Teachers use these skills ladders to plan and assess learning in the wider curriculum. The 'I can' statements are shared with children in the lessons so that they know what they are learning.
Art at Widden is taught thematically as part of each year group’s topic. Teachers aim to study famous artists work as well as various methods and mediums. For example, in Year 5 while studying the artist Jackson Pollock, both classes produced large pieces based on his colourful abstract paintings from the 1950’s. In Year 4 the children studied Frida Kahlo and L.S Lowry as well as taking their first look at perspective drawing.
Here at Widden we like to use our local environment as inspiration for the art we produce. We have been looking at the artist Banksy and his use of stencilling as a way to make images in a graffiti style. The children are midway through producing an outdoor graffiti mural celebrating our multi-cultural school population entitled ‘Opening doors to the wider world’.
Design Technology (D.T.)
The teaching of Design Technology at Widden is carried out through specific topics for each year group. We aim to teach children the complete design process; exposing them to the specific stages of design. Children are shown the importance of accuracy when cutting, measuring and annotating sketches. We then take children through the next stage of actually manufacturing the product. Children are able to gain experience working with real equipment in woodwork, cooking and textiles to produce relevant, useable products to solve a specific problem. Finally, children are given the opportunity to evaluate their product against their original design and state how they will improve it.
Our current Year 4 children have all had the experience working in a commercial kitchen to produce lasagne and vegetarian sausage rolls. Our current Year 5 have all been shown how to use specific woodwork tools, such as: clamps, saws, set squares and measuring tapes. Children who have shown an aptitude have been invited to an after-school woodwork club and with support have created a workbench for our Reception children.
Geography at Widden is incorporated into each year group’s topic. The skills are taught in sequence across the year groups, meaning that each year the children gain greater depth to their knowledge and understanding. The teachers use resources, school trips and practical activities to help widen the children’s experiences. For example in KS1 the children learn about local geography and go on school trips to visit local landmarks. In Year 3 the local history and geography of Gloucester is studied in their topic of the Romans, during this topic the children visit Roman ruins in the town centre. In Year 5 the children gain practical experiences in Geography by building on their map reading experience and putting this into practice by going orienteering.
History at Widden is taught thematically as part of each year group’s topic. Teachers aim to create an exciting and engaging atmosphere in order to aid understanding and will use artefacts, school trips and practical experiences in order to facilitate this. For example, in Year 4 whilst learning about the Vikings the children were given the opportunity to help build and then race their very own Viking boats. In Year 2 the children built and then burnt down a miniature Pudding Lane- the source of the Great Fire of London and in Year 6 children visited the old site of Gloucester Prison during their Law and Order topic.
Below is an edited copy of the National Curriculum which outlines specific periods of history that have to be covered in specific year groups. Skills are also taught throughout KS1 and KS2.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Many children at Widden are multi-lingual already. Our teaching of MFL begins with valuing all the languages that our children and families speak.
In KS2 we then teach a programme of French which all children learn progressively through their 4 years here. We are also beginning to introduce some Spanish as our children go on to a variety of secondary schools where they learn predominantly French or Spanish.
Children also get the opportunity to learn other languages through our workshop programme. These workshops are sometimes used to provide opportunities for children who have been identified as gifted in learning languages.
The teaching of music is based upon the fact that it is a creative and social art to be enjoyed. Children have the opportunity to enjoy musical experiences through listening, singing, movement and by playing tuned and un-tuned percussion. We have just started our journey of instrument tuition by employing specialist music teachers to teach musical instruments to whole classes. This gives pupils the best opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in this area of the curriculum. Currently, Year 2 pupils will have opportunities to learn the recorder. Pupils in Year 3 and 5 are also offered tuition in brass instruments by the County Peripatetic Music Staff, depending upon ability and availability. The children here at Widden also have the opportunity to learn how to sing, every child partakes in a biweekly singing assembly as well as learning songs in their classes through the wider topics which they study. Extra-Curricular participation in music is popular with the children partaking in Young Voices every year as well as having the opportunities to sing around our community (carol singing etc...). We also have regular workshops or clubs led by professional musicians such as a local DJ, ukulele lessons and a drumming group. In classes, the children follow the Charanga scheme, which covers all areas in the national curriculum. Charanga is a living cloud-based resource that brings together great music, modern pedagogy and the latest educational technology. Please feel free to contact Mr Jacks if you would like any further information on the musical activities that take place at Widden.
Physical Education (P.E.)
At Widden we aim to teach a broad range of skills and games in Physical Education, we support this with an extensive range of clubs throughout the year.
In EYFS and KS1 we predominantly focus on fundamental movements including, running, jumping throwing and catching. In EYFS and KS1 we explore a range of dance and gymnastics activities, focusing on teaching a variety of actions with control and co-ordination. In KS2 we build on the foundations taught in KS1, we encourage children to incorporate skills in to game situations e.g. using kicking skills in football. We cover a range of competitive sports in KS2 including, football, rugby, netball, hockey and athletics. In KS2 children start to attend weekly swimming lessons, starting in term 5. We provide booster sessions for year 6 children at the end of the year to enable them to reach the goal of learning to swim by the end of KS2. We have a wide range of extra-curricular activities provided throughout the year to support our teaching of P.E we have provided football including a Saturday team, rugby, hockey netball, dodge ball, cricket and athletics.
Religious Education (R.E.)
Religious Education at Widden is based on the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus for RE.
The Principal aim of the teaching of R.E. taken from the syllabus is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
At Widden, we teach children about a variety of religions including, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and non-religious beliefs. We follow the principal aim by encouraging children to ask questions about what other people believe and what they believe, making comparisons between the two.
Attached is a copy of the long-term plan which shows how children build upon their knowledge and understanding of different religions throughout their school career.