The School Curriculum

We aim to provide a secure and happy environment where all children are given full opportunity to develop the abilities they possess; to develop their skills and ideas as individuals and to help them relate to others; to extend the children’s knowledge of themselves and the world around them. We place great emphasis on the teaching of literacy and numeracy as we believe it is essential that the children achieve a good standard in basic skills.

Foundation Stage

During their first year at Grimsargh St Michael’s, the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. The curriculum is planned to ensure that we are developing the children’s personal, social areas of learning and emotional well-being.

Key Stage 1 and 2

The children are taught according to the National Curriculum which comprises the following subjects:

English/Literacy

Great importance is placed on literacy and classes throughout the school have a daily timetabled literacy lesson with further extension lessons as appropriate.

Phonics is taught each morning in KS1 using ‘Letters and Sounds’.

The ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme is used to teach reading.  It is supplemented with real books and graded reading books from other schemes, organised into ‘book bands’.

We encourage children to develop a range of skills, which include speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children are taught to write for a variety of purposes from recording information to expressing themselves creatively. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting are taught and pupils are encouraged to apply their knowledge to their written work.

Mathematics/Numeracy

Numeracy is a key life skill and is given high priority. All children receive a structured daily maths lesson, based on the mathematics programmes of study.Mental work features highly in each lesson with the children’s written work being differentiated. All lessons include problem-solving and investigational abilities.

Science

Children are encouraged to be actively involved in practical investigations and problem solving during science lessons. Our aim in teaching science is to foster ability in the children to observe, enquire, discuss and evaluate their findings.

Computing

Children are taught computer science, to create and debug simple programs, logical reasoning, uses of information technology and how to use technology safely and respectfully.

Religious Education

This is a Church of England School and the religious education it provides is in conformity with the rites, practices and doctrines of the Church of England.

Religious Education is provided within the timetable according to the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education R.E. Syllabus.

The school promotes Christian values through the teachings of the Church of England. The children also learn about the beliefs and traditions of some of the other major world religions. We plan for the spiritual and moral growth of each pupil through planned teaching and the Christian ethos of the school.

Geography

Geography involves the development of skills as well as knowledge and understanding about places and themes. Children learn about the local area around school, parts of the U.K. and then other parts of the world. A range of teaching methods and resources are used in Geography.

History

In the early years, pupils are given opportunities to develop an awareness of the past and of the ways in which it was different from the present. They are helped to develop a sense of chronology.

Older pupils are taught about important episodes and developments in Britain’s past, from Roman to modern times, about ancient civilisations and the history in other parts of the world. Historical skills are developed through Study Units. They investigate local history and learn about the past from a range of sources of information.

Art and Design

The children are encouraged to express their ideas and feelings through their art work and are also encouraged to observe their surroundings and convey their ideas using a range of different techniques and materials. The children’s sense of colour, shape, pattern, texture, tone, line, space and form are developed throughout the school. Children are also given the opportunity to study the work of famous artists.

Design and Technology

In Design Technology children are encouraged to find solutions to problems posed to them. Tasks are set in familiar contexts so the children can devise realistic outcomes or solutions to the problem. The children will be taught skills in various materials and will apply those skills to produce a solution to a design problem.

Music

We aim to make music enjoyable for all pupils in the school. The children sing, play instruments, listen to music and have opportunities to make their own musical compositions, which they are encouraged to appreciate and evaluate. During their time in school, all children will be given the opportunity to take part in a musical performance. Children are also able to take advantage of woodwind, keyboard and guitar lessons at a fixed price. All the children in Year 4 learn a tuned instrument as part of the Lancashire Wide Opportunities Scheme.

Modern Foreign Languages

All the junior children have a weekly French lesson. Children in the infant department learn some French vocabulary, through games, songs and rhymes.

Physical Education

The school is well equipped for P.E. with a hall, extensive grounds and a good stock of up to date resources. The school believes in the importance of P.E. and exercise. All teachers have received up to date training and each class has two P.E. lessons a week. We join in many inter-school sports and swimming galas as well as organising friendly games whenever possible.

The P.E. curriculum covers gymnastics, games, athletics, dance, swimming and outdoor adventurous activities.