The CurriculumHome Up

The Scottish Curriculum has recently been reviewed and guidelines for all areas of the curriculum are now published.  These give structure for teaching and learning for all pupils from ages five to fourteen.  In all aspects of the curriculum we follow these guidelines, interpreting and relating them to the needs of our pupils. 

These guidelines are readily available at the school for any interested parent to see.

On the following pages are brief synopses of the different aspects of our curriculum.

More detailed information exists in the school and any parent is welcome to discuss our policies more fully.

The six main areas of the curriculum from P1 to S2 are as follows:

P1 - 7: MATHEMATICS: This is composed of - Information handling, Number, Money, Measurement, Problem Solving and Enquiry.

LANGUAGE:  This is composed of - Talking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: This is composed of - History, Geography, Science, Technology and Modern Studies.

EXPRESSIVE ARTS: This is composed of - Art and Design, Drama, Music and PE.

MODERN LANGUAGES: French is the modern language offered to Primary 6 and 7 pupils in this school.   This will gradually be offered to other age groups as more members of staff become qualified to teach Modern Languages.

RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION: This is composed of - Christianity, Other World Religions and Moral Values.

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Personal Development is essentially concerned with self-awareness and self-esteem.  Social Development is essentially concerned with inter-personal relationships, independence and inter-dependence.

HEALTH EDUCATION: Four themes are addressed within Health Education:  Safety Education; Drug Education; Nutrition Education and Sex Education.


NURSERY:

The 3-5 Curriculum Framework for children in their Pre-school Year also reflects the above curricular areas and is organised under the following headings -

            Mathematical Experiences

            Language Experiences

            Knowledge and Understanding of the World

            Aesthetic Experiences

            Physical Development

            Emotional, Personal and Social Development

MATHS
The pupils follow Scottish Borders Council programmes of study, which relates to the Scottish Curricular Guidelines in Mathematics.  These lead them, according to their ability, through a progression of work closely linked at each stage. 

The main resource used in the school to carry out the Maths Programme is Heinemann Mathematics, complemented at the upper stages by S.P.M.G. (published by Cambridge University Press).

A variety of other materials and resources is regularly used by the pupils including computer software.  It is the intention to give each child a wide range of mathematical experiences based on sound knowledge of basic concepts.  The development of mental agility and approaches to problem solving are regarded as important aspects of the Maths Curriculum.

LANGUAGE
Progression in language is gained through following the Scottish Curricular Guidelines.  To ensure width of experience and continuity in learning, the following materials and resources are used throughout the school:-

Reading Development
"Jolly Phonics" is an approach, which is employed in Primary One to introduce the children to reading.  Teachers, pupils and parents work closely together during this very important phase in order to ensure the best start to reading for the children.  Thereafter a progressive core reading scheme is introduced.  The core scheme is supplemented by a wide variety of novels with a well-resourced library of fiction and non-fiction material.   

Reading for Enjoyment
The importance of books is emphasised from an early stage when parents of new entrants are encouraged to read to their children as often as possible.  Creating the right atmosphere of quiet and enjoyment is essential when children start to read and they require a lot of patience and attention at home as well as in school.  Classes regularly visit the school library to exchange books to encourage reading for enjoyment.  The library van visits the school regularly and pupils are given the opportunity to choose a selection of books for their class.

Reading for Information
We have an extensive range of non-fiction books in the school which are used by all classes, particularly for topic work.  These books are supplemented by project boxes from the Regional School Library Service. 

Writing
Right from the start, due attention is paid to the development of handwriting, spelling and sentence construction. This is supported by Jolly Phonics and Jolly Grammar in the Early Years.  From Primary 3 onwards,  "English Alive" and the S.R.A. scheme, complemented by a wide variety of other resources, give further practice in comprehension, punctuation and grammar.  Writing for a variety of purposes, e.g., imaginative stories and poems, recording information, form filling and letter writing, is addressed throughout the school.  

Listening and Talking
From the earliest stages, the skills required for listening and talking are carefully developed in order that, children discuss and converse meaningfully and not just "chatter"!   Activities ranging from “Show and Tell” and “Circle Time”, to structured discussion and formal debates are designed to encourage a high level of articulation in our children.  A wide variety of resources is employed throughout the school and classes at each stage have ready access to televisions, video recorders, tape recorders and computers to support this area of the curriculum.

EXPRESSIVE ARTS
From Nursery - P7 all pupils will be given a varied experience in the four areas, either arising through other class activities or in his/her own right as separate skills.

We have curriculum support teachers who assist class teachers and also provide specialist knowledge for the pupils. 

Rugby is supported and coached by parents.

Netball teams are currently coached by Mrs Scott and Miss Watson with teams participating in local and regional events.

Cricket is coached by Mr Hunter and Allan Moffat with teams participating in local events.

Football is coached by Mr Hunter and Neil Comley and teams participate in local and regional tournaments.

MUSIC
As well as normal class music lessons, instrumental instructors of brass, cello and violin  visit the school weekly to tutor small groups of pupils. Children are interviewed/auditioned for these groups in P4-5 for strings and P6-7 for brass.

ART
Throughout the school, there is a Scottish Borders Council Programme of Study in place which is gradually developed as children move from Primary 1 to Primary 7.  In each term, the classes follow a particular aspect of art and design and this is continued when children move on to the High School.

DRAMA
Each class teacher gives his or her pupils experience in creative drama. Use is made of supporting broadcast material.  The core resource is: SBC Guidelines. 

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

This covers the subjects of Geography, History, Social Studies, Science and Technology.  It is generally carried out through topic work with more specific skills being taught regularly, e.g. mapwork.  A balance is sought for each pupil both throughout the year and from P1 - 7, to give a range of experience and knowledge of the immediate and wider environment.  The skills learned in other areas of the curriculum will be applied when carrying out their topics, giving pupils a relevant context to practise and experiment.

In the Nursery, the children gain knowledge and understanding in this area through studies connected with the "World Around Them".



HEALTH EDUCATION:

Based on SBC Guidelines, Health Education is addressed from Nursery to P7 with a progressive programme offered to pupils.  There are four themes covered within Health Education:  Safety Education, Drug Education, Nutrition Education and Sex Education.  Within each of these themes, three strands are covered: Physical, Emotional and Social Health.  All themes have attainment targets covering levels A-F (Nursery – beyond Secondary 2).  We adopt a common sense approach to the delivery of this area of the curriculum and all resources, which support Health Education, are carefully vetted to ensure that materials are suitable for the maturity levels of the pupils in our school.


 
RELIGIOUS AND MORAL EDUCATION

Christianity forms the framework in which pupils are encouraged to consider themselves and their beliefs, develop a sense of right and wrong and become aware of their social responsibilities.  From this base, they can also explore other world religions and the similarity of human needs.    Christianity, Judaism and Islam are the main world religions studied in this school.


 

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT


This area of the Curriculum links very closely with Religious and Moral Education and Health Education.  A better understanding of themselves is fostered, along with an appreciation of our world and caring tolerant attitudes to others.

 ASSEMBLIES
These are held once a week and are normally led by the Headteacher, Depute Headteacher, Principal Teachers or our Chaplain, Rev. I Walter.  The Chaplain also visits the classes regularly.    The Assemblies are for P1 - 2 or P3 - 7 with joint assemblies being held at least twice a term.  Nursery children are invited to attend Assembly when it is appropriate.

Pupils are regularly involved in the presentation of assemblies and parents are welcome to attend these. 

End of Term Assemblies take place in the school hall or St. Cuthbert's Church.


Parents have the right to withdraw their child from an act of worship if a written request is made.  If you wish to withdraw your child, please discuss this with the Headteacher.

EDUCATIONAL VISITS


As part of their education, field trips and visits are arranged for classes to support and enhance the classroom learning.  The venues are chosen to complement curriculum work already being undertaken in the school.  In general, the younger pupils will make visits within the town or local area and the older children will gradually be taken further afield.  Currently in P7 we also offer the pupils the opportunity to take part in a residential visit or a week of activities.

SUPPORT FOR LEARNING
A network of support exists to support children in their learning which involves pupils, families, teachers and Additional Needs Auxiliaries who all work together in a planned way when  a child needs extra support with class work, or requires accelerated learning.

The aim is to give sufficient support to allow the child to gain confidence to undertake the main work of the class unaided or to be stretched in order to achieve potential.  Where more substantial help is required, progress is monitored regularly to re-assess appropriate action. An appropriate programme will be developed and carried out by designated members of the support team.    In this way, children can be enabled to progress in their learning. The Headteacher, Depute Headteacher and Principal Teachers, Mrs Gibb, Miss Embleton, Miss Robson and Acting Principal Teacher Miss Nelson, have undertaken training and are available to consult with and advise staff on individual pupil progress. 

Where children continue to cause concern, a referral may be made, in consultation with the parents, to the School Psychology Department or Behaviour Support Group.

If significant additional help is required for a child, a process of assessment will take place which may lead to the opening of a Co-ordinated Support Plan.   This is a statement, which defines the learning needs of the pupils and is reviewed annually.

ASSESSMENT/RECORDS
The class teacher monitors each child’s progress on a daily/weekly basis and a record kept of work covered.   

There is a programme of screening and assessment throughout the school and each class is monitored for progress.

All pupils are now tested to check their attainment against National targets in 5-14 Curriculum Guidelines.  The class teacher selects suitable materials from a National Bank of resources to confirm the level of achievement in Maths and Language.  The majority of pupils are assessed at four different levels, A - D, during their primary years.  Some pupils will also be assessed at a further Level, E.

Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) are in the process of being developed in the school.  These share with parents and pupils the next steps in learning and provide continuous information on children’s progress throughout the year.

Parents' Evenings are held in Term 1 and Term 3 to allow teacher and parent to discuss more fully each child's achievements and future development.


Transition PLPs are written for all pupils in Primary 7 for transfer to the High School. At the end of each session, class records are discussed and handed on to the next class teacher to ensure a smooth progression of information.  Any child leaving to attend another primary school will also have a transfer report completed.