Reading and Language Development
The school uses modern, comprehensive reading and language schemes. The content of these schemes is attractive and varied and excellently illustrated so that motivation to read is fostered from the beginning. Fluent reading and the skills, which enable a fluent reader to become an effective reader, are important concepts in these schemes.
Language : Infant Stage
a) Talking and Listening
With the youngest children we aim to build upon those experiences they already have. Within an informal situation the children are encouraged to talk, ask questions and make comments. The teacher’s aim is to widen the children’s vocabulary by introducing ‘experiences’- planned and spontaneous- which will stimulate the development of articulate speech. It is of equal importance that the children learn to listen carefully, since they learn from discussion and from conversing.
The following programme of study is planned in order to develop the children’s ability to talk and listen:
Opportunities will be provided for-
· Listening and responding to stories, rhymes, poems and songs
· Listening to and telling stories
· Participating in problem-solving
· Giving and receiving simple explanations, information and instructions
· Adapting roles and participating in imaginative play
· Talking about things done in and out of school
· Discussing their work with other children and the teacher
Throughout the school we give listening experiences in the form of story telling, music and educational radio and television broadcasts.
All of the staff talks to the children as individuals and as members of their age group about their experiences. In this way, we aim to supplement the verbal information the children have discovered in connection with other structured and spontaneous work.
b) Reading and Writing
These two skills proceed side by side. The skill of reading may be developed as follows:
· Talking about stories, listening to someone read nursery rhymes, poems, making up stories from pictures
· Discovering that a message may be contained in the printed words: recognition of certain words
· Developing a ‘look and say’ approach- a sight vocabulary
· Developing the ability to recognise the sounds associated with certain letters- a ‘phonic’ approach. The ‘synthetic phonics’ approach is now established.
· Becoming increasingly confident in their ability to read words, to make a story and, eventually, to read with understanding and pleasure.
We encourage parents to become involved in their child’s learning and have introduced CAPER: Children and Parents Enjoy Reading. Children are issued with a book every week to take home and share with their parent. The parent is encouraged to comment on the experience in a diary, which will then become part of the child’s reading record.
Writing, especially at first, is of paramount importance to children. An interactive approach is being used in our infant classes, and the aims of this approach are:
· To show that the process of writing is about communicating clearly, concisely and appropriately
· To develop skills and awareness relevant to writing without the child actually being involved in writing
· To develop an awareness of the difference in language used in talking and writing
· To show children that writing is not unique but has scope to develop, alter and improve.
Children will have opportunities to write diaries, stories and accounts of tasks they have undertaken. They will be encouraged to write, through pictures, about personal experiences and in response to stories and poems they have heard. They will begin to record what they have observed in a variety of ways and will be encouraged to play with language e.g. make up jingles etc. By the third year in school, some children will be ready to be taught alphabetical order and simple dictionary skills. By this time, their written activities will include free imaginative work, accounts of actual events and the beginning of more formal language activities such as spelling rules, word ‘families’, simple punctuation and sentence construction. They will normally be seeking information about topics that interest them and writing- in their own words- what they have discovered.
Language : P4-7
The aims of the Infants’ stage are further developed until the child is able to read fluently and to express himself clearly in speech and in writing. It is our aim to foster in children the reading habit and to instil in them a love of books and stories, which may be brought home.
It is our aim to give children optimum benefit from their reading. Corresponding written work and other related activities complement their reading. It ought to be possible for parents to play a part in their child’s reading development, providing help at the exact level at which their child is working. Reading can become an activity in which parents and teaching staff can co-operate fully and parents who wish to do so are encouraged to get in touch with school when convenient.
The writing of stories. poems and plays, letter writing, spelling and handwriting will be used to complement the language texts used within school. The use of English to express the child’s work in other areas will also form a considerable part of their written work. In all forms of written work it is necessary that the basic rules of syntax be adhered to. We therefore emphasise to some extent, aspects of grammar, sentence construction and punctuation.
The aims of mathematics teaching are to develop an understanding of:
· Appropriate language; recognition of objects, classification and sorting identification
· Common, simple mathematical relationships, both numerical and spacial
· The use of numbers- counting, estimation and approximation
· Whole numbers and their relationship with one another
· Place value· Measurement- length, weight, volume, area, time etc
· Money and the ability to carry out simple purchases
· Performing calculations
· How to approximate and to check whether the result is reasonable
· Recognising 2-D and 3-D shape
· Problem-solving and investigations
The aim in the Early Years is to provide an environment in which the children can be brought to appreciate the relationship between number, shape and measurement in everyday life.
Initially, children will spend a great deal of time on such discriminatory experiences as sorting and matching number, colour and shapes. As they learn to differentiate between, and to compare, they will use such phrases as ‘more than’, ‘larger than’, ‘smaller than’. The placing in order as to size and matching groups of equal size will be followed by counting with cardinal numbers. Addition- the putting together of two sets- will follow but care has to be taken that the children have a real perception of numbers and everyday life.
Mathematical concepts such as subtraction, place value, number bonds will be taught in a practical way before children use symbolic forms of writing.
Money will be introduced with the recognition of coins, money games, simple shopping bills, etc. Vocabulary such as ‘lighter than’, ‘longer than’, ‘quicker than’, will introduce practical work involving measurement of length, weight, time and capacity. Use of sand and water ‘experiences’ will aid the recognition of and progression to the use of standard measurements. Simple graphs and pictorial records of birthday, pets, favourite foods etc. will follow.
Primary 4 - Primary 7
Work begun in the Early Years will be continued according to the ability of each child.
It is intended that, by the end of P7, all children will then have been exposed to a body of mathematical experiences such that they, according to their ability, will be able to use the four rules- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division- and have the confidence to apply these skills in real-life problem solving activities.
Computers are used throughout the school- all children have the opportunity to develop their mathematical thinking through their use of these. We use calculators to help the children understand and explore number and to increase their learning at levels above their ‘paper and pencil’ ability and manipulate large numbers.
Environmental Studies is seen as having a number of component parts:
2. Social studies
4. Information technology
Through Environmental Studies children are encouraged to learn about the world around them and develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes necessary to interpret it.
We have a rolling programme in place that offers a wide range of topics, ensuring a balanced curriculum for the children.
The aims of Environmental Studies can be summarised as follows:
· Achieve knowledge and understanding of the environment
· Develop skills which will enable them to interact effectively with the environment
· Progressively recognise the knowledge, understanding and skills associated with Science, Social Studies and Technology
· Develop knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes associated with Health Education
· Develop knowledge and understanding of, and the capacity to use, Information Technology
· Develop informed attitudes and values relating to the care and conversation of the environment.
Craft, Design and Technology
This includes problem-solving skills, designing and making.
Religious & Moral Education is a curricular area within the school and as such will be part of the work carried out by pupils during a school year. As with other areas, cross-curricular links mean that the subject matter may appear in other curricular areas from time to time. The aims of Religious & Moral Education at Locharbriggs are to help pupils to:
· Develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other world religions and to recognise religion as an important expression of human experience.
· Appreciate moral values such as honesty, liberty, justice, fairness and concerns for others.
· Investigate and understand the questions and answers that religions can offer about the nature and meaning of life.
· Develop their own beliefs, attitudes, moral values and practices through a process of personal search, discovery and critical evaluation.
The religious instruction given to all classes in non-denominational but is Christian in ethic. All children receive this instruction but, should parents wish their children not to participate in this activity, arrangements can be made for them to pursue some other activity, either by themselves or in a separate group while religious instruction is going on.
The school holds assemblies on a regular basis. Parents are reminded that they have the right to withdraw their child(ren) from such religious observance.
The school accepts a shared responsibility for the personal and social development of each pupil. In order to meet that responsibility the school provides a caring and supportive environment in which everyone is made to feel valued. Each area of the curriculum has a contribution to personal and social development and within each area the development of positive attitudes, tolerance and respect, co-operation with others, independent working and responsibility for learning, self-confidence with be fostered.
Religious Education is Christian based. Children are made aware of and celebrate the main Christian festivals. There are weekly assemblies and the school chaplain, Mr Louis, visits school regularly each term.
At all times, the children are encouraged to respect one another and other people’s way of religious life.
Computers play a large part in the curriculum today. At Locharbriggs, we aim to provide all pupils from Nursery to Primary 7 with regular opportunities to acquire skills in using computers and other devices relevant to Information Technology. Teachers integrate an ICT programme of work into many different subject areas, allowing children to access regularly the software and hardware readily available in our school.
Enterprise in Education
The Scottish Executive has placed a high priority on Enterprise and Citizenship within the school curriculum and has included them in the National Priorities for Education.
The aims are:-
The school recognises that Enterprise in Education provision significantly enhances the quality of pupils’ learning experiences. It is also recognised that EinE makes important contributions towards all five of the National Priorities for school education, not least in its strong links with Citizenship where enterprising learning activities can directly help to equip pupils with positive attitudes – including respect for self and others, self-motivation, determination, self-reliance and a sense of responsibility.