The key features of our curriculum;
• It is rich in speaking and listening opportunities
• It promotes a rich literacy heritage
• It focuses upon pupils being numerate and able to apply these skills in different situations
• It provides opportunities for using and applying ICT and computing skills
• It develops in our pupils the skills of reasoning, resilience, reflectivness, responsibility and resourcefulness
• It develops pupils’ awareness of their place in the world and promotes SMSC aspects British values
• It ensures there are opportunities for pupils to learn beyond the classroom
• It encourages parents to be involved in their child’s learning in a variety of ways
• It includes pupils in the planning of the curriculum topics in age appropriate ways
• We follow the new National Curriculum for Reading, Writing, Maths, Science, PE and Computing.
• We follow the Leeds Agreed syllabus for RE
• Other non-core subjects are woven into the curriculum through topics based upon the skills identified as essential for mastery and understanding in that subject
• Science, PE, RE, Computing and MFL are taught as stand-alone subjects
• Art, DT, Music, English and some PSHE and Maths are woven into topics
• These are planned collaboratively in Year Group teams
• Our topics are memorable learning experiences based on developing individual subject skill development
• Include opportunities for children to learn outside of the normal classroom environment
• Are reviewed regularly to ensure the needs the children we teach are being met
• Year group staff keep a record of the skills taught in each topic to ensure progression and coverage
• Teach children a wide range of skills to develop their knowledge of the world in which they live and prepare them for their future as a valuable member of society.
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to use number, calculate, reason and solve problems. It helps children to understand relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives. The Mathematics curriculum should be bold, provide breadth and balance and be relevant and differentiated to suit the needs of all children in the modern world. It should be flexible, motivating all pupils, thus encouraging success at all levels.
At Ash Tree we;
• promote a confident, positive attitude towards the learning and use of Mathematics making it an enjoyable experience;
• Promote confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
• Encourage pupils by believing that every child, with hard work, can be good at Mathematics.
• Promote the ability to solve problems through connecting ideas, decision-making and applying their mathematical skills in a range of contexts, including other subjects such as Science;
• Promote a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered, presented and used;
• Promote the exploration of features of shape and space and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts;
• Understand the importance of Mathematics in everyday use, especially in relation to essential life skills, such as telling the time and understanding money.
Our Foundation Stage teachers use the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum to support their teaching of Mathematics in the Foundation Stage. The children have the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations and to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and mathematical skills.
KS1 and KS2 follow the White Rose Hub Mathematics scheme based on the principles of mastery. We broadly follow long term plans produced by the White Rose Hub. The White Rose Hub plans cover all elements of the national curriculum 2014 for all year groups. Formal assessments are carried out termly.
Reading and Phonics in FS and KS1
Read Write Inc. is our phonics program at Kippax Ash Tree Primary for children from nursery to Year 2. Phonics is the way of teaching children to read and write quickly and skilfully.
Our children are taught how to recognise the sounds that an individual or group of letters make in a really fun and engaging way. Each sound is delivered with a picture and rhyme clue e.g. oo is poo at the zoo! The children’s favourite!
From this the children are able to identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make such as ‘sh’ or ‘ay’; and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see.
Our phonics lessons are taught in small groups with children all working at the same phonic ability in a very pacey way, children are introduced to a new sound daily and are taught to recognise it in words, write in and incorporate it into a sentence. Alongside this children are reading a book matched to their phonic ability, decoding new and unknown words and reading ‘red’ words. These are words that they are unable to decode, the children have to recognise those ones! We aim for children in Christmas Year 2 to have completed the program and therefore be skilled readers who can infer, decode, transfer the skills to writing and just love reading as much as we do!
Reading in KS2
Reading is at the heart of all learning at Kippax Ash Tree. Teachers embed it into their planning across the whole curriculum, providing children with opportunities to read and explore a range of text types for research, learning and to deepen understanding of subjects.
Reading skills and guided reading sessions are taught three times a week in all classes, with a focus on a particular reading skill each week. Long and medium term reading skills plans are created to ensure there is balanced coverage of the necessary skills for each year group. As well as teaching children to read confidently and accurately, children are taught to use strategies to develop their understanding and appreciation of texts. One whole class reading skills session is taught for 45 minutes to an hour, with modelling of particular skills with shared reading tasks. This is then followed by two further 30 minute follow up sessions where children can apply the skills they have learnt. In addition to these sessions, every class has a shared story each half term which they read and share for enjoyment each day.
All children are expected to read every day at home and reading records are checked daily to ensure this is happening. Those children who are identified as high priority readers, are given daily reading time with adults within school. All children have access to our impressive school library, class bookshelves and reading schemes; the variety of texts available enables and helps motivate children to work towards their Reading Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates for the number of books read.
At Kippax Ash Tree we follow the principles and objectives as set out in the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. Language and Literacy skills are taught on a daily basis from Nursery to Year 6. These skills are then applied in cross curricular learning opportunities within our Connected Curriculum. Language and literacy-specific teaching and learning takes place within a whole class setting (shared/modelled reading and writing) and within guided reading and writing groups. Within guided groups good practice is shared and modelled in the whole class setting and the children also work independently or with a partner on set tasks. Teachers use a variety of interactive teaching methods to deliver the curriculum and achieve set learning objectives. Whole Class planning takes place using the Jane Considine symbols (FANTASTICs, GRAMMARSTICs, BOOMTASTICs) story journeys and mapping. Children are encouraged to contribute orally to these plans and will physically walk through. Wherever possible, children will be exposed to a range of stimulus including clips, animation, picture books and film. They will also immerse themselves in the story writing process through drama and outdoor learning opportunities. For more information about Jane Considine teaching and learning principles see: http://www.thetrainingspace.co.uk/
Kippax Ash Tree follows the Leeds Agreed Syllabus, ensuring that there is progression throughout school. Children learn about the beliefs and practices of the six major world religions and have opportunities to discuss key questions relating to diversity, morality and the meaning and purpose of life. Teaching includes special themed days and projects with cross curricular links made where appropriate. Through their study of RE, children gain an understanding of the identity and diversity of the local community to enable them to grow up to live and work alongside people of all beliefs and cultures. We believe these are essential skills with which to equip our young people for adult life and lifelong learning.
At Kippax Ash Tree we use the You, Me and PSHE Scheme to teach PSHE. The scheme provides a clear and progressive PSHE curriculum which is divided in to strands:
• Sex and relationship education (SRE)
• Drug, alcohol and tobacco education (DATE)
• Physical health and wellbeing
• Mental health and emotional wellbeing
• Keeping safe and managing risk
• Careers, financial capability & economic wellbeing
• Identity, society and equality
Within each strand, there are age appropriate topics for the different year groups. One topic per half term is taught to each year group (SRE is taught over a whole term in Y2, 4 and 6). Each topic consists of three lessons per half term and teachers are expected to teach a minimum of three lessons in each half term. Each PSHE lesson includes an overall learning intention and specific learning outcomes (based on knowledge and understanding, skills and the development of attitudes). Assessment has been included as an integral part of each topic. At the beginning of the topic pupils complete a pre-topic assessment activity, which is then repeated at the end of the topic. This enables pupils and teachers to understand and demonstrate the progress made. Pupils also complete a self-reflection sheet at the end of each topic; to encourage self-evaluation and reflection on learning within the topic as a whole unit of work.
Sexual Relationship Education (SRE)
Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is an integral part of personal, social and health education (PSHE) and ensures that pupils receive the appropriate information, develop skills and explore attitudes at the time when they are able to best respond in or der to grow in confidence with their bodies and their relationships. SRE outcomes will also be addressed in other parts of the wider and national curriculum. For example, national curriculum science outcomes include naming body parts, understanding the human life cycle and human reproduction, and religious education includes work on families and values. Effective SRE is integrated across the curriculum but it is also important to deliver some identified SRE lessons so that pupils can learn about the human life cycle in the context of learning about themselves and their relationships. Our comprehensive SRE programme ensures we meet the requirements. It is important that the content within the programme is age appropriate for pupils and that this is developed and built on as the pupils move up through the school. At Kippax Ash Tree SRE is taught in Year’s 2, 4 and 6.
History at Kippax Ash Tree is taught mostly through topics using a cross curricular, theme-based approach, which allows children to experience History across many other subjects. We value these subjects as an avenue for children to consolidate basic skills learnt in English and Maths. Cross-curricular links are made so children experience exciting and engaging learning, where they are able to make important links across different subjects such as ICT, Music and Art. We believe that by allowing children to become immersed in the History topic it becomes much more real and meaningful and they can gain a rich understanding. In order to engage children in their learning, we use a variety of teaching styles and resources. These often include; using artefacts, going on school visits, having guest speakers, role play days and the use of books and film. We aim to bring the History curriculum to life, so children can really discover and experience the past.
Our school is on a journey to boost the profile of science and we have organised many exciting experiences, visitors and CPD opportunities to ensure our children receive the very best stimulating science curriculum. We are striving to achieve the Primary Science Quality mark which follows the children’s questions and at the same time teaching all forms of enquiry. Mathematics and ICT are linked strongly during the children’s investigations to ensure the children are applying their skills. We understand the benefits of using the many rich resources that Leeds and our local area and our community provide. Our school also believe it is important to open our children’s eyes to career opportunities and the wider application of science so we involve parents, careers and the local community in our school to talk about their roles within the STEM subjects. We will have a ‘cook off’ to promote healthy eating and a science fair showcasing the very best experiments the whole school have taken part in.
Technology moves so fast! We are aware that teaching ICT is so much more than teaching how to use a computer or surf the web! We are fully immersed in the new computing curriculum and follow the scheme Rising Stars to ensure the children are developing all of their skills and understanding in information technology, computational thinking and digital literacy (including e-safety). The whole school has received e-safety training from an outside company to ensure we are safeguarding them both in school and at home as well as recapping e-safety weekly within their computing lessons. As well as these discrete lessons which ensure the new curriculum is covered and progression is clearly evident, the children use ICT across the curriculum to allow them to transfer their skills and use technology for a real purpose.
Children are taught music in their classes. The school’s long term plan provides a framework for children to develop their musical skills and knowledge as they progress through the school. The national curriculum states that ‘children should learn to play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using their voices and playing musical instruments’. We aim to develop an enjoyment of performing, as confidence in-front of people also helps with children’s public speaking and presentation skills.
The focus of each half term’s work is linked to the year group’s topic theme, to provide a sense of purpose to the music. The classes have access to melody instruments as well as tuned and un-tuned percussion.
Singing is taught in whole school assemblies as we feel there is a sense of community developed when everyone is singing together, singing and music appreciation skills are developed at the same time.
Listening and appreciation skills are a feature of the curriculum. Children are taught to ‘listen with concentration and understanding’ and are taught to ‘appreciate and understand a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from different traditions and from great composers and musicians’.
There is a school choir which practices at least once a week. The choir takes part in local events and sometimes finds itself venturing further afield too.
Art and Design
A cross- curricular approach is used to teach Art and Design across both key stages. For example, Art can be explored through maths or topic work. As well as this, children learn about a range of artists from many historical times and from all over the world and are encouraged to discuss the work and express their opinions. Children explore ideas and experiment with various materials and techniques. Sketch books are used across school to record ideas and practice new skills. The children develop their ability to use colour, pattern, texture and line. They also work in 3 dimensions, experimenting with form and space. Then they are encouraged to evaluate their finished work and reflect upon it. Work is frequently displayed in school and the children are proud of their achievements.