Curriculum - Years 1-6
The formal National Curriculum begins in KS1 - years 1 and 2 and is further developed at KS2 - years 3,4,5 and 6. The new national curriculum has been introduced gradually at Oak Tree,with years 3 and 4 following the new curriculum from September 2013, years - 1, 3, 4 & 5 from September 2014 and finally fully implemented for years 1 - 6 from September 2015.
We teach the following curriculum areas:
Design & Technology
In addition, every school must provide Religious Education. We also aim to promote Equal Opportunities and Multi-Cultural Education through work we do. We give a high priority to developing the Personal and Social Education of our children, promoting co-operation, caring, understanding and tolerance both in our school and in the community.
In the academic year 2014/15, we began the phased introduction to teaching one foreign language (French), progressively across KS2.
English is taught through an integrated programme of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. The children's abilities in English are developed across the curriculum. Children are taught to communicate and express themselves clearly, for a variety of audiences, in speech and in writing.
Reading - Reading is an essential life skill for children to be able to access all areas of the curriculum as well as to be able to thrive in life. We promote reading for enjoyment right from the start, always making time for children to hear stories and poems being read out loud. The teaching of phonics skills for reading and spelling carries on from work done in the Early Years, using the approved and recognised "Read Write In" scheme to ensure our children make accelerated progress in reading and writing. We want our children to become competent, enthusiastic and fluent readers and we see reading development as part of the partnership between home and school. Parents/Carers are asked to read regularly with children at home. Just 5 or 10 minutes a day can help your child make better progress.
Writing - We teach our children the basic building blocks of good writing - grammar, spelling and punctuation. This "aspect of "English has a raised profile in the new national curriculum and as such has been identified in our academy improvement plan and will feature strongly in teaching across all age groups. Children write in a range of genres to a variety of interesting and relevant stimuli using 'Talk4Writing' as a framework for success. We encourage our children to talk about and plan what they are going to write and give them opportunities every week to write at length. Many of our displays will present children's fabulous writing in an attractive and celebratory manner.
Handwriting - The school has a cursive, joined, handwriting style which is taught to all of our children from Reception onwards. Our children write beautifully and are very proud of their work.
Mathematics - In mathematics we help children develop the ability to solve problems, to understand numbers, shape and relationships, to calculate accurately and to predict likely results. At every stage in mathematics the children are encouraged to apply their knowledge to real-life situations. Children are given a range of practical activities to stimulate and reinforce their mathematical thinking. In order to ensure progression in the way our children are taught methods of calculation, we have a Calculation Policy followed by all our teaching staff. Our teaching from 2014 onwards reflects the increased demands within the new national curriculum, especially in fractions and multiplication tables.
Science - Through the teaching of science we aim to encourage our children to develop inquisitive and enquiring minds through scientific investigations. Science will often take them outdoors, into the local environment or to our wonderful school wildlife garden, where they will be able to develop investigational and observational skills. They will record and interpret findings and form and test hypotheses in order to better understand the world around them.
Computing - Computing skills are taught as a discrete subject in our large computer suite and ipads are used to enhance and support learning in all areas of the curriculum within the classroom and outdoors. In all cases children are taught to communicate ideas in a variety of forms for a variety of audiences. The school is internet (broadband) linked. On entry to The Oak Tree Primary, parents are asked to sign a consent form for their child to access the internet within the guidelines outlined in the school's Safe Use of the Internet Policy. Throughout their time at school children are taught to use the internet responsibly both in and out of school, and are reminded about how to report anything they may come across that they think may be unsafe.
Geography - In geography we help pupils to make sense of their surroundings and to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the earth's physical and human conditions. First hand observation and experience is gained from relevant visits within the area and is used to extend their interest and knowledge beyond the locality. Geography is the starting point for all of our classes from reception - year 6 as our class names become the focus of study each September, developing children's knowledge of their world progressively from local to national to international and finally to the study of some of the important global issues affecting today's planet. Classes for 2015/16 are as follows:
Year 1 - England and Ireland
Year 2 - Scotland and Wales
Year 3 - France and Germany
Year 4 - Spain and Italy
Year 5 - USA and Mexico
Year 6 - Canada, Chile and Brazil
SEN support base - Earth
History - Through the teaching of history we enable children to develop an awareness of the past and the way in which it differs from the present. Pupils learn from a range of sources including artefacts, pictures, photographs, visits, written sources, computer based research and visitors in school. We introduce children to historical personalities and events and children are taught a sense of Chronology and about changes in everyday life over long periods of time.
Design and Technology - Through design and technology, children are taught to identify, examine and solve practical problems and to make existing situations better. They are encouraged to be inventive, using a range of materials and tools, developing, modifying and evaluating ideas and designs.
Art and Design - Children are encouraged to be creative using a variety of art media and techniques. An awareness of colour, shape, balance, focus and proportion is developed alongside the use of symbols to convey ideas and feelings. The study of work by artists and designers of the past and present complements this work.
Music - The teaching of music is based upon the fact that it is a creative and social art to be enjoyed. Children are taught about the building blocks of music; pitch, rhythm, dynamics, texture, timbre, harmony and structure, and have the opportunity to enjoy musical experiences through listening, singing and moving to music and by playing tuned and untuned percussion. Children have excellent instrumental opportunities at this school. All children in year 2 have recorder lessons in class and then in years 3-6 all children have the opportunity to take a "drumming " module (African or Samba) as part of our Oak Tree University,delivered by musicians from the Tees Valley Music Service. This tuition can then help children and their parents make an informed decision when in KS2, they are offered the chance to play a musical instrument (either woodwind or guitar) as an extra-curricular activity. Again this service is provided by Tees Valley Music Service. Lessons are currently paid for by the school on condition that children practise regularly and look after the instrument provided.
Physical Education - Children will be encouraged to become active participants in all areas of physical activity and will be helped to develop the skills necessary for this. In KS1 PE lessons are skills based and activities develop fitness, motor skills, co-ordination, co-operation, travelling and ball skills. In KS2 these skills are built upon and developed as children participate in more structured team games; netball, tag rugby, football, hockey, tennis, rounders and cricket as well as individual sports such as fitness, movement, athletics, gymnastics and cross-country. We encourage healthy competition as well as enjoyment, sportsmanship and fair play. During key stage 2, children benefit from the expertise of a qualified sports coach.
All children will receive swimming tuition at Splash Leisure Centre during year 4.
Personal, Social, Citizenship and Health Education (PSCHE) - These subjects are taught within a thematic, cross-curricular approach and as discrete areas where deemed necessary. We use the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) planning and lessons as a basis for teaching and learning in this area and activities are carried out according to the ability level and age of the children.
Sex Education - Within the science curriculum and cross-curricular work, aspects of human development arise naturally or incidentally and are dealt with accordingly. Sex Education is taught formally in year 5 and 6. We follow the recognised scheme "Lucinda and Godfrey" where the focus is around physical and emotional changes as well as some aspects of reproduction. Parents will be notified of these sessions in advance and can choose to withdraw their children from this part of the programme if they so wish. In all we do, we place full emphasis on moral considerations and we give every support to the value of family life.
Religious Education (RE) - The school follows the statutory guidance given in the Stockton Agreed Syllabus for RE. Religious education is non-denominational and is for all pupils. Children are taught about the Christian religion as well as some of the practices of other principle religions in this country. Children learn about the main Christian festivals (Easter, Christmas and Harvest) as well as other religious beliefs and festivals. Children learn by examining religious artefacts, paintings and books as well as visiting places of worship. We try to develop appropriate behaviour and responses when dealing with what is special, important or sacred to others.