DEVELOPMENTS IN OUR CURRICULUM
PROVIDING THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL OF OUR CHILDREN
We are now mid-way through our third year since opening and school is almost full to capacity. The number of children and staff has consistently grown and our inclusive approach has ensured a smooth transition for all our new arrivals. I am very proud of each and every member of our team. We currently have 260 children on roll and over 50 members of staff who contribute to our provision each week.
Throughout this growth, we have worked hard to develop a school curriculum which meets the needs of all our children and provides them with the best possible opportunities to reach their full potential, both academically and socially. What follows is some information to keep you informed about the most recent key developments in our Curriculum which I hope you’ll find interesting and informative.
Mrs Danbury leads the team in the development of our Maths curriculum. We have now embedded the ‘Mastery’ approach in Key Stage 1 and 2, which promotes deeper thinking and understanding of concepts. Children are taught to become fluent with facts, how to reason and different ways to problem solve. The children use equipment and pictures to represent problems in order to show what they believe the problem is asking them.
Many of our teachers have benefitted from involvement in Teacher Research Groups, where there are opportunities to watch showcase lessons which have a key focus e.g. using equipment to represent a problem. Teachers then have the opportunity to network with other professionals, commenting on how the maths was developed. It is an excellent way to develop our practice.
As a school, we’re very excited to be extending the mastery approach to our EYFS provision. Mrs Carolan is working with one of the academy specialists, and the Maths Team, to develop mathematics within the classroom environment, as well as looking at the way in which children are introduced to new concepts.
We recently held Maths workshops for you, as parents, which were really well attended. We hope you’re enjoying using some of the practical ideas which were shared.
Mr Card and the English team have been the driving force behind the development of our English curriculum. This year, as I’m sure you are aware, one of our key drivers has been developing our provision for Reading. We our incredibly proud of our phonics provision and spelling which is a key strength in Key Stage One and Early Years. We regularly have have colleagues from other schools who visit to observe what we do.
This year, we are delighted to be involved in a whole school Reading development programme being led by the nationally acclaimed Nicky Gamble. Mr Moss and Miss Schofield have received training which has helped improve the teaching of reading. These approaches are now being used across Key Stage One and Two and Mr Moss is being used as a model of good practice for other schools to observe as the initiative is developed across the Academy Trust.
Computing, Science and Technology
We are fortunate that Mr Moss has recently been accredited to work as an Ebor ‘Computing curriculum Champion’, meaning that he will be working in partnership with other Computing leaders from Ebor schools to drive forward enhancements to the Computing curriculum in our school.
With excellent ICT facilities at school, including Google Chromebooks being used throughout the school since our day of opening, the children’s skills and competencies are growing. A whole school drive on ‘programming’ within Computing is allowing children to build on their collaboration, problem solving and computational thinking skills. Mr Moss recently attended the annual BETT conference where he was able to listen to keynote speakers on the Computing curriculum as well as explore new ways to support children with the programming element of the National Curriculum. We are delighted to announce that we have appointed our first 6 Digital Leaders at Staynor Hall. These children will take a key role in improving Computing opportunities for children across the school.
The science team have been working closely with Emma Davies, the Ebor Science specialist. Emma has worked with the Science leader at Staynor to help drive and raise the profile of Science across the school. She has also been involved in the planning of quality CPD for staff to advance their skills of teaching and delivering science. We have a science week planned in for March where the children will be engaging in fun scientific enquiry activities from Tiny Steps to Team Humber. Following on from the success of the science club last year, we will be re-launching it in the summer term. Twitter continues to show some of the fantastic learning that is happening during science lessons at Staynor and gives a good overview of the types of activities the children are involved in.
Sporting, Spanish and Musical Enrichment
Our children continue to receive specialist teaching in Spanish, Music and Physical Education from Miss Schofield, Mr Heath and Mr Jeff respectively. We are really seeing the impact of this specialist provision, not only in school time, but also in the success of our extra-curricular opportunities. This school year has seen incredible sporting success and achievements, of which we (the staff, children and wider community) are so proud.
Achievements so far in 2018/19 include:
- Our Year 5/6 football team won their first ever ESFA football league game 9-0
- Our Year 4 Quicksticks Hockey qualified for the Selby District finals and have now gone on to qualify for the North Yorkshire County finals
- Our Year 5/6 Girls Football team have qualified for the Selby District finals by winning the Selby Cluster event at Selby Leisure Centre.
- Children selected from years 5 and 6 competed in a Sportshall Athletics competition, finishing 3rd out of 10 schools.
- 9 of our children have qualified for the Selby District Cross Country finals
- 2 of the 9 children then went on to qualify for the North Yorkshire County Cross Country finals which is held at Dalby Forest.
Under the leadership of Mr Heath, the quality of provision, and range of musical opportunities continues to grow. In addition to their weekly class music lesson, wider musical opportunities which the children have enjoyed this year include:
- The weekly ‘Big Sing’, for all staff and children
- Upper Choir – for children in Foss, Calder and Humber – rehearsing every Friday. We performed at Selby Abbey’s Christmas concert and other school events.
- Mini-Choir – for children in Derwent, Ouse and Aire.
- Flute and Guitar lessons with visiting specialist music teachers.
- Lunchtime Recorder club with Mr Heath
- Our first Christmas musical production, involving every child in KS1 and KS2.
- Young Voices, led by Miss Schofield, performed at Sheffield Arena.
Our children have benefitted from consistent high quality Spanish teaching. We cover a wide variety of subjects across all the year groups – from Nursery to year six, seeing a progression in the development of sentence structure, including verb conjugation and adjective agreement. Children are also exposed to learning about the Spanish Culture, looking at festivals, traditions, cities and the arts. We are developing links to Selby High School, with quality team teaching and interaction of students across both schools. Our upcoming Spanish theme day will see the children learning about Spanish artists, food and dance. We will also be looking at forging links with our Spanish speaking parents.
Last year, we benefited from a partnership with Colin Jackson, from ‘Creative Learning Partnerships’, where Drama was used as a stimulus for creative writing. All our teachers benefitted from team teaching with Colin and this approach is now embedded as part of our English curriculum. We have also recently developed a further partnership with ‘Louise’ and our KS1 children have recently been offered the opportunity to attend an after-school Drama club which has really taken off. Louise is in school next week to offer taster sessions for the KS2 children. Please look out for information regarding a KS2 drama club which will be starting soon.
In terms of future developments, Miss Blythe has recently been allocated the role of ‘Ebor Curriculum champion’ for Creative Arts. In this role, similar to Mr Moss with computing, Miss Blythe will gain high quality input around how to further develop our own provision for Creative Arts, and will also work as part of a team of ‘champions’ to support the development of the Creative Arts across the wider Academy Trust. This team is led by Louise Brooke, who is an Ebor Specialist who has supported us each year with our preparations for the annual Selby in Bloom Art Competition and our Art Gallery. Along with other initiatives, Miss Blythe intends to establish an Art club for children to attend.
Developing Pupil Voice
The children are at the heart of all we do and, as such, it is vitally important that their voice is heard and their ideas acted upon as we seek to improve opportunities they are given. Alongside working with the current School Council, Miss Stewart is developing new initiatives for pupil voice around school. In addition to supporting the children with the organisation of charity and fundraising events, we are also developing the use of pupil voice to shape and reflect upon teaching and learning across school.
I hope this brief update has given you an insight into the developments of our curriculum. As always, we are open to your thoughts and ideas in terms of school development. Through an open and effective partnership with you, we will get the best outcomes for the children.
If you don’t already, then please follow us on Twitter @staynorHprimary where you will get regular updates throughout the week from all aspects of school life.