At Thorpedene Primary School our creative topic based curriculum engages our children and is intended to inspire a love of learning and develop life-long learners. Through the implementation of a broad and balanced curriculum, we ensure that children are provided with a rich variety of experiences, enabling them to widen their knowledge and understanding of the world around us. The key aim for our teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum is to provide opportunities where all pupils learn, enjoy and achieve beyond our expectations.
To this end, learning opportunities are imaginative, engaging and offer challenge to all pupils, so that they can have impact in their lives as future world citizens in the local and wider community.
In Reception, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This Framework sets out the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides specific and prime areas of learning which we must cover in our curriculum.
These areas are:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Physical Development
- Communication and Language development
- Understanding the World
- Expressive Arts and Design
“Shakespeare has taught me that there are more words in the English Language than I have got in my head.” – Zoe Wanamaker
At Thorpedene Primary School, we believe that literacy and communication are life skills. We aim to provide an interesting and engaging English curriculum that is underpinned by the belief that developing children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum and for life-ling learning. At Thorpedene, we want children to enjoy and appreciate literature for all its rich variety.
Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching. Through understanding the language, pupils can access the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. (National Curriculum)
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will have opportunities to read in the classroom, either in shared reading, one to one reading or guided reading groups. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home. In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of the systematic phonics encourages children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are expected to apply their phonics skills in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics planning must allow children to gain a progressively deeper understanding of the phonetic structure of the English language as they move through the school to ensure all children are provided with the key tools to become a fluent reader.
We want our children to develop into skilful and imaginative writers across the curriculum. Writing is organised around a clear learning sequence where children study and engage with a high quality model text, and practise the grammar skills necessary for the genre, before progressing into extended writing and editing. Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum and is an opportunity for children to express themselves and communicate with others.
“Without Mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.” – Shakuntala Devi
‘Mathematics is essential to everyday life, crucial to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’
National Curriculum 2014
At Thorpedene Primary School, we believe that every child can achieve in maths, and offering our children a rich and progressive mathematic curriculum is at the forefront of everything we do. Mathematics is a process of enquiry, reasoning and problem solving – all valuable skills that help children to make sense of the world around them. We use a range of learning strategies to allow pupils to become confident mathematicians and encourage a high quality mathematical dialogue in the classroom. Throughout the school, we use the National Maths Curriculum and Calculation Policy to develop fluency and deepen thinking; moving through different representations of mathematical ideas so that our children see mathematics as an interconnected subject. We want our children to see the importance and purpose mathematics has in their everyday lives.
“The important thing is to not stop questioning” – Albert Einstein
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that Science inspires all children, encourages them to be inquisitive about the world, nurtures their innate curiosity and enables them to develop a range of skills that are useful across their learning. By the end of their primary education, our pupils should be equipped to explore ideas and raise different types of questions through participation in a variety of investigations. We believe that Science is a skill for life and support pupils for their transition to KS3 Science through our links with local secondary schools.
Our Science curriculum offers a broad range of experiences designed to provide pupils with a progression of scientific understanding, skills and knowledge. Through the use of Crest awards and class investigations all children are given the opportunity to develop their inner Scientist and passion for this subject. Importance is placed on first hand experiences, with an expectation that teachers will use a wide range of resources available as well as regular use of outdoor learning areas.
“Computing is not about computers anymore it is about life.” – Nicholas Negroponte
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that every child should have the right to a curriculum that champions excellence; supporting pupils in achieving to the very best of their abilities. We understand the immense value technology plays, not only in supporting the Computing and whole school curriculum, but overall in the day-to-day life of our school. We believe that technology can provide enhanced collaborative learning opportunities, better engagement of pupils, easier access to rich content, support conceptual understanding of new concepts and can support the needs of all our pupils.
We aim to provide an exciting, rich, relevant and challenging Computing curriculum for all pupils by giving children access to a variety of high quality hardware, software and unplugged resources. We instil critical thinking, reflective learning and a ‘can do’ attitude for all our pupils, particularly when engaging with technology and its associated resources. Pupils are taught to become responsible, respectful and competent users of data, information and communication technology. Pupils will be taught to understand the importance of governance and legislation regarding how information is used, stored, created, retrieved, shared and manipulated. Through Computing, pupils are equipped with skills, strategies and knowledge that will enable them to reap the benefits of the online world, whilst being able to minimise risk to themselves or others. We aim to use technology imaginatively and creatively to inspire and engage all pupils, as well as using it to be more efficient in the tasks associated with running an effective school including providing technology solutions for forging better home and school links.
‘The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls’ – Pablo Picasso
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that Art is central to a well- rounded education and is designed to provide our pupils with a curriculum that is rich and varied, challenging and inspiring. Art is carefully integrated into our varied topics across the year, in order to enhance children’s enjoyment and enrich the topic. Children are given the opportunity to experiment, invent and create their own works within the Art curriculum. This helps to raise self-esteem and provides children with chances to express individual feelings and ideas. Children have the opportunity to accrue, develop and master particular skills and knowledge of drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. It also enables them to develop their understanding of how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. They also develop an understanding of the works of several well- known artists, craft makers and designers including those from both the past and present.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” – Plato
Thorpedene Primary School believes that Music is a language. Every culture makes music which speaks to us in different ways; it creates strong feelings, builds memories and ignites passion. The children of Thorpedene will appreciate the language of music by learning about and listening to the music of great composers, music linked to world events, and festivals and songs whose words inspire, communicate and teach. Children will experience playing an instrument and experimenting with the sounds they make and the joy of learning to play as a group. They will listen to rhythm and read musical notation and evaluate compositions. Children will enjoy singing as a collective group weekly in assemblies exploring many different styles of music,
We aim to provide a sense of enjoyment and positive attitude that inspires pupils to develop a love of music and the skills and appreciation which will allow them to access many forms of music in their futures.
“Our aim is to nurture the dramatic ability and style of all children, allowing them to express themselves with confidence, flair and vivacity through both physicality and spoken word”
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that children should be provided with the opportunities to express themselves using a variety of dramatic techniques and games; and experience professional drama groups and performances. Through drama children will be able to grow in their self-esteem and confidence. Drama will be incorporated within a variety of subjects, supporting the learning of other key areas of the curriculum – such as History, Science, Geography, RE and English.
We will provide children with resources such as film, media, props and costume to be used as stimulus material to inspire their own dramatic performances. Speaking and listening will be cultivated in lessons, enabling children to competently and successfully express their views and opinions in a coherent way that engages a variety of audiences, both on an individual level and as part of a group.
We will make links with the other schools within the MAT to encourage a love of drama, and provide opportunities for children to participate in theatre visits and workshops throughout the year.
To keep the body in good health is a duty……….otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” - Buddha
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe developing successful learners who have the qualities and attributes they need to manage their lives, fulfil their academic potential, and to thrive as individuals and members of society, both now and in the future. Through our teaching of PSHCE we ensure the children reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. They learn to understand and respect diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.
We recognise PSHCE education allows our children to have the knowledge, understanding and skills to live healthy and safe lives. We aim for our children to be able reflect on their own values, attitudes and feelings and promotes a sense of well-being to make good progress and leave us as responsible, happy citizens.
Design and Technology
“I’m not into politics but I am committed to a cause, ensuring design technology and engineering stays in the UK curriculum, alongside science and maths – grounding abstract theory, merging the practical with the academic.” – James Dyson
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe in providing our children with a variety of Design & Technology (DT) opportunities and aim to continue to raise standards.
Children have the opportunity to pursue a range of design projects over each academic year, which cover each of the mediums through which DT is explored and taught. These can include: fabric, wood, cardboard and plastics. We aim to ensure that the core principles of DT are at the heart of all learning. We follow the process of Research, Design, Making and Evaluating. We enable the children to gain the skills and confidence in their use of a wide range of age appropriate tools and materials and become confident in their own abilities as the next generation of designers.
Children are encouraged to be confident when planning design projects and exploring ways of doing things, self-evaluating their ideas and modifying their plans accordingly. Teachers use a range of assessment strategies to gather evidence of children’s understanding and ability.
Children monitor their progress through discussions with their teacher and peers to identify what they have achieved and what their next steps are. Then from this, ensuring the children can make links between ideas, using models to explore and extend their plans, and apply knowledge and understanding of design and technological ideas to familiar phenomena and everyday things.
PE and Sport
“To me, it doesn’t matter how good you are. Sport is all about playing and competing. Whatever you do in cricket and in sport, enjoy it, be positive and try to win.” – Ian Botham
Thorpedene Primary school believes that physical education (PE), experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil's physical development, health and well-being. A broad and balanced physical education curriculum is intended to provide for pupils' increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement and lifestyle choice situations.
Progressive learning objectives, combined with sympathetic and varied teaching approaches, endeavour to provide stimulating, enjoyable, satisfying and appropriately challenging learning experiences for all pupils. Through the selection of suitably differentiated and logically developed tasks, it is intended that pupils, irrespective of their ability, will enjoy success and be motivated to further develop their individual potential and take part in lifelong physical activity.
Providing a balanced range of individual, paired and group activities, in addition to co-operative, collaborative and competitive situations, we aim to cater for the preferences, strengths and needs of every pupil. These activities, experienced within a broad physical education curriculum, aim to promote a broad base of movement knowledge, skills and understanding. We also aim to develop the pupils' ability to work independently and to respond appropriately and sympathetically to others, irrespective of their age, gender, cultural or ethnic background.
“If geography is prose, maps are iconography” – Lennart Meri
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that Geography allows children to gain an appreciation and understanding of the world around them, their place in it and the effect their actions have upon it.
We aim to introduce pupils to the world around them in an interesting, exciting and relevant way. The children learn to use research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving skills within Geography. We enable the children to develop their location knowledge of the Continents, major rivers and the United Kingdom, as well as human and physical geography. The children are taught to use map skills and build knowledge of contours and locations around the world.
They are encouraged to think about their environment, its protection and the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind. Wherever possible, the local environment of our school is utilised in learning.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origins and culture is like a tree without roots” – Marcus Garvey
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe that all of our pupils should have an understanding of the past and how History has, and will, shape their future. We believe that high-quality History lessons encourage children to think like historians; enhance the ability to consider evidence and formulate arguments; as well as develop a chronological understanding and allow pupils to develop their own sense of perspective. Over and above all this we want our pupils to be passionate about History.
Our History Curriculum is part of a broad and balanced education which covers a range of topics that foster awe and wonder and inspire children to ask ‘why’. Wherever possible, links are made between subjects with overarching themes (e.g Stone Age) to hook and contextualize learning. An emphasis is placed upon examining historical artefacts and primary sources. Where relevant, pupils visit sites of historical significance and experts/practitioners visit the school to share experiences of events in the past. All of which provide creative opportunities to use and apply basic skills in core subjects whilst consolidating pupils’ learning in History and other subjects.
Modern Foreign Languages
“The arts, science, humanities, physical education, languages and maths all have equal and central contributions to make to a student’s education” – Ken Robinson
At Thorpedene Primary School we aim to teach Modern Foreign Languages to all our Key Stage 2 children in a fun and interactive way as part of an outstanding learning experience. Our aspiration is to ensure that all children make good progress through engagement and inspiration. We encourage them to develop skills and apply them in a variety of ways to communicate in a different language. We do this through speaking and listening, singing, reading and writing, games and interactive whiteboard activities.
We want to encourage our children to develop their awareness of other cultures and languages around them, so that they leave Thorpedene as responsible, happy citizens with some understanding of the French language and its culture.
“Learning gardens are outdoor classrooms, engaging learning environments, where children learn about maths, science, entrepreneurship, and above all else real food.” – Kimbal Musk
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe Outdoor Learning contributes to the development of the whole child. It is our mission to encourage our children to:
- Explore outside and make connections with all aspects of their learning
- Ask and answer questions of both the built and natural world and reach their own conclusions
- Show care and respect for all things
- Be inspired and motivated by the wonder of our world
To further support our values and vision we are strong advocates for Outdoor Learning. We believe that learning outside the classroom often provides the most memorable learning experiences, providing children with greater independence, physical competence and developing their language and understanding of the world in which we live. Whilst taking part in Outdoor Learning, children develop their social and leadership skills and demonstrate more involvement in their learning.
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” ― Mark Twain
At Thorpedene Primary School we believe the intended purpose of Accelerated Reader is to inspire children to develop a love of reading.
We believe that the ability to read confidently and competently is a life skill that pupils require to enable them to access all areas of the curriculum. We place a high emphasis on reading and, as such, our implemented Accelerated Reader scheme allows all students, whatever their background and level of ability, to embrace reading and develop a curiosity of the world around them. The reading programme is tailored to each individual pupil, designed to increase a love of reading as well as levels of achievement. Our aim is to instil an ethos of reading for pleasure and, whilst doing so, introduce the children to a wide range of books by different authors to develop their knowledge and understanding.
As our children continue to explore and read more challenging books, it is our aim that they transpose their new vocabulary and literacy understanding into their written work. The impact of Accelerated Reader not only embeds a love of reading but enhances their written work as a matter of course.