Teaching & Learning
All children in each class follow a broad, balanced and integrated curriculum based on the National Curriculum.
Core subjects are English, Mathematics, Science, ICT (Information and communication technology) and Religious Education. Foundation subjects are History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education and PSHE (Personal, social and health education). Citizenship comes into a number of these areas but is also promoted in the way we run the school (Courtland Code, School Council, assemblies).
The Reception class follows the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and information about this is in our booklet for Reception Parents.
The three main areas of the English Curriculum are Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. This is based on the National Literacy Framework.
Your child will be encouraged to be a good listener and to express himself or herself clearly and confidently. Your child will read daily for information and pleasure. Books and reading materials are displayed throughout our School in classes, libraries and corridors. Children are taught to write in a variety of ways for a variety of purposes and different audiences.
Children learn mathematics in a variety of ways, for example, through practical work, discussions, problem solving, investigation and practising skills and routines.
The mathematics curriculum is based on the Primary National Strategy. A range of resources are used to support learning such as calculators, computers.
Our aim is for your child to be numerate, to enjoy mathematics and have a good understanding of mathematical ideas with a range of skills and knowledge that can be used confidently in any situation.
Science is as practical as possible with the emphasis being on scientific investigations.
Your child will cover three main areas: life and living processes, materials and their properties and physical processes. The work is integrated into class topics where possible, although some activities are treated separately.
We aim to encourage your child to have an active interest in History in order to help them to have an understanding of the present, in the context of the past.
Drama, literature and art are used as a means of learning about people in the past and to develop a sense of curiosity in your child.
Through the acquisition of geographical knowledge and skills your child will learn about people, places and the environment.
Studying the local area and going on visits and School Journeys are important ways in which children develop their geographical skills, knowledge and understanding.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Children are taught ICT skills which they then apply through a full range of subjects to aid learning. All our children have weekly access to the ICT suite as well as access to a wide range of technology such as, video recorders, voting pods and data logging equipment. All children are taught about responsible internet use and e-safety.
Music is an important tool for communication and can change the way children feel, think and act. Music is taught by a qualified music specialist who delivers the QCA curriculum through a time-tabled weekly slot. Children are encouraged to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music, to use musical notation, compose and analyse their own compositions as well as learning about different composers.
Tuition in various instruments is provided by peripatetic teachers through the Borough Instrumental Teaching Scheme. Parents are actively encouraged to apply for tuition when their child is considered old enough. Children can learn to play the violin, piano, guitar, recorder and brass instruments. There is a termly charge for instrumental tuition which is payable in advance.
This does not include the hire of an instrument, which can be arranged at the Borough of Barnet Music Office. For those parents claiming Benefit, help with the termly fees might be available.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology encourages children to be creative problem solvers. All children are taught to develop a range of ideas, plan, analyse and evaluate every design topic.
Design Projects are linked to a current theme or topic. These projects may include sewing, use of ICT, forces, sound and electricity. Your child will be taught designing and making skills through knowledge and understanding of materials, components and structures.
Art and design encourages children to produce creative and interesting pieces of work. Children learn to use colour, form, texture, pattern and a range of different materials to communicate what they see, feel and think. The above skills will be used in drawing, painting, printing, claywork and collage.
Your child will be taught to appreciate work from a variety of artists. Art also provides an opportunity to learn about other cultures. During linked focus weeks, children are given opportunities to work with artists from the local community.
Physical Education encourages children to be aware of their bodies and develop skills needed to perform a range of activities. Sporting activities at Courtland enables all our children, whatever their gender and ability, to acquire specific skills within an enjoyable and challenging atmosphere. These include; athletics, dance, gymnastics, invasion games, striking and fielding games and swimming.
Physical activity is also provided through daily Take 10
sessions, structured playground games, P.E lessons, inter-school competitions and after school activities.
Children in Years 2 and 3 swim at Northway School.
Parents of these children are invited to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of swimming at Northway.
Swimming sessions are supervised by qualified instructors and the children are accompanied by members of staff at all times.
Personal, Social & Health Education
We place great importance on educating children for life outside school. We aim to encourage our children to take responsibility, respect themselves and others, think critically and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Children are taught these skills through the whole school ethos, assemblies, Focus of the Week and SEAL lessons (Social and Emotional aspects of learning). During these sessions, children are encouraged to voice their opinions in a secure and safe environment. They are also taught how to manage behaviour and establish meaningful relationships.
Every year children from Year 6 take part in a week long residential School Journey to participate in outdoor activities
Children may have special needs throughout, or at any time, during their school career. We are committed to providing full access to the curriculum through differentiation, varied teaching styles and the best learning conditions for each child according to their need.
Early identification is vital so if you feel your child has a particular difficulty please contact us immediately.
A short booklet (‘Special Needs – Information for Parents’) which explains the Department for Children, Schools and Families Special Educational Needs Code of Practice is available on request.
At Courtland we recognise that some children may be particularly able in one or more areas of the curriculum. Lessons are planned to include differentiated tasks, so that each child can achieve personal standards of excellence.
We also recognise that many of our children have talents that they practice outside school in various clubs and classes. We encourage them to tell us about their activities and celebrate their successes in our newsletters and assemblies.
At Courtland we identify children who have outstanding abilities or talents and they are recorded on the ‘Gifted and Talented’ register. Provisions for these children to excel further in their specialised area are made available by the class teacher and the coordinator. You will be informed if your child is placed on the register.
We have a Health Education programme which covers aspects of personal hygiene, how bodies change during puberty and drug awareness.
All Health Education lessons are taught by fully qualified school nurses provided by the borough of Barnet at the request of Courtland School. During these sessions the class teacher and welfare officer are always present. A specific programme dealing with puberty, is structured into the Year 5 and Year 6 (As requested) Summer Term. A film is used for one of the sessions. Parents are invited to a preview of the film and do havethe right to withdraw their child from the puberty education programme if they wish.
As with all our policies, Courtland’s Health Education Policy is available to view.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
Religious Education is taught at Courtland School as part of the Curriculum. Children are encouraged to understand the basis of belief of different faiths so that they can live side by side in a multi-faith society with mutual understanding and respect.
Collective worship takes place within the framework of School Assemblies. The aims of acts of collective worship are:
To provide a time for reflection and prayer To encourage children to reflect on their own feelings and actions To develop children’s understanding of and respect for faith and faith systems To develop a sense of community and belonging To develop children’s awareness of the world beyond their immediate experience To encourage children to think of others
Parents may withdraw their child from collective worship and religious education but need to discuss this with the Headteacher.
We also have timetabled ‘circle times’ which are times for the children to reflect on their ideas, opinions and actions, and to think about how they relate to others. Guests from local faith groups are invited into school to deliver assemblies and discussions as and when appropriate. As part of the children’s religious educational programme they will have opportunities to visit a range of places of worship in the local community.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
At Courtland we are fortunate in that we are able to draw upon a valuable resource in our children and parents who reflect the rich diversity in our multi-cultural society. We believe each child is entitled to the same opportunity within all aspects of school life. Assessment is one of the ways that we can ensure this is happening.
Assessment is central to the promotion of children’s learning. It is a vital part of the cycle of planning, monitoring and evaluating. Teachers are constantly monitoring progress by assessing pupils in a variety of ways including observation, testing and evaluation of work as well as discussion with children. We need to assess pupils to be able to provide for their future learning needs.
Statutory Assessment takes place at the end of Year 2 and the end of Year 6.
The results of these assessments are publicised and used by the staff, Governors and OfSTED to monitor standards of attainment.
It is important to remember, however, that in a small school there will be year-on-year variations in the percentages published. All children are different and it is very important to us that each individual child makes good progress. This progress may not be reflected in the ‘league table’ results.
In Years 3, 4 and 5 the children are also assessed using the ‘Optional’ SATs. The results from these assessments are analysed and used to track pupil progress. However they only form part of the final Teacher assessment.
We record your child’s progress in a variety of ways:
Courtland’s own Reading Record booklet for use in school.
Guided Reading Records.
Speaking and Listening assessments.
Progress against key objectives in Numeracy and Science.
End of Year report to parents issued in the Summer Term.
Barnet RAPTS, a computerised programme which tracks pupils’ attainment using test data.
Children learn best when they are happy and when parents and school work together to support their development and learning. It is vital for parents to share and discuss any problems with their child’s teacher or with the Headteacher. The vast majority of problems can then be ironed out quickly and effectively.
It is our sincere hope that this happens and problems are resolved without recourse to formal procedures.
However, if parents feel that appropriate action has not been taken or that a wrong decision has been made they can make a formal complaint. Procedures for doing this are outlined in our Complaints Policy.