Sowing the Seeds for a Flourishing Future
At Englefield we want our children to be stimulated,excited and challenged so they feel a real sense of achievement and joy in learning new things. We provide a broad range of experiences and opportunities across the curriculum and beyond which enable children to learn together within and across age groups, supporting and learning from each other. We want our children to develop life skills to enable them to become active and positive citizens.
Our curriculum is designed to enable and support our pupils to achieve ARE or better through quality teaching of clear subject content in all areas. We help our pupils to make expected or better progress in all areas by following a clear progression model.
All pupils, including those with additional needs, follow a broad curriculum which ensures that the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum are met. The curriculum includes the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, together with Computing, Geography, History, Art, DT, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education and PSHE/Citizenship. Pupils are also taught a modern foreign language (French) throughout the school.
A love of reading is high on the agenda at Englefield. A strong emphasis on the teaching of reading and phonics in Key Stage 1 gives children the necessary building blocks to become confident and independent learners. This emphasis on reading continues into Key stage 2 where we encourage pupils to read from a wide range of genres and help them to develop more in-depth comprehension skills.
Through our curriculum we aim to teach children the skills to enable them to be independent, resilient and determined. It is important for them to 'wobble' (this shows that they are learning) but they must also know what they can do to help themselves to move on.
In addition to the curriculum in the classroom, we also value the contribution that outdoor learning can make to the development of the whole child. Learning in exciting and different ways out in our beautiful local environment is a part of our school week which the children love.
English encompasses speaking & listening, reading and writing. It is taught as a discrete subject through a daily lesson; guided reading (where pupils are taught specific skills) and spelling may be taught outside the normal English lesson. English is at the heart of curriculum planning so that subject matter from other curriculum areas is available as content or stimulus for speaking, listening, reading and writing. All curriculum areas will involve some aspects of English.
We encourage pupils to talk about, share and explain their ideas in most lessons through our 'think, pair, share' activities; this builds their vocabulary, develops their use of sentence structure and helps pupils to rehearse what they might later write.
Pupils are given plenty of opportunities to read for themselves and to hear texts read to them. They are taught higher-level comprehension skills as they move through the school to enable them to engage more deeply with texts and understand how authors use words and grammatical structures to get their meaning across.
Developing writing stamina is as important as understanding and using a range of different writing styles. We give our pupils the regular opportunity to write at length in a range of styles, using a range of stimuli. All of our writers are the encouraged to edit their writing using our class editing stations so they can make it the best it can be.
At Englefield CE Primary School we strive to ensure all children become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.The school uses the Letters and Sounds document and these are used throughout the whole school as needed. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s phonological awareness, ability to segment and blend words and read more challenging words on sight - to become fluent readers!
Maths is taught through a daily maths lesson. Lessons are based on children’s needs from prior assessment as well as guidance from the national curriculum. Lessons begin with a mental starter, such as counting or times tables, which gives children the opportunity to practise and develop skills using a range of mental calculation methods. Direct teaching of a specific learning objective follows which often incorporates the use of practical apparatus or pictorial representations which support pupils in understanding what might otherwise be quite abstract ideas. Pupils then practise using the new skill or concept in a range of ways, usually including some form of problem-solving and reasoning. At the end of each lesson, pupils are given the opportunity to explain, reflect on and extend their learning. Maths skills are also taught and applied through other areas of the curriculum, for example when presenting results in a graph or when measuring for a cookery lesson.
Science is taught each term using units of work which often link to our class topic work; where they don't, science will be taught discretely. Each teacher ensures that the plans for their phase fully cover the requirements of the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to think about their own understanding of the world around them, to ask questions and to explore and find the answers to these questions through investigations. Investigative science is the core element of the science curriculum and at least fifty percent of science taught is practical investigation. Children are taught how to ask a question and then test this through a planned investigation which involves making a prediction, keeping it fair by changing the one variable they are testing for, using a range of equipment safely, to measure and record their results, draw conclusions from these and then present their results.
Computing (ICT) is taught across the school through discrete units of work. Where possible, skills learned are used through our topic work or in learning across the curriculum. Pupils are taught to use ICT safely and effectively for a range of purposes including programming to solve problems. Our underlying aim is to ensure that the children are taught to be responsible competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology and have the skills and understanding necessary to take an active part in a digital world. Pupils are given regular sessions on e-safety and tackling cyber-bullying.
Children explore a range of topics through the different contexts of place and time. History topics include Invaders, Ancient Greeks and The Tudors whilst geography includes coasts, map skills and comparison between different geographical areas and landscapes. Where possible, first hand experience is drawn on through trips and visitors.
Children have the opportunity to explore their ideas through a wide range of media; from printing to pastels. In art, a progression of skills and knowledge is planned for, using a range of materials and techniques and making reference to great works of art. In Design Technology, children design and make products with a specific purpose or user in mind, for example waterproof clothes for a teddy or a shelter that withstands the force of air from a hairdryer. The finished products are then tested to ensure they have filled the requirements of the brief.
Music offers children an exciting and creative learning opportunity. Pupils are given the chance to sing tunefully, listen and move to different styles of music, create their own rhythms and write them down using different types of notation, play a range of percussion instruments and compose simple music, for example to provide a soundtrack to poetry or a story. Children are able to pursue instrumental tuition with peripatetic teachers from Berkshire Maestros and elsewhere and this is strongly encouraged. Some musical instruments are taught through school clubs. Children in Years 3 and 4 get one year of class instrumental tuition free of charge through Berkshire Maestros; in recent years they have learnt clarinets, cornets and fifes. Our is KS2 pupils all come together in the summer term to play in our school band which is a great way for them to play their instrument of choice alongside others.
All children take part in two PE lessons every week. Indoor lessons often focus on dance and gymnastic skills and outdoor lessons focus on team games. The lessons are delivered through a partnership of specialist sports coaches and class teachers. PE lessons also focus on the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promoting good mental health. There are a wide range of sporting clubs during lunchtimes and after school. The school also takes part in tournaments across West Berkshire.
Religious Education is provided in accordance with the agreed West Berkshire syllabus for RE in combination with Diocesan guidelines and the Understanding Christianity scheme of work. We teach the children about all of the major world religions with a main focus on Christianity in every year group. The aim of our RE syllabus is to help our pupils understand religious beliefs, practices and to give them insights in order that they may form their own beliefs. Although parents are entitled to withdraw their child from RE, we would strongly recommend that all pupils participate it this vital area of learning; we live in an ever-changing society and having a good knowledge and understanding of the views and beliefs of others will help pupils to live happily and productively alongside others.
PSHE provides children with the chance to develop their social and emotional skills as well as knowledge of key topics such as healthy relationships, health issues, safety and dangers. All pupils are taught relationships and sex education at an age-appropriate level. We use the Jigsaw scheme to plan and teach our PSHE curriculum; this incorporates activities such as 'calm me' time and circle time which the children love.
Citizenship is part of preparing children for adult life. They are able to explore what is meant by citizenship, key skills and ideas relating to society. Children are encouraged to develop a strong sense of identity and heritage alongside awareness of the diversity of our world. British Values are also covered under this heading, including a recognition of the importance of democracy and the rule of law.
Children in all years are taught French; this can take the form of a formal lesson but is often integrated across different subjects & areas. The focus is on spoken, conversational French however older pupils will be expected to write down common phrases and understand different forms of common verbs.
Our children are involved in an assembly every day. Our assemblies provide a daily act of collective worship which is mainly of a broadly Christian character. Our aim is for our acts or worship to be interactive and meaningful; they are usually based around one of our school values. Pupils, including our worship group, often lead assemblies. Our local clergy from St Mark’s Church in Englefield and St James the Less in Pangbourne regularly lead worship in school and we use St Mark's for our end-of-term services and major Christian festivals. We also have links with St Laurence in Tidmarsh and St Nicholas’ in Sulham. Parents may withdraw their children from Religious Education and/or Collective Worship but should arrange an appointment with the Head teacher to discuss the matter first.
We encourage independent learning - children taking responsibility for their own work. We have a creative approach to homework which reflects developments within education and the range of learning styles that children use, such as ICT. Each child will have a “Shared Learning Book” containing the school guidelines on reading, spellings and times tables and a homework grid which has a variety of activities for each class topic. All children are expected to complete at least one activity per week, we offer all children the opportunity to do something more creative and individualised and to be able to work on projects as a family.
As a school, we believe strongly that lessons should be interesting and stimulating with a focus on practical application. Outdoor Learning provides for all of these.
Taking a child into the woods or out to the pond to develop their skills in literacy, numeracy, science or art can be really beneficial, enabling the learning to be fully embedded. It can also leave lasting memories.
At Englefield, 'Woodland Learning' is a weekly activity for pupils in FS2 and KS1. They go out to the local woodland or meadow areas of the Englefield Estate to cover different areas of the curriculum in a practical and investigative way. Many of our pupils consider this the highlight of their week.
Our older pupils are taken out for specific lesson and topics and their residential trips also encompass outdoor and adventurous activities.