Our curriculum is built on the foundations of the Key Stage 1&2 National Curriculum (NC) for England and the Early Years Foundation Framework.
These documents and programmes set out the breadth of study and we tailor this to provide a curriculum which reflects our school community and surroundings. In addition to the subjects listed in the NC, Religious Studies are taught in line with the Cumbria Agreed syllabus (2017) with a focus on Buddhism, Sikhism and Judaism.
Our Sex & Relationships Education policy was updated in 2016, and this is taught within Physical, Social, Health and Citizenship Education which is taught primarily through SEAL resources and the Coram Life Education Scarf Scheme and includes coverage of British Values.
Mathematics teaching follows the Collins Busy Ants Maths scheme - chosen to ensure that there is a consistent approach to maths learning throughout the school with appropriately differentiated tasks challenging all abilities and developing a secure understanding of both arithmetic and written calculations. The calculation policy that underpins learning in each year group can be viewed here; this can be helpful to support parents' understanding of the approaches taught in school when working on calculations at home.
Parents can find out more about what the English and maths curricula involve here.
Topic planning includes a system of curriculum 'drivers', which aim to provide consistent focal points across the school. At present, these reflect our development priorities and, for KS1&2, are: Computing; Collaboration; Learning Outdoors; and 'Mathematics in Context'. Teachers plan for class topics that draw together objectives from the non-core curriculum, especially history and geography, and provide opportunities to apply English and maths skills in context.
Breadth of other non-core subjects in Key Stage 2 is facilitated through carousel activities, ensuring that coverage of these areas is consistent throughout years 3-6.
Outdoor Education is integrated into the weekly KS2 timetable, offering pupils opportunities to take part in collaborative learning in the outdoor environment, on site or in a nearby woodland, to develop their resilience and self-confidence, as well as cookery skills.
In PE, practical sessions in school develop basic skills of teamwork, tactical awareness and movement. The school endeavours to take part in multiple competitive events throughout the year, providing opportunities for pupils to experience competitive sport. Climbing sessions are arranged at a local climbing wall and other opportunities to take part in 'niche' sports are offered through after-school club provision. Swimming lessons are provided for pupils in years 2&3, with top-up sessions provided to those in subsequent years who may not have reached the basic expectations in the pool.
Modern Foreign Language teaching is provided through a partnership with the local secondary school and Key Stage 2 pupils study Italian in years 3&4 and French in years 5&6.
The school promotes a learning culture based on the principles of Building Learning Power, making pupils aware of the various skills that they can draw upon to be effective and independent learners.
We recognise that many of our pupils spend a considerable amount of time outside school hours travelling to and taking part in extra-curricular activities and sports.
To simplify the setting of homework, we primarily use Mathletics and are currently trialling Lexia. These online resources allow children (supported by parents) to access relevant tasks and to manage their own learning, enabling them to spend an appropriate amount of time developing the core maths and literacy skills required for succcess in the classroom. There is an expectation that at least 30 minutes per week will be spent on these resources, but there is no upper limit!
In addition, pupils are expected to complete weekly reading and spelling tasks and teachers will typically set a long term 'project task' to be completed over a period of weeks, linked to their current classroom topic.
Where appropriate, or where a pupil does not have internet access at home, teachers may also choose to send home worksheet tasks and will set an achievable deadline for these.
Our Marking Policy was updated in November 2016 to reflect the findings of a review of practice in line with research. It can be found in the curriculum folder of our online policy bank.
The marking policy supports an assessment system that focuses on formative assessment in the classroom, with the onus placed on verbal feedback and responses whilst work is being completed. This supports our wider aim of promoting independent learning strategies and pupil-initiated review of work.
Our classrooms recently became 'no hands up' zones, to promote thinking time and individual engagement as well as further facilitating effective formative assessment.
In the majority of year groups we use NFER test materials in the autumn, spring and summer terms to measure pupil attainment against age-appropriate curriculum outcomes. In years 2&6, national tests and the statutory teacher assessment frameworks are used.
Our summative assessment system converts raw test scores in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation & grammar and mathematics into 'steps' which are recorded in our central MIS.
These step gradings help teachers to identify pupils who require further support or who are exceeding age-related expectations in these curriculum areas. They also give an indication of likely outcomes at the end of each Key Stage.