The curriculum for our school takes into account both the Local Authority and National policies. We aim to provide a successful curriculum which challenges our pupils and reflects their individual needs and widely differing backgrounds.
The use of language is central to every child’s learning and fundamental to our understanding and experience.
The National Literacy Strategy is used on a daily basis throughout the school. This covers the key area of English and provides a mix of whole class teaching and ability-based group work. The children are taught the essential elements of reading, writing, spelling, phonics and comprehension. It is central to our school ethos that children see the purpose of their work and develop a lifelong love of language and literature.
The teaching of mathematics is based on the National Curriculum requirements and the Dorset Numeracy Strategy. This provides a daily base of work throughout the school and combines: mental maths, oral work, whole class teaching, ability-based group work and individual challenges. The subject is taught through the study of: number, shape, data and measure. In Reception much of the work is practical and uses a multi-sensory approach. The rest of the school uses the mathematics schemes published by Rigby, Abacus and Ginn.
The teaching of science gives children the opportunity to develop a knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills, and to relate these to everyday life. Children are taught to question, predict, evaluate and interpret their experiences using a variety of skills. Wherever possible the children are encouraged to explore and investigate their environment making science relevant and enjoyable. We are very fortunate to have a variety of outside areas to carry out scientific investigations. Selected Year 6 children are invited to join science masterclasses at Beaminster School, which extends their scientific learning.
The school, Local Authority and Central Government place high emphasis on developing good Information Communication Technology (ICT) practice. This is achieved through the use of a Qualifications and Curriculum Authority scheme of work which provides a foundation for teaching, mixing ICT skills of keyboard work, word-processing, information storage and retrieval and use of databases. The children are using the internet and e-mail facilities to aid class work and individual needs. Access to the internet is always supervised. We are continuing to develop our hardware and software resources to support ICT and other curriculum areas, in particular, literacy, numeracy and science. We have 21 networked computers throughout the school and have interactive whiteboards in each classroom.
Our Christian ethos is important to us all. It is one of the reasons we celebrate our faith in acts of collective worship. It can also be seen in the relationships between staff and children and the way individuals are treated. We aim to help children consider their values and commitments and to be sensitive to the feelings of other pupils.
Pupils follow the Dorset approved RE scheme "RE Search” and will develop their knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions.
RE is taught in accordance with the terms of the Education Reform Act of 1988. As the school is a Church of England School some Church teaching takes place. The whole school visits the Church on three or four occasions during the year.
Parents have a right to withdraw their children from RE or from the school assemblies. All that is necessary to do this is a simple written request.
Art is an important part of Broadwindsor School’s life. Each year we put aside one / two days for the whole school to work together to create an art display in the main hall.
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority scheme of work is used throughout the school thus ensuring continuity and progression.
We encourage our children to interpret and express an individual response in art through a variety of media and styles with access to good quality tools and resources.
We contribute to the annual Beaminster Arts Festival and provide opportunities for our children to work alongside community artists.
Our children are encouraged to develop an appreciation of, and an interest in, music. They are able to explore all musical styles and forms through listening, performing and composing. This begins in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One with children singing, listening and responding to music through movement and performing their own accompaniments using body percussion and instruments. In Key Stage Two children learn to sing in parts, build upon their percussion skills and appraise the music they hear.
All children participate in Hymn Practice once a week where they have the opportunity to learn new songs and sing as part of a large group. Recorder tuition is available to children at lunchtimes. The school has a music specialist, who works with both staff and children, and she has formed a school orchestra and a choir. The choir have performed to older residents living at Fullers and Broadwindsor House. Peripatetic music teachers come to the school to provide music tuition. Children from our school actively participate in the annual Beaminster Music Festival and in one-day music workshops, held at Beaminster School, for children playing stringed and woodwind instruments.
Broadwindsor School has a strong sports ethos, and we believe that PE has a significant role to play in the lives of our children. The PE curriculum includes: gymnastics, dance, games and small apparatus work. During the spring term Key Stage Two children go to Bridport Leisure Centre for swimming lessons. There are opportunities at lunchtime for football, netball and cricket practice. The school participates in: cluster swimming, cricket, unihoc, athletics, netball and football events. We also take part in West Dorset Sports Association football, tag rugby, netball, short tennis and cricket inter-school matches. In 2004 we achieved FA Charter Standard Development School Status, a kite marking scheme that establishes minimum standards of football development in schools.
2007 was a particularly successful year with our teams bringing home a multitude of accolades. We held the Kenway Cup for football, were champions in West Dorset for netball and football and the best unihoc and cricket team in the Beaminster Cluster. The school has also attended prestigious cricket tournaments at Bryanston and Dorchester.
The curriculum is also enriched by the involvement of specialists from the community.
History / Geography
This area of the curriculum includes a wide variety of historical and geographical projects. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority scheme of work ensures continuity and progression through a structured and co-ordinated series of topics. History topics include the Romans, Victorians, Egyptians and local history. This subject is reinforced with school trips to the Roman Baths, Knightshayes Court and Montacute House. Geography topics relate to our community and the wider world.
Design and Technology
In Design and Technology pupils from Reception through to Year 6 investigate, make or modify designs and ideas. Teaching skills, understanding and knowledge enable the pupil to work through a process or product and achieve a worthwhile conclusion.
Children have opportunities to prepare and cook food which they enjoy. Construction kits, wood-working and model-making are an important aspect of design and technology work. Children are taught to plan, design and evaluate their own and class members’ work.
PHSE and Citizenship
Personal, Health and Social Education and Citizenship are taught through the use of circle time, drama, art, dance and music. Community and world issues can reinforce and develop class and school ethos and values.
We aim to teach sex education sensitively with regard to moral considerations and the value of family life within our thematic work throughout the school. We also involve outside agencies, for example the school nurse and the Life Education Unit, at all stages to support this area of the curriculum. Year 6 pupils receive specific teaching with parental support and consultation.
SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)
SEAL helps children to develop skills such as understanding another’s point of view, working in a group, persevering when situations are difficult, resolving conflict and managing worries. It builds on effective work already in place at Broadwindsor School through whole-school ethos initiatives such as circle time, playground buddy scheme, sports leaders, school council and the taught PSHE and Citizenship curriculum.
The scheme is organised into seven themes: New Beginnings, Getting on and falling out, Say no to bullying, Going for goals!, Good to be me, Relationships and Changes.
A range of teaching strategies is used to motivate both those who learn primarily through verbal channels and those whose preferred learning style may be more visual or kinaesthetic. Much of the learning takes place through experiential activities, as developing social, emotional and behavioural skills involves engaging the heart as well as the head. Many of the learning opportunities are exploratory and open-ended to reflect the nature of much of the subject matter.
Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning, and to enquire together to ensure that they reach a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the complex issues involved in developing social, emotional and behavioural skills. They are also encouraged to learn through participating in groups of different sizes, and problem-solving together.
The school has a well-equipped library, run by a volunteer, and children are encouraged to take books home. We always try to foster a love of books and a keen interest in learning, which we hope parents will encourage at home. We regard books as an essential tool of learning.
Clubs and Extracurricular Activities
We offer a wide range of activities which take place both at lunchtime and after school. These vary throughout the year and include netball, football, cricket, basketball, drama, art, chess, textiles and cooking clubs.
Homework should enhance the curriculum and allow an individual response and commitment on the part of the children and you, their parents.
As parents, your knowledge of your child/children is paramount in deciding the length of time devoted to homework set by the class teacher. We offer guidelines and a positive approach but your involvement is crucial. Regular reading at home is an activity which is particularly beneficial. Advance notice of extra topic research will be given, together with ideas and suggestions for methods of working. Dates are set for the return of homework and comments are encouraged from children, parents and staff to indicate positive aspects of the work and to develop further liaison.