We aim to equip all pupils with the skills and confidence to solve a range of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surround them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject.
The three aims of the National Curriculum should be addressed every day (not just in the maths lesson):
Fluency – Reasoning – Problem Solving
We truly believe that all children have the potential to achieve and succeed, therefore we teach mathematics as whole mixed-ability classes. Lessons are planned based on formative assessment of what students already know and we include all children in the learning of all mathematical concepts. Teachers provide the scaffolding that may be required for children struggling to grasp concepts in the lesson and suitable challenge questions for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly.
In order to ensure children have a secure and deep understanding of the content taught, we may spend longer on each domain and we move more slowly through the curriculum. The learning will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics. To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced. Questions will probe pupil understanding throughout, taking some children’s learning deeper. Responses are expected in full sentences, using precise mathematical vocabulary.
To support the development of reasoning and deep understanding, problems are often set in real life contexts – carefully chosen practical resources and pictorial representations are used to explore concepts. These pictorial representations will appear in books as children show their understanding, rather than answers to a series of calculations. The use of practical resources, pictorial representations and recording takes place in every lesson (the Concrete – Pictorial - Abstract approach).
In mathematics, new learning is built upon previous understanding, so in order for learning to progress and to keep the class together, pupils need to be supported to keep up and areas of difficulty must be dealt with as and when they occur. Ideally this would happen on the same day but this is not always possible so it may be the following morning but will be before new learning is introduced.
We also understand the importance of fluency. There is a whole school focus on developing an instant recall of key facts, such as number bonds, times tables, division facts, addition and subtraction facts. With this in mind, the children complete a weekly maths challenge and this knowledge is developed during taught fluency sessions three times a week.
Children in Early Years, explore mathematical concepts through active exploration and their everyday play based learning. Children are taught key concepts and application of number using a hands-on, practical approach. Their teachers provide opportunities for children to manipulate a variety of objects which supports their understanding of quantity and number. The Concrete – Pictorial - Abstract approach is used when teaching children key mathematical skills. Teachers allow children time for exploration and the use of concrete objects helps to support children's mathematical understanding. Maths in the Early Years provides children with a solid foundation that will enable them to develop skills as they progress through their schooling and ensures children are ready for the National Curriculum.
At Speenhamland, we deliver a creative English curriculum. We foster children’s curiosity and love of language with interactive and engaging experiences and opportunities. We believe that talk and experience are fundamental to developing children’s reading and writing. We use the National Curriculum 2014 to underpin our teaching and learning and to ensure progression with key skills.
Reading is not simply about decoding a series of words and phrases to find out information. It is the best way to learn and grow. It has been proven that reading can help develop your vocabulary, enhance your memory and improve your understanding of other people’s perspectives. We love reading at Speenhamland and we are proud of our well stocked library and reading spines in each classroom. Reading is taught through whole class, guided group work and our English curriculum. Once children can decode fluently, they move on to Accelerated Reader.
Our Phonics programme follows Rising Stars Rocket Phonics scheme. The programme teaches two sounds a week with a day to focus on blending and then segmenting. The final day of the week is for consolidation and common exception word practise. Children will have a phonics book, which is matched to their phonics stage, to take home each week.
At Speenhamland, we follow The Write Stuff method to develop children’s writing and accelerate progress. Over the course of the year, we cover fiction, non-fiction and poetry using a range of high-quality texts. The books selected will sometimes link to the term’s topic; however, we also use some standalone texts to ensure coverage and progression. The Write Stuff breaks writing down using the writing rainbow. Each English lesson focuses on different aspects of the writing rainbow, which enables children to practise and hone their skills. At the end of each unit, children plan and write an independent piece linked to the genre they have studied.
Years 1 to 6 are systematically taught spelling patterns and rules using the Rising Stars Spelling programme. This is reinforced by weekly spellings, which are set and tested in all year groups. Where pupils are not meeting the expectation for their year group, targeted interventions are used to address gaps.
Punctuation and grammar are taught where possible through daily English lessons, but on occasions are taught discretely.
Our science curriculum is tailored to encourage a sense of awe and wonder about the world we live in. Children are guided to explore different scientific themes, whilst being encouraged to develop their own curiosity. Science is an exciting way to investigate the world around us, by looking at how ideas and perceptions have changed over time and identifying the way things work. Science enables children to develop their understanding, using an amalgamation of investigation and knowledge-based teaching and learning. Science helps to develop curiosity and gives rise to the formation of interesting, thought-provoking questions and interactive discussions. Pupils develop accuracy and precision in observing, measuring, recording and analysing data. Our curriculum caters for the development of science knowledge, whilst encouraging children to develop skills for working scientifically. Both of these components are fundamental in order for children to understand and learn about the scientific world.
Science teaching is linked wherever possible to our engaging topic based curriculum. However, some scientific units are taught in isolation to ensure detailed learning for all children. The National Curriculum is divided into Years 1 and 2, Years 3 and 4, and Years 5 and 6; we have ensured that each child experiences, and is taught, the appropriate objectives during these key stages, spanning a two-year rolling programme. Each term we focus on a specific area of working scientifically, so children are able to develop their understanding of different topics and apply them to different contexts.
Science across the school is taught weekly, with learning focusing on both new knowledge and skills, whilst also revisiting previously taught units to ensure long term memory is developed. In Early Years Foundation Stage, children are taught to explore the natural world and to develop their curiosity. Science is intertwined within our Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, where children are encouraged to be investigative and explorative through hands-on and practical experiences.
Computing lessons at Speenhamland School are about equipping our pupils to be successful and respectful users of technology and enabling them to access, understand and thrive in the digital world around them, both now and in their future.
Through the use of the award-winning Purple Mash scheme, our pupils develop key knowledge and skills in: understanding the breath and variety of technologies, coding and computational thinking, online safety in a digital world, understanding simple networks, communication tools, information technology skills and digital literacy.
All pupils are taught Computing discretely using our new ICT suite, ipads and associated equipment or through unplugged computing lessons. They are then given opportunities, where appropriate, to transfer these skills to other subject areas, problem solving activities and real life situations.
At Speenhamland, we want the children to develop a love and thirst for geography. Our geography curriculum aims to develop the children’s natural fascination about the world around them. Our pupils are encouraged to become geographers and to understand the world, their place in it together with their social and environmental responsibility. Through the topics taught, children are provided with opportunities to explore the world and build on their geographical knowledge and skillsets. Furthermore, the children are given opportunities to develop their skills through investigating, researching and showing curiosity about the world. Along with this, there is an emphasis on children developing their knowledge of places, human and physical features along with geographical skills and fieldwork.
As the children move through the school, they will build on the skills and knowledge they already know as well as develop a broader geographical vocabulary. Through investigating the environment around them, they are encouraged to make links to science and consider ‘real world’ issues from the local to the global.
The aim of History teaching at Speenhamland is to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past, both in Britain and in the wider world and to provide them with a broad and balanced view of history. Our high-quality history lessons focus on enabling children to think and work as historians as well as developing a well-rounded knowledge of the past and its events.
At Speenhamland, we place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts and primary sources of information. The children are given an opportunity to develop their skills by investigating a wide range of resources, thinking critically, developing their questioning skills and confidently using a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms. The children will gain a sense of their own identity and their place in the world, and gain an understanding of how the past will help to shape the future.
The Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum at Speenhamland School is taught mainly using the Jigsaw scheme of work. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE Education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. According to the National Curriculum, every school needs to have a broad and balanced curriculum that:
• promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school;
• prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life;
• promotes British values.
From September 2020, primary schools in England also need to teach Relationships and Health Education as compulsory subjects and the Department for Education strongly recommends this should also include age-appropriate Sex Education.
Six core themes are addressed every term within each year group which are introduced using whole school assemblies. The children are encouraged to develop a greater sense of themselves and how they relate to others in the wider world. All lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs.
The Religious Education (RE) taught at Speenhamland School follows an enquiry based scheme (Discovery RE) which helps develop critical thinking and enhance children’s spiritual development. This RE model takes children on a learning journey from their own world to a world of religion and belief, learning about aspects of that religion in order to offer answers to a big enquiry question, and then closes with an opportunity to express their own opinions and learning. We aim to develop the children’s understanding of the major world faiths and a greater understanding of the world in which we live. Each enquiry starts from the children’s own life experiences using these as a bridge into the investigation of the religion being studied.
Design & Technology
Design and Technology enables pupils to develop their design and technology capabilities through a combination of designing and making. Units of work are linked to the themes of the term. Pupils use their creativity and imagination to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs. In doing so, they develop skills and learn to take risks, be creative and innovative, and competent at combining materials. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.
At Speenhamland School, we follow PlanBee to ensure we have a high-quality art and design education that engages, inspires and challenges pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Our art lessons allow the children to express themselves as well as show case their creativity and artistic talents. Children learn to use a variety of different media including: chalk, paints, pastels, charcoal, collage materials, textiles, Modroc, Batik, ink and clay. Our children look at the use of colour, pattern, texture, form, printing and drawing and record their work in their sketchbooks as well as in displays across the school.
Their creations link with the termly topics in their classes to ensure that, not only are they honing their artistic skills, but also they are learning about; where the techniques came from and who historically used them. They study the work and lives of artists across the ages, from Natural art in the style of Guiseppe Arcimboldo, to pointillism in the style of Georges Seurat.
Throughout the school, the children are encouraged to evaluate their own work; celebrating their successes and identifying what they could do better next time. They also evaluate each other’s work, which provides invaluable feedback from their peers.
At Speenhamland, we ensure art is included in opportunities other than discreet lessons. Art work will often be used as a stimulus for writing as well as discussing the effect of art and use of colour on mood and state of mind.
Music at Speenhamland is taught through an online, interactive music scheme called ‘Charanga’. The scheme is used to deliver lessons on a weekly basis where children listen to, appraise, rehearse and perform a range of musical pieces. The scheme is progressive and ensures that children build on previous skills and knowledge whilst exploring a range of music genres. The on-screen resources are visual and ensure that every lesson is full of musical content!
As well as the weekly music lessons, some year groups have the opportunity to participate in a termly programme of steel pans tuition run through Berkshire Maestros. We are fortunate enough to hold our own set of steel pans and throughout the year, there are opportunities for these pupils to perform to the rest of the school community. Finally, Berkshire Maestros supports the school with individual and small group music lessons where children are given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument
Modern Foreign Languages
We have chosen to teach French as our modern foreign language. With many of the neighbouring secondary schools adopting a French curriculum in Key Stage 3, we wanted to provide our children with the knowledge and skills to ensure they were successful in the learning of a language. French is taught across Key Stage 2 weekly using the Rising Stars French scheme.
Rising Stars French is organised into 4 stages and each new stage builds on the stage before as well as introducing new knowledge and skills. There are engaging, fun challenges for the children to complete individually online which provide teachers with useful assessment information to shape future teaching. Children are encouraged to engage with the language lessons, taking part in a range of digital activities, animations, songs and games. Our aim is to foster a love of languages which our pupils will take with them to secondary school.
At Speenhamland, Physical Education (PE) is taught on a skill-based approach following the Real PE curriculum. Real PE builds the pupils physical literacy skills focusing heavily on their balance, agility and coordination while also introducing team games and attacking and defending principles. Alongside the Real PE, we have identified the sports which are most closely related to the skills being developed and we deliver these sports at the relevant times. We begin by focusing on the basic principles of the sport and work on skill development before starting to focus on game-based scenarios and playing small or modified games as our pupils progress through the school. We believe that this approach gives all of our pupils the physical and technical skills to play in a range of different sports whilst also being given the opportunity to learn how these skills can be transferred into different sports.