Our Curriculum - Parkwood Primary School
At Parkwood Primary School we have put English skills at the heart of our curriculum. In line with the national curriculum 2014 our teachers develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of very subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching: for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
Our curriculum planning is in three phases (long-term, medium-term and short-term). Our long-term plan is topic based where possible and takes a text as the stimulus (‘Take One Book’). This allows teachers a wider creative freedom and an opportunity to focus on the ‘reading for pleasure’ element of the curriculum.
Our long term plans are designed to cover fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts. The units have been chosen to allow for the embedded teaching of the grammar statements for each year group e.g. the recount unit in year 3 that allows for the use of present perfect verb forms.
Fiction units have also been designed to take account of any specific text types in the English Reading Comprehension and Writing Composition Programmes of Study e.g. the curriculum places emphasis on ‘fairy stories’ and ‘traditional tales’ from years 1 to 4 and this is reflected in the narrative unit titles. Where possible, titles also reflect terminology of the National Curriculum 2014 e.g. ’predictable phrasing’ in year 1. The curriculum overview has a clear indication of the time allocated to each non-fiction unit and the coverage across Key Stage 1 and 2. The final written outcome is planned for in advance. As the children progress through Key Stage 2, narrative units vary their focus e.g. from plots in years 1 and 2 to other aspects of narrative writing such as characterisation and creating atmosphere. In every year group, opportunities have been planned for children to write complete narratives.
Long term plans are designed to ensure coverage of six non-fiction genres/text types. There is alignment with other curriculum areas e.g. where children are expected to ‘explain’ in science in year 1, an opportunity has been provided for the children to encounter an ‘explanation’ unit of work beforehand.
Three aspects of poetry are addressed in each year group: vocabulary building; structure e.g. Haiku and poetry appreciation (Take One Poet – where children can become familiar with a poet appropriate for their year group). Opportunities for performance and recital occur regularly throughout the year.
For each unit on the long term plan ‘suggested written outcomes’ have been chosen to ensure a variety of outcomes throughout the Key Stages and may also incorporate learning from other curriculum areas. These also, as mentioned above, are designed to facilitate embedded teaching of grammar.
Short term plans build to create a medium term plan which can be refined for future developments. The short term plan highlights essential learning objectives and the appropriate age related milestones. Assessments are planned for at the start of a unit of work. Talk is an integral part of planning.
Grammar is taught in context, using the book as a stimulus and to provide examples. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One phonics is taught daily and phonics intervention sessions run to accelerate progress. These interventions continue into Key Stage Two if there is still need. Guided Reading is taught daily in Key Stages One and Two. In Key Stage Two spelling is taught for a short session each day using.
At Parkwood Primary School we have a 5 phased approach to the teaching of mathematics. These phases are planned across a unit of work;
Phase 1: teach and practise the key facts
Phase 2: teach and practise the skills and strategies
Phase 3: consolidation in puzzles and investigations
Phase 4: teach the application of skills, strategies and facts
Phase 5: using and applying the skills independently to solve problems.
To develop mental mathematics we have a Number Facts Passport to support learning of key number facts, which are the foundation for other aspects of mathematics. An emphasis on arithmetic skills is also a regular feature of our maths teaching and allows the children the opportunity to rehearse using their written methods as set out in our calculations policy. There are clear expectations of attainment for each year group.
Science is either taught discretely or as part of a theme; whichever fits the content of the curriculum most appropriately. Investigation skills are a key part of the science curriculum and given a high priority in lessons. The science content taught in each year group is shown on the long term plan and has been reviewed in response to the national curriculum 2014.
At Parkwood we have a dedicated member of staff to support teachers in the delivery of the computing element of the national curriculum. As a school we have invested significantly to ensure our children have access to the latest technology. Recognition of the place of computing in all learning is key to our approach. Our long term plans indicate the coverage of all elements of the new curriculum.
Where necessary, specific computing skills are taught in discrete lessons, however the majority of computing teaching takes place using a cross curricular approach. This allows children to transfer computing skills and use technology for a real purpose.
Our foundation subjects are based on the national curriculum 2014.We teach the subjects History, Geography, Art and DT using a cross curricular, theme-based approach where possible. The links are evident in our curriculum overviews. Each theme is usually enriched by an educational visit, a visiting expert or an exciting ‘hook’ into learning. We see the foundation subjects as an opportunity to consolidate skills gained in the core areas of the curriculum. Opportunities for assessment, that are linked to the national curriculum 2014 purpose of study, are planned for at the start of a unit of work.
Children in Years Two to Six are taught djembe drumming for a block of time each year. Music Express Online is used to support teachers' delivery of the music national curriculum 2014. Whole school singing sessions provide opportunities for children to consolidate musical skills and this is supported with additional singing activities within the classroom.
We provide two sessions of PE per week to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each class is taught games, dance, athletics, outdoor and adventurous activity as well as gymnastics. Swimming is taught in Year Four and Five. This area of the curriculum is taught by a specialist PE teacher.
RE is taught according to the Bradford Locally Agreed Syllabus. This allows children to learn about the six major world religions through different topics such as special books and places of worship, developing understanding of and respect for local faith communities.
Modern Foreign Languages
The language taught at Parkwood Primary School is French. This is taught discretely in Key Stage Two.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
PSHE is taught through our delivery of weekly SEAL (Social, Emotional, Aspects of Learning) sessions. This fits well with our essential characteristics for personal development and permeates through all aspects of learning at Parkwood.