THE JUBILEE WOOD CURRICULUM
In the summer of 2020, Jubilee Wood launched a new curriculum aimed at inspiring and challenging pupils to achieve to their full potential. We are now seeing very clear results due to this change, and are even more determined to continue on our journey of ensuring our curriculum meets the needs of all the pupils we serve in every single respect.
Our curriculum is based on high quality 'core texts' that the pupils study for a half-term in most cases, getting a deep understanding of the book being studied and encouraging a love of reading that will impact the whole curriculum. The pupils have daily reading and writing lessons that are all based on the core text so that the essential skills of reading and writing fully complement each other and the knowledge and understanding gleaned from one area of literacy has a beneficial effect on the other. In writing lessons, the pupils work in units of three weeks that very carefully support the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that are then applied in a 'Big Write' extended piece of writing on the last day of the 3 week period. Grammar and punctuation skills are interwoven into the daily writing lessons so that pupils learn to apply them in their writing and do not see them as something distinct from independent writing; instead, they use grammatical features as a vehicle for adding greater clarity and sophistication to their compositions. The majority of the core texts that have been carefully selected for their rich language content are novels, whilst at the end of each half-term either a non-fiction text or poetry is studied. A list of the core texts we use at JW can be seen below using the curriculum map link. Pupils use a fully cursive handwriting script from the outset at JW and are often joining their letters together successfully by the late infants, having first learned to form letters with lead-ins and lead-outs as a preparation for going fully cursive at a later date. The pupils all follow a structured spelling scheme that further enhances their writing and indirectly, their reading.
From Nursery onwards we use 'Read, Write Inc' to teach phonics and reading skills until such a time in Y1 or Y2 that pupils are no longer in need of this degree of structure. We are a Ruth Miskin trained school for our commitment to Read, Write Inc. Additional information about RWI can be found below in the links section.
We use White Rose Maths for our maths lessons in Years 1-6, and Power Maths in Reception. The programme uses a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach that enables pupils to develop their understanding in practical terms before moving onto more abstract representations. The programme is rooted in pupils developing a strong understanding of place value and number that then underpins their work across the wider maths curriculum, which includes frequent reasoning and problem solving opportunities in order that core maths skills and knowledge can be frequently applied. The White Rose resource ensures that pupils have the desired amount of practice with new knowledge but also have the opportunity to look at objectives from a number of different perspectives; in this way, learning is deeper and pupils more likely to retain their newly acquired knowledge.
'Topic' lessons, for history, geography, art and design technology, very often link to the core text being undertaken in that particular term, for example a study of the Victorians in history is combined with the core text, 'Street Child', in Y5, while Goodnight Mr Tom is paired with a study of the Second World War in Y6. Lessons in 'Topic' very often include enrichment of the curriculum, which can include visits by visiting organisations, such as a recent visit by three alpacas and their keepers as part of a South America study in Y4. Trips out to local places of interest, like museums and galleries, also help to further stimulate pupils' imaginations and broaden their knowledge. Information about the topics we study at JW can be found below in the links section.
In science, the focus is on supporting the children to carry out high quality investigations of various different kinds. In all year groups the science curriculum is well sequenced so that each time a topic, like electricity for example, is returned to, it covers different and more challenging aspects and objectives so that skills and knowledge are always being further developed and built upon.
A key feature of the wider Jubilee Wood curriculum is pupils consolidating and applying their core skills in non-core lessons, so a pupil who has learnt how to write a diary extract in literacy, could then use this ability to write an account of the experience of being an evacuee in the Blitz, drawing upon their newfound knowledge of this period in time from their history lessons. Plentiful opportunities for pupils to consolidate maths learning across the curriculum are also given, particularly in science and lessons.
We have specialist teachers that help to further enhance our curriculum: a PE coach leads high quality activities throughout the week, whilst a computing specialist engages all of the children in challenging computing lessons that take place in our new computer suite. Music specialists offer a range of children the opportunity to learn an instrument, from guitar through to violin.
Religious Education (RE), Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) and Physical Education (PE) are all planned for and taught as is appropriate for the 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 (currently led digitally) and PSHE themes. Physical Education is taught twice a week from Y1 to Y6 with children exploring physical activities both inside and outside on our extensive grounds. Swimming has not been taught in recent times due to Covid-19 (it was due to happen last summer term) and will hopefully be possible much later in the academic year once the pandemic has ceased.
The pupils' social, moral, spiritual and cultural development is very important to us at Jubilee Wood and their personal development is paramount. With ongoing personal growth, pupils will be able to access learning and to make the most of the opportunities they have across the curriculum. Our wider curriculum ensures that pupils have plentiful opportunities for personal development, and this ultimately leads to the very good behaviour, attitudes and conduct that pupils display across our school.
The subjects of literacy, mathematics and science are formally assessed by teachers each term and the information gained is used to inform future planning and revise teaching strategies. Other subjects are assessed in different forms throughout the year. 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, including at the twice-yearly parent/teacher meetings that take place over the course of two evenings.