Proud To Be Me, Proud To Belong
Our curriculum is evolving as the year progresses, as we want to provide the best learning experiences for our pupils and we want to ensure that our curriculum fits in with the needs of pupils in our community. Each term we provide curriculum newsletters and hold curriculum evenings to share what we will be teaching and learning.
Our vision is that our pupils should be ambitious, lifelong learners beyond the school day who can retain, use and apply their learning effectively. We want our pupils to be able to communicate confidently, and to be proficient readers who are excited about what they read and are keen to share their thoughts with others. We want our pupils to be secure in key mathematical skills and be able to apply these to different situations. We want pupils to be able to look ahead to the future, and embrace and accept individuality. We want pupils to be proud of our community, and to take pride in being a member of Victoria Junior School.
Pupils will develop their knowledge and skills throughout the time they are with us. We intend to provide a coherent, structured, academic curriculum that is rich in cultural capital and an understanding of what it means to be human and how human behaviour has shaped the world. It is imperative that learning must not be rushed, and will involve a high degree of repetition in different contexts so that knowledge enters pupils’ long term memory. If all the core knowledge is acquired quickly, teachers will create opportunities to develop extended knowledge.
Our curriculum is designed with the input of staff and pupils. We believe that topics should be relevant to pupils living within our community, and should equip them with the skills and knowledge to be able to retain, use and apply their learning effectively.
To support with Writing, we use Jane Considine's "The Write Stuff" approach, as we feel that the system helps to develop our pupils' use of vocabulary and ability to use a range of sentence structures.
Key aspects of The Write Stuff system include:
* The Write Stuff builds pupils’ confidence with sentence structure.
* The approach widens the repertoire of writing options for pupils.
* Pupils gain an understanding of the ‘whole’ piece that they are writing.
* Organisation of their ideas and cohesion between them is strengthened.
In Reading, we use Twinkl Phonics to support our early readers with catching up on their synthetic phonics, and "Hooked on Books" by Jane Considine to teach our reading lessons.
Key aspects of the Hooked On Books system include:
* Book Talk - a whole class comprehension and a targeted group approach, ensuring all individuals are accountable
* The Reading Rainbow - a fully comprehensive approach that targets reading competencies, covers the National Curriculum and develops understanding
* Demonstration Reading - the art of modelling the internal thinking of a reader. This is to demonstrate how a reader thinks during the process of ‘reading for meaning’
* Demonstration Comprehension - clear, out loud thinking by the teacher whilst modelling answers to questions and showcasing 'thesaurus thinking' to ensure the most precise words are used.
In Mathematics, we use and adapt the "White Rose" scheme of learning throughout the school.
"At White Rose we use a mastery approach to Maths teaching. This is a research-driven teaching and learning method that meets the goals of the National Curriculum.
What does it mean in practice? In summary, a mastery approach…
Puts numbers first: Our schemes have number at their heart, because we believe confidence with numbers is the first step to competency in the curriculum as a whole.
Puts depth before breadth: we reinforce knowledge again and again.
Encourages collaboration: children can progress through the schemes as a group, supporting each other as they learn.
Focuses on fluency, reasoning and problem solving: it gives children the skills they need to become competent mathematicians."
After lots of research into different ways to support our children to retain and retrieve key knowledge, we have decided to use “Cornerstones Maestro" for Science, History, Geography, Art and Design Technology. We adapt this format, as well as ideas from staff and pupils, to build knowledge and skills throughout these subjects, and provide regular opportunities for children to recall prior learning.
For Religious Education and World Views, we have adapted the "Widening Horizons" scheme, and have included Humanism within this. Computing is taught using the "Purple Mash" platform, and children have access to laptops and iPads to support their learning. Topics are adapted to suit the ever-changing world of technology. To support with the teaching of Physical Education, we use "Get Set 4 PE", as well as specialist coaches e.g. for Gaelic Football and Tennis. French and Music are also taught by specialist teachers.
You can read more about our subjects in our subject overviews.
Phase and subject leaders work together to develop long and medium term topic plans for learning that provide pupils with planned repetition, interweaving of skills throughout the curriculum and opportunities for frequent retrieval. Topics should be of interest to pupils within our community, and focus on developing the skills for progress and an understanding of why significant people, places, events and inventions matter and how they have shaped the world.
Research demonstrates that learning may not be immediately visible. Therefore, our assessment processes take into account regular monitoring including book-looks, informal and formal assessments, conversations with pupils and staff as well as learning walks, observations and data scrutiny. Our primary aim is that pupils are provided with opportunities to be ambitious, lifelong learners beyond the school day who can retain, use and apply their learning effectively so that they have the skills and knowledge to become happy, responsible and successful adults. This is primarily demonstrated through conversations with pupils, as well as evidence from books and assessments.
Please do not hesitate to contact your child's class teacher or phase leader if you have any questions.