At Babraham we aim to present it in a stimulating and relevant way, structured so all children have equal access to the whole curriculum.
We enjoy being creative with our curriculum. Each term we share a context of learning so we have a common understanding. Over recent terms we have studied, The Victorians, Planet Earth, Fabulous Food and the Olympics.
Educational visits enhance and develop learning in the curriculum. The school's assessment, recording and reporting policy sets out how we track and use information for planning and reporting on the children's progress.
Children develop language through speaking, listening, reading, writing and drama. There are a wide range of books within the school, through which children are taught to read with expression, pace and fluency. We run a very successful home/school reading scheme, where children take home books twice a week. An accompanying booklet allows for feedback between home and school.
Early writing skills are developed through a balance of using phonic (sounds) attempts at spellings and learning correct spelling patterns. High standards of presentation and handwriting are emphasized. Much of this work takes place within the daily literacy hour, although reading, writing and communication skills are essential in other curriculum areas. We enrich the curriculum through book days, drama activities and cross-curricular links. We welcome visitors into school, as we believe the children gain a great deal from varying experiences.
Children with English as an additional language are taught with the other children but also have extra support both individually (if they speak no English) or in small groups. We have a specialist teacher who works in school every Friday morning specifically with these children.
We aim to equip children with knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts including those relevant to every day life, e.g. money and time. Using and applying knowledge and skills is an important part of children's learning including the use of ICT. The main areas for study are number, algebra, measures, shape and space and handling data. These are taught daily in a planned programme based on the Foundation stage and the National Numeracy Strategy.
Children are taught to memorise useful data such as multiplication tables.
Science and Environmental Education
Children experience work relating to living things and their environment, materials and their characteristics, physical processes and natural phenomena through planned programmes of work.
We have two conservation areas, one of which is a pond area and a rich local environment. We have allotments on which a variety of vegetables and flowers are grown during the summer. A living willow arbour and tunnel were constructed to mark the millennium and continue to flourish.
We are proud of our links with the local scientific community. We are privileged to have the services of a Babraham Institute scientist providing expertise and resources to enrich the children's learning.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
ICT is taught as a subject and is also used throughout the curriculum to enhance and extend children's learning. Each classroom has computers with internet access and CD ROM drives. We have a very good ratio of computers to children. Cassette and CD players are also used as part of classroom work. The older children learn to use our digital camera, scanners and the photocopier.
Religious Education (RE)
RE teaching is non-denominational and based on the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus. As well as Christianity, the children are introduced to five other world faiths. This is achieved through a variety of resources including artefacts, ICT, visits and visitors.
History and Geography
These subjects are taught through a programme of topics, often using the local area and combining class work with visits to places of interest. These have included trips to Kentwell Hall (Tudors) and Wimpole Hall (Victorians). We also have themed days within school e.g. an Ancient Egyptian and a Ancient Greeks day. In Geography, the children study the local area in a variety of topics including rivers, the weather and improving the environment. They also learn about more distant locations both in the UK and abroad.
Children from other cultures and places help to reinforce the understanding and awareness in these areas and we hold International events on a regular basis.
Art and Technology
Children work from imagination and observation and also look at work done by famous artists to develop their understanding and appreciation of other people's work. Children use a range of media and are taught to develop a range of skills within each area. As well as developing artistic and technical skills, these subjects encourage logical thought, careful planning, initiative, flexibility and perseverance. We have a cookery unit and a wide variety of tools and materials at school.
The music curriculum covers a wide variety of aspects, including singing, listening to music, playing pitched and unpitched percussion instruments, creative music making and early notation skills. We also use electronic keyboards and ICT as part of our music work. All children have a weekly music lesson and junior aged children are able to learn the clarinet or flute with a visiting music teacher. Children take part in Christmas and end of year celebrations, where music plays a major role. We also attend concerts or have visiting musicians in school.
PE skills and sportsmanship are developed through a programme of gymnastics, dance, movement and team games plus athletics and swimming (for Years 1-6) during the summer term. We have a good range of games equipment and participate in the county cricket youth development programme. Other games played include football, hockey, netball, rounders and short tennis. A variety of sports clubs are held after school throughout the year. We have an outdoor and adventure residential trip for the juniors every other year.