The aim of our curriculum is to ensure that children have the knowledge and skills at the end of each Key Stage to allow them to access the next step in their learning. On leaving St Swithun’s C of E Primary Academy, our aim is to have built sufficient cultural capital to allow children to make a lasting contribution to modern society, whilst taking a love of learning into the next stage of their education.
Our intent is to create meaningful and lasting learning experiences in order to develop the whole child. We recognise the individual needs of all pupils and their uniqueness: social and emotional development, current skills, disability or specific learning needs and faith.
Our curriculum is aspirational both in terms of the knowledge and skills taught and in preparation for pupils to play a positive part in the societies they will find themselves in. Our curriculum is being designed to provide the foundations of learning from an early age so that building blocks can be cemented and strengthened through deliberate repetition and links to past and current learning across the curriculum.
We are in the process of devising vocabulary and knowledge continuums to ensure progression is secured and knowledge is retained. We teach discrete Knowledge Lessons, using a range of areas of study which are peripheral to the topic work being covered. This allows children to grow a deeper understanding of context and concept, either before new topic learning, or during.
We are developing an enhanced curriculum to go beyond the classroom, through an increasing range of experiences and opportunities to learn. Our curriculum aims to help pupils to use new knowledge and cultural capital in all aspects of their life, both now and in the future, as active participants in society.
Big Maths is a resource published by Andrell. It comprises of a carefully structured strategy designed to teach all areas of the mathematics curriculum in a logical and systematic way. It prioritises basic skills and has clear steps of progress built in. Children are taught to count in steps, learn facts by heart, apply skills they have already secured to different contexts, make links between learning and concepts and develop efficient strategies to solve mathematical calculations. It also provides resources to promote mathematical investigation, problem solving and challenge.
Assessment is built in and key to the strategy. From the youngest of ages, children can track their own progress week by week, gaps in learning are quickly identified and intervention put into place to deal with misconceptions etc. immediately.
We use a variety of reading scheme books for home reading including Collins Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree. Your child will be sent home with a book that comes from a coloured book band. The book band system is designed to help schools grade their reading books. Most reading scheme books for children aged 4 to 8 years have been given a book band colour by the publisher based on the level of reading difficulty. Our School library is arranged with books from pink to black book band, that your child will work through during their time at Gamston Primary School.
Whilst reading at home, your child should be able to read the book with little support; this should help to build confidence and fluency. Your child will have access to harder books in class whilst working with their class teacher.
We use Read Write Inc to teach our children the foundations of reading and writing, in Early Years and Key Stage one. Ruth Miskin, the creator of Read Write Inc, believes that reading is the key to success in all areas. Read Write Inc is developed to ensure all children succeed in their reading and develop a passion, enjoyment and a lifelong love of books!
In Read Write Inc we:
assess children every half term on their sound knowledge and blending skills
group children according to the sounds they already know building on new learning each day
teach lessons that are fun and full of energy and praise
partner children so they can teach each other and enjoy each other’s success
give children an opportunity to enjoy reading for pleasure
You can find more information for parents on the Ruth Miskin website.