Curriculum at King Alfred Trust
Improving our curriculum is always a priority for us and it features highly on the School Improvement Plan each year. Over three years ago, we started to trial using quality texts as the vehicles for teaching and learning. This was successful in the two year groups where we trialled it and we rolled it out to the whole of the school at the start of 2018-19.
In June/ July every year, we have a Trust planning day where we evaluate our curriculum and amend it in light of the evaluation.
The advent of the new Ofsted Framework (September 2019) required all schools to evaluate their curriculum and to measure the impact of this in terms of Pupil Progress and also Knowledge Retention.
As a trust, we have evaluated our curriculum and created a one-sided sheet to give an overview of our vision, aims strategies etc. We are a very inclusive school and we believe that all children have equal rights to a broad and balanced curriculum which enables them to achieve their full-potential. We use values as drivers for everything we do in school including learning and teaching. Our intention is that our children leave our school as confident and happy young people who are ready for the next stage in their education, wherever that may be.
As a school, we understand that not all children have had the same experiences in life, and we believe that as a school, we have an obligation to increase the Cultural Capital for each child. We have put together a list of experiences and opportunities that we believe all of our children should have during their time with us:
Please take a look at both documents on our website. We are always happy to answer questions about our curriculum.
Learning and Retaining Knowledge (including vocabulary)
In order to learn and then retain knowledge, it is important that we keep revisiting the same content at intervals during a child's school life. Expecting children to retrieve information (learning including vocabulary) enables them to embed the learning for their continued journey through life.
We have carefully planned our curriculum so that themes and topics will be revisited throughout the seven years that a child spends with us. We place an emphasis on learning and remembering information, and then children are given a quiz.
We have designed 'Knowledge Organisers' for each topic or theme (which are built around the quality texts). The Knowledge Organisers have key vocabulary, information, dates, people, events etc. on them that your child is expected to learn. We ask that you help them with this at home. Later in the year, your child will have a quiz on the information to see how much they have retained. Knowledge Organisers can be found on your child's class page each term.
We worked with the Department for Education and our local English Hub on improving Phonics teaching and learning throughout the school. All staff were trained in Phonics and Early Reading in Term 4 2019-20, and new staff received training in 2020-21 and 2021-22. Although we have graduated, we will continue to engage with professional development and training through the hub.
From September 2022, we will be using Supersonic Phonic Friends to teach Phonics and Early Reading. This is one of the new Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programmes that have been validated by the Department for Education, and which replace Letters and Sounds. Our Reception and Key Stage 1 Team have had brief training on this programme and whole-staff training is planned for October 2022. We do understand that it will take a short time to implement this new programme and approach. Parents have received information about Supersonic Phonic Friends and we will be running an information session for them in Term 1.
When children come into Reception, they all start reading books with no words. This ensures that they all know how to use a book and that they can tell a story using the pictures. As the children start to learn sounds, they will have a reading book matching the phase/ phonic level of phonics that they are working on. Our books are sorted by phase/ phonic level and not stage.
We have carefully sourced reading books from a variety of schemes to ensure that we have enough books at each phonics phase/ level. Having a mix of schemes gives the children variety too. The books are sorted into the appropriate phases/ levels. A book sort is planned for October when the Supersonic Team will be here to ensure that it is as finely tuned as it can be.
Once the children move past phase/ phonic level 6 (often in Year 3), they move onto our other reading books that are sorted into reading stages.
We offer Phonics and Early Reading Information Sessions in every academic year. In Term 1 2022, we delivered an information session on Supersonic Phonic Friends.
We use a pre-cursive and cursive handwriting style and teach the children this from Reception. We use an online scheme called Letter Join and all parents and children can access this at home as well as in school. A link to this can be found in the Home Learning Hub. If children struggle with fine motor skills, it may be that we focus on activities to support their progress in this before we move them on to handwriting.
Children are encouraged to read a minimum of four times a week as part of our Fantastic Four Reading challenge as well as our '100 books' reading challenge. Each phase (KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) has a book list compiled of recommended books that cover a variety of genres and authors which the children are encouraged to read. Lots of these texts are available in school where we have a growing collection in the classrooms as well as in the local libraries. '100 books' booklets are available to view and download on class pages as well as children receiving a hard copy when they enter each phase.
Across the school, we use a scheme called 'White Rose' to support our planning and teaching. Maths is divided into units of work which last for varying lengths of time. We then use a wide variety of resources to ensure that we deliver Maths in an interesting and engaging way, ensuring that all children have access to their year group expectations. We use a Mastery Approach to teaching Maths and you can read more about this here.
Religious Education will be provided for all pupils in compliance with Statutory Regulations linked to the local authority’s syllabus through discrete and enquiry based teaching using the Discovery Scheme of Work. Pupils study a variety of religions and worldviews which are represented in our curriculum map. The children attend collective worship which is focused on key events and British Values, as well as weekly 'Open the Book' worship and visits from the vicar.
The Pastoral Manager will provide support for the social and emotional aspects of learning and intervention will be provided in small groups or 1:1 for a variety of needs: Anger Management, Social Skills, Friendship, Bereavement and Loss, Self-Esteem etc.
Home Learning is a crucial element of the home/school partnership. It gives parents the opportunity, from the outset, to support their children in their learning whilst enabling the children to reinforce the work covered at school.
Our Home Learning Policy outlines the requirements at different stages and ages. See our policy here.
PE and Sport
Sport and PE is very important to us at Pewsey Primary as it promotes healthy lifestyles as well as improving physical skills. Pupils across the school are taught PE using the Get Set 4 P.E. Scheme of Work and pupils in LKS2 participate in swimming lessons at The Vale Community Campus. Children have the opportunity to participate in inter-school and trust matches, festivals and events including visiting sports people.
We are lucky enough to have an outdoor learning site at Pewsey Primary School and the site is also being developed at King's Gate. We are able to offer children at Pewsey, sessions of Outdoor Learning every year during their primary school life. We also use Outdoor Learning to increase the confidence and self-esteem for some of the more vulnerable children in our school, and these children have a timetable of sessions, some of which are provided by Wiltshire Wildlife, and are reviewed regularly. For more details visit out Outdoor Learning page here.
Pupils all get the opportunity to take part in a production during the year. FS2 & KS1 perform at Christmas, Year 3&4 in the Spring and Y5&6 in the Summer. There will also be the opportunity for performances to showcase learning to the rest of the school, parents and wider community on a termly basis throughout the year. Performance opportunities will be provided for all pupils.
Instrumental Music Teaching
Opportunities are provided via the use of peripatetic music teachers for pupils to learn a musical instrument – this will be at a cost to parents, please see the office if you would like to discuss this. This is in addition to the curriculum music teaching using Charanga.
The National Curriculum defines the material that has to be covered in all subjects and copies of this, our policies and schemes of work can be seen in school. A variety of teaching methods are used – sometimes the children will be working independently, sometimes in small groups and at other times as a whole class. Care is taken to adjust the work to cater for all the children at all levels, the more able children and those who may have special educational needs and require a little more support to achieve their potential.
At Pewsey Primary School, we believe that children learn best when they enjoy their learning and are interested in what they are learning. Please come and visit us and witness for yourselves the vibrant classrooms and the enjoyment that the children have for their learning
Please view the school's Policy here
Pewsey Primary School is committed to promoting understanding of the principles and practices of equality and justice. We aim to equip our children with an awareness of our diverse society and to appreciate the value of difference. This may be considered as gender, beliefs, culture, race, sexuality, disability, and/or ability.