St Lawrence School Curriculum has been developed in line with the Primary National Curriculum which became statutory in September 2014. Overviews of curriculum planning are available for all year groups to access via the Children/Class Pages section of the school website.
At St Lawrence School, we believe that the learning process depends on different teaching styles, according to the individual child's age, stage of development, aptitude and ability. Work is differentiated to match these needs.
Children are taught using a variety of methods. These will include both whole class lessons or with children organised into groups. These will vary in composition, i.e. ability, social, depending on the purpose of the activity. At other times, children will work individually or in pairs.
Children at St Lawrence School will be provided with a curriculum which enriches, enlightens and encourages, allowing them to develop and grow into balanced individuals who are prepared for future opportunities and responsibilities.
In order to provide a purpose for learning we link the National Curriculum Subjects through a planned cycle. Through this, children not only learn specific skills but see links with their learning.
English and maths skills are taught every day, as separate lessons, and children are provided with opportunities to apply the skills learnt within other subject areas.
We aim to enhance effective learning by relating the curriculum content to children's own experience, engaging their interest, and enabling their education to be enjoyable, purposeful and rewarding.
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
We follow four guiding principles in our Early Years setting. We believe every child is unique and as they learn they become resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. Positive relationships enable children to become strong and independent. Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs. We believe that children benefit from a strong partnership between staff and parents and/or carers and so we aim to visit every child in their pre-school setting before they start school. We understand that children develop and learn at different rates and build this into our planning and provision throughout the academic year.
There are seven interconnected areas of learning and development which shape planning and teaching in our Reception classroom. Three prime areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving: Communication and language, Physical development, Personal, social and emotional development. We also plan for continuous provision and teach children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world, Expressive arts and design.
English is the foundation stone of all learning. Therefore, at St Lawrence, we believe that children must be able to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. Above all, they must become enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable readers.
For most of the time, English is taught in mixed ability groups. In this way, all children are exposed to some higher-level thinking questions and problem-solving as well as having the opportunity to collaborate and develop a growth mind-set through working with their peers. Additional intervention is provided for children working below age expectations in reading and spelling along with extension activities and questions for children working at greater depth.
The English curriculum covers many areas including:
Speaking and Listening
We teach children to become effective listeners, which means showing their understanding of what they hear, by making relevant comments in response and by listening to and carefully following instructions. Activities are planned to help children speak to a variety of audiences in a wide range of situations and for different purposes. We work closely with parents to ensure that any children who may need support with speech get the correct guidance to show improvement.
At St Lawrence, we believe that children’s command of vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We therefore develop vocabulary by systematically building on the children’s current knowledge and introducing the language of each subject, such as accurate mathematical, scientific, historic and geographical vocabulary.
The children at St Lawrence School are provided with a wide range of quality books, both fiction and non-fiction. We believe that all experiences are connected with reading should be non-threatening, positive and pleasurable. All classes have access to a range of books within their class bases and also can go into the school library. We have strong links with our community Library in Lechlade. Each child spends some of the day in quiet reading, sharing a book with their teacher on a regular basis.
Children are taught various strategies to help them learn to read, including phonics (sounds), whole word recognition and picture clues. The school recognises that no one reading scheme is sufficient or stimulating. Therefore, we have purchased a wide range of books from different schemes and authors. Every child participates in guided reading alongside opportunities to read in a range of forums including reading to members of the community and buddies in other year groups.
At St Lawrence, we follow a Mastery Curriculum, with particular focus on developing the Writing Process, through emersion in texts, planning, drafting, editing, proof reading and finally, publishing. This carefully considered teaching cycle consists of using high quality texts which are interrogated and deconstructed, so that the children can understand the structure and mechanics of writing. This is followed by shared and modelled writing, which allows the teacher to demonstrate good writing practice to the children whilst using their ideas. Teachers ensure that the writing demonstrated shows high expectations and covers the success criteria they would expect to see in the children’s writing. The children then apply their skills in independent pieces of writing which are edited and improved by themselves as well as through input from their peers. Finally, their finished writing is published and then celebrated and shared in class anthologies. Throughout the process, the children are taught to read as writers and write as readers.
The children use the Oxford Owl scheme for the learning and practice of handwriting. Great emphasis is placed on achieving fluency as, when handwriting becomes second nature, it allows children to focus on higher order composition skills.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Children at St Lawrence follow the Read, Write Inc. spelling scheme. This involves daily lessons from Year 2 upwards which directly teach the spelling rules linked to the National Curriculum. Each week involves focussing on a spelling rule which is taught with follow up activities to consolidate the learning. The children will also have spellings, linked to this spelling rule, to learn at home.
Grammar and Punctuation are taught as part of the writing process, with discreet lessons linked to the writing purpose being taught and modelled during shared writing sessions. Children are expected to then demonstrate an understanding of the grammar and punctuation that has been taught, through their independent writing.
At St Lawrence School we aim to develop pupils' understanding of maths by using as much practical experience in as wide a context as possible. In this way, we encourage them to relate maths to their world in and out of school, in preparation for adult life. We follow a ‘mastery’ style curriculum with focus on Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving.
We balance the maths curriculum by:-
· teaching new maths skills and concepts in individual group or whole class lessons
· using mathematics which arises naturally through topic work or the children's own interests using practical equipment to supoort making links between different elements of mathematics
· reinforcing basic skills through practice, tests, games, etc
· developing children's mental resilience
Children will be provided with a variety of learning experiences.
· collecting information, reading and interpreting it
· looking for patterns, differences, similarities
· explaining results, clarifying ideas, reflecting - are the results sensible? Could I do this another way? What if?
· communicating results using apparatus, drawings, diagrams, graphs and written reports
We use a variety of resources both online and published to enhance larning and understanding in the classroom.
At St Lawrence we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. As one of the core subjects taught in Primary Schools, we give the teaching and learning of Science the prominence it requires. The Scientific area of learning is aimed at increasing pupils’ knowledge and understanding of our world, and with developing skills associated with Science as a process of enquiry. We support the development of their natural curiosity, encourage respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provide opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
We ensure full coverage of the EYFS and National Curriculums and aim to foster a sense of wonder about the world around them. Our lessons are built to develop knowledge but are also enhances with practical elements wherever possible. We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging, and challenging learning environment. Throughout our school children are encouraged to develop and use a range of working scientifically skills including questioning, researching, and observing. We strive for all our children to have a good and broad vocabulary. Specific Scientific language is taught, used, revised, and built upon as topics are revisited in different year groups and across all key stages.
We all provide additional opportunities in Science, such as Science Weeks, Science Fairs, competitions, and educational visits.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (RE)
As a church school the teaching of RE is an important part of the curriculum for all our children. Our teaching of RE aims to assist pupils in their own search for meaning and purpose in life, by examining those aspects of human experience. We encourage children to make comparisons and links between religious beliefs and to ask questions about the values of their own ideas and those of other people. We aim to provide pupils with knowledge and understanding of Christianity, and familiarity with the other major religions of the world.
Parents have a legal right to withdraw their children from acts of Collective Worship, and all or part of the religious education provided by the school.
Art is a unique visual language through which children can organise and communicate their responses to experiences. As with other ‘languages’ such as number, movement, sound, written and spoken language, there are some areas of experience which can only be recognised and communicated through visual language. Art combines the development of ideas and concepts with the exploration and education and feeling, educating the ‘whole child.’ Learning to ‘see’ (through observational study) is an area where art has a special and unique role to play throughout a child’s education, helping to develop memory and imagination. Art values diversity and personal response. It is important to value and support the individual child’s self-image as an artist. Through art children develop skills, imagination, self-discipline and the capacity to make decisions and solve problems. Creative work develops self-esteem and confidence and at St Lawrence we take every opportunity to celebrate children’s art.
Computing at the school is taught through a theoretical and practical model to understand the ever developing world.
The areas that every child in school focus on are: Computing systems and networks, creating media, programming and data and information. Following these in each year group allows the progression in each area and allows the children to build on their previous knowledge. As well as these areas the children are taught about E-safety and the importance of staying staff on the internet. Each child has their own log-on and password for our network and bank of 32 laptops and 30 tablets.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
Design and Technology (D&T) introduces children to the world of designing and making purposeful products, giving them a basic understanding of structures and mechanisms, as well as providing an insight into the working characteristics of a variety of materials. Cooking and nutrition is also an important component of the D&T curriculum, so children have opportunities each year to develop relevant knowledge, understanding and skills through practical cooking sessions.
During their time at school, pupils will design and make various products, working with a range of materials, components and tools. They will be encouraged to select the techniques, tools and resources which they think are most appropriate to the task, to evaluate what they have made and to make improvements where necessary.
History in Key Stage 1 aims to educate children about significant individuals and events from the recent and more distant past, in Britain and the wider world. Children use sources of information to help them ask and answer questions and determine how the past is different from the present.
In Key Stage 2, our History curriculum is studied in chronological order, allowing children to establish narratives within and across the periods they study. Pupils learn about significant people, events and places from both recent and the more distant past. They learn that the past can be represented and interpreted in different ways.
At St Lawrence, we look to inspire pupils to gain a curiosity about the world and its people through studying various places, cultures and environments.
In Key Stage 1, children develop a broad knowledge of the world. They study the continents and oceans before delving deeper through various case studies including our locality, a small area of the United Kingdom and a small area in a contrasting non-European country. Children also learn about weather, land use, physical features and directions on a compass.
In Key Stage 2, children investigate many more places in the world, studying Europe, North America and South America in detail. Our curriculum also features studies on rivers, volcanoes, settlements and climate zones, using sources including maps, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
French is a language that is also taught as part of our curriculum. French is taught informally as an introduction up to Year 2 and formally timetabled from Years 3 to 6. The children have the opportunity to develop their oral French skills and apply into real life situations. An interactive approach is taken to the teaching of this language in order for us to address the children’s broad learning styles.
St Lawrence School believes that every child's understanding and enjoyment of music should be developed through activities which bring together the performing and composing, listening and appraising elements of the National Curriculum wherever possible. We extend the child's experience of music by playing music from different times and cultures and by well-known composers, past and present during acts of Collective Worship and in music lessons. Each element of music is considered, and taught holistically within class groups by the class teacher with many opportunities to play both tuned and un-tuned instruments.
Children are encouraged to perform with others and to develop an awareness of audience and occasion - in acts of Celebration or Collective Worship to which parents are invited, and in in-house performances. We regularly perform at local carol services and concerts.
We aim to make music accessible to everyone through individual tuition and class lessons, to allow children to realise how much enjoyment can be derived by listening to, and performing music and at the same time, increasing and enhancing their understanding and expertise in this subject.
At St Lawrence we encourage all children to be physically active as part of their everyday life. All children, regardless of their ability, are encouraged to participate in fun and enjoyable lessons that promote a healthy lifestyle, foster team spirits, develop a sense of fair play and build skills to deal with defeat and celebrate success in appropriate ways. Children at St Lawrence School experience a range of lessons to develop their skills in games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, and swimming. Throughout these lessons, children are encouraged to achieve their personal best developing self-belief and positive attitudes.
St Lawrence takes great pride in being able to also offer competitive sporting opportunities to our pupils through Inter-School sports days, friendly matches against local primary schools, district events with schools across the Cotswold and County events. These events are in a multitude of disciplines for a wide range of pupils and we always aim to include as many of our pupils as possible.
We also provide sporting opportunities for pupils during lunchtime and afterschool clubs. We are fortunate to currently have government funding to allow us to enrich the provision of PE and Sport across the school meaning all children have visiting sports coaches to teach them alongside our own staff ensuring at least two PE lessons a week.
PERSONAL, SOCIAL, HEALTH & ECONOMIC EDUCATION (PSHE)
The school PSHE curriculum focusses on three core learning themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world, in line with the 2020 Statutory National Curriculum requirements.
Corum Education’s SCARF resources are used to support the teaching of PSHE across the school. The Scheme of work includes opportunities to link British Values, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) and schools key skills into the curriculum.
Children have access to key knowledge, language and meanings in order to understand PSHE and to use these skills across the wider curriculum. Children are given opportunities to explore and challenge a range of values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities.
Whole school, Key Stage and class assemblies also make links to PSHE, British Values and SMSC.
The 1988 Education Reform Act lays down that all pupils shall on each school day take part in an act of collective worship and that Religious Education shall reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Worship in school is to take account of family backgrounds of pupils and their ages and aptitudes.
Parents are entitled to withdraw their children from Collective Worship if they so wish.
The staff and governors at St Lawrence School see the main purpose of the school as that of providing an excellent education, both academic and social in a Christian context for all its pupils.
Collective worship is an important part of the school’s daily life. Our Collective Worship is based on ‘Values’. We focus on a different value each term, these include friendship, forgiveness, courage and honesty. Representatives from the local church lead our worship regularly and the children visit the local church to celebrate Christian festivals throughout the year. Parents are invited to our Harvest, Easter and Christmas celebrations.
Through daily acts of Collective Worship we aim to provide an opportunity in the school day to express a sense of community and reinforce the Christian values the school holds. The unique worth of the individual is given emphasis, as in the sharing of common experiences.
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS
Special educational needs (SEND) are seen as an integral part of our curriculum. We believe that all our children have the right to a broad, well-balanced and differentiated curriculum. The principle that pupils with SEND share a common entitlement to a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum is not only the statutory right of every child, but also one of our guiding principles towards SEND.
We adhere to The Code of Practice for children with special needs (learning difficulties) 2014. All schools must follow this code, which states that teachers must identify children with special needs and plan to meet those individual needs within the ordinary school context.
The Deputy Head Teacher, our SENCO, works with pupils, staff and parents to ensure the needs of individual children are met. The school's Special Needs Policy explains fully the different steps taken to help children with learning difficulties. This document is available on the Key Information/Policies section of the school website.
ABLE, GIFTED AND TALENTED PUPILS
Just as there are pupils who experience learning difficulties, so another group of children perform well above the national average. These children are classified as "More Able Pupils".
St Lawrence School aims to extend and enrich the curriculum in order to meet the needs of our More Able Pupils.