National Curriculum

The curriculum at St Leonard’s is designed to fulfil all the requirements of the National Curriculum within a creative context. We believe that children learn best from hands-on learning so we include practical activities, outside learning , visits  to places connected with our learning and visitors  to share their experiences and knowledge.

The children are taught  English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Computing , Design and technology, Art and design, Music, Physical Education, PSHE and Citizenship, French and Religious Education.

Each week every child will have  at least two PE sessions and an RE lesson. Computing will be taught every term within an appropriate context so this may be a specific computing lesson or it may be applied within another subject. Other   subjects are taught throughout the year, sometimes taught as a stand alone unit   and sometimes integrated  into a  half termly theme.

The teaching  of English and Mathematics  in Key Stage  One

In  Key Stage 1  children are  in 3 base classes  each consisting of  15 Year One  children and 15 Year  Two children.  When  we teach  English and  Mathematics  we  group the children  to enable us to most appropriately meet  their individual  needs.  This  means some children  may be  with a different teacher  for this  aspect of the curriculum.  These  groups  are reviewed  on a half termly  basis  to  reflect  the different  speeds at which  pupils  progress.

 English is taught through:

  •  Daily phonics  activities  with  children  in groups  appropriate to the phase at which  they are working.
  • Two  English  mornings  per week  focusing on  developing  reading and  writing  through  a specific  genre. These  sessions  will include  a  range of  continuous  provision activities with  a  literacy  focus to enable  pupils  to develop their  skills  through  independent  choices .
  • Daily  guided  reading sessions.
  • Other  Literacy work  across the  curriculum.

Mathematics  is taught through:

  •  Two Mathematics  mornings per week focusing on  ensuring  full coverage of the  mathematics curriculum  at  a  level  appropriate to the  child.  These  sessions  will include  a  range of  continuous  provision activities with  a  mathematical  focus to enable  pupils  to develop their  skills  through  independent  choices.
  • Daily opportunities  for mathematics  through  whole  class  work  such as  counting  in  groups,  finding  the difference  between  the  number of  pupils  on school  dinner or packed lunch etc.
  • Other  mathematical work  across the curriculum.

The teaching  of English and Mathematics  in Key Stage  Two

English and Mathematics are   taught through  five specific  lessons  per week.   These  lessons  will focus on  skills  and knowledge  appropriate  to the  year group  expectations  as  outlined in the  National  Curriculum, but  be differentiated  for pupils who are  able to work  in greater  depth  or  those who are  not yet secure in  earlier stages  of learning.

The  teaching of reading

At St Leonard’s Church of England Primary School it is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who read for interest, information and enjoyment. We use a range of different strategies to support reading within our school.

Reading opportunities are provided on a daily basis. A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. The teachers share books with the class and regularly read stories and rhymes. Phonics is taught daily and follows the Letters and Sounds document. The children select an individual reading book to take home to support their learning. Teachers regularly read with the children and encourage reading to take place at home.

Children participate in daily guided reading sessions to deepen children’s inferential, retrieval and decoding skills. Children are placed into similar ability groups which are reviewed on a regular basis. The text chosen for a given guided reading session will challenge the group in terms of meaning and word difficulty. The text chosen will ideally link to the current unit theme. There is a balance of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts chosen for guided reading sessions over a half-term period.

Children also have the opportunity to independently read and when a child has finished reading a book, they will talk it through with an adult. Children select their own text from the selection available at their level, which also include e-books. Selecting their own choice of texts is an important part of developing independence. This motivates readers and helps children to develop and discuss their reading preferences.

Reading is a complex skill with many components. Successful approaches to the teaching of reading should encourage children to use a variety of strategies in their pursuit of meaning. It is important to lay firm foundations in this crucial area of the curriculum and establish a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading.

The  teaching of  Computing

At  St  Leonard’s  we  want  to  ensure  that  pupils  are  fully  prepared  for life in  our digital  world.  To do  this we  have  a  wide range of  up to  date equipment:  digital  screens or  interactive  white boards in each classroom;  laptops  in each  classroom  (as well  as  a  full class set);  ipads  in each classroom (as well as  a  full class set);  programmable  robots such  as  Dot and Dash,  Beebots, Parrot drones and  Sphero  robotic balls;  ActiveExpression  handsets to  enable  whole class assessment;  other equipment such as  GPS devices and  a  wide range of software and  apps.

In order  to ensure that  staff skills  are updated in this  rapidly  changing  area we currently  have  a  specialist  teacher working alongside  staff ensuring  they are confident in teaching  all aspects of the  curriculum  as  well as using  these skills across  other subjects.

We also  have a group  of  Year  6  pupils  who  are  our  Digital Leaders. They trial  any new resources and technology before being introduced  in other classes.  They have  also  planned and  delivered  aspects of e-safety  workshops /  assemblies  for  parents  and pupils.  They  are proficient  in basic computing skills  and  teach  simple  skills  to EYFS pupils.

Within  our curriculum  we  highlight to pupils  the need  for  e-safety  and our policies  ensure that  children  and staff  have clear guidelines.

The teaching  of PE

At St  Leonard’s  we  believe  that  healthy,  active  bodies  are  a  crucial  element of  maintaining  a  healthy, active mind.  Therefore we place  a  high  priority on  pupils being  physically active  throughout the  day  as well as  ensuring that  they  become  physically  literate with  excellent fine/gross motor  control and understanding  the  basis  of each  movement  skill.  Alongside this  we also  believe  sport can contribute  to children’s  sense  of  personal  well-being:   either  through  competitive  sport or sports where  pupils  set more personal  targets such as to  run further or faster  or shoot  more accurately.

In support of this  all our  PE,  from nursery  to year  6, is taught  by specialist  PE  teachers.  This is enhanced further in the Foundation Stage through physical activities within continuous provision. These teachers also oversee our Pupil Sports Leaders and Sports Champions who set out equipment and lead activities at break times, encouraging all pupils to be physically active. We also  take part  in a  wide range  of in school and inter-school competitions in a  variety of sports. There  are  a  wide range  of  after school clubs, many of which  are  sports related.


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