Key Stage 2 Curriculum (Years 3 to 6)
Giggleswick’s broad curriculum takes full advantage of the range of expertise of our staff and the structure of the school day. All subjects are taught by specialists to allow pupils to benefit from their extensive subject knowledge. Curriculum overviews are produced at the start of each term to inform parents of subject content in advance and support home learning.
From Year 3 pupil’s benefit from an extended day with academic lessons finishing at 5:00pm. The importance of developing numeracy and literacy skills is high – the first hour long lessons of each day are in these areas across all year groups. Added to this is a weekly input on handwriting and spelling sessions three times a week in small groups, allowing us to deliver appropriately challenging material to ensure that they make outstanding progress.
In Literacy we follow the Ros Wilson ‘Big Writing Adventures’ series across the Key Stage. The scheme uses interactive teaching resources to engage and inspire pupils in the form of writing missions. The ‘Big Write’ is an approach to teaching writing and raising writing standards with high expectations for all pupils. It focuses on the importance of talk and oral rehearsal; accurate basic skills – spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting; whilst giving writing a purpose and making it fun. We supplement our learning with visits from authors (such as Tom Palmer), poets (such as Wes Magee) and illustrators (Curtis Jobling and Stephen Waterhouse), and support the Ilkley Literature festival – in recent years taking part in workshops with Ian McMillan and Michael Rosen.
In Maths the school uses Abacus Evolve as the main scheme of work from Year 1. This allows a consistent teaching approach across the school in arithmetic and reasoning skills, providing a clear progression year on year, as well as preparing pupils for the increased demands of the new curriculum. This digital resource is fun and interactive, and allows us to set online homework each week – all pupils have access to an online portal which can be monitored by staff.
We like to make Science as practical as possible, and we have our own fully equipped lab for pupils to investigate and explore. From Year 3 pupils enjoy 3 hours of Science each week which are topic based over each half-term, focusing on biology, chemistry and physics, as well as placing the importance on how to work scientifically. We also have our own nature area, which includes a large pond, for pupils to interact with and investigate wildlife outside the classroom. We also organise trips to museums such Magna Science Adventure Centre (Sheffield), Eureka (Halifax) and STAR Centre (Keighley).
Our Humanities programme covers History, Geography and RE. We dedicate two hours a week to allow pupils to study a different topic each half-term, covering a wide range of areas and to a encourage a deeper level of understanding. The scheme of work is written to ensure that each lesson is varied and stimulating, encompassing a broad range of skills. We make the most of our location, so pupils regularly benefit from visits into the national park to further their learning.
In History we organise trips to museums, castles and exhibitions such as Yorvik Viking Museum (York), Thackray (Leeds), Ribchester Roman Museum, National Media Museum (Bradford) and Quarry Bank Mill (Cheshire). We even encourage visitors to the school and have themed days – for example we had a Tudor day with a character from the past retelling his adventures!
The school has a strong Christian foundation, and we regularly take part in services at the school chapel (for example, Harvest, Carol Service and Easter Services). However, we also use enjoy visiting and learning about other places of worship and different faiths. Recently we have visited mosques, a Mandir and a Buddhist temple to support our RE schemes of work, and as part of our programme to deliver Fundamental British Values.
Languages are also taught by specialist staff, focusing on German and French. Although the greatest emphasis is on speaking and listening, as pupil’s progress through school the skills of reading and writing are given more importance. We encourage pupils to role play and practically apply these skills, in the form of cafés, shops and even a Lantern Walk in October.
IT and Computing
IT and Computing is embedded throughout all areas of the curriculum. Each classroom has its own interactive whiteboard, Apple TV, computer and printer and each subject has a wide range of software, both for teaching purposes and for pupils to use independently to consolidate their learning or extend it further. Both pupils and staff use iPads to deliver and aid learning, which are used across all subjects. In addition all pupils receive one lesson of Computing a week with the subject Coordinator.
Our curriculum ensures that it equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. This is achieved by developing skills in the three following core areas: Digital Literacy, Computer Science and Information Technology. As their ability evolves they are able to use their skills within other subjects to reinforce and extend their education further. With an additional after school club, and digital leaders, the pupils have plenty of opportunity to try out new ideas and take their skills to an even higher level. They are taught how to use technology safely and become digitally literate – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.