Across the whole school curriculum we work to ensure we actively promote life in Modern Britain and as a result have developed our own British value statement of how we ensure our children are aware of individual liberty, democracy, mutual respect and tolereance of those with different faiths and beliefs and finally rule of law.
We have a page dedicated to the Early Years Curriculum. Please click here.
KS1 and KS2: The National Curriculum
At Loatlands Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for English which incorporates spoken language, reading and writing. The overarching aims are that children:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Our primary goal is that all children develop a life-long love of reading. This begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) where an interest in books and reading is encouraged through story-telling, nursery rhymes and through sharing a range of fiction and non-fiction books. All children from Reception upwards borrow books from our well-stocked library.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, children’s ability to decode is developed through the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics scheme. As children become fluent readers, more emphasis is placed on comprehension skills. This is supported through whole class teaching using class readers, guided reading sessions and independent reading opportunities. Children from Year 2 upwards participate in Reading Connectors, a reciprocal reading approach where children support each other in small groups to ask questions, make connections and investigate vocabulary.
The Early Years Foundation Stage provides opportunities for emergent writing in all learning areas so that children have a purpose for writing. A ‘Book of the Week’ is also used to generate writing opportunities in Reception.
High quality texts are used as the basis of English units from Year 1 upwards. Children explore the features of texts and develop a secure understanding of audience and purpose. Incidental writing opportunities are used to explore specific skills relating to aspects of grammar and punctuation so that children can practice these skills in context. Finally, the children build up to an ‘end of unit write’ where they can showcase all the skills they have learnt and can also show a creative use of language and overall text structure. Units focus on narrative writing, non-fiction writing and poetry. Additionally, teachers plan for purposeful writing opportunities in other curriculum areas.
Specific elements of grammar and punctuation are explored in warm-ups and, particularly in Year 6, in separate discrete grammar sessions. The Nelson spelling scheme supports the teaching of spelling from Year 1 upwards. This is a comprehensive scheme based on the revised spelling rules and common exception lists in the National Curriculum.
Children in the EYFS develop pre-cursive letter formation. In Year 1, children are taught the ‘lead-in’ and ‘lead-out’ lines necessary to join in a cursive style. From Year 2 onwards children begin to join in a cursive style, once their letter formation is fully secure.
Children are encouraged through speaking and listening activities to listen carefully to others and to speak clearly and with confidence to a variety of audiences. This includes working with a talk partner, in small groups and participating in whole class discussions and debates including Jigsaw assemblies and P4C sessions.
Children have the opportunity to perform to other classes and to the wider community through annual performances. All children are encouraged to learn and perform poems in school poetry competitions and to enter the local Eisteddfod competition.
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.
The three key aims of fluency, reasoning and problem solving are supported through the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) whereby children learn initially through the use of concrete manipulatives (i.e. Numicon, dienes, number beads, place value counters) before moving onto to drawing their own pictorial representations. When children confidently understand the concept they are learning, they will them move onto working just with abstract numbers and mathematical symbols. Children are encouraged to use concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations at any point during maths sessions to support their learning.
The White Rose scheme supports mathematics teaching by providing a clear framework and a range of activities to develop reasoning and problem solving.
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
All children, from Nursery to Year 6, participate in weekly P4C sessions. Philosophy for Children is a teaching and learning approach based on philosophical enquiry that aims to develop children’s ability to think creatively and critically. Children are taught how to develop their own philosophical questions, using a story, image or object as a stimulus. The children then vote on which question they would like to discuss and the teacher facilitates the discussion by asking further open questions and encouraging children to connect ideas, give reasons and change their minds.
The P4C approach is used across the curriculum to develop deep, reflective thinking and to encourage reflection and self-awareness.
Foundation Subjects - Cross-Curricular Topics
At Loatlands Primary School, our approach to the teaching of foundation subjects is for them to be integrated through cross-curricular learning opportunities, based on the development of key skills, rather than teaching discrete subjects separately.
P4C is at the heart of foundation subject teaching, with children developing their own enquiry questions to investigate linked to a topic. Real life skills such as growing and cooking are planned in, as well as meaningful opportunities to use ICT. Exciting and engaging events such as trips, and visitors to school are used to hook children into their learning. Both the school and local environment are used to develop children’s understanding of where they live and to develop strong community links.
Our planning allows time for children to produce quality outcomes, practicing and combining skills from many subject areas.