In September 2014 the New Primary Curriculum came into effect. As such, at Elangeni, we have incorporated the changes to the curriculum and reorganised the way in which we teach all subjects into a more thematic approach. Each year group teaches curriculum themes covering a variety of subjects within a theme rather than by individual subjects.
The school teaches Mathematics lessons each day. Mathematics is taught so that the needs of each child may be met. In most year groups the children are set for this subject. The importance of investigative skills is recognised and a proportion of mathematics taught will be of this nature. Time is also given to computation, both mentally and mechanically, but understanding is always emphasised. There are opportunities for gifted and talented mathematicians to participate in Maths Challenge events organised by other local schools.
English should develop pupils’ abilities to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. It should also enable them to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers.
Pupils should develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They should be taught the correct use of grammar. At Elangeni, we allow children to engage in a weekly creative writing lesson to teach our pupils how to write in a range of different genres. Regular monitoring of children’s achievements enables teachers to meet the needs of every child.
Science is taught at all ages for on average two hours each week. Wherever possible the emphasis is on investigation and practical work in order to develop the skills necessary to devise and conduct fair experiments and record findings. Visits to support the science curriculum are made to places such as Whipsnade Zoo and local off-site woodland habitats and the school invites visitors such as Dr Gareth Francis and the Jungle Roadshow.
Design Technology, too, has a practical emphasis, the children being challenged to solve problems by generating designs and applying their technical skills to make them and test them. Focused practical tasks are also set to extend the children’s skills. There is a greater focus on Cookery and associated skills and all children will be learning cookery through savoury recipes as part of the DT curriculum.
Safety is a primary concern of staff in both of these subjects and pupils are taught how to use all tools and equipment safely. The school has a very well-equipped science and technology area which each class may use.
Computing is taught as a subject in its own right and as a tool across the curriculum. We have a fully-equipped ICT suite of 20 work stations, laptops and a range of other ICT equipment including Probots, data logging equipment, video cameras and Lego Mindstorm/ We Do resources.
Religious Education follows the Buckinghamshire agreed syllabus and is designed to contribute educationally to the development of the children as individuals and members of society. The children will be taught about the rites and customs of some of the world’s major religions. Parents have the right under the 1993 Education Act to withdraw their children from R.E. and collective worship and should contact the Head teacher if they wish to exercise this right.
History and Geography are taught as part of the N.C. requirements and the children will study specific periods and themes in history, conduct a study of the locality, learn map-reading skills, and cover a range of physical and regional geography. A number of educational visits are made to support the humanities curriculum.
Physical Education is taught in mixed groups throughout the school for two hours each week. It encompasses gymnastics, personal fitness, dance and drama. During games lessons, ball skills, team activities and athletics are taught. Specific games covered include netball, football, cricket, rounders and rugby. Year 4 pupils have an opportunity to swim for one term. The school teams have a full programme of friendly and league matches including tournaments. We are a primary partner to Dr Challoner’s High School and as such are involved in many additional sporting activities throughout the year. We hold an annual Sports week which finishes with our Sports Day to which parents are invited, followed by a family picnic lunch on the field.
Musical emphasis is on participation and creativity and the music curriculum extends beyond the classroom. There is specialist tuition from peripatetic teachers of violin, recorder,’ cello, classical guitar, clarinet, flute, piano and brass instruments. Elangeni has a School Choir, which meets weekly, and the Elangeni School Orchestra which is led by a specialist teacher. Each year we participate in musical events such as the Amersham Schools Music Festival, and Echoes at the Royal Albert Hall.
In Art and Craft children are given the opportunity to experience a wide range of activities. They are encouraged to use various media to explore colour, line, tone and texture. They will also learn about influential artists and architects. A dedicated Art and Craft room is available where small groups are able to cook and participate in pottery, art and needlework.
French is taught throughout the school for an hour each week. The direct method is used to take advantage of the children’s willingness to participate unselfconsciously at this age. Songs, games and role play are used to reinforce learning.
Personal, Social Health and Citizenship Education pervades the whole curriculum and is also taught as a subject in its own right. Sex and Relationships Education is part of the PSHEC programme and the science curriculum. Our school policy is available on our website. PSHEC includes financial capability and uses Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) as well as Philosophy for Children.
Whilst the Government has removed National Curriculum levels as a nationally accepted standard means of assessing achievement and progress in pupils, we continue to use these as parents, pupils and staff are familiar with them. We may in time adapt our assessment practices to better suit the needs of our pupils and parents.