The new National Curriculum came into being in September 2014 and is taught from year one onwards and consists of English, Mathematics, Science, Geography, History, Music, Art, Design Technology and Physical Education. Our school curriculum also includes Religious Education for which we follow the Leeds agreed syllabus.
There are Programmes of Study for all the subjects that tell teachers what the children must learn, with levels of attainment for the children to achieve. We do however involve children in the planning of our curriculum and work to develop their interests.
For example following an interest about homes, ‘HOMES’ gives the opportunity to practise the basic skills of numeracy and literacy in a meaningful way. The children can write and read about different kinds of houses. Number work could involve house numbers and making graphs about the different kinds of houses in the street.
All other subjects are included as children learn about the historical, geographical and scientific aspects of houses that people lived in long ago, different kinds of houses around the world and animal homes. Computer programmes connected with the layout of the interiors of homes are used. The children do creative work around the theme of homes involving music, art, design technology, movement and PE.
Again the emphasis is on FUN and enjoyment and children are encouraged when ever possible to extend their own learning through carefully resourced play activities.
Why is play an important part of the curriculum?
One of the most important ways young children are active in their own learning is through play. Play is a naturally occurring behaviour and some of the teaching programme in school, particularly for the young children, includes sand, water, imaginative, constructional, and creative play. Well-organised and resourced play develops a child’s thinking through questions and discussion, posing problems and finding solutions. It encourages language development, socialisation and emotional development. It also develops mathematical concepts and the co-ordination needed for such fine-motor skills as writing. The children are given opportunities to handle new materials and see how they behave. This is an important part of our science teaching, even though this occurs in a “play” situation.