentiated guided reading sessions. These sessions provide the opportunity for the class teacher to further develop children’s independent reading skills.
Modern Foreign Language
We have chosen French as our Modern Foreign Language (MFL) for Key Stage 2. The Complete Course for Primary French was developed at Monkseaton Language College and then developed as part of the North Tyneside with Durham LEA MFL Key Stage 2. This scheme contains materials to deliver French at Key Stage 2 for Units 1- 12 plus a Christmas unit. We will use the scheme as our main point of reference with additional resources when required.
British Values Statement
The Department for Education has introduced a statutory duty for schools to promote British Values more actively from September 2014, and to ensure they are taught in schools.
St Oswald’s CE Primary Academy is committed to serving its community. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever changing nature of the United Kingdom. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
It follows equal opportunities guidance which guarantees that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. St Oswald’s CE Primary Academy is dedicated to preparing students for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British Values to all its students.
The government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.
The five key British Values are:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
The St Oswald’s C of E Primary Academy uses strategies within the national curriculum and beyond to secure such outcomes for students. The examples that follow show some of the many ways St Oswald’s CE Primary Academy seeks to instil British Values.
At St Oswald’s C of E Primary Academy we teach a values education based on Christian Values, all of which are linked to those listed above. We value the backgrounds of all our pupils and families and we undertake a variety of events and lessons to celebrate these. We have found this approach to be enriching for everyone as it teaches tolerance and respect for the differences in our community and the wider world. Underpinning all this, are a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to the British Empire. In following the new RE curriculum all pupils will learn in detail about key faiths and through this learning they will be taught to show respect for those faiths. Through History pupils are taught about significant periods in British History.
Democracy plays a key role within day to day life of our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our proactive School. At St Oswald’s C of E Primary Academy, all class representatives are voted on by their class peers. The election process is explained in detail and the vote day takes the format of an election. Prospective candidates write a manifesto, outlining their views and what they would do if they were elected as a member of the school council. The ‘vote returns’, are done as a whole school, in assembly.
Our pupils also evaluate Collective Worship and have influence on whole school practice. Individual pupils also have the opportunity to put themselves forward for roles and responsibilities such as the digital leaders, school librarian or to be a playground buddy.
Through the Literacy curriculum, children are taught the skill of debating and voting, based on arguments put forward. Through teaching in PSHCE and the creative curriculum children are taught about freedom of speech and the how individual’s voice can make a positive difference to the lives of others. They will study key figures that are good examples of this.
The rule of law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are reinforced during the school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.
All children in school sign a Pupil e-Safety Acceptable Usage Pledge. Visits from community authority figures such as the Community Warden and PCSO, Fire Service, Lifeguards etc. are regular visitors on our yearly calendar and help reinforce this message. We have adopted a restorative approach to pupil behaviour, in which children are taught how to accept responsibility for their actions.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms as well teaching them that how they act can impact positively and negatively on others. They are advised how to exercise these freedoms safely, for example through our e-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, how they record work or participate in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
Respect for each other, for our school and to others in our community is an integral part of our school ethos and Behaviour Policy. Pupils see staff model this by treating each other with respect and courtesy and we promote this in the way our children interact with each other in their classes and during social times. Photographs and key messages around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our Behaviour Policy. Mutual respect and fair play is also discussed within sports based activities.
We encourage children to celebrate our multi-cultural setting and teach about the unfairness of discrimination based on someone’s faith, culture or beliefs.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Opportunities to share and discuss this message occur through assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been promoted through RE and PSHE, Circle Time, ‘Anti-Bullying’ and other themed weeks, as well as taking opportunities to tackle this during every day school life. Children listen to faith stories from other religions and have opportunities to discuss these. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school and our pupils have the opportunity to visit different places of worship.
For additional information about the curriculum, please contact Mrs C Hegney on 01274 573396.