At Birchfields, we deliver a broad and balanced curriculum through project based learning and discrete subjects. All our projects involve a range of cross-curricular activities including exciting educational experiences both inside and outside school. We adapt the Cornerstones curriculum - our teaching and learning follows the four stages of Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
Click on the pencils below to access the current National Curriculum document.
We teach Science with as much practical experience as possible to promote a sense of wonder as children explore questions though investigation. Across the school children design an investigation, make predictions, consider what makes a test fair and record their results. Science is taught discretely.
Children develop their knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom, Manchester and beyond. They learn the names of the continents and oceans - each classroom uses a world map throughout the year and within all subjects to contextualise places we talk about. Children learn about the location and characteristics of a range of the world's most significant human and physical features, advance their geographical knowledge, locational awareness and place knowledge.
Children develop an awareness of the past and use common words and phrases about the passing of time. Each classroom uses a timeline, consistent in format across the school, which can be added to as new and curriculum-relevant events are learned over the year. Children ask and answer questions and understand how we find out about the past.
Children are engaged, inspired and challenged to learn new skills to develop and create their own works of art, craft and design. We explore drawing, colour, texture, form, sculpture, printing and pattern.
Design and Technology
Using creativity and imagination, children design and make products across a variety of contexts. They share and evaluate their own work.
Children learn to understand and apply concepts of computer science, analyse problems, evaluate and apply information technology, and use computers responsibly. Children learn about how to keep themselves safe online, and know not to share their personal details on the web.
We teach the SACRE (Standing Advisory on Religious Education) curriculum where children learn about various beliefs of people in our community and across the world.
Music is taught by a specialist teacher. Children use their voices expressively and creatively, play instruments, listen constructively, experiment with sounds, play and perform, improvise and compose, use notations and develop an understanding of the history of music. Clubs are also run after school to develop musical knowledge even further.
At Birchfields, Physical Education and sport is highly valued. Our curriculum supports children to challenge themselves and offers opportunities for them to develop fundamental skills and confidence in a range of sports and activities. We aim to help them become more physically active and aware of making the right choices in how to lead healthy lives.
A specialist PE teacher delivers high quality lessons during PPA time and weekly sessions are taught by class teachers. As well as games and gymnastics children take part in swimming (Year 4), athletics and outdoor adventurous activities (OAA). In many year groups the curriculum timetable is enriched by a number of local clubs offering coaching and curriculum support lessons; such as Sale sharks- tag rugby, Maths and healthy eating and Manchester United & Burnage High School - football, multiskills and leadership skills.
We provide opportunities for girls and boys to access, spectate, take part, succeed and excel at a range of competitions, festivals and tournaments at varying levels in a variety of sports. We regularly hold or take part in friendly matches with local schools and enter a number of School Games competitions or local leagues, often qualifying for the Citywide Finals; such as cross country, tag rugby, football, boccia, cheerleading, netball, athletics, tennis, cricket and mountain biking.
We are fortunate to have excellent and well maintained facilities at Birchfields so a number of sporting extra-curricular activities are available and are very popular. Please take a look at our 'sports ' page to see our successes.
Modern Foreign Languages: French
In September 2014 it became statutory for children to learn a modern foreign language in KS2 (Juniors) and at Birchfields we chose to study French.
Children are taught the basics of the French language from year 3 to year 6 to build fluency and confidence year on year. At high school pupils are again taught a modern foreign language and we aim to give children a solid foundation in another language to develop later in their education.
As pupils are just beginning to learn French this year there is much emphasis in our teaching on speaking and listening and learning the sounds of a new language. Children learn how to talk about themselves and their families, food and places, celebrations and common vocabulary. They learn through songs and games and as much verbal interaction as possible. We also give children an insight into a different European culture as they learn about the country.
To promote an interest and passion for language we hold a ‘European Day of Language’ where children in KS1 and 2 get a taster of many different foreign languages taught by all our teachers. Many of our pupils are already bilingual and are very talented at picking up new languages. They show great eagerness and interest and are very adept at learning French.
At Birchfields we aim to equip our pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions as they become young adults. We teach them in three main National Curriculum themes: health and well-being, relationships and living in the wider world. We encompass these themes
into our half term projects and entwine them with work on our core values as well as British Values. Children are given a strong sense of citizenship and how to contribute into society. As part of their PSHE learning children also undertake lessons on life skills and a curriculum that promote children to have a growth mindset. They take part in lessons which encourage them to have active team roles so that they can effectively collaborate, problem-solve and work together.