Throughout the following document the National Curriculum is referred to; as a maintained school, we adhere to the statutory requirement to follow the guidelines in that publication. The full National Curriculum can be found on the Department for Education website.
National Curriculum Framework
At Feckenham CE First School we value our freedom as professionals to react to what our pupils need right now in order for them to succeed, progress and thoroughly enjoy their educational experiences.
We are a Church of England school and our Christian values are promoted actively through a half termly focus. This is not only recognised in Acts of Worship but also in the everyday life of the school, in and out of the classroom.
In collaboration with staff and pupils the value for each half term is discussed and decided upon.
Early Years / Reception
Our Early Years team in Reception use a themed approach to learning which changes when the children are ready for a new 'learning journey'.
We deliver an Early Years curriculum that focuses on the three prime areas of learning
(Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development) which are essential for children's readiness for future learning and healthy development as well as delivering high quality learning experiences in the four specific areas of learning; Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
Our pupils have free, unlimited access to the outdoor classroom as well as Forest School sessions (led by a fully trained Forest School Leader) each and every week they are in school.
Although pupils enjoy choosing their own learning opportunities, we also have discrete sessions in Phonics, Maths, Reading and Writing as well as P.E and R.E.
ICT is available in the classroom with standalone computers as well as a class I-pad plus a set of I-pads that can be used for the development of IT skills and to supplement the early years curriculum.
Our curriculum themes are a movable feast as we like to react to what is happening topically or what the pupils find interesting and exciting, therefore making our curriculum organic in its design. Some examples of themed led learning has been through:
Going on Holiday
People who help us
Hot and Cold Rumble in the Jungle
Key Stage 1
The themed approach to learning is carried on from Reception, using the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum, when they enter Year 1 onwards.
The Essentials Curriculum gives the children a 'real' purpose for their learning. It includes all National Curriculum subjects and exceeds the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each class will have discrete lessons in Phonics, Reading, Writing, Maths and Science as well as PE, RE and ICT and PSHE.
We have chosen to follow the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum which sets out essential coverage, learning objectives and standards which are required for all subjects. Furthermore, it provides progress measures for all subjects. One of the main reasons why we have chosen to adopt this curriculum is because it emphasises the importance of developing the depth of children's learning.
As in Reception, themes for learning develop over the school year but will cover the statutory requirements in the National Curriculum.
As well as learning in core and foundation subjects, years 1 and 2 also attend Forest School each week.
Phonics in Reception Years 1 and 2
Phonics is taught from Reception and until a pupil has secured the knowledge and skills required to secure them as a competent reader and decoder as well as being able to spell accurately words appropriate to their age.
Reception begin teaching phonics through Jolly Phonics, a multisensory scheme that allows children to quickly experience a range of sounds that they can apply in reading and spelling.
Parents of Reception children are invited in to school for an information evening so they are equipped to assist their child at home.
In Years 1 and 2 children move through the phonics programme learning and becoming secure in phases 5 and 6. This will allow them to move forward into key stage 2 with confidence and develop their language skills further, learning more complex grammar rules.
At the end of Year 1 pupils take a phonics test provided to schools by the Department for Education. Parents will be informed of the outcome of this test. Any child who has not met the threshold will retake the test at the end of year 2 and in addition will be provided with targeted support in year 2 or beyond where necessary.
LOWER KEY STAGE 2
Key Stage 2 continue discrete lessons in Grammar, Spelling, Reading, Literacy, Maths and Science, along with Humanities, PE, RE, Art, Music, ICT, PSHE and French.
Again, teachers will ensure that the statutory elements from the National Curriculum are covered in all areas by following the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum.
As well as learning in core and foundation subjects, Years 3 and 4 also attend Forest School each week.
Grammar/Spelling in Years 3 and 4
Children will have discrete lessons in grammar and spellings each week when they are in lower key stage 2. Sessions may involve formal learning tasks or games aimed at developing a secure understanding of how our language works and how they can manipulate words and phrases to create a desired effect.
Pupils are taught the spellings from lower key stage 2 word list provided from the National Curriculum as well as very subject specific spellings.
Reading is taught through whole class and guided groups with some children having more 1:1 attention if they require it e.g. through extra reading time before or after school with the class teacher.
We want all our pupils to read well for their age and to really enjoy reading. All pupils have access to a free choice of books to take home and share with parents/carers for pleasure and also a book to guide them through the various stages of development. Adults are encouraged to read with their child especially in the early stages of reading.
Guided reading sessions in class are designed so the teacher can assess and instruct a pupil in their technical reading ability and also guide them to a good understanding of what they have read and how to interpret the text whether fiction or non-fiction. Children are encouraged to engage in conversation about the book they are reading; listening and learning from each other and challenging views constructively.
Writing is also taught as a whole class and through guided sessions. In the early stages pupils are encouraged to speak in sentences before attempting to write anything down and as they move further through the school a sequence of teaching and learning is developed so pupils are ready and equipped to write in whatever genre is being studied.
In Reception and the beginning of Year 1 pupils work closely with the teacher in focused sessions to encourage them to 'have a go' and be successful writers. Free writing choices are always available inside and outside the classroom (writing on the playground in chalk is encouraged!).
We view writing as a real work in progress with plenty of drafting until the piece is what you want it to be. By the time children are in lower key stage two they are used to being peer/teacher assessed and to making improvements to their work.
Children are given direct instruction in writing in different genres but there is always an emphasis and expectation that the secretarial skills of handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar are age appropriately accurate.
Maths, like Reading and Writing is taught through whole class teaching and guided groups. Sometimes 1:1 interventions may be necessary to address misconceptions or gaps in a pupils learning.
We want all our pupils to develop excellent mental maths skills as we believe this instils confidence as well as efficiency in working out maths problems and calculations. Children work towards gaining stickers and bracelets to celebrate their achievements in knowing their number bonds to any number (e.g. in Reception all number from 1-10) as well as times tables and the corresponding division facts.
Children are taught that learning is 'messy' therefore mistakes are not rubbed out but identified, addressed and left there as a reminder to children that they are learning
In Maths, the school is following a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract method of learning, which allows children to learn in different ways using practical, visual and written methods to be able to achieve understanding and fluency in maths.
As a whole school approach, we are focussing on our times tables and number bonds, to achieve better mental maths skills, to allow our learners to achieve greater depth in their maths skills. We are also focussing on word problems and problem solving.
Number skills and knowledge is taught solely in maths lessons for at least the first term, with other areas of maths such as Shape, Space, Measure and Time taught through continuous provision, where there is an appropriate link, e.g. lower key stage 2 were taught measuring length and angles through a DT project connected to making a safe environment for an elderly person to live in.
As in all sessions the time spent on each learning activity will be determined by how well the children are working, we do not stick to a rigid timetable other than adhering to lunchtime and a PE timetable for the use of the equipment