Aberdeenshire Council Statement
Curriculum For Excellence
Curriculum for Excellence is now being implemented in all Scottish schools for all 3-18 year olds - wherever they learn. Its purpose is to improve our children's life chances, to nurture successful learners, confident individuals, effective learners and responsible citizens with the child or young person at the centre of learning.
In Aberdeenshire our vision and aims for Curriculum for Excellence have been set out in A Curriculum Framework 3-18 for Aberdeenshire. This policy gives clear guidance to schools on the planning and delivery of a more meaningful set of experiences and entitlements that will prepare Aberdeenshire learners for the 21st Century scotland, including access to new technologies to support creativity and learning. There will be personal support to help pupils fulfil their potential and make the most of their opportunities. All staff have a responsibility to look after our children's health and wellbeing - to ensure that the school is a place where children feel safe and secure. Across Aberdeenshire communication is being enhanced through the use of Glow (Scotland's online network). In the future parents will also be supported by this technology.
Curriculum for Excellence develops skills for learning, life and work to help young people go on to further study, secure work and enjoy life and leisure. It makes learning relevant and helps young people apply lessons to their life beyond the classroom. It links knowledge in one subject area to another, helping children and young people understand the world and make connections. It develops skills so that children can think for themselves, make sound=d judgments, challenge, enquire and find solutions. Every child is entitled to a broad and deep general education, whatever their level nd ability. All staff will be responsible for literacy and numeracy - the language and number skills that unlock other subjects and are vital to everyday life.
There will be enhanced ways of assessing progress and ensuring children achieve their potential. Their will be new qualifications for literacy and numeracy from 2012/2013 and new National 4 and 5 qualifications from 2013/2014. Scotland's well regarded Access, Highers and advanced highers will be updated to take account of, and support, the new approaches to learning and teaching.
In line with the Scottish Executive initiative A Curriculum for Excellence, our aim at Port Erroll School is to enable pupils to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
We recognize that children differ in their abilities and that there are variations in the rate and extent of achievement for each individual. Teachers vary their organization of learning according to their aims and the needs of the pupils. This involves appropriate use of whole class teaching, group teaching and individual teaching. Children within the class can be grouped in a number of ways - ability groups, mixed ability groups and social groups.
Curriculum for Excellence gives advice on the content of the curriculum for all children in Scotland.
We aim to provide a broad, balanced curriculum in line with this guidance.We will use the experiences and outcomes of CfE to plan the content of learning and teaching. We will fully use the principles of curriculum of design to ensure this content is delivered in a flexible, dynamic way to enhance the learning experiences of our pupils.
Literacy and Numeracy
Health and Wellbeing
Principles of Curriculum
Challenge and enjoyment
Personalization and choice
In the curricular areas, experiences and outcomes describe content and suggest methodology. The experiences and outcomes are organised in levels to ensure progression. In the primary school, the pertinent levels are :
Early = Pre - P1
First = P2 - P4
|Second = P5 - P7
It has been recognised that delivering all areas of the curriculum in short, weekly slots throughout the year is not always the most effective strategy to help learners understand, retain and transfer knowledge of skills. CfE encourages us to use the principles of curriculum design to think creatively and plan opportunities for active learning and interdisciplinary studies which will help the children make the connections, see the purpose of the learning, and use their skills in context. In addition CfE highlights the permeating nature of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing experiences and outcomes as children develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work.
With all this advice in mind teachers have the opportunity to plan the breadth and balance of the curriculum over each year stage by using a combination of TOPIC, MINI TOPIC and DISCRETE STRAND approaches.
TOPIC - A major piece of interdisciplinary work
A topic will normally run from six to ten weeks and be given extended periods of time within the school week. The topic will give a meaningful, motivating context to experiences and outcomes from up to four curricular areas.
Limiting the number of focused curricular areas in a topic will ensure depth of learning and teaching.
MINI TOPIC- A concentrated block of work giving a special focus to certain curricular areas
A mini topic would last ne to three weeks and would allow in depth exploration of a theme e.g.
- A seasonal occurrence such as Christmas, Eid or Chinese New Year
- A Science or Health festival
- An expressive Arts extravaganza
DISCRETE STRAND - weekly, timetabled slot(s) for any area of the curriculum
Weekly slots have been the usual form,at for delivering certain elemenst of the curriculum and indeed this can sometimes be a helpful way to organise the timetabling of resources, space and taecher non class teacher time.
Nonetheless, with the exception of PE and, in some cases RME, it is not actually necessary for each curricular arae to be covered easch week.
Services are held weekly in school. Seasonal assemblies take place when Christmas, Easter etc ate celebrated. Our school chaplain visits regularly to lead assemblies.
If you wish yo withdraw your child from RME you must inform the Head Teacher in writing.
The class teacher uses a variety of methods to assess pupils on their progress. In line with Curriculum for Excellence a new reporting format was introduced in Session 2010 - 2011.
Parents will be invited to school twice during the school year - in November and the summer term. This takes the form of Parent/Teacher interviews, which allow the parents and taecher to discuss work being done, progress made, and behaviour. However, if at any other time you wish to discuss any other queries or concerns you mayhave about your child please do not hesitate to conatct the school to arrange an appointment to speak to members of staff.
Homework is given to all children from P1 to P7. Homework is an extension of the class work and should complement the work carried out in school. If there are any problems with this parents should consult the teacher as soon as possible.
The School has specialist teachers in Physical Education, Music, Drama, Art and ICT who, as far as is possible, work with the class teacher to develop their themes. A block system is in operation with classes benefiting from the expertise of the specialists for several weeks each year.
Special Educational Needs
The Support for Learners teachers support many children (of all ranges of ability) in language and number in a co-operative teaching situation within the classroom or in small groups in another area. The Support for Learners teachers also advise class teachers and provide suitable materials for use within the class. Parents are informed when their children are in need of support of a more specialised nature, whether on a short or long term basis. Opportunities to discuss these matters with the staff concerned are given to parents, in order that they are fully informed of the situation that has arisen.
The Jumpstart is a purpose built unit which is staffed by a Support for Learning Teacher and an SFL Auxiliary.
In addition to the above a wide range of needs is catered for in order to enhance the life and opportunities of any pupil who may require it. When required the school may involve other agencies e.g. Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist and the EAL service etc as required.
Extra Curricular Activities
The day and time of these activities may vary according to circumstances, but the children will be informed beforehand. The programme of events may vary depending on the talents of the Staff and Sports coaches.