We endeavour to provide a broad and balanced curriculum through Curriculum for Excellence. To find out more about Curriculum for Excellence please click here.
St Andrews School Curriculum Policy
The Scottish Curriculum for Excellence is designed to provide a coherent, more flexible and enriched curriculum from 3 to 18. Learning begins at birth and continues throughout our lives. Scottish Government education strategy, and the curriculum frameworks that deliver it, recognise that learning is lifelong, and are designed to help learners develop the skills they need for learning, life and work in an ever-changing world.
The purpose of the curriculum is encapsulated in the four capacities – to enable each child or young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.
The curricular areas are:
Health and Wellbeing
Literacy & Languages
Numeracy & Mathematics
Religious and Moral Education
The curriculum develops through five broad stages from age three to eighteen.
Early Level Pre-school – P1
First Level P2 – P4
Second Level P5 – P7
Third and fourth Levels S1 – S3
Senior Phase S4 – S6
Children at St Andrews School are taught according to their ability and stage of development so there is “differentiation”, or grouping within the classes. We provide a wide range of experiences through which the children will attain the outcomes of the new curriculum. The personal and social development of our pupils is of prime importance and we encourage children to become independent thinkers and learners who respect the needs and views of others.
Our curriculum is structured to ensure that children have opportunities to acquire core skills and develop the ability to use them in a variety of contexts. Literacy, Numeracy and Health & Wellbeing underpin all areas of the curriculum and many learning opportunities are developed through cross curricular learning.
LITERACY & LANGUAGES
Teaching in language falls under four main headings:
Listening is the key to all learning. The various skills required to be effective listeners are developed throughout the years at primary school.
Talking skills are formally developed to enable children to be effective
communicators, for all life situations. Children are encouraged to express their own ideas, opinions and feelings confidently and articulately.
Reading is a fundamentally important skill. Emphasis is placed at the early
stages on reading out loud, i.e. decoding the printed word into spoken word. The teaching of phonics (sounding out) features strongly and is taught through Jolly Phonics from Primary 1. Thereafter more sophisticated reading skills are developed e.g. research and reference skills, inference, speculation; in-depth understanding of complex passages etc. Reading for enjoyment is encouraged and nurtured at all stages and children are given opportunities to choose books from the school library.
Writing skills for all life purposes are developed alongside the important
technical skills of spelling, handwriting and grammar. A variety of resources are employed to assist learning across the levels of study in Language.
NUMERACY & MATHEMATICS
Our mathematics policy is based on the programmes of study from Early to Second Level in accordance with the CfE Guidelines. This begins in Pre-school and covers all aspects of mathematics. The children study the following areas:
- Number, Money and Measure
- Shape, Position and Movement
- Problem Solving
The development of skills in mental maths will also receive an important focus. We follow the Heinemann Active Maths scheme but also use other resources and teaching methods to best suit each child.
HEALTH AND WELLBEING
Health and wellbeing teaches your child about:
- mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
- planning for choices and changes
- physical education, activity and sport
- food and health
- substance misuse and relationships
- sexual health and relationships.
The purpose of health and wellbeing is to help every child and young person to feel cared for and valued as an individual. Learning about health and wellbeing will help them cope with uncertainties in life, have confidence to try new and different things and make the most of opportunities that come along.
Our PE programme includes gymnastics, games skills, fitness and dance. The older children also participate in swimming lessons each year.
In term 4 each year pupils from P1 to P7 will complete the Changing Me Sexual Health and Relationships) component of our Health and Wellbeing programme. Parents will be informed of the sexual health programme for these stages. As is appropriate, parents will decide whether their children will participate in these lessons or not. For more information about the Health and wellbeing programme follow this link:
Great importance is placed on children’s personal and social development and we expect and encourage good behaviour from all children. Children are given opportunities to share achievements and success regularly. The children are able to share their views on the school and we encourage all children to contribute their thoughts through the Pupil Council which meet weekly.
OTHER SUBJECT AREAS
Our topic cycle which is followed in the P1 – P7 classes covers all aspects of the curriculum, while still allowing for personalisation and choice. Some areas may be covered in more detail at some times in the year, depending on the topic, but all areas are covered each year.
Our topic cycle covers all aspects of the science curriculum. These are Biodiversity and independence, Energy and sustainability, Natural processes, Space, Forces, Electricity, Light and sound, Living things, Substances, Earth’s materials, chemical changes and Topical Science.
Children are taught investigation skills as well as knowledge.
Learning within social subjects is divided into three broad areas; people, past events and societies; people, place and environment; people, society, economy and business. Our topic cycle incorporates all areas.
Today’s children are living in an increasingly technological world and we need to teach them the skills needed to use this technology. Children use computers and other resources from Nursery upwards. Children also learn about food preparation and the safe use of tools.
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION
The RME curriculum covers Christianity as the major religion in Scotland, as well as looking at other religions. Children learn to be tolerant of other people’s beliefs as well as forming their own opinions. RME is covered through class teaching and through assemblies. Parents have the right to withdraw children from RME in school.
Expressive Arts covers the broad areas of Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music. All children take part in our school productions at Christmas and Easter. Children learn specific skills in all areas of Expressive Arts and are then able to use them in their learning.