This year our school has introduced a revised knowledge-rich curriculum based upon the idea that all children should complete their primary education with a storehouse of general knowledge, along with the self-confidence and skills to use it. We want children to not just experience lessons but to learn and retain information from one lesson the next and therefore topics and concepts are revisited in different subject areas at different times to strengthen memory and retention of these ideas. The curriculum at our school promotes a lifelong love of learning, it prepares our pupils for moving on to secondary school and for leading their lives as citizens in modern Britain.
This is a central part of every pupil’s life at our school and is at the heart of our curriculum; every child in our school is a reader and so are their teachers. We teach our pupils to read through the use of the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, which you can find out more about here. Our pupils in Reception and Year 1 receive daily phonics practice each day. When pupils complete our phonics programme, they move on to a focused spelling programme that will further enhance their reading ability.
Throughout the school, we encourage every child, whatever their reading ability, to read aloud to an adult every day for 10 minutes. We know that this develops reading fluency and confidence as well as developing each child’s ability to focus on understanding and gaining meaning from what they have read, rather than simply decoding or sounding out the words. We aim for all children to also read regularly with an adult in school so that we can track their reading confidence and ability and ensure each child is selecting appropriate books to read.
Our library contains an extensive range of books. For emerging readers these are organised by difficulty to aid their selection of a suitable book. As children’s reading confidence grows, the books are arranged alphabetically by author. The children all have a digital reading code and are able to use our online reading library system to scan their book choice in and out of the library. We have also introduced recommended book shelves for each year group. These books are identified as being of an appropriate level in terms of content as well as reading difficulty and children are encouraged to select books from these shelves.
A number of our parents and carers also kindly volunteer to read with our pupils, one to one, during the week and we find this an invaluable support. All our volunteers receive DBS clearance before they can work with our pupils.
When teaching maths, we encourage the children to realise that their method and process are equally as important as the answer. We ensure that our pupils have a bank of strategies and the mental fluency to confidently solve mathematical problems in a range of contexts. We encourage our pupils to explain their methods, talk to each other about how they solved a problem and find relationships and patterns in their processes and solutions. Mathematical vocabulary is at the heart of each of our lessons; ensuring pupils understand and use the correct terminology in order to communicate confidently in a shared mathematical language. Pupils also work in mixed-ability groups, giving every pupil the opportunity to challenge themselves and extend their own thinking through working with a range of their peers.
A strong relationship between conceptual understanding and procedural fluency are key for pupils to truly gain ‘mastery’. In order to extend, we believe in deepening thinking within the area of study, rather than accelerating onto the next topic. To deepen knowledge and understanding, we ask questions such as: How did you get that answer? Can you prove it to me? What strategy did you use? Is there another way? Can you show me?
We believe that Mathematics is an essential tool for life. We strive to develop great mathematicians, who use their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills with confidence, throughout their school career and into their adult life. You can find a copy of the Calculation Policy that we use here.
This is the first official year of school for primary pupils and it is also known as the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The DfE has a statutory framework for the EYFS. At our school, the curriculum for Reception pupils is based on this framework and comprises seven key learning areas. The Prime Areas of learning are Communication and Language, Physical Development, and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. There are also four Specific Areas, which are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, and Expressive Arts and Design. You can find out more about these learning areas on pages 7-12 of the DfE’s statutory framework publication.
To learn more about how we enable the children to develop across these seven areas while undertaking the important business of play, please visit our EYFS pages here.
Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key stage 2 (Years 3 to 6)
In Key Stages 1 and 2, we teach daily English, Mathematics and Reading lessons. In addition to these core elements of the curriculum, children learn Art, Computing, Design and Technology, French, Geography, History, Music, PE, PSHE, RE and Science. You can find out more about the content of each of these areas, in each year group, here. Our pupils take enormous pride in their learning and in the presentation of their work; this is supported by daily Handwriting practice, which begin in Year 1. Development of Scholarship is highly valued at our school; we believe all our pupils are scholars and we refer to them daily as such. We hold a weekly Scholars’ Assembly, where teaching staff choose a Scholar of the Week to receive an accolade in front of the whole school, which reinforces the importance of hard work and perseverance.
Religious Education (RE)
As a Church of England School, we strongly believe that our children have much to learn from the study of Christianity and other World Faiths. We encourage our children to take an enquiry based approach where they ask questions and seek to find answers to some of life’s big questions. As a Voluntary Controlled school, we follow the Kent Agreed Syllabus using the Understanding Christianity materials alongside units where pupils develop their knowledge of the world faiths, and their understanding and awareness of the beliefs, values and traditions of other individuals, societies, communities and cultures. We encourage our pupils to ask questions about the world and to reflect on their own beliefs, values and experiences. You can see our curriculum overview for RE here.
Personal, Social and Health Education
To enhance our curriculum and cultivate well-rounded, happy pupils, we have designed our PSHE programme for pupils from Year 1 to Year 6; this teaches children to develop an understanding of themselves, of others and their role as citizens in their local and wider community. Each term, we focus on our core values and how they relate to the personal, social and emotional development of our pupils. A themed whole school assembly is then used each week to reinforce the culture of our school.
Physical Education (PE)
Each pupil at our school, receives 2 sessions of high-quality Physical Education per week. Some lessons are taught by our specialist PE teacher and some are led by the Class Teacher.
Our Physical Education provision aims to do the following:
- To ensure that all pupils experience a wide ranging and diverse Physical Education curriculum.
- To promote the importance of adopting a healthy lifestyle and highlight the benefits of physical activity on the body.
- To provide extra-curricular opportunities for pupils to pursue their interests in sport and physical activity.
- To develop student’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural experiences through a variety of sporting activities and competitive experiences.
- To enable pupils to work independently and as part of a team in varied activities.
- To establish and develop community with sporting agencies where pupils can further participate and fulfil their sporting potential.
All classes receive a dedicated weekly Music lesson. This lesson teaches pupils key music skills, as well as developing their knowledge of musical styles and genres. Every child will also learn a musical instrument as a class during their time at the school organised through the Kent Music Scheme. Currently our Year 3 and 4 children are learning the ukulele with a specialist teacher from Integra Music. Our weekly Singing Worship supports pupils’ interest in music and we also have a school Choir who last year took part in the Young Voices concert at the O2. We also encourage children to learn an instrument at school and we have music tuition for individuals and small groups provided by the Music for Schools Foundation.
As a school we are passionate in promoting opportunities for children to develop as well-rounded individuals. As part of this, we encourage children to have time outside of the school day to join clubs and societies and to spend quality time with their families. We have restructured our expectations for home learning to support this. In addition to their daily reading, children have weekly spelling rules to learn and practise and times tables to commit to memory. All children are also provided with access to the Doodle Learning apps for development and practice of core learning skills in English, spelling, maths and tables. Children are expected to access these daily to complete a small number of questions for their ‘x-a-day’. These intelligent apps will adjust the content to ensure it suitably challenges each child individually.
A range of additional activities support our curriculum. We believe that making the extra effort to provide a range of extra-curricular activities will stimulate pupils’ interest, knowledge and passion in the subjects we are teaching them. We also offer a variety of after school clubs, from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, which are delivered by our staff or external providers. Clubs provided by the school are provided free of charge. External providers usually have a charge however the school will support any family who wishes their child to attend but is prohibited from doing so due to financial circumstances. Please contact the school if you are in this situation. Please see the Charging and Remissions Policy on our School Policies page.
- Extra-curricular activities
- Home Learning
In the summer term, we hold a Sports Day for all of our pupils. Children are organised into mixed-age house teams to completed mini activities and earn points for their house. The event then progresses to races and the culmination of the day is the annual parents’ race that is hotly contested each year.