Our school follows the National Curriculum 2014 for Year 1 to 6; and the Early Years Foundation Stage framework for Year R (below are downloads for both of these mentioned documents). Here, we describe how this is applied to our own school curriculum.
More detailed plans can be found in the termly newsletters sent to parents – these can also be found on each class page of this website.
Many subjects are taught through topics (the curriculum plan showing the topics can be downloaded from the link below) where there are cross curricular connections around a topic – eg a topic on food could include science, geography, history, art, DT, computing, and of course English and maths.
As three of our classes have mixed years, we have a rolling programme for our topic work so that a pupil will not repeat the same topic. We do, however, think of our curriculum as being spiral, so skills and knowledge will be reinforced at a progressively higher level each time.
Our creative curriculum
This consists of 3 aspects; speaking and listening, reading and writing. We believe speaking and listening is vital in all years and during lessons, pupils will be encouraged to verbalise what they are thinking, either to the teacher or to their peers.
Reading is the most important key skill and we teach this through phonics (the phonics scheme we use is Letters and Sound) to help young pupils to decode words and then later on through activities such as guided reading to help them to develop literal and inferential comprehension of what they have read. Younger pupils follow a reading scheme, the core of which is Oxford Reading Tree but there is a wide variety of other books available. Pupils read regularly during the school week; to staff, to parent-helpers, during quiet reading times, as well as for research in other subjects.
Writing consists of many skills. Spelling, grammar, punctuation, handwriting (we use the cursive style), and different genres of writing. We teach each separately at times and also all together when producing an independent piece of writing. This is done during Literacy lessons and also topic times.
Learning about grammar and spelling in a fun way
Year 5/6 lesson on inference with voice editing
At Brabourne, all teachers use the White Rose Maths Hub as a process for teaching mathematics. When introducing children to new concepts, they should have the opportunity to build fluency in topics by taking the following approach: Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Pictorial – children should build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems. Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children should be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence. Reasoning and problem solving is encompassed in the above approaches to deepen and master all aspects of mathematics. This policy outlines the different calculation strategies that should be taught and used from Year R to Year 6 in line with the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum 2014. In 2017/2018 we are offering workshops for parents across the school on ways to support children’s learning.
Reasoning and problem solving in maths books Y5/6
At Brabourne we believe in teaching science in a practical, cross-curricular way, ensuring that children gain knowledge through exploration and pupil-led research. We follow the Kent scheme for science and believe that science has a major role to play within our curriculum.
Year 5/6 science investigation into circuits Science investigation into light
Being a Church of England school, RE is a core subject for us. We follow the Agreed syllabus which is predominately Christian but also teaches pupils about other major faiths and help develop their spiritual awareness. Our Christian core values are promoted in collective worship and in class. We are working towards an inquiry based approach to learning RE using ‘Understanding Christianity’ as our core resource. The local vicar is a regular visitor and we make use of our local church for special services throughout the year.
Year 3/4 examining Church rubbings during RE week
Making our olive tree pots during RE week
There is at least two hours of PE each week. We have used the Sports Funding to employ a PE specialist coach to teach a variety of sports skills to each class one session a week. The class teacher works alongside the coach so it up-skills them for when they teach PE for the other session. The PE taught includes gymnastics, games, dance and outdoor adventurous activities and in the summer term, athletics and swimming for KS2 children at the Stour Centre with qualified instructors. Mrs Massie also teaches hockey every Thursday to Neptune and Jupiter class.
Computers (and other devices) are used to enhance teaching in other subjects eg finding historical information from Internet or playing maths game, etc, but we also teach computing as a discrete subject following the Purple Mash scheme of work. This covers all elements of the Computing curriculum including programming.
Classrooms have Interactive Projectors. We have a suite of 16 laptops, plus additional computers (desktops and laptops) in classes and a set of ten I-Pads in each class, all connected to the network via Wi-Fi. Much of the resources are now on-line and we have a fast fibre optic broadband connection.
Augmented reality using i-pads
Cross-curricular Lewis Carrol lesson using Computing
Both these subjects are generally taught as part of topic work (as explained above) and our long term plan ensures that all the skills and knowledge are covered over the key stage as well as the specific historical time periods and geographical themes in the programmes of study. The work produced in these subjects will therefore be found inside topic books but also in displays, in digital form, and many other practical forms (which may not necessarily be recorded).
Y5/6 pupils make Stone Age tools Learning about castles with Mars class’ sensory corner
Year 5 Geography work on conservation
Art / Design and Technology
Both these subjects are also generally taught through topic work. We pride ourselves on the artwork produced and the lovely displays in classrooms and around the school. The range of media taught in the school is broad – ranging from outdoor environmental sculptures to digitally produced computer images. DT also varies and progresses from simple junk modelling in Year R to model helicopters with working rotors in Year 5/6.
Art week in Year R
On our doorstep we have the spectacular surroundings of the North Downs; the perfect backdrop for Outdoor Learning. This takes place once a week in each class and these lessons foster team-building skills, independence, resilience and life skills, as well as a love for nature and the outdoors.
Exploring the North Downs
Making tools and cooking with foraged berries
We are fortunate in having a very talented professional musician, Richard Dray to teach music to each class – singing and instrumental; as well as providing private music tuition to many of our pupils. There is the opportunity to learn guitars, violins, recorders and piano.
Music at Brabourne
Modern Foreign Language
Pupils are taught French from the moment they join the school. Simple greetings in Year R to more advanced spoken phrases further up the school. Again, we are fortunate in having a number of staff fluent in other languages.
Personal Social Health Education and Citizenship
PSHE is sometimes taught as a timetabled lesson such as discussing health in Science or friendship in ‘circle time’, but is also embedded into school life. As part of citizenship, our children also learn about British values of democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Our British values live alongside and intertwine with our Christian values and the children learn about these as part of their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development.
Foundation Stage curriculum
There are three prime and four specific areas of development in the early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. These are:
- Physical Development
- Personal, Social, Emotional Development
- Communication and language
- Expressive Art and Design
- Understanding the World
These are taught partly through topic, partly as specific teacher directed lessons eg phonics; and partly through child initiated learning.