Our School Curriculum
Equal opportunities are provided for all children regardless of gender, race or disability. This means that every child has the chance to take part in the whole school curriculum. We plan to develop the whole child and provision is made to ensure pupils’ social, emotional, physical and intellectual development.
Children in the Foundation Stage (i.e. those in Reception classes) follow a curriculum based on the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
Children in Year 1 to Year 6 follow the National Curriculum 2014. This includes the core subjects of English, mathematics, science and computing and the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Design Technology, Art, Physical Education, Music, Languages and Religious Education. The long term plan ensures that all the curriculum areas are covered during the year. Activities are matched to pupils’ abilities. We provide rich and varied contexts for pupils to acquire, develop and apply a broad range of knowledge, understanding and skills
We encourage children to develop independence, teamwork and collaboration in their work. We teach them to look after resources and to use materials correctly.
For more information regarding the curriculum, please see the information booklet for parents, specific to your child’s year group.
Regular parent workshops and coffee mornings allow teachers and parents/carers to come together in partnership to support children’s learning.
From September 2017 the school has developed a new curriculum to match the needs of your children, which will be exciting, engaging and stimulating. Please see the website for details.
Further Information About the Curriculum
At St James we work with our parents which links to our key values of community, peace, respect, forgiveness, trust and courage. We ensure all our parents know about our curriculum by:
The School Library
Our library has a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts and we encourage children to see reading as a great source of pleasure and relaxation. We encourage children to look after the books that they read, and we ask for parental co-operation and support in this matter.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting to Parents
We continually assess our pupils. Parents will be informed of their child’s progress and may have access to the records that we keep. Parents will receive a written report on their child at the end of each school year. There will be consultation evenings for parents throughout the school year to discuss your child’s attainment with the class teacher. Additionally, at the end of Year 2 and 6, teacher assessments and SATS (Standard Assessment Tests) are reported to parents. At the end of the Year 1 parents are informed of their child’s phonic screening score.
At The Academy at St. James we believe in nurturing the potential in everyone. We are committed to providing a challenging curriculum for all of our pupils. In addition to high quality, differentiated teaching we provide opportunities to identify and nurture the talents and skills of our children. Children are given the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities.
The Academy at St. James is affiliated to St. James’ Church which is represented on the Governing Body. We aim to give a knowledge of the Christian Faith which is appropriate to the children’s age and level of understanding. A Christian outlook is part of our school life and cannot be separated from it. We are striving to develop openness and mutual respect for all areas of human activity. Our concern is with self understanding, the ability to express deep experiences and ideas, the awareness of other people and their feelings and an appreciation of the world around us as a basis for each individual child’s spiritual development.
The children attend a Christian act of worship every day. We assemble together to share in the act of worship, together with other experiences and matters of common interest. Parents are invited to attend some events conducted by the children. There will be occasions when the whole school will visit Church to celebrate and worship together.
Our assemblies take place on:-
- Monday – Values and ethos collective worship
- Tuesday- Golden book assembly
- Wednesday – Class worship
- Thursday – Singing – Key Stage collective worship
- Friday- Whole School Assembly – Celebration assembly
The school strives to ensure celebrations such as The Nativity play and Christmas events are open to all. The Academy at St. James also ensures the important events of all faith calendars are essential parts of school life.
All parents have the right to withdraw their child from any act of worship or R.E. lesson. In this case a letter should be sent to the Head of School requesting withdrawal.
Provision for Sport
The development of games skills is included in our P.E. long term plan. Approximately two hours per week is allocated to P.E. which over the year includes games, dance and gymnastics. The school enters inter-school games matches, and competitions. Extra curricular sporting activities are offered throughout the year.
During the year visits are made as part of the children’s education. Also we may invite theatre groups and other people of interest to educate and inspire the children. In these cases you may be asked to make a contribution towards the cost. We try to keep the costs as low as possible in the hope that parents will make the contributions necessary to enable the event to take place. No pupil will be treated differently according to whether or not a contribution has been made. If insufficient contributions are received the events may have to be cancelled.
Parents are encouraged to view their children’s work regularly. Times will be arranged during the year when you can come into school and discuss your child’s progress. We hope that you will take this opportunity to meet your child’s teacher. Should parents wish to discuss their child at any other time they are welcome to make an appointment with the class teacher.
Consultations will be run in the hall, where we will also have stalls with community representatives to talk to parents.
Sex and Relationships Education
Throughout the curriculum we promote healthy relationships between friends and family. We regularly discuss what makes a good friend and how to resolve arguments and difficult relationships. We formally teach the children about the development of human bodies and human and animal reproduction as part of the science national curriculum. Staff will answer children’s questions as truthfully as possible. Year 6 pupils undertake an informal programme of sex and relationships education led by our school nurse. Parents/carers are provided with information about this programme and are able to view any of the resources used. A copy of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education Policy is available from the school office.
Role of the Parent
Parents are expected to support and encourage their child by giving time and providing a home environment in which homework can be achieved. Children benefit enormously from being able to discuss what they have learnt with their parents. This is not to suggest that a parent should spend time altering or correcting the child’s work but rather discuss it and encourage your child to produce work that reflects their best effort. Constructive comments enable the child to develop a better understanding of the work and reinforce what is taught in school.
Above all other subjects, reading is a crucial aspect of schoolwork and needs to be encouraged at all times. A child’s written skills often reflect the attitude to reading; a child who reads widely and with enthusiasm is usually able to translate this into written work. It is, therefore, very important for a parent to read to their child and/or to try and hear their child read every day.
We value the partnership we have with parents and carers and want to work together to provide the best education we can for your children. However, as we have outlined in the Parent Code of Conduct, we do not accept aggressive or abusive behaviour and if any member of staff witnesses this you will be asked to leave the premises and further action may be taken.
Home and School
We welcome the interest and support of parents in all aspects of school life. We aim to keep parents well informed about their child’s education so that they appreciate the vital role of a close partnership between home and school.
There is the opportunity for pupils to participate in a wide range of extra curricular activities.
These may include:-
multisports, football, craft, needlework, dance, performing arts, gymnastics and learning a musical instrument.