At Lakenheath Community Primary School, high quality literacy is at the heart of our creative curriculum. Literacy unites the important skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. Our aim is to develop our pupils’ skills in these four areas by providing them with consistently exciting and challenging learning opportunities. We aim for children to be reflective readers, independent writers and confident speakers.
Talk is fundamental to children’s development and we recognise the importance of speaking and listening for learning, and communication. We specifically teach speaking and listening objectives, as well as provide rich opportunities for children to practise these skills in a variety of contexts. At Lakenheath Community Primary School drama has become a key way for children to learn how to listen and use language in imaginative ways and express their ideas and feelings.
Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff with access to high quality resources and an extensive range of books, including digital literacy. 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 every day. If children have been unable to read with an adult at home, our dedicated staff take time during their breaks to read with them the next day.
Writing is a cross-curricular skill and contexts and purposes for writing are fully embedded in our creative approach. We aim to ensure that all writing experiences are enjoyable, purposeful and come from all areas of the curriculum. To enable this we use a range of strategies and approaches, such as talk for writing, VCOP and Big Writing. 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.
We use a variety of planning tools to support our phonics teaching and follow the letters and sounds programme. Our teachers are always thinking of creative and fun ways to engage the children in phonics and we dedicate at least half an hour each day to the teaching and learning of phonics.
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.
We aim to provide high quality learning experiences to enable pupils to become numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident individuals.
Our pupils should:
Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
(Science programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2, National curriculum in England, DfE, 2013)
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.
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.
All science work is based on the following areas;
Through their work in Science, children learn to develop an enquiring approach when faced with new situations and are encouraged to make informed conclusions.
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 two 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. 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.
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 to children from year 3 upwards.
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.
In PE we use 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 4/5) learn to swim at a fantastic local pool and are taught by fully qualified instructors. We aim to ensure that all children can swim by the time they leave our school.
We ensure that all children receive at least 2 PE sessions per week and we also provide regular opportunities for children to participate in local competitive sporting events including football, netball, athletics, hockey and tag- rugby through our membership to the Forest Heath School Sports Partnership. We also ensure a variety of extra-curricular clubs that many children in EY, KS1 and KS2 attend. The school has good facilities for indoor sport and uses both the KS1 and KS2 playground, ball court and field for outdoor activities.
Geography at Lakenheath provokes and answers questions about the natural and human world in which we live. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of problem solving and investigative skills both inside and outside the classroom. Geography is the link between the natural and social sciences and helps pupils to understand and solve problems facing the environment and the future state of the planet. We have several key stage topic themes linked to the geography curriculum at our school looking at both our local environment and the wider world.
History fires pupil’s curiosity about 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 and compare past and present. 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 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.
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.
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.
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. In 2016 we held an ‘art week’ and each class chose a famous artist to inspire some amazing artwork from the pupils. These were showcased in our very own art expedition and parents were invited to purchase framed artwork.
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 in this field of study. This is essentially a practical subject where children learn to use simple tools and to understand properties of materials so that they may choose the most appropriate one for a particular task. The children will be helped to develop an increasingly independent approach to working. Many of our ‘sparkling starts’ to new topics begin with some extensive DT work in the classroom, based on a " Tascwheel " approach to learning. Pupils enjoy junk modelling from an early age and well into Key stage two. In Spring 2017 our key stage two pupils have designed and made their own Anderson shelters (to scale) as part of their KS2 theme, World War Two. This was an invaluable maths learning opportunity as well as history and DT. Pupils are regularly given opportunities to learn through DT as part of the wider curriculum.
In History we use the programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2 for the National Curriculum in England. History is taught as part of a broader topic which changes on a termly basis. Each topic begins with a sparkling start and ends with a fabulous finish with the purpose of engaging, exciting and immersing the children in the theme of the topic. This enables us to make links between topics and to achieve cross curricular understanding.