English is a core subject in the National Curriculum and embraces all aspects of language both spoken and written. At Garswood children’s individual ability and potential is developed. Teaching children the skills to enable them to read unlocks all areas of the curriculum.
At Garswood children experience a variety of teaching styles and methods. This will enable them to experience effectively all elements of the curriculum and to develop their English skills in all areas.
Garswood has a rich and stimulating language environment in order to extend the children’s experiences, achievements and developing interests. We deliver English in a creative way to ensure learning is meaningful and relevant.We ensure the development of English skills runs through learning in all areas of the curriculum. Class and community libraries play a vital role in the delivery of our school’s English curriculum.
Computing in English:
All classrooms have interactive whiteboards, Promethean boards and Smart TVs which have Internet access and are networked to a huge variety of software all of which can be used for teaching, reinforcement and practice. This gives children the opportunities to develop and apply their Computing capability in the study and communication of English.
Phonics is taught systematically using a synthetic programme followed with fidelity. The programme, 'Little Wandle' was developed using 'Letters and Sounds'. Letters and Sounds was a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007.
It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Little Wandle has set out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children from starting with us here at Garswood, with the aim of them swiftly becoming fluent readers.
The approach to the teaching of mathematics within the school is based on three key principles - developing fluency, problem solving and reasoning through:
- a mathematics lesson every day
- a clear focus on direct, instructional teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class, groups and individuals
- an emphasis on the development of key skills, facts and mental calculation
During each lesson we aim to spend as much time as possible in direct teaching and questioning of the whole class, a group of pupils, or individuals. The high-quality direct teaching which we aim to provide is oral, interactive and lively.
The teaching of Mathematics is now facilitated through computing. In lessons where this is the case, exactly how Computing is being used is clearly indicated in planning, with specific software, i.e. ITP’s (Interactive Teaching Programmes), Maths Whizz, Mathseeds Nrich, maths bot, and many more.
Where appropriate, opportunities will be taken to use, apply and develop mathematics through activities in other areas of the curriculum. Wipe boards and concreate resources such as counters, number lines, coins, cubes, numicon are used in mathematics. However ‘working in books’ and pictoral methods of understanding concepts still has its place in our teaching of mathematics.
Through careful planning and preparation we therefore aim to ensure that throughout the school children are given opportunities for:
- practical activities and mathematical games
- problem solving
- individual, group and whole class discussions and activities
- open and closed tasks
- a range of methods of calculating eg. mental, pencil and paper and using a calculator
- working with computers as a mathematical tool
It is important that the children have concrete and pictoral experiences to support them in developing a deep understanding and a mastery of maths.
At Garswood, science is often taught interactively and 'hands on' so children can observe and record processes and seechanges taking place.
Science is taught in every year group throughout Garswood. The topics cover a variety of different areas with a main focus
on life processes and livingthings, materials and their properties, and physical processes. Throughout each topic there is an overall focus on investigation skills to help the children apply the knowledge and skills they have developed.
The children are given the opportunity to explore different scientific concepts with a hands on approach to help stimulate their creativity and enjoyment for the subject.
A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is
computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
E-safety permeates the curriculum with a focus on ensuring children know and understand the importance of how to stay safe online.
At Garswood, we aim to provided a high-quality Geography education which inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. The children will learn mapping skills and how to locate places.
Our teaching should equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
As pupils progress, their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
Our History curriculum aims to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about thepast. We also develop a child's sense of time and how events fit on a chronology.
Teaching equips pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
Our curriculum helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time
Both the Geography and History curriculum are taught on a half termly basis. The curriculum is often enhanced with the opportunity to go on trips to visit different places with a significant historical or geographical link.
Art and Design:
At Garswood School we value children as individuals and encourage expressive and dynamic personalities. Art and Design is a subject within which the importance lies in children creating work unique to them wherein they are able to express themselves visually and respond critically to their world. Through this multi-sensory process children develop visual perception and visual literacy and the confidence and self-esteem to evaluate their process and final product. Art and Design brings to the curriculum what other subjects do not. The provision of this subject is crucial in ensuring a broad and balanced curriculum for the children and at Garswood every child will be given equal opportunity to access this subject.
The children have first hand experience of variety of artistic methods from different cultures and techniques while learning about a range of artists. The teachers provide children with exciting and stimulating visuals to inspire children’s creativity at the beginning of an art topic. This takes them on a journey of artistic discovery.
"We try our best to use local amenities where ever possible, to find inspiration from our local environment."
Children at Garswood are not afraid to take risks and experiment with different media’s to create their very own masterpieces – the use of sketchbooks play a key part in documenting the children’s creative discoveries to enable them to visually see their artistic progress.
All children evaluate their art work by asking themselves “what could I have done better?”
Or “how could I have improved this final piece?” this gives the children a change to develop their art work even further.
As with art and design ourdesign and technology curriculum is very much linked to the broader curriculum covered within school. The children are given a wide variety of opportunities to develop their knowledge to secure individual skills whilst also challenging themselve
s to solve problems and experiment with ideas linked with a larger theme.
Individual skills are focused on in a secure and safe environment to allow the children to see how to utilise the equipment safely. Whilst also allowing their own individual inspiration to lead them onto projects where they can see the practical application of design and technology.
Every child in our school, in Key stage 1 and Key stage 2, has the opportunity in their weekly music lessons, to learn, sing and perform new songs and play instruments through the Charanga scheme of work. As a school, we are constantly reviewing and looking at providing the children with various opportunities to experience music and the performing arts in different ways. This may be learning a dance in their P.E lessons, performing in a play or class assembly, learning a dance as part of international day, singing new songs in lessons or performing well known ones at Christmas. Also, showing their skills in Garswood’s very own Garswood’s Got Talent.
In Year 1, the children are provided with the opportunity to play the drums, through a 6-week experience working closely with the St Helens Music Hub.
In Year 2 they are introduced to the glockenspiels and will begin to learn the basics of learning this instrument.
The children in Year 3, learn how to play the recorder in their music lessons, learning along with their class teacher. Once they have completed these lessons, they will be given the chance to continue to play the recorder as an extra-curriculum music session.
We provide all children in Year 4 with the opportunity to learn the guitar. Children receive tuition for an hour a week as a whole class. We hope that after their tuition many children will decide to join one of our extra-curricular music sessions and continue to learn to play guitar.
The children in Year 5 and 6 are given the opportunity to continue to learn an instrument or learn a new one in our extra-curricular music sessions.
Performing and music is an integral part of life at Garswood Primary School.
At Garswood, Physical Education (PE) is an opportunity for your child to excel, enjoy, enhance and challenge themselves outside of the regular classroom environment. As well as promoting healthy exercise and healthy living, PE at Garswood promotes team building skills, communication, cohesion and a sense of self worth and personal value. Activities such as football, netball, rugby and rounders aim to help the pupils build a rapport with their peers and also show how they can perform successfully – and play to their best – whilst working as a unit. We also promote a positive attidude towards competitive sports and celebrate sporting success and achievements.
Self and peer appraisal encourages pupils to work together and strive for excellence in all that they do. Our school has many successful teams and performers. Garswood pupils regularly compete successfully at local, regional and even national sporting events in a range of sports and all pupils are given opportunities to represent the school in inter school sports competitions.
As the children progress through school so too do the opportunities to partake in challenging PE and sporting activities. Activities whic
h are designed to help with personal growth and development and also to continue the work started on team building, perseverance and striving for success and excellence.
Through PE, great personal growth can take place. Character building is at a premium and pupils learn a great deal about their own personalities as they experience an ever increasing range of activities. Strong links with local clubs and organisations ensures that new initiatives are experienced and pupils are encouraged to partake in as many of these opportunities as possible. Strong club links also enables us to confidently offer exit routes for those wishing to take up a sport outside of school. We have a great many pupils who take advantage of these links and we are very proud of all those pupils who take part in activities beyond the school boundary.
We are confident that your child will enjoy sport and PE at Garswood Primary School. Our dedication to offering an excellent curriculum and experience is recognised in the schools Active Mark Gold, FA Charter and FA club links accreditation.
When the children reach lower key stage 2 (years 3 and 4) they are given the opportunity to experience a residential adventurous activity holiday. On our annual PGL holiday, outdoor activities such as canoeing, raft building, climbing and abseiling together with the challenge of sleeping in cabins once again challenges the pupils to demonstrate their skills of stamina, determination, imagination, creativity and will power whilst still relying greatly on the use of team work, communication and cohesion.
In Year 6 our children are given to the opportunity to visit the city lights of London, to link in closely with History and Geography topics they have been studying, as well as close links to British Values. They take in a show as well as experience the historic landmarks of our capital culminating in a trip to Harry Potter Studios at the end of the residential trip.
Garswood School is a community Primary school and has no religious affiliation, however we view Religious Education as a vital part of our curriculum which supports the children’s spiritual, moral, social and emotional development. As the religious traditions within Great Britain are mainly Christianity, this is the main religion to be studied however the children will also be given the wonderful opportunity to learn about other religions and non r
eligious world views which are prevalent in our society. Each Key Stage will focus on learning about a specific religions and world views alongside Christianity, however the children will also be given the exciting opportunity to learn about other religions through the celebration and study of key religious festivals. It is not our aim to tell children what to believe, but to provide children with a variety of experiences so as to develop their own opinions in regards to religion. Religious Education is taught in a caring and respectful environment which encourages the children to feel safe to ask questions and to discuss their own opinions and beliefs. The children are also given the opportunity to gain hands on experience of religions through the introduction to religious artefacts and through visits to places of worship.
Garswood adheres to the RE Local Syllabus adopted by the St Helens SACRE (Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education)
Personal, Social, Heath, Emotional and Relationships:
Following the updated Government guidance on relationships, health and sex we further developed our PSHE curriculum. Full details can be found here.
As a part of your child’s education at Garswood Primary School, we promote personal wellbeing and development through a comprehensive Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education programme. PSHE education is the curriculum subject that gives children the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential. Children will also be taking part in lessons which will focus on the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) aspect of this programme.
Relationships Education is designed to help children to have positive and safe relationships with family, friends and online.
Health Education will help children to make good decisions about their health and wellbeing and enable them to know how to seek support if any health issues arise for themselves or others.
Our RSHE and PSHE curriculum is statutory which means we are required to teach this by law. However supplemented this with the PATHS curriculum, this is the Barnardo’s Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies approach we embarked upon just over a year ago.
The PATHS Programme for schools is designed to facilitate the development of self-control, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem-solving skills. This consists of a variety of lessons to enhance the social competence and social understanding of children as well as to facilitate educational processes in the classroom.
Modern Foreign Languages:
At Garswood Primary we aim to teach children about a wide range of countries and cultures. In the juniors children have a weekly lessons in French to encourage children to speak in sentences and write in a different language. In the infants Modern Foreign Languages is not compulsory but children will often be encouraged to answer the register in a different language. We also celebrate children who know additional languages and encourage them to teach key words to their classmates.