The School’s Curriculum combines high standards with a broad and rich curriculum. Great emphasis is placed on planning the curriculum so that there is continuity, progression, challenge and pace. Our curriculum is built around the Literacy and Numeracy Framework for Wales, DCF, Foundation Phase and the National Curriculum for 7-11 year olds. We are working towards implementing the New Curriculum for Wales by including enrichment weeks throughout the year. These enrichment weeks focus on
- Empower ambitious capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives.
- Create enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work.
- Shape ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world.
- Foster healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
The Four Purposes of our new curriculum aim to:
- Create a nurturing and inclusive community for all – Healthy, Confident individuals.
- Develop self-belief in order to encourage children to reach for challenging personal goals. Enabling them to become independent motivated decision makers – Ambitious capable learners.
- Foster our children to be socially aware of Maerdy their local community and its place in Wales and the wider world. This will empower them to make informed, ethical and considerate choices as global citizens. They will do this by knowing their rights! – Ethically informed citizens.
- Encourage children to be risk takers and problem solvers, whereby everyone has a voice to enable them to work with the community to gain real life experiences – Enterprising creative contributors.
We ensure your child has opportunity to learn through as many ways as possible. We encourage individual, partner and group work. We also encourage thinking and communication through planning learning activities which ensure a careful balance of learning styles and thinking strategies throughout the school year.
Foundation Phase refers to the curriculum from early years to year 2. Foundation Phase practice places great emphasis on the holistic development of the child and the development of skills across the curriculum building on previous experience and knowledge.
The areas of learning are
- Personal and Social Development, wellbeing and cultural diversity.
- Language, Literacy and Communication
- Mathematical development
- Welsh Language development
- Knowledge and Understanding of the World
- Physical development
- Creative development
The foundation phase is a crucial time for developing lifelong skills. The Maerdy Primary foundation phase curriculum ensures that the children have lots of experiences. These experiences are within the classroom; in the outdoors and on visits to new places.
Key Stage 2
Key stage 2 refers to all children from year 3 to 6. All children follow the Literacy and numeracy Framework; Curriculum 2008 core (English, Welsh Second Language, Maths, Science) and foundation subjects (Geography, History, Art, Music, Design Technology, PE,). They also follow the agreed RE syllabus and PSE.
Personal and social education and wellbeing
This aspect of education covers a wide range of attitudes, skills and knowledge taught and developed through all the activities we do in school and must take a very high priority in school. There are a number of interventions in place to support children’s wellbeing and this is carefully tracked, monitored and supported. If children’s wellbeing is not good, then they are not ready to learn.
Relationships and Sexuality Education at its best is a partnership between home and school. It is an integral part of Health Education and is concerned mainly with the nurturing of self-esteem and positive relationships with others. We aim to be sensitive to the age of the children in all that we teach and the teachers will answer the children’s questions with regard to the level of the child’s maturity and understanding. A Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy can be read on request. In the KS2 Department, Relationships and Sexuality generally forms part of the Health and Wellbeing Curriculum. In Year 6 parental consent is sought for more specific talks. Any parent who wishes to withdraw their child from all or part of the sex education programme may do so.
Collective Worship is held every day for a short religious service and religious education is provided for every pupil in the school. The teaching of religious education is subject to the statutory regulations of the 1944 and 1988 Acts, which provide that all pupils should receive religious education and take part in collective worship except where withdrawn by parental request.
Religious Education is taught in a variety of forms and we aim to place it within a context pupils can relate to from their own experiences.
We feel that our children should have an opportunity to learn about Christian traditions and culture and to appreciate those of other world religions. We believe that they should develop an understanding of moral virtues such as love, trust, friendship and caring.
Pupils are taught to respect each other and members of the wider community.
Any parent who wishes to withdraw their child wholly or in part from Religious Education and Collective Worship, may do so by prior arrangement with the Head Teacher.
Welsh / Cymraeg
We promote the Welsh language, culture and heritage throughout the Curriculum. Children are encouraged from the Nursery upwards to use Welsh throughout the day
This begins in the Nursery with simple phrases such as –”yma (here) when marking the register, “ os gwelwch yn dda” (please), “diolch” (thankyou) etc.
As the children progress through school so the use of Welsh is increased. It becomes an everyday part of their routine, and they respond and use Welsh with a growing confidence and hopefully as a matter of course — asking and answering simple questions, expressing their needs and holding simple conversations with their teachers and peers. By the end of Key Stage 1, the children are beginning to read and write simple Welsh words and sentences.
As the children move through Key Stage 2, the level of spoken Welsh is extended as are their writing and reading skills.
Welsh Culture and Heritage (Y Cwricwlwm Cymreig)
At Maerdy Community Primary School, the curriculum and ethos, wherever possible will reflect and celebrate what is distinctive about life in Wales and helps pupils to acquire a sense of belonging. Saint David’s Day is celebrated each year, with children wearing Welsh national dress and taking part in various traditional activities such as singing, reciting, dance, art and craft.
Curriculum Enhancement – Mr Morris Gibby
School has been very fortunate to receive a bequest of nearly £500,000 from Mr Morris Gibby. A former Maerdy man who emigrated to America. As a school we have committed ourselves to broadening the minds of our pupils as we believe that is what Mr Gibby would have wanted. We have regularly take our children out of school on educational visits. Year 5 & 6 children have residential experiences in Mid Wales and London.
PE and Sport
PE and Sport are important elements of the curriculum at Maerdy Primary. Each class is allocated 2 hours to sporting activity each week. These include gymnastics, swimming, athletics, football, rugby, netball, cricket, outdoor pursuits and more extreme sports like free running. The school has a netball team, football team (boys and girls) and a rugby team.
Maerdy Community Primary School recognises the importance of the pupil voice and their involvement in the decision making process and development of the school. We have a democratically elected Ministry. All of the children from year 1 to Year 6 were given a chance to vote for a boy and a girl from their year group after listening to their manifesto.
The Council represent the pupil voice in school. They hold regular meetings with staff and discuss issues relating to their playground area and Eco School Development. They also attend meetings with the Governing Body, putting forward pupils’ views and suggestions.
We strongly believe that children need to be taught as individuals. To be able to do this the children’s learning is assessed throughout their time in school to identify strengths and to build challenge and provide support for areas for development. Teachers mark children’s work in a positive way with comments which will offer encouragement or set targets for future work. Children are actively involved in achieving these targets and to continually evaluate their own and others work. Evidence of pupils’ progress is kept throughout the year.
In all year groups teachers make judgements on pupils’ abilities by
comparing standards in pupils books with national curriculum level descriptors and the Literacy and Numeracy Framework. We use ongoing assessment materials within lessons, but also use formal reading and maths tests. As teachers we recognise that a single test must not be the only means of deciding on a child’s ability. Ongoing assessments are much more appropriate.
Any child who is not on track to achieve the generally expected level for their age will receive extra support by means of school based interventions.