OUR CURRICULUMCurriculum subjects
Our English curriculum at Buckland aims to promote high standards of language and literacy equipping children with strong oral and written skills and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure. Children will leave our school fully equipped with the literacy skills to achieve their dreams in future life. They will experience and abundance of quality, engaging texts that stimulate writing and encourage reading.
Reading is at the centre of all learning and is the key to success in future lives. Therefore, reading is taught through focussed phonics sessions; lessons which teach strategies (such as inference, retrieval, summarising and sequencing) to develop comprehension; and opportunities to simply enjoy a wide range of genres. Our school is a community of readers with adults and children alike immersed in the pleasure of reading – we aim to bring reading to life by linking it to the wider curriculum.
It is our vision that every child will learn to write by being given real and exciting resources and writing opportunities. Our motivated teachers share excellent writing to inspire children and emulate various writing styles on a daily basis whilst ensuring pupils understand the fundamentals of spelling patterns/rules, punctuation and grammar. We encourage children to read their work aloud to not only develop self and peer editing skills but also reading for enjoyment to their peers, providing audiences for writing and developing self-confidence. At Buckland, we aim to ensure each child understands that writing has a real purpose and that vocabulary choices and styles can bring about change across a range of genres both fiction and non-fiction.
Maths is all around us. As soon as children begin exploring their world, they are making mathematical discoveries about the way things fit together.
At Buckland Primary School, we follow the mastery approach to the teaching of Mathematics. We believe that all children can achieve and succeed in maths. Teachers at Buckland use their understanding of key principles to guide learning and building on conceptual understanding in relation to the 3 main aims of the curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Within a class, all children work on the same objective, however the work set will come with support or challenge relative to their developmental needs. We strive for pupils to have rapid recall skills of basic fluency facts such as number bonds, times tables etc. These are developed in order to support other areas of the maths curriculum.
In EYFS the children have a short daily input, either as a whole class or in a small group. They learn about maths through play and everyday experiences, so we ensure that the learning environment is full of mathematical opportunities and exciting things for children to explore, sort, compare, count, calculate and describe. They are supported to be creative, critical thinkers, problem solvers and to have a go.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 all children have a daily maths lesson, which includes a range of working styles including whole class, group, paired and individual work. Lessons may include, fluency, reasoning, problem solving, investigations and real life experiences.
Science teaching at Buckland stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them through a carefully planned, contextualised curriculum that builds on prior learning.
Children are encouraged to think and work scientifically, which is a major part of the new curriculum and is at the heart of every science topic. The children are taught to ask questions and to develop and evaluate explanations through experimental evidence and modelling.
Alongside the acquisition of scientific knowledge and the understanding of concepts, the children learn to question and discuss science-based issues that are of significance now and for the future.
Our science curriculum provides opportunities for children to:
- extend, use and apply their maths and literacy skills
- develop knowledge and understanding of important scientific ideas, processes and skills, and relate these to everyday experiences
- learn about ways of thinking and ways of finding out about and communicating ideas
- explore values and attitudes through science
At Buckland Primary School we believe that children require digital skills in order to help them thrive and be safe and secure in society. We use digital technology, where appropriate, to ensure learning is engaging, creative and inspirational. We encourage the use of smart technologies in all areas of our curriculum to both reduce teacher workload and improve life-changes for our learners.
We teach computing as discrete weekly lessons, as well as using technology in a cross-curricular manner. Our focused computing lessons focus on the three strands of the computing curriculum: Computer Science (programming or coding, and problem solving), Information Technology (spreadsheets, presentations and manipulating graphics and Digital Literacy (e-safety and selecting appropriate digital content). We use a wide variety of digital technology that is available across the school (including iPads) to ensure our learners are experienced on a range different digital media.
“One cannot understand historical and contemporary trends and issues without an understanding of the worldviews that underpin them. RE is therefore essential to informed local, national and global citizenship”
(Commission on Religious Education, September 2017)
One of the educator’s core tasks is to enable children to understand the worldviews that underpin global society and culture. Our responsibility is to promote an awareness of how beliefs, practices and values interact so that students are equipped for life both in modern Britain and multi-cultural society. Religious Education recognises the human need to develop a sense of belonging and provides a context for learning about individual and group identity. It requires us to consider the bearing that core beliefs have on how we think about ourselves, our relationship to other people and our place in the universe. In our teaching we therefore deal with fundamental questions that drive humanity’s common search for meaning, purpose and truth. Together we contemplate the range of answers that determine different people’s approach to life and their way of life. We thereby help children to cultivate enquiring minds, independent thinking skills and the ability to make reasoned judgments as they develop their own ideas, values and identities.
At Buckland Primary School, our RE vision is to promote religious literacy so that children can engage both accurately and respectfully with different worldviews. We recognise that progress relies on the interplay of academic, spiritual, moral, social, cultural and emotional development. In keeping with our emphasis on resilience-building, children consider how different worldviews instill confidence to help people cope with setback and learn from mistakes. As children reflect on life’s mysteries and celebrate its wonders, they become conversant with recurring themes and appreciate commendable values. We encourage all pupils to experience the full breadth of our curriculum, but should parents or carers wish to exercise the right of withdrawal for all or part of RE, they should consult the headteacher. Our learning objectives for each lesson align with units of work from the Surrey Agreed Syllabus and convey corresponding insights, skills and attitudes. To summarise our provision, we refer to seven hallmarks of Religious Education at Buckland. These provide us with criteria against which to evaluate the intent, implementation and impact of our teaching.
- A global curriculum (comprehensive in its scope)
- A systematic curriculum (composed of cohesive units)
- A progressive curriculum (generating advanced skills from a secure knowledge base)
- A holistic curriculum (developing the whole child)
- An inclusive curriculum (recognising that everyone has something to contribute)
- An integrated curriculum (maximising cross-curricular links)
- An objective curriculum (promoting accurate engagement)
The structure of the Surrey Agreed Syllabus ensures that the hallmarks of our curriculum materialise in practice during every RE lesson. Their units of works for each year group are designed to occupy between 12-14 hours of lesson-time each term. Alongside ongoing CPD, our RE coordinator routinely supplies all teachers with the relevant assessment materials and collects completed summaries of how children across the school engage with specific units.
In History we give children opportunities to develop an awareness and understanding of the past and how it differs from the present. We want the children to be able to empathise with the past: understanding the people who came before them as well as the lessons we can learn from the past. Understanding of different contemporary cultures of the past can also instil a deepened respect for the different traditions that exist across the globe today.
In each year group, we investigate famous people, events and places. We start from the children’s own experiences, progressing from familiar situations such as family relationships and past events in the children’s lives, to those more distant in time and place. Chronological understanding is vital for this and so each topic opens with a lesson designed to contextualise their new topic in line with prior learning.
In Key Stage 2 children focus on specific periods in British and world history and extend their understanding about why past events occurred, the effects on the people of the time and their impact on our lives today.
Children learn to look at evidence and make deductions based on their acquired knowledge of the past. Source work is used throughout the school to engage the children, as well as to support and develop understanding. Sources are also used to help children uncover the past for themselves, with our assessment strategies enabling the children to engage with increasingly complex and challenging sources as they progress through the school. Sources can include: artefacts, photographs, pictures, videos, CD ROMs and a bank of relevant information books.
As well as source work, the children explore historical concepts through role-play, discussion and debate. Often, additional historical learning can be gained whilst attending other class assemblies or during key anniversary celebrations.
We aim to further inspire children’s learning through visits to museums and historical buildings. Links with our local museum are intended to open the children’s minds up to potentially exciting jobs they could do regarding history, as well as show the children the wealth of historical learning opportunities there are outside of school for the children to engage with in their own time.
Geography at Buckland Primary School develops pupils’ interest in both their own surroundings and in the variety of physical and human conditions in the wider world.
Through their work in Geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
Wherever possible, field studies support the children’s learning. We use the school grounds, the local environment (including the River Thames) and residential visits to develop geographical skills including mapping and comparing locations. The children work with a variety of sources for their investigations such as photographs, maps, globes, atlases and videos.
Geography has significant links with eco themes and provides opportunities for pupils to develop their understanding of the environment and sustainable development.
“The arts are an essential element of education, just like reading, writing and arithmetic… music, dance, painting and theatre are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment. “ – William Bennett
Our environment stimulates creativity and innovation to enable our children to unleash their imagination. We try to incorporate art in all subjects and the children’s art work is often inspired by other topics the children are studying. Pupils are exposed to a broad range of art and artists. At Buckland, children are encouraged to think critically about art, including their own.
Children have the chance to work with a wide variety of media, including paint, crayon, chalk, charcoal, clay, and 3D collage materials. They are taught to use a range of techniques to express their ideas and are introduced to the work of famous artists from various countries, times and cultures as inspiration for their own work. We provide opportunities to experience many different approaches to the production of a piece of work: individually, in groups and as a whole class project when appropriate. All these experiences help the children to develop critical and evaluative approaches to their own and others’ work and to understand the basis of art appreciation.
DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
At Buckland the children have regular opportunities to develop their design and technology capability within our programme of topics. Throughout their time at Buckland, the cross curricular links provide a wealth of knowledge of how the design process works and how designs have shaped our history. They design and make products using a variety of materials, including construction kits. They have the opportunity to cook, sew, and to investigate and evaluate products and their packaging.
Pupils will be exposed to a broad range of different designs and are encouraged to think critically about design, including their own. The children plan and evaluate their designs through discussion and, when they are able, use drawings and diagrams which they compare with the finished result. The older children increasingly learn how to identify strengths and weaknesses and to make improvements to their designs.
At Buckland we see music as a vital element in the development of the whole child. All children have the opportunity to experience and perform with musical instruments. We have infant and junior singing assemblies weekly, that the children really enjoy. Buckland uses the Surrey Arts Charanga scheme to support teachers and pupils with their music education. Children are exposed to a variety of different types, styles and music from other cultures and are encouraged to think critically about each piece. They learn about rhythm, beats and tempo and how to compose their own music.
Drama is used to enhance learning across the curriculum. We believe that the use of drama supports their writing, reading and comprehension skills. Children are encouraged to think like the character or author through hot-spot activities and understand the emotions and decisions characters make by re-enacting different scenes. We also have many workshops throughout the year to support the children’s understanding of different topics. For example, Year 5 have a fantastic Viking workshop where they re-enact battles!
Every class plan and perform two assemblies to parents and the rest of the school. At Harvest, Christmas and Easter we hold Key stage assemblies written by staff and performed by the children. Every summer, Year 2 plan an end-of-year performance for parents and we perform an end -of-Year 6 production as well. The children create the sets, props and have input in the performance as a whole. Recent shows include: The Lion King, Oliver, The Jungle Book and Bugsy Malone.
French is taught to Years 3, 4, 5 & 6. From Year 3 they will have a 1 hour French lesson each week.
Throughout the school there is an emphasis on the spoken word.
At Buckland we are comitted to providing all our pupils with 2 hours of high quality PE each week. Within each year group, units of study include: invasion games, athletics, dance, gymnastics, net and wall games, striking and fielding games and athletics. At Buckland, we use Get Set 4 PE to ensure that the teaching of PE is of a high quality and continuity is maintained across the school.
School swimming lessons currently take place throughout the Spring Term for year 4. The aim is to provide fun water based alternative physical activity while developing the children’s water confidence, technique and an understanding of water safety.
As a school we value the importance of a healthy active lifestyle and have in place a comprehensive extra-curricular timetable led by Buckland teaching staff and Sports Focus. These sports clubs are complemented by level 1 intra-house competition and level 2 inter-school competition. This dedication to delivering high quality sport at Buckland has resulted in children representing Buckland at county, regional and national competitions.
PSHE & CITIZENSHIP
At Buckland Primary School, we believe that Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), alongside British Values and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), play an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. Our PSHE education is tailored to meet the needs of our pupils’ and supports them with developing lifelong skills to make safe and informed choices, in relation to their own health and wellbeing, their relationships with others and the positive role they can play in the local community and a wider awareness of our world as global citizens. Our pupils’ here at Buckland Primary School are given learning opportunities and experiences, which support pupils’ increasing independence and physical and social awareness, as they progress through the school, enabling them to move on to their secondary education phase with growing confidence and skills.
Children are at Buckland Primary School are taught to use technology safely and respectfully. They learn what personal information is and how to keep it private.
The online safety curriculum covers
Early Years and Key Stage One:
As a school we teach our pupils to use technology safely when keeping personal information private.
When using different technologies within our curriculum we identify where to go for help and support when pupils have concerns about content or contact on the internet or whilst other online technologies.
Key Stage 2:
In Key stage 2 the pupils continue to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly. We encourage pupils to recognise acceptable or unacceptable behaviour though the key Stage 2 acceptable use policy for pupils. Though workshops and the help of our digital leaders, we help pupils to identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact.
Every year we celebrate a safer internet day with a range of thought-provoking activities to engage pupils and parents across our school.
HIGHER ATTAINING LEARNERS
We have high expectations of all children at Buckland Primary. All our children’s learning achievements are recognised and celebrated and we ensure that each child achieves the BEST they can. We recognise that pupils often have a love for a subject and this desire to immerse themselves within it is also encouraged and celebrated.
Those children who are expected to achieve extremely well in a number of subjects are known as ‘Higher Attaining learners’. They will show curiosity, autonomy and the determination to take their learning forward in their own direction. Children may also demonstrate talents in a specific area and display higher order thinking skills, or have a love for a subject they wish to engage in more fully.
How do we identify ‘Higher Attaining learners’?
Higher attaining learners are those pupils who are currently on track to be working at greater depth within the expected standard in either reading, writing or maths; we recognise that children may have an aptitude in other areas of the curriculum including sporting, musical or art achievements.
How does the school provide for the needs of Higher Attaining learners?
Children are provided with ‘in depth’ learning which includes; high order questioning, differentiated activities that challenge children’s thinking and develop independent working, or encourage collaborative working within a group depending on the task. There is an emphasis in providing opportunities for the ‘higher attaining’ children to be challenged in their thinking through:
- discussion and debate
- deduction and inference
- processing and analysis
- language richness
Other provision can take place outside of the classroom e.g. via groups within and after school time, including the provision SST offer as part of the ‘Spelthorne schools’ together’. This allows children to partake in a range of challenges within the confederation of our local schools.
Suggestions for supporting those with a love for a subject at home:
- Give children a broad range of experiences.
- Read with them, and to them, even if they are good readers.
- All types of puzzles, crosswords, logic games, word games, card games and board games help to develop children’s thinking skills and social interaction Children enjoy learning new words. Have a new ‘word of the week’ at home.
- Extend their general knowledge with a ‘fact of the week’.
- Encourage physical activity to develop co-ordination and general fitness.
- Do not always focus on your child’s obvious skills. Encourage him or her to try new activities.
- Computing offers huge possibilities to support and extend learning at school.
- Learn a new language together
Buckland Primary School
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