We provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, encompassing the requirements of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 2. It is designed to help children acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding that are appropriate to their stage of development, and structured so that they can relate what they are learning to what they have learnt previously.
The basic curriculum of the school is built around twelve subject areas. These areas are Religious Education and the National Curriculum subjects (the core subjects – English, mathematics and science – and the foundation subjects – art, design and technology, geography, history, music, and physical education). Computing is used in many areas of the curriculum. PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) is also an important part of our curriculum, as is Spanish, which we teach for our modern foreign language.
We have high expectations of our pupils and encourage them to have high expectations of themselves so that they can achieve the standards of work of which they are capable. Our procedures for assessing and recording pupils‘ progress provide evidence of their achievement.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Our mathematics syllabus, which is founded on the National Curriculum for Mathematics, aims to ensure that all pupils:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
Solve problems, by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering
The aim of primary science is to help children develop enquiring minds and an understanding of how to approach and explore situations in a scientific way, while at the same time they build up an increasing store of scientific knowledge. We encourage them to ask questions and to set about finding the answers through practical investigation. The activities involve making predictions, designing and performing experiments, making careful observations, recording accurately, interpreting the results critically, looking for patterns and relationships, and drawing conclusions.
In this area of the curriculum, children learn to design practical solutions to problems, balancing time, cost, and benefit, reconciling conflicting demands and making decisions on the basis of imperfect evidence. This involves learning about materials and their properties and acquiring a range of techniques for dealing with them.
We have a range of equipment from electronic calculators and tape recorders to digital cameras, camcorders, voice recorders and microscopes. We have a computer room as well as laptops which can be used in the classrooms. These are used by all the pupils, who make use of databases, spreadsheets, word-processors, presentation software and desktop publishing in the course of their work. In addition, computer simulations give children experience in reacting to situations that they may not have encountered in real life.
Pupils are taught about important episodes and developments in Britain‘s past from Roman to modern times, and about ancient civilisations and the history of other parts of the world. They are helped to develop a sense of chronology and to learn about changes in everyday life over long periods of time. They have opportunities to investigate local history and to learn about the past from a range of sources of information.
Pupils develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through geographical enquiries across a widening range of scales, based on fieldwork and classroom activities. As they progress through the school, they increasingly broaden and deepen their knowledge and understanding of places and themes, identify and describe geographical features and conditions using simple instruments, and use information technology to analyse geographical evidence.
Physical Education, including swimming, is an integral part of the curriculum, through which pupils learn to develop their motor skills, control and co-ordination. The six areas of P.E. outlined in the National Curriculum are games (including competitive team games), gymnastic activities, dance, athletic activities, swimming and adventurous outdoor activities. All children require a change of clothing, including a change of footwear, for P.E and games lessons. Soft-soled plimsolls must be worn in the hall.
Pupils are encouraged to develop their creative, imaginative and practical skills through a balanced programme of art, craft and design activities, which extend their understanding of how ideas and feelings can be communicated in visual form.
Pupils develop their understanding and enjoyment of music through performing, composing, listening and appraising, and make appropriate use of information technology to create and record music. We have a strong musical tradition at Westdale, with a large choir and tuition offered to all on the recorder and violin, cello, guitar, flute and drum teachers visiting our school every week.
We offer Spanish at Westdale Juniors, with the children learning the language through a progressive curriculum in every year group. The emphasis is on developing oral capability through games, songs and activities.
The school is not affiliated to any particular religious denomination.
We teach R.E. in accordance with the aims and the structure of the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus, which, by law, reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in this country. Arrangements will be made if required, for parents to exercise their right to withdraw their children from collective worship or religious instruction.