Curriculum and Philosophy

Table of Contents

Curriculum and Philosophy Statement

For children to be effective learners they need to enjoy coming to school and to find their schoolwork enjoyable and interesting. They also need to feel safe and relaxed in their lessons and in the playground.

The establishment of a good ethos in classrooms and generally around school is fundamental to all we do. Central to this good ethos is the quality of relationships established between staff and children and amongst the children themselves.

It is important to us is that we provide our pupils with a broad, rich and relevant curriculum; to stimulate their enthusiasm for learning and ensure we cover all national curriculum and other statutory requirements.

The appearance of the school environment is also particularly important to us because this conveys visual messages to the children about the status of education and of their school.

Good planning and preparation by staff along with an awareness of children’s varying learning styles and needs ensure that the school day is well organised with stimulating activities to promote pupils learning and development.

The curriculum we offer comprises the following elements:

The National Curriculum
Religious Education
Collective Worship (Assemblies)
Personal, Social, Health, Education and Citizenship (including sex education)
Various Extra Curricular Activities and Hobby Clubs
Sporting Events and Competitions (in school and with other schools)
Day Trips and Visits
Music and Drama Performances
Musical Instrument Tuition
Liaison events with Sharples High School
Our curriculum is also enhanced by the invitation of guest speakers and performers.

The government in 1989 first introduced the National Curriculum and it was intended to secure, for all children, a broad and balanced curriculum with an emphasis on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. The other subjects, known as foundation subjects, are History, Geography, Design and Technology, Computing, RE, Music, Art, and Physical Education.

In 2014 a new National Curriculum will be introduced from September. Whilst maintaining the same subjects and a broad balanced curriculum, the changes will be introducing a greater rigour and challenge to children.

All teachers at Sharples Primary School use a variety of teaching methods to maximise understanding amongst the children. These methods range from traditional instruction to children exploring and investigating their own ideas. Children often work collaboratively, in groups, and will very often learn through the experience of working through real problems and opportunities.

We try to keep parents well informed and it is equally important that parents let us know if there are any significant changes in circumstances. Parent’s evenings are held in the Autumn and Spring terms and a report is sent home in the summer term. Parents are always welcome in school.

At the heart of the curriculum is the Learner Profile which summarises attributes and dispositions that we wish to pass on to our children. Therefore, we want our children to be –Inquirers – to be curious, to ask questions and to enjoy learning at home and school

Thinkers – to think for themselves and use their own ideas to reach a decision that they are happy with.
Communicators – able to express their ideas and information confidently and creatively, getting along with each other and enjoying working together.
Risk takers – not afraid to try new things and not worrying if they get it wrong sometimes.
Knowledgeable – understanding what goes on both locally and globally with a developing deep understanding of a wide range of things.
Principled – being honest and respectful, wanting everyone to be treated fairly and taking responsibility for their actions.
Caring – to be kind towards the needs and feelings of others and show respect for our environment.
Open minded – always willing to listen to the ideas, beliefs and feelings of others and not making their minds up too quickly about important issues without seeing all the issues involved.
Balanced – taking an interest in all aspects of life and learning, work and play. Reflective – always learning from their experiences
To find out more about the National Curriculum please click the link below:

The phonics scheme we use in Key Stage 1 is Read Write Inc. You can find useful parents Information about Read Write Inc. by clicking the link below:

Learning in the Foundation Stage – Nursery and Reception

The Early Years Foundation Stage has seven areas of learning and development which have been produced by government. These are used when we plan, observe and assess children and help us to make sure that every child is challenged and supported in their development and success.

There are three prime areas:

Personal Social and Emotional Development;

Physical Development;

Communication and Language.

There are also 4 specific areas:



Understanding the World;

Expressive Arts and Design.

Children in Nursery and Reception benefit from both indoor and outdoor areas and experience much of their learning through play. They have time to learn as separate classes and as a shared unit enabling all children to achieve to their individual potential.

Learning in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 – (Year 1 & 2) (Years 3, 4, 5, 6)

We follow the programmes of study of the National Curriculum.

We believe that first hand experiences are very important. We use educational visits as well as inviting interesting visitors such as musicians, poets and drama groups to our school.

We are fortunate to have high quality outdoor learning provision to enhance learning across school including an allotment, attractive gazebo large enough for a whole class and Key Stage One landscaped outdoor classroom. We also have unrestricted use of Sharples High School pond on the edge of our expansive field.

We encourage the children to be independent. We help them to learn to be self-disciplined, organised and to plan ahead.

Key Stage 1 aims to provide pupils with a solid foundation in the major areas of English, Mathematics, Science and Computing, while, at the same time, developing pupils’ knowledge and skills through other curriculum areas. Emphasis is placed on English, both written and oral, so that the children learn to read fluently and with understanding. Children are encouraged to develop their handwriting skills from an early age. Basic arithmetic and a more general knowledge of Mathematics are given equal emphasis. In Science, children carry out practical investigations and become familiar with their environment.

Key Stage 2 includes children aged 7 to 11. The curriculum covers the full range of curriculum subjects. We recognise the importance of preparing our children well for secondary school by instilling good study habits and developing them as independent learners. Children are encouraged to make increasing use of resources to study independently. Children undertake Key Stage 2 National Tests in Year 6, which are externally assessed. They are also tested in Years 3, 4 and 5. We use various tests from Years 1 to 6 to help us to monitor year-on-year progress as well as ongoing assessment of day to day learning by class teachers. Children undertake Key Stage 2 National Tests in Year 6.

Children develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through practical activities, exploration and discussion and problem solving. They develop their mental strategies before using any other approach. As they progress they learn paper and pencil procedures for enabling them to tackle more difficult problems and investigations. They develop their number skills, measuring skills and explore features of shape and space. They present their methods and reasoning using a wide range of mathematical language, diagrams and charts.

Children develop the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in order to:

• Communicate with others effectively and to express themselves creatively and imaginatively.• Be enthusiastic readers of stories, poetry and drama and non-fiction texts.• Understand how language works by learning about spelling and grammar.• Use what they have learned in different situations.

Children observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and events. They collect and analyse evidence to help them answer questions and to make links to apply what they have learned. They share ideas using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables.

Children are taught skills such as mapping, collecting data, observing and analysing evidence. Different localities are studied both at home and in contrasting countries. Four other themes are also studied: rivers, weather, settlements and environmental change.

Children develop an awareness of the past and the ways it differs from the present. Children learn about important episodes and developments in Britain’s past and also about ancient civilisations and the history of other parts of the world.

Design technology enables children to learn skills and concepts and gain knowledge, which willhelp them in an ever changing world. They learn to identify needs, to design, make, problemsolve and evaluate. Mechanisms, structures, materials, textiles, food, electrical circuits, construction kits are all part of Design Technology.

Children are introduced to a wide variety of materials and they are taught many skills. Their artistic appreciation and understanding is encouraged. Careful observation is encouraged and specific techniques are taught. Children are encouraged to develop creative ways of expressing their ideas, thoughts and feelings.

We enjoy music at Sharples. We have regular singing assemblies and perform a wide range of songs for ourselves and for our parents. We aim to allow every child the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy a variety of music through active participation in appraising, performing and composing. We make use of specialist teaching from the Bolton Music Service to enhance our music provision.

We have a laptop computer suite for teaching ICT skills. Every class has an interactive whiteboard. Children learn how to analyse, process and present information as well as the use of e-mail and the internet. The children use their skills and knowledge in ICT in other areas of their learning. Children are taught the importance of safety when using the internet.

Children develop their physical skills through indoor and outdoor games, gymnastics, movement and dance. Children go swimming in Key Stage Two for one term during the Key Stage.

Children learn about Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. They follow the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus of Religious Education. We value our multicultural links and aim to foster an understanding and respect for other faiths.

There is a daily act of worship (assembly) in school, broadly based on Christian principles in accordance with the Education Act of 1988. Parents may withdraw their child from assemblies if they wish.

At Sharples Primary School we follow the Read, Write Inc. Phonics programme, published by Oxford University Press, in order to teach word reading, comprehension and spelling in EYFS and KS1. This is supplemented by a range of additional reading schemes and comprehension resources, including Rigby Star, Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree, to provide further practice and challenge.