Subjects

Literacy:

Our Philosophy

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 through an integrated language programme. This aims to equip them with the necessary skills and confidence to communicate effectively in speech, writing and to listen with understanding.

 

Teaching Approaches:

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 literacy skills in all areas.

Experiences

Garswood has a rich and stimulating language environment in order to extend the children’s experiences, achievements and developing interests.

We deliver literacy in a creative way to ensure learning is meaningful and relevant.

We ensure the development of literacy 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.

ICT in English:

All classrooms have interactive whiteboards 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 ICT capability in the study and communication of English.

Phonics

Phonics is taught systematically using 'Letters and Sounds'. Letters and Sounds is 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. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Follow this link to find out more

http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/

The school’s learning environment is organised to stimulate, be interactive, support, extend and celebrate language and its use.
Literacy Leader

              

Numeracy:

Teaching approaches:

Each class teacher is responsible for the mathematics in their class in consultation with and with guidance from the mathematics co-ordinator.

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 extensively through the use of ICT. In lessons where this is the case, exactly how ICT is being used is clearly indicated in planning, with specific software, i.e. ITP’s (Interactive Teaching Programmes), Maths Whizz, or websites.

Where appropriate, opportunities will be taken to use, apply and develop mathematics through activities in other areas of the curriculum. Indeed, the development of the Challenge Curriculum offers extensive opportunities for this.

A practical approach to mathematics is taken wherever possible and wipe boards are used extensively, often replacing the more formal recording in books. However ‘working in books’ still has its place in our teaching of mathematics, but it is much less prevalent now than it used to be.

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 experiences to support them in developing a deep understanding and a mastery of maths.

     

     

Science:

At Garswood, were possible, science is taught interactively and hands on so children can physically observe and record the changes 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 living things, 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.

    

Computing:

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.

Computing, previous known as ICT is a cross-curricular subject that has a critical role in enhancing the learning process at all levels of the curriculum and across a broad range of subjects and activities.  Used correctly the subject prepares today’s children for tomorrow’s technological future.  The advances made in the world of technology during recent years have had a significant impact on our everyday lives.  Already, in today’s world, computers and information technology form an essential part of everyday life.  Now, with the growth of the Internet and the easy accessibility of home computers, it is vital that we encourage pupils to gain confidence and capability in the use of ICT to prepare them for adult life.

Computing Curriculum 2014- aims:

Computing will be delivered in accordance with the statutory entitlement as specified in the National Curriculum orders (September 2014).  The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology

Children will attain the necessary breadth of study by being given opportunities to work with a range of information, explore with a variety of tools and devices, and compare the different uses of ICT.

To ensure that the ICT programmes of study and attainment targets are translated into practical and manageable teaching plans, children will be taught in line with the agreed Focus materials.  The Computing long-term plan, in conjunction with ‘Switched on Computing’ by Rising Stars should be referred to in order to see which units of work should be taught when.  This plan also specifies continuous work and cross curricular links with various aspects of the 2014 curriculum.

    

Geography:

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.

     

History:

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 the past. 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 through the 'Learning Challenge Curriculum' which often starts with a 'wow' to engage and inspire the children. 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.

    

 

Design Technology:

As with art and design our desing 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 individual skills whilst also challenging themselves to solve problems and experiment with ideas linked with a larger theme. For example in year 1 we experiment with materials in science and then use this knowledge and our design and technology skills to create an outfit suitable for the gingerbread man.

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.

We cover all aspects of design and technology at Garswood, with the children accessing their skills at different points in the year, for example the different classes had to put their cooking skills to the test during the Garswood Bake Off. This gives the children the opportunity to see why learning the skills are so important whilst also having lots of fun!

        

Garswood Music:

Music is valued by both teachers and children at our school and is seen as a creative expressive experience. Making music, whether singing, playing instruments or listening to music, is an important part of the school curriculum enjoyed by all children. It is a time for children to experiment freely with all the different aspects involved in music and as with all subjects children are encouraged to have ago and feel safe and comfortable to experiment with new things. Throughout the school music is taught as a subject and also woven through the challenge  curriculum. In the infants children experience music through their continuous provision and are encouraged to explore and make their own music freely.

Assembly Music:

Children are encouraged to develop an appreciation of music whether classical, traditional, folk, pop, Latin American or other. Through this their ability to listen to and reflect on different music will flourish. We have singing practise once a week and the children are taught a wide variety of songs by Mrs Connolly, guitar and recorder groups are often invited to perform during this time.

 

Music Lessons

We provide all children in Year 3 and Year 3/4 with the opportunity to learn the guitar. Children receive tuition for an hour a week as a whole class with Mrs Connolly. We hope that after their years tuition many children will decide to join one of our extra-curricular guitar sessions.

We have a singing club each week, where the children sing a wide range of songs, from traditional to current chart hits. We try, where possible, to allow the children to take ownership of this club and encourage them to make decisions and take the lead.

Extra-Curricular

Children have the opportunity to play either guitar or recorder in an extra-curricular club. We have three levels beginner, intermediate and advanced, lessons are currently priced at £2:50 per session and fees are payable termly in advance. Children can be registered for these clubs by talking to Mrs Wainwright or enquiring at the school office.

Garswood PE:

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.

   

Extra Curricular:

Many of the sports undertaken through PE sessions and/or Extra Curricular activities allow and encourage personal development as well and go some way to helping the children realise their potential when it comes to carrying out a particular task.

Perseverance, motivation and endeavour are other key attributes to be learned and enhanced through Physical Education at our school. Pupils who take an active role in PE lessons find that they are not only improving their interpersonal skills with those around them but are also increasing their own levels of motivation and pride in their own performance.

Garswood Teams:

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 which 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.

Residential PGL:

When the children reach upper key stage 2 (years 5 and 6) 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.

Club Links:

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.

Awards:

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.

Religious Education:

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 religious 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.

  

Challenge Curriculum:

Where ever possible Religious Education is taught through the challenge curriculum which is in line with the St Helens Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. ICT is used extensively through out the school to support both the planning and teaching of Religious Education. The children are also given the opportunity to gain hands on experience of religions through the use of religious artefacts and through visits to places of worship. In addition we welcome visitors to our school to support the teaching and learning of Religious Education.

Although we make every effort to accommodate the different needs and beliefs of all children, parents may choose to withdraw their child from Religious Education. For more information in regards to this, please contact the school.

 

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 lesson delivered by a Languages teacher from a local high school. Years 3 and 3/4 learn German and Years 5 and 6 learn French to help them when they transition to high school. 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.

Every year we hold a European Day of Languages, the children always enjoy learning about other countries and perhaps food tasting or taking part in a traditional dance.

Contact the School

Garswood Primary and Nursery School

Hamilton Road
Garswood
WN4 0SF

Main Contact: Marie Chadwick, School Business Manager

Tel: 01744 678290
Fax: 01744 678294
garswood@sthelens.org.uk