On the 8th of March we were delighted to welcome all children back to school. In order to support this transition for both pupil groups (those who had attended school during lockdown and those from home) we are running a bespoke curriculum for the weeks up to Easter. This will focus on a whole school text “What We’ll Build” written by Oliver Jeffers and builds upon the unit children competed in September based on “Here we are” also by Oliver Jeffers. As a teaching team we decided that the key focuses for this time should be; thrive; PSHE; speaking an listening; basic skills and physical activity.
The National Curriculum
We follow the revised national curriculum (2014) across key stage one and two. The national curriculum provides pupils with an introduction to the essential knowledge that they need to be educated citizens. It introduces pupils to the best that has been thought and said; and helps engender an appreciation of human creativity and achievement.
The national curriculum is just one element in the education of every child. There is time and space in the school day and in each week, term and year to range beyond the national curriculum specifications. The national curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers can develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum.
Our curriculum 2020/21
After two years of developing our own foundation subject curriculum we have, since March 2020, invested in a revised offer, building on what we learnt and reflecting a developing trust-wide curriculum in the subjects history, geography, science, art and DT. This was, and continues to be, a significant piece of work but will enable us to develop closer links with our partner trust primary schools and create a strong curriculum offer for our pupils, drawing on the expertise of staff across all our primary school settings. This allows us to create links between staff teams in partner schools and thus both positively impact on workload and extended opportunities in order to share ideas and collaboratively moderate standards in the future.
Our curriculum is carefully sequenced and knowledge-rich; it aims to inspire pupils and promote excellent outcomes for all. The curriculum content in each subject area has been carefully selected based on national guidance, local knowledge and relevant research. Curriculum teams developed content, each subject being organised to ensure progression and consistency, ensuring that children can build on their knowledge from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations from which children can progress and develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific skills over time. Subject content has been selected to provide a curriculum which is relevant to our own Litherland Moss children – to reflect their context locally – and establish the foundations for lifelong learning.
For the latest curriculum map for each year group please visit the class pages.
Here is our revised curriculum policy:
The school curriculum is underpinned by the six values that are at the core of all activities, lessons and aspects of the school day. Please refer to the vision and values tab for further information. Whilst links are made in all areas of the curriculum, our values are exclusively taught and explored in our rainbow curriculum. This aspect of our curriculum is normally delivered in rainbow groups by our appointed rainbow leaders from year six. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to run rainbow groups in this way and this year rainbow group sessions are being delivered in class. Rainbow leaders communicate with their rainbow group via Seesaw.
We have a passion for high standards in mathematics and believe that all pupils can become excellent mathematicians. Mathematics is taught daily throughout our school. We use ‘Maths No Problem’; a scheme that encourages pupils to master mathematical concepts in greater detail and it does this by using a three-step learning process. The three steps are: concrete, pictorial, and abstract. In the concrete step, pupils engage in hands-on learning experiences using concrete objects such as cubes and place value apparatus. This is followed by looking at, or creating pictorial representations of mathematical concepts; children will then ‘journal’ (record) their ideas. Pupils will then move on to solve mathematical problems in an abstract way, by using numbers and symbols; this is recorded in a textbook. These three steps are included in every lesson we teach and we believe that this contextualised learning is the key to a deeper mathematical understanding for our pupils.
Method and process are equally as important as the answer. We ensure that our pupils have a bank of strategies and the mental fluency to confidently solve mathematical problems in a range of contexts. We encourage our pupils to explain their methods, talk to each other about how they solved a problem and find relationships and patterns in their processes and solutions. Mathematical vocabulary is at the heart of each of our lessons; ensuring pupils understand and use the correct terminology in order to communicate confidently in a shared mathematical language. Pupils also work in mixed-ability pairs, giving every pupil the opportunity to challenge themselves and extend their own thinking. A strong relationship between conceptual understanding and procedural fluency are key for pupils to truly gain ‘mastery’. In order to extend, we believe in deepening thinking within the area of study, rather than accelerating onto the next topic. To deepen knowledge and understanding, we ask questions such as: How did you get that answer? Can you prove it to me? What strategy did you use? Is there another way? Can you show me?
It is the expectation that children are able to confidently recall all the multiplication facts up to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4. Children learn strategies for multiplication throughout their mathematics lessons. We also use Percy Parker songs, Purple Mash and Times Table Rock Stars to help us to develop children’s fluency and recall of multiplication facts.
Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum. We have a reading spine stating the key texts which children will be exposed to across school. From this spine all classes (year two onwards) have a class novel which their teacher reads to them daily; in EYFS and year one the children share daily stories. Language development is a key priority in EYFS and the children begin to develop their own reading skills starting with phase one phonics from letters and sounds. When the children are ready for synthetic phonics they begin receiving daily phonic sessions following Read Write Inc. phonics. These phonic sessions are normally delivered in small groups across reception-year two organised according to individual phonic assessments. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we are currently teaching phonics in broader year group specific groups; this will be continually reviewed. Our phonics lead works closely with a Read Write Inc consultant to insure that we are continually developing our phonics approach.
Across key stage two we have a whole class guided reading approach; texts are selected from a range of genres and subject matters. Throughout the week, pupils develop different reading skills which we refer to as VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve and Summarise). Across school all pupils read with their class teacher and/or teaching assistant at least fortnightly. All pupils take home reading books each week (which are matched to their individual reading ability), which we ask them to read to their parents or carers. It is our expectation that pupils aim to read daily at home and should read at least three times a week. We use a reading incentive in school to encourage frequent reading.
Children are provided with opportunity to write at length across the curriculum. We use the Talk for Writing approach to teaching and learning in writing. Our teachers trained in January 2019 (alongside the staff at Daresbury Primary School www.daresbury.halton.sch.uk) and we are using techniques to support pupils with ideas for writing, develop stamina and help pupils improve their writing. The two schools are entering into a two year project (funded by The Heath Family NW) which includes staff training together, moderating writing across the two schools and evaluating and sharing good practice. Here is a link to the Talk for Writing website www.talk4writing.co.uk . Children take part in spelling and grammar sessions using Read Write inc. Spelling and Grammar Hammer.
PSHE (inc. RSE)
We teach PSHE using the Jigsaw scheme of work. Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work, aiming to prepare children for life, helping them really know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world. Jigsaw consists of six half-term units of work (Puzzles), each containing six lessons (Pieces) covering each academic year. Every Piece has two Learning Intentions, one specific to Relationships and Health Education (PSHE) and the other designed to develop emotional literacy and social skills. Puzzles are launched with a whole-school assembly containing an original song, with each year group studying the same unit at the same time (at their own level), building sequentially through the school year, facilitating whole-school learning themes. Following school closure PSHE has been a key focus of our curriculum and we have been using Jigsaw to support children’s return to school.
|1. Being Me in My World
Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters.
|2. Celebrating Difference
Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work.
|3. Dreams and Goals
Includes goal-setting, aspirations for yourself and the world and working together.
|4. Healthy Me
Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices.
Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills.
|6. Changing Me
This puzzle includes sex and relationships education in the context of coping positively with change. (includes age-appropriate sex education)
RSHE Policy and Information
Understanding how the brain develops during childhood and adolescence presents incredible opportunities to help young people learn. Seizing these opportunities, and meeting their developmental needs at the right time, can help every student become more resilient, open to learning and able to thrive. We use the Thrive approach as an intervention programme for pupils who need some support for their emotional health and wellbeing. Since school closure we have built the Thrive approach into our curriculum with all year groups receiving bespoke sessions based on their class profiling. This programme is led by two expert practitioners:
Mrs. Sarah Clark
Mrs. Mandy Gallagher
Mrs. Kim Sears (currently training)
You can find more information: www.thethriveapproach.com
Science (trust Curriculum)
We believe that children should be encouraged to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. Our science curriculum fosters a curiosity about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. Our science curriculum encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. In accordance with the national curriculum we develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our curriculum develops the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiry that enables children to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Through this, children are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. Our curriculum gives children the opportunity to study the work of famous scientists and their contributions to the modern world. Along with this, we develop an understanding of environmental sciences to enable our children to be global citizens. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically planned so that children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the skills for ‘working scientifically’ are progressive and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Geography (trust curriculum)
We believe that children should develop a good understanding of their local area, the UK, Europe and the wider world. Children are encouraged to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world, as well as their roles and responsibilities as global citizens both now and in the future. In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention, when teaching geography, is to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people within it. We promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding of the United Kingdom and the world’s countries and continents. We provide all children with a broad range of relevant geographical experiences and fieldwork opportunities that takes into account each school’s individual location. Overall, children are provided with opportunity to think geographically relating the near and far, the physical and the human, people and environments, the economic and the social.
History (trust curriculum)
We believe that children should develop a love of history and experience a sense of awe and wonder when learning about the past. Children are encouraged to develop knowledge of the lasting legacy of significant local, British and world history, as well as their role in learning from the past in order to influence the future. In accordance with the national curriculum our intention, when teaching history, is to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about how the past has influenced and shaped the modern world we live in. We encourage pupils to develop key historical skills such as asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments, and developing perspective and judgement. Our key historical concepts of Chronology, Empire, Conquest and Invasion and Legacy enable pupils to understand the process of change over time, their own identity and the relationships between different periods of history. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding of the narratives of local, British and world history. We provide all children with a broad range of relevant historical experiences that take into account each school’s individual location and identity. Overall, children are provided with the opportunity to gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and world history.
Art (trust curriculum)
We believe that art and design have a significant role in promoting the well-being of all children. It is a vital part of children’s education and that all children should be inspired and enthused about art. All children will be given the opportunity to express themselves in an imaginative way, allowing their creativity and individuality to flourish through every art experience.
In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention when teaching Art and Design is to ensure that all children develop the necessary knowledge and skills so that they are confident and independent when producing their own art work using a range of media.
We will provide an art curriculum that includes a diverse knowledge of a range of artists, cultures and that children will understand the historical development of different art forms. Children will have the opportunity to analyse and respond critically to their own work. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that knowledge and skills are progressively built upon and that children will revisit and develop them further over time.
Overall, children will have the opportunity to understand and respond to the world in a unique way and develop their own interpretations. Children will develop an awareness of the key elements of art: line, shape, colour, texture, form, space and value and become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art, craft and design techniques.
Design Technology (trust curriculum)
We believe that our children should develop creativity and imagination as well as the technical and practical expertise needed to participate successfully in a rapidly changing world. Our aim is to provide children with a high-quality education in design technology which will enable them to make a positive contribution to the creativity, culture and well-being of society. Children will develop their skills in problem solving and become confident in performing individual tasks and collaborating with others.
In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention when teaching Design Technology is to inspire all children to design and make purposeful products that solve real life problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Children will develop their resilience and ownership as they learn to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others in a practical, constructive and respectful manner.
Our curriculum is sequential, progressive and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding by drawing on subjects such as mathematics, science, computing and art. We use the teaching sequence recommended by the DT association to deliver progressive and well sequenced sessions. Children are given the opportunity to develop and master new skills, designing and making high-quality prototypes and products through a range of diverse and meaningful topics. Children will also develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the principles of nutrition and sustainability of food. They will learn how to cook a range of dishes from different cultures and develop their understanding of where and how food is sourced.
Overall, children are provided with opportunity to become resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens who learn how to take risks. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of the significance of design and technology and its impact on daily life and the wider world.
We deliver an inclusive, challenging curriculum that aims to build children’s character while inspiring them to lead healthy, active lives. We use GetSet4PE to support teachers plan and assess physical education. Our curriculum allows pupils to explore a range of sports autonomously and co-operatively giving them the tools to assess and improve their own performance. Based within values of responsibility and respect, we want stimulate children to engage and excel in competitive sport. Activities cover the breadth of the curriculum and include gymnastics, dance and yoga, as well as more traditional games such as tag rugby, cricket and tennis. In addition all children take part in the daily mile. We work alongside our partners Community Soccer and Jamie Carragher who deliver high quality coaching for our children and CPD to all staff. As part of our return to school in September 2020 we have ensured that PE is a key part of our curriculum with all children receiving an additional session each week.
We use Charanga Music School to deliver a progressive and well sequenced music curriculum. The charanga scheme carefully follows the national curriculum and ensures that children are provided with a variety of musical experiences and instrument tuition. The scheme has been adapted to ensure it meets Covid-19 guidance and risk assessments. In addition, pupils in year 5 and year 6 have weekly guitar lessons from Sefton music service and children across school can opt into Ukulele lessons (paid) with ‘Class Sounds’.
Sefton Agreed Syllabus is used to deliver RE across school. There are two key concepts explored; learning about religion and learning from religion. Everything that children are taught is followed by an opportunity for them to reflect on their learning and contribute their own personal response. Our aim is to, prepare them for a life in which they will have multi-cultural tolerance and understanding. In foundation stage, children reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation and wonder of the world in which they live. In key stage one pupils explore Christianity and Judaism. They learn about different beliefs about God and the world around them. They encounter and respond to a range of stories, artefacts and other religious materials. They learn to recognise that beliefs are expressed in a variety of ways, and begin to use specialist vocabulary. They begin to understand the importance and value of religion and belief, especially for other children and their families. Pupils are encouraged to ask relevant questions and develop a sense of wonder about the world, using their imaginations. They talk about what is important to them and others, valuing themselves, reflecting on their own feelings and experiences and developing a sense of belonging. Throughout key stage two, pupils continue to learn about Christianity and Judaism together with an introduction to Hinduism and Islam, recognising the impact of religion and belief locally, nationally and globally. They make connections between differing aspects of religion and consider he different forms of religious expression. They consider the beliefs, teachings, practices and ways of life central to religion. They learn about sacred texts and other sources and consider their meanings. They begin to recognise diversity in religion, learning about similarities and differences both within and between religions and beliefs ad the importance of dialogue between them. They extend the range and use of specialist vocabulary. They recognise the challenges involved in distinguishing between ideas of right and wrong, and valuing what is good and true. They communicate their ideas, recognising other people’s viewpoints. They consider their own beliefs and values and those of others in the light of their learning in religious education.
With technology playing such a significant role in society today, we believe ‘Computational thinking’ is a skill children must be taught if they are to be able to participate effectively and safely in this digital world. A high-quality computing education equips pupils to use creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has deep links with mathematics, science, and design and technology, and provides insights into both natural and artificial systems. The core of computing is Computer Science in which pupils are introduced to a wide range of technology, including desktops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, allowing them to continually practice and improve the skills they learn. This ensures they become digitally literate so that they are able to express themselves and develop their ideas through information and computer technology– at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. Using Purple Mash, we teach a curriculum that enables children to become effective users of technology who can:
* Understand and apply the essential principles and concepts of Computer Science, including logic, algorithms and data representation.
* Analyse problems in computational term, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
* Evaluate and apply information technology analytically to solve problems.
* Communicate ideas well by utilising appliances and devices throughout all areas of the curriculum.
Our curriculum also explicitly teaches internet safety. We have an E- Safety Policy that provides guidance for teachers and children about how to use the internet safely. Every year group participates in lessons on e-safety and children understand how to stay safe when using technology. Mrs. Hill is our E-safety lead and can be contacted by children and parents if they have any questions or concerns.
Across Key Stage 2 our children learn Spanish. As we recognise that this is not an area of expertise for all staff (Mrs. Edgar, Mr Baker and Mr Fitz are our resident experts!) we use Primary Languages Network to support our Spanish teaching. Our curriculum is progressive across KS2 and also includes aspects of Spanish culture and geography.
In addition to offering the statutory curriculum, we also offer the following:
Miss Patterson and Mrs Balshaw are trained forest school leaders.
Principles of Forest School
Forest school is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
Forest school takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world (in the area to the right as you walk down the path towards the junior playground).
Forest school uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
Forest school aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
Forest school offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
Forest school is run by qualified forest school practitioners (Miss Patterson and Mrs Balshaw) who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice. See the full principles and criteria for good practice.
What’s in the news?: children have the opportunity to take part in a weekly session exploring themes and stories in the local, national and worldwide news.
Nature Friendly Schools: We are currently working with Nature Friendly Schools which is a ground-breaking project funded by the Department for Education with support from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Natural England. This project gives our children the opportunity to get closer to nature benefitting their learning, health and wellbeing, and care and concern for the environment. It will fuel creativity and a sense of adventure, allowing pupils to experience the joy that nature can bring, removing the inequality that currently exists.