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Curriculum

A creative curriculum to inspire

 

THE BROADER CURRICULUM AT BRABOURNE CEP SCHOOL

 

INTENT

At Brabourne Primary school, we aim to engage the children in a stimulating and ambitious curriculum, to allow them to acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to develop into well rounded and fully informed citizens. The broader curriculum is the launch-pad to reach this goal, creating a festival of cultures and experiences for the children during their time at the school.

Our curriculum aims to:

  • Ensure that all pupils have access to a broad, balanced curriculum for excellence based on the National curriculum.
  • Ensure quality curriculum content of each subject is sequential and builds on prior learning.
  • Be relevant to each child in the school, regardless of their age, gender, individual circumstances or academic ability.
  • Has some fluidity, to ensure that children with additional needs may access the curriculum in different and often very practical ways, whilst also ensuring that those children who attain ‘greater depth’ standards are challenged, inspired and have a thirst for knowledge.

We believe that Literacy, Science and Mathematics are fundamental cornerstones for children’s learning and development, but the foundations subjects such as Art, History and Geography are just as important to a child’s understanding of the wider world and their place in it. At no point do we believe that the foundations subjects should marginalised, but rather that they should be used to enrich and further the knowledge and progression of every child.Our curriculum is designed to be not just exciting, but also ambitious, providing appropriate challenge and enrichment as children move throughout the school. This allows every child to have something they can be proud of and fantastic in.In addition, we are part of the CARE Foundation Trust group of 10 schools, a strong collaboration of schools who support each other and share best practice. We are a learning community who share resources, training and learning experiences for both staff and children. Some of the joint events enjoyed by our pupils have been:

Annual Carol Concert in aid of the NSPCC

Maths Competition

Eco conference with the Mayor of Ashford

The Challenger Games

Joint science workshops

Spelling Bee

O2 Young Voices Concert

If through professional dialogue, or through assessment, it has been recognised that a whole school weakness exists, the staff will have sufficient time to support the children’s learning further through the use of theme days, outside speakers, trips or a re-evaluation of the existing planning, so any weakness is taken into consideration. During these meetings, staff will have the opportunity to decide when (and how) to use different learning styles, such as the Mantle of the Expert, so that the Broader curriculum does not become predictable and repetitive. It is believed that such as regular revision of the school’s planning will always ensure that the broader curriculum remains up to date, progressing skills onwards rather than a revising them, keeping the learning interesting and remaining in line with the mission statement above.

Each year, the staff will meet (at least twice) to evaluate their short term planning, MTP and the curriculum 2 year cycle. During this strategic meeting, staff will determine where to use theme days to enrich the curriculum further and they will ensure that all topics being taught are progressive and not a revision of the broader curriculum skills. During this meeting, staff (with the Head teacher) will review any evidence from the classroom, such as the Curriculum Skills books, and compare this against the progression documents and the National Curriculum listed below. The staff responsible for Science, PE, PSHE and French will also be able to compare progression.

In our broader curriculum books, you will see children expressing their learning articulately; observational drawings or 3-D sculptures, writing based on notable locations or events from History, scientific understanding highlighted through multiple mediums. As teachers we are able to take the opportunity to block subjects over a day or a week, rather than a more traditional weekly approach. Thus, the children’s enthusiasm and knowledge can be captured and retained.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

The use of theme weeks, topic days, school trips, outside speakers, outdoor learning, as well as interesting and varied teaching approaches such as the Mantle of the Expert, enable staff to implement this vision. These enriching experiences provide the children plenty of opportunity throughout the year, to develop their skills and knowledge. The weekly or even termly timetable is flexible, allowing teachers to derive lessons which are steered by a particular interest or line of enquiry, ensuring that the children’s understanding has been given every opportunity to develop, as far as it can, for each and every child.

In our broader curriculum books, you will see children expressing their learning articulately; observational drawings or 3-D sculptures, writing based on notable locations or events from History, scientific understanding highlighted through multiple mediums. As teachers we are able to take the opportunity to block subjects over a day or a week, rather than a more traditional weekly approach. Thus, the children’s enthusiasm and knowledge can be captured and retained.

Each year, the staff will meet (at least twice) to evaluate their short term planning, MTP and the curriculum 2 year cycle. During this strategic meeting, staff will determine where to use theme days to enrich the curriculum further and they will ensure that all topics being taught are progressive and not a revision of the broader curriculum skills. During this meeting, staff (with the Head teacher) will review any evidence from the classroom, such as the Curriculum Skills books, and compare this against the progression documents and the National Curriculum listed below. The staff responsible for Science, PE, PSHE and French will also be able to compare progression.

If through professional dialogue, or through assessment, it has been recognised that a whole school weakness exists, the staff will have sufficient time to support the children’s learning further through the use of theme days, outside speakers, trips or a re-evaluation of the existing planning, so any weakness is taken into consideration. During these meetings, staff will have the opportunity to decide when (and how) to use different learning styles, such as the Mantle of the Expert, so that the Broader curriculum does not become predictable and repetitive. It is believed that such as regular revision of the school’s planning will always ensure that the broader curriculum remains up to date, progressing skills onwards rather than a revising them, keeping the learning interesting and remaining in line with the mission statement above.

 

IMPACT

Our engaging curriculum is evident around the school and in everything the children do. It is evident in the high standards and results that our children achieve in the core subjects of English and Maths and in the wide variety of quality learning opportunities across the curriculum. There are many varied opportunities for our children to represent the school as an individual or part of a team through sport, music, cultural and spiritual events.  They seize these opportunities with enthusiasm and confidence and are excellent ambassadors for our school. It is carefully monitored by Subject Leads, the SLT and the governing body. Our pupils are confident and successful and have high levels of behaviour for learning. They are proud of their work and knowledge, and of their school, and love to take on responsibility. Whether showing visitors around the school, caring for younger children or organising charity events, visitors to the school comment on how well behaved, responsible and welcoming the children are and what good Citizenship they display. Their efforts are recognised and celebrated which, in turn, encourages them to want to do more.

As a staff, and governing body, we regularly assess the impact of our curriculum against the follow strands of the Ofsted framework (Quality of Education, Behaviour and Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership and Management) as well as the SIAMS Framework (Wisdom, Knowledge and Skills, Hope and Aspiration, Community and Living Well Together, Dignity and Respect).

 

Curriculum Cycle YEAR A/B

Jupiter Cycle A
  Term 1 & 2 Term 3 & 4 Term 5 & 6
Topic Title The World at War Welcome to the Jungle Storms and Shipwrecks

(Mantle of the expert)

Science Properties and changes of material Light Animals including humans 1 All living things 1 Forces 1
Jupiter Cycle B
Topic Title Back to the Future (Mantle of the expert) Natural Disasters Healthy Humans
Science Evolution and inheritance Electricity Forces Earth and Space All living things 2 Animals including humans 2
Neptune Cycle A
Topic Title The Dark Ages The Sands of Time (Mantle of the expert) The Environment
Science Sound Light Habitats 1 Electricity Plants, roots and shoots Seeds
Neptune Cycle B
Topic Title Hard Times (Rivers and Coasts + WW1) Between a rock and a hard place – inc local study the church The Ancient World The Sands of Time (Mantle of the expert)
Science Habitats 2 Forces and Magnets Rocks and solids States of matter Animals and keeping Healthy Animals inc humans and skeletons
Mars Cycle A
Topic Title Space – To Infinity and Beyond

 

An Island Life The Seaside (Mantle of the expert)
Science Light and dark Animals including humans Materials and their everyday use

 

Mars Cycle B
Topic Title Houses and homes (Mantle of the expert) Once Upon a Time Down in the Jungle
Science

 

Materials and their properties Animals, living things and their habitats Plants
Venus
Topic Title

 

Marvellous Me Once Upon a Time Helpful Heroes Wonderful World Wonderful World Under the Sea

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.

Knowledge, skills and progression in the broader curriculum

 


English

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.

Phonics

Phonics is taught from Reception and throughout Key Stage 1 as a foundation for pupils to develop their reading and writing.  At Brabourne we use the Letters and Sounds programme to form the basis and provide children with the skills with which they can become confident, fluent and independent readers.

The Letters and Sounds resource builds and develops children’s speaking and listening skills as well as providing them with the firm foundations needed for reading through the development of their phonics knowledge and skills. It is a detailed and systematic programme which teaches children the skills they need to read.  Children in EYFS and KS1 participate in a 20-30 minute phonics lesson at least 4 times per week and within each lesson there will be the following sections:

  • Revisit – where they will recap their previous learning
  • Teach – where they will be taught or consolidate a new phoneme/letter pattern or word(s)
  • Practise – where they will read and/or segment and spell words/captions/sentences with the new phoneme/letter pattern or word(s)
  • Apply – where they will read or write words or captions or sentences with the new phoneme/letter pattern or word(s) as w whole class, group or individually.

The Letters and Sounds programme consists of 6 overlapping , but progressive phases, which allow the continuous development of children’s phonics knowledge and skills. The programme begins with lots of auditory work; promoting good listening skills, rhythm and rhyme and environmental skills which form a firm basis upon which children can progress and develop to become fluent readers, who are able to spell words with complex spelling patterns in KS1.

By following this programme children will

  • learn that we can represent sounds by written letters
  • learn that each letter has a sound and also a name
  • learn variations of sounds
  • learn a total of 44 sounds and their corresponding written form
  • learn to blend sounds together in order to make words, getting progressively more complex
  • become confident readers over time who can read captions and sentences
  • learn to segment words into their individual sounds to aid spelling
  • develop spelling skills such as prefixes, suffixes, doubling or omitting letters

 

To further support our teaching and delivery of phonics we may draw or resources from other schemes, which we feel will strengthen the children’s engagement and understanding. Such resources that we frequently use are letter formation mnemonic cards from RWI, actions and songs from Jolly Phonics, videos and clips from the Alphablocks series as well as games and puzzles from providers such as  Epic Phonics and games and puzzles from Phonics Play, Phonics Bloom and Phonics Hero. These are used as and when they fit with the letter progression in the Letters and Sounds Programme.

 

Reading Books

Through the teaching of the Letters and Sounds programme children will be able to read, and to promote and enable children to become confident readers at Brabourne we use a range of books to develop this.

The reading books for children in who are working on the Letters and Sounds Programme (predominantly those in Reception and Year One) will be reading books that are entirely phonetically decodable and are in line with what they know. As we aim to instill a life-long love of reading we draw on range of different books to promote this. These include Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics and Bug Club which feature a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.  These books have been carefully ordered by staff, by number and are worked through progressively by the children, according to their phonetic awareness. Access to these decodable books enables our youngest children to build confidence and allows them to practise their phonics skills. Some of the books may feature high frequency and/or tricky words which the children learn to recognise as part of the phonics programme. Other opportunities to read together happen daily too and as part of the routine and/or environment. Children will enjoy sharing stories, non-fiction texts and poems together and will read captions, labels and simple instructions as part of their day-to-day learning.

Children in EYFS will bring home a set of grapheme cards and/or words cards at the end of each week. This is to enable them to continue their learning of that phoneme and/or words at home. Parents may also be directed to online resources to share with their child at home too.

As the children develop into confident and fluent readers they will move onto books that have been grouped according to their Book Band colour. These books allow for progression in terms of word reading and development of comprehension skills as they become longer in length, complexity and/or story structure and hold children’s interest and thus develop their reading stamina.

 

What will be taught when?

 

Phase Phonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception as part of routines) Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the “simple code”, i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception and Year 1) No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1)

 

 

 

Phase Six (Throughout Year 2)

Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Children will now have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme to phoneme correspondences (GPC’s) in the English language and will be able to read familiar words automatically and decode any new words quickly. Children will be able to spell words phonetically but will learn to become more fluent readers and accurate spellers.

For a more detailed plan of what is taught when in regards to phonics please refer to our phonics overview on our website.

In Reading, pupils, where appropriate, are encouraged to select and read a range of texts for enjoyment. Older pupils will read a whole class text to ensure they are exposed to quality texts that broaden and deepen their knowledge by answering comprehension questions. 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 from Year 2), and different genres of writing. We teach each separately at times and also all together when producing an independent piece of writing. High quality core books are used as stimuli for a creative and stimulating writing curriculum. Sequences of lessons are planned around an engaging text to make writing meaningful and motivational. Pupils benefit from some stand alone EGPS lessons as well as it being embedded within an English lesson. A range of genres are also taught within English lessons but also throughout the Broader curriculum. We also encourage pupils to write at home with the weekly homework tasks set.

We offer workshops for parents across the school year on ways to support children’s learning in English.

 

 Maths

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. We offer workshops for parents across the school year on ways to support children’s learning.

 

Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum

The children in Reception at Brabourne CEP School have their own classroom and outdoor area. Both environments have been organised to develop the children’s skills, understanding and development across the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are three prime and four specific areas of development which are categorised into 17 Early Learning Goals.

Prime Areas

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Self Confidence & Self Awareness, Managing Feelings & Behaviour, Making Relationships)
  • Communication and Language (Listen and Attention, Speaking, Understanding )
  • Physical Development (Moving & Handling) Health and Self Care)

Specific Areas

  • Literacy (Reading, Writing)
  • Mathematical Development (Numbers, Shape, Space & Measure)
  • Understanding the World (People & Communities, The World, Technology)
  • Expressive Arts and Design (Exploring Using Media & Materials, Expressive Arts & Design)

Throughout the day the children will participate in adult led activities as a whole class group of 15 or in smaller groups covering Phonics, Literacy and Maths. Throughout the week children will have adult led inputs covering other areas of the curriculum such as The World, Physical Development, or Expressive Arts and Design. However the children also have sustained periods of ‘learning through play’ every day where they can develop their skills in all areas indoors and outside, with the adults playing alongside them. At these times the planning is more ‘in the moment’ and children become the leaders in what they would like to learn. The adults in the classroom observe the children’s interests and made an assessment of what the child needs to know, learn or do next. Then by modelling language or skills and interacting with meaning, the adults are able carefully scaffolding and providing opportunities and resources for each individual child to test their new knowledge, practise their newly learnt skills and progress their learning forwards to the next step, there in that moment.

We use Tapestry Online Learning Journal as a way to document some of the learning and progression that takes place in Reception. We record WOW moments as well as observations completed over longer periods of time. This forms a bank of evidence which enables us to reflect and demonstrate the progress each child has made. Whilst we cannot record everything in this way, as it would take valuable time away from us being able to interact with the children, we ensure the observations we make are meaningful.

The children in Reception are very much part of the community ethos of Brabourne CEP and whilst they have access to their own outdoor area; at lunchtimes and playtimes the children join the rest of the school in the main playgrounds and hall. The Reception children also active participators in our whole school Collective Worship, where they learn to join in with our school prayer and hymns.

 

Science

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 Hamilton scheme for science and believe that science has a major role to play within our curriculum. We use the Mantle of the Expert, an inquiry based approach, support learning in certain topics throughout the year.                                       

 

Religious Education

Being a Church of England school, RE is a core subject for us. We predominantly follow the ‘Understanding Christianity’ scheme which asks deep questions about the pupils’ understanding of the faith, but we also teach pupils about other major faiths and help develop their spiritual awareness. Our Christian core values are promoted in collective worship and in class. Our vicar Reverend Chris Denyer,  is a regular visitor to the school. He delivers fortnightly collective worships using ‘Open the Book’, and engaging and pupil led approach to Bible stories and leads a Fellowship club once a week. We also make use of our local church for special services throughout the year.

 

Physical Education

There is at least two hours of PE each week. Our teachers have received a high degree of training in PE pedagogy and deliver sports such as  gymnastics, games, dance and outdoor adventurous activities, athletics, Lacrosse, Tag Rugby, Volleyball, Dodgeball and, in the summer, swimming for KS2 children at the Stour Centre with qualified instructors. Mrs Massie also teaches hockey every Thursday to Neptune and Jupiter class. We have a football and netball team who take part in numerous matches with other local schools throughout the year.

 

Computing

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 34 I-Pads, 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.

 

History/Geography

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). We place a high emphasis on encouraging pupils to value their English across all subjects of the curriculum.       

 

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.

                                   

Music

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.

 

Modern Foreign Languages

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. All of our topics have international and multi-cultural threads running through them, which broadens our pupils’ understanding of other cultures and their perspectives of the world.

 

Personal Social Health Education and Citizenship

PSHE is  taught as a timetabled lesson each week, following our scheme ‘Heart Smart’, but is also embedded into school life. With Heart Smart children learn about Relationships and Health Education. 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.

 

Outdoor Learning

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.   

 

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