General Curriculum information and Subjects
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum for England and Wales which set out exactly what children should know and be able to do at different milestones throughout their education. We believe that children learn best when activities and experiences are purposeful and relevant and so our school curriculum (the way in which we interpret and deliver the National Curriculum) is diverse and continually changing as we adapt to the needs and interests and time of the children. We endeavour to make learning relevant and purposeful and we draw on our wonderfully rich local heritage and culture whenever possible. Learning in the basic skills is a priority and so maths and English are at the heart of our curriculum and are threaded through every other subject. We follow a two year cycle in all subjects other than English and maths, these are available to view on our website where we endeavour to keep them up to date. The main subjects covered in our curriculum are as follows:
There are seven areas of learning and development which shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, building their capacity to learn and to form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
- Communication and Language;
- Physical Development; and
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Early years settings must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
- Understanding the World; and
- Expressive Arts and Design
- Communication and language
Children’s development involves giving them opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
- Physical Development involves providing activities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves, and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups;and to have confidence in their own abilities.
- Literacy Development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children will be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest. We use 'Letters and Sounds' as well as 'Jolly Phonics' to support the early teaching of phonics.
- Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
- Understanding the World involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.
- Expressive Arts and Design involves enabling children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology.
Activities in Early Years are carefully balanced so that children have the freedom to learn through play in a variety of contexts as well as having opportunities to work alongside, and sometimes under, the direction of adults in school. Classrooms are set up to reflect the seven areas of learning and are well resourced. Each day there are different and stimulating activities planned to capture the interest and imaginations of children in Reception. Some of these activities are adult-led and others are child-led. Our staff are committed to making every day count and most of all to give children with a love of learning which, alongside early skills in the seven areas of learning, will equip them well for the years to come.
Our two classes work closely together so that all staff know the children’s individual needs and the children are confident and flexible when working with different groups and individuals. Our Reception Classes follow the Early Years Curriculum while still taking part in many aspects of school life so that transition into Key Stage 1 is a natural and positive experience.
Key Stages 1 and 2
Children have a daily literacy lesson during which they learn the skills of:
- Spoken Language
Becoming a confident and articulate speaker and an active and purposeful listener are essential skills for children in both learning and social situations. Understanding and using spoken English equips children with the confidence and the knowledge needed for writing. Speaking and listening activities can be planned (drama, role play, debates, meetings etc) or may arise naturally (questioning in lessons, talk around problem solving, chatting on the yard etc).
After Reception most children enter Key Stage 1 as readers. The phonics teaching started in Reception continues at the level appropriate to each child so that they have the best possible activities to support their development and help them to make sense of a growing number of texts. Children are exposed to a huge variety of texts in school and read for pleasure as well as for understanding. We value quality literature and aim to give children a love of books as well as the skills to make sense of them. Everyone in school is part of a reading family and has a special reading partner from another class. All children have access to the school library and we have lots of different initiatives and celebrations to make sure that good reading habits are established as early as possible. Children begin their reading journey by learning to read but are soon reading to learn as they depend on their skills to access many parts of the school curriculum. We place great emphasis on developing effective reading strategies and skills throughout school and children receive as much support as we are able to give them. Children are taught the skills of reading through whole class teaching and Guided Reading in groups, they then have an individual reading book which travels between school and home so that they can practise their developing skills. Reading at home for 10 minutes each day has a tremendous impact on children’s reading as well as giving parents an opportunity to share the wonderful reading journey with their children.
We use 'Letters and Sounds' to support teaching in phonics. Every child in KS1 has a daily phonics lesson.
At the end of reception most children can write at least one sentence independently and this is quickly built up so that children are able to write simple short stories, instructions, descriptions, explanations etc. The skills of handwriting, spelling, grammar and writing for a particular audience and purpose are taught discretely and together in a wide range of activities and contexts. We believe that children should participate in at least one writing activity each day in order to build skills and confidence.
This might happen in a literacy lesson or in another subject area. All children enjoy completing an extended piece of writing every week and are keen to meet their individual targets.
- Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
Children are taught how to control their spoken and written English right from Reception. We expect them to develop standard and correct speech and writing through a range of learning opportunities and excellent role models. They are taught a ‘language about language’ so that they can discuss their reading, writing and speech at an appropriate level and can make the best possible progress.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
Children work through the Programmes of Study in number, measurement and geometry. Our maths curriculum is cyclical and many aspects are revisited many times so that children gain confidence and fluency. We try to provide as many opportunities as possible for children to apply their learning in maths across the wider curriculum so that they can practise the basic underlying skills as well as understand and see the importance and usefulness of maths in a variety of contexts. ICT is used to support teaching only where it makes learning more secure by helping children to build on their fluency and understanding. We value the importance of spoken language in maths not just as a vehicle for building their mathematical vocabulary but as an important tool in developing understanding through hypothesising , justifying, evaluating and questioning.
We provide workshops for parents where we explain how the curriculum works in each year group. We also provide you with information about the standard methods of calculation which we are using and how you can support learning at home.
Our science curriculum is engaging and exciting. Children develop knowledge and skills in science through a range of activities and investigations which encourage thinking skills, cooperation and collaboration. We have a range of resources to support science and make full use of the school’s site, especially the nature garden where the children grow and harvest their own produce to eat or sell to the school community. Science is always fun at Broadway East.
We have a well developed Climate Change curriculum in Key Stage 2 and eco science is an important part of the curriculum from Reception to Year 4.
The skills of Computing are taught
discretely and then applied across the curriculum. We try to stay up to date with innovation and developments and give the use of ICT a purposeful context. All classes have access to a wide range of resources and software, including desk tops, iPads and Netbooks. Our aim is to enable pupils to use their skills confidently, effectively and independently. We teach children, parents and staff about Esafety and have an acceptable use and an Esafety policy which are reviewed annually.
Through learning in art children are able to express themselves through visual media and develop their own use of a wide range of media and techniques. Art is usually taught through or alongside other curriculum subjects.
Children have regular PE lessons both indoors and outdoors. Children are taught the basic skills needed to play games, to take part in gymnastic activities and to dance. We also work with outside providers to give opportunities for children to experience a wider range of activities such as golf and squash. We have funding from the DfE each year to extend and strengthen the PE and Sport which we are able to offer to our pupils. This allows us to share a specialist teacher with other First Schools in the Gosforth Schools’ Trust, to enter more competitions and to identify and provide better out of hours activities in sport.
History brings the skills of investigation and chronology through stimulating topics. It is often linked with other curriculum areas and where possible we keep the history curriculum local and meaningful.
Geography involves finding out about our local area and the wider world. Children begin to understand the world around them and the differences between places and people.
Children learn about the key religions represented in
our school community alongside learning about Christianity. They develop a sense of belonging and learn to respect and understand the importance of different festivals, customs and practices of different faiths.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons. All requests should be made in person to the Headteacher.
In Design Technology we take children through a process of designing to making and then evaluating a product/mechanism as a solution to a problem. They work with a range of materials and tools. We are committed to teaching children the basics of cooking and preparing food and so classes and groups regularly handle food and surprise themselves with some tasty outcomes. This year key Stage 2 children have taken part in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day and other cooking and baking are designed to fit in with our cross curricular topics.
Each year group has a series of units of work through which their musical knowledge and skills can develop. We work very closely with the Newcastle Music Service to provide optional music tuition in which children can choose to participate, we currently have weekly guitar, violin, keyboard and pocket trumpet lessons which parents pay for (a cost significantly less that home tuition). We also have music workshops and singing lessons in Reception and Key Stage 1, and music tuition in one instrument for all children in Key Stage 2 which varies from ukulele to pocket trumpets to drums…
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education)
We aim to promote healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We encourage all our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community through class & school councils, fundraising events, supporting nominated charities and involvement in community activities. Our pupils are given opportunities in PSHE, SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) lessons and assemblies to develop confidence, self-motivation and an understanding of their rights and responsibilities within our diverse society. We teach PSHE in a variety of ways: as a discrete subject or through assemblies and other subjects such as RE, History, Geography, Literacy, Maths and Science, as well as through outdoor educational visits, community work and activities. We teach sex education through PSHE and other curriculum areas.