Key Stage 2
At age 7 children move up into Key Stage 2 (years 3-6).
At Farrowdale we teach a broad and balanced creative curriculum based on the National Curriculum of England and Wales. Teachers do not rigidly adhere to QCA schemes of work but are free to dip into these schemes alongside whatever resources they feel will most interest their particular children. Our children are taught in small classes and there are high expectations for each individual. Both gifted and talented learners and those with additional needs are well supported. Individual support is available to every child if needed whilst encouraging creativity and independence of thought. Throughout the school day children will be involved in independent, paired and grouped activities.
All children in years 3 to 6 are taught a half hour of phonics plus at least an hour of English daily. We carry out phonic screening at the beginning of each academic year (more often if necessary) and pupils are assessed on their knowledge of high frequency words termly. This allows us to tailor our phonics sessions specifically to our children’s needs.
Great emphasis is placed on the teaching of English as the skills learnt in this subject are key to success in all other areas of learning. Children do a lot of oral work and drama such as hot seating and presentation of ideas as a foundation for written work. Activities aim to be interesting and fun, for example recording a radio advert or writing poetry from strong emotive images. Strong emphasis is also placed on grammar and punctuation and there is an expectation of neat cursive handwriting. Farrowdale children achieve very high standards in reading as a result of the individual attention they receive from the very start. Learning is linked where possible to themes being taught in Topic and Science.
Our children also have an hour long Maths lesson daily. They continue from key stage 1 with lots of practical work to investigate number, shape, measures etc. Much emphasis is placed on using mental strategies to solve problems and the learning of times tables. Increasingly children are expected to use and apply what they know to solve real-life problems.
Afternoon sessions are given over to the remaining subjects.
In Science, we focus on investigation and practical work as a basis for understanding key concepts. Mad Science also come into school to teach exciting workshops.
Topic is taught on a two year rolling programme with years 3 and 4 children venturing into the world of The Vikings, Ancient Egyptians and Tudor explorers; taking a journey through Europe and Africa and investigating settlements. Children in Years 5 and 6 learn about what life was like for the Ancient Greeks and during Victorian times and World War II. They also investigate our local area, study rivers and mountains and become ‘Keen to be Green’, a project which involves looking at world concerns of global warming, climate change, green issues and eco-footprints. Art and DT are taught alongside topic on the same theme and address the skills set out in the National Curriculum. Trips are frequently organised to compliment the learning experience, such as a visit to the Jorvik Viking Centre or Touchstones Rochdale. In ICT, Spanish and PSHCE we also aim to make links as much as possible with themes being taught in Maths, English, topic and science.
PE is taken by a specialist teacher, either in the indoor hall, on the outdoor courts or on the field, depending on the skills/sport being taught. The children take part in numerous sports events throughout the year and we hold our own sports afternoon at year end. Our children also begin swimming lessons in year 3, again taking part in swimming galas, including our own, throughout the year.
Children in Year 6 also work towards secondary school entrance exams, which are usually in the Autumn and Spring terms.
In addition to those subjects outlined, Farrowdale children are encouraged to develop their individual talents. With this in mind, school productions take place twice a year at Christmas and in the summer, which all children taking part. Some children get to explore their dramatic talents whilst others showcase their singing ability by performing a solo or duet. There is also an evening talent show, which always sees a packed house. Children last year demonstrated their Karate skills, became stand-up comedians, performed dance routines or sang a solo to name only a few of the acts taking part. All children also learn a dance to perform in front of parents at the Summer Ball.
Children throughout key stage 2 are for the most part expected to complete regular homework. This is usually used as an opportunity to consolidate learning from the previous week rather than to introduce new concepts.
We are mindful of keeping parents up-to-date with school life. Therefore teachers send out a half-termly overview outlining news, events and topics to be studied, as well as a weekly overview detailing learning from the previous week. There are also twice yearly written reports and formal parents’ evenings. Parents are; of course, welcome into school to chat with their child’s teacher at any time throughout the year.
My time at Farrowdale was amazing, it taught me so much and really gave me a good start at my new secondary school. I made some brilliant friends and Farrowdale helped me create memories I’ll never forget!