The Curriculum: An Overview

Our Curriculum: An Overview

At Chadwell, we teach a curriculum that is exciting, fun and imaginative. We have created a curriculum that supports our motto ‘Think, Believe, Aspire, Dare’ whilst also meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum. Our aim is to provide a broad and balanced, and most importantly, an enriching learning experience for all children. The school has developed cross-curricular links so that basic key skills and knowledge are taught through exciting and stimulating activities and projects. The core subjects – English, mathematics and science - are developed through, and in conjunction with other subjects, including computing, design technology, history, geography, art, music, P.E., French and R.E. Each year group follows the creative curriculum through their own half-termly topic which is closely linked to a reading text. To guarantee suitable coverage of National Curriculum requirements, the key skills and knowledge to be covered in each subject are incorporated into topic planning. Teaching uses a variety of strategies including whole class, collaborative group or peer work and individual learning. Learning is also supported by a range of parent and child workshops that take place throughout the year. All children are encouraged to take risks in their learning and aspire to achieve the best that they can possibly achieve.

The National Curriculum can be found on the Department for Education website here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum

The Teaching of Phonics and Reading

Our approach to learning phonics in EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) and KS1 (Key Stage 1) is through using Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics supported by Phonics Bug and Jolly Phonics materials.  We teach phonics in a way that is fun and engaging for twenty minutes each day.

Letters and Sounds provides us with games and resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to build pupils’ speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by the end of KS1.

Throughout KS1, pupils continue to progress through the phases in the Letters and Sounds Document supported by a variety of resources. The children are taught decoding, grammar and spelling skills. These skills are developed and put into a meaningful context through reading in school (whole class), guided reading and the home/school reading scheme – Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club.

Recommended books for Foundation stage
Recommended books for Year 1
Recommended books for Year 2
Recommended books for Year 3
Recommended books for Year 4
Recommended books for Year 5
Recommended books for Year 6

Curriculum Enrichment

A large part of our learning ethos at Chadwell involves learning in a context and having experiences that enrich learning and make it real. We offer a wide range of experiences to all of our children in all of our classes: visits and trips to exciting and interesting places; visitors into school such as drama groups who offer workshops; musicians who perform; artists of all varieties who work alongside the children; and important and interesting people who represent the many groups of our community. We feel that our ‘learning outside of the classroom’ approach to education offers our children a whole different dimension to their learning. At Chadwell, we learn together and see learning as a lifelong commitment.

Special Days and Themed Weeks

In order to further enrich the curriculum and broaden pupils’ experiences, a themed week is planned to take place each term with a particular focus either on key skills in a subject such as Geography or Science, or to commemorate a special occasion. This year, classes have planned cross-curricular activities around the following themes:

 

  •              Science Week – Experiments
  •              Shakespeare Week
  •              Olympics/Paralympics Week: Rio 2016

 

In addition to this, the following events/weeks are embedded into the curriculum:

 

  •              Anti-Bullying Week
  •              Safety Week
  •              LGBT Month/Diversity Week
  •              The promotion of sustainable travel – events/workshops/competitions are held throughout the year                as part of our TfL Star Award
  •              Healthy Eating
  •              World Book Day
  •              Various fundraising events for different charities

Teaching British Values

The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” 

The Government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent strategy, and these values have been reiterated this year (2014). At Chadwell, these values are reinforced in all that we do and also in the following ways:

Democracy

Each year, the children discuss their class rules and the rights associated with these. ‘Chadwell’s Golden Rules’ are followed by the whole school and constantly promoted by both staff and children. To represent the children, two school council members are elected from each Key Stage 2 class who then meet weekly to discuss issues raised by pupils. The school council are also involved in the decision making process for important issues such as the implementation of a packed lunch policy. Children have an annual questionnaire where they are able to put forward their views about the school.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether they govern the school or the country, is constantly and consistently reinforced at Chadwell. Pupils are taught from an early age the rules of the school. There are the class rules, e-safety procedures, and playground rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind rules and laws and that they govern and protect us. They are taught the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

At Chadwell, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make informed choices through a safe environment and an empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms, and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through e-safety lessons. Children are taught to appreciate their liberty through work done about less fortunate people growing up in countries where human rights are violated, and through charity fundraising events.

Mutual Respect 

Respect is at the heart of the school’s values. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. Chadwell is proud to be a ‘Stonewall School Champion’ and during LGBT Month and Diversity Week, pupils are taught how important it is to respect people regardless of colour, gender, sexuality or religious beliefs. Chadwell is also a Rights Respecting School and recently we attained the first level of the RRSA (Rights Respecting School Award) for our work on embedding children’s human rights in our curriculum and wider school ethos.

As a result of working closely with several different agencies, and constantly reinforcing the message of acceptance, all members of the school community treat each other with respect.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

Chadwell is an incredibly diverse school where over 40 languages are spoken! We actively promote diversity through our celebrations of different faiths and cultures. R.E. lessons reinforce messages of tolerance and respect for others, and this message is promoted in all areas of school life. Members of different faiths and religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. The children visit places of worship that are important to different faiths, and visitors are invited to the school to talk about their faiths. 

SMSC

Social, moral, spiritual and cultural teaching is at the very heart of learning, and is taught through the curriculum, assemblies, trips and visits, and most importantly through the children’s interaction with each other in every day school life.

The DfE state that through schools’ provision of SMSC, they should:

  • “enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people;
  • and encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which law is made and applied in England.
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