Curriculum

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English

At Lakenheath Community Primary School, high quality literacy is at the heart of our creative curriculum. English unites the important skills of speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and grammar.  Our aim is to develop our pupils’ skills in all these areas by providing them with consistently exciting and challenging learning opportunities.  We aim for children to be reflective readers, independent writers and confident speakers.

Reading

Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff. We understand how success in reading has a direct impact on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation.  At Lakenheath, we are committed to children reading and/or hearing stories every day and now include daily sessions where everyone reads in class in KS2.  We have also begun to use the Accelerated Reader scheme in KS2 which allows reading and comprehension to be more closely monitored.  In KS1 the class teacher and other adults will hear every child read at least once a week.  There is also a reading challenge in KS1 where incentives are offered for regular reading.

Through a combination of guided reading and whole class shared texts, children are exposed to a wide range of literature daily. To add to this, as part of home learning, we expect children to read daily. We appreciate this is not easy for all children so our policy is that these children will have extra opportunities to read either independently or with an adult during the school day.

Throughout the year, we have reading challenges such as ‘Bingo Cards’ to complete and run reading cafés where children can enjoy stories and activities with their parents.

Writing

Writing is a cross-curricular skill and contexts and purposes for writing are embedded in our creative curriculum approach.  We aim to ensure that all writing experiences are enjoyable, and purposeful. As well as linking to topics, teachers use drama, film, picture books and current affairs to inspire writing.

Our approach aims to ensure children master different genres and purposes for writing each half term. These purposes include: writing to entertain; writing to persuade; writing to inform and writing to discuss.

Through shared writing, teachers model new skills, discuss types of writing and extend creative ideas. Emphasis is placed upon the process of writing as well as the product, and pupils are encouraged and helped to redraft writing where necessary.  Handwriting is also a focus and cursive handwriting is being introduced through the school.

All children in school have a ‘best folder’ for writing which stays with them through school and includes all their best independent work. High quality presentation is awarded and celebrated in our assemblies and PRIDE certificates are issued for high quality independent work.  

Phonics and spelling

Phonics is taught daily to every child in EYFS and up to three times a week in KS1.  Children in KS1 are grouped by ability to ensure that the teaching is at the appropriate level for every child.  We use a variety of planning tools to support our phonics teaching and follow the letters and sounds programme. Children who need further support in KS2 have opportunities for extra intervention in phonics and children in all KS2 classes will have a weekly spelling rule to focus on which will be appropriate for their age group.  

 

Mathematics

The 2014 mathematics curriculum identifies that the learning of mathematical skills is fundamental to understanding the world around us:

"It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment."

2014 National Curriculum

 

At Lakenheath we aim to provide our children with high quality, engaging and enjoyable learning experiences with links to the real world to help foster an enjoyment and enthusiasm for mathematics. We are committed to promoting positive attitudes towards the subject amongst pupils and adults alike. An early and vital foundation built on basic number work and simple mathematical experiences is fundamental to a child’s achievement and success in this subject. It is very important that children experience maths in practical situations particularly in their early years. Children are continually assessed throughout their time in school and their progress is carefully monitored and recorded.

The school follows the Primary Advantage Maths programme alongside the national curriculum. The Primary Advantage programme aims to build a strong foundation for the acquisition of mathematics knowledge and skills in later years. Our curriculum emphasises conceptual understanding, skills proficiency, learning of process skills and focuses on mathematical problem solving.

The programme was developed by a group of teachers from Primary Advantage schools in Hackney and is rooted in current research into best practice in mathematics teaching. It is based on the reforms to the Primary mathematics programme of study that become statutory in 2014. 

We are dedicated to guiding our children towards mastery in key mathematical concepts for their age group to ensure progress and avoid gaps in their knowledge and understanding that could create barriers to learning as they progress through the school. Assessment for learning strategies are integral to our practice alongside investigations, problem solving to promote mathematical thinking. To ensure that we are able to provide a high quality curriculum, the development and constant review of adults' knowledge and understanding is fundamental to our approach towards the subject.

Aims

We aim to provide high quality learning experiences to enable pupils to become numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident individuals.

Our pupils should:

  • develop a good understanding of number and it's place within the number system
  • know by heart "learn at homes" set for their year group, including number-bonds and multiplication tables up to 12x12
  • apply their knowledge and understanding to calculate mentally
  • calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing and paper using algorithms set in our calculation policy
  • be able to draw on a range of calculation strategies appropriately
  • make sense of number problems, including with "real life" context, identifying correct operations to solve them
  • be able to use bar modelling as a strategy to solve problems making particular use of the ‘concrete –> pictorial –> abstract’ approach to understanding abstract concepts
  • have the opportunity to apply their knowledge, skills and ideas in real life contexts outside the classroom, and become aware of the uses of mathematics in the wider world
  • use accurate mathematical vocabulary to explain their methods and reasoning
  • apply their mathematical understanding to judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary
  • suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurement
  • develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2d and 3d shapes
  • develop their "Learning Powered Minds" under the four key disciplines of: resilience, resourcefulness, reflectiveness and reciprocity, which are firmly embedded as part of our ‘5R’s’ values at the school.

Science

Most children have a natural curiosity about their world asking "Why?", "How?” and "What will happen if?". The teaching of science builds on this, helping to develop the basic knowledge, skills and understanding the children will need to enable them to cope with a life increasingly influenced by science. 

Science is taught in a standalone lesson throughout the school, with a subject designated book, however where possible it is thematically linked to the current overriding topic area. Long term planning has been completed as a whole school activity ensuring coverage of the national curriculum requirements during a 2 year rolling programme. Short term and individual lesson are planned by the teaching team in each year group.

Scientific work is based in the following areas.

  • Experimental and investigative work (working scientifically)
  • Life and living processes (plants; animals, including humans; living things and their habitats; evolution and inheritance)
  • Materials (uses; properties; changes)
  • Physical processes (seasonal changes; rocks; light; forces and magnets; states of matter; sound; electricity; Earth and space)

All children are encouraged to develop their investigative skills by carrying out practical activities so that they can see themselves as scientists. They work in a scientific way: making observations; asking why things are the way they are and what happens when things change; recording and reporting their findings; grouping and classifying; carrying out comparative tests; drawing conclusions. Additionally, children are taught to select and use equipment safely to carry out their own experiments and link their experiences with major scientific ideas. Where children learn to develop an enquiring approach when faced with new situations and are encouraged to make informed conclusions.

Science is currently taught for the equivalent of two hours per week in upper key stage 2 and one hour in lower key stage 2 and key stage 1.

Science where possible is taught through practical lessons, with investigations taking place in all classes at least once every half term.  Cross curricular learning also takes place through the rest of the curriculum, particularly when the overriding topic has a scientific lead.

Scientific language, mathematical recording and reading of graphs link areas of the curriculum through themes such as healthy living, (PSHE) exploration (humanities) and our sporting world (PE).

Beneficial use is also made of trips and visits, visiting workshops and speakers. This enhances the children learning and enjoyment of the subject. This year we are also taking part in a pilot scheme with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust to encourage the children’s love of the natural world and to increase the use of outdoor learning.

Assessment in key stage 1 is made mainly based on teacher observations as well as learning recorded in the children’s books. Some key stage 2 learning is also assessed with an end of unit test.

 

Computing

At Lakenheath we use technology to help raise the standards of learning for all pupils. Computers and other forms of technology are an everyday fact in today’s world, so it is vital that the children are aware of their influence and develop safe and confident attitudes in using them.  Staff and governors are aware of the need to embrace new technologies in the future and therefore work hard to adapt and improve our technical facilities and ensure they are utilised as fully as possible across the curriculum.

Throughout the school, pupils have access to an ICT suite, mobile computing and multi-media devices. These allow pupils to be taught within the whole class, in small groups or as individuals. Pupils use computers, digital cameras, audio equipment and other specialist tools to support learning in many curriculum areas. They have access to and experience a variety of different software applications including: Office, Scratch, photo art and drawing, systems flow and programming software as well as fast, filtered Internet access. The Computing curriculum has been redesigned and now we will be working to develop digitally literate pupils who are at home with the keyboard as well as the pen. We use the Scheme 'Switched on Computing' to support our teaching of computing. Technology will be used in all subject areas to develop digital literacy and in computing lessons specifically, pupils will gain an understanding of the fundamental principles of computing and a basic knowledge of programming. 

 

E-Safety

The safety of our children is the upmost importance to us, so we have a big focus on teaching our children how to keep safe on line. As a school we celebrate safer internet day, every year, we also dedicate other times to help our children remember the rules to keep safe online.

Modern Foreign Languages

The teaching of a modern foreign language at Lakenheath Primary School

At Lakenheath Primary School we have decided, as a result of collaboration with the local secondary schools, to teach French as our Modern Foreign Language.

The national curriculum states that the purpose of teaching a foreign language is to, ‘foster pupils curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world,’ as well as to help them to, ‘understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing,’ and, ‘provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes.’

With this as a mandate, language lessons cover the culture and geography of France as well as learning the language.  The majority of our focus is on oral work with an emphasis on practical communication for everyday situations.  As the pupils knowledge progresses more reading and writing is introduced although speaking and listening remains our priority.

Our aim is for children to receive teaching of between 30 minutes and 1 hour each week during which we use the Rigolo scheme of work to guide our teaching.  This is a particularly good scheme because it allows the children to listen to words and phrases spoken by a native French speaker.  It also includes animations and games for the class interactive white boards which the children enjoy joining in with.  This is supplemented with games, songs and story books to vary lessons and retain pupil interest.

Physical Education

Physical education (PE) is described as the only curriculum subject whose focus combines the body and physical competence with values-based learning and communication, which provides a learning gateway to grow the skills required for success.

PE at Lakenheath Community Primary School uses the programmes of study for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 set out by the National Curriculum in England. We follow a scheme of work written by Cambridgeshire county council and adapt this to meet the needs of all children. Pupils cover three areas of sport at KS1 – gymnastics, games and dance whilst focusing on developing the fundamental movement skills. In KS2 pupils cover six areas of sport– gymnastics, games, dance, athletics, swimming and outdoor and adventurous activates. All children in KS2 (Year 3/4) learn to swim at a fantastic local pool and are taught by fully qualified instructors. As it is a statutory requirement, we aim to ensure that all children can swim at least 25 metres before they leave Lakenheath Community Primary School. 

Each classes time table guarantees that all children receive at least 2 PE sessions per week, we also provide regular opportunities for children to participate in local competitive sporting events including cross country running, football, netball, gymnastics, dance athletics, hockey and tag- rugby through our membership to the Forest Heath School Sports Partnership. At Lakenheath we offer a variety of extra-curricular clubs that are available for children in EY, KS1 and KS2 to attend. The school has a range of fantastic facilities for both indoor and outdoor sports such as; a ball court, an indoor hall and a large playing field.

 

 

Humanities

Geography:

Geography is one of the main subject leads for our cross curricular topics and is also taught discretely as appropriate. Learning in geography inspires in the children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people.

This begins in Early Years and Key Stage 1 by looking at our familiar local environment. The children also learn about different continents and oceans in addition to identifying characteristics of the four countries and capitals of the UK and its surrounding seas. The compare and contrast the human and physical geography of a small area of the UK and a European country. The children will develop and use simple geographical vocabulary and observational skills to study the geography of the local area as well as learning how to use maps, atlases, aerial photographs and globes. They will also use compass directions to map locations. Each year they will have the opportunity to undertake fieldwork in the local area to track physical and human change to the local environment.

In Key Stage 2 the children broaden their geographical understanding and locational skills beyond their immediate area to include a study of the UK, Europe and North and South America and develop their awareness of some of the world’s most significant human and geographical features. By comparing and contrasting different regions the children will develop understanding of physical features such as climate, biomes, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and explore the effects of human activity on the geography through settlements, economic activity and the use of natural resources. Children will continue to develop geographical skills through fieldwork and the use of maps, globes and digital mapping. They will be able to use the eight points of a compass and observe, measure, record and present their findings relating to features in the local area.

History:

In History we look at the past in both Britain and the wider world. Pupils will have the opportunity to consider how the past has shaped and influenced the present. With each topic there is a 'sparkling start' with the purpose of engaging, exciting and immersing the children in the theme. History is intergrated within other lessons to enable links to be made between topics and to achieve cross curricular understanding. As they learn and investigate, pupils will develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events of the past. Pupils will develop skills through research, using a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and by engaging in active discussion.

Music:

Music is an important part of everyday life here at Lakenheath. Music is at the heart of our assemblies each morning, as children and staff come together to celebrate.  Music also has a vital role within our creative curriculum. As the children move through the school, they learn many important skills through composing, analysing, listening, responding and performing.  We are fortunate enough to have aperipateticmusic teacher who teaches the pupils in key stage two each week.  Every child in Year 3/4 learns a new instrument for a year (violin or percussion) and then has the opportunity to continue with this the following year.

Each year, events such as our Christmas and Easter services, Christmas Nativities and Summer Productions and school talent shows provide great opportunities to meet together with parents and friends from the local community and showcase these musical talents.

Religious Education (RE):

RE lessons at Lakenheath primary school follow the Suffolk R.E. Syllabus, using the 'Learning About Religion and Belief' and 'Learning From Religion and Belief' aims, to help understand and reflect upon the beliefs of those from different cultures and faiths.

All children are invited to reflect upon their own beliefs and values in this context, asking 'I wonder' questions. This is encouraged through hands-on activities and reflective opportunities in school and in the local community. The children also have opportunity to explore RE as a whole school during special assemblies which link to religious festivals from across the world. 

Employability for Life

We have been working with Suffolk County Council to develop a scheme of work to ensure our pupils are starting to develop skills for life which will enable them to be successful in the world of work when they leave school. This piece of work is currently aimed at Year 6 but we aim to thread it through the curriculum for the rest of the school shortly.

Please see the documents below for the broad overview of these skills.

PHSE

PSHE and citizenship education plays a key role in ‘promot[ing] the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental, physical development of pupils at the school and of society’, and prepares pupils ‘for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’ (2014 National Curriculum Framework document).  It is an important and necessary part of our curriculum, enabling our children to become healthy, confident and independent members of society and make positive contributions within a diverse multicultural community.  PSHE also supports many of the principles of Safeguarding.

Children explore topics such as empathy, managing feelings, self-awareness, social skills and motivation. They are encouraged to see themselves as valued individuals within a community and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all. PSHE helps children develop as confident, responsible citizens and helps to promote good self-esteem. Children explore feelings of happiness and excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, while learning (and putting into practice) shared models for ‘calming down’ and ‘problem solving’.  They learn skills of cooperation, tolerance, valuing diversity and working in groups, managing anger and resolving conflict. They develop a greater understanding of friendships, their own strengths and weaknesses and personal goal-setting. 

We use a range of teaching and learning styles.  Group work, ‘circle time’ discussion, role-play, and debates form a central part of our classroom PSHE teaching, but there are also opportunities for quiet reflection time. We encourage the children to take part in a range of whole school activities that promote active citizenship and healthy lifestyles, e.g. charity fundraising (Children in Need, Comic Relief, Christmas shoebox appeal etc.), participation in school events such as themed colour days and assemblies, local sports and arts events, pupil questionnaires, School and Eco-council activities and healthy living competitions (e.g. walk to school days, lunchbox awards, design a school dinner challenges, sleep, diet and exercise diary projects).  We offer children the opportunity to hear visiting speakers, such as members of the police or fire service, and representatives from the local church or charities, whom we invite to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community. A culture of achievement is promoted within the school through the celebration of pupils’ accomplishments in lessons and Collective Worship. Year 5 and 6 children are encouraged to undertake special tasks and duties throughout the school, e.g. as colour team captains and ambassadors, and collective worship team members. 

We teach PSHE and citizenship as a discrete subject with discrete curriculum time, as well as it being an integral part of many aspects of school life, including establishing class rules, settling disputes, and play during break times.  We also introduce PSHE and citizenship through other subjects, e.g. discussion of issues in story time or Philosophy sessions, and studying health issues in Science and PE. As there is a large overlap between the programme of study for Religious Education and the aims of PSHE and citizenship, we teach a considerable amount of the PSHE and citizenship through our Beliefs and Values lessons.  There is also a significant overlap between PSHE and our ‘Building Learning Power’ approach, which has a high profile across the school and forms the focus of Friday celebration assemblies.  This adds great strength to our teaching of five key learning dispositions, or skills: the emotional aspect of learning, resilience (perseverance, absorption, managing distractions etc.); the cognitive element, resourcefulness (questioning, organising, reasoning, predicting, capitalising, imagining, making links); the strategic aspect of learning, reflectiveness (planning, revising, distilling, flexibility, self-awareness etc.); the importance of risk takingand knowing thatto take our learning to the next level, we need to take risks. We don’t worry about making mistakes because we know that we can learn from these for nexttime;and the social aspect of learning, relationships (respect, sharing, listening, empathy, imitation, interdependence, collaboration, and expression).  We also develop PSHE and citizenship through whole-school learning opportunities across the curriculum, including daily assemblies, and special days or weeks planned into the school calendar. 

We now use the 2011 PSHE Association approved Cambridgeshire ‘Primary Personal Development Programme’ (PDP) as a framework when planning PSHE provision in Key Stages 1 and 2.  This covers all recommended aspects of PSHE and incorporates statutory guidance on drug, financial, and sex and relationship education, and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.  It categorises units under four main ‘strands’: myself and my relationships, citizenship, healthy and safer lifestyles, and economic well-being.  Provision in the Early Years is ensured through the statutory requirements of PSED in the EYFS Curriculum and is taught according to three early learning goals in self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour, and making relationships.

Outdoor Learning

Outdoor Learning

‘The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky’ (Margaret McMillan)

At Lakenheath we believe that learning outdoors is great for children’s confidence, self -esteem, wellbeing and problem solving skills. It provides opportunities for the most memorable learning experiences and helps children to make sense of the world around them by putting their learning into a meaningful context.

We believe that every child should experience the world beyond the classroom as an essential part of their learning and personal development.

We are lucky to have areas in our school grounds which support our belief in outdoor learning, the field, pond, forest area and the outdoor classroom

Later in this academic year we will be starting to run Forest School sessions for some year groups in school.

If you would like more information about Forest Schools please visit

http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/

Art and design

Art is considered an important part of our curriculum as it contributes to essential aspects of a child’s personal development such as creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection.  Projects are often related to topics being studied but are modelled to progress from first-hand experimentation and the acquisition of skills and technical knowledge to applying what has been learned with new independence and purpose, enabling pupils to become self-aware and confident learners. All work is enriched by the study of artists and craftsman from a variety of times and cultures.

 

Design and technology

In an increasingly technological world, it is important that children are aware of how design and technology can affect and influence their lives and that they develop the capability to solve problems using their knowledge and skills in this area. In DT, we follow the programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 for the National Curriculum in England, which can be found here. Across all key stages, children are given opportunities to:

  • Test and evaluate current products and designs
  • Design
  • Make
  • Evaluate
  • Choose and use a range of appropriate tools and materials
  • Learn about influential designers and innovators
  • Understand the importance and impact of nutrition and make a basic meal product

The children are helped to develop an increasingly independent and evaluative approach to working. DT is usually taught through Topic themes, for example designing and constructing a room in a Victorian dolls’ house during the Victorians topic. If this is not possible, pupils are regularly given opportunities to learn through DT as part of the wider curriculum and cross-curricular links are made whenever possible.

 

 

RE

 At Lakenheath we follow the Emmanuel Project scheme of work which is line with Suffolk R.E. Syllabus, using the 'Learning About Religion and Belief' and 'Learning From Religion and Belief' aims, to help understand and reflect upon the beliefs of those from different cultures and faiths.

All children are invited to reflect upon their own beliefs and values in this context, asking 'I wonder' questions. This is encouraged through hands-on activities and reflective opportunities in school and in the local community. The children also have opportunity to explore RE as a whole school during special assemblies which link to religious festivals from across the world.