Science is one of the most exciting and practical subjects that we teach. It helps children to understand the world around them. We focus on developing scientific enquiry skills such as questioning, predicting, measuring, reporting and evaluating. We then apply these skills to our development of knowledge in learning about plants and animals, Humans and how our bodies work, materials and changing states, forces, sound, light and electricity.
Essential characteristics of Science
•The ability to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically and the knowledge and skills that it brings.
•Confidence and competence in the full range of practical skills, taking the initiative in, for example, planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
•Excellent scientific knowledge and understanding which is demonstrated in written and verbal explanations, solving challenging problems and reporting scientific findings.
•High levels of originality, imagination or innovation in the application of skills.
•The ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork.
•A passion for science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
As parents you will be aware that young children are extremely interested in so many things. We aim to encourage the children’s natural enjoyment of exploration and develop their ability to observe, compare and classify.
Children are given practice in undertaking their own experiments and they learn to record the findings in various ways.
In Geography our aim is that children develop their knowledge and understanding of the world that we live in and are encouraged to view it from different perspectives. We learn about different countries and cultures, learn to name features and understand how our world is shaped by the people that live in it. We study local areas/issues and extend these studies into the wider world. We develop skills of researching mapping, problem solving and reporting and are able to apply these skills across the curriculum. Our work encourages children to learn about the environment and each term we undertake a whole school ‘Green’ day.
Essential characteristics of Geography:
•An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.
•An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.
•An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.
•Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.
•The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.
•Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.
•Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.
•A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.
•The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.
Through History topics we aim to stimulate children’s interest and understanding of how people lived in the past and use this knowledge to compare modern life. We use a wide range of sources in order to make the past come alive. We encourage first hand experiences through handling real artefacts and wherever possible arranging field work trips to relevant sites of historical interest in the region or bringing in specialists for in-school workshops.
Essential characteristics of History:
•An excellent knowledge and understanding of people, events, and contexts from a range of historical periods and of historical concepts and processes.
•The ability to think critically about history and communicate ideas very confidently in styles appropriate to a range of audiences.
•The ability to consistently support, evaluate and challenge their own and others’ views using detailed, appropriate and accurate historical evidence derived from a range of sources.
•The ability to think, reflect, debate, discuss and evaluate the past, formulating and refining questions and lines of enquiry.
•A passion for history and an enthusiastic engagement in learning, which develops their sense of curiosity about the past and their understanding of how and why people interpret the past in different ways.
•A respect for historical evidence and the ability to make robust and critical use of it to support their explanations and judgments.
•A desire to embrace challenging activities, including opportunities to undertake high-quality research across a range of history topics.
We believe that Sport should be a regular part of children’s lives and that they should come to see exercise as being fun. Our PE lessons are supported by specialist PE coaches and children get to learn a range of games, gymnastic and dance skills. We often have specialist coaches for rugby, football and cricket visit the school and children have the opportunity to take part in inter-school sports events. The school has a football team and we regularly enter a team for the local Frome schools Tag rugby tournament.
We also value the role of swimming both as a sport, but more importantly as a life skill. We offer all children from Year 1 to Year 4 the opportunity to swim on a termly basis. The majority of children leave Berkley school being able to swim 25m which is the recommended distance to be completed by children in year 6.
Essential Characteristics of Physical Education:
•The ability to acquire new knowledge and skills exceptionally well and develop an in-depth understanding of PE.
•The willingness to practise skills in a wide range of different activities and situations, alone, in small groups and in teams and to apply these skills in chosen activities to achieve exceptionally high levels of performance.
•High levels of physical fitness.
•A healthy lifestyle, achieved by eating sensibly, avoiding smoking, drugs and alcohol and exercising regularly.
•The ability to remain physically active for sustained periods of time and an understanding of the importance of this in promoting long-term health and well-being.
•The ability to take the initiative and become excellent young leaders, organising and officiating, and evaluating what needs to be done to improve, and motivating and instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others.
•Exceptional levels of originality, imagination and creativity in their techniques, tactics and choreography, knowledge of how to improve their own and others’ performance and the ability to work independently for extended periods of time without the need of guidance or support.
•A keen interest in PE. A willingness to participate eagerly in every lesson, highly positive attitudes and the ability to make informed choices about engaging fully in extra-curricular sport.
•The ability to swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and knowledge of how to remain safe in and around water.
Part of P.E. learning involves Health Education, Personal and Social Education and deals with a wide variety of matters including relationships with others, taking care of ourselves and Sex Education in its broadest sense.
P.E. lessons are held regularly outside, on the school playing field, and at Westbury Swimming pool. All children in Year 1 – 4 will have an opportunity to swim during this year.
At Berkley we have a team of specialist Sports coaches that support us in delivering this area of the national curriculum.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Essential Characteristics of Design and Technology:
•Significant levels of originality and the willingness to take creative risks to produce innovative ideas and prototypes.
•An excellent attitude to learning and independent working.
•The ability to use time efficiently and work constructively and productively with others.
•The ability to carry out thorough research, show initiative and ask questions to develop an exceptionally detailed knowledge of users’ needs.
•The ability to act as responsible designers and makers, working ethically, using finite materials carefully and working safely.
•A thorough knowledge of which tools, equipment and materials to use to make their products.
•The ability to apply mathematical knowledge.
•The ability to manage risks exceptionally well to manufacture products safely and hygienically.
•A passion for the subject and knowledge of, up-to-date technological innovations in materials, products and systems.
We are very aware of living in a technological age and therefore aim to present the children, from a very early age, with problem-solving activities.
ART AND DESIGN
Essential Characteristics of Art and Design:
•The ability to use visual language skilfully and convincingly (for example, line, shape, pattern, colour, texture, form) to express emotions, interpret observations, convey insights and accentuate their individuality.
•The ability to communicate fluently in visual and tactile form.
•The ability to draw confidently and adventurously from observation, memory and imagination.
•The ability to explore and invent marks, develop and deconstruct ideas and communicate perceptively and powerfully through purposeful drawing in 2D, 3D or digital media.
• An impressive knowledge and understanding of other artists, craft makers and designers.
•The ability to think and act like creative practitioners by using their knowledge and understanding to inform, inspire and interpret ideas, observations and feelings.
•Independence, initiative and originality which they can use to develop their creativity.
•The ability to select and use materials, processes and techniques skilfully and inventively to realise intentions and capitalise on the unexpected.
•The ability to reflect on, analyse and critically evaluate their own work and that of others.
•A passion for and a commitment to the subject.
Music plays a crucial part of the life of our school. Activities include singing, listening, composition, playing percussion and music reading. Children have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder in KS2 and have piano lessons. The children singing and playing recorder every week in church is a fantastic opportunity for the children to perform regularly.
We are committed to developing in children an understanding and appreciation of the natural and constructed world, locally, nationally and internationally. We encourage the children to develop a sense of responsibility for looking after, and improving, the environment around them. The school council ask the children for environmental ideas for their surroundings and work hard to implement their ideas.
PERSONAL AND SOCIAL EDUCATION
In all aspects of school life, we aim to promote the personal and social development of children. We aim to develop an understanding of how to look after ourselves, basic life skills and interpersonal skills. We help children to understand, and come to terms with, growing up. “Sex Education” is taught in school as an aspect of Personal and Social Education and is taught in a way appropriate to the age of the children. Relationship education and health education is now compulsory in school. Copies of the Governors’ Sex Education Policy are available for parents to read.
Essential characteristics of Languages
•The confidence to speak with good intonation and pronunciation.
•Fluency in reading.
•Fluency and imagination in writing.
•A strong awareness of the culture of the countries where the language is spoken.
•A passion for languages and a commitment to the subject.
•The ability to use language creatively and spontaneously.
•An independance in their studies and the ability to draw upon a wide range of resources.