When we speak of curriculum we are talking about the learning experiences that are present for each child, those planned by the staff and those imbibed from our school ethos and environment.
When planning our curriculum we take into account the uniqueness of each child and his/her individual needs. We develop Christian attitudes and values. Our aim is to offer each child a broadly based and appropriately balanced curriculum within the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum. This involves these:
Areas of Study: Language & Literacy
Mathematics & Numeracy
The World Around Us
PD and MU
and Educational Themes: Education for Mutual Understanding
The Northern Ireland Curriculum is delivered by each teacher through a programme of work in each class. This programme seeks to facilitate continuity and learning, to provide opportunities for cross curricular work and to relate to values and attitudes as well as skills and knowledge.
The main focus for curriculum development for the school will be continuing to raise standards in reading through literacy. We will be developing guided reading in particular. This strategy nurtures a love of reading and develops reading strategies as life long skills in line with the Revised Curriculum ethos.
We aim to develop positive behaviour management as part of our Pastoral Care Policy and develop our Health Education Policy through the Health Promotion Initiative.
We recognise that a well trained and motivated staff will contribute effectively to the overall performance of a school and enhance its educational provision.
We regard the continued training of our teaching and non-teaching staff as an essential task. The Staff Development Scheme includes the development of the staff as a close working team as well as ensuring that every member of staff experiences self-development to enhance their expertise and effectiveness. The programme will endeavour to keep staff fully abreast of new procedures, processes and issues in education which concern their work, through in-service training, shared planning and discussion.
SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
At the heart of the work of every school and every class lies a cycle of planning, teaching and assessing. These general arrangements in a school take account of the wide range of abilities, aptitudes and interests which children bring to school. Most children learn and progress well within these arrangements; those who have difficulty in doing so may have special educational needs. The identified educational needs of each child will be catered for by his/her class teacher who is supported by our Special Needs Co-ordinator and other relevant outside agencies.
The school aims to provide a programme of P.E. which aligns closely with the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. All pupils will experience a range of activities which develop a range of skills, a sense of enjoyment, achievement and quality performance. At Foundation and Key Stage One (years 3-4) the PE programme includes games, dance, athletics and gymnastics. At Key Stage Two the programme also includes the above elements and, in addition, swimming.
The following sports are available to pupils: mini-soccer, netball, mini-netball, swimming, (and water safety) hockey and tag rugby. Dance, athletics and gymnastics are also available to pupils. P7 complete a Basic First Aid Course with St John’s Ambulance.
Pupils are encouraged to avail of sporting activities with local clubs and those arranged via Fermanagh District Council, eg. Summer Opportunities Scheme. The school requires pupils in P7 to take part in the cycling proficiency scheme which provides children with essential cycling skills and teaches road safety.
The school also uses the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum for its swimming programme.
Homework is regarded as an integral part of every pupil’s learning. Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their children’s homework. Homework set by the school should be supervised and signed by parents. Pupils must get used to the discipline of home study and accept it as an extension of their school work. We encourage our parents to contact their child’s teacher if there are any difficulties regarding homework. It may also be necessary for the teacher to contact the child’s parent about any problems arising.
It is suggested that time spent on homework activities should be:
P2-P4 15-30 Mins
P5-P7 45-60 Mins
This time may vary with tasks given or the individual child’s pace of working. A homework diary is issued by the school. Please use it to check given tasks are completed, to record problems and sign nightly. The school finds communication via the home-school diary useful. Homework is one occasion when home and school impinge on each other most directly. It offers an opportunity to parents to fulfil in a particular way their role as the primary educators of their children. It is an instance of genuine partnership between teachers and parents in the education of their children.
ASSESSMENT REPORTING AND RECORD KEEPING IN OUR SCHOOL
Assessment of children’s work is an integral part of our school. The main purpose of assessment is to:
1. Establish through a variety of means what each child is able to do.
2. Assist the teacher in planning appropriate tasks for each child.
As part of this regular assessment takes place throughout the year with the results formally recorded by the teacher and reported to parents. The records of each child’s attainment and work samples are passed on to each successive teacher. We invite parents to discuss their child’s progress at the annual parent teacher meeting with his/her class teacher.
In line with the legal requirements the children in P4, P5, P6 & P7 will be using statutory assessment through INCAS. These computer generated assessments are externally marked and provide a score in the different areas of Numeracy & Literacy. These results are shared with parents in the first term.
At the end of Primary 7 - (key stage 2), when children are transferring to second level education, our school will follow the special arrangements organized by the local grammar schools. Parents will have the opportunity to meet the Principal and class teacher for advice and discussion.
Where parents consider that the curriculum provision for their child is not satisfactory they are invited to express their concern to the school through:
1. The class teacher, with permission of the Principal
2. The Principal
3. The Board of Governors
4. The Western Board’s Complaints Tribunal for Curriculum Matters.
LINKS WITH OTHER AGENCIES
We see the school as a vital part of the community and take every opportunity to contribute to the life of that community. In order to do this we liaise closely with our local ministers and community leaders. The local clergy visit the school on a regular basis.
We have established close links with our local secondary schools in order to ease each child’s transition to second level education. Visits for the P7 children are arranged to the new schools in the summer term.
We enjoy good relationships with our neighbouring primary schools; for example, we work with our neighbouring primary schools in organised cluster groups on curriculum issues, in organising small school’s sporting fixtures etc.
We co-operate with and fully support the work carried out by the local Health Authority personnel and when necessary, we seek help and advice from other statutory agencies. Visitors like the school nurse, dentist, doctor and educational psychologist call at the school in order to cater for the needs of your child.
We see the Library Service, in its service to our school as an essential service providing a significant resource for teachers and pupils. We liaise closely with the Western Education and Library Board and the Department of Education.