Our curriculum is planned into themes which are chosen to capture the interests and imaginations of the children. Skills based learning is further developed by linking subjects such as history, geography, art, design technology and music to the topic being studied where relevant links can legitimately be made. This allows children to make purposeful links in their learning. We also use every opportunity to make further links through reading, writing, mathematical problem solving, science and computing where relevant.
For each ‘focus theme’, teachers plan an inspiring stimulus, a trip or visitor, or a celebratory showcase event, to hook and engage children and parents and make learning purposeful and relevant. Parents are provided with ‘theme mats’ at the start of all our termly themes to encourage discussion with their child and deepen their knowledge.
Enrichment opportunities, including outdoor learning, inspirational visitors and exciting educational visits, provide our children with rich experiences and enhance teaching, learning and knowledge.
Our curriculum is continually shaped and developed to meet children’s interests and needs, and is supported by practices based on credible research.
Through quality teaching of knowledge, skills and vocabulary across core and foundation subjects, all children will be challenged to be inquisitive, compassionate, courageous and creative learners. All our children have opportunities to influence their own learning through age appropriate and progressive themes.
At St George’s we embrace good pedagogy, which expects all children to work towards reaching or exceeding national expectations, to fulfil and develop their potential. High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious expectations and outcomes, challenging personal targets and early intervention to keep pupils on track. We use accurate assessment to check and maintain pupil progress. There are also clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain progress.
Over and above any of our National Curriculum learning, we will deliver holistic childhood experiences for all our children throughout their journey at St George’s.
Maths – we cover the maths curriculum in units with enough flexibility to spend as long on a unit as dictated by the children’s learning and progress. We follow a Maths Mastery approach which has been developed in school by our Maths Subject Lead. We teach Maths daily in mixed ability classes following our Maths Curriculum which is based on the White Rose Scheme of work. We assess using teacher assessment and more formal assessments throughout the year. We plan daily mental maths skills activities each day in each class. The children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily Mastering Number Session.
At St Georges we are passionate about giving children opportunities to explore writing in a variety of creative ways.
Writing in Reception and KS1
The children in Reception and Year 1 (in the Autumn term) immerse themselves in the creative world of ‘Drawing Club’. They are exposed to a wide range of stories through picture books, traditional tales and short video clips which offer them an immersive writing experience. The classroom environment follows the theme of the story being explored which allows the children to explore the story in a variety of ways – ultimately making the writing experience full of imaginative joy.
From Autumn term 2, the children in R and KS1 enter the world of the ‘Curious Quests’ which takes all of the magic of Drawing Club but offers opportunities to extend the children’s writing to ensure they are using the correct grammatical constructs whilst still exploring and inventing. The Curious Quests allow for some elements of continuous provision to enhance the learning experience.
Writing in KS2
In KS2 children continue to explore a range of texts and genres using a variety of stimuli (books, video clips, images and picture books). Long term plans have been developed to ensure a good coverage of genres across each year, with opportunities to practice skills learned independently.
The teaching sequences for narrative units follow ‘Let’s Explore’, ‘Let’s Practice’ and ‘Let’s Write’ and teaching uses elements of ‘Talk for Writing’ and ‘The Write Stuff’. GPS is taught as a part of every English lesson and modelled carefully by the teacher.
Refining and Editing writing
Children are encouraged to cross out any mistakes with one neat line and are taught how to refine their writing during the editing process – work in edited in purple pen. Editing is planned into the teaching sequence and is explicitly modelled by the class teacher.
Reading Phonics – Early phonics skills lay the foundations for children learning to read and write. Pupils are taught to read using resources from the synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc. We deliver phonic teaching in small groups, ensuring children are working at an appropriate level while covering the phases identified for their chronological age. Children are assessed regularly.
Reading – Reading is a fundamental part of everything we do at St George’s. Children are exposed to high quality texts across the curriculum and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. Alongside the skills of decoding and comprehension, book talk encourages children to think as a reader and discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes. Reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach and the high profile of reading in school is further enhanced by the numerous reading initiatives we carry out throughout the year. Across the school each class carries out a quality story time sharing high quality text every day celebrating a love of books and storytelling.
Religious Education – Religious Education at St George’s School provides opportunities for pupils to think about their own beliefs and values in the light of the beliefs of others, both religious and non-religious, and the values of the school community. We develop understanding of Christianity as a world faith and make comparisons with other faiths whilst aiming to encourage a sense of respect for religious traditions, beliefs and practice. It is important to us to support children as they develop skills and attitudes which will support their personal, moral, social and cultural development.
We aim to be an inclusive community but recognise that parents, of course, have the legal right to withdraw their children from Religious Education.
Science – In Science children have the chance to experience of a wide range of practical work, as well as to develop scientific skills and attitudes. Science helps children to understand more about the world around them and encourages them to question aspects that they don’t understand. Children are given an awareness of the role and importance of science in everyday life together with a consideration of the part that science has played in the development of everyday items. Our children are also given the opportunity to consider ways in which living things and the environment need protection.
They are encouraged to observe, to collect and record information and to interpret that information linked to these two main areas.
- Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding.
- The nature, processes and methods of science
Computing – The school is committed to offering the pupils the widest possible access to Computing and so, over the course of their time at the school, they will be given the opportunity to use a range of equipment including laptops, iPad, netbooks, pc’s, floor turtles, audio recording equipment, scanners, digital cameras, digital video cameras, digital microscopes, data handlers and control technology. Computing skills are embedded in fun and interesting ways. We follow and use PurpleMash across the school to support and deliver our Computing Curriculum. When developing Computer Science skills, ‘unplugged’ activities embed a deep understanding of the importance of precise commands to form algorithms, while discussions around errors in these tasks helps children to develop their debugging skills. These activities are used alongside Programming software such as Scratch Animation. Children apply I.T skills in creative ways to inform learning across the whole curriculum; this engagement in creative aspects of their curriculum helps all children to make progress. Ensuring that all children at St George’s become Digitally Literate is a key focus of the curriculum. Children understand how Technology has an impact on the real world and how to stay safe online. Regular Online Safety lessons helps pupils understand both possible online dangers and a range of appropriate and necessary safety measures to action.
Design and Technology – Design and Technology draws from and contributes to all the other areas of the curriculum and involves the children in planning, making and evaluating. We encourage children to:
✓ Develop their designing and making skills and nurture creativity and innovation through designing and making
✓ Develop knowledge and understanding, exercising their initiative, proposing, planning and developing ideas;
✓ Develop their capability to create high quality products through combining their designing and making skills with knowledge and understanding;
✓ Explore values about/attitudes to the made world and how we live and work within it;
✓ Develop an understanding of technological processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society;
✓ Enjoy exercising and developing the manipulative skills that realising ideas entails
✓ To develop a critical awareness of both their own and others’ responses to designs
History – Through History our pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both the recent and more distant past. They learn about change and continuity in their own area, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They look at History in a variety of ways, for example from political, economic, technological and scientific, social, religious, and cultural perspectives. They use different sources of information to help them investigate the past both in depth and in overview, using dates and historical vocabulary to describe events, people and developments. They also learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
Geography – Pupils investigate a variety of people, places and environments at different scales in the United Kingdom and abroad, including the local area, then find out about different environments and the people who live there. They also begin to learn about the wider world. They carry out geographical enquiry inside and outside the classroom. Children are encouraged to ask geographical questions, and use geographical skills and resources such as maps, atlases, aerial photographs and Computers. Good use is made of our local environment and area.
Art – Through Art, our children are encouraged to develop their creativity and imagination. Children are encouraged to build on skills to develop their control of materials, tools and techniques. We develop our children’s critical awareness of the roles and purposes of Art, craft and design in different times and cultures. Our aim is for children to become more confident in using visual and tactile elements and materials and processes to communicate what they see, feel and think. We use Access Art to plan and deliver our Art Curriculum.
Music – Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe a high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. We use the Charanga music scheme to form the basis of our planning, supplementing this with The Ten Pieces (BBC) activities and units where appropriate. At St George’s children participate in a range of musical activities, which include singing, composing and performing using tuned and percussion instruments. They listen to and discuss a variety of styles of music. Children have the opportunity to learn guitar, brass, and string or woodwind instrument through Peripatetic teachers. There are opportunities for children to play in concerts and musical groups, and join the choir run by our music teacher throughout the year. Piano lessons are also offered to individual children.
MFL – French – At St George’s, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills, including the key skills of speaking and listening, and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures, their own languages, and the culture and languages of others. As part of the National Curriculum, all Key Stage 2 pupils must now learn another language in school time. At St George’s, we have chosen to teach French to all children in KS2. We use Language Angels to deliver our MfL curriculum.
PSHE/ RSE and Citizenship – At St George’s we use the Coram Life Education programme called SCARF (which stands for Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience and Friendship) this provides a whole-school approach to building the essential foundations – crucial for children to achieve their best, academically and socially. Mapped to the PSHE Association programmes of study, SCARF is comprehensive PSHE and Wellbeing programme throughout the primary years. SCARF is a whole-school approach to promoting behaviour, safety, achievement and wellbeing. We also have yearly visits from the Life Education Mobile Classroom. The syllabus contains many units relating to current issues within today’s world and society, while providing full coverage for all areas of PSHE. Lessons are taught through a variety of teaching and learning styles such as role-play, storytelling and games and these are extremely effective when engaging pupils, making learning purposeful. In addition to this, elements of PSHE are taught subtly.
Sex Education is also part of the Personal, Social and Health Education programme. Care of oneself and consideration for others are central themes that lead naturally to later work on the physical and emotional changes that take place during puberty. Sex Education is taught in the context of marriage, family life and the responsibilities of parenthood. Copies of the full Sex Education Policy is available on the school website.Physical Education – In this subject, we aim to provide children of all abilities with a varied and well balanced Curriculum which is progressive, stimulating and challenging. We aim to encourage, improve and promote not only physical development but also social, moral and aesthetic qualities. Physical Education enables children to enjoy, pursue and maintain a lasting interest in an active and healthy lifestyle. Dance and gymnastic activities take place in the school Hall, Games are played all year with all children taking part in rugby, football, netball and hockey in the winter months and rounder’s, tennis and cricket in the summer. The other summer activities are athletics and swimming. The school has its own learner pool, which is used by all pupils in the second half of the Summer term. There are various lunchtime and after school clubs and children take part in football, rugby, hockey and netball matches with other schools and various local sporting events. Every Wednesday we welcome Prime Sport into school to lead PE games sessions to each class.
Forest Schools – Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. As a school we are very fortunate in having access to a woodland area in our village and a teacher trained to deliver an outdoor learning “Forest Schools” programme. Forest schools is offered to all pupils in our school, every fortnight throughout the school year. Sessions are designed around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art. All children are encouraged to manage risks and take “risks” in a safe and managed environment. Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills.
Our Values – We have embedded our 3 Core Christian Values (Kindness, Thankfulness and Perseverance) across our learning environment; this enables children to explore values that are critical for us to understand in modern Britain and beyond. Throughout the year we teach the children about our values which we believe we need to demonstrate in order to become good citizens of the world. We think carefully about each value, explore it in learning and demonstrate this whenever we can. The values are integrated into the Christian ethos of our school and permeate through everything we do. Our curriculum is designed to enhance children’s awareness of different cultures, practices and beliefs so we provide a wide range of learning experiences in order to give them the knowledge and cultural capital to succeed in life.
Opportunities are planned for the children to know about keeping safe, enabling pupils to recognise online and offline risk, with a particular focus on the danger of inappropriate use of mobile technology, social media. We include and promote British values, (Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs) ensuring that children are aware of their rights and responsibilities as a UK citizen.
At St George’s we have developed our own set of learning behaviours called “Learnimals”. Learnimals are behaviours and habits we believe are fundamental for children to become effective learners. When our teachers design the learning opportunities, they look for ways to develop good learning behaviours. At St George’s we understand that learning about learning helps pupils to be better learners. In our curriculum, we look for ways to develop concentration, perseverance, imagination, co-operation, the enjoyment of learning, self-improvement and curiosity.
When our teachers plan the curriculum, they think not just about what pupils should learn and how they should learn it, but also how they can bring in an understanding of morality and the wider world. They do this through teaching pupils Social and Emotional Aspects of the curriculum. Pupils learn about health and well-being, social skills, keeping safe and understanding social media. This helps our pupils understand their emotions and expected life skills.
Enrichment Opportunities – Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of enriching experiences and opportunities both within and beyond the school day. This includes an extensive programme of after-school clubs that support the core curriculum offer, as well as those which develop specialist skills, such as archery, handball, tennis, cricket and board games whilst also extending the range of children’s experiences (Cultural Capital). A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, and provide a purpose and relevance for learning.
The school takes pride in providing a highly inclusive environment, where learners demonstrate high levels of enjoyment in their education and make very good progress across the curriculum. Children at all levels are helped to achieve their potential. Those who are most able are challenged and supported through being offered tasks which provide opportunities for greater depth and those who can struggle are encouraged and given targeted support to embed skills, to develop at their own pace or simply to learn in a style that best suits their individual needs.
In addition to our exciting and stimulating cross-curricular themes, we also provide further opportunities to enhance children’s learning wherever possible. Our pupils visit places of worship, and welcome visitors into school, to get a good understanding of the beliefs of others. We work with local community groups such as our Parish Council and Pre-School, working with local charities, collecting and raising money for charities, working with other schools in the Stour Vale Collaboration and beyond. We aim to increase our learner’s engagement with activities that benefit other members of the community and beyond. Our teachers plan a wide variety of educational visits, including residential, visitors into school such as Authors, Local Church Groups, the police, and organise exciting focus weeks and events like Activities Week, Book Week, and class theme days.