2017-18 Curriculum Overview
Amble Links First School – Curriculum Statement 2017-18
Amble Links First School offers a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based. Our curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and prepares pupils for the opportunities and responsibilities and experiences of later life. Within all of our teaching we aim to use an approach that employs 'Bloom's Taxonomy' to increase the depth of learning by asking the children to apply what they have learnt in a range of different ways.
Our school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils. The National Curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. We are legally required to follow the statutory National Curriculum which sets out in Programmes of study, on the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects taught to all pupils. In September 2014 we began using the new National Curriculum (click here for more information). Summaries fo the statutory requirements (from Rising Stars) for each year group are available to donwload below.
We make provision for a daily act of worship and teach religious education at every key stage.
We make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) throughout our school curriculum and follow guidance from the PSHE Association.
We deliver the National Curriculum through a mainly topic based approach which allows us to make strong links between subjects and deepen pupils’ knowledge and understanding. Our topics may vary in length and are planned to be stimulating and exciting for all groups of pupils.
Everything we do at Amble Links is guided by our School Vision and our 6 R’s of being Resourceful, Reasoning, Responsible, Reflective, Resilient and Respectful. All of this will support our children in becoming successful learners and good citizens. These naturally promote British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. These are evident throughout our taught curriculum and the wider school curriculum. Examples include: our elected school council, visits from local councillors as part of Local Democracy Week, regular visits from uniformed services such as the Police and Fire Service, clear expectations for our pupils’ behaviour, Anti-Bullying accreditation, visits to and visitors from different faith communities and a comprehensive assembly programme that addresses a range of themes and issues.
By far the best way to explore our work is to visit our vast range of galleries.
We are particularly proud that pupils from Amble Links First School have won the Amble and Warkworth Young Citizen’s Award for 4 out of the 5 years it has been running.
The purpose of English in the National Curriculum is to teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Our curriculum aims promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
At Amble Links First School English is taught as an integral part of our topic based curriculum. Through these topics, pupils will learn to read and write through a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Phonics, spelling punctuation, grammar and handwriting, as well being part of every lesson, will be taught discretely at specific times each week. In Foundation Stage and Year 1 READ WRITE INC is the main tool that we use to deliver this. English teaching is supported by ‘Literacy and Language’ for older pupils although teachers tailor lessons to the children’s interests, abilities and the topics that they are working on.
We strongly focus on developing our pupils into confident, fluent and independent readers. Our school reading scheme, the core of which is Oxford Reading Tree, draws from a range of other schemes to capture the range of abilities and interests of our pupils. Our reading scheme and library encourages pupils’ independence in choosing the texts that they wish to read at their ability levels. Weekly guided reading and writing sessions target small groups with specific objectives to ensure good progress of all pupils. A weekly school assembly has a specific focus on books and authors that children have enjoyed.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations.
At Amble Links First School Maths is taught on a daily basis supported by the terminology and exaggerated actions of the Maths Makes Sense Programme (MMS). Pupils in Y1-Y4 also complete daily independent maths exercises using differentiated Schofield and Sims books.
Maths is taught in blocks of lessons each week. The first three days of each week focus on Arithmetic and Reasoning followed by two days of either Geometry or Data & Measure. Every lesson includes problem solving in ‘real-life’ situations. Arithmetic and Reasoning in all year groups consists of number and place value; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; and fractions.
Yearly overviews of maths teaching objectives are available to download below.
Our Maths Calculation Policy provides further information about our approaches to teaching mathematics through concrete, pictorial and abstract methods.
The purpose of science education in the National Curriculum is to provide the foundations for understanding the world through biology, chemistry and physics. Children should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The aims if the National Curriculum are that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science and that they are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Amble Links First School the relevant programmes of study are taught for each key stage. Where possible, science is linked directly to the current topic being taught; for example, as part of their topic about Romans the children may investigate which materials are best for making Roman tools or use electrical circuits to make lighthouses during a topic about the coast. Some cross curricular topics may actually be based around a particular science programme of study. By using a topic based approach we aim to deepen pupils’ understanding of how science is linked to the real world as well as providing more opportunities for writing across the curriculum.
Art and Design
The purpose of art and design in the National Curriculum is to engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own pieces of art, craft and design as well as thinking critically about their work. The aims of the National Curriculum are to ensure that all pupils produce creative work; become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other techniques; use the language of art to evaluate and analyse creative works; and know about great artists, craft makers and designers and understand the historical and cultural developments of their art forms.
At Amble Links First School art and design is an integral part of our topic based approach to delivering the curriculum. Skills and techniques are taught within relevant topics; for example, during a topic entitled ‘From Source to Sea’ which incorporates a study of the local area the children may work with a driftwood artist or create their own driftwood sculptures. Another example could be within the topic of ‘Cool Castles’ the children study some of the work of artist Paul Klee and learn skills to replicate his work.
The purpose of computing in the national Curriculum is to equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. The core of computing is computer science in which the children are taught how digital systems work and put this knowledge to use through programming to create programs, systems and content. Computing ensures that pupils become digitally literate and develop their ideas through information and communication technology to prepare them for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world. The aims of computing in the National Curriculum include the children understanding and using algorithms, writing computer programs, and become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of ICT.
At Amble Links First School pupils in Year 1 to Year 4 take part in a weekly discrete computing lesson which, wherever appropriate, is linked to the topic that the children are studying. Our pupils are strongly encouraged to use ICT to support their learning at all times; this may be through easy access to Ipads in the classrooms or regular access to computers in our ICT Suite at break times and at after school clubs. The school provides pupils with access to a range of additional online resources including School360, Purple Mash, Mathletics and Curriculum Visions. Teaching of computing is supported by Northumberland County Council’s ‘Teaching Computing in the Primary School’ document.
Staying safe whilst using ICT and online is an integral part of Computing lessons and is supported by half termly lessons based on SWGfL’s ‘Digital Literacy and Citizenship’ programme.
Design and Technology
The purpose of Design and Technology in the National Curriculum is for pupils to use creativity and imagination to design and make products and solve real and relevant problems. The curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils develop expertise to perform everyday tasks confidently in an increasingly technological world by having the skills to design, make and evaluate and test as well as having an understanding and the ability to apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook.
At Amble Links First School Design and Technology is an integral part of our topic based approach to delivering the curriculum and will be taught at appropriate points of the year with strong links to other subjects; for example, when learning about the ‘Rotten Romans’ the children may design and make their own war machines or use electrical circuits to help make a model lighthouse when learning about ‘The Seaside’.
The purpose of Geography in the National Curriculum is to inspire curiosity and fascination about the world and its people. The curriculum aims to ensure that pupils develop knowledge of location of globally significant places and understand the processes that give rise to physical and human geographical features. The curriculum aims for pupils to become competent at collecting, analysing and communicating data, interpret a range of sources of information including through the use of maps.
At Amble Links First School Geography is an integral part of our topic based approach to delivering the curriculum and will be taught at appropriate points of the year with strong links to other subjects. Some topics we teach such as ‘Amazing Amazon’ in Year 4 and ‘Islands and Lighthouses’ in Year 2 are Geography focused topics although many aspects of geography will also be taught through other topics such as the Year 3 ‘Rotten Romans’ topic.
The purpose of History in the national Curriculum is to help pupils gain knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. The curriculum aims to ensure that pupils know and understand the history of the British Isles from the earliest times to the present day and how peoples’ lives have shaped the nation. Other aims include the pupils being able to understand significant aspects of history of the wider world and to understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarities, differences, connections and contrasts.
At Amble Links First School History is an integral part of our topic based approach to delivering the curriculum and will be taught at appropriate points of the year with strong links to other subjects. Some topics we teach such as ‘Tomb Raiders’ in Year 4 and ‘Set in Stone’ in Year 3 are History focused topics although many aspects of history will also be taught through other topics such as the Year 1 ‘Wish You Were Here’ topic which looks at many aspects of the seaside including historical aspects such as how seaside holidays have changed over time.
The purpose of learning foreign languages is to provide an opening to other cultures and deepen pupils’ understanding of the world. The curriculum aims to ensure that pupils understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
At Amble Links First School pupils are encouraged to appreciate and use a range of languages from early on (for example by answering the register in a language other than English). In Years 3 and 4 we begin to teach the children basic spoken and written vocabulary and phrases to support the teaching of modern languages as they move to Middle School. We have chosen French to be the main language we teach as this is the main language taught in the school most of our pupils move to. French will be taught in a short weekly session. We will be using internet based resources such as 2Simple French which pupils will also have access to at home.
The purpose of Music in the National Curriculum is to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talents as musicians therefore increasing self-confidence, creativity and a sense of achievement. The curriculum aims for all pupils to perform, listen to and review music; learn to sing and use their own voices to create and compose music; and understand the dimensions of music including pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture structure and appropriate musical notations.
At Amble Links First School we use the web-based ABC Creative Music scheme to support our music teaching. Along with this, children also take part in weekly singing lessons.
Music lessons in Year 4 are led by a specialist music teacher with a focus on pupils learning to play the recorder. The children also take part in a weekly singing lesson.
The purpose of Physical Education in the National Curriculum is to inspire all pupils to success and excel in competitive sport and other demanding activities which in turn support health and fitness. The curriculum aims for pupils to develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, be physically active for sustained periods of time, engage in competitive sports and activities and lead healthy, active lives.
At Amble Links First School we pupils take part in a weekly swimming lesson as well as a weekly PE lesson. More detail about our PE provision and how we spend our additional PE and Sport funding can be found here.
At Amble Links First School we teach Religious Education (RE) on a weekly basis. RE teaching is in line with the locally agreed syllabus. We use the LCP Religious Education Scheme of work to support delivery of RE. RE teaching is broadly Christian but takes into account the principles and practices of other principal religions represented in Britain and around the world. Pupils take part in a daily act of Collective Worship that often include visitors from a range of faiths to support our RE teaching.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)
PSHE Education offers learning opportunities and experiences which reflect the increasing independence and physical and social awareness of learner. They learn skills to develop effective relationships, assume greater personal responsibility and keep themselves safe.
At Amble Links First School PHSE is interwoven throughout the curriculum and may be delivered specifically in response to situations that arise in school such as bereavement. Wherever possible PSHE teaching will be linked to the specific topic area being taught at that time and will be detailed in our medium term topic plans.
At Amble Links First School we use the programme of study produced by the PSHE Association to support our teaching. These follow 3 core themes (‘Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Living in the wider world’
Many aspects of PSHE are covered through our everyday work, acts of collective worship as well as within our taught curriculum.