At Speenhamland, we recognise the importance of early reading and enabling children to become successful readers who develop a life-long love of reading. We use the National Curriculum 2014 to underpin our teaching and learning and to ensure progression with key skills in reading and comprehension.
We use a systematic teaching of phonics approach using a scheme called Rocket Phonics to support children in learning to read and write. We have invested in high quality, diverse texts to drive children’s enthusiasm and motivation for reading and writing.
For Early Years and Key Stage 1 children, phonics is taught daily following a rigorous format. Children read from books with the sounds they have been taught, while they are learning to read to build confidence, fluency and comprehension skills. Children are taught through whole class sessions, small group and individual sessions as needed. Learning is carefully monitored so we know exactly each child’s need and ensure any gaps in learning are addressed quickly. Extra practice is provided for all children who find reading difficult. We help children make links from reading to writing by using Rocket Phonic resources for writing too.
In Key Stage 2, we follow the ‘Hooked on Books’ approach which is in line with current National Curriculum expectations and encourages the discussion of rich texts. During our guided reading sessions, the children engage in a vocabulary rich timetable which nurtures their love of reading. In Book Talk, children develop their oral language and discuss the texts they are reading through different lenses of the reading rainbow. Each reading lesson focuses on different aspects of the reading rainbow, which enables children to practise and develop their skills and vocabulary. In addition, they are taught reading comprehension skills through teacher demonstration and independent comprehension lessons to ensure every child learns to be a reading detective.
Children are also encouraged to read their own texts for reading for pleasure which is recorded on Boom Reader. Once children progress from phonics books, they are given a level through our STAR reader assessment scheme and then are able to choose a book based on their reading skills from our school library.
The children have access to the library and regular story sessions to promote the love of reading. The importance of home links is recognised and ‘Boom Reader’ is used to communicate reading between home and school.
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 writing. We use the National Curriculum 2014 to underpin our teaching and learning and to ensure progression with key skills. We aspire for our children to become clear and expressive writers with a broad and rich vocabulary.
We follow The Write Stuff method to develop children’s writing and accelerate progress. This is designed to enhance the pupil’s confidence with sentence structure, gain an understanding of the ‘whole’ piece that they are writing and to learn to organised their ideas in a cohesive manner.
Over the course of the year, we cover fiction, non-fiction and poetry using a range of high-quality texts. The books selected ensure to deliver 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. Grammar is embedded throughout the approach, with a progressive structure.
Children in EYFS begin their writing journey by following the Write Dance to build on their fine and gross motor skills. Following this, they join the rest of the school in the Write Stuff approach and follow the Fantastic Foundations scheme where we nurture deep talk, develop listening skills and provide a rich repertoire of real and imagined experiences to ignite writing.
As children progress from phonics, we teach spellings with a rigorous learning pathway that builds knowledge year on year. Spelling is taught discretely in years 3-6 following the Rising Stars Spelling Scheme. Children are continuously encouraged to apply the foundations of their phonics knowledge to their spellings. This scheme is designed to make the learning of statutory words and spelling patterns fun and enjoyable through engaging activities.
Children in EYFS begin their handwriting journey by following the Write Dance scheme to build on their fine and gross motor skills. This focus on the fundamental motor skills provides the children the exercises to ensure that children are ready to write. Children will explore the marks they make on paper, giving meaning to these through discussion with their peers, these activities are initially on large paper, moving on to smaller strips of paper and word cards before moving on to writing in their books. Children will progress on their handwriting journey as they move through the phonics scheme. They are continually taught to how to correctly form letters during their in phonics lessons.
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.
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 Key Stage 1 (year 1 and 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (year 3 and 4), and Upper Key Stage 2 (year 5 and 6). Within each key stage, knowledge units are split into year group whereas the skills of working scientifically cover a key stage. 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, our Geography curriculum is designed to inspire pupils to have a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Pupils are encouraged to think about their place in the world, their values and their rights and responsibilities to other people and the environment and how this impacts upon the wider world showing a sense of social and environmental responsibility.
Our curriculum equips pupils with knowledge about a diverse range of places, people, resources, natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. We have designed our curriculum to start with areas they know and with which they are familiar. Their knowledge is then expanded by exploring places further afield so they can compare, contrast and understand patterns and relationships within and between places.
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.
As children grow and develop, our PSHE curriculum is designed to enable children to thrive and talk about issues arising in their everyday lives e.g. drug awareness, relationships and life in Modern Britain. At Speenhamland Primary, we want our children to develop confidence and responsibility whilst developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people. We are proud to teach PSHE through the scheme Jigsaw. Jigsaw is a mindful and child-centred approach to PSHE. It is an original and comprehensive scheme of learning which integrates personal, social, health and economic education with emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health and SMSC. Jigsaw aims to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world. Sex education will be taught throughout the year groups as part of the Jigsaw scheme. We have an active school council who represent the children across the school, enabling the children to develop a sense of democracy and British values.
Jigsaw RSE Content
The grid below shows specific SRE learning intentions for each year group in the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle.
|Year Group||Piece Number and Name||Learning Intentions 'Pupils will be able too..'|
|1||Piece 4 - Boys’ and Girls’ Bodies||Identify the parts of the body that make boys different to girls and use the correct names for these: penis, testicles, vagina respect my body and understand which parts are private.|
|2||Piece 4 - Boys’ and Girls’ Bodies||
Recognise the physical differences between boys and girls, use the correct names for parts of the body (penis, testicles, vagina) and appreciate that some parts of my body are private.
Tell you what I like/don’t like about being a boy/girl
|3||Piece 1 - How Babies Grow||
Understand that in animals and humans lots of changes happen between conception and growing up, and that usually it is the female who has the baby.
Express how I feel when I see babies or baby animals
|Piece 2 - Babies||
Understand how babies grow and develop in the mother’s uterus and understand what a baby needs to live and grow.
Express how I might feel if I had a new baby in my family
|Piece 3 - Outside Body Changes||
Understand that boys’ and girls’ bodies need to change so that when they grow up their bodies can make babies.
Identify how boys’ and girls’ bodies change on the outside during this growing up process.
Recognise how I feel about these changes happening to me and know how to cope with those feelings.
|Piece 4 - Inside Body Changes||
Identify how boys’ and girls’ bodies change on the inside during the growing up process and why these changes are necessary so that their bodies can make babies when they grow up.
Recognise how I feel about these changes happening to me and how to cope with these feeling.
|4||Piece 2 - Having A Baby||
Correctly label the internal and external parts of male and female bodies that are necessary for making a baby.
Understand that having a baby is a personal choice and express how I feel about having children when I am an adult.
|Piece 3 - Girls and Puberty||
Describe how a girl’s body changes in order for her to be able to have babies when she is an adult, and that menstruation (having periods) is a natural part of this.
Know that I have strategies to help me cope with the physical and emotional changes I will experience during puberty
|5||Piece 2 - Puberty for Girls||
Explain how a girl’s body changes during puberty and understand the importance of looking after myself physically and emotionally.
Understand that puberty is a natural process that happens to everybody and that it will be OK for me
|Piece 3 - Puberty for Boys and Girls||
Describe how boys’ and girls’ bodies change during puberty.
Express how I feel about the changes that will happen to me during puberty.
|Piece 4 - Conception||
Understand that sexual intercourse can lead to conception and that is how babies are usually made.
Understand that sometimes people need IVF to help them have a baby.
Appreciate how amazing it is that human bodies can reproduce in these ways.
|6||Piece 2 - Puberty||
Explain how girls’ and boys’ bodies change during puberty and understand the importance of looking after myself physically and emotionally.
Express how I feel about the changes that will happen to me during puberty.
|Piece 3 Girl - Talk/Boy Talk||
Ask the questions I need answered about changes during puberty.
Reflect on how I feel about asking the questions and about the answers I receive.
|Piece 4 Babies – Conception to Birth||
Describe how a baby develops from conception through the nine months of pregnancy, and how it is born.
Recognise how I feel when I reflect on the development and birth of a baby.
|Piece 5 - Attraction||
Understand how being physically attracted to someone changes the nature of the relationship.
Express how I feel about the growing independence of becoming a teenager and am confident that I can cope with this.
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 value Art as a subject to inspire and develop our children’s creative thinking and to develop their cultural, spiritual and moral understanding. We encourage all our children at Speenhamland to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe and appropriate way. It is embedded in everything we do and Art is a fantastic medium, which can support and empower our children to do this. We teach our children to be reflective of their work and respectful of others.
A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. (National Curriculum) Art lessons allow the children to express themselves as well as showcase their creativity and artistic talents. Children learn to use a variety of different media including: chalk, paints, pastels, charcoal, collage materials, Modroc, ink and clay. Our children look at the use of colour, pattern, collage, form, printing and drawing, recording their work in their sketchbooks as well as displaying it across the school.
We want all children to embed knowledge in Art and Design over time, so that they will develop their creativity and imagination by exploring the visual, tactile, sensory qualities of materials and processes, discuss their own work, and that of their peers by making references to artists that have inspired them.
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 share ideas and thoughts on each other’s work, which provides invaluable feedback from their peers.
Our bespoke scheme of work enables us to ensure objectives are revisited throughout, and knowledge, skills and understanding are built upon – both within each year group and throughout, from Reception to Year 6. The Reception class focus on the underlying foundations for learning providing the exposure to different materials and techniques with exploration at the centre. Artists are chosen based on their links to the knowledge and skills providing pupils with a broad exposure to a variety of techniques and skills with further consideration of introducing more diversity within our focus artists.
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.