At Speenhamland School 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 NC 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 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 and 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 CPA 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 EYFS 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 CPA 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 Nation 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. Fundamental to our English curriculum is our use of high quality texts to develop speech and language, reading and writing skills. Our English curriculum is supported by the use of CLPE Power of Reading materials and approaches. The use of high quality texts from the Power of Reading is fundamental to providing children with engaging and stimulating texts which develop their use of language and vocabulary. Our English curriculum is also supported with reading and writing opportunities across the curriculum.
Our English units are centred around one key, high quality text that forms the basis of the unit of work whilst other link texts may be used to support and develop understanding. From the key text, the children develop their comprehension, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar skills. Genre and textual features are taught alongside the grammar and punctuation and are woven together throughout the unit. The children produce fiction, non-fiction and poetry pieces of writing within a unit which link to the key text.
To help child learn to read and spell we teach Phonics using Letters and Sounds. Children are taught on daily basis in groups across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The children have opportunities to apply their phonic knowledge across the curriculum. We then develop children’s understanding of phonics by following No Nonsense Spelling throughout Key Stage 2, which embeds the rules of language so that the children are fluent and accurate spellers.
We also are creating a love of reading within our English curriculum and school environment. The children are given opportunities to practise their reading in a variety of ways within school to ensure development of their decoding and comprehension skills. This includes independent, shared and group and whole class reading. Whole class reading texts usually link to the text being studied within English lessons. Children have a banded book appropriate to their reading level. We also use Accelerated Reader to develop reading skills and encourage engagement. We actively encourage reading at home and support this with a variety of rewards. We also have a well-resourced school library where the children can choose their own reading for pleasure book.
Handwriting is taught using the Nelson handwriting scheme in EYFS through to Year 6. Handwriting is given curriculum time and taught both discretely and at the point of writing.
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. It enables children to develop their understanding through an amalgamation of investigation and knowledge-based teaching. Science helps to develop curiosity and gives rise to the formation of interesting, thought-provoking questions and interactive discussion. Pupils develop accuracy and precision in observing, measuring, recording and analysing data. The children need to be able to work scientifically and be able to address these objectives through a range of science topics.
The science curriculum has been compiled with the revised curriculum, that the children requested and designed, in mind. The curriculum was outlined and the science was later linked with the new topics, where possible. Other scientific topics are taught in isolation if required to ensure coverage. 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 objectives during their key stage and over the course of the two-year rolling programme.
There is a variation in the timetabling of science. Years 1 – 2 block teach the science topics to maintain ideas and enable the younger children to sustain and use new skills and knowledge over a number of weeks. Years 3 – 6 have weekly lessons in the timetable, revisiting skills and knowledge over time and aiding transition through and out of Key Stage 2.
At Speenhamland School, our aim is to provide a high quality computing education which enables pupils to be digitally literate, able to understand the fundamental concepts of computer science and how these can be used to solve problems as well as ensuring our pupils are responsible, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. We primarily teach our Computing Curriculum using the online resource Purple Mash, however this is supplemented with additional hardware resources where appropriate. Links between taught skills and topic work, help to make the learning relevant and stimulating. Computing and Online safety is taught explicitly in all classes with EYFS children developing their Computing skills through exploratory use of Purple Mash and appropriate hardware resources.
Online safety and digital literacy are an important part of Computing lessons, but are also taught discretely and supplemented with regular key stage assemblies. Ensuring that our pupils are good digital citizens is a priority as they develop in an ever-increasing digital world.
All classrooms are fitted with interactive board technology to help enhance learning experiences in all lessons. This is enriched by a broad range of hardware including: an ICT suite, PCs, laptops and iPads.
At Speenhamland, we believe that geography is about developing the children’s natural fascination about the world around them. They will understand the world, their place in it and their social and environmental responsibility to the world we live in. We want the children to become geographers and provide opportunities for the children to explore the world through developing their skills of investigation, researching and curiosity through asking and answering questions. Additionally, we want the children to develop skills with a focus on place knowledge, 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 and will constantly link back to the town of Newbury a place they know well. The curriculum also enables the children to experience aspects in the environment around them. It is an exciting way to investigate the world and also has links to science and it challenges pupils with ‘real world’ issues from the local to the global. Further, as the children move through the school, they will develop a broad geographical vocabulary. At Speenhamland we want the children to develop a love and thirst for geography.
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. Our high-quality history lessons focus on enabling children to think as historians. 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 using the Jigsaw scheme of work. This is designed to teach information and skills to empower children to learn now and improve their life-chances later. They are provided with opportunities to develop personal awareness; observing own thoughts and feelings, regulate them and make conscious decisions about their learning, behaviour and lives. The scheme combines PSHE education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development, whilst also covering Relationships and Sex Education. Six core themes are addressed every term within each year group which and 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.
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
D and T
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.
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. Art lessons at Speenhamland allow the children to express themselves as well as show casing 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 displayed 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. The work and lives of artists across the ages, from Superhero Pop Art in the style Litchensten, to Jackson Pollock Dotting, Scratching and Splashing. 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 and well as discussing the effect of art and use of colour on mood and state of mind.