Blagdon School follows the National Curriculum 2014, as do the vast majority of both state and private schools in this country. There are three Core Subjects, which are accorded the highest priority. These are Mathematics, English and Science. In addition, there are Foundation subjects; History, Geography, Design and Technology, Music, Art and Design, Religious Education, PHSE, Computing, Physical Education and Languages. Full details of what is included in the National Curriculum 2014 are available from the School.
Our policy, particularly for younger pupils, is to place considerable emphasis on the basic skills of numeracy and literacy and to adhere to national recommendations in the content and teaching of other subjects.
In some classes, the classroom is arranged formally with desks in rows and with all pupils facing the teacher. Otherwise, children may be grouped by mixed ability, with regrouping carried out according to the subject or activity. This means that each pupil is always working at his or her own level and can learn effectively. Teachers or support staff may also work with children who have special educational needs within the classroom or in groups withdrawn from the classroom.
In each class, we employ a variety of teaching methods in order to keep the learning process fresh and vibrant. These include whole class teaching, group work and individual working. The approach used depends on the subject matter and pupil needs.
Many areas of the National Curriculum are taught as topics. These provide a framework for each child to advance their skills over a defined but broad front. Topics also reflect the fact that basic concepts do not fall into neat subject headings. For example, the science topic 'colour and light' includes work on rainbows, which also contains elements of both geography and art.
Children are asked to read their chosen books at home with the support of an adult. As they move up through the school they are also required to learn spellings and multiplication tables. On occasion, it may be necessary for children to complete work at home that they have already started at school.
In Classes 3 and 4 homework is set more formally and parents are informed at the start of each term. In both classes homework usually focuses on aspects of literacy and numeracy and reinforces work carried out in class.
The library lies in the centre of the main school building and it contains over 2,000 fiction and non-fiction books for use by the whole school. The library stock is regularly reviewed and replenished and as children progress through the school they are encouraged to carry out independent searches for information.
The children enjoy using the enquiry system and are able to issue and return books without adult assistance.