The values, purposes and principles for the curriculum 3-18 in Scotland are set out in Curriculum for Excellence. The curriculum aims to support children and young people to maximise their potential across four capacities to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors.
Curriculum for Excellence develops skills for learning, life and work, bringing real life into the classroom, making learning relevant and helping young people apply lessons to their life beyond the classroom. It links knowledge in one subject area to another, helping children to make connections in their learning. It develops skills which can enable children to think for themselves, make sound judgements, challenge, enquire and find solutions.
Curriculum for Excellence balances the importance of knowledge and skills. Every child is entitled to a broad and deep general education, whatever their level and ability. All teachers are responsible for the development of literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing.
There is an entitlement to personal support to help young people fulfil their potential and make the most of their opportunities with additional support wherever that is needed. Out staff work hard to ensure that the school is a place where children feel safe, secure and included.
At Thomas Muir Primary School we offer a wide curriculum, which fosters the all-round development of your child. We aim to provide depth, breadth, challenge and enjoyment in all we teach. This is planned through a variety of core teaching and interdisciplinary approaches to learning. As a new school, opened in April 2017, we have worked hard to develop the crucial Numeracy, Literacy and Health & Wellbeing curricula and are currently developing courses and programmes of study for other curricular areas.
For further information please refer to the following websites; Education Scotland, Skills Development Scotland, My World of Work, PlanIt Plus, Mappit, Apprenticeships in Scotland and Opportunities for All.
Expressive Arts – Art & Design, Drama, Dance and Music
Through the expressive arts, our young learners benefit from opportunities to be creative and imaginative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. Learning through expressive arts enables children to:
- express themselves in different ways and be creative;
- experience enjoyment through creative and expressive performances and presentations;
- develop skills specific to the expressive arts and also transferable skills;
- develop an appreciation of cultural values, identities and ideas
Health and Wellbeing
Learning through health and wellbeing enables children and young people to:
- experience positive aspects of healthy living and activity for themselves;
- develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, abilities and attitudes necessary for their physical, emotional and social wellbeing now and in their future lives;
- make informed decisions in order to improve their physical, emotional and social wellbeing;
- apply their physical, emotional and social skills to pursue a healthy lifestyle;
- make a successful move to the next stage of education or work;
- for some, open up opportunities to perform at high levels in sport or pursue careers in health or leisure industries.
Our Health and Wellbeing offers a broad, balanced experience of:
- health – mental, social, emotional and physical
- physical education and physical activity including sport
- eating for health, and safe, hygienic practices
- personal safety
- drugs, alcohol and tobacco
- relationships, sexual health and parenthood
- planning choices for school and beyond
Sensitive Aspects of Learning
Sensitive aspects of the Health & Wellbeing include learning about Substance Misuse and Sexual Health, Relationships and Parenthood. Great care is taken to deliver these aspects in an age appropriate, supportive way. Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their child and can do so by writing to the Head Teacher.
There are two aspects of the languages area of the curriculum – Literacy & English and Modern Languages.
Learning through the languages area of the curriculum enables children and young people to:
- develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings and respond to those of other people;
- develop the high level of skills in listening, talking, reading and writing which are essential for learning, work and life;
- use different media effectively for learning and communication;
- develop a secure understanding of how language works, and use language well to communicate ideas and information in English and other languages;
- exercise their intellectual curiosity by questioning and developing their understanding;
- use creative and critical thinking to synthesise ideas and arguments.
The school has implemented North Lanarkshire’s Active Literacy Programme in Primary 1 to Primary 3 as part of the school’s vision to raise attainment for all. This programme is built upon a foundation of research and assessment evidence, focuses on the core skills of phonological awareness, reading, writing and spelling through Active Learning in a progressive, strategy based, curriculum.
The school has also invested in high quality guided and independent reading texts from the Bug Club programme for all stages. This programme provides print and eBook within a robust learning and teaching cycle with formative and summative assessment as an integral part of the programme. All reading resources have been book banded and all children in P1-P3 have been assessed and matched to the correct text level. In addition to this, children engage with real texts through integrated Novel studies.
Numeracy & Mathematics
Mathematics includes specific aspects of Numeracy which will be developed both in Mathematics and through activities in other areas of the curriculum. Learning through mathematics enables children and young people to:
- develop essential numeracy skills, including arithmetical skills, which allow them to participate fully in society;
- develop a secure understanding of the concepts, principles and processes of mathematics and apply these in different contexts, including the world of work;
- have an understanding of the application of mathematics, its impact on our society past and present, and its potential for the future;
- establish firm foundations for further specialist learning, including for those who will be the mathematicians of the future.
The school uses Maths Recovery, an assessment and intervention process for targeting pupils who are having difficulties with Numeracy and Mathematics. The underlying model for Maths Recovery, that children acquire mathematical strategies and numerical knowledge through a series of different stages – The Stages of Early Arithmetical Learning, has been introduced at Early and First level to ensure that all of our young learners experience the building blocks of Mathematical learning. Number Talks has been introduced across the school to support learners to participate in conversations to make sense of Mathematical problems, apply critical thinking and explain their thinking and learning process. Pupil Equity Funding has enabled the school to invest in i-pads to support learning and teaching. Pupil engagement has been improved through the introduction of applications such as Explain Everything, allowing pupils to create an electronic story of their learning.
Numeracy Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy
Religious and Moral Education (RME)
Religious and Moral Education includes learning about Christianity and other World Religions, and supports the development of beliefs and values. It also includes aspects of philosophical enquiry.
Learning through religious and moral education enables children and young people to:
- develop a knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other world religions and recognise religion as an important expression of human experience;
- explore moral values such as wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity;
- investigate and understand the responses which religions can offer to questions about the nature and meaning of life;
- develop the skills of reflection, discernment, critical thinking, and deciding how to act when making moral decisions;
- develop their beliefs, attitudes, moral values and practices through personal search, discovery and critical evaluation, and make a positive difference to the world by putting their beliefs and values into action.
Religious Instruction and Observance
Parents/carers who wish to exercise their right to withdraw their child from religious instruction and/or observance should contact the Head Teacher, in writing, and alternative arrangements will be made for your child.
Science includes experiences and outcomes in biological, chemical, physical and environmental contexts. The most important goal for science education is to stimulate, nurture and sustain the curiosity, wonder and questioning of children and young people.
Learning through the sciences enables children and young people to:
- investigate their environment by observing, exploring, investigating and recording;
- demonstrate a secure understanding of the big ideas and concepts of science;
- make sense of evidence collected and presented in a scientific manner;
- recognise the impact science makes on their lives, on the lives of others, on the environment and on culture;
- express opinions and make decisions on social, moral, ethical, economic and environmental issues informed by their knowledge and understanding of science and, for some, establish the foundation for more advanced learning and future.
Social studies includes experiences and outcomes in historical, geographical, social, political, economic and business contexts.
It is important for children and young people to understand the place where they live and the heritage of their family and community. Through social studies, children and young people develop their understanding of the world by learning about their own people and what has shaped them, other people and their values, in different times, places and circumstances, and how their environment has been shaped.
They learn about human achievements and to make sense of changes in society, conflicts and environmental issues. With greater understanding comes the opportunity to influence events by exercising informed and responsible citizenship.
Learning through social studies enables children and young people to:
- broaden their understanding of the world by learning about human activities and achievements in the past and present, political, social and environmental issues, and the values underpinning their own society and other societies;
- develop the capacity for critical thinking, through accessing, analysing and using information;
- form their own beliefs and view of the world and develop their understanding of different values, beliefs and cultures;
- establish firm foundations for lifelong learning and, for some, for further specialised study and careers.
Learning through technologies enables children and young people to:
- develop an understanding of technologies and their impact on society – in the past, present and future;
- apply knowledge, understanding and practical skills to design and create products, processes and solutions that meet needs in play, work and daily life;
- gain the confidence and skills to embrace and use technologies now and in the future;
- evaluate technological processes and products critically and constructively, taking account of cultural, ethical, environmental and economic factors;
- experience work-related learning and, for some, establish the foundation for more advanced learning and careers in the technologies.