At Shenley Primary School we follow a Creative Curriculum. We integrate the separate curriculum areas into a topic, which may last for a half term or longer and which is brought alive by exciting, active learning experiences. We develop the children's independent learning skills through personalised learning; children let the teachers know what they know already about a topic and what they would like to learn. Above all, we believe that learning should be fun.
We use Letters and Sounds along with Phonics Bug, an interactive ICT programme, to teach phonics. We use a variety of books within our reading scheme, having arranged our books according to Book Banding.
The Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.
Organisation of the Curriculum
· We emphasise Cross-curricular links between subjects wherever possible through topic based personalized learning opportunities with an emphasis on transferable skills development.
· The Core Subjects of Literacy, Maths and Science are differentiated so that the children in every class have access to the subjects at their own level, whether the class is mixed age or single age.
· The rest of the curriculum is organised on a two year rolling programme, so that all children will access each learning topic once in each two-year cycle.
· Some subjects are taught on a continuous basis, where skills and knowledge require frequent teaching and assessment, for example English, mathematics and computing.
· Some subjects are taught as blocked themed or topic work and wherever possible linked to the core subjects, for example, Geography, Science and History, where a distinct body of knowledge, understanding and skills are a main focus for block of time.
· Some subjects are taught on a continuous basis and as blocked work, for example, Music.
· Over the course of a year, the curriculum is weighted towards Literacy, Maths and Science, with approximately 1/3 of time spent on Literacy based activities.
· In KS2 thirty minutes a week is spent on Spanish. Spanish is introduced informally through registration and the use of simple counting games and Nursery rhymes in FSU and KS1.
· At Shenley we teach all skills and knowledge through a thematic approach.
· We follow the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus in the teaching of RE.
· The units of work are organised into a whole school long term curriculum map which is effective in supporting planning for continuity and progression.
· Foundation Subjects and Science are planned from a 2 year rolling programme.
· Teams use the curriculum map and the Hertfordshire Pink Book to produce medium term plans each term.
· Teachers will consult with and consider children’s interests before planning lessons.
· Plans are stored on the network server so can be accessed by teachers easily.
· Planning is monitored in accordance with the monitoring cycle.
Planning will include regular (at least half termly) LOTC (learning outside the classroom) and enrichment activities in order to enrich the curriculum. This includes residential off site trips for children in KS2
Curriculum information can also be located within the class pages.
Phonics, spelling and reading
Children in Nursery and Reception have at least daily phonics sessions following a synthetic approach to the teaching of phonics. Practitioners plan and deliver sessions that are visual, auditory and kinaesthetic. They visit our school library once a week with their older Book Buddy and may select a book to take home. As soon as children are ready to read simple text they will take books home to practise their phonics and key words.
Children in Year1 and Year 2 have daily phonics sessions and children falling behind their peers will have additional phonic teaching and activities. The daily sessions are differentiated by phonics phase following the Phonics Bug Programme and backed up by Letters and Sounds. Homework tasks may be linked to phonics to enable children to apply their phonics and to enable parents to support with development of phonics at home. Children in KS1, as with children in Early Years, also visit our library once a week and may select a book to take home. In addition to this children read books from our reading scheme which is resourced through a mix of scheme books from Phonics Bug, Project X, Oxford Reading Tree and others.
Children in KS2 have grammar sessions which include the teaching of spelling patterns. This is taught through discrete sessions which are additional to daily English sessions. All children have a log-in to Active Learn to support and reinforce their skills in decoding and phonetic knowledge.
Parents are included in their children’s learning of phonics, spelling and reading through strategies such as grammar and phonics workshops, reading events, reading record link books and spelling test results.