Safeguarding and keeping children safe is our top priority.
Church of England (VA) Primary School
The Curriculum Overview below provides an idea of the whole school approach to the curriculum.
Further information can be found in the Class Curriculum pages, which give more detailed information of what is going on in each class during the term, the weekly newsletters, at parents evenings, open mornings or pop in to school and speak to the Class Teacher.
We intend to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, enabling all children to find areas where they excel and use their skills and knowledge to develop their learning in other areas, empowering them to be independent thinkers, reflecting on their school, local and international community.
Our curriculum embraces and embeds different approaches to learning, mixing a knowledge based approach, along with skills based where academic and key life skills can be interlinked and applied in different subject areas and not compartmentalised, thus becoming a more knowledge engaged approach.
Our curriculum enables staff to tailor their teaching to individual children. This is particularly evident in our provision for Key Stage One (KS1), where Year 1 children, should they require it, can benefit from another year in Class 1 in a Foundation Stage setting with more structured English and Maths. There is the also the flexibility for Year 1 children to join Class 2 at any point for Maths and English sessions should they need it. Other children benefit from individual tailoring either through their SEND profiles, Able, Gifted and Talented requirements or through identification of social or emotional needs.
We value the core skills of reading, writing and maths and integrate them across the curriculum where possible and expect high standards of literacy in all subjects.
We implement our curriculum through outstanding teaching and learning, delivering our children a broad and balanced curriculum. We use Cornerstones, a curriculum model that covers the National Curriculum, which focuses on four concepts for learning in each subject: engagement, development, innovation and expression. This curriculum provides strong links between subjects and topics, enhances knowledge and skills, and opens up opportunities to learn through first-hand experience and exploration with enrichment opportunities.
We use Read Write Inc, a phonics programme, as a basis to teach reading and writing. We make use of a variety of different reading material including; Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Literacy Web, Storyworlds, Rapid Readers, Magic Belt, Talisman and Totem series. We have a daily cycle of one to one reading with staff and parent volunteers. We encourage parents to develop a love of reading by regularly listening to their children read at home and also by reading to their children.
The impact of our curriculum is evident through ongoing assessment and tracking of children’s progress. We use target sheets in Maths and English (statutory and non-statutory objectives) to help track pupils progress. Through the evaluation of coverage noted on topic subjects, staff are able to ensure pupils acquire key skills and understanding, to build on previous learning.
The foundation stage is for children aged 4-5 years. There are seven areas of learning and development in the foundation stage curriculum through development matters.
Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. The prime areas are:
• communication and language
• physical development
• personal, social and emotional development
Children are supported in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
The specific areas are:
• understanding the world
• expressive arts and design
Each area of learning has a set of related early learning goals covering these seven areas, which need to be completed for each child by the end of his or her time in the foundation stage.
The areas of learning are covered through different themes such as "You and Me", "Autumn Leaves" and "Journeys". Much of the learning that takes place is play based with opportunities for the children to work with the teacher, either initiating an activity or leading it. Opportunity is also given for "busy learning" with children able to follow their own interests. The children have time to learn and play outside which is an integral part of their development. Our priority is to help the children to settle into school as we firmly believe that happy children can learn to love school and play together considering each other.
Our success is such that every year all our families choose a full time provision from day one, despite having the option to integrate their children slowly over two weeks.
Key Stage One children are taught new skills through a range of activities planned in a broad topic based curriculum, which also teaches social skills, so that children learn to share, listen to one another, consider their peers and develop spoken language, reading and writing skills based on the National Curriculum.
Our children love their learning and enjoy themes such as "The Enchanted Woodland", "Moon Zoom" and "Land Ahoy".
Key Stage Two children develop into more independent learners and are ambassadors for our school, working together, learning to take risks with investigations, trying out new theories and explore a balanced curriculum through the National Curriculum. The children are inspired by topics such as "Off With Her Head", "Scream Machine", "Frozen Kingdom" and "Gods and Mortals".
In Religious Education we aim to:
To enable pupils to encounter Christianity as the religion that shaped British culture and heritage and influences the lives of millions of people today.
To enable pupils to learn about the other major religions, their impact on culture and politics, art and history, and on the lives of their adherents.
To develop understanding of religious faith as the search for and expression of truth.
To contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual / philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own faith and beliefs.
We follow the Oxford Diocesan RE Scheme of Work and “Understanding Christianity”. Using “Big Questions”, the syllabus allows the children to learn about religions and belief, and raise and reflect on perennial questions about life. Christianity is the main religion taught, in accordance with national guidelines. In addition, Judaism is also taught in Key Stage One and Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam features in Key Stage Two units.
Example questions in Key Stage One (KS1):
How and why are celebrations important in religion?
What makes me special?
Example questions in Key Stage Two (KS2):
How do people’s beliefs about and attitudes towards God, the universe and humanity act as a guide through life?
What do different sacred texts teach about life and how do they influence people differently?
We hold a daily act of worship to encourage reflection on our values and ethos and we host a traditional church service once a term.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and collective worship if they wish.
We were judged to be ‘Outstanding’ in our most recent (April 2016) Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) inspection report.
We enjoy curriculum weeks and themed days where our children extend their ideas and engage in learning in one subject, such as “Art Week”, “PE Week”, “Science Week” and “Jobs Week”. These activities bring the whole school together.
We arrange educational visits for our children, to support and enhance their topic work.
We also make good use of our Forest School provision where we regularly access outdoor learning in the Forest School mobile classroom.
We have excellent, experienced and passionate music coaches, who enthuse a love of music within the classroom and also through one to one or group lessons as well as after school clubs.
Drama culminates each year with end of term productions, using scripts personally written for our children, enabling every child to participate if they wish to. Our parents and the local community are invited to enjoy our performances.
Equally sports are a high priority for us. We access highly skilled coaches who supplement our national PE curriculum and also provide their expertise in after school clubs. Our Year 3 and 4 children attend swimming lessons on a weekly basis. We take part in regular sport competitions and festivals, including: cross-country, tag rugby, football, badminton and hockey. We also benefit from having a large sports field, two playgrounds, tennis court, netball court and trim trail on site. We are affiliated to the North Oxfordshire School Sport Partnership (NOSSP), Youth Sport Trust, Change4Life and School Games. We have achieved the School Games Silver Mark and the Youth Sport Trust Silver Quality Mark.
We are committed to actively promote British Values, in accordance with the Department for Education (DfE) statutory requirements. Through our curriculum and school values, we encourage our children to celebrate, respect and be accepting of the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of modern Britain. We also explain that while different people may hold different views about what is “right” and “wrong”, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The government set out its definition of British values as:
The rule of law
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Sex education is part of the national curriculum as part of personal and social development. Staff respond to any questions, doubts or problems with discretion and sensitivity appropriate to the age of the child. The sex education policy is available from the school office.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from all or part of the sex education provided, except that which is required as part of National Curriculum Science.