Curriculum for Excellence (CfE)

 

The curriculum can best be describes as all the activities that are designed to promote the intellectual, spiritual, personal, social and physical development of the child.

At present it can be divided into the following main areas:

Literacy and English Mathematics & Numeracy

Technologies Social Studies

Sciences Religious Education (RERC)                                  

Expressive Arts Health and Wellbeing

Planning for improvement in these areas of the curriculum is detailed within the school’s Improvement Plan.

Curriculum for Excellence

Curriculum for Excellence aims to achieve transformation in education in Scotland by providing a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3-18. It aims to meet the needs of all children and young people from 3-18, firmly focused on the needs of the child and young person and designed to enable them to become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. This has been implemented since 2010-2011.

Literacy and English

Language is at the heart of children’s learning; it is central to their intellectual, emotional and social development. We aim to provide children with structured and stimulating opportunities, to use language in ways appropriate to their needs and to the world in which they live.

High priority is placed upon developing in the children the ability to use Literacy and English appropriately and concisely through listening attentively, talking fluently, reading with understanding, and writing with style and accuracy.

Children are introduced to reading using ‘Storyworlds’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’. At the moment in Primary 3, most children move on to ‘All Aboard’, a programme used to teach a wide range of higher order reading skills in a structured way. Through discussion of the texts read, children learn to form and offer opinions and extend their vocabulary. They are encouraged to respond to different types of text and develop a deeper understanding of what they are reading. The children are encouraged to use literacy skills in a number of different contexts, including novel studies at each stage from Primaries 3-7.

The school has a reference library and each class has its own fiction library. Reading for research and enjoyment is encouraged at all times, and parents are asked to foster this at home.

In Primary 1, children are introduced to writing through an emergent writing programme. As they move through the school, their development is furthered by making use of the many meaningful opportunities for writing which are afforded by learning in, for example our Rich Learning Topics.

English as an Additional Language Service

We are fortunate to have many/several pupils in our school who are bilingual, that is they speak two or more languages. We seek to encourage the bilingual pupils to use and develop their first language as much as possible as we know it supports their learning and enriches and strengthens the school.

We are assisted in the school by East Dunbartonshire’s English as an Additional Language Service. This is a team of specially trained teachers who work cooperatively with the teachers to support the learning of the bilingual pupils.

Modern Languages

The children begin learning a Modern Language at the start of Primary 5 with the introduction of French. The teachers involved in Modern Languages teaching have all participated in the National Training Programme. In the course of their training, they are provided with a package of learning and teaching materials which form the basis of lessons for the children.

Throughout the course of Primaries 5, 6 and 7, the children are taught to communicate in French through the spoken and written word and taught skills and strategies which will prepare them for future language needs.

Numeracy and Mathematics

This area of the curriculum involves the children in number work, money, measurement, shape, position and movement, information handling and problem solving.

Through the Numeracy Programme we introduce children to increasingly complex mathematical ideas. Alongside this programme, teachers give strong emphasis to mental calculation. The children are actively involved in their learning and are given practical material and equipment to help their understanding.

In addition to the above, mathematical activities arising from their work in other areas of the curriculum help to communicate to the children the idea that mathematics, like English Language, is relevant to everyday living. Children are given opportunities to apply and practise their skills in realistic and problem solving situations through an active approach to learning.

Technologies

There are a whole range of technologies involved in information processing and electronic communications, including the Internet, electronic mail and video conferencing.

Learning and teaching of information and communications technology aims to develop the children’s abilities so that they become skilled, confident and informed users of ICT. To this end, a programme of work linked closely to children’s learning across the curriculum is implemented at each stage of the school. This programme allows for the progressive development of skills in word processing, databases, spreadsheets and graphics. Children are also involved through a programme of activities in designing, building and evaluating in various contexts.

Social Studies

The units of work which children undertake in this area of the curriculum aim to develop their knowledge and understanding in History, Geography and Modern Studies.

In Primaries 1-3, the focus is primarily on the immediate environment with children being encouraged to investigate and explore their surroundings and to verbalise and reflect upon their personal experiences.

As children develop, their experience is extended to cover distant places not only in space but in time. Certain units of work also allow for the development of a multi-cultural dimension. As well as fostering knowledge and understanding of the children’s own cultural heritage, we take seriously our responsibility to prepare them for life in a society where cultural diversity is recognised and respected.

Sciences

Science and its applications are part of our everyday lives. Through science children develop their interest in, and understanding of, the living, material and physical world. They engage in a wide range of collaborative investigative tasks, which allows them to develop important skills.

Skills, knowledge and understanding are developed progressively through:

Planet Earth, Forces, electricity and waves, Biological systems, Materials and Topical Science.

Where possible, connections are made with other areas of the curriculum to reinforce understanding and skills.

Expressive Arts

Music, Drama, Art & Design and Dance occupy an important place in the school curriculum. Such activities help children to explore the world and interpret it in a distinctive way. They have a valuable contribution to make to children’s physical, emotional, intellectual and social development.

In addition to the on-going work undertaken by class teachers, children’s experiences may be enhanced by the input of specialist teachers. At present visiting members of staff provide violin and brass tuition for a number of children in the upper school.

Health and Wellbeing

The school programme for Personal, Social, Health Education and Physical Education aims to offer children opportunities to develop awareness of themselves and others and to increase their knowledge and understanding of a range of lifestyles and health issues. In addition to the time in the week devoted to Personal, Social and Health Education, children’s physical, emotional and social health is furthered by making use of learning opportunities which arise in other areas of the curriculum. We aim to provide children with 2 hours of Physical Education per week covering a whole range of activities and experiences further enhanced by experiences provided by our Active Primary Co-ordinator, including Golf, Rugby, Hockey, Netball and Football.

Commitment is also given to ensuring that the school ethos, policies   and extra-curricular activities have a positive impact on children’s physical environment and on their emotional and social health. We have an extensive programme of other school activities which is continually changing to respond to the needs of the children

Religious Education

This is Our Faith is used throughout the school to organise our RERC experiences. Through the core learning we develop the child’s relationship with God and enable him/her to grow into a caring and responsible adult.

In Primary 3, children are prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, with preparation for Confirmation and Holy Eucharist being undertaken in Primary 4.

The school works in partnership with parents and the Parish Community of St Andrew’s.

Throughout the year, parents are invited to meetings, Prayer Services and Masses, all of which enhance the Religious Education Programme. On Holidays of Obligation, Mass is celebrated in the school. Children will also attend the Parish First Friday Celebration of Mass in Stage Groups.

Parents from minority ethnic religious communities may request that their children be permitted to be absent from school in order to celebrate recognised religious events. Only written requests detailing the proposed arrangements will be considered. Appropriate requests will be granted on not more than 3 occasions in any one session and the pupil noted as an authorised absentee in the register. The school will provide several opportunities for Religious Observance in a school year, in addition to traditional celebrations central to the life of the school community.

Assessment

Children’s progress in all curricular areas is monitored by class teachers and promoted staff. This is done through observation, discussion with the children and consideration of work recorded in jotters and worksheets. Children are encouraged to make judgements about their own progress and targets in agreement with teachers and parents. In addition to this on-going assessment, formal assessment is undertaken at different times throughout the school year.

Parents will have access to their child’s Learning Story on a regular basis and will receive an end of term report in June.

 

 

 

CURRICULUM