We have set out as much information as we can below, but if you have any further questions regarding our Curriculum, please contact Rebecca Boasman at the School Office who will pass on your query to the relevant staff member.
It is important to us that all children should feel safe and secure as they experience for the first time a prolonged period of separation from home. Values such as honesty, being fair, being truthful and taking care of people and possessions are encouraged. Feelings and behaviour are explored through story, RE, drama and discussion.
In the Foundation Stage children cover the following areas of the curriculum:
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Communication, Language and Literacy
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
For us the consistency of relationships in all aspects of school life is important in shaping children’s regard for themselves and others.
The children learn to respect different cultures and customs through art, music, play, stories and RE. The curriculum develops an awareness of the lives and work of people both in the school and in the wider community. It also develops an awareness of change over time through talking about their own growth and family events. Children learn to read and write through meaningful activities.
Key Stage 1 and 2 The children learn in an attractive and safe environment to:
Cooperate with others
Respect the feelings, beliefs and the way of life of others
Develop confidence and self esteem
Be well motivated
Develop self discipline
Make decisions for themselves
Be caring, tolerant and considerate towards each other
Develop their own moral code
Communicate with their peers and adults
By curriculum we mean all the subject areas taught to your child in school. The MAIN subjects taught are called the National Curriculum Core Subjects. These are:
ENGLISH Includes speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, handwriting Our aims are: Oral Communication (speaking and listening) To develop the children's skills in expressing themselves clearly and purposefully and to use a varied vocabulary. What do we want to achieve for our children in writing? At Culworth Primary Academy the teaching of English is the foundation of our curriculum. Our main aim is to ensure that every single child becomes primary literate and progresses to the best of their ability in writing. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points to ensure every child can celebrate success. We celebrate writing further by displaying it around our school where possible, allowing children to take pride in their work and have the opportunity to share it with their peers and visitors to our setting. Writing is not only taught daily as a discrete lesson, but it is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum. Our Literacy lessons are linked wherever possible to our topic teaching so that writing is interwoven into most areas of children’s learning. Our aim is for our children to become creative writers that are not afraid to experiment with language and use the ideas and models of others to push their own thinking further. At Culworth we strive for a high level of English for all, where expectations are continually high for all students. We aim to fully engage and develop the abilities of our pupils through the use of high-quality texts, immersing children in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring coverage of curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met. The children at our school will develop a love for creative writing sessions due to the encouraging and nurturing environment in which it is taught. Children are always encouraged to ask questions and engage in discussions with adults and their peers about what makes writing successful. How will we achieve this? At Culworth we believe consistency is a valuable tool in Literacy. We therefore aim to teach writing in the same style/manner from Reception to Year 6. This ensures that the children are continually building upon previous knowledge and skills in a purposeful and progressive manner. We have adopted a sentence stacking approach when teaching writing skills. This requires teachers to heavily model and scaffold the construction of sentences and paragraphs with an emphasis on really developing children’s knowledge and understanding of the construction of texts and how ideas fit together and can be manipulated. Children are expected to write different genres independently to ensure they are using taught skills in their own texts. In line with the national curriculum, we also ensure that each year group is taught the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for their age range. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children are encouraged and striving for the greater depth standard. Our younger children are taught phonics discretely but this is also fed into creative writing sessions at all times. The assessment of writing is consistent across the school. All teachers assess against a given framework, which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education. At Culworth we aim to adopt a mastery approach in our writing skills. We therefore spend a good period of time experiencing a given genre before moving on. This ensures a deeper level of understanding of each text type. Each year group are assigned a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts which ensures even coverage over their primary school years. How will this support my child in their future education and learning? The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills into secondary school and beyond. With the implementation of a consistent teaching approach to writing being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and all children are confident in their creative writing abilities. Further up the school, teachers can focus more deeply on writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills to develop deep thinkers and greater depth writers. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards are improving and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects. This shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from us to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
The Curriculum at Culworth Primary Academy: Reading: What do we want to achieve for our children in reading? At Culworth Primary Academy we firmly believe in developing a culture that encourages a desire and love for reading. We aim for all of our children to leave primary school with the ability to read fluently and comprehensively and become lifelong readers. We encourage reading in all areas of the curriculum covering a mixture of genres. We carefully select books that are current and rich in vocabulary as well as embracing the classics that we believe all children should experience at least once in their lifetimes. We link texts to our creative curriculum to promote cross curricular links wherever possible. At Culworth we actively encourage children to use ideas from authors that they admire and weave them into their own writing as models and a starting point. We expose children to texts which continually develop their breadth of vocabulary. We explore words, phrases and sentences daily to unpick how and why they have been used. Reading lessons focus on enjoyment of a text as well as developing the comprehension of what the children are reading by asking carefully thought out questions. It is the intention for the children in the younger years to build up a secure and firm basis of phonics knowledge. They are exposed to a range of words, sentences and paragraphs, that use these phonics skills progressively, to build upon previous knowledge and continually push on their learning. Our aim is for all children in Key stage one to have completed their phonic journey by the end of year 2. Any children identified to need further support will have interventions going forward, to secure their phonics knowledge as soon as possible. How will we achieve this? We as staff promote a love for reading by leading by example. We keep up to date with the latest books released and recommended reads for children in our Key stage. We regularly share our experiences and enjoyment of texts that we have read. We have a ‘Book Doctor’ in school where children who need suggestions for books, based on their interests, can get support in picking something that will keep them engaged. Children are actively encouraged to talk about the books that they are reading and share their enthusiasm with their peers. We include parents in our love for reading ethos, by holding a reading and phonics meeting for our Reception and Year 1 children on an annual basis. We also have a section on our weekly newsletter which informs parents of book recommendations suitable for each key stage. We have recently spent a lot of time and money on our library area, making it bright, accessible, comfortable and inviting. Children use this area in small groups to read and change books. There are also areas in each classroom that have a book/reading area. Within lessons we are developing a whole class reading structure. We pick texts that link to our current topic and ensure we look at differing text types suitable for each age range. Reading is taught daily through Literacy lessons where carefully selected texts are shared to explore language further. Children are encouraged to continually consider the meaning of words, intent of the chosen words and possible alternative ideas. A range of activities are planned alongside all texts read, that keep the children engaged, encourages them to ask questions and develops their inference and deduction skills. Children are encouraged to read daily, either independently, in a small group, as a class or to an adult. Our reading and writing curriculum overlap greatly. We regularly use a book that we are reading in our whole class reading sessions, to inspire our writing curriculum. In the younger years, children are required to read books linked to their current phonic ability. In doing this they are continually reinforcing new sounds they have been taught. We also have a progressive reading scheme which the children work through from Reception to Year 2, with the hope they will become free readers by Year 3. Interventions are secured for those that have not quite achieved this. Children are read to daily, by an adult, to develop their love for reading. This also ensures time to have rich and meaningful discussions about texts and link it to their life experiences. Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms at Culworth Academy but also around our school. There are displays which celebrate authors, children’s favourite books and reading reward schemes. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning. How will this support my child in their future education and learning? With a systematic teaching of phonics in place the aim is for all children to become free readers by the end of key stage one, leaving key stage two to develop fluency and comprehension in more detail. We carry out reading assessments continually in an informal manner and termly where scores from reading tests equate to a level. This ensures children are quickly identified, if extra support is needed. All children in Year one do the statutory phonics test. Those in year 2 and 6 partake in the reading SATs. These results are then measured against national averages. Our biggest hope in terms of impact however, goes far beyond assessment results. We firmly believe that our reading curriculum develops the love of reading in all children. It gives them the opportunity to become immersed in another world and experience the magic of story-telling. We hope the impact of our reading curriculum is evident to all from the moment you walk in the door. Ask any child what they are reading and they will talk to you at length and with great enthusiasm.
MATHEMATICS Includes knowledge, skills, understanding and use of numbers, algebra, measurements, shapes, space and data handling.
Our aims are for children to be able to handle numbers with confidence; to encourage a positive attitude to mathematics, developing their ability to think clearly and logically; to manipulate numbers, measurements, and shapes confidently; to solve problems and to handle data effectively.
We have taken on a 'Teaching for Mastery' approach to maths. This gives children the opportunity to develop a depth to their learning through physical maths experiences and real life contextualisation in the maths they do. We believe that maths has to be lived and practised in order for real understanding to occur. On top of daily maths teaching, our children have an extra short input to develop fluency in the four number operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
SCIENCE Includes exploration of science, living things, energy, forces and materials. We aim for pupils to develop the ability to relate science to everyday life, to express and communicate their findings in a variety of ways and to plan and hypothesise on what might happen. They develop these skills through observations and investigations into natural objects and phenomena, themselves and other living things, energy, forces and materials.
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY We aim for all children to use ICT tools and information effectively to analyse, process and present information. We aim to equip our pupils to live in a technological age, teaching them how to access and use ICT across the curriculum. Key Stage 1 and 2 children can access the Internet as a vital learning tool. The additional areas of study of the National Curriculum are called the Foundation Subjects which are essential to a balanced education. These are:
HISTORY In History children look at past events, beginning with their own experiences, using the local area as a starting point to explore what the past was like. They develop a sense of chronology, and begin to explore why things happened as they did. Periods such as Romans, Ancient Greece and Britain since the 1930’s are taught.
GEOGRAPHY We focus on our environment as a geographical area and then begin to look beyond our familiar surroundings, looking at the natural and man-made environment, and reasons why the landscape and populated areas have evolved.
TECHNOLOGY We aim for children to develop design and technology capabilities. By exploring familiar objects and environments, children will work with a variety of materials to develop and communicate their own ideas and design, make, test and assess simple models and constructions.
ART/MUSIC/DRAMA We aim to give children the skills to express themselves through a variety of media to develop their own aesthetic awareness and their appreciation of the work of others. The school holds an annual art exhibition at The Forge in the village. We offer music lessons through Independent Music Solutions who offer lessons in guitar, keyboard, violin, drums and woodwind. PHYSICAL EDUCATION All children take part in a varied physical education programme. They will experience a range of team and individual sports as well as developing aesthetic skills through dance and gymnastics. In Key Stage 2 all children will visit Brackley Swimming Pool on a rota basis for swimming lessons. The children have access to fun equipment to use in lunch-time play which supports their physical development.
We also have lunchtime sports clubs and after-school clubs that include basketball, football, Pilates, dance/musical theatre etc.
If your child has pierced ears they need to be able to remove their studs themselves before taking part in sport. For health and safety reasons your child will not be able to take part in outside PE if he/she does not have a PE kit in school. A reminder note will be sent home. Indoor PE is done in bare feet unless a doctor requests otherwise.
Swimming and water safety 'All schools must provide swimming instruction either in KS1 or KS2. In particular, pupils should be taught to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres. They should be able to use a range of strokes effectively and perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.' In 2019 90% of our Year 6 children met the expectations above.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION As a Church of England Aided School, Culworth has strong bonds with its local church. Religious Education is taught throughout the school. The Rector and other members of the church community visit the school on a regular basis to take assembly.
Assemblies are held daily. These are either in classes, groups or as a whole school. We begin the day with a Class Prayer which the children have written.
The ethos of the school is based on sound Christian principles whilst acknowledging the need for recognition and respect for other beliefs and faiths. Parents have the right to request withdrawal of their child from this area of the curriculum.
SEX EDUCATION AND DRUGS We share the responsibility of educating our pupils with their parents and guardians. Sex education is presented within a Christian and moral framework. Carefully monitored, structured TV programmes are used in Year 5 and 6 with parental knowledge and consent. Throughout the school questions are answered frankly and naturally as they arise in the course of general class work.
The school takes a pro-active role in drug education. Awareness is taught through Personal, Social and Health Education, Science and English. The school actively co-operates with the community police, social services, the LEA and Health Authority.
In Year 6 all children take part in a programme designed to prepare them for the transition to secondary school.
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES Every child has the chance to participate fully in school activities irrespective of gender or race. The school has policies on Racism and Equal Opportunities which are available on request.
CITIZENSHIP AND CULTURAL AWARENESS At Culworth School each individual is respected and valued. Awareness and respect for people from other cultures is taught through Art, Literature, RE, History, Geography and Music. Throughout the year visitors celebrate aspects of these cultures with the children. Values and relationships are promoted.
HOMEWORK We increase the amount of homework that we give the children as they move through the school and use the National Homework Guidelines for Primary and Secondary Schools. This is in line with the DfES guidelines that were issued in 1998.
Years 1 and 2. 1 hour a week on reading, spelling, other Literacy work and number work with occasional assignments in other subjects.
Years 3 and 4. 1 1/2 hours a week on Literacy and Numeracy with occasional assignments in other subjects
Year 5 and 6. 30 minutes a day with a suggested weekly schedule, continuing on emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy and other areas of the curriculum.
Homework is given to children each Friday for the following week. Please could your child return it to school on the next Thursday. The children are encouraged to complete it neatly and independently where appropriate. You are welcome to help/support your child with their homework. Please could you add a comment to say how you have helped, in order to show the teacher your child’s true understanding.
TEACHING STYLES A variety of teaching styles is used to deliver the curriculum. Sometimes the whole class is involved, in discussion or instruction, as in Literacy or Numeracy lessons, in specific skills teaching in subjects such as ICT, or in a whole class activity such as P.E. or drama. At other times teachers work with a group of children who may be at a similar level, a mixed ability group or with individual children, whichever teaching method may be most appropriate for the children’s needs. Children also learn from each other through co-operating in groups and working independently on set tasks.
Teachers usually plan work for their class using a theme that covers the concepts they want to teach. These themes have been devised through whole staff agreement and form a Planning Policy, which is followed by each class. Each theme covers the appropriate curriculum areas, whilst other subjects such as
English, Maths and I.T. are taught alongside the current theme. Teachers base the work on practical activities and first hand experiences using, where appropriate, a wide variety of methods for the children to record what they have discovered - written reports, graphs, poems, tape-recordings, pictures, prints, models, charts, etc.
ASSESSMENT Careful records are kept to inform us about children’s progress and on areas for future development in all curriculum areas. Progress is discussed with parents at two parents’ evenings in the Autumn Term and Spring Term and a full report is sent in the summer term.
Foundation Stage Profile During their first year of school Reception children are assessed through observation and discussion, ensuring they are meeting the requirements of the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage. These assessments are kept in a portfolio for each child and are shared with the parents.
Standard Statutory Tasks The children in Year 2 are assessed using the Statutory Standard Tasks during the year. The children in Year 6, at the end of Key Stage 2, are assessed using Statutory Standard Tasks in accordance with the Government Policy.
CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS Any child with learning difficulties in any area of the curriculum will receive extra support from both the class teacher and classroom assistants, working in a small group or individually on specific tasks aimed at tackling areas of difficulty. The special needs coordinator gives advice, helps set up programmes of support and monitors Special Needs across the school. Occasionally we might ask for extra support or advice from the local authority’s Pupils Support Service (IPS) and if this occurs parents are always consulted.
Culworth Church of England Primary Academy The Green Culworth Banbury Oxon OX17 2BB