Rounded & Enriched Curriculum
We teach both history and geography through our creative curriculum, in which we link as many subjects as we can through a generic ‘theme’. The skills we endeavour to give the children are:
To use maps, atlases, globes, compasses and thermometers; to extend children’s interest, knowledge and understanding of people and places both near and far; to carry out investigations both locally and at a distance; to think deeply about the environment in which they live and the scarce resources that the Earth provides and upon which all life depends.
To find out about the past by looking at evidence, researching and considering informed opinions using original sources; to bring history to life and to instill a desire to find out about our predecessors; to understand that history means everything that has happened in the past, and also our actual record of what has happened
To help deliver both areas, we organise a number of visits to sites of interest, encourage special events within school and have a wide range of historical artefacts. We are proud of the rich history that the village holds and use this to good effect in school.
Art, Design and Technology
For most children is a natural form of expression and a source of great pleasure. We aim to increase confidence and competence in the use of different media, such as pencil, charcoal, paint, collage, inks, textiles and clay. We promote the necessary skills for our children to develop their natural ability to be expressive and creative and we aim to instill pride by achieving finished work that is of a high standard.
Design and Technology
Encourages the development of knowledge, skills and understanding in a practically based subject. Pupils are taught to develop, plan and communicate ideas. They work with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products. Upon completion of their task, they evaluate the processes and products.
Modern Foreign Languages
The Government have set a target that all children in Key Stage 2 should be learning a Foreign Language by 2014. In 2009, we decided as a school to move away from a multi-lingual approach, which we do use in International weeks and when it is appropriate in our cross-curricular ‘theme’.
We have decided that the children will study one language over the six years from year 1 to year 6 – namely Spanish. In addition to this they will also study French in year 5 and 6. This gives the children a good grounding in a language that is currently an option at the secondary school that many of our children transfer to – Hinchingbrooke School in Huntingdon.
We focus primarily on the use of spoken Spanish and French, however the children use their reading, listening and written skills to reinforce their learning. This will prepare them well for their language experiences at secondary school and allow them to appreciate the diversity of language spoken not only throughout their community but throughout the world.
We also look at the culture of Spain and France to develop their understanding of the people and their social conventions.
Evelyn Glennie, the world famous percussionist, describes music as ‘our daily medicine which aids far better communication with others and ourselves’. As the children progress through Buckden CE School they have many opportunities to experience this for themselves through singing, composing, listening, performing and appraising.
Our music curriculum often links with the theme for the term giving children a different way to respond to what they have learnt. We have a range of tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments which the children explore in whole class and small group lessons. Making recordings of the children’s compositions gives them the opportunity to comment on their own work and the work of others.
The school offers individual and small group instrumental lessons through the Cambridgeshire Music Agency and independent peripatetic teachers. There is the opportunity to learn the violin, guitar, drum kit, piano, clarinet, flute or saxophone. Parents pay for these lessons termly and there is often the opportunity to borrow an instrument from the school.
Buckden is a singing school with plenty of opportunities for children to take part in singing, drawing on a very wide repertoire. A weekly whole school singing assembly gives regular opportunity for learning new songs with many children leading actions and parts.
There are also two singing clubs which are held after school. The Sing Song Club is for children in Key Stage 1 whilst Buckden Voices is open to any child in Key Stage 2. Children from these clubs have performed at a number of events both in and out of school.
Learning about, understanding and having respect for the different religions in our world is a valuable part of our school curriculum. Religious Education has two dimensions – learning about and learning from. Learning about can be considered as looking through a window – learning from what we see, hear and experience. Learning from is more like a mirror – learning that encourages children to ask questions about what is this reflecting to me and how can I respond.
The school follows the Cambridgeshire Syllabus for RE, Understanding Christianity. Each unit begins with a key question to provide enquiry based learning. We draw on a range of resources including visitors who give children a greater insight into the religion they follow.
Parents retain the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education if they so wish but this needs to be by prior arrangement with the Headteacher. Anyone wishing to do this would be invited to have an open discussion with the Headteacher at a convenient time to both parties.
Computing has been commonly known in schools over the last few years as ICT (Information and communication technology). The subject area itself has not changed. Within computing at the early stages children explore how to operate basic equipment, understand how technology works and look at operating basic computer programmes. They explore programming toys to a set of instructions and watching how it works, finding out if something went wrong and fixing it as well as exploring ways of using technology across the curriculum. As the children get older they will start to use computing language and ideas in many subject areas, especially maths. They will be taught vital skills that they can apply to a variety of programmes; they will make animations and discover how programming works at a higher level.
All children will be taught about the internet and how they should keep safe online. Aspects of this include knowing when the internet is being used and that it isn’t just ‘google’, understanding what personal data is and knowing when they should or shouldn’t give out this information and being respectful to each other when using online services. Children learn what they should do if they come across something they are unsure of and learn how to make their internet searches specific.
Buckden School has a qualified sports coach who works with all the children in the school. Our sporting aims are to provide children with a balanced range of activities and the opportunity to develop these in more specialist clubs. Each week our children work on at least one area of the physical curriculum.
Dance, gymnastics and karate all take place in the school hall and involve all the children following various themes. Through dance and movement, they learn how to express themselves whilst being able to work at their own level. Whereas gymnastics, involves learning how to use equipment safely and acquire, develop and gain new skills. Karate encourages the children to explore different skills showing precision, control and fluency, as well as the art of self-discipline and self-belief.
Games, outdoor and adventurous activities take place outside and children learn a variety of skills that are developed into small games and team building situations.