The Loatlands Primary School curriculum aligns with the Pathfinder Schools Curriculum Vision Statement (available to view on the sidebar) and is underpinned by our Vision and Values: Respect, Resilience and Curiosity.
Principles and Purpose
Our primary purpose is to provide all pupils with broad and balanced learning experiences that equip them for the next stage in their education and for life beyond school. We aim to inspire a love of learning alongside equipping pupils with the knowledge, skills, understanding of concepts and vocabulary they need to excel in life and to make active contributions to society.
Our curriculum is designed to enable every pupil to achieve their best and to develop the attributes and attitudes needed to overcome any barriers to learning. Our goal is that pupils will continue to be curious throughout their learning journey and will develop as creative, critical thinkers who question the world around them.
Breadth and Balance
Our curriculum is aligned to the National Curriculum and is guided by the Pathfinder Progression documents for each subject. The Long Term Topic Overview demonstrates how we plan thematically across the year. We consider the discrete blocks of knowledge, skills and concepts for each subject area and aim to make clear links across themes and between subjects to deepen pupils’ understanding. Core areas of learning are revisited so that pupils develop a deeper understanding with prior learning being built upon.
We use the Philosophy 4 Children approach of enquiry learning to further deepen pupils’ understanding of concepts. Opportunities for child-initiated learning are continued beyond Early Years to allow for self-motivation and exploration.
Reading across the curriculum
We believe that the ability to read lays the foundation for life-long learning and as such is prioritised across the curriculum. Our goal is that all pupils can read age-appropriate texts fluently and with understanding. We encourage every pupil to read widely and for pleasure.
Quality fiction and non-fiction texts are central to our curriculum design in Foundation subject lessons as well as in English. We focus on developing pupils’ understanding of both subject-specific and high-utility words in all subjects.
We aim to provide engaging learning experiences both within and beyond the school building. The curriculum consists of many planned experiences such as whole-school Values and Topic days, educational trips and workshops, residential visits and time spent exploring the local community. Our Forest School provides pupils with ample opportunity to develop social interaction and practical skills in an outside learning environment. We aim to develop pupils’ cultural capital by providing opportunities to engage with the Arts and by sharing a wide range of cultural knowledge in assemblies.
Progress for all
Loatlands Primary School promotes the individuality of all our children, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background. Quality first teaching in the classroom ensures that all children make progress. Strategies including modelling, use of worked examples and careful scaffolding ensure that pupils are supported where needed. Meaningful assessment opportunities are planned to identify both gaps in learning and opportunities for challenge and extended learning.
Across the school curriculum we work to ensure we actively promote life in Modern Britain and as a result have developed our own British value statement of how we ensure our children are aware of individual liberty, democracy, mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
Our British Values Statement is available in the sidebar of the page.
At Loatlands Primary School we follow the National Curriculum for English which incorporates spoken language, reading and writing. The overarching aims are that children:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Our primary goal is that all children develop a life-long love of reading. This begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception) where an interest in books and reading is encouraged through story-telling, nursery rhymes and through sharing a range of fiction and non-fiction books. All children from Reception upwards borrow books from our well-stocked library.
In Reception and Key Stage 1, children’s ability to decode is developed through the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics scheme. As children become fluent readers, more emphasis is placed on comprehension skills. This is supported through whole class teaching using class readers, guided reading sessions and independent reading opportunities.
The Early Years Foundation Stage provides opportunities for emergent writing in all learning areas so that children have a purpose for writing. A ‘Book of the Week’ is also used to generate writing opportunities in Reception.
High quality texts are used as the basis of English units from Year 1 upwards. Children explore the features of texts and develop a secure understanding of audience and purpose. Incidental writing opportunities are used to explore specific skills relating to aspects of grammar and punctuation so that children can practice these skills in context. Finally, the children build up to an ‘end of unit write’ where they can showcase all the skills they have learnt and can also show a creative use of language and overall text structure. Units focus on narrative writing, non-fiction writing and poetry. Additionally, teachers plan for purposeful writing opportunities in other curriculum areas.
Specific elements of grammar and punctuation are explored in warm-ups and, particularly in Year 6, in separate discrete grammar sessions. The ‘Spelling Shed’ scheme supports the teaching of spelling from Year 1 upwards. This is a comprehensive scheme based on the spelling rules and common exception lists in the National Curriculum.
Children in the EYFS develop pre-cursive letter formation. In Year 1, children are taught the ‘lead-in’ and ‘lead-out’ lines necessary to join in a cursive style. From Year 2 onwards children begin to join in a cursive style, once their letter formation is fully secure.
Children are encouraged through speaking and listening activities to listen carefully to others and to speak clearly and with confidence to a variety of audiences. This includes working with a talk partner, in small groups and participating in whole class discussions and debates including Jigsaw assemblies and P4C sessions.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The three key aims of fluency, reasoning and problem solving are supported through the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) whereby children learn initially through the use of concrete manipulatives (i.e. Numicon, dienes, number beads, place value counters) before moving onto to drawing their own pictorial representations. When children confidently understand the concept they are learning, they will them move onto working just with abstract numbers and mathematical symbols. Children are encouraged to use concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations at any point during maths sessions to support their learning.
The White Rose scheme supports mathematics teaching by providing a clear framework and a range of activities to develop reasoning and problem solving.
Philosophy for Children (P4C)
All children, from Nursery to Year 6, participate in weekly P4C sessions. Philosophy for Children is a teaching and learning approach based on philosophical enquiry that aims to develop children’s ability to think creatively and critically. Children are taught how to develop their own philosophical questions, using a story, image or object as a stimulus. The children then vote on which question they would like to discuss and the teacher facilitates the discussion by asking further open questions and encouraging children to connect ideas, give reasons and change their minds.
The P4C approach is used across the curriculum to develop deep, reflective thinking and to