Broad topics

An overview of our learning approach

English

In KS1 the spelling and handwriting are linked to the taught phases of phonics. The Phonics scheme for KS1 we follow is Letters & Sounds, as published by the Department for Education. Children have daily phonics teaching for oral blending & segmenting, and also Grapho-phonemic skills, using the phases from Letters & Sounds.

There is streaming between class groups to enable children in Star Class and Moon Class to work across ages. In KS2 we use the Read, Write Inc scheme to support teaching, and a structured spelling programme.

Maths

We recognise the importance of Maths and believe in each child being able to reach their full potential. We provide opportunities for all children to experience and acquire the key mathematical concepts, skills and language, in a stimulating, challenging and supportive atmosphere. The introduction of mathematics in the early years is developed through practical activity, stories, songs, games and imaginative play.

Our maths philosophy:

  • maths as an interesting and attractive subject
  • an ability to think clearly and logically
  • encourage understanding through curiosity and investigation
  • an appreciation of relationships, pattern, number and space
  • an ability to recall and use basic facts
  • the use of mathematical skills in everyday life
  • a systematic approach to problem solving and investigation
  • the acquisition of new skills through perseverance and sustained concentration
  • an understanding of the language of mathematics to equip them for adult life.

Science

We have a rolling programme in Science to ensure coverage and progression across mixed classes. Some aspects are covered each year to ensure children are familiar with concepts at an appropriate level to their age – an example of this would be ‘Seasons’ which is covered each term each year, but in most depth for the first half of the Summer term.

Computing

As well as discreet lessons, children are encouraged to use ICT throughout their learning experiences. They might use the school iPads to research or use apps, they may programme robots, use the library system or work with cameras or filming in a range of other lessons. The school has a secure learning platform for the children to engage socially and interactively in a safe way. E-safety is a high priority in the school and our E-Pilots support our younger E-cadets to learn to be E-Safe.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education

Delivered using the PSHE Association recommended units for KS1 and KS2.

Teachers allow the children creative exploration of the objectives through our themes, whilst ensuring units are fully covered through teaching discreetly where needed. PSHE is also a time teachers use to address class and community specific issues. Our Values education supports PSHE throughout all subjects including assembly and playtimes. It is a key theme in assembly and at least one assembly a week, along with a song, is dedicated to it.

PE

Our sport education demonstrates our commitment to healthy lifestyles which has had an impact on the learning of the children. This is being further implemented through our new links with The PSHE group’s “All About Me” scheme which we became a part of in autumn 2014.

MFL

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are taught from Reception. We teach basic French words in Reception and develop this to a fuller programme of lesson in KS2. By KS2, children also have the option to join in with a multilingual club and begin to learn about various cultures and languages ranging from Arabic to Japanese.

Music

Children are taught the skills of listening, singing, reflecting, evaluating, composing and notating as they move up through the school. The whole school themes always include music and exploration of the sounds of instruments and their own voices. All children will have the opportunity to learn a pitched instrument in KS2 – Plastic Trombones, KS1 – Ocarinas. Additionally, the school has peripatetic teaching for a variety of instruments such as drums, strings, recorders, piano. This means that children can follow lessons from professional music teachers on these instruments, but they have to be paid for separately. The school takes part in the O2 Singing Concert each year. Children have a variety of opportunities to perform, including Harvest Festivals, class assemblies and demonstrations, Christmas performances, Easter, Leavers assembly, and within class among their peers. Children will perform set pieces as well as their own compositions.

RE

For religious education we use the Agreed Syllabus for Bedfordshire, in the absence of a nationally produced curriculum. Teachers apply discreet teaching units where needed. The assembly plan supports learning about the major religions and other cultures as we explore our themes, as well as learning about values and locally relevant content. We also set time aside in assembly to ensure an act of collective Christian worship, which is a legal requirement. This is supported by our close links with the local community church, the Church of St John the Baptist. However, we respect and are open to people of all (or no) beliefs.

History

In history, children are helped to develop an understanding of chronology and learn about changes in everyday life over a long period of time. History should be relevant, exciting and interesting whilst developing understanding and skills.

Geography

In geography, children are helped to develop an understanding of places and environments throughout the world and to develop an awareness of the natural and human worlds. Understanding of environmental and social issues will be developed. Children will be encouraged to understand how different cultures interact and consider their own place and values in the world.