Curriculum outline

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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 guided reading, where groups of children read the same text and discuss responses to questions in focussed discussions of the shared text. All classes also cover Personal, Social and Health Education – PSHE – which helps children to consider positive attitudes to life and learning, and the development of skills such as teamwork.
Children in Class 1 follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. There is an element of whole class teaching with a whole class focused reading, writing or maths activity using the interactive whiteboard, followed by a range of chosen or guided activities which allow children to apply, explore and developed the topics in their own way. The overall learning in the class is theme-based, and takes into account the interests of the children, for example their favourite books or the questions they would like to investigate. The daily teaching of phonics is also supported by learning practice and play activities throughout the day. Another subject taught discretely in this way is science, whilst topics such as music complement the learning themes in other areas. Physical Education is addressed through 2 weekly sessions, during which dance, gymnastics and ball-throwing and catching skills are introduced. Homework in Class 1 consists of reading, phonics practice and a weekly maths or science challenge. During their time in this class, children are also taught the basics of school and classroom behaviour, such as stopping, looking and listening.
The first Class in Key Stage 1 is Class 2, where the transition from foundation learning to more formalised learning takes place. In Class 2 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. All children participate in guided reading groups during the week, 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.
Class 3, situated in the mobile, is organised to meet the curriculum needs of year 2 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 2 are also working towards being assessed in maths and English through Key Stage 1 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 2 on their progress in phonics, which involves the blending of letters and sounds when reading or spelling. This is reflected in the strong emphasis on reading in Class 3; this includes guided reading, introduced in Class 2. 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.
When children enter Class 4, currently comprising year groups 3 and 4, they have reached Key Stage 2. Following the curricular progression throughout the school, children are usually taught maths and English 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 literacy, or 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 in class and regular spelling homework. Overall, there will be more homework set than in Class 3, including weekly spellings and maths.
Class 5 currently caters for children in year groups 5 and 6. In a similar way to Class 4, subjects are taught discretely but are strongly linked; for example, ideas in English often link with themes explored in art. Geography, with topics like Changing Coastlines, or the Norfolk Broads, also lends itself to links with art. In English, there is a continued emphasis on weekly spelling and guided reading, though children are not heard individually as readers unless they need a boost. Maths homework is regularly set, and significant progress in maths and English is a key aspect of progress in this class, as children prepare both for Key Stage 2 SATs and for high school. During SATs week in May, children are also tested on spelling, grammar and punctuation in the new SPAG test, first used in 2012; whilst this formalised assessment is new, it consolidates Class 5’s emphasis on sentence structure and word knowledge.  Science continues to involve practical work and careful recording, while history and geography are taught on an alternate half term basis. Homework follows a weekly timetable, and includes spelling, writing, maths and a little research for topics such as history.