In Foundation stage we follow the Foundation Stage Profile.
In Years 1 to 6 we follow the National Curriculum.
We use a combination of 2 phonics schemes initially in Foundation Stage as our children join us from a range of settings and therefore join us with very different experiences of learning sounds. We follow letters and sounds predominantly, but compliment this using the actions from 'Jolly Phonics'. By year 1 we streamline more towards 'Letters and Sounds' .
We use the 'Oxford Reading Tree', 'Collins - Big Cat' and 'Treetops' reading schemes. and the Accelerated Reader programme.
At South View, we have implemented Accelerated Reader (an online based program) which helps us to monitor and manage the progress of each child’s ability to read a text and understand its meaning. At the start of every new term, the children take a Star Test which determines their reading range. Each child then selects books at their own level, reads them at their own pace and then takes a short online comprehension ‘quiz’ on what they have read.
Teachers use the feedback and data from the children’s quiz results, together with their own assessments made when reading with the child, to support them in guiding pupils, setting goals and directing ongoing reading practice.
Evidence is showing the program is motivating children to read more, particularly with our reluctant boys. Children are more enthused; the standard of reading is increasing substantially in terms of difficulty level and we’re seeing children read deeper and longer texts – all of which we see as evidence of children improving their reading habits.
In order to establish our ambition for our pupils we have spent time discussing as a staff our values and the deficits and strengths we need to address.
Our values are that of children being at the heart of what we do, and this has helped us shape our curriculum. We want to celebrate where we are from, without it limiting where we can go!
In terms of strengths, Crowland has many positive features which we want our children to explore and celebrate. We have access to a beautiful Abbey, farmland, and there are a number of reachable venues which expose the children to other factors which enhance their education. We have a strong staff with a wealth of experience and interests and use these to provide the children with inspiring stimulus, and we ensure we enter competitions, take part in events, visit other schools and invite in people to speak with the children. We aim to champion the culture and climate we value by including much local study work in our curriculum from an early age; encouraging a sense of pride and ownership in the place in which we live. Our children are friendly, outgoing, interested in other people and want to learn. They enjoy hearing stories and enjoy opportunities to demonstrate their wider skills and show how responsible they can be.
In terms of deficits, generally speaking, our children need further support in deepening their understanding of life outside of their immediate surroundings. Many of our children have not travelled other than locally and lack experiences which go hand in hand with visiting other places i.e. feeding an animal, meeting people from other cultures and backgrounds, performing on stage for the public, climbing a tree!
The Basic Principles behind our curriculum…
- Learning is a change to long term memory
- Our aims are to ensure that our children experience a wide breadth of study and have, by the end of each Key Stage, long -term memory of an ambitious body of procedural and semantic knowledge.
Curriculum Drivers shape our curriculum breadth. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our children, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. They are used to ensure we give our children appropriate and ambitious curriculum opportunities. Our curriculum drivers, enabling us to ensure OUR children get what THEY need from us are that:
- Our children will develop vocabulary so that they are able to speak and understand spoken language, access more complex texts and write with eloquence.
- Our children will leave South View as successful readers. They will 'learn to read' and consequently 'read to learn'.
- Our children will explore their own cultures, surroundings and emotions and those of others, to gain a wider understanding of the world and their place within it.
Cultural Capital give our children the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British Values. We believe this is important at South View both to preserve the community spirit in our town and to ensure that our children are equipped for the wider world, should their lives take them further afield.
Curriculum Breadth is shaped by our curriculum drivers, cultural capital, subject topics and our ambition for children to study the best of what has been thought and said by many generations of academics and scholars.
We designed our curriculum in a way which allows for:
- Spaced Repetition
In addition to the three principles we also understand that learning is invisible in the short-term and that sustained mastery takes time.
Our curriculum content is subject specific. We make inter-curricular links to strengthen learning.
Continuous provision, in the form of daily routines, replaces direct teaching in some aspects of our curriculum, and in other cases provides retrieval practice for previously learned content.
Our curriculum distinguishes between subject topics and threshold concepts. Subject topics are the specifics of subjects that are studied. Threshold concepts tie together the subject topics into meaningful scheme. The same concepts are explored in a wide breadth of topics. Through this ‘forwards-and-backwards engineering’ of the curriculum, children return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build understanding of them.
Knowledge Categories in each subject give students s way of expressing their understanding of the threshold concepts. Knowledge webs help students to relate each topic to previously studied topics and to form strong, meaningful schema.
Cognitive Science tell us that working memory is limited and that cognitive load is too high if children are rushed through content. This limits the acquisition of long-term memory. Cognitive science also tells us that in order for students to be come creative thinkers, or have a greater depth of understanding they must first master the basics, which takes time.
Within each programme of learning/study, children gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. The goal for students is to display sustained mastery of the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage. The time-scale for sustained mastery or greater depth is therefore two years of study.
We understand that, because learning is a change to long-term memory, that it is impossible to see impact in the short term. WE do, however, use probabilistic assessment based on deliberate practise. This means that we look at our practices taking place, to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long-run.
We use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set and in comparing children’s work over time.
We use lesson visits to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectations for South View.