Together, over time, we are proud to learn to make a difference to ourselves and others.
Curriculum Overview – 2021 – 2022
Our Curriculum Vision:
- Our Chiltern community celebrates differences and diversity within a safe and nurturing environment.
- A curriculum, which engages and enriches.
- Has ambition for all, moving from novice to expert in all subjects.
All pupils will secure firm foundations in English and Mathematics and this underpins a growing excellence in other subjects. Our child-led, knowledge-based and book-led curriculum offers a broad range of subjects from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) through to Key Stage 2 (KS2) and beyond. We believe in bringing learning to life, both indoors and out, with an emphasis on engaging and purposeful learning, regularly revisiting and building on each piece of knowledge and chosen skills over time.
By meeting our vision, we will provide a curriculum that is purposeful, balanced and relevant. While emphasis is placed on children learning core skills of English and Maths, we place great value on developing the ‘whole child’ and provide an engaging programme of study in all curriculum areas. We are committed to working with external advisers and experts who have proven track records in in improving pupils’ learning across the whole curriculum. We use this valuable resource to finely tune our provision, share good practice and offer whole school staff continuing professional development (CPD).
Our high expectation of children begins in the EYFS. Children begin:
- Using Development Matters, with the aim of meeting the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception year as part of their updated framework.
- These assessments are used to identify key subject areas to inform planning and focus children who need to be targeted for specific activities.
- Pupils begin phonics (Sounds-Write Programme being launched this year after Autumn CPD) and these continue through into Key Stage 1 (KS1) and KS2 for as long as needed.
- There is a focus on exploratory play and ‘In the Moment’ learning based around topics and core texts, which children access both on a morning and an afternoon.
- Vocabulary – rich interactions start to support oracy and word recognition and building.
- We are part of a National Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI) programme to support this.
- All pupils take part in a daily Maths and a Phonic lesson as well as book talk activities.
- We are part of a National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths (NCETM) across EYFS and KS1.
- Elements of White Rose begin to be introduced.
- Kinetic letter formations are introduced.
- Tapestry is effectively used to communicate and share achievements between home and school.
In KS1 children continue their learning:
- White Rose Maths (including Flashback 4 and the Recovery ‘Ready to Progress’ units where necessary)
- Book talk and class text engage and inform
- Daily phonics lessons with Sounds-Write continue until the 2 codes and units are complete – this is only for Year 1 until the CPD is complete next Spring ’22.
- Daily Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons, which are linked to their learning in writing, or through the book they are studying to allow them to apply and deepen their basic skills, rather than taught discretely.
- HeadStart units are selected to apply the new knowledge for Reading and Maths and Accelerated Read is offered to the most proficient of readers to further broaden the genres and authors studied.
- Improving Comprehension is used as a keep-up/ catch-up intervention where needed.
- Words of the week are applied to wider learning.
- Chiltern’s ambitious word list; vocabulary identified during book talk and topic vocabulary, are all learned and applied across subjects. Alongside Common Exception Words (CEW) words for each class.
- In the afternoon, children access the wider curriculum through the carefully planned teaching of: Science, Religious Education (RE), Computing (ICT), Geography, History, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), PE, Art, DT and Music – some delivered as timetabled discrete lessons – see subject long-term plans.
In KS2, children continue their effective learning:
- Further Phonics keep-up and catch-up continues through Sounds-Write (Year 3 initially until all CPD is complete) with interventions coming from Reading Explorers where needed
- White Rose Maths continues with the addition of Times Tables Rock Stars and HeadStart activities.
- Reading and Writing lessons every morning – extending book talk, Accelerated Readers, class texts, guided support, Everyone Reading In Calm (ERIC) for independence and stamina.
- Words of the day and ‘WOW’ words are applied to the wider curriculum, following our ambitious vocabulary list.
- Literacy Shed units extend the provision further.
- In Yr5 and Yr6, focus gradually shifts to the end of Key Stage assessments as children are prepared for these tests and the transition into Yr7.
Every day, children access the wider curriculum through the carefully planned teaching of: Science, Geography, History, Computing, RE, PSHE, Art, DT, PE, French and Music – some delivered as timetabled, discrete lessons – see subject long-term plans.
AREAS OF THE CURRICULUM
On top of the elements mentioned before, we are affiliated with Roade Reading Hub, external partnerships and through the many connections such as inspirational writers/authors that link with WOW days. It allows us to improve and enhance our resources and inspire our pupils to love reading.
Being a subscriber of the Northamptonshire libraries service enables us to keep our stock of books and texts up to date and enjoyable for the children and being part of Northamptonshire Book Club further develops this range of texts.
In addition to phonics, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and interventions such as Toe by Toe, are delivered for those with specific SEND need.
In addition, we have Beanstalk readers who work with more vulnerable readers every week. Children have focussed guided reading sessions each week and are expected to complete one written comprehension in that time as they move up the school. One to one reading occurs across the whole school for emergent and vulnerable readers to ensure reading progression and a love of reading.
During the reading sessions, there is an emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference. Novels are used to teach reading as well as a range of non-fiction texts. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school. We aim to develop a love of reading, so children are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children on a daily basis – these are planned out carefully to ensure a broad range of genres and authors.
We currently use a range of different reading-support schemes to meet the interests and individual need of each and every child – Accelerated Read, HeadStart, Lit Film Fest (Reading Rocks Reviews) and the Literacy Shed.
We are proud to be recent winners of Lit Film Fest Awards (having a film shown at the IMAX cinema in London) and have writers of the week recognised through The Literacy Shed. Drama is always encouraged to help bring writing to life.
Fine motor skills encourage even the most reluctant boy writers and fits well with Kinetic Letters and elements of the Talk for Writing model at the lower end of the school.
Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of both fiction and non-fiction texts including teacher-produced models. Children are encouraged and supported to learn texts by heart, before trying to improve them and gradually apply more independent changes to the model until they can write freely with confidence – especially poetry. Each class now has selected poems to learn and support their writing development.
In addition, in Key Stage 1, picture books and topic work are used as a stimulus for writing. In Key Stage 2, their writing is inspired by novels and they study six novels per academic year. Challenging texts are chosen to ensure that children have an excellent model for their own writing.
Our writing is enhanced by using resources from The Literacy Shed, Lit Fest and Talk4Writing elements lower down the school.
Up until this year, we followed the Letters and Sounds scheme of phonics teaching. Each child in Reception and Yr1 has a daily, minimum 20-minute phonics lesson, following the teaching sequence of revisit/ review – teach – practise - apply. However, this year, we are moving to the Sounds-Write programme and start our training in September and this will continue across the whole year until all staff are trained.
In Yr2, children access a balance of both phonic and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) lessons based on their individual needs and attainment.
Reception and KS1 children are taught mainly as a whole class but small group intervention also takes place, based on regular assessments so that children’s learning needs are accurately matched to the correct provision. Small phonic sessions or interventions are delivered by teaching assistants and overseen by the class teacher, to provide complimentary teaching if any misconceptions are noted during the main activity earlier that day.
Sessions are scripted and repetitive to enable the sound to be modelled and understood. Elements of Physical Phonics support some of our children with specific targets. In a session, children are taught incremental sounds and say and write these sounds and blends. There are lots of opportunities to speak and listen, as well as to read and write the sounds with our chosen, new program.
Our Reading Scheme (Oxford Reading Tree) is matched to our synthetic phonics sounds but will need adding to, to meet the new incremental steps with Sounds-Write.
At the end of Year 1 children have to take the national Phonics Test which tests children’s phonic knowledge. Here, they are required to read real and nonsense words, applying the phonic knowledge they have learnt. Ideally children will have completed and consolidated Phase 5 during Year 1 and Phase 6 during Year 2 (from Letters and Sounds) or the necessary units from Sounds-Write. This helps them focus more on higher-level comprehension using increasingly challenging texts. Any child that does not complete the phonics programme will continue learning phonics throughout KS2.
We believe that mathematics should be fun and rewarding for all children. As such we endeavour to make our work in mathematics engaging for all learners.
We start every lesson with number skills provided by White Rose/ Flashback 4 and HeadStart - a number of arithmetic questions to reinforce and consolidate the arithmetic skills that have been previously taught. We believe that this plays an important role in the children becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and develops the children’s ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Our full curriculum is mapped by the White Rose scheme of work. We focus on a progression from concrete resources, to pictorial representations and finally into the numerical abstract to aid our children’s conceptual understanding. As a result, we are seeing a growth in confidence in all our learners, especially in areas of problem solving and reasoning. Being part of the National programme of Excellence has supported all adults to deliver high quality concrete mathematical teaching.
Currently, we make use of the Ready to Progress document too during this period of recovery. This model is designed to enable pupils to “keep up” as much as “catch up”. The aim is to give extra support to the children who require it, ensuring all children reach a certain level of understanding by the end of the lesson. This prevents an achievement gap from forming.
Times Table Rockstars is used from Y1 to Y6 with children taking part and competing in National Times Table competitions – often placing in the top 50 (top 5%).
We follow the National Curriculum for science ensuring all pupils develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science is hands on where possible; pupils are given the opportunities to experience science in the real world. Having a wonderful outdoor site is an invaluable resource available to all Year groups, ensuring they have a real world setting in which to base their investigations.
We are hoping to re-establish links with the secondary science department, using labs, teaching expertise and resources enhancing teaching and learning for our pupils in science as we did previously.
Our Computing curriculum comprises a number of different strands: digital literacy, coding, data handling and using technology in the wider world. Each year group builds on the skills taught during the previous year, to ensure that by year 6 students are confident using technology, including a range of different programs, apps and websites.
Apps on the iPads are utilised to teach skills such as animation, music creation and e-books. Tapestry and Office software are embedded in the curriculum.
TEAMS has worked extremely well during partial closures over the last year.
Personal, Social Health Education (PHSE) and Sex and Relationship Education (SRE)
We use the recommended syllabus from The PHSE Association. We focus on these main themes:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the wider world.
We also cover safeguarding themes through the following:
- anti-bullying week takes place in the Autumn Term;
- British Values
- FGM – Y5/6
- Some bits of me Ain’t Nice for puberty
- SRE is included in the scheme that we follow for Years 5 and 6;
- E Safety week and a constant reminder through weekly assemblies the importance of staying safe on line and we are supported by Simon Aston – A lead advisor in the county.
- NSPCC Buddy school
- Active School Council
- We are affiliated with the PHSE Association to support and guide.
We encourage children to follow our Code of Conduct:
- Take care of ourselves
- Take care of others
- Take care of our school.
Whilst always trying to be:
- Respectful and
All achievements are recorded with pride in our PHSE diary. Assemblies are delivered 4 times per week, covering elements of current topics in the news or celebrations. In addition, the teaching of the core British Values and School Code of Conduct (look after ourselves, look after others and look after our school) outline how these are exemplified in our own school values.
Religious Education (RE)
We explore and understand the wide diversity of religion around the world and in the United Kingdom
We organise relevant visits to places of worships and visits/talks from religious leaders
We understand and apply the beliefs of others to difficult situations and their own views.
We follow the Northamptonshire SACRE agreed syllabus scheme throughout the school. This provides a broad and balanced programme of RE which reflects three key areas. It will,
- include a study of the key beliefs and practices of religions and other world views, including those represented in Northampton.
- provide opportunities to explore key religious concepts and common human questions of meaning, purpose and value, often called ‘ultimate’ questions.
- enable pupils to investigate how beliefs affect moral decisions and identity, exploring both diversity and shared human values. These three areas together will nurture pupils’ religious literacy and may be called phenomenology, philosophy and ethics.
History and Geography:
We ensure that the National Curriculum enhances children’s learning for History and Geography, embracing a broad-spectrum of stimulating topics, supported by both the Historical and Geographical Associations.
As a school we aim to wholly develop each child's geographical and historical skills, understanding and knowledge. Consequently, our lessons are well planned, highly engaging and challenge all abilities. Other curriculum areas are incorporated into learning to ensure high levels of motivation and interest from the children.
We teach a knowledge rich curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners the skills needed to succeed in life. We teach through Topics (through Literacy where links can be made) as much as possible. If a subject does not link it is taught as a standalone.
We concentrate on physical and human aspects to create well-informed outcomes for Geography and settlements and change/ chronology/ impact in History
PE: Elements of Val Sabin and the Service Level Agreement with the Northamptonshire Town Partnership helps our pupils receive quality opportunities and participation events for both outdoor and indoor activities. Coaching is by fully qualified P.E. specialists in addition to having outside coaches such as HOTSHOTs Basketball, Duston Lawn Tennis and Moulton College’s Pool.
MFL: We follow the Caroline Cheater syllabus across KS2.
Art and DT: As well as being taught through topics, are also celebrated through specific Art/DT weeks and encourage our children to master a variety of techniques and develop their reflective and evaluative abilities. We find that Plan Bee meets our ambitious aims.
Music: pupils learn to play the ukulele and develop their rhythm and vocal control across the phases using Charanga Music School.
We have close links for touring ensembles and peripatetic teaching through The Northampton Music School.
Residentials - We are proud to be able to offer residential opportunities to all KS2 children through Kingswood, Bushcraft or PGL.
This compliments the termly experiences that all children experience though trips and visitors. Hands on learning and experiences are key to children being able to write with meaning.
Cultural Celebrations - We link with the Travelling Theatre Company and Derngate for shows and performance workshops.
Children love the Town’s Strictly Dance festival.
We have regularly supported a school development in the Gambia (Penyem) - to provide toilets, electricity, a new permanent structure and books and stationery for their school. This involves muftis, donations and letter writing.
Our choir is asked to perform at local residential homes and church festivals and they take part in The Big Sing and One Voice Nationally.
We enrich our pupils with a wide range of before school, lunchtime and after school clubs. These clubs celebrate a variety of sports and fitness; the arts – singing, dancing.
We sign up to the Y6/7 transition programme with a local provider - ESCO.
Chiltern’s New Curriculum
INTENT – See the Long-Term Plans which sets the vision. These were produced by all leaders to ensure the National Curriculum is followed and is relevant to our pupils’ needs.
IMPLEMENTED – See the progression Maps which shows how the vision is delivered. These were produced by the Subject Leaders to ensure Progression from EYFS to Y6, building on prior learning. The Progression Maps showcases how learning is developed year on year.
IMPACT – See the Knowledge Organisers we are developing for parents, thus showing what the children have learnt/ about to learn. Also, the range of assessment outcomes eg tests, quizzes, displays, pupil voice questioning and the pupils’ exercise books.