Curriculum outline

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Our Curriculum

We have a creative cross-curricular approach to delivering our curriculum.  We develop projects to engage children, adapting to the children’s interests.  Throughout the year, we have regular special interest weeks where the children get the opportunity to explore topics more in depth.

Our planning is always created and/or adapted to the needs of the class and to individuals and groups within the class.

We pride ourselves on providing a broad curriculum, without being restricted on subject boundaries.  Flexible use of time allows for blocking, topic days and special interest weeks.

Throughout the school, children enjoy a rich and varied curriculum, with many links between different areas of learning. Common areas between Key Stages 1 and 2 include blocked time for RE, such as a half or whole day rather than regular weekly sessions; an enquiry based approach is followed in accordance with the recommended curriculum in Norfolk. Another link across the classes is daily guided reading, where groups of children read structured texts to enhance and develop reading skills and fluency.  Children may share a whole text across the class and respond to questions in focussed discussions of the shared text. We use Letter and Sounds supported by Monster Phonics in Fir Class and year one on a daily basis.  At the end of year one, children take part in a phonics screening test, which may be revisited by some children at the end of year two.  All classes also cover Personal, Social and Health Education – PSHE by following a PATHs initiative which helps children to consider positive attitudes to life and learning, and the development of skills such as teamwork.

In Fir Class (early years), the children learn through ‘In The Moment Planning’ which involves allowing child-initiated,real-time learning through play,based on captivating the interest of the children.  Children have a natural desire to explore and learn.  Practitioners support them in doing this by creating an enabling environment and using quality interactions.  Teachable moments are about recognising that children often learn in an unconscious way during casual or less formal interactions.  Within this style of teach we are looking for opportunities to allow learning to take place through child initiated play.  Phonics and maths have a discrete carpet session but are apparent throughout the day.  A PE skill is taught weekly and there is continuous provision for physical development in our early years environment.

The first class in Key Stage One is Beech Class, where the transition from early years learning to more formalised learning takes place. For a number of children, there are still gaps in their learning from Early Years, and so they continue to access this curriculum as well as Key Stage One learning. In Beech Class, learning is integrated wherever possible, so planning is based on the current topic and is adapted to cover learning objectives in different subject areas. To encourage language development, word banks and vocabulary lists are built up from the theme for learning. Phonics teaching is also linked to current learning themes, and occurs at least once daily. All children participate in guided reading groups daily and take books home to read with parents and carers. The weekly homework is a set of words to learn to read, words to learn to spell, and maths activities to be carried out or talked about at home. Play-based activities help to reinforce the skills that the children are learning.

Maple Class is organised to meet the curriculum needs of Year Two and Year Three children. In this class there is a mixture of core subjects, usually taught in the mornings, and topic work, which covers skills and ideas often found in history and geography. Wherever possible, different areas of the curriculum are linked together, so that a geography topic, such as living on an island, might be linked with a literacy theme, such as the books about Katy Morag. Other subjects, like PE, RE, art, DT and music, are also taught separately, but with links to themes and ideas across the curriculum. For example, PE lessons might explore the theme of forces to fit in with what is being studied in science. Children in year two are also working towards being assessed in maths and English through Key Stage One SATs (Standard Assessment Tests) in May; these are low key but significant milestones to indicate children’s progress in these key subject areas. In addition, children are assessed at the end of year two on their progress in phonics, which involves the blending of letters and sounds when reading or spelling. Children also continue to be given spellings to take home on a weekly basis. Parents are also asked to continue to hear their children read regularly, and time is given to hearing individual readers during the school day on a regular basis.

Oak Class currently is comprised of Year Four, part of lower Key Stage Two. Following the curricular progression throughout the school, children are taught maths, English including SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and Guided Reading daily in morning lessons. Strong links are made between subjects wherever appropriate: for example, when materials are being studied in science, children might consider which materials would be best for making Roman weapons, to complement history. In English, non-fiction texts like instructions might link with following instructions to make a money container in design and technology (DT). There continues to be a strong emphasis on progress and standards in English and maths, with guided reading and SPaG in class and regular spelling homework. Overall, there will be more homework set than in Maple Class, including weekly spellings and maths.

Willow Class currently caters for children in Year Five.  In a similar way to Oak Class, subjects are taught discretely but are strongly linked; for example, ideas in English often link with themes explored in art. geography and history.  In English, there is a continued emphasis on weekly spelling, SPaG and guided reading, though children are not heard individually as readers unless they need a boost. Maths, Spelling and English homework is regularly set.  

Poplar Class is for Year Six and subjects are taught discretely where appropriate but create strong links and themes with topic learning (history and geography), science, art and DT too.  In English, there is a daily continuous emphasis on SPaG, guided reading and writing.  Writing will often link to topic learning or be based around a particularly text being covered in class.  Regular homework is set for maths, English – spelling, SPaG and reading too.

During this year children prepare both for Key Stage 2 SATs in core skills of reading, writing and maths, and for high school. During SATs week in May, children are also tested on spelling, grammar and punctuation which consolidates Poplar Class’ emphasis on sentence structure and word knowledge.  Science continues to involve practical work and careful recording, while history and geography are taught within a termly topic. Homework follows a weekly timetable, and includes spelling, grammar and punctuation, reading, writing and maths with the possibility of some research for topics involving history and geography.