All pupils, regardless of gender or ability make good progress ... and by Year 5 they (the pupils) consistently exceed the levels expected of Year 6 pupils.' Ofsted
Above all we want our curriculum to offer challenge and provide engagement for all our children. We accept that literacy and numeracy are very important and that they underpin much of the rest of the curriculum, but we want to ensure that we allow our pupils to develop a wider range of skills and interests. We teach children, not a curriculum and we strongly believe in fitness for purpose. All children and classes are different, and as professionals we always try to use the most appropriate methods, in the most appropriate setting - which is not necessarily in the classroom!
Children spend lots of time learning outdoors, visiting areas of interest , often as part of residential experience and from visiting experts to the school. There is no shortage of ‘wow’ moments!
The Busy BeesTribe - (EYFS) is for children who will be 5 years old in the academic year they start school. Our Foundation classes are usually small, allowing close tuition and strong relationships to form between teachers and children. Our outdoor provision is highly stimulating, and our pupils have a large exciting natural environment in which to learn. We are very proud of the developments in this area.
Our KS1 children (Yrs1 and 2 - Currently the Shooting Stars) enjoy an extended classroom area with the all important access to the outdoor environment.
Our KS2 children (YEARS 3, 4 - The Flying Falcons and YEARS 5, 6 - The Phoenix Tribe) are expected to set a good example to others and to carry out duties around our school. Just like our infant classes, all children have access to a range of ICT, including SMART boards, computers and digital cameras. We have dedicated ICT and Music teachers to offer expertise in these areas.
A curriculum for the Future...
In-service training, regular staff meetings and close links with other schools ensure that there is a good match between teaching, learning and the requirements of the revised National Curriculum, but we aim to offer more that this. We have a flexible and creative curriculum, which harnesses the skills and interests of staff and pupils to provide rich learning experiences. It is important to learn the skills associated with history and geography and the other traditional foundation subjects but we believe that as long as there is a clear framework, that these skills can be taught better through cross curricular themes and topics with an emphasis on creativity, investigation and making connections. Here at Long Whatton we provide a broad and balanced curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children. The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 primary national curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. It is based on a child-centred pedagogy called The Four Cornerstones and is delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our curriculum provides many learning challenges throughout the academic year that require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age-related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
Long Whatton also offers children lots of opportunities to engage in music throughout the school. The children sing often at the school; during school assemblies and to celebrate key events throughout the Christian Year. Key Stage 2 children also participate in a “Collaborative Performance” with the other local primary schools at Castle Donington College – parents are invited along to hear the family of schools sing songs from shows or musicals. In addition, children have the opportunity to sing at the LG Arena in Birmingham with around 4,000 other children in what is an amazing evening of singing and live entertainment with Young Voices.
Key Stage 2 children learn a selection of instruments often with specialist teachers. The Year 3 children experience a range of instruments as they are introduced to the ukulele and the recorder. In the summer term all the children have fun playing the African drums and private piano, guitar, ukelele and recorder lessons are also available within the school day. All this is addition to the music curriculum delivered by a specialist music teacher!
We have recently purchased a new exciting resource called ‘Grammar Hammer' to improve grammar skills.Each week all pupils complete a grammar test which includes 25 questions based on different elements of grammar.
Teacher’s mark the grammar hammer, then return it to pupils. At the bottom of the Grammar Hammer sheet, pupils’ scores are converted into colours…red, yellow and green. Pupils strive to be green and enjoy beating last week’s score, aiming to get their own personal best.Assertive Mentoring
No Nonsense Spelling is a complete spelling programme designed to meet the needs of the 2014 National Curriculum. The programme is an effective spelling teaching programme from Year 2 to Year 6. The daily programme breaks down the requirements of the National Curriculum into strands with individual lesson plans and resources and develops children's spelling strategies across the school.
Our curriculum is based upon the following documents:
- The Revised National Curriculum for September 2014
- Chris Quigley Essentials
- White Rose Mathematics
- Cornerstones Curriculum
- Grammar Hammer