Subject Information & Policies

Design and Technology

Design and Technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies.  At Whitefield pupils are encouraged to learn to think and intervene creatively to improve life. The subject calls for pupils to be autonomous and creative problem solvers, as individuals and as members of a team. They must look for needs, wants and opportunities and respond to them by developing a range of ideas and by making products and systems. They combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, function and industrial practices. As they do so, they reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and effects. Through design and technology, all pupils can become discriminating and informed users of products, and become innovators.

English

Language is, without a doubt at the centre of a human's existence, from the moment of birth throughout the rest of its life.  It is through language that we are able to communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings and opinions to those around us; to come to terms with our own fears, anxieties and problems, to develop a deeper understanding of the world and society we live in and what must be expected of us.  At Whitefield we understand that English is the basic language of communication in this country and as such is a pre-requisite for educational progress.  This centrality of language is reflected in the school's Literacy Curriculum

We provide a wide range of activities and experiences which involve speaking and listening, writing and reading in an integrated approach.  

Develop understanding and insight into the nature of all forms of English

Encourage effective and meaningful communication with others, taking into account purposes and audiences

Create environments and situations where language can occur in purposeful contexts

Geography

Geography at Whitefield brings the world into the classroom

Geography is distinctive.  It educates young people about places - Where places are and why they are different - showing how social, economic and environmantal forces combine to create distinctive and diverse localities.

Connectedness - How physical and human environments are related and how human actions impact on the environment, so helping young people to understand the need for a sustainable future

Understanding different scales - from local to national to world wide - scale which is essential in understanding interdependence and global change.

Process - Why and how the world's environments, societies and landscapes are changing - geography is dynamic

Skills - How to investigate the world themselves - teamwork in the field, using maps, analyzing data, problem solving and using ICT - and an awarenss of social and environmental responsibility.

History

History fires pupils' curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world.  The children at Whitefield consider how the past influences the present, what  societies were like, how these societies organised thier politics and what beliefs and cultures influenced people's actions.  As a result of thier study of this topic children begin to understand more about themselves as members of a community and what they learn influences thier decisions, choices, attitudes and values.  They are encouraged to research, investigate evidence and argue for thier own point of view - skills which are prized in adult life. 

ICT

ICT is an essential element in our children’s lives today. From x-boxes to mobile phones, our children use ever changing technology to aid them through everyday tasks and activities.

 

A new curriculum recently introduced by the government also puts ICT at the heart of learning; it encourages children to use their ICT skills in all areas of the curriculum to research, plan and to recognise opportunities for learning independently skills and understanding confidently and competently in their learning and in everyday contexts. They become independent and discerning users of technology recognising opportunities and risks and using strategies to stay safe.

The use of technology can be a scary place for people who have not been brought up to use such equipment and often our children are more willing to explore and access new resources. As a result of this our children are able to exceed our knowledge of the technologies and we are often unaware of their capabilities. It is important that we can protect our children and help them to stay safe when using the essential tools that will help them through their lives.

Mathematics

Maths is an incredibly important part of our everyday lives, no matter what job we do or how old (or young) we are. We use number and shape all the time, and we use mathematical skills, like sorting and estimating, without even realising.  At Whitefield, we try to make maths fun, exciting, stimulating and accessible to all.  Our aim is to introduce our children to knowledge and skills and encourage them to apply these in all sorts of situations. This is done in a way that is relevant to the children, instilling confidence rather than fear, and with the hope that they will see maths as something they can ‘do’.

Peer marking and teaching which allows the children to monitor their own learning and make progress as they help each other.  (It is surprising how much you learn as you teach somebody else – those parents with children at high school may appreciate this.

Music

At Whitefield Primary School we believe that music fulfils a vital role in a child's development.  The Music curriculum is delivered in a lively interesting and well-structured way, to enrich the lives of all children and to promote thier emotional and perceptual development.  We aim to extend children's creativity by supporting thier curiosity through exploration and play.  We aim to provide children to be included and have the opportunity to gain and build on thier musical experiences through listening, learning, playing and performing.

Physical Education

PE is all about the children learning about their physical capabilites and their abilty to use these across a range of activities.  PE lessons encourage the children to develop physical competence, skills and knowledge of their body in action.  During PE lessons the children also develop their self confidence, team work and their problem solving abilities.

There are 4 aspects to PE lessons

  • Acquiring and developing of skills
  • Selecting and applying these skills
  • Evaluating and improving their performance
  • Knowledge of Fitness and Health

Each child has access to 2, one hour lessons a week.  They work inside for 3 weeks on dance or gymnastics and then outside for 3 weeks on games.  This alternates between KS1 and KS2 until the summer term when athletics is introduced.  In addition to the regular PE activities teachers make cross curricular links to class based topics such as 'The Snowman' in Year 2 and 'Penguins' in Year 1.

As part of the PE curriculum the children have access to swimming in Year 3/4 and outdoor education in Year 6 as part of their residential at Whitehough Activity Centre.

An area which is very topical at the moment is Healthy Lifestyle.  PE is a key area to promoting positive attitudes towards active and healthy lifestyles.  PE joins with PSHE and Science for a Healthy Living week every year to educate and encourage in 'Healthy Lifestyles'.  This year we have a range of sampler activities including - tennis, dance, circuits, high fives, rugby for the children to have a go at with the aim of children taking up these activities outside school.

Enrichment activities after school are also a key part of PE - see Extra Curricular where we have many successes in Football, High Five, Athletics and Rounders.  

PSHE

Personal, Social and Health Education

We believe that there are many areas of knowledge and understanding that lie outside the National Curriculum.  In particular, the personal and social development of the children is an area that has become an increasingly important part of children's education. In order to allow individuals, friendship groups and classes to react to, and cope with the pressures of the world around them we allow time for talk, discussion and reflection so that everyone knows that they are important and that their opinions are valued.

The whole school uses the Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) materials issued by the Departmentof Education and focuses on particular aspects at identified times.

Circle Time allows children to participate as partners in the process of developing responsibility for their own behaviour and learning.  It aims to encourage the development of self-esteem, interpersonal skills and strengthen relationships, whilst at the same time allowing all involved to have fun together. This forms an integral part of our discipline policy and pastoral support for the children.

Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning

SEAL is the government initiative relating to the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning, you may have read something about its extension into secondary schools in the press recently. The programme aims to help children's emotional intelligence, improving self awareness, empathy and social skills.  Schools which have been using the programme for some time have found that it improves behaviour and attitudes, which of course impacts on learning.  Our school has been using the SEAL materials produced by the Department of Education for many years.  The materials form the basis of a large part of our Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education scheme of work, alongside safety (including road safety), drugs and sex and relationship education.  The SEAL programme involves the whole school focusing on one aspect at a time, which is introduced in a whole school assembly, led by the Headteacher and attended by all staff including welfare staff.  This creates a consistency of approach

Religious Education

RE offers the distinct opportunity to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children.  When RE is taught at Whitefield, we aim to explore shared human experiences, religious traditions, beliefs, values and personal meaning. It supports the children in forming thier own beliefs and attitudes in readiness for thier adult life in a rapidly changing world and tries to instil a respect and understanding for the beliefs and opinions of others.

Alongside Christianity the other two main religions studied are Islam and the Hindu Dharma, reflecting our pupil population and the religious faiths predominant in the local area.  We also study Judaism, the faith of the Jewish people, Buddhism and Sikhism.

We enjoy celebrating religious festivals, learning about the beliefs and traditions of others and at times we integrate RE with other areas of the curriculum enhancing the teaching and learning of the children.  In our lessons the children are encouraged to question, discuss and formulate thier own ideas through drama, art, music, circle time, debates and times of reflection.  They learn to think of others who are not able to lead such enriched lives as they and are encouraged to help them through gifts at Harvest, sponsored activities or initiating fund raising events.

Each week we hold a full school assembly, year group assemblies, hymn practice, KS1 birthday assembly and celebrate the end of the week with a praise assembly, celebrating the achievements of our pupils.

Parents may ask that their child is withdrawn from religious assemblies and religious education lessons and such requests should be made in writing.

At this year's harvest assembly we had many gifts donated.  Mrs Balazs and Mrs Consterdine very kindly distributed the food parcels to Derian House, St Catherine's Hospice and the Women's Refuge.  Thank you for all your donations.

Science

Science is a fascinating and exciting subject.  We aim to stimulate pupils' curiosity in the world and encourage critical and creative thinking.  We believe that the best learning occurs when science is brought to life and pupils are given the chance to conduct, record and evaluate their own investigations.