The Castle Curriculum
"The curriculum is wide ranging, well balanced and offers a good range of practical activities. A real strength is the extensive number of extra-curricular clubs and educational visits for all year groups." (Ofsted)
At Castle, we believe that children should experience a broad and balanced curriculum that challenges and inspires them.
Literacy and numeracy are taught on a daily basis to ensure that children develop essential skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Where possible this is linked to other subjects so that children can apply the skills they have learnt in a practical manner. Statutory Assessments take place at the end of Year 2 and Year 6 which measure the standards that our children are attaining. Results for Year 6 are published annually. Our results invariably exceed national averages.
Phonics is taught through Year R and 1 and 2 using the Letters and Sounds scheme of work. When children reach phase 6 of this scheme, they progress onto support for spelling which is also supported by the work they do in literacy lessons. Some children will require further consolidation and teaching of phonics as they progress through Key Stage 2.
We also endeavour to ensure that children experience a wide ranging curriculum that encompasses the creative arts, sport, humanities, science and ICT. Learning is enhanced by the numerous educational visits organised for children to enjoy, be it local walks around Portchester and the castle, or further afield to Marwell, Old Portsmouth, Southampton and West Sussex.
Children in the junior age range also enjoy residential visits. These provide many children with their first experiences of staying away from home and are hugely rewarding for both child and teacher alike! Current residentials are:
Year 3: The Sustainability Centre (nr. Clanfield)
Year 4: Minstead Study Centre (New Forest). Children partake in a range of environmental activities in a new purpose built centre recently renovated, run by Hampshire County Council.
Year 6: Little Canada (Isle of Wight). Our oldest children spend a week on the Isle of Wight at a PGL activity centre where they enjoy team building tasks and adventurous activities designed to develop self-confidence and and a sense of achievement. An amazing and action packed week for children and staff!
Staff have appropriate outdoor education qualifications and the school operates a thorough safety management system in line with Hampshire Local Authority guidance and policy.
Our commitment to providing the very best opportunities for our children has been recognised through a number of awards. These include: the 'Artsmark', for the quality of our performing arts curriculum; the 'Sportsmark' for the level of sporting provision provided; and the FA Charter mark for our football coaching. We have also been accredited by UNICEF as a Rights, Respecting School for the extensive work we do related the Rights of the Child. Castle also has 'Healthy School' status for its promotion of healthy lifestyles.
More detailed information about each year group's curriculum can be found in the year group pages.