We believe science is about inspiring children to ask questions, experiment and extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, therefore we carefully plan a wide variety of stimulating scientific learning opportunities which will help children to retain and develop their natural sense of curiosity of the world around them. As part of our 2-year topic cycle, each unit of work has science units of study that will be covered in depth. The National Curriculum also recognises the importance of a developing knowledge of scientific concepts. Our lessons incorporate both knowledge and investigative skills through a lively and creative curriculum.
At Whitwell, we have a wealth of resources to teach computing skills both as a discrete subject and for use across the curriculum. Our provision includes laptops, iPads and netbooks which can be used throughout the school. Each classroom is also equipped with an interactive whiteboard or a HD screen as well as a handful of desktop computers.
The computing curriculum has been organised so that at the start of the year many of the e-safety aspects are covered and then revisited at points throughout the year to keep them fresh. In February each year the whole school again focusses in on online safety in line with Safer Internet Day.
Humanities – History & Geography
At Whitwell Primary School we believe that our Geography and History provision should not only inspire pupils to have curiosity and wonder about the world around them, but also should motivate them to explore further and deepen their understanding of the world.
In Geography pupils will be develop a sound knowledge of both human and physical features the world over and how these impact people and the environments they live in.
In History pupils are encouraged to investigate and ask enquiring questions in order to broaden and develop their perspectives. They will learn about how society has changed over time and the key events that have shaped the lives they live today. They will participate in a practical topic-based curriculum which incorporates access to real artefacts and visits to relevant historical sites.
Through a broad and balanced Humanities curriculum, the children are equipped to view the world with tolerance, respect and a deeper understanding of the many diverse societies of the world.
In DT, pupils are given opportunities to experiment and explore in the creation of models and structures. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Pupils design, make and evaluate. They develop a wide range of relevant technical knowledge and are given opportunities to see how this applies to the world of work.
Art and Design
We encourage all children to be creative and involved in a variety of arts activities. We study a wide range of artists that are both current and historically significant. Children are given the opportunity to express themselves through a variety of media including pencil, paint, clay and digitally. Art is taught through topics and links to other areas of the curriculum, this can often influence what they produce. We are able to offer a small group of children each year the opportunity to take part in The Arts Award at level ‘Discover and Explore’.
The children in each year group take part in a range of practical activities which give them a valuable musical experience. As the children progress through school the children’s understanding and enjoyment of music is developed.
Through musical activities the children have the opportunity to play and perform on their own and in groups using their voices and a range of tuned and untuned instruments. The children participate in listening, performing, appraising and composition activities, covering the areas laid down in the National Curriculum. They learn to appreciate and understand a wide range of music from different eras and cultures.
We have a school choir that takes part each year in the ’Young Voices’ concerts, has performed in district competitions, and liaises with community groups to sing in the local area.
All pupils have at least two hours of high-quality, timetabled P.E. per week through which they develop their fitness, skills and are provided with opportunities to compete in sport and other activities to build character and embed values such as respect.
The Foundation Stage and Key Stage One follow a fundamental movement skills programme. Pupils are given opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. Pupils engage in competitive (both against self and against others) and co-operative physical activities such as dance, gymnastics, yoga and skipping and master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching. Physical Literacy is done weekly by trained staff as interventions in KS1. Balanceability is done annually in FS and KS1.
In KS2, pupils have an indoor and outdoor session per week; where they continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. Pupils evaluate and recognise their own success. Sports include: dance, gymnastics, tag rugby, basketball, football, High 5 netball, hockey, tennis, Kwik cricket, tri-golf, handball and goalball, as well as athletics, orienteering and yoga. All Year 5 pupils are given the opportunity to complete the National Cycling Proficiency scheme. Two residential trips are offered to promote outdoor adventurous activities off-site: these include Y4/5 visiting either Lea Green or Whitehall and Y6 trip to the Isle of Wight.
Currently Upper KS2 are given the opportunity to learn to swim so pupils achieve the national expected 25m by the end of Year 6. We aim to use the Primary Sports Premium to allow pupils in Lower KS2 to go swimming in future years.
P.E. specialists from Bolsover District Partnership and specialist coaches work alongside the class teacher to develop the teacher’s skills and ensure for high quality teaching and learning.
P.E. is used by the whole school as a catalyst for wider learning. P.E. makes an active contribution to pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development. Major sporting events are planned into the curriculum: World Cup, Olympics, Winter Olympic, Paralympics, Stand up Bolsover, Sports Relief, Sports Day and Maths of The Day.
Pupils are able to access a broad offer of school sport activities as an extension of the curriculum. Pupils regularly participate in festivals of sport and multi-skills activities and compete against each other and other schools. In 2016-2017 the school won the Medium Champion School for entering all events and for best overall performance.
A wide range of extra-curricular school clubs are available and, where possible, quality coaches from community clubs are used to provide strong school links to community opportunities; these include: Mansfield Town in the Community Premier League Stars; RuggerEds; Whitwell Cricket Club; Barlborough Links Golf Club; Mansfield Giants Basketball; Creswell Family Tennis Club; Indoor Bowls and Courtney’s Dance.
School and individual sporting success is celebrated weekly in celebration assemblies, on the school sport webpage and in the termly newsletter.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE)
We offer a nurturing learning environment in which each child is encouraged to develop their full potential and where their achievements and successes are celebrated and rewarded. As a school, we believe that children are all individuals and therefore, we aim to encourage mutual respect, responsibility and foster self-esteem in a happy and caring atmosphere. The teaching and learning of PSHE supports and upholds this vision.
PSHE deals with the diverse beliefs, values and attitudes that individuals and societies hold. They help pupils to develop themselves, their understanding of the world, and their ability to communicate their feelings. PSHE helps children to acquire British values and attitudes which are necessary if they are to make sense of their experiences within school and life itself, value themselves, respect others, appreciate differences and diversity and feel confident and informed as a British citizen.
Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)
Relationships and Sex Education is considered to be an integral part of PSHE. We aim to offer pupils a carefully planned programme on human development, relationships, sexuality and family life within a safe and comfortable environment. Our RSE programme is tailored to the age and physical and emotional maturity of the children.