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Our School Curriculum

Our School Curriculum

Intent

We offer a rich and vibrant curriculum which is deeply rooted in our three core values: readiness, respect, and responsibility.

Ready

Readiness…

We encourage children to be ready for learning and open to new challenges. We want them to be bold and courageous in their choices.

Respectful

Respect…

We encourage a respectful attitude to others through team working and valuing everyone’s contributions. We teach the children to have self-respect, making the most of their individual talents.

Responsible

Responsibility…

We foster opportunities for children to be responsible for their own learning, allowing them to investigate areas of interest. We encourage responsibility for school resources and careful use of them.

 

Implementation

Tightly structured planning of key knowledge gives children the best chance of progressing quickly through the stages of learning to decode and calculate, so that they can read actively to learn and apply strategies independently to problem solve.

 

In our Foundation Stage the EYFS curriculum is followed with emphasis on the characteristics of effective learning. Planning is flexible and responsive to children’s interests and needs. Spoken language is a key priority with development planned systematically. In our Key Stage 1 we teach much of our curriculum through themed topics, allowing children to deepen their learning by linking knowledge.

 

We aim to secure confidence with phonic knowledge as a foundation for literacy. Across the whole school we use materials from Letters and Sounds and the Phonics International programme. This gives consistency in our approaches to teaching both decoding for reading and segmenting for spelling for all ages. A tightly structured, progressive reading scheme gives children access to a wide range of books they can read independently.

 

In Key Stage 2, English work is focused around high-quality texts and builds on the wide range of genres in our whole school reading scheme, which every child continues to be part of. Grammatical knowledge is targeted in planning for children to understand the effect of structures on their written outcomes. Foundation subjects provide opportunities for children to apply their skills in the context of different knowledge areas. For example, they might produce reports in Geography, persuasive arguments in History, and explanations in Science. Our humanities curriculum has been carefully designed in collaboration with our secondary colleagues so that our children are well prepared in the skills they need.

 

Across the school, we use the Abacus mathematics scheme to support and guide (but not direct) planning and teaching. This offers a mastery approach through a spiral of learning with regular investigations and problem-solving activities. Whole class teaching enables all children to access the learning whilst differentiated activities, and levels of support, enable the needs of individual children to be met.

 

Creative arts are taught in a structured and systematic way. All classes follow the Charanga Music School scheme which offers progressive music teaching. Art and design have a structured approach that develops technical knowledge and links to art history themes. Religious Education does not usually fit with a topic and so it is taught separately as a topic of its own or as individual lessons with strong links to our values. French is taught in Year 3, and an exciting new development is the start of Mandarin Chinese lessons for children in Years 4-6.

Wherever possible, we make links with other schools to give children opportunities to work with subject specialists. In the 2018-19, we have specialist input in maths, English, music, drama, PE and Mandarin Chinese through our links with Ridgeway Education Trust.

 

Part of our curriculum includes ‘Exam Paper Literacy.’ We believe all children have the right to be well prepared for external tests and be familiar with the layout and question types so that they can showcase their learning.

 

Although we value academic attainment very highly, we recognise that our 3Rs curriculum is not delivered through this alone. Therefore

  • Leadership is encouraged through activities such as peer mentoring, organisation of school events, and pupil voice
  • We offer a range of after school clubs and opportunities
  • All children during their time in school will learn to play a musical instrument, and music is taught on an almost daily basis using shorts bursts of rhythm, notation and song
  • If a class or group show an interest in a particular subject, teachers will try to include this in the school year
  • All children also get the chance to perform during the year

 

Impact

Impact is assessed in a variety of ways:

  • Short or narrative observations of children’s learning styles and use of knowledge
  • Annotations of progress in outcomes, such as work books or records of spoken utterances
  • Question practice in appropriate test format.
  • Case studies showing children’s participation in school life
  • Indicative data such as attendance

 

Analysis of impact informs short, medium and long term planning for learning, and the priorities of the School Development Plan.

The table below shows enrichment activities that took place in school between September and December 2018:

 

Activity

Rationale and expected impact

Boogie Beat sessions for Nursery children

Develop readiness for learning and phonological awareness

Choir

Builds self-confidence and allowed children to perform to varied audiences

Gardening club

Supports the learning of science and the understanding and engagement with healthy food choices.

Football club

Develops teamwork and physical fitness

Piano tuition

Gives opportunities for children to learn music in a structured way.

iRock Music School

Gives children to learn to play rock style music together in an informal way

Relax kids

Teaches mindfulness techniques and gives children strategies to cope with stress. Children report using these techniques.

PGL Residential visit for Year 6

Allows children to develop independence and growth mindset in new challenges. Forms bond with Year 6 staff.

Tennis Taster sessions YR-3 with Vale Academy Sports 26.9.18

Gave children an experience with a tennis coach

School Council Elections

Develops understanding of democracy and gives a leadership opportunity

Abingdon Cross Country competition 4.10.18

Allowed children to compete in larger venue at Tilsley Park

Small School’s 7 a side football league

Gives opportunities for children to represent the school

Superhero Day

Role play activities to support writing in Key Stage 1.

Anti-bullying Ambassador Training

Trained a group of Year 4 children in the skills to support their peers and school climate

Year 6 visit to the war memorial and church yard to investigate local history

Gave a meaningful context to history studies

Anti-bullying week and Odd Socks Day

Raises awareness of what bullying is and prevention strategies

Outreach Group applications

Develops children’s ability to apply for roles. Involves children in ‘courageous advocacy’ activities, child led

Children In Need Day

Develops children’s awareness of issues and gives feeling of empowerment

Let There Be Light Key Stage 1 evening

Practical science with light and dark themes after darkness

Takeover Day

Develops children’s ability to structure applications. Enables them to experience leadership.

Christmas Bazaar

Shared community project with All Saints’ Church

Year 4 and 5 Egyptian Evening

Engages the children in History topic

Christmas performances by Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

Develops confidence and spoken language skills

Visit to Oxford Playhouse for the pantomime

Develops cultural capital

Choir community carol singing

Raises the profile of the school in the community

Key Stage 2 pupils ‘Experience Christmas’ in the school hall

Deepens understanding of the Christian message

Abingdon FoodBank collection

Run by Year 6 Outreach group – gave this group an opportunity to present in assembly and raised whole school awareness on Christmas Dinner day

Year 6 World War 1 day

Experiential learning to link historical facts to experiences.

End of term Christmas service at All Saints’ Church

Centres celebration in the Christian ethos

 

 

Creative Arts At Sutton Courtenay

Still image for this video
Our curriculum develops children's knowledge to underpin their creativity.
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