Learning is fun!
We believe in trying to help the children to become lifelong learners and we spend much of our time building their ‘learning skills’. We also believe that learning takes place best in a friendly, caring environment where each child is expected to maintain high standards of work and behaviour. Staff, children, parents and governors at College Road work together to create a positive climate for learning.
The actual amount of teaching time for a child at College Road School is 22 hours for KS1 and 23½ hours a week for KS2. On top of this, time is allocated for a daily assembly and registration of pupils.
Our curriculum is constantly evolving. We are in the process of designing a skills-based , exciting curriculm which has learning at its’ heart, centred on the Building Learning Powers initiative developed by Guy Claxton. In addition to this, we are committed to involving the children, parents and governors of the school in helping staff to construct our curriculum, via the ‘Real MAD Voices’ group set up and maintained with the help of RiO. We do of course recognise that our curriculum reflects the need to equip the children with basic skills; we believe the best way to do this is to provide real and exciting opportunities to apply this learning. We have begun the journey towards amalgamating the skills, knowledge and attitudes by arranging our curriculum and its’ leadership into different Areas of Learning.
English is of course given high priority throughout the school. Children are encouraged to speak and listen to one another in small groups and within the whole class. We recognise the importance of developing our pupil's communication skills so that they can express their opinions, ideas and feelings effectively. Much of the work carried out by the children involves them in participating as speakers and listeners.
The ability to read is vital in our society and in our school we aim to develop the skills which readers require including a positive attitude towards their reading. Time does not permit us to listen to children read individually on a daily basis nor does research suggest that this is effective. However, all children will participate every day in an activity which enhances their ability to read.
Our pupils are encouraged to express themselves in writing at the earliest stage. We aim to make our pupils confident of their ability to write and teachers use pupil's work to assess what knowledge and skills are required by individual children. The activities involve children in using a variety of written forms e.g. creative prose, description, reporting and poetry. The importance of spelling, handwriting and grammar is recognised and the necessary skills and knowledge are taught when appropriate.
Literacy teaching provides for all the children on a daily basis, whether through discrete English lessons or cross-curricular learning. This is sometimes structured according to the guidelines provided by the Renewed Framework and involves the children in working as a class and in groups to develop their reading and writing skills.
Mathematics is also given high priority. Through the Renewed Framework we aim to develop our children's confidence in, and enjoyment of, dealing with numbers and mathematical concepts. A variety of teaching strategies are used which include involving children in developing their mental mathematical agility, practical work and in recording their findings and providing real opportunities for children to apply their knowledge and skills.
Science is taught within projects and frequently involves the children in carrying out investigative work. In this way knowledge is gained through experience and children are encouraged to develop logical and methodical thinking.
We have a computer suite fitted with 31 computers which are timetabled for use throughout the school. We also have 15 laptop computers, eight interactive whiteboards and projectors, eight digital cameras, and camcorders and voice recorders. The computers are all wirelessly connected to the main server and the internet. This puts the school in a strong position to prepare children for the technological future that awaits them.
Religious Education is broadly based on the Plymouth, Devon and Torbay syllabus. We aim to teach children about many of the major world faiths with an emphasis on Christianity. We aim for pupils to develop an appreciation of the importance and value of faith for many people and to give them an opportunity to reflect upon their own values. Should a parent wish to withdraw a child from RE, they should consult the headteacher.
Appreciation and understanding of music is taught and the development of musical creativity is encouraged. Instrumental tuition is available to individual children.
Pupils are taught to develop individually and as team members within our Physical Education programme which includes gymnastics, athletics, games, dance, outdoor activities and swimming.
Homework is used to consolidate and reinforce pupils’ skills and understanding. The amount set should be relevant to a pupil's age and ability and encompass a range of activities including maths, reading and spelling.