Our curriculum is centred around challenge, collaboration and creativity.
Our curriculum is creative, relevant and challenge based. We start with ideas from our children and our community, then build in meaningful learning tasks to meet our curriculum skills and knowledge objectives.
In core subjects, children are responsible for selecting their own level of challenge when choosing which task to complete. This works because our children know we expect them to perform at their best, yet they understand everyone learns at different rates and in different ways. We have found that our children are always ambitious to challenge themselves, but equally willing to seek further support or try a less challenging option to build confidence and practice when needed.
At Reepham Primary we strive to make maths fun, engaging and meaningful to every child. Using a range of equipment (‘manipulatives’), we aim to build children’s concrete understanding of numerical concepts. We then move on to develop this understanding using diagrams and pictures, finally securing children’s understanding at conceptual level.
Our daily maths lessons are planned carefully to improve fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. Our calculations policy is designed in stages to build understanding step by step until children are ready for formal written methods
As well as daily lessons, we endeavour to incorporate maths into our cross curricular themes (see Foundation Subjects).
Please see our calculations policy to see how we build children’s maths skills throughout the school.
English teaching, like all other subjects, should be inspiring and exciting for our children. First and foremost we focus on reading for pleasure, as this in itself develops a passion for the written word, a good imagination, and a motivation to read and write for oneself. Our children love composing challenging sentences and exciting stories in every class and year group. We read to all our children too, as this helps to stretch them and capture their imaginations with more sophisticated stories than they may be able to read independently. Our well stocked library is open at lunchtimes for children to enjoy reading or being read to by our Year 6 Librarians.
Early Reading & Writing - Phonics
When first learning to read and write, children are taught phonics using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.
Alongside phonics, children’s speaking and listening skills are engaged in order to develop their vocabulary, language and literacy skills; good reading and writing begin with good language and literacy.
Developing Reading & Writing
Guided by the National Curriculum Aims and Objectives for each year group, our English teaching is planned with the intention of inspiring our children to read and write, rather than follow endless schemes of technical content. Of course we cover all aspects of spelling, punctuation and grammar, but we choose to do this within a relevant context. Where possible, our written texts and reading books link with our whole school theme. All classes learn in guided reading sessions with small groups, using texts chosen for their challenge and meaning. We also use specific resources designed to ensure a consistent approach to teaching spelling and handwriting skills throughout the school.
We aim to give our children a real purpose to their writing, and are developing ways of ensuring they can ‘publish’ their work to a real audience.
Speaking & Listening
Across the school we develop thinking skills through discussion and small group analysis of texts. Many of our teachers are trained to use the ‘Let’s Think in English’ methods and principles, which we have found to stretch children’s thinking and analysis skills, revealing some incredibly insightful perceptions. We also incorporate drama into English wherever feasible, and of course we rehearse and perform plays at Christmas and in the Summer Term.
In recent years we have been teaching many of our foundation subjects within whole school themes. So far we have been astounded at the response from our children; they have engaged completely with each theme, and have been able to extend their learning with their siblings at home, as well as discuss with parents and carers. By studying themes rather than isolated subjects, we have found that our children have been able to link together key concepts in their learning, then move forward by questioning and challenging us and each other more deeply. Each class tackles a theme slightly differently according to the children’s learning choices and the key areas of our Curriculum. We aim to incorporate use of technology, learning outside, D&T or Art, History or Geography, links with English, links with Maths, and then RE and Science where they fit the theme well. With each theme, we include three or four sessions where the children work in mixed age groups, which allows further opportunities for developing group working skills and leadership qualities. Computing, PE and Music are still taught as stand-alone lessons (as are Maths, English and often Science).
Our themes in recent years have been: ‘To Boldly Go…’ (exploration); ‘To Be Or Not To Be’ (Shakespeare); ‘Ohayo Gozaimasu’ (Japan); ‘Sewing the Seed’ (farming), ‘Splash’ (the coast), ‘Africa’, ‘Reepham Time Team’, (the history around us), ‘How to Save the World’ (everything from extinction to nutrition to superheroes!). Next year we will be starting with ‘Antipodean Adventures’ (Australia), then moving on to ‘Historical Heroes’ finishing with ‘The Broads’.
In order to ensure our children’s knowledge and skills increase year on year, we have created subject specific Progression Grids to support our planning and assessment.
We promote the British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and those without faith throughout our themed curriculum.