St John’s CE Kearsley Primary School
Curriculum Overview 2019-20
“At St John’s we all work together to live by our inclusive Christian values. Everyone in our school family is encouraged to reach their full potential.”
Vision and Aims
St John’s Church of England Primary School governors and staff believe that all children are created equal in the sight of God and should be given every opportunity to develop spiritually, socially and academically in order to progress, succeed and achieve their full potential.
Working together, we aim for all our children to:
Be successful, self-motivated learners
Achieve high academic standards
Develop their values and beliefs
Make positive contributions as citizens
Stay healthy and safe
Respect themselves, others and the environment
Forgiveness, Respect, Encouragement, Kindness, Love, Equality
At St John’s CE Kearsley Primary School our aim is to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. There is a high focus on developing children’s moral, spiritual, social and cultural understanding through Christian teachings and respect for other faiths.
We aim for all learners to enjoy their education and make good progress in all areas of learning. Pupils at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through appropriate extension activities. Those who struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed knowledge and skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
Developing Reading and a love of reading for pleasure lies at the heart of our curriculum.
At St Johns’ we know that all curriculum must be built on a firm foundation of Reading and as such we encourage a love of reading and books and ensure that children listen to, share and discuss a wide range of high quality texts, and have access to our extensive library to foster independent reading. Alongside this we must ensure our children develop a strong vocabulary to ‘close the Vocabulary Gap’ that exists for many of our children. Teaching subject specific vocabulary as well as development of the wider English vocabulary is essential to strengthen our children’s Cultural Capital.
To support children’s reading, we use the Oxford Reading Tree and Oxford Project X schemes as well as other published schemes such as Rigby star and PM Benchmarking.
Teaching of reading comprises of objectives for each year group taken from the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. The Lancashire Key Skills for Reading document is used to ensure the appropriate skills are taught across each year group. The skills are organised into the following areas:
o Word reading
Our children will work at the level appropriate to their ability. Achieving the appropriate skill set for their ability by working through a range of literature throughout the year. Children will be encouraged to develop into enthusiastic and independent readers, being given progressively more challenging and demanding texts. Children are encouraged to read and use a wide range of sources of information whilst researching various subjects.
In Foundation Stage, children will be introduced to nursery rhymes, poems, songs and stories to help build upon their growing vocabulary. They will be encouraged to be aware of the print all around them and in their home/school environment.
At St John’s our approach to reading includes covering the objectives found in the Lancashire Key Skills for Reading document by:
Shared reading– All children are engaged in shared reading as part of an English lesson.
Guided reading – is taught discretely in 30 minute sessions each day in learning groups according to the children’s ability level.
Independent reading – a group each day will have a chance to read independently as part of the guided reading rota.
Wider reading – children access the school library at least once per week and choose a book to read for pleasure and reading class novels.
Reading for pleasure (dedicated Story Time) – each class reads a shared class novel.
Reading Area/book corners– each classroom is to develop a reading area for independent reading.
Home/Individual reading– all children will read their home reading book individually at least once a week to a teacher or teaching assistant. Homework is set regularly by staff in various forms and reading books are taken home each night and parents are encouraged to listen to children read regularly. All parents are encouraged to comment in their child’s reading diary.
KS1 and KS2 have a reading box filled with books to read outside or on the friendship benches which contains a wide variety of age appropriate literature for children to read at lunchtimes and playtimes
Read Write Inc and Phonics
Read Write Inc. Phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They learn to form each letter, spell correctly, and compose their ideas step-by-step. The programme is designed for Reception to Year 2 children as the main EYFS and KS1 early reading programme. Read Write Inc. Phonics is a structured programme – designed to ensure all children learn to read accurately and fluently. In Reception, the children will take part in daily RWI sessions lasting 20 minutes and building up to 40 minute sessions by the end of the Summer term. In years 1 and 2, a daily RWI lesson will last approximately an hour, this will incorporate phonics, spelling, reading, writing, punctuation, grammar along with speaking and listening. It is envisaged that by the end of the Autumn term in Year 2, all year 2 children will have completed WRI and are ready to move to No- Nonsense spelling sessions, alongside their English lessons.
Approaches to writing
At St John’s we encourage our children to become independent and confident writers by immersing them in high quality literature and engaging them in meaningful first hand experiences. We invite authors and poets into school to enthuse and promote great writing aspirations. Children have opportunities to write for a variety of purposes and have access to having their written work published using Young Writers. The national writing competitions run throughout the academic year and each class is given the opportunity to write creatively and have their work published in a regional book for everyone to read. Work is selected for publication based on perception, imagination, expression, creativity and use of language.
Teaching of writing comprises of objectives for each year group taken from the National Curriculum Programmes of Study. The Lancashire Key Skills for writing document is used to ensure the appropriate skills are taught across each year group. These key pieces of learning will support pupils in becoming effective and reflective independent writers. The skills are organised into the following areas:
Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
Our children will work at the level appropriate to their ability. The key learning statements are taught through lively engaging and creative units of work to ensure that pupils make progress as writers. Children are given opportunities to apply these skills in a range of different contexts. Lively warm up sessions, shared writing and guided writing will take place. Through independent and guided writing, children will have the opportunity to reflect upon their skills. These skills in writing will be applied in their cross curricular writing also.
In Foundation stage, we use the Key Learning for EYFS in CLL devised by Lancashire County Council which have been identified from the EYFS. Other documents include Development Matters, Read Write Inc and Lancashire Assessment and Progression materials. Throughout the EYFS key skills of writing are modelled and scaffolded by staff so that children are given opportunities to apply them in a range of different contexts and through continuous provision.
At St John’s our approach to writing includes covering the objectives found in the Lancashire Key Skills for writing document by
: Emergent writing –so that children begin to understand that writing is a form of communication and their marks on paper convey a message, this begins in EYFS.
Shared Writing-is an instructional approach to teach writing to children by writing with them. The idea is to teach writing through writing together and teacher acting as scribe as the children contribute their ideas. Shared writing is taught at least once a week in depth and modelling taking place each day.
Guided writing-involves a range of ways in which teachers support developing writers. It involves a small group of pupils sitting with the teacher, rehearsing, questioning, clarifying and revising as each child produces an individual piece of writing.
Independent writing-involves children writing by themselves with varying levels of support from the teacher. This could include writing in the role play area, writing lists, menus, diaries etc. or as part of continuous provision or in the writing areas in the classrooms.
Extended writing-occurs when children are given a set amount of time to produce a piece of writing without any help from an adult. Usually, the extended writing session will mark the end of a unit of literacy teaching and can be used for assessment purposes.
Cross-curricular English opportunities
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to take cross-curricular links. They will plan for children to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through English lessons to other areas of the curriculum. Teachers will encourage children to think about they can apply their literacy skills in other subjects.
For example-recording findings from investigations in Science, writing a prayer in RE. Writing a diary entry as a refugee in WW1 etc.
Teachers will think about:
Do the links make learning more motivating?
Do the links deepen children’s understanding?
Has the integrity of each subject been maintained?
Is there a natural overlap between the subjects being linked?
Are the links made explicit to the children?
Can children see why they are making the link?
Does the link guarantee appropriate coverage and progression in the subjects involved?
Does medium-term planning dovetail learning between the subjects effectively?
English Speaking Board (ESB)
St John’s is an accredited ESB SchoolThe ESB offers high quality Speech and Language qualifications in the UK and internationally. It aims to promote clear communication at all levels, stretch the most able and support the least confident and to recognise the potential of all. At St John’s we aim to raise our speaking and listening skills and enrich children’s learning by offering them the opportunity to work towards national qualifications in oracy.
The school’s focus on curriculum development has been carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression with frequent opportunities to embed prior learning. It provides pupils with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills as well as allowing children to develop interpersonal skills, build resilience and become creative critical thinkers. The children’s own community is frequently used as a starting point for engaging interest. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
As the school serves a community where there is a high percentage of disadvantaged pupils, we provide activities that children may not otherwise experience. We recognise that the children need both a sense of valuing themselves, and developing aspirations for their future and for their community. Development of an extensive vocabulary, which lies at the heart of all of our subjects throughout our curriculum supports in closing the vocabulary gap for our children.
Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. They regularly hold pupil interviews in order to check on knowledge and skill acquisition and retention. Subjects are coherently planned and sequenced to ensure progression of knowledge and skills throughout their primary education to ensure it can be applied and transferred across all areas of the curriculum. Key vocabulary is taught progressively and re-visited at regular intervals.
The curriculum design ensures that the needs of individual and small groups of children can be met within the environment of high quality first wave teaching, supported by targeted, proven interventions where appropriate. In this way it can be seen to impact in a very positive way on pupil outcomes. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Creatively produced topic books and displays give children a sense of pride in the presentation of their work. High quality visits, visitors and experiences and events enhance the curriculum and make learning memorable. This is essential to widen our children’s horizons and to develop their Cultural Capital.
To promote emotional health and wellbeing as well as physical health, a range of extra-curricular clubs gives learners an opportunity to access a variety of sports clubs after school hours. Our PSHE scheme provides children with opportunities to discuss and learn about personal health, wellbeing, safety, relationships (including anti-bullying work), differences and aspirations.
Our diversity work helps children to realise that everyone is special and unique and we should celebrate differences and different kinds of families.
In recognising the development of the whole child the pastoral support given to children so they can access the curriculum is very strong. Various programmes of support are provided for children where a need has been identified such as self-esteem, anger management and bereavement.
Our Principles for Learning and Teaching
• All children are entitled to be engaged in their learning and to be active learners; discovering and finding out.
• All children are entitled to understand what they have achieved and know what to do to make progress.
• All children are entitled to be independent, enthusiastic and self-motivated learners; raising their own questions.
• All children are entitled to time to evaluate and reflect on their learning.
• All children are entitled to teaching that inspires their learning.
• All children are entitled to teaching that encourages them to be creative.
• All children are entitled to be challenged and enjoy learning, as well as encouraging problem solving.
• All children are entitled to develop spiritually, morally and as considerate members of their community and the wider community.