The School Curriculum
Governors have a legal responsibility to ensure that the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum are met. The core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science, together with Computing, foundation subjects, Physical Education, Religious Education and PSHE/Citizenship are taught to all pupils. Pupils are taught a modern foreign language throughout the school.
Learning is the core purpose of our school and is central to everything that happens. Our curriculum integrates the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum in a bespoke and engaging way. It is designed to meet the needs of future citizens and equip children with the foundations for life.
A strong emphasis on reading and phonics in Key Stage 1 gives children the necessary building blocks to become confident and independent learners.
As a small school our staff plan together to ensure progression and continuity throughout all Key Stages, they employ a predominantly topic-based approach with cross-curriculum work where appropriate. Children may work as part of a whole class, a small group, or individually, dependent on the subject or specific area of study.
English is taught both as a discrete subject and cross curricular. Guided Reading and focused sentence level work 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.
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. All lessons begin with a mental starter which gives children the opportunity to practise and develop skills using a range of mental calculation methods. Pupils are given the opportunity to explain, reflect on and extend their learning at the end of each lesson. Maths skills are also taught and applied through other areas of the curriculum for example when presenting results in a graph or measuring.
Science is taught each term as part of topic work following the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to think about their own understanding of the world around them, to ask questions and to explore finding 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.
History and Geography
Children explore a range of issues within the different contexts of place and time. Where possible first hand experience is drawn on through trips and visitors.
Art and Technology
Children have the opportunity to explore their ideas through a wide range of media; from printing to pastels. In Design Technology, children design and make products with a specific user in mind, for example waterproof clothes for a teddy or a funfair for a child in their class.
Music offers children an exciting and creative learning opportunity that is supported by our newly developed music room. 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. There is KS2 school band which practises in the summer months.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
PSHE provides children with the chance to develop their social and emotional skills as well as knowledge of key topics such as relationships, health, safety and drugs.
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.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children in all years are taught French, more formally at KS2. This can take the form of a formal lesson and also is often integrated across different subjects & areas.
All children take part in two PE activities every week. Indoor lessons often focus on dance and gymnastic skills and outdoor lessons focus on team games and skills. 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. There are a wide range of sporting clubs during lunchtimes and after school. The school also takes part in tournaments across West Berkshire.
Computing (ICT) is taught across the school. Where possible this is linked to topic work or 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
Religious Education is provided in accordance with the agreed West Berkshire syllabus for RE in combination with Diocesan guidelines. As a church school, we choose to focus mainly on Christianity during Foundation and Key Stage 1 (ages 4 - 7). At Key Stage 2 (ages 8 - 11) we introduce other beliefs and faiths but Christianity continues to be our main focus of study. 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.
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 local priest from St Mark’s Church in Englefield regularly leads worship in school and we use the church for our end-of-term services and major Christian festivals. We also have good 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.
At Englefield CE Primary School we strive to ensure all children become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.
To teach children aural discrimination, phonemic awareness and rhyme awareness in order to encourage good spelling.
To encourage repetition and consolidation, so that spelling becomes automatic.
To encourage children to segment and blend.
To learn to read and write all 44 graphemes in the English language.
To teach children specific strategies to help them remember tricky words.
To ensure that the teaching of phonics is lively, interactive and investigative.
To encourage children to apply their phonic skills in all curriculum areas.
The Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Expectation
The school uses the Letters and Sounds document, in conjunction with the TES phonics programme and these are used throughout the whole school. Our principal aim is to develop the children’s phonological awareness, ability to segment and blend words and read tricky words on sight- to become fluent readers!
Our teaching at all levels should include:
Whole class, group and individual work
Tricky word vocabulary
The Early Years Foundation Stage
We encourage the development of Literacy skills in our Reception class as this is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage. We relate the Literacy development of the children to the objectives set out in the Development Matters and Early Learning Goals. The children’s learning includes developing letter and sound recognition, word building and word recognition as part of their phonic, spelling and handwriting development and they follow the Letters and Sounds programme.