“At King’s Park Primary School we are proud of our learning. We strive to motivate everyone to reach his or her potential.”
Our approach to learning and teaching in King’s Park follows the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence, full details of which can be found on the Education Scotland website.
Throughout our programmes of study there is emphasis on breadth, challenge and enjoyment, depth, cohesion, personalisation and choice, progression, relevance, purpose. We involve the children closely in decisions on their learning, targets and next steps. Teaching and learning are placed within a “real world” context wherever possible, with opportunities to develop skills and knowledge by linking curricular areas in a natural way through themes or topics.
In partnership between home and school each child is encouraged and supported in King’s Park to work to his or her potential according to his or her individual ability or need. A child’s rate of progress can vary as he/she moves through school and there is always flexibility with regard to the group within which a child is working. Within each class and in key subject areas, a child may be working in one of three or four groups, matched to ability. In addition, children can and do change groups. The following section gives a general description of the content of our programmes. The children progress through these programmes at a rate at which they can be challenged and achieve success.
The Expressive Arts (Music, Drama and Art + Design) play an important part in pupils’ development. Each places special emphasis on developing creativity, imagination and personal responses in individual pupils. We have a subject teacher in Music who also leads a vibrant school choir, recorder and ocarina groups. Instrumental tuition is currently available to P6 and P7 stages in brass, woodwind and string instruments. Our children are offered many opportunities to display their talents through School Shows and musical performances for parents and the local community.
Health education and the promotion of healthy, informed choices can be evidenced throughout our curriculum programmes and in the wider areas of school life. Our school meals service and school tuck-shop promote healthy ingredients and choices and we have a weekly ‘Healthy Snack’ day, recognising pupils’ healthy choices. We have a large number of senior pupils who volunteer to be trained as ‘playground buddies’ to younger pupils. Each class has a range of playground games equipment to encourage active playtimes. We have a giant playground draughts set and low-level traversing walls for Primary 3 and 4 stages. We have a specialist teacher in P.E and also offer a range of lunch time and after school opportunities to pupils at a range of stages. Health Education is essential to development and self esteem in encouraging the development of the ‘whole child’.We use the Cool in School Programme across all stages. All elements of a child’s experience, within and outwith school, contribute to personal and social education. In reading the section of our Handbook on Standards of Behaviour you will again see the value we place on building positive self esteem and a sense of achievement in all our pupils.
Language is at the heart of children’s learning. It is through language they acquire much of their knowledge and many of their skills. A high priority is given, therefore, to developing pupils’ ability to use English Language effectively. Pupils are taught to be ‘active’ listeners, to talk confidently and fluently, to read with comprehension and enthusiasm, and to write in a range of contexts with expression, interest and accuracy. In this way, a sound knowledge is gained of how language works and the children become familiar with the many ways in which language is used. Much of this work takes place through cross- curricular links with other subject areas. Our chosen modern language is French, also taught in Dalkeith High, with a 50 minute period each week taught to all P5 –P7 classes by a specialist modern languages’ teacher.
Mathematics is used in all aspects of everyday life, as well as in science, business and technology. A solid foundation of learning in mathematics is very important for all children. There are four aspects of mathematics studied by pupils in curriculum. Information Handling is concerned with the gathering, organising, display and use of facts and figures and will involve pupils in carrying out surveys, using diagrams and tables, making graphs and using spreadsheets and databases. Number, Money and Measurement involves pupils in learning to add, subtract, multiply and divide, use money, work with time and investigate length, weight, area and volume. This aspect also focuses on the ability to carry out mental calculations. In Shape, Position and Movement, pupils learn about geometric shape, symmetry, angles and compass direction. In addressing all of the above, pupils will develop Problem Solving and Enquiry Skills, encouraging them to think, question and explain what they are doing in mathematics. Real life settings in maths are used extensively in a range of contexts.
Religious and Moral Education helps pupils to learn about important aspects of Christianity, and other major religions, and to understand why people attach great importance to their religious beliefs. Pupils are also given opportunity to think about personal aspects of religion and moral issues. We hold a regular programme of Assemblies in King’s Park throughout the school year, led by class stages, promoted staff or our school chaplain, Mr Keith Mack. While recognising the role of Christianity as the major religious tradition of this country, all pupils are encouraged to develop understanding of, and respect for, people of other faiths or beliefs and people who adopt a non-religious stance for living. Legislation allows parents right to withdraw, without detriment, a child from any religious observance or religious education. We aim to identify and agree suitable alternative arrangements, as appropriate, and we encourage parents to share their wishes with the school.
In the Social Subjects, the emphasis is on History and Geography. In Science, focus for learning is on Earth and Space, Energy and Forces and Living Things and the Processes of Life. Through Technology, we encourage the children to develop knowledge and skills and to apply these to practical contexts. All classrooms and the Support for Learning base are equipped with Interactive Whiteboards.
We have a specialist Music teacher one and a half days each week who, as noted above, also leads a school choir (P4-P7). Beginner (P5) and advanced (P6+P7) recorder tuition are offered. We have a specialist PE teacher two days each week who also takes a lunchtime basketball club and trains our pupils for inter-school athletic events. We have a Modern Language teacher who teaches French two mornings a week to our P5- P7 stages. In addition, P4 stage currently take part in an annual programme of swimming instruction at the Campus, while P5 stage has the opportunity of skiing lessons at Hillend Centre. We currently have tuition in Violin, Cello, Viola, Woodwind, and Brass instruments at P6 + P7 stages.