Curriculum at Crosslee
The staff at Crosslee aim to make their teaching of the curriculum stimulating and relevant to the children and to provide as many practical first hand experiences as possible. All children are different in terms of ability, maturity and personality and have different learning needs. It is important that we offer our pupils a broad and balanced curriculum which gives all children a chance to succeed. All children are supported by a range of teaching and learning strategies which give them the opportunity to take full advantage of school provision. Our curriculum aims to prepare our children with the skills and knowledge needed for success in their future lives.
In the EYFS children are given the opportunity to work towards achieving early learning goals. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape the educational programmes in the early years at Crosslee. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
• communication and language;
• physical development;
• personal, social and emotional development.
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
• understanding the world;
• expressive arts and design.
Educational programmes must involve activities and experiences for children, as follows.
• Communication and language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher, and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.
• Physical development is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practise of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
• Personal, social and emotional development is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.
• Literacy It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together. Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing).
• Mathematics involves developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
• Understanding the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community. The frequency and range of children’s personal experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them – from visiting parks, libraries and museums to meeting important members of society such as police officers, nurses and firefighters. In addition, listening to a broad selection of stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems will foster their understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. As well as building important knowledge, this extends their familiarity with words that support understanding across domains. Enriching and widening children’s vocabulary will support later reading comprehension.
• Expressive arts and design involves the development of children’s artistic and cultural awareness supports their imagination and creativity. It is important that children have regular opportunities to engage with the arts, enabling them to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials. The quality and variety of what children see, hear and participate in is crucial for developing their understanding, self-expression, vocabulary and ability to communicate through the arts.
English is the link to all other subjects. Children are taught to communicate accurately and effectively through speech and writing to respond imaginatively to what they read, hear and experience and to become independent and skilled readers. Please visit our English page to find out more about how English is taught at Crosslee Primary School.
At Crosslee our aim is to establish a positive attitude towards Maths as an interesting and enjoyable subject through which children can experience success, pleasure and joy of the discovery. We want children to achieve the ability and confidence to calculate accurately and to develop a lively interest and awareness of its application and creative use in the everyday world. Please visit our Maths page to find out more about how Maths is taught at Crosslee Primary School.
Science plays an important role in developing children’s understanding of the world. In providing experiences of a scientific nature we are helping children to explore their immediate environment and observe things around them. We help children to learn to solve problems by questioning, comparing and testing out their ideas. The children learn how to plan, hypothesise, predict, design and carry out investigations. They should be able to interpret results and findings, draw inferences and be able to communicate simple tasks and experiments.
Children are introduced to computers and Information Technology in the Nursery and continue to develop their knowledge and expertise throughout the school. Skills in coding,word processing, data handling, logo, graphic design and problem solving are taught in Computing lessons and consolidated and applied through the use of Technology in other curriculum areas. Pupils use Computing skills and tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information.
The school is constantly developing computer and technology provision and presently has a computer suite, Ipads computers and interactive whiteboards in every classroom.
Through Art, children gain new and unique experiences as well as a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment. We encourage children to become creative, visually literate and to explore and express their own ideas, emotions, imagination, culture, identity and the world around them. They are taught to use a variety of different media and develop skills in a wide range of techniques.
Music forms an integral part of the curriculum and children are provided with wide musical experience and experiences.
Children are encouraged to listen to a wide variety of music from different times and places, to respond, perform and compose. All children have access to a range of tuned and untuned percussion instruments.
Physical activity plays a vital part in ensuring the healthy development of every child. At Crosslee we have a timetable which ensures that approximately two hours of physical activity is devoted to sports activities each week. These activities include games, dance and gymnastics lessons and Year 4 also go swimming at a local pool.
Additional games such as football, hockey and tag rugby are provided in after school and lunchtime clubs and matches are arranged with other schools. The school uses every available opportunity created through local and national initiatives to increase the range of sports activities it can offer.
History allows children to develop a sense of identity through learning about the development of Britain, Europe and the world. Through learning about famous people, societies and events in the past, pupils consider how the past influences the present. They develop an understanding of the past, discuss why things happened or changed and the results. They carry out historical enquiries using a variety of sources of information and look at why the past can be interpreted in different ways, so developing an awareness of their own place in history and of clues to our history that can be found in our own environment.
Through Geography teaching children are able to develop knowledge, skills and understanding relating to their own environment and the people who live there and an awareness of the wider world.
Children study their own and other localities, regions and countries, looking at how landscapes are formed and the effects of human activity on them. Themes such as settlement, weather and care of the environment are included together with skills such as map-making.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is concerned with the generation of ideas, making and doing. DT teaches pupils to innovate, make decisions and to solve real problems. They investigate how familiar products and objects work, then design and make their own using skills such as cutting, joining, fixing and connecting. Finally they evaluate their work. Children use commercial construction kits and a range of materials and simple tools.
Relationships and Sex Education
All schools are required to provide Sex Education. This enables children to gain accurate knowledge about human reproduction and understand the physical and emotional changes which occur as they grow up. It stresses the value of family life in caring and nurturing and encourages children to have respect and consideration in all their relationships with other people.
Sex Education is taught through parts of the Science and Health curriculum. In Years 5 and 6 the school nurse talks to children about growing up and emotional and physical changes. Children are given guidance and have their questions answered in a way which is appropriate to their age and understanding.
Parents have the right to withdraw children from Sex Education, although not from those elements which are statutory parts of the Science and Health curriculum. Any parent who wishes to discuss this further should contact the Headteacher.
Religious Education plays an important role to develop children’s understanding of the world around them and promotes respect towards different faiths and beliefs. We employ a variety of teaching methods including art, music, P4C, discussion, the development of thinking skills, drama, the use of artefacts, pictures and stories. Where possible, we want our pupils to have opportunities to encounter local faith communities through visits to local places of worship or visits from members of local faith communities.
Phillosophy for Children
Philosophy for Children (P4C) teaches children to: learn to think before they speak and give reasons for what they say; value their views and the views of others; learn respect and negotiation and learn not to be fearful. We incorporate P4C lessons into as many of our curriculum areas as possible.
If you require further information about the curriculum at Crosslee, please contact the school office.
Crosslee Primary School
Manchester, M9 6TG
0161 795 8493Email us