Curriculum at Ashlands
At Ashlands we believe it is essential to have high expectations of all children and motivate them to persevere and produce work of high quality. Teachers provide children with a rich curriculum and a wide variety of experiences, which match their needs and interests. Our philosophy places great emphasis on all pupils acquiring the basic skills as well as an appreciation of the world around them and the value of relationships. We are committed to ensuring that each child will become skilled, confident and competent and a contributing member of the school and society as a whole. It is our aim to build on the talents, skills, strengths and interests of our children.
We work to ensure that our pupils reach high standards across the curriculum. Teaching staff in Key Stages plan together effectively so that their teaching is well structured, providing continuity and progression for each child’s learning.
At Ashlands we believe in the value of first-hand experiences and encourage an approach where pupils have the opportunity for creativity and enquiry. Our children are helped to motivate themselves, to work independently and to find time to reflect on their achievements.
Staff plan their classrooms as stimulating environments where children make good use of resources and gain support, stimulus and challenge from interactive displays.
Our curriculum is designed to be rich and stimulating and we strive to offer depth and challenge in all subject areas. It is our aim to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all children in order to prepare them for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences in their future lives.
Within the school year we plan Focus Weeks where the children deepen their understanding of specific areas of the curriculum.
We have a number of Out of School Clubs and activities including French, Singing, Art Club, Netball, Girls’ Football, Boys’ Football, Games, Music and Dodgeball.
Music tuition in a wide range of instruments is provided at Ashlands by Education Bradford and is taught within the school day. There is also the Ashlands Orchestra (Razzamatazz) which is open to anyone in Key Stage 2 who would like to play an instrument. This takes place on a Friday morning before school. Children in Key Stage 2 children are able to join the school choir who practice at lunchtime.
The curriculum at Ashlands embraces the subjects of the national curriculum including French at KS2. We have an integrated curriculum approach with our English work central to our themes.
For further information about the curriculum at Ashlands a copy of the curriculum policy is posted on the website, and policies for individual subject areas can be obtained from the school.
Ashlands has an inclusive approach to educating children with Special Needs and welcomes all children into the school community. We take special pride in the facilities we offer to pupils with Special Needs. Class teachers differentiate work according to children’s abilities and ensure that what they plan meets the needs and interests of all children. The Special Needs Coordinator works closely with the staff to ensure planned provision.
At Ashlands we identify and cater for Gifted and Talented children through differentiated activities within the planned curriculum. We provide challenge groups especially through Literacy & Numeracy work for more able pupils in KS2.
Where necessary we seek advice and help from the local authority to ensure that pupils receive the extra support they need.
The Special Needs Code of Practice is followed and all parents are kept fully informed of the progress their children make. Parents are entitled to access records we keep. At Ashlands we keep all current documents required by the LA for special needs pupils to allow us to plan accurately for needs and to access external services.
The policy of this school is to be totally inclusive and to make all children and their parents welcome. Children have varied educational needs whether they are boys or girls, members of ethnic minorities, children who have learning difficulties and/or mental or physical disabilities or because of personal, family or social circumstances. Therefore within the curriculum and the after school activities provided at Ashlands we promote equal opportunities for all our children.
Personal and Social Development
Health and Sex Education is taught through the PSHCE curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2. Where necessary we draw on specialist help from our school nurse who comes into the school regularly, or from Community Health Visitors who are also able to provide us with resources.
Sex Education is approached through units of work, ‘Growth’ in Year One, ‘Healthy Bodies’ in Year 3 and specialist outside agencies deliver a puberty talk and workshop to children in Year 5 and 6.These policies have been developed by staff in consultation with governors and parents.
In addition we seek to answer children’s questions honestly as they arise. The depth of an answer given will of course depend on the age and maturity of the child asking the question. At all times we stress the need for stable and loving relationships in connection with any teaching relating to sex education.
School trips and Residential visits
School trips take place throughout the year, linking with topics studied in the classroom. Your permission will be requested and must be received before children are taken out of school.
For local walks involving no transport we will ask you to fill in a form at the beginning of Reception class to cover permission for the time children spend at the school.
All trips are covered by personal and all risk insurance.
We also offer a residential trip for the Year 6 pupils.
At Ashlands, Religious Education is taught in accordance with the Bradford Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and the QCA Scheme of work. An introduction is provided to the traditions and beliefs of the Christian faith, which have affected our culture. Our pupils are also introduced to the celebrations of other faiths and cultures which enrich our wider community.
Although the school is non-denominational we are keen to establish links with the wider community, with faith leaders from Ilkley and other areas as well as representatives from charity organisations and individuals who have particular contributions to make.
A daily act of worship is held to give pupils opportunities to experience the spiritual dimension of life and to help them develop a sense of the school community.
Parents have the right to request that their children are withdrawn from religious lessons and assemblies on the grounds of conscience. You are asked to write to the Headteacher to request exemption. Where this is the case the child will be suitably supervised elsewhere in school.
A copy of the Bradford Agreed Syllabus and the QCA scheme is available for parents to read upon request.
As part of our healthy schools policy (as well as our concern for the safety and well being of the children) Year 5 children have the opportunity of improving their biking skills through a programme which is run in the summer term.
Throughout the year, we arrange for visitors to come to school to explore with the children areas of interest and special subjects. Our pupils hear from speakers and storytellers on a wide range of topics; different religions and cultures, periods of history, environmental issues and as well as road and fire safety. We encourage links with the local community and authors from the Ilkley Literature Festival run talks and workshops as well as other community groups who come into school to talk to the children. We are always keen to hear from parents and carers who have experience or specialist knowledge in topics we are covering and who would like to share this with the children.
At Ashlands we are committed to outdoor learning which compliments the school’s curriculum. We run Forest School sessions where we provide learning opportunities for the children using the local outdoor environment. These sessions are delivered by trained Forest School practitioners who are members of staff.