A child’s early years are vitally important, where the foundations are laid for their future years in education. It is crucial to develop the right attitude to school and learning, and for a child to both enjoy and feel confident in what they are doing. At Aldborough we dedicate time and energy creating the right atmosphere within which the necessary social skills and attitudes can develop. It is upon these foundations that the rest of the school and in turn, the High School, can build.
During their first year at school children in the Reception class follow the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage Framework’. The emphasis is on learning through fun and practical, child initiated activities. The learning environment is organised to meet the needs of the individual children and the learning activities build on the children’s existing knowledge and abilities. The EYFS is organised into the following 6 Prime Areas of Learning:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas of learning:
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Throughout the school, Class Teachers make the decision to teach the required curriculum according to the needs and interests of the children and to enable best possible learning outcomes. From Year 1 onwards children follow the National Curriculum. Subjects are either taught in a cross-curricular way based on a topic or theme, or as discrete subjects. Children are taught to use and apply their English and Maths across the curriculum, with increasing levels of independence.
Creative and Performing Arts are a visible strength of the curriculum at Aldborough. High quality work is always evident as part of children’s learning and creative skills development. This includes musical, theatrical, design, sculpture, painting, printing etc using a range of materials and techniques. Famous artists are studied, galleries and exhibitions are visited and created, performances are presented following participation in workshops and artists from the local community support. All of these ongoing experiences, enhance the learning of this vibrant aspect of the school curriculum.The Creative Arts enhance and embed cognitive learning in all subject areas and develop independence. Teaching is often through cross-curricular themes. The subject emphasis for these themes can vary; Science, Technology, History or Geography, or a mixture. IT may be linked to this work.
The school aims to offer the children the opportunity to experience a wide range of physical activity including the following: football, cricket, swimming, rugby, rounders, athletics, hockey, tennis/short tennis, gymnastics, karate, dance, netball, cross country, outdoor and adventurous activities. Through offering a range of sports and activities, it is hoped that each child will find at least one physical activity which they will want to pursue as they grow older.
While at this stage a competitive element is not over stressed, it is important that children showing a particular aptitude should be given opportunity to develop their skills. During the year, and where there are sufficient children, teachers and parents organise and take part in competitive matches against neighbouring schools. Swimming is timetabled for weekly sessions at Aylsham High School.
Residential trips continue for the time being. There is a necessary huge commitment to fundraising for these which is additional to the fundraising organised by the Friends of Aldborough School. Many day visits are planned to enhance the educational experiences.
Assemblies are held daily, with most having a broadly Christian basis. They are led by the School Leadership Team, members of the local churches or other visitors. Wednesday assemblies are a celebration of achievement. To increase the children’s awareness and understanding of the multicultural society in which we live, RE teaching focuses on the main beliefs, practices and festivals of the major world religions. In addition to this, visitors and visits to places of worship enrich the children’s understanding of the varied cultures within our local community. In this way RE is used to promote an essential ethos of the school – the view that all people should have equal opportunities and treatment in life regardless of their beliefs, colour, gender, physical appearance or ability. Parents have the legal right to ask the school to withdraw their child from Collective Worship and RE, during which time children would be supervised in other work. Any parent thinking of doing this should contact the Head Teacher.
We teach the aspects of Relationships and Sex Education that are appropriate for the age and maturity of the children. This is mainly carried out through the science curriculum and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE).This involves developing personal and social skills as well as knowledge about their own bodies. This is extended to include more formal sex education in Year 6. Questions are answered sensitively as they arise, with regard to the child’s age and maturity, and in an atmosphere of respect and trust. Parents have the right to withdraw children from sex education lessons in consultation with the Head Teacher.