The school offers a broad and general curriculum in line with A Curriculum for Excellence. Our Curriculum Rationale can be found here:-
We have updated this to present our vision, values and aims on one poster. Click here to see this in PDF – Curriculum Rationale Poster GUPS
1. Literacy and English
‘Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. Being literate increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life, lays the foundations for lifelong learning and work, and contributes strongly to the development of all four capacities of Curriculum for Excellence.’ ‘Principles and Practices Paper: Literacy and English’
This covers the teaching of listening, talking, reading and writing. As pupils progress through primary school and their skill in reading develops, they will be trained to read to learn and so extend their knowledge in other subjects. It is important that from the start, children are supported to listen – to the teacher and to each other – and much time will be spent on listening and talking, so that written work alone is not a reflection of the amount of time spent on language activities.
It is vital that pupils can express themselves well and communicate with others.
Many forms of writing are tackled in meaningful situations – writing letters, reports, taking notes to share information with the class, expressing personal opinions. At times, this is linked to other areas of the curriculum, e.g. Religious and Moral Education and Social Studies.
Children will be encouraged to produce work showing due care for spelling, punctuation and handwriting as appropriate to their age and stage of development.
Programmes of Work are planned to incorporate Literacy into the term’s theme and take account of the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes.
Modern Foreign Languages
Learning other language enables children and young people to make connections with different people and their cultures and develop as global citizens. In line with the Government’s 1+2 Languages initiative, all teachers in Glenurquhart Primary will teach French as a second language to all pupils from Primary 1, so they have gained in confidence in the subject before going to the High School. We are also working to build capacity to introduce a third language, Gaelic, from Primary 5 onwards.
2. Numeracy and Mathematics
From the early stages, this covers many areas including work on shape and measure – time, length, weight, volume and area, information handling, e.g. graphs and surveys and problem solving and enquiry.
Account has been taken of the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes and experiences in planning for this wide range of activities. It is important that children see the practical uses of the mathematical ideas they meet in the classroom. Many ‘maths’ experiences are taught in an active way, which is meaningful to children. Their skills are enhanced by their usage in practical situations e.g. going ‘shopping’ and weighing goods.
New topics are introduced using materials which the children can handle before reaching the more abstract stage of recording on paper. Calculators are used to check work and improve handling of large numbers in the later primary years.
3. Social Studies
During the school year, each class undertake a variety of inter disciplinary topics where experiences and outcomes are chosen from within and across various curricular areas. These are planned with the children and take into account pupil choice, interest and relevance to our society or the local environment.
Social Studies begins with the child, their interests and immediate surroundings and extends to the wider world as they mature. Often a study can include aspects of English, Mathematics, Music and Art incorporated into the topic rather than taught in isolation.
Early years topics may include – Shops, Children in History, Fairyland, while topics with older classes could be wider ranging, e.g. A study of part of the local area, – farming, tourism etc. or a study of people in the past, eg. The Jacobites, Victorians or World War 2.
Themes have been selected to balance subject areas and concepts, with skills identified as appropriate to the different stages and developed throughout the topic. These include cross cutting themes of sustainability, enterprise, creativity and citizenship, including global citizenship and Scottish heritage and culture which are used to provide rich contexts for learning.
4. Health and Wellbeing
Schools have responsibilities to help each child develop personally and socially. Learning in health and wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they need for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future. We aim to enable the children to have a positive regard for the needs of self and others, develop skills to enable them to participate effectively and safely in society, and take increasing responsibility for their own lives. We try to develop a high self-esteem in each child by consistently praising their efforts and achievements.
Experiences and outcomes within Health and Wellbeing look at the following areas:
- Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing
- Planning for choices and changes
- Physical education, physical activity and sport
- Food and health
- Substance misuse
- Relationships, sexual health and parenthood
Senior pupils attend swimming instruction at Inverness Leisure and the school takes pride in being represented at various sporting events and competitions. All pupils have 2 hours a week of physical activity provided by class teachers and visiting teachers. It is essential that pupils are provided with shorts and indoor shoes for gym. The Active Schools Co-ordinator, visiting teachers, staff and parents organise further after-school opportunities.
Parents are informed through letters and the class teacher’s newsletter about plans for teaching sensitive aspects of learning such as, relationships, sexual health, parenthood and drugs awareness.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Staff will support the emotional development and wellbeing of pupils through formal and informal curricular activities. Any concerns about a pupil’s wellbeing can be discussed with the named person – Head Teacher, Mrs Laird. School have access to Highland Council’s Primary Mental Health Worker Service and consultation and advice may be sought if there are concerns that might require more targeted support. Parents would always be involved in discussions beforehand and this step would only be taken with full consent from parents and (where appropriate) the pupil themselves.
5. Expressive Arts
This covers children’s work in Art and Design, Music, Dance and Drama. Pupils are encouraged to express their individuality and enhance their creative talents. The expressive arts play a central role in shaping our sense of our personal, social and cultural identity. The emphasis is on a pleasurable experience which might be developed in later years and on communicating with others in an informal setting.
Music involves pupils in singing, music making and listening to music. Violin/cello, brass and chanter instruction is offered in P4 or P5 and is intended to carry on into secondary school. Music tuition is supplemented by visiting teachers for sections on drums and guitar as well as, Feis Rois and Kodaly instructors. Aspects of art, music and dance are taught by class teachers and where possible, linked with class topics and interests.
6. Religious and Moral Education
Each class has regular teaching which involves the study of all world religions. This will include values, key figures, places of worship, major festivals and traditions or customs. Children will be encouraged to think about their own beliefs and values to express reasoned views and opinions. We encourage the children to appreciate moral values such as honesty, liberty, justice, fairness and concern for others and to investigate and understand the questions and answers that religions can offer about the nature and meaning of life.
A school chaplain leads assembly each month. At other times the Head Teacher, visitors to school as well as classes and individual children takes assembly. Moral Education reinforces the school ethos concentrating on consideration for others and the value of kindness and courtesy. Whilst Religious Education is required by Statute to form part of the curriculum, parents have the right to withdraw their children on written notification to the Head Teacher and separate arrangements can be agreed.
The technologies curriculum area relates particularly to contexts that provide scope for developing technological skills, knowledge, understanding and attributes through creative, practical and work-related activities. For this reason, the framework provides experiences and outcomes which can be applied in business, computing science, food, textiles, craft, design, engineering, graphics and applied technologies.
The use of ICT is integrated into all areas of the curriculum as well as, being taught separately when appropriate. An example of this is when a child is using the internet to research a given topic and at the same time as finding the information necessary to understand this topic, they also develop internet researching skills. The school has an excellent allocation of ICT resources including a SMART board in each classroom, laptops and desktops for each class and a digital camera for each classroom. 7 Chromebooks and 2 Ipads have also recently been purchased through various funding opportunities.
Through science, children and young people develop their interest in, and understanding of the living material and physical world. They can engage in a wide range of investigative group tasks which allow them to develop important skills to become creating and enterprising adults.
Children are encouraged to investigate their environment by observing, investigating, exploring and recording. Mrs Mann visits us each week to support learning in this subject area.