The Curriculum

Early Years

Children in our Reception class follow the 'Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage'. We try to make learning experiences as fun and enjoyable as possible, through providing lots of play-based learning both indoors and out. We also provide children with daily focused activities aimed to develop understanding and skills in reading (RML), writing and mathematics. All our activities and learning experiences are aimed to develop outgoing, independent and confident learners, by developing the following 3 characteristics as described in the 'Development Matters' documentation:

Engagement; playing and exploring.

We aim to develop children's curiosity by encouraging them to use their senses to explore the world around them. We encourage the children to be playful, and willing to have a go and take risks by engaging in new experiences.

Motivation; active learning.

Children will be encouraged to develop their concentration and attention. Children will be encouraged to persist when they find something tricky, and take pride when they achieve their goals.

Thinking; Creating and Thinking Critically.

In the early years we aim to provide children with problems to solve, and encourage them to find new ways of doing things. Children are supported in giving predictions and testing their ideas, as well as teaching them different methods to approach problems with.

Through providing practical, hands-on, fun, exciting and challenging activities, we develop the following 7 areas of learning:

Personal Social Emotional Development;

Developing confidence and self-esteem

Learning about relationships with both adults and children, making friendships and learning to share, to take turns and to negotiate with others.

Communication and language;

Be able to talk about what we want an how we feel and will have opportunities to express this through role play.

Be able to enjoy stories, poems, songs and rhymes, and will develop the ability to use language to describe past and present experiences and a sequence of events.

Physical development;

Become good at moving, climbing, controlling and coordinating as we play.

Learn to use our body, feet and hands with more and more skill.

Literacy

The school uses the RML (read write inc) phonics scheme.

Recognise that words tell stories and that the words we see in the world around us tell people something.

See letters and words written down and to try and write them and use them when we play.

Learn the alphabetical sounds and through a mixture of speaking and listening.

Mathematics

Sort and group objects or materials and explain why we have done this.

Play with lots of resources indoors and outdoors and make comparisons in things like height, weight, size and texture.

Use words like under, on top, between and in front to tell where things are and to put thing in order when we play.

Have opportunities to build and make things with shapes and talk about what these shapes look like.

Understanding the world

We will be able to look at and talk about objects, materials, living creatures and plant life, noticing lots of details and things that are the same or different.

Be able to take part in explorations and investigations at all different times of the year in the classroom and in the outdoor environment giving us the chance to notice changes as time passes.

Make predictions, try things out and come to some conclusions and even give some reasons as to why we think things happen.

Expressive arts and design

Express our own thoughts, ideas and feelings through drawing, painting, model making and by using clay.

Use lots of tools to see how they work and what they can do.

Use natural and manmade materials to design and make our own creations, models and structures.

All of our work in these areas will be documented by photographs, mark making, paintings, observations and other pieces of evidence in our Learning Journeys.

Learning Journeys also have adult directed work in them.

As the children come to the end of their time in the Early Years, they will be supported with their transition into Year 1 to ensure the best possible start in Key Stage 1.

Discovery Quest

Our 'Discovery Quest' curriculum is based upon the International Primary Curriculum programme. It is a creative, thematic approach to learning based around specific learning goals for all foundation subjects. The curriculum is designed to make learning exciting and meaningful for children.

The curriculum is set out in themes. Reception work independently, Year 1 and 2 cover the same topics. As do Year 3 and 4 and Year 5 and 6.

(Click here to view the route planners to see the topics we are covering this academic year.)

The learning process involved-

Discovery Quest begins with a 'Stunning start' an introduction to capture the children, they then complete a 'Knowledge Harvest' showing what they already know about the topic as well as discussing things they might want to find out about. Following this children look at 'The big picture,' this explains the themes children will explore during the topic, setting out learning goals and giving a brief insight into the topic. Next children take part in various research and recording activities, these allow children to learn in a variety of ways. Finally children complete a short assessment to show what they have learnt throughout the topic, culminating in a 'Fantastic finish.'

The subjects covered in Discovery Quest include-

  • Geography
  • Music
  • History
  • International
  • ICT
  • Society
  • Science
  • P.E.
  • Art
  • Technology

The curriculum additionally provides opportunities to make cross curricular links with Literacy and Maths.

English

Our English curriculum aims to help pupils develop crucial, key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils are taught through the nationally recognised 'Read, Write, Inc' programme in Early Years and Key Stage One. The approach teaches children to read fundamentally using synthetic phonics (pure sounds). With this as a foundation, children are then introduced to a wide range of texts by quality authors such as Michael Rosen, Roald Dahl and Michael Morpurgo to name but a few. Writing is a key development area for our school. We aim to provide stimulating and engaging tasks covering both fiction and non-fiction writing genres. Where possible, teachers try to simulate an experience linked to the writing task e.g. writing a story about mystery eggs that arrive at school.

In Key Stage 1 we teach literacy skills using the Read Write Inc programme. RML is a synthetic phonic programme where our children learn sets of sounds and skills to build up their reading.

The use of Fred talk, blending and segmenting teaches children to build up and decode words as well as help children to spell accurately. We use homogenous small groups which enables children to learn quickly. Children have access to enjoyable stories which match the sounds they have learnt so all children can be a successful reader.

How can I help at home?

  • Practise sounds from an early age.
  • Teach sounds rather than the alphabet.
  • Use Fred talk when reading words.
  • Use Fred fingers when spelling out words.
  • Make reading fun with the use of predicting and questioning.
  • Read books of a higher level at home, together.
  • Help to teach your child the 44 sounds.
  • Feed your children new vocabulary.

We follow the national curriculum and further details are available on the class pages.

Maths

Our aim is to make learning mathematics enjoyable and exciting where possible. We want our pupils to become confident mathematicians. In Key Stage One, there is a strong emphasis on 'practical-based' learning linked to real-life situations, e.g. You have 6 sweets to share between 3 friends, how many will they have each? Pupils are also encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills e.g. You have £5.00 to spend on 3 Christmas presents, what do you buy and how much change do you have left over? Pupils in Key Stage 1 are also encouraged to learn their number bonds up to 20 and their 2x, 5x and 10x multiplication tables. In Key Stage 2, the emphasis on learning using hands-on resources and equipment continues. Our school is extremely well-equipped with a range of teaching and learning materials for mathematics. Pupils continue to be provided with opportunities to use and apply their understanding of mathematics in a wide range of real-life contexts and problem-solving situations. There is an expectation that by the end of Year 4, pupils will have a good grasp of all of the multiplication tables (up to 12x) as we believe that if pupils have these at their 'fingertips' they can access so many other areas of mathematics with greater ease e.g. fractions and percentages.

We follow the national curriculum and further details are available on the class pages.

Calculations

Each of the four areas of calculation (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division) now has a step-by-step guide which is based on the development of the child's understanding. This area is primarily about the children understanding why they do what they do to calculate an answer, and not just completing a written method with little understanding of the process. The traditional methods often leave children confused as to why they are working this way. A copy of our calculation policy can be found here. If you have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to speak to Mrs Jones who can give you much more information.

Science

Science is incorporated within our Discovery Quest lessons and when needed 'topped up' with additional lessons. The curriculum is carefully planned to ensure that pupils are given the opportunity to learn about each of the topics recommended in the National Curriculum. We place a strong emphasis on practical-based learning in science with an opportunity for pupils to develop their recording skills alongside. Each half-term, pupils across both key stages are allowed to set up and carry out an investigation linked to their current unit of study. e.g. pupils may plan an experiment which allows them to conclude which material is the most effective heat insulator etc.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Laptops are used across the school to support teaching and learning in ICT. We have a range software that supports curriculum content and promotes the development of ICT skills. All of our classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards and visualisers. Our website and learning platform assist our home/school links and communication.

Physical Education (PE)

Our school holds the 'Active Mark' in recognition of the quality of our PE curriculum for pupils. All pupils enjoy two hours of physical education each week which includes a range of sporting activities e.g. gymnastics, dance, games, athletics, swimming (for pupils across KS2) and outdoor education. All classes throughout the year are taught by specialist sports coaches and this is added to by a specialist sports coach who runs activities every lunch time for children to join in with.

Music

The curriculum is taught by school staff and specialist music teachers. All our Y5 & Y6 children learn a musical instrument.

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

MFL is taught as a timetabled lesson in Key Stage 2. Our 'core' language is French. Lessons focus on developing pupils' speaking and listening skills although they do contain elements of written recording.

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship

PSHE and Citizenship help to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. In addition to weekly lessons which cover a wide range of themes such as 'going for goals', 'good to be me' and 'relationships', many other aspects of our school help our pupils to grow and develop into happy, well-adjusted and responsible young people. Several pupils in our school are trained as 'playground leaders' or 'playground buddies' which helps to maintain a happy playground. Strong links with the local church help nurture and develop the childrens spirituality. A final important aspect of the curriculum focuses on helping pupils to develop financial capability. Upper Key Stage 2 pupils learn about local enterprise and also have an opportunity to set up and run a mini-enterprise project.

Religious Education (RE)

RE is taught as a weekly lesson across Key Stages 1 and 2. Topics for teaching and learning encompass all of the major world religions. We follow the locally agreed syllabus within Walsall in accordance with the 1996 Education Act. Our school is fortunate to enjoy strong links with Holy Ascension Church. Reverend Monica leads worship and support lessons in school where appropriate e.g. performing a mock wedding or baptism when pupils are learning about Christianity. The Parish family worker is also a regular visitor to school, taking class worship weekly.

Sex Education

Our Governors have decided that we should offer sex education as part of our school curriculum for pupils in upper Key Stage 2. Here a health education programme includes advice upon puberty and changes children will go through as they experience adolescence. Parents/carers have the right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons except for that which is part of the National Curriculum. If you wish to consider this option please come in to see the Head Teacher and put the request in writing.

Educational Visits

We provide many opportunities for children in all of our year groups to enjoy a wide range of educational visits e.g. Lichfield Cathedral, Severn Valley railway, theatre visits etc. In Year 6 pupils have the opportunity to take part in an outdoor pursuits residential visit to Manor Adventure in Wales. Here they can take part in a range of activities such as abseiling, canoeing, rock-climbing and much more.


Little Bloxwich C of E VC Primary School | Grenfell Road | Walsall | WS3 3DL
Tel: (01922) 684301 | Fax (01922) 683627 | Email: postbox@lit-bloxwich.walsall.sch.uk
Head Teacher: Ellen Taylor