Curriculum Provision at Willowbrook Primary School
The curriculum is all the planned activities that we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also any other activity organised by school, for example, extra-curricular activities and any other activities designed to enrich the experience of the children. There is also a ‘hidden’ element to the curriculum which includes what the children learn from their school environment, the way they are treated and how they are expected to behave.
Our curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum (2014), we enhance this with planned opportunities that make up the wider school curriculum. Learning is always exciting and in a meaningful context for children. We follow a thematic curriculum on a two year rolling programme where commonality exists between subjects and aspects of learning is linked and lessons taught using a cross-curricular approach. Where this is not achievable subjects are taught discretely. The rehearsal and application of basic skills learned in the core curriculum is a driver for the entire curriculum.
We place a strong emphasis on the development of the basic skills necessary to be confident independent learners and successful adults. Children rapidly begin to read in our Foundation class by following a programme called 'Letters and Sounds'. All children engage in a daily literacy skills session where they develop their reading and comprehension skills in addition to developing a command of all aspects of the English language. In addition, all children take part in a daily English and Mathematics lesson.
At Willowbrook Primary School children develop a strong sense of moral purpose in addition to a respect and understanding of people who have different characteristics to themselves, whether that be age, disability, gender, race or sexuality. A rigorous, well planned curriculum, delivered by excellent staff in an ethos of care, love and support enables our pupils to be well rounded, empathetic young people who have a thirst for learning and respect for all around them.
The skills of computing are applied in all areas of the curriculum.
Religious Education is delivered through the Essex Agreed Syllabus March 2015.
As part of but not exclusive to the curriculum, Willowbrook Primary School actively promotes opportunities and experiences our children will remember for a lifetime.
The following website links from the Department of Education (DfE) may provide you with more information in regards to the Early Years Foundation Stage(EYFS), The school curriculum and the primary subjects within this.
At Willowbrook Primary School we believe that our curriculum should:
In English we will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
Spoken language- Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. At Willowbrook, we do this through discussion of books, role play and hot seating; discussions of work whilst peer assessing writing; and debating topical issues.
Reading- The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
At Willowbrook we teach these skills through daily class reading, weekly guided sessions, and a structured individual reading scheme which caters for all abilities. We encourage and support the need for all children to read every night. It is essential for them to develop as writers.
To ensure that our children are reading books that are relevant and enjoyable for their ability, we use a variety of different schemes including big cat phonics, project X, Tree tops in fact, songbirds and Rigby star. We also use a Salford reading test to assess children’s reading and comprehension age.
Writing -The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
These skills are developed through structured English lessons that teach how to plan, revise and evaluate writing with an understanding of audience, purpose and context. We also use Talk for Writing which develops pupils ability to retell texts and broaden their use of vocabulary. Furthermore, the children are given opportunities to use their writing skills in other subjects and through extended writing. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting which is taught on a weekly basis.
Spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar -
At Willowbrook we teach these skills daily through discreet lessons as well as embedding them when teaching reading, writing and spoken language.
Our aim at Willowbrook is for all children to achieve the three main aims of the mathematics national curriculum:
Willowbrook has adopted a maths mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. A deeper understanding is achieved by pupils through an increased length of time on mathematical concepts and the opportunity to apply the skill taught in a variety of contexts.
There are four key features that allow pupils to gain a deeper understanding of maths, thus mastering it: Fluency, variation, mathematical thinking and reasoning and an understanding of structure and representation.
Pupils develop a rapid recall of number facts and procedural fluency ie they can carry out column addition.
Pupils apply their knowledge to varied questions i.e missing number boxes.
Representation and Structure:
Pupils learn to recognise and patterns and develop an understanding of the structure of mathematical concepts e.g what the parts of a fraction represent.
Mathematical thinking and reasoning:
Pupils can apply their knowledge to a range of problems and can explain how and why.
Features of a mastery lesson:
Concrete apparatus and visual images are used to introduce a new concept before moving to the abstract. One key skill is the focus of the lesson in the form of a ‘Can I’ statement and success criteria detailing small parts of that skill is on display. Mini-plenaries are used to pick up on difficulty points and opportunities are given to self-mark and assess. Precise vocabulary is modelled by the teachers and pupils are encouraged to use mathematical vocabulary within their responses. Within pupils’ intelligent practise, they must show fluency and depth in a variety of ways to master a concept. Some pupils will move onto greater depth challenges. Some pupils choose to use concrete apparatus and pictorial images to support their learning within their intelligent practise.
Ten Minute Maths
Our aim is for all children to become fluent in their knowledge of ‘basic’ numeracy skills. Ten minute maths is a daily ten minute session that occurs during the day on top of maths lessons. The focus of these sessions range from number bonds to times tables and teachers engage children in a variety of activities. These sessions give pupils an opportunity to develop their fluency skills and explore patterns and links between number facts.
We use a variety of resources within our maths lessons such as: Tens frames, Cuisenaire rods, Numicon, place value counters, multi-link and bead strings. We have adopted our calculation policy from the White Rose Maths Hub which shows how these concrete apparatus are used to teach mathematical concepts (available on our website).
For those children that find maths challenging, we have a number of interventions that are used to support and supplement maths lessons. These interventions are delivered by staff at various times throughout the day.
Maths 5-minute box: The Number Box is a multi sensory teaching programme and maths resource designed for those children who struggle with maths.
Precision maths teaching: An intervention focusing on number fluency.
Rapid maths: A multi-sensory approach to help KS2 learners catch up in number skills.
1st class @ number: An intervention for KS1 learners focused on number and calculation, developing pupils’ mathematical understanding, communication and reasoning skills.
Minute Maths: An intervention focused on developing fluency in number facts. Pupils complete 20 mixed questions in 1 minute.
Science helps build intellectual and practical skills, while testing and investigating the world. Science builds on natural curiosity and love of exploration. We develop children's awareness of science in everyday life following the new curriculum for 2014. This awareness is developed through observation and practical investigations.
Our Creative Curriculum encompasses all core and foundation subjects and enables us to provide a high standard of teaching and learning. We aim to foster a lifelong love of learning, through adopting a highly practical and cross curricular approach. It aims to deliver a twenty first century education that will equip the children with the skills required to be independent and responsible citizens. We believe that this is the key to motivation in learning and the growth of pupils’ self-esteem and enjoyment. It is designed around inspiring themes and each theme lasts a term. We teach the knowledge and skills of these subjects through class topics for example dinosaurs, food and drink, Toy story, London’s burning, chocolate and under the sea. These topics also integrate elements from other subjects such as maths, literacy, art and music. We ensure our children learn about their local environment, local history and the wider world. Each topic is given valuable time for collaborative planning by year group teaching staff to design stimulating learning experiences and children are able to make connections between all their learning whilst still valuing and delivering key skills as required in the National Curriculum. Each topic may include a visit, visitor and workshop booking which allows the children to participate in a truly memorable experience and seeks to deliver learning experience which children will remember forever.
We try to give our children as much first hand experiences as possible. We hope we stimulate our children's curiosity and inquisitiveness of the world around them. We take our children out on school visits such as London and our Year 6 children enjoy a week’s residential trip.