A Creative Curriculum
Our curriculum is currently going through a period of development, to ensure that it continues to be creative, challenging and specific to our school context, whilst also ensuring coverage of the curriculum in a school with ever changing year group numbers and class structures.
Following a successful trial in the Summer term of 2021, we have continued to develop the curriculum and the full rolling programmes for Key Stage 2 and for the EYFS and Key Stage 1 are now in place. These include 'focus' themes within Geography and History and, while the entry point for different children may be different, ensure progression in knowledge and skills within and across years.
"The school provides a well organised curriculum that makes learning relevant to all groups of pupils" Ofsted 2012
Our wider curriculum is structured around four key aspects of learning. These are:
- Key Concepts - I understand ...
- Key Knowledge - I know ...
- Key Skills - I can ...
- Key Vocabulary - I use ...
The curriculum to which each child is entitled is laid down by the requirements of the National Curriculum. This curriculum is followed by all children of compulsory school age. During a child’s first year at school they will follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
We believe in providing our children with an exciting, creative curriculum based on a carefully planned thematic approach. Teachers plan the curriculum with a focus on developing the key skills necessary for confident and effective learning, which is enriched through the provision of additional activities and opportunities. We welcome visitors into the school to share their skills with the children. We also ensure that we have close links with the local community and our children are regular visitors to local events and places of interest.
In addition to the subjects above, the curriculum includes Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education. Relationships and Health Education is taught both within our Science curriculum and as a stand alone subject, with the statutory aspects of Sex Education being taught within Science. The content is agreed by the school governors and parents are informed of the subjects covered.
"Provision for personal, social and health education is excellent, and gives pupils valuable opportunities to discuss their worries and learn how to stay healthy and safe". Ofsted 2012
Our children enjoy their maths learning right across the school. Whilst we place a real focus on everyday learning of key skills, such as mental and written calculation methods, a thorough understanding of place value and great recall of number and times table facts, you will often see children learning in parctical, physical ways. Whether they are working with practical activities like cooking, measuring and making or taking their maths knowledge outdoors or applying their maths knowledge to problem solving activities, you will see the children working with enjoyment and excitement! We use the White Rose Maths framework to support our Maths teaching and learning and will be using their new, updated resources from September 2023. From September 2023, we will also be using Number Sense to cement early number knowledge and fluency in our Early Years and Key Stage 1 classrooms.
Phonics is the fundamental starting point of the teaching of reading and writing in our school. The chosen phonics programme followed by the school is the Letters and Sounds Framework and every Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 child experiences daily phonics teaching. Through this teaching the children are taught to recognise sounds and break down words into manageable chunks; this is then reinforced through all aspects of our curriculum. We follow the phases of Letters and Sounds throughout Key Stage 1 and at Key Stage 2 where appropriate.
We have a great range of phonics resources, which are used to support phonic teaching, where relevant, throughout the school. These resources were purchased with the matched funding provided by the Government.
Reading both stories and non-fiction texts is a fundamental part of our children’s educations. We have great collections of fiction books in the classrooms and a well-stocked library, which is kept organised brilliantly by our Library Club volunteers. Our children access a wide range of texts throughout the school. The main reading material at Key Stage 1 is made up of fully decodable texts from the Big Cat for Letters and Sounds reading scheme; these are supported by additional texts from the Hero Academy and Project X Alien Adventures reading schemes to ensure that there is a wide range of styles of texts to give the children a broad reading experience. These texts are closely linked to the Letters and Sounds programme and are supported by texts from a range of other schemes and 'real books' to develop pleasure in reading.
Reading continues at the heart of our newly developed English Curriculum, which is focused on high quality texts, linked carefully to both the English Curriculum and, where suitable, our class themes. These books are the focus of our class reading each half term and are supported by supplementary texts, chosen for their similar content, author or theme.
Writing follows reading in every class and writing tasks are mapped closely to the class focus texts, which are used as outstanding models for the four genres of writing on which we focus:
- Writing to entertain
- Writing to inform
- Writing to persuade
- Writing to discuss
Every child has a writing space to display their writing on our 'Writing Walls', meaning that every child knows their work will have an audience. Here their published work is shared with the school. Before publishing their final version, they work through a process of self and peer-editing.
ICT is playing more and more of an everyday part of our children’s lives. This is reflected at our school and ICT is woven throughout the curriculum. The children are taught ICT skills in programming, coding, digital creativity, communication, research and a deeper understanding of how ICT is used in our lives. We also focus on E-safety and, whilst this is taught through all aspects of the ICT curriculum, we also have a focus day each year in February to tie in with the national Safer Internet Day.
To aid this teaching we have recently invested in a range of new developments, including:
- 40 iPads to be used across the school
- 32 laptops
- 9 Chromebooks
- school wide wireless internet access
- a wide range of practical resources including programming resources, cameras, video cameras, voice recorders, animation studios, LEGO robotics equipment and much, much more!
The nature of ICT means that we are continuously looking at how we can improve the outcomes for the children at the school. We aim to keep up to date with changes in technology, and ways in which it moves forward.
We follow the agreed Somerset syllabus for RE: