In Nursery and Reception classes we use the Early Years Foundation Stage to track and assess the children through the Early Learning Goals.
Our school follows the English National Curriculum for subjects from Y1 onwards and organises the curriculum to create meaningful links for children through engaging topics. We use Cornerstones© as the basis for planning our topics from Nursery through to Year Six. You can learn more about how Cornerstones organises the curriculum delivery by looking at their website here.
Each year group plans a series of lessons on the selected topic with cross curricular links including at least one designated text (children’s book) that will be read by the class. Topics will tend to have a bias towards either Science, History, Geography or the Arts, but they will be balanced across the year to give a broad curriculum that meets requirements. Sometimes Science will be taught discreetly as a series of lessons on a theme (e.g. electrical circuits) because it does not readily link to the topic being followed over the term. Each topic follows a cycle: the work is introduced with some engagement activity (e.g. a museum visit or a character visit) to excite interest and gather in prior knowledge from the children. During the development stage of the topic the key knowledge is taught, and children will often research their own information with help. The innovate section involves children working in small groups to explore and solve a challenge set by the teacher. For example, in year three children who have been learning about food types and healthy eating will be set the task of creating, making and marketing their very own smoothie! By the end of the topic children are ready to ‘express’ their knowledge and share this with parents who will be invited in to look at the work covered with their child.
The core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science are linked to the topics appropriately although the most obvious link is through literacy with a significant amount of writing linked to the topic.
From Nursery onwards we use Read, Write Inc to teach phonics and reading skills. RWI also supports our writing and spelling teaching across the school. We are a Ruth Miskin trained school for our commitment to Read, Write Inc.
From September 2019 we are introducing a new Mathematics scheme called Power Maths which is to replace the previous scheme used over the next 12 months. Power maths is based on the popular approach ‘Singapore Maths’ involving mastery of core knowledge through practical examples and exploration.
Religious Education, Sex and Relationships Education and Personal. Social, Health Education (PSHE) and Physical Education are all planned for and taught appropriately as required in a year group. Sometimes the themes within these subjects overlap with other subjects and when this happens, we make the links explicit. There is scope within the taught week to discuss issues that arise naturally (e.g. current events and news) and there is a strong connection between assemblies and PSHE themes. Physical Education is taught twice a week from Y1 to Y6 with children exploring physical activities both inside (the hall) and outside on our extensive grounds. Swimming is currently not taught because since 2018 we have been unable to secure and appropriate swimming slot because of the size of our year groups and the availability of pool time on offer.
The core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science are assessed by teachers each term and the information gained is used to inform future planning and revise teaching strategies. Parents are given clear guidance on the progress and attainment of their child against national expectations in the annual report, but they can request this information at any time and decide to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher and/ or a member of the Senior Leadership Team.