Our School Curriculum

In September 2014, a new National Curriculum was implemented in schools across England. Schools are now expected to follow new programmes of study where all children are expected to meet the outcomes specified for each year group.

Here at St Richard’s CE Primary School, we have worked together to respond to the new expectations of this curriculum to ensure that we provide a curriculum that is engaging as well as educational.

To find out more about the specific curriculum areas, please click on the relevant heading below:

English

At St Richard’s we recognise that strong foundations in English are necessary for children to be able to access all areas of the curriculum and for their future lives. Therefore we ensure that English skills are developed through all curriculum subjects as well as through discrete English lessons.

 

We strive to teach children to:
  • Listen attentively, understand and appreciate language
  • Speak confidently and clearly and be able to use appropriate language for different situations
  • Love books and read with confidence and enjoyment
  • Communicate confidently through writing in a wide range of situations
  • Express their ideas using correct spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Take pride in their handwriting and the presentation of their work

 

Speaking and Listening

Great emphasis is placed upon developing children’s spoken language, as this is crucial for learning to read, write and to be successful in all areas of learning. Children learn how to communicate successfully with others and to express their ideas using a broad vocabulary. They learn to speak in a variety of situations, for various purposes and for a range of audiences.

 

Reading & Phonics

Our approach to reading at St Richard’s is to develop fluency, comprehension and a love of reading. By sharing books and stories from when they join us, children are actively encouraged to read for pleasure and enjoyment. The children study fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading at St Richard’s are as follows:

  • Shared reading: Children across the school take part in regular shared reading, where an adult reads to the class.
  • Guided reading: All children take part in daily guided reading sessions. We follow a bespoke scheme called ‘READS’ where children complete an activity for each letter of the program. They will be guided by their teacher once a week. In addition to this they will take part in a weekly guided reading group with the teaching assistant where they will complete a structured activity based on the text they are reading.
  • Independent reading: Children get regular opportunities to choose and read alone or share books and to use their class book area.
  • Phonics: Our Reception, Year 1 and 2 classes take part in daily phonics sessions. For more information please click here.
  • Resources: Book banded reading resources are used across the school. Children work through each band before becoming a ‘free reader’ where they are supported in choosing their own books.
  • Reading at home: Each child has a reading record book which logs books that they have read and comments about their reading. Pupils, parents and teaching staff may make comments in this book. Children are encouraged to share or read a book with their parents at home every day.
  • Library: Every child visits the school library and has regular opportunities to borrow a book. Teachers show the children how to use the library effectively and offer guidance upon book choice.

 

Writing

We encourage children to write for a range of purposes and audiences using a high quality text as a stimulus. They learn the rules of punctuation and grammar, through daily 15 minute sessions, so that they can express their ideas, opinions and views with clarity and confidence. Regular attention is given to spelling, presentation of work and handwriting.

The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:

  • Daily English lessons.
  • Learning through the use of one high quality text per half term.
  • Varied resources used as exciting stimuli for writing including film and animation.
  • Writing linked to Topic and Science work.
  • Clear ‘Success Criteria’ used to enable children to self-assess and improve their writing.
  • A weekly independent writing activity where children have the opportunity to apply their writing skills in an extended piece of writing.
  • Spelling: The school has recently adopted the Read, Write Inc. spelling program by Ruth Miskin. This will be taught daily with a spelling test every Friday. It is very important for children to learn their spellings at home as they go through each spelling pattern to successfully secure their understanding.

 

The National Curriculum programme of study details the expectations for each year group and can be downloaded by clicking the following link:

English Programme of Study for KS1 and KS2

Mathematics
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy. A high-quality maths education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. (DfE 2014)

We believe a sound understanding of Mathematics is essential to the development of our children at St Richard’s. Teaching is designed to develop the children’s ability to manipulate numbers and mathematical concepts fluently and enable them to become independent problem solvers who can apply their mathematical knowledge and skills in a variety of contexts. We strive to create a climate where all children have a positive attitude towards mathematics , so that they enjoy the subject and study it with a sense of achievement.

Maths is taught daily throughout the school and where possible, links and opportunities to use and apply knowledge and skills are made across subjects and curriculum areas. Resources and visual images are used regularly to support the children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. We place a strong emphasis on mental maths to develop basic number skills, which children at St Richard’s achieve through a maths passport. All children are expected to be secure with their times tables by the end of Year 4. Children will learn to read and interpret mathematical symbols and use pictures, diagrams, jottings and formal written methods to support their thinking. We also encourage children to explain decisions, methods and results using mathematical language.

For children in Nursery and Reception, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and for children in Year 1 – 6 we follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics for Key Stage 1 and 2. The expectations for each year group can be found below:

 

EYFS Maths Expectations

Year 1 Maths – End of Year Expectations

Year 2 Maths – End of Year Expectations

Year 3 Maths – End of Year Expectations

Year 4 Maths – End of Year Expectations

Year 5 Maths – End of Year Expectations

Year 6 Maths – End of Year Expectations

 

Supporting your child with Maths at home

It is important to their understanding of maths that the children see maths in their daily lives both inside and outside of the school environment. Children benefit when parents take a keen interest in their mathematical learning. At home children should practice their tables and mental maths skills at every opportunity as well as complete homework activities set by their class teacher.

Each child has an individual login to Mathletics where they have access to a range of games suited to their year group. These are designed to reinforce and embed their classroom-based learning.

Children also benefit from dice and board games, card games, talking about pocket money, pointing out shapes and patterns, looking at time and even checking out the football or rugby scores. There are also a wide range of educational games online and apps available to download for free on tablets such as iPads.

Topic

At St Richard’s we have created our own bespoke curriculum of cross-curricular and inspirational topics on a two-year cycle, which will help the children to draw together all the strands of the new National Curriculum and enable them to make meaningful links with their everyday lives and interests both inside and outside of school.

Our new curriculum format has been adopted by all year groups and means that our pupils will have a more creative approach to learning. The topics are largely History, Science, Design Technology or Geography based, but have links to other areas of the curriculum such as Computing and Art.

English, Maths and PE are taught discretely, however, strong thematic links are made where appropriate in these subjects to enhance the children’s learning experiences.

Modern Foreign Languages are also taught in Key Stage 2 where every child from Year 3 upwards learns Spanish.

Religious Education

As a Church of England school, we place a great emphasis on Christianity and our Christian ethos throughout our RE teaching and during class and whole school Collective Worship.

However, RE is also taught with the aim of widening the children’s understanding of the beliefs and faiths of others, both within the school and in the wider world. We believe that this will help promote tolerance and unity within our community and will give our pupils the opportunity to develop a thoughtful and considerate approach to people from all faith groups.

Further information about RE and Worship at St Richard’s can be found on our Christian Values page