Governors’ Statement on the Curriculum
“We believe that learning is an enjoyable, lifelong process through which everyone can achieve their potential and exceed their expectations. We will challenge and support our pupils to do their very best by providing an extensive range of learning experiences beyond the statutory requirement.”
Larkrise Storytelling Curriculum
At Larkrise we have an embedded Storytelling Curriculum which promotes the development of good language in our pupils and which brings together disparate curriculum areas into a more unified learning experience.
Larkrise adopted the Storytelling curriculum more than a decade ago. We won a ‘Leading Aspect’ award for this work and we have seen that, when it is run effectively, it promotes excellent attainment for all pupils. With so many children coming to Larkrise with English as an additional language or with less developed speaking and listening on entry to the school, it is natural that focussing on speaking and listening is an important foundation for the work we do here.
Each half term starts with an oral storytelling experience. The children hear their teacher tell a story then learn to tell it themselves. This helps to develop a wider vocabulary, more extended sentences and speech sequences, more flexible use of tense and greater confidence. The children’s reading and writing over the story sequence will be linked to the story so that new vocabulary is reinforced and so that the teacher does not need to spend large amounts of time introducing new contexts.
Other areas of the curriculum such as Geography, History, Science, Art, Design Technology and so on are introduced through the context of the story. Scientists who study learning know that the human brain is specialised to take information and knowledge in through stories. It’s hard to remember a new fact in isolation but when it’s associated with a story and with other information we already know it will slot in more easily and less easily forgotten. Learning scientists call the way we build up groups of knowledge of related things ‘schema’ – through our storytelling curriculum we aim to build strong schema.
You can help by giving your child opportunities to tell their story – to friends or relatives or to anyone who will listen. This will help develop their language and strengthen their ability to work in all the associated subject areas.
Some subjects are hard to build in to the story sequence. Maths is generally taught separately from the story – as it is taught daily it builds it’s own schema – and other subjects such as Spanish which is taught from Year Three upwards usually stand alone. We do not bend or strain a subject to make it fit into a sequence.
This year, 2019-20, we are starting a new two year rolling programme in which the content of the National Curriculum is organised over the school years from Year One to Year Six. In this new system the year groups work in pairs so that Year One and two will be working on the same story and the same areas of knowledge, Years Three and Four will be doing the same as will years five and six. This means that there will be four or more teachers working together to plan and resource the teaching. We hope that this will not only help with the workload of planning but will also help us really focus on the progress children make as they pass through the school.
You can see what your child is learning each term on their year group’s Topic Web .
How we involve parents in curriculum planning:
At Larkrise we regularly hold meetings to discuss our curriculum and how to develop it further. Parents/Carers will be informed via the school newsletter about upcoming meetings. In term 1 and 2 of the 2016/17 school year, we held meetings on the following:-
- storytelling curriculum.
- phonics and reading in early years.
- teaching your child writing skills.
We plan to deliver sessions on:
- Keeping your child safe on the internet.
- Helping your child with their maths.
- Supporting children who have english as a second language.
- Handwriting support.
- Helping your child with the teaching of Grammar.
Curriculum Coverage Documents
You can find downloadable pdf’s covering the latest curriculum towards the bottom of this page.
You can also find further information about the topics covered by following this link https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/parent-how-to-videos/ .
The Foundation Stage Curriculum
The Foundation Unit is a busy, happy place where children and adults have lots of fun whilst learning and growing together. Teaching follows the Foundation Stage Curriculum. This is a national framework of teaching and learning for preschool and reception aged children. The buildings themselves are attractive with nooks and crannies for imaginative play or quiet thinking. Here we provide a stimulating and caring environment with lots of exciting activities. Children are encouraged to make choices, develop independence and take responsibility for their choices and actions. We believe that young children need firm boundaries which they know and understand. We try to be firm, fair and consistent and to balance that firmness with warmth and laughter. This helps to create a calm, happy atmosphere in which all children can feel safe and cared for and able to grow in confidence and self-esteem. A Foundation Stage Profile charts each child’s learning and this is shared with parents.
Teaching the National Curriculum
Larkrise School offers a broad and balanced curriculum taught within the legal framework of the National Curriculum which promotes a curious, confident, caring, creative and celebrative child. Teachers provide many opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom for children to learn and practice skills so they can develop their own ideas and extend their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Children learn to work in groups and have opportunities to think and work creatively and to work independently on their own investigations.
As children progress through the school learning is based on the consolidation and success of previous years so they have the confidence and means to develop their strengths and fulfil their potential. We want every child to feel successful at something and use this as the basis for pushing forward learning and strengthening any weaknesses.
We are following the latest National Curriculum.
Phonics and Reading
We follow a program called BugClub Phonics. The program takes children through a systematic planned program in which the children are taught the key sounds and terminology associated with Phonics. The program is based on the Letters and Sounds program and involves children working through the phonics sounds in a systematic and organised way. Teachers of children from the Nursery to Year 3 follow this program and differentiate support for all abilities. In addition to this program children also have the opportunity to practice decoding non-sense words in preparation for the statutory phonics test in Year 1.
We also use the BugClub reading program. This program uses a range of phonically decodable books as well as normal books to teach key objectives. The books are organised into age appropriate stages and the teachers are provided with plans in which to deliver the sessions. Every child in the school has access to a BugClub interactive resource in which the children can access texts from home. Reading a BugClub text may often be set as a homework task in Years R-2.
Music, art and craft, dance and drama have a high priority in the school. Skills are taught and opportunities given for experimentation, practice and development. A knowledge of appreciation of the visual arts and music is an important aspect of the National Curriculum and we aim to provide opportunities for the children to discuss a wide range of works. We also place great emphasis on children learning to express their own thoughts and feelings in all kinds of media. We value every effort and encourage children to raise the quality of their efforts. With help and encouragement we hope all children will grow in skill and confidence to express freely creative responses to the real experiences we offer them.
The school has a well equipped computer room, which is timetabled to ensure all children have time to learn computing skills. Collections of laptops are also available to use in classrooms both for computing lessons and as a tool for other subjects. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants are trained to teach the children a range of skills covering data handling, graphics, word processing, desktop publications, video creation and editing, control and programming and technical applications. Specialist software is also used to help teach other subjects such as maths.
The computers are linked to the internet. Under adult supervision children access information from the internet and use facilities such as email and blogs to establish and maintain contacts and share their creations with their schoolmates, families, other schools in this country and throughout the world.
Staying safe online is taught throughout the school as part of the computing curriculum.
Larkrise strives to guide our pupils to be responsible global citizens. As a marker of our work in this area we have held the Eco-Schools silver award for some years and are currently working toward the Gold Award. Our efforts in this area are not limited to encouraging children to recycle old worksheets and turn off the lights – though those are important too – we aim to encourage children to appreciate the world around them and understand how their actions have a direct effect on the environment locally and globally.
Children have undertaken projects to examine the ‘food miles’ of everyday foodstuffs, participated in role play activities to understand the stacked hand of global trade, worked together on a ‘Power Down Day’ to find out how simple actions can save money and reduce our carbon footprint.
We know that in the future these matters will become more and more pressing and we are proud to be doing our bit to prepare our pupils to join in the climate debate.
Eat My School
Eat My School is a project to get school communities to grow and eat food on their own premises. Every child should have the joy of planting a seed, helping the plant grow and eating the delicious reward for their work! Here at Larkrise evidence is literally popping out of the ground in front of us – our children have been digging, planting, watering and harvesting for three years and every child in the school has been able to take part.
It has taken effort from the whole school community, including parents and carers who are warmly welcomed to get on board, but now almost every corner of the school has something growing. You will find tomatoes growing in old recycling boxes, salad growing in hay-bale beds, potatoes in sacks of earth, calendula and echinacia in the raised beds, rosemary on the corner and who knows what is sprouting in the poly-tunnel!
Eat my School has transformed the look and feel of our school grounds but the proof of the pudding is in the eating – children have eaten fantastic soups, tasty curries and mouth-watering risottos. No child at Larkrise can be ignorant of where the food on their plate comes from.
By Law we have to follow the County’s agreed syllabus for Religious Education. This sets down a framework for us to work within. The main elements are:
- to enable children to understand religious beliefs and practices
- to make children aware of experiences and concepts basic to all religion
- to facilitate a personal search for meaning, purpose and values without any indoctrination
- to encourage tolerance to and empathy with other beliefs and religions
- to cover topics drawn from all major religions and humanist beliefs
Each teacher will organise teaching of Religious Education through their topic. The main purpose will be to teach and encourage children to plan and run their own lives confidently and positively, whilst caring for others around them, in a secure framework where every child receives value and recognition. In this way they will come to:
- appreciate the diversity of people’s interests and abilities and learn to tolerate all groups and beliefs
- learn self-control and take responsibility for their own behaviour
- appreciate their own feelings and strengths and develop a positive image of themselves
- delight in the rich variety of their world
- develop a responsibility for their surroundings
- clarify their ideas about religion by exploring religious practices, artefacts and stories
- appreciate all the people whose job it is to help us in different ways
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
To find out about Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education at Larkrise, please click here.
Attitudes to Learning
The ethos and philosophy of the school provides a framework within which policies and procedures are developed. These are applied and followed by all staff to set an expectation for learning and behaviour. Teachers, support staff, lunchtime supervisors and Extended School supervisors have all been trained to recognise and reward good behaviour , to talk calmly and with respect to the children, to be consistent and fair in applying school rules. Our aim is to raise self-esteem, to give every child a feeling of self-worth and enable children to share feelings and thoughts in a safe environment.
We want children to have an enthusiasm for learning. The children are taught specific skills in every curriculum area. We give the children opportunities to practise these skills. We ask them to use the skills to solve problems, respond creatively or to investigate new areas. We encourage as much practical work as possible so children can observe and discuss and express their responses. It has been shown that children learn most effectively through such active learning. In this way they become keen and eager to develop and share their new knowledge and skills.
- Homework Expectation Sheet Key Stage 1.pdf
- Homework Expectation Sheet Key Stage 2.pdf
- Spelling at Larkrise – A Guide to Support Your Child at Home
Curriculum Coverage Documents
- Year 1 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 1 Spelling Appendix.pdf
- Year 1 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- Year 2 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 2 Spelling Appendix.pdf
- Year 2 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- Year 3 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 3-4 Spelling Appendix.pdf
- Year 3 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- Year 4 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 4 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- Year 5 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 5-6 Spelling Appendix.pdf
- Year 5 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- Year 6 Statutory Requirements.pdf
- Year 6 Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation Appendix.pdf
- English Genres Years 1-6.pdf
- English Glossary.pdf
- Whole School Maths Overview.pdf
- Whole school Shape, Measure & Data.pdf
- Larkrise Maths Curriculum – Pitch and Expectations – Shape, Measure & Data.pdf
- Art & Design.pdf
- Design & Technology.pdf
Expectations in Core Subjects
- Year 1 End of Year Expectations.pdf
- Year 2 End of Year Expectations.pdf
- Year 3 End of Year Expectations.pdf
- Year 4 End of Year Expectations.pdf
- Year 5 End of Year Expectations.pdf
- Year 6 End of Year Expectations.pdf