“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
― W.B. Yeats
What does your child learn at school each day?
When four-year-olds enter school they bring with them a wealth of experiences and knowledge about the world in which they live. Our aim is that their learning should build on these early experiences and be based on rich and stimulating ‘hands on’ activities.
Learning is based around the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and is planned in order to work from the interests of the children. We have safe and stimulating outdoor learning areas where children work and play all year round.
All children in Foundation Stage are included in Collective Worship and our Christian Values underpin personal and social development. Children also experience Forest School activities throughout the year and many visitors are invited into school to enhance children’s learning We have good levels of adult support but aim to instil in the children independence and a sense of adventure about their learning.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
As children move from the end of Foundation Stage they start to work to the guidelines provided by the National Curriculum to provide an appropriate transition into Year 2 and then on through to Year 6.
Our curriculum is planned to make the most of the natural connections between subjects in order to embed the children’s learning in the real world. All areas of the curriculum are covered every term with a focus on progression of skills and attitudes whilst content is flexible to respond to the interests of the children or areas or issues of topical relevance.
Contexts are provided within the local, national or global communities and are reinforced by educational experiences or trips every term and by visitors into school. Our children frequently enjoy working with drama groups, professional performers and musicians. Whenever possible we take learning outdoors into the school grounds, the local environment and to theatres, places of work, museums and places of natural interest and beauty. We want our children to develop outward looking attitudes celebrating similarity and difference between peoples, places, cultures and beliefs, and a love of the creative arts.
We run an annual residential experience for Years 6 and Year 5s, to develop their confidence and independence. Typical venues have included the Dobroyd Castle and The Old School Robinwood Centre where there is a strong emphasis on outside learning, adventurous activity and team building.
We focus on developing transferable skills of learning like thinking skills, creativity, problem solving and collaboration. We encourage enquiry and challenge children to become independent and active learners who are happy to take risks with their thinking.
Phonics and Early Reading
At Lady Elizabeth Hastings C of E Primary School our children undertake systematic learning in phonics using a synthetic approach throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phonics is viewed as the key strategy that provides the route into early reading and writing rather than a subject in its own right.
In Foundation Stage sounds are introduced using Read Write Inc. and then children are moved to a broader approach using Letters and Sounds which then forms the basis for the teaching of phonics in Years 1 and 2.
Phonics are taught through short and highly interactive sessions at the start of every day. The focus for each day is then reinforced and applied across the curriculum throughout the week. In Reception and Year 1 vertical grouping allows for a narrow focus on a specific phonics phase based on attainment and progress rather than age. Regular assessment and tracking of individual progress allows children to be moved between groups to match to ongoing needs.
All staff involved in the teaching of phonics groups have been appropriately trained in order to provide a consistency of approach throughout the school.
In Year 2 and in Key Stage 2 a small number of children who have not completed Phase 6 continue to have a regular phonics teaching input through intervention groups and we note that these children will invariably also be experiencing delays in reading and writing. For the majority of children who have completed Phase 6 by the time they reach Year 3 phonics is one of a wider range of strategies used by children to become effective readers and writers. The school has made use of fund raising opportunities to develop and improve resources to promote the successful teaching of phonics including the use of interactive phonics websites.
There is now a substantial stock of reading books used at KS1 that are explicitly linked to the initial phases of phonics. There are also further stocks of books that are not explicitly phonics band based that have been cross referenced in to colour bands to ensure that they provide appropriate material for the teaching of reading once children understand the basic phonic code. We believe it is essential that children are exposed to a variety of texts and their associated challenges.
The key reading schemes used in school to provide phonically decodable texts for the earlier phases of phonics are Rigby Phonic Bugs and Bug Club. Our colour banded scheme include Dandelion, Project X (boy interest books), Floppy’s Phonics/Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds, Jelly and Bean, Rigby Star and Big Cast but we are constantly looking to expand and improve our resources.
English, Language and Communication
Our English curriculum is planned through the National Curriculum. We create opportunities to develop skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing throughout the curriculum so that children can apply them for clear purpose and as key means of communicating ideas and information including through ICT. All children in Key Stage 2 learn to speak and understand Spanish. At Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children receive strong grounding in phonics and early reading skills.
“A high quality maths education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.”
Primary National Curriculum 2014
Our maths curriculum aims to ensure that all our children leave school fluent in the fundamentals of maths, are able to reason mathematically and solve problems. We encourage all our children to realise that maths is an essential part of their everyday life and we show how maths is used in real life situations
Entitlement and Enrichment
Social, moral, spiritual and cultural values and Fundamental British values are infused across the entire curriculum but may also be taught explicitly during assemblies, RE and PSCHE.
Memorable Experiences will be used to introduce/initiate all units of learning.
This can include; An educational visit
Visitor/s to school
An immersion event
All children in our school are entitled to a Memorable Experience each half term
Extra- curricular Activities will promote sports, music, performing arts, computing, thinking skills and personal capabilities.
Activities and clubs will be reviewed annually to reflect children’s needs
Specific entitlements principles of mastery teaching and deepening learning provides the basis of differentiation.
Formative and summative assessment will inform targeted pupil intervention.
A broad and balance curriculum
The curriculum: the substance of education at Lady Elizabeth Hastings Church of England School is designed to pursue deep knowledge and understanding of subjects within a Christian context. We place the needs of our children at the heart of our curriculum and use local context and current school, local and national data and information as guidance to support the way our children progress through it.
To keep our curriculum up to date there is regular curriculum review by all children, parents, staff and governors.
What do we teach at Lady Elizabeth Hasting Church of England (VA) Primary school?
- Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework
- National Curriculum statutory (and non-statutory) requirements
- The Christian narrative and values
- Personal, Social, Citizenship, and Health and Well-being Education
- Fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and believes and those without faith
- Forest Schools
- Specialist Art, Drama and Spanish
- Specialist Sports Tuition
- Specialist Music Tuition
How do we teach at Lady Elizabeth Hasting Church of England (VA) Primary school?
We deliver a rich, broad and balanced curriculum where all children have equal access to the whole curriculum.
The teaching and learning of knowledge and skills are explicitly developed and there is a balance of knowledge to underpin and enable the application of skills and development of the skills children need for future learning.
We teach each subject as a discipline and give children subject-specific vocabulary and knowledge that allows them build links and enhance their learning across other subjects.
In essence, we teach a rich web of knowledge that provides the capacity for children to learn even more and develop their understanding.
Children’s ability to read and access the curriculum shapes our delivery. We fuel children’s curiosities with well-planned educational experiences and regular trips to the local area and beyond that are tightly linked to our curriculum. Infused within our curriculum are opportunities for children to explore and develop thinking skills, personal capabilities and spirituality. Positive reinforcement and recognition is one way in which we support and acknowledge progress in these areas.
At each stage in school, we share our expectations of what children need to know with learning objectives that ensure progress through the national curriculum. Formative and summative assessment is used for capturing children’s progression through the curriculum. Our assessment does to not only identify gaps in children’s knowledge, understanding and depth of understanding, but they also inform and improve on our future curriculum design. However, there are parts of our curriculum we continually repeat (e.g. mental maths, spelling), so children can recall core knowledge quickly and use it automatically and fluently when learning something new.
What are the outcomes of Lady Elizabeth Hastings Church of England School curriculum?
“Performance is what we can see happening during teaching. Learning, on the other hand, is something invisible that goes on inside children’s heads. We cannot observe learning; we can only infer it.”
Soderstrom and Bjork (2015)
Our well-constructed, well-taught curriculum leads to good results that reflect what our children have learned. Additionally, our children are equipped to care, love and thrive with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to make informed choices about the important things in their lives. In summary, our curriculum at Lady Elizabeth Hastings Church of England Primary School enables children to become successful, independent and resilient learners who are ready to move on to their next stage and lead rewarding lives as responsible citizens.
We prioritise phonics and the transition into early reading and encourage older pupils to read widely and deeply.