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.