The school curriculum is based upon the National Curriculum in Wales (Curriculum 2000 and updated in 2008).
It emphasises the importance of Key Skills and the emphasis will always be upon developing these skills through each of the subjects.
o Thinking Skills,
o Communication Skills,
o ICT and
o Numeracy Skills
As the ability to use these various skills is more important than the content or knowledge itself, these skills may be developed across more than one subject at a time through the medium of an overall Context for Learning or Thematic Approach.
The National Curriculum applies to children of compulsory school age. At the present time Cardiff children are admitted to mainstream school in the September following their fourth birthday.
Cardiff LEA has, however, been endeavoring to extend the nursery provision within its primary schools and the intention is that all primaries will eventually be able to offer provision for children from 3 years of age. From September 2010 Thornhill Primary hopes to offer such provision.
Foundation phase education was introduced by the Welsh Assembly Government in Reception Classes and Nursery classes from September 2008.
Foundation Phase extends the previous 6 areas of ‘Desirable Outcomes’ to 7 areas and develops the previous curriculum into a much more child centred, activity based approach which embraces the outdoor classroom as an extension to the indoor areas. Year on year this will roll out until 2010 –2011 when Foundation Phase Education will be provided for the first 4 years of primary school children. (3 -7 year olds – or the present Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2)
Each year group follows a skills framework for each subject that has been carefully planned with lesson objectives and assessment procedures included.
Within the classroom setting the children experience a variety of teaching methods - group work, paired activities and individual assignments undertaken as and when appropriate. Emphasis is placed upon being a team member and listening with respect to each other as well as to the adults in the room. The school tries to provide some classroom support for each class in the school.
In addition to the above the Special Needs Coordinator operates a timetable that provides extra classroom support for pupils who need assistance with the basic skills.
Our school curriculum is organised so that there is continuity between Foundation and Key Stage 2. We view the learning process as a continuum that commences as soon as the child is admitted to school and is an ongoing process throughout the whole time that the child is in school. The links developed through our primary/secondary liaison helps continuity and progression in the learning process when pupils transfer to the secondary sector.
Policy Statements and Skills Ladders are available for all subjects and school procedures are reviewed as situations change.
Parents are informed of the termly/half termly topics of study. Their contribution to support or enhance the work in school is always welcomed. (These ‘snapshots’ or summary previews of work are also posted on our website.)
The 7 areas for learning across the Foundation Phase are:
o Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
o Language, Literacy and Communication Skills
o Mathematical Development
o Welsh Language Development
o Knowledge and Understanding of the World
o Physical Development
o Creative Development
The subjects studied in the National Curriculum at Key Stage 2 are:-