Curriculum and learning
At Park School, Bournemouth we aim to provide opportunities for the development of the whole child inside and outside the classroom. In addition to the full range of academic subjects in accordance with the National Curriculum, we offer every child the opportunity to experience a broad range of teaching and challenging environments in many extra-curricular areas. We operate a varied curriculum which ties together elements of many different subjects under a theme, encouraging children to develop a love of learning and a thirst for knowledge. This varied curriculum, with teaching input from music, art, drama and sports specialists, allows all the children the opportunity to shine. Positivity in these areas creates a balanced scope of learning and supports progression in the rest of the curriculum.
At the beginning of each academic year there is a Curriculum Meeting for parents during which our teachers explain what children will be learning and how parents can support from home.
Below you will find an outline of all of our key areas of learning.
Park Knowledge defines the areas of the curriculum (English, Geography, History, PSHEE/RSE, RE and MFL) that encourage children to think about their environment, their past, their present and their future, as well as looking outward to the wider world to discover new ideas.
At Park we know the importance of developing children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, so using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. English enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.
Park children gain an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps, and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
The aim of history teaching at Park School is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. We teach children a sense of chronology, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. The children learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain. We teach children to understand how events in the past have influenced our lives today; we also teach them to investigate these past events and, by so doing, to develop the skills of enquiry, analysis, interpretation and problem-solving.
PSHEE & RSE
Due to the new statutory requirement to teach Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in the School curriculum we as a school have reviewed and adapted our Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHEE) topics to include this.
Religious Education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Park School we aim to deliver a high quality education in a caring and supportive environment where Christian values are central to the ethos of the school and its teaching. We explain the meaning of other faiths and promote respect for them; encourage the children to recognise and value the faith of others; provide opportunities to experience God and his world through worship; and develop children’s sense of identity and belonging to help prepare them for life as citizens in a multicultural society.
At Park we wish to promote a respect and understanding of other languages and the cultures associated with them. Right from Year 1 all our children engage with learning French through songs, nursery rhymes and fun role play. To extend the diversity of their knowledge in Years 5 & 6 pupils begin to learn Spanish, using simple phrases to communicate about every day activities and finding out about School life in Spain.
In an ever-changing world teaching children to consider a problem and evaluate the best solutions and tools for the job are essential life skills. Through our STEM subjects (Science, DT, Maths, ICT, Reasoning and Critical Thinking) we help children to think logically and adapt their ideas to suit the varied requirements of the problem.
Science teaches an understanding of natural phenomena. It aims to stimulate a child’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought. Children learn to ask scientific questions, use scientific vocabulary and begin to appreciate the way science will affect their future on a personal, national, and global level.
Design and technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s rapidly changing world. Creative thinking encourages children to make positive changes to their quality of life. The subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem-solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas and eventually making products and systems. Through the study of design and technology they combine practical skills with an understanding of aesthetic, social and environmental issues, as well as functions and industrial practices. This allows them to reflect on and evaluate present and past design and technology, its uses and its impacts. Design and technology helps all children to become discriminating and informed consumers and potential innovators.
Maths teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child’s ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives. Through Maths lessons we aim to promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion; grown confidence and competence with numbers and the number system; develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts; develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented; explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts; and to understand the importance of, and apply, Maths in everyday life.
Through teaching ICT we equip children to participate in a rapidly-changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. We enable them to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way. ICT skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners.
Reasoning & Critical Thinking
By providing opportunities for children to develop their reasoning and critical thinking skills we enable them to be more open-minded and at the same time more questioning of answers or responses. Instead of just receiving messages and accepting them, we teach children to determine if their logic is sound or slightly flawed. To do this children need to engage a variety of skills including: listening, analysis, evaluation, inference and interpretation or explanation, and self-regulation.
Park School offers a broad and balanced programme of physical education and sport. We believe that sport for all children develops skills, self-esteem and social interaction. It also helps them learn to cope with disappointments.
Park School offers a broad and balanced programme of physical education and sport. From Reception to Year 6 all children have one PE lesson per week, during which they focus on gymnastics, dance, table tennis, core strength and balance. Children in Years 1 to 6 enjoy an additional two games sessions per week.
During the winter, boys and girls play football, tag rugby and hockey and the girls also play netball. In summer, boys and girls play cricket, rounders and athletics.
Park Sport is an important part of developing children’s ability to develop resilience as well as improve physical skills and abilities.
We actively encourage the children to participate in team and individual events. Park School children achieve success at town, county and national levels.
We believe that sport for all children develops skills, self-esteem and social interaction. It also helps them learn to cope with disappointments.
We make occasional use of the nearby high class venues at the Littledown Centre, Sir David English Centre and Kings Park Athletics stadium which provide large astro pitches, netball courts and specialist athletics facilities.
Park Arts encourages children to be creative and confident in their own abilities across a range of subjects.
Art & Design
Art and design stimulates creativity and imagination. It provides visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. It enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Children become involved in interacting with their environments through art and design activities. They learn to make informed judgements and aesthetic and practical decisions. They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures. The appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts enriches all our lives.
Drama & dance
Through drama and dance we aim to extend children’s knowledge and skills, develop understanding of the art form, provide opportunities to develop their appreciation of performances, support their ability to appraise drama and see its value in the curriculum and most importantly develop confidence. All pupils from Reception to Year 6 take part in annual performances to the whole school and their families. These include whole school assemblies, Nativities, Christmas shows and musicals. By performing to an audience from an early age, children gain confidence and appreciate the value all areas of the curriculum.
We have a strong musical tradition at Park with teaching led by a qualified team of specialist music teachers. As well as the pupils’ weekly music lessons, the children may go on to join our School Orchestra or Jazz Band. There is also a flourishing Training Orchestra.
All children are encouraged to play a musical instrument. Specialist individual lessons are available in woodwind, brass, strings, piano, recorder, guitar, percussion and singing.
Children from Year 2 upwards can join one of our popular School Choirs. Our choirs perform in concerts at local venues and provide musical input at all kinds of school events. We have a specialist peripatetic singing teacher who offers coaching for those children who like to sing simply for pleasure and for those who wish to obtain their singing grades.
The Orchestra, Choir and Jazz Band perform at outside venues across the year. The children also form their own ensembles and small groups to perform to parents at School events.
Drama is a flourishing aspect of life at Park School. Pupils are encouraged to demonstrate their talents at class assemblies and performances. Each year the Year 6 pupils perform a Summer play for the entertainment of both parents and pupils. Reception classes perform in nativity shows while Years 1 and 2 take part in annual Christmas Stories and Year 5 take the starring roles in the Christmas Show put on at the Salvation Army Hall. Years 3 and 4 alternate a show in the Lent term each year. Many pupils enter for LAMDA and Drama examinations with great success. The children also take part in the Bournemouth Speech and Drama Festival. Many of our children perform with local theatre, ballet and dance groups.