The school uses the Hertfordshire Computing Scheme as a basis for the computing work. Computing skills are taught as discrete skills but are practised in conjunction with other areas of the curriculum, for example by word processing prayers, producing PowerPoint presentations about recycling, creating excel spreadsheets for calculating area and perimeter, creating databases using facts about the solar system.
The ICT Suite houses computers and an Interactive Whiteboard. Every classroom has at least one computer in operation during the day and all classrooms have an Interactive Whiteboard. In addition, teachers can use laptops in their classrooms or in the ICT Suite.
We have 6 digital microscopes, i-pads, simple digital video cameras that are adapted for educational use and a digital camera for each class. Key Stage 2 classrooms also have visualisers to allow children’s work to be easily projected and shared.
All our computers have access to the internet using Broadband through the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning. This screens material to ensure online safety though our children are taught throughout Key Stage Two about how to keen themselves safe online.
In Key Stage 1 we aim to give the children an understanding of the past and present and of how things change over time. We do this through stories and drama, by looking at changes in the local environment and by looking at artefacts. Work is practical and builds from things in living memory to more recent historical periods and is often based upon an historical event or story.
In Key Stage 2 the children study the main periods of history including the Victorians, the Romans and Ancient Greece moving learning onto using a wider variety of historical sources of evidence. Children may visit local museums or places of interest such as The Verulamium Museum in St Albans. Children may also use computers to carry out research using the Internet and learn through historical scenarios and re-enactments.
Fieldwork is at the centre of the Geography curriculum. In the early Years and Key Stage 1 we aim to give the children some understanding of their local area and to develop simple geographical skills such as direction, drawing plans and developing maps with keys. The children also learn about key features of the UK and different types of environments. They may carry out a local traffic survey, making observations about different types of traffic and their impact on the locality, use Katie Morag stories to learn about islands and compare the life on Struay with that in Croxley Green or visit seaside locations to compare landscapes.
In Key Stage 2 the children study topics such as Chembakoli in India, weather around the world or how pollution affects the environment. Where possible, links are made between History and Geography, e.g. local history and landscapes.
Children in Years 5 and 6 study Rivers and the supply of water around the world.
Classes carry out research and study a wide variety of maps using the Internet. They are taught how to use map references and develop an understanding of compass directions through orienteering in the school grounds.
Our RE curriculum is based upon the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus for RE. Children learn about Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Sikhism. They will visit religious buildings and have visitors from different religions to talk to them. Children are given opportunity to explore and handle religious artefacts and to develop their understanding of how and why these are important within a religion.
Through our RE teaching we aim to extend children’s knowledge of the main religions of the world and to enable them to develop respect and tolerance for peoples’ beliefs and faith.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons.
We value the Arts at Yorke Mead and encourage children to feel confident to explore all of the creative arts. In visual art children have the opportunity to develop skills using a variety of media and techniques working in two and three dimensions. Children are taught about famous artists and their work and are encouraged to develop a critical appreciation of artist’s work from a range of styles and historical periods.
Children are encouraged to mix paints and colours for themselves from the primary palette and from K ey S tage 1 the limited colours of paint provided ensures children develop colour mixing skills.
In KS1 and KS2 children learn a wide range of practical skills which they can use to develop their own designs. Work is often linked to other areas of the curriculum and children will create simple prototypes which they will use to improve and develop their designs. Work in DT is frequently blocked into one week to allow a specific focus on DT skills including the design stage, testing stage and evaluation.
Music is a part of the curriculum for all classes. This includes listening to music, composing, recording and performing. Children develop their singing and learn how to play a selection of tuned and untuned percussions instruments including African instruments. Computer programs provide a wide variety of instruments for the children to experiment with and use in compositions. The school buys into the Hertfordshire Wider Opportunities Programme and all children in Year 2 have the opportunity to play the Djembe Drum and in Year 3 children have the opportunity to learn to play a stringed instrument in a class lesson.
A variety of recorded music is played in classrooms throughout the day as well as in assembly. There is a weekly singing practice for each key stage. Children have the opportunity to learn the violin, viola, ‘cello, double bass, flute, clarinet, piano and guitar taught by specialist teachers if parents wish to pursue music lessons. The school purchases specialist music tuition from the LEA and parents and carers are asked to contribute towards the cost. Members of staff teach the recorder as a lunchtime club. The school choir takes part in local schools festivals as well as the Carol Concert at the Watford Colosseum and Young Voices at the O2.
PE is part of the National Curriculum and all children are expected to take part. At the beginning of the school year class teachers let parents know which days the children need to have their PE kit in school. All children have two PE lessons a week totalling 2 hours. This includes dance, gym, games, athletics and Outdoor and Adventure Activities. The school has extensive grounds including a netball court, rounders pitch, 5-a-side and full size football pitches. Swimming lessons are organised for two year groups in Key Stage 2 in the Summer Term and are taught by qualified instructors. The school is part of the Rickmansworth Sports Partnership and the children are involved in a wide range of competitive activities through the partnership. To enhance PE teaching the school buys in a sports coach to work with classes throughout the school year.
For safety reasons’ long hair must be tied back and stud earrings removed or taped. No watches should be worn. Jewellery is not allowed in school for any lessons unless it has a religious significance.
Children in Key Stage Two are taught French. The school uses a specialist French teacher to deliver the main curriculum but all teachers will engage in informal French teaching. Lessons are fun and motivate children to join in with French speaking using songs, games, role play and stories.