The curriculum followed is traditional and encompasses the requirements of the National Curriculum.
The teaching of reading builds on the synthetic phonics programme followed in Early Years. Our aim is for them to read confidently with understanding and enjoyment. Our reading schemes include Ginn 360, Oxford Reading Tree, New Way, Storyworld and Rigby. Children are encouraged to take books home to read with their parents.
The teaching of phonics plays an important part in literacy lessons, enabling children to ‘build’ words for themselves. Children have regular access to the school library.
Children are helped to become independent writers as early as possible. They are encouraged to develop a rich and varied vocabulary and to write in an imaginative and creative manner. Shared and independent classroom activities introduce them to sentence structure and comprehension. Great emphasis is placed on the correct use of grammar.
Children are taught how to form letters correctly from a very early age. This makes the process of learning to write quickly and neatly much easier, and ensures that the transition to joined-up or cursive writing is achieved successfully, as and when each child is ready.
Our aim is to develop the children's spelling to enable them to communicate fluently. Weekly, graded spelling tests are part of the Literacy Programme.
The children are taught to use the spoken word effectively and confidently, so that they can express themselves clearly in a range of situations for a variety of purposes. They develop their ability to listen by being introduced from an early age to stories, plays, poetry, drama sessions and class discussions.
As mathematics is a practical subject there are many related classroom-based activities. There is an emphasis on the four rules of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, which form the basis of all mathematical processes. Each numeracy lesson begins with mental maths sessions. We wish to make the subject enjoyable and give the children the confidence needed to ensure a good foundation for their future education.
The main areas covered in science are life and living processes, materials, physical processes, and experimental and investigative science. These are the main requirements of the National Curriculum and are delivered through appropriate topic work.
The children are also taught technology, history, geography, music, religious education, art and craft and ICT.
In Years 2 and 3 French is also included in the curriculum, with a strong verbal bias focusing on pronunciation and basic vocabulary.
Children are taught music by a Kodaly specialist. There are opportunities for the children to display their dramatic and musical achievements during the school year. There is an annual Nativity Play held in the School Chapel and a concert at the end of the Spring term.
Throughout the year children are taught ball skills, including football, hockey, pop-lacrosse and cricket. In addition, children have the opportunity to experience athletics, dance and gymnastics with full use of the school sports hall and apparatus. All the children have weekly swimming lessons in the indoor heated swimming pool.
Children use computers in connection with their studies, particularly for information retrieval and word processing. We have a variety of software that the children thoroughly enjoy.
Children learn best through their own practical and first hand experiences. The natural environment surrounding Aysgarth School provides a wealth of opportunity to expand young children’s learning through multi sensory exploration, experimentation and supervised safe play.
Children are in the care of a Forest School Leader and are encouraged to explore all aspects of nature through supervised activities. Examples of activities: Den construction, building camp fires, collecting and sorting and bug hunts.
The children’s health and safety are of paramount importance throughout the sessions.
There are visits to places of local interest. Recent outings included trips to the Souter Lighthouse, Saltburn, Beamish Museum, Richmond and Middleham Castles, Wensleydale Creamery, and the Hawes Countryside Museum.
Before any trip parents are sent information and consent forms are requested. Individual packed lunches are provided by the School.