Art and Design
These embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. Through our thematic curriculum, we aim to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Pupils learn to become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. They learn to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art and they learn about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
Pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. We are well equipped with computers, laptops and tablets and are aiming to reach a stage where pupils use these independently to access their learning.
Design and Technology
Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to ensure our pupils develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently. They learn to evaluate and test their ideas and products and to understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
Geography and History
We aim to inspire in our pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
We ensure our pupils gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
We also take opportunities to teach pupils about the geography and history of the countries they or their families are originally from. We are always keen on families supporting us in this endeavour as they are the experts.
We believe that learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures.
In line with Burnt Mill Academy where the majority of our pupils attend, we have chosen to teach our pupils Spanish.
We aim for our pupils to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources and to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
Our pupils perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. They also learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others and have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. In addition, they learn to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
At Freshwaters, with the support of the specialist teachers at Burnt Mill Academy, we provide opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Pupils have opportunities to compete in sport and other activities both intra and inter schools. These build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. Pupils learn gymnastics, dance and a range of skills to apply to team games.
We aim to ensure all our pupils:
- develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- are physically active for sustained periods of time
- engage in competitive sports and activities
- lead healthy, active lives.
Currently, swimming is taught in KS2, although pupils in the Early Years and KS1 are given opportunities to swim during the year. We have our own on-site covered swimming pool and swimming is taught by fully qualified instructors.
We aim to ensure that by the time our pupils leave at the end of Year 6, they can:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.
Religious Education (RE) and Collective Worship
This is taught as directed under the terms of the 1988 Education Reform Act and in accordance with the Essex Syllabus for Religious Education. Assemblies are held daily, either in the hall or in classrooms. They are of a broadly Christian nature, however, pupils develop an awareness and understanding of the beliefs of others through the study of other world faiths. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from assemblies and part of RE but we would hope that our way of working avoids such action. If parents wish to withdraw their child, they are asked to speak to their class teacher in the first instance, followed by a letter and appointment with the head of school.
PSHE at FRESHWATERS
PSHE Education (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) is a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to successfully manage their lives – now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE Education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
Why do we teach PSHE Education?
According to the National Curriculum, every school needs to have a broad and balanced curriculum that:
• promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school;
• prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life;
• promotes British values.
From September 2020, primary schools in England also need to teach Relationships and Health Education as compulsory subjects and the Department for Education strongly recommends this should also include age-appropriate Sex Education.
Schools also have statutory responsibilities to safeguard their pupils (Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE, 2019) and to uphold the Equality Act (2010). The Jigsaw Programme supports all of these requirements and has children’s wellbeing at its heart.
How do we teach PSHE?
We follow the Jigsaw PSHE scheme of work, which is a whole-school approach and embodies a positive philosophy and creative teaching and learning activities to nurture children’s development as compassionate and well-rounded human beings as well as build their capacity to learn.
Jigsaw is a comprehensive and completely original PSHE Education programme (lesson plans and teaching resources) for the whole primary school from ages 3 to 11. Written by teacher and psychotherapist, Jan Lever MBE (services to education) and teachers, and grounded in sound psychology, it also includes all the statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education, and Sex Education is also included in the Changing Me Puzzle (unit).
Jigsaw has two main aims for all children:
• To build their capacity for learning
• To equip them for life Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, compulsory Relationships and Health Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development.
It is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time at their own level. There are six Puzzles (half-term units of work) and each year group is taught one lesson per week. All lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs.´