The Sholing Way
As members of our school community we will:
Work and play together safely and happily
Share a smile and look after others in our school.
Be caring and helpful.
Treat everyone and everything with respect.
Treat people as you would like to be treated.
Respect other people’s right to learn and play.
Take care of our equipment, property and environment.
Consider the feelings and needs of other people.
Be polite and remember please, thank you and excuse me.
Try to speak, listen and act with courtesy.
Refrain from words and actions that could hurt others.
Take responsibility for your own actions.
Be responsible for your own learning.
Be honest about the things you get wrong.
Reach for your own high standards.
Never, ever give up.
Together we are Sholing Junior School.
We share high expectations of our pupils and our staff, our curriculum has a common approach to assessment for learning and we all aim for high standards in all areas.
At Sholing Junior School we aim to provide the children with a curriculum which is broad, well balanced and above all stimulates the children to learn. In addition to acquiring skills and knowledge we aim to help the children to grow in confidence and maturity so that they can become life- long learners who will be successful in the ever changing world. We aim to provide the children with real life and practical experiences, alongside a wide range of visits, visitors and extra-curricular activities.
The new National Curriculum comprises of core subjects:
English, Mathematics, Science
And foundation subjects:
History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art and Design, Music, Physical Education (PE) and Computing
The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all schools. It is taught following the Hampshire Agreed Syllabus.
PSHE and Citizenship is integrated into our curriculum to ensure children are prepared for life in modern day Britain. We follow the SEAL themes aiming to ensure children develop their social and emotional aspects of learning. We have a strong focus on multi-cultural themes, anti-bullying and rights and responsibilities, including democratic voting for School Council and House Captains.
At Sholing Junior School we place great emphasis on English and Maths as these underpin many of the other aspects of the taught curriculum. Whilst the core subjects are taught on a regular basis the foundation subjects may be taught as blocks of work over a matter of weeks. The planning of the curriculum is based around a rolling programme of topics to ensure coverage of selected areas by all children who progress through the school. The topics make use of our local environment eg we cover topics such as habitats in our school grounds and Southampton. We also study other localities and cultures so that children gain an understanding of Britain as a diverse society. Our topics also extend to other countries which enhance the children’s understanding of their global community (please see class pages for detailed curriculum units).
We also value the role of foreign languages in the curriculum and Spanish is taught throughout KS2 from Year 3 to Year 5. Year 6 will continue with French this year and then change to Spanish after September 2015.
We have specialist teachers who ensure our children get the best provision possible in PE, Music and Art skills.
When children leave at the end of Year 6, they should be equipped with the full range of skills that enables them to become successful in the next phase of their learning journey and towards being lifelong learners.
Assessment for learning is at the heart of our practice and this is how we ensure children continue to make the best progress they can in school.
During the last Parents’ evening we shared with you where your child is as regards to the new curriculum expectations. As the curriculum is now more challenging and expectations are much higher, it is possible that your child will be below where we would ideally like them to be at this time and this will be the situation for many children in primary schools across the country. To try and explain this in a more straight forward way, my best analogy is to expect Usain Bolt to run 110m this year in the same time as he ran 100m last year. Very unlikely without a little more training!
Why have we changed the way that we assess?
In September, the Department for Education (DfE) decided that the children who are currently in Years 2 and 6 will be the last pupils to be awarded a level in their end of Key Stage tests (Summer 2015). The DfE want to avoid what has been termed ‘The Level Race’ where children have moved through the old National Curriculum levels quickly to achieve higher attainment. The old National Curriculum was sub-divided into levels, but these were not linked to a national curriculum year group. For example, a child in Year 4 could be a Level 3 or even a level 5. The new National Curriculum Tests for children in Year 2 and Year 6 will take place each summer from 2016. Where previously these tests – and other teacher assessments – were graded in levels (normally numbering between Level 1 and Level 6 in primary school), in 2016 the tests were reported as a scaled score, with a score of 100 representing the expected level for each age group.
How will I know how my child is getting on?
The biggest difference is how we will talk to you about how your child is progressing during the year. With the old National Curriculum levels, each year children were given a target for the end of the year, and during the year we would tell you what National Curriculum level your child was judged to be working at. For Example, a child could finish Year 3 with a level 3a, and in Year 4 would have a target of a 4b for the end of the year. At Parent’s Evenings throughout the year you might be told that they have moved to a 4c and then on to a 4b. We could use the levels system this way because there was no correlation between a level and a child’s year group, and this can be clearly seen in a Year 6 class where there could be a range of levels from level 2 to level 6. However, the new National Curriculum sets out expectations for each year group and children will be assessed against those every year, so a child in Year 6 will always be judged in the first instance against the expectations for the end of Year 6.
Schools now have to set up their own way of assessing pupils. We have consulted with a number of different organisations and have decided to use the tracking system that we have already invested in and one that is also used by Sholing Infants School. It is similar to the system already used in the Early Years and Foundation Stage which you may already be familiar with. This was to take the end of year expectations for each year group and divide them into 3 categories as follows:
Under the old levels system children who were secure might have moved into the next level. The DfE now want children who are in the secure bracket to add more depth and breadth to their knowledge, and to have more opportunities to develop their using and applying skills. They are calling this phase of learning Mastery and Depth. Children who find learning more of a challenge are unlikely to be emerging at the end of the year and maybe working on the expectations from the year(s) below.
Much of the publicity about the changes to the curriculum has focussed on ‘higher expectations’ in various subjects, and it is certainly the case that in some areas the content of the new primary curriculum is significantly more demanding than in the past. Last term, my teachers spent a significant amount of time re-assessing their pupils against the new national curriculum objectives for each year group to establish what areas they need to ‘catch up on’ before they are able to meet the new objectives. For example, children in year 4 are now expected to know up to the 12 X table by the end of the year. Before, we wouldn’t have expected this until the end of Year 6! By using their professional knowledge and judgement teachers will know what many of the children can already do and what they think the children can achieve. They will then give a prediction as to where they think a child will be by the end of the year. So, for example, children in Year 3 could be given a forecast of 3E, 3D or 3S.
It makes attending those parents’ evenings all the more important!