The curriculum at Green Meadow Primary School is based on research, examining curriculum content at other schools and consultation with staff, parents, governors and pupils and regular consultation will play an important role in the future evolution of our curriculum.
Our curriculum aims to inspire all children to become aspirational, confident learners who are well rounded, effective communicators and who show tolerance and respects for the beliefs and values of others. We set our sights high from the start and aim for our broad and balanced curriculum to equip all children with the skills, knowledge and experiences to become successful lifelong learners. It instils the requisite knowledge, skills and cultural capital in our pupils, so they can question and engage with the world. Our curriculum is designed to be inclusive, to promote diversity and to be accessible to all of our pupils.
While the curriculum at Green Meadow adheres to the principles and aims of the National Curriculum, the content of it is broader than this which enables us to more closely meet the needs of our pupils within this community.
Through consultation with stake holders, our four curriculum cornerstones were identified. These were aspiration, communication, awareness and enquiry. These cornerstones underpin all aspects of our curriculum.
The personal development of our pupils is crucial to our vision at Green Meadow. It is key to developing our pupils’ awareness of themselves and others and it helps them in terms of understanding and forming effective relationships both within and outside of school. Our personal development curriculum is reflected in our school ethos, behaviour practices, our pastoral care and other wider experiences. Our PSHE program is delivered to our pupils through weekly lessons, visits, outside visitors and through assemblies. Our bespoke personal development curriculum aims to help children deal with real life issues which they face as they grow up and are central to their wellbeing: nutrition, physical activity; drugs, alcohol and tobacco; sex and relationships; emotional wellbeing and safety. Our curriculum also allows pupils to build character and to discuss matters of personal concern, manage their feelings, build appropriate relationships and develop social skills with adults and peers and have a sense of belonging whilst also making their own positive contribution to a community. Our pupils learn skills of self-awareness, collaboration, reasoning, discussion, critical thinking and decision making; they actively use these to help themselves and others. Pupils learn to stay healthy and safe, take responsibility for their own actions and respect British Values. Within our personal development curriculum at Green Meadow, one of the vehicles that we use to explore and teach equality is the No Outsiders scheme. These lessons are blocked in each year group and cover the protected characteristics within the Equalities Act 2010. Each week there is a No Outsiders assembly which allows the exploration of on an equalities story in the news.
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of oracy and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Phonics is taught in EYFS and KS1 through the highly successful Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach our pupils to read, write and spell. Our pupils do well in the phonics screening check and by Year 2, the vast majority are fluent readers. KS1 pupils have additional whole-class reading sessions to develop their vocabulary and comprehension skills.
From Years 2 to 6, we follow the whole class reading and reading for mastery approach. This approach is built around the reading of high quality and challenging texts linked to the Year group topics or ‘Plagues of Reading’. The ‘Plagues of Reading’ ensure there are five types of texts that children should have access to in order to successfully navigate reading with confidence.
During daily reading lessons, children focus on a high quality text and adults model fluency, intonation and comprehension. The teacher uses skilful questioning and discussion to help pupils grasp new vocabulary and develop their understanding of the text. This supports pupils by scaffolding inference and analysis of texts.
Each week, we follow a structure to engage the pupils in the high-quality texts.
Monday – Background knowledge
Pupils are exposed to non-fiction material to support their understanding of key concepts and themes described within the novel.
Tuesday – Vocabulary
Vocabulary knowledge is the single most important factor in reading comprehension. By teaching vocabulary explicitly, pupils’ vocabulary will be enriched and barriers to their reading removed.
Wednesday – Close Reading
This involves reading parts of a text line by line, sometimes word by word to pull out all the information given by the author.
Thursday – Independent application
At this stage of whole class reading, pupils have heard the text read with expression, know key vocabulary and background information and have completed a close read. They now apply all this learning to an independent response. This could be comprehension questions, writing in role (letter, diary entry) or through comparisons, summaries and reviews.
Friday – Reading for pleasure
The final session alternates between reading for pleasure and supporting pupils with comprehension strategies.
Reading for pleasure improves literacy skills and learning outcomes. We aim for children to develop a real love of reading whilst they are at Green Meadow and pupils have access to a wide range of high quality, engaging texts in the class and whole school library.
Our pupils follow the Talk for Writing approach to teaching writing. Each unit is carefully planned, identifying specific skills, which will be taught during the unit and applied to the pupil’s independent writing. We use high quality, engaging texts, which link to their termly topic.
At Green Meadow, we encourage children to write for different purposes: to inform, to entertain, to persuade and to discuss. In each year group, children are exposed to a variety of different text types and genres that are linked to their year group topics.
At the start of every cycle of writing, the children are immersed in the specific text type. They explore examples of this text type and create a writer’s toolkit. They are introduced to a ‘modelled text’ which forms the foundations of their writing for the remainder of the writing cycle.
Shared and modelled writing takes place within English lessons. This allows the teacher to demonstrate good writing practice to the children using their ideas. Skills specific to each genre of writing are taught to pupils during a cycle of writing.
Before beginning their writing, pupils plan their writing carefully and spend time orally rehearsing, ensuring that they are confident with the structure and language they will use. We place huge importance on editing work once finished, and at the end of each cycle, children will be supported by adults and peers to edit and redraft their writing.
Spelling and Grammar teaching is embedded throughout our writing sessions through starter activities and shared writing.
Oracy is something which is entwined throughout the curriculum. Opportunities for developing these skills are actively planned in all areas of the curriculum and pupils are actively encouraged to speak in full, accurate sentences, using a range of sentence starters. Teachers actively correct mistakes made. Pupils use hand signals in class to show their agreement or disagreement with answers to questions made by their peers along with a signal to build upon an answer.
Mathematics is one of the most important skills our children learn. At Green Meadow, we ensure that all pupils achieve their full mathematical potential through the teaching of deep and sustainable learning. Lessons are structured around the concrete – pictorial –abstract approach, providing opportunities throughout for discussion, using mathematical vocabulary, developing mathematical thinking and using multiple representations. Through representations and pictorials, pupils progress and demonstrate their own learning. This enables them to access more abstract concepts whilst continually building and making links to prior learning.
At home, children are encouraged to use Mathletics to consolidate learning taught in school. Teachers set weekly tasks for children to complete and these are monitored by the Maths Lead. Each week, our class Mathletics winners are awarded trophies for their completion of tasks in Year 2, Lower Key Stage 2 and Upper Key Stage 2.
Mathematics at Green Meadow both encourages and empowers pupils to construct a mathematical knowledge base, formed upon fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills, which will prepare them for their lives far beyond that of primary school.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. We encourage our children to be inquisitive learners and curious about the world around them. Through our enquiry based approach, our science curriculum equips children with the essential scientific skills and knowledge to understand the world around them. We believe science encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. Throughout the programmes of study, the children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the working scientifically skills are built-on and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings. Our science lessons also involve the pupils finding out about famous scientists and their legacies.
At Green Meadow, we believe that religious education provides pupils with key life skills and the ability to develop a greater understanding, respect for and tolerance of themselves and others. It is our role, through our religious education curriculum, to enrich pupils’ own spirituality and to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable pupils to flourish in the world at large with all people and communities. This includes developing pupils’ knowledge of significant people, key festivals, practices, artefacts and places of worship. Through the R.E curriculum, we strive to help pupils to understand and appreciate all the key religions and the rich variety they bring to our city, country and world. We do this by following our own R.E Scheme.
Our high-quality humanities curriculum has been developed through engagement with a range of stakeholders, including pupils. All units are a combination of both history and geography, with one of them being the main driver. There is a clear progression of geographical and historical knowledge and skills within each unit of study, within all year groups and across school.
Geography - Our geography curriculum forms part of our termly themes and is designed to develop pupils’ knowledge about the world and its people, develop enquiry skills, the ability to use a range of maps, the skills to collect and analyse data and the ability to communicate information in a variety of ways. Learners investigate a range of places, both in Britain and the wider world, to help them develop knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes. We provide opportunities to investigate and enquire about our local area. This will support children to develop an understanding of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area so unique and special.
History - Our history curriculum aims to inspire pupils and gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world whilst developing their skills of historical enquiry and interpretation. We aim to develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of key events and significant people from the past that have shaped the world. Whilst at Green Meadow, we aim to improve every students’ cultural capital, understanding of the world around them and their own heritage.
Art and Design and Technology
All of our pupils also have an art or design technology lesson each week (one subject blocked per half term) delivered by a specialist teacher as part of our PPA provision in our brand new, purpose built ‘Studio’. The learning produced in these lessons links with the topics studied and broadens the development of the children’s knowledge within these at the same time as furthering knowledge and skills in Art and Design and Technology.
At Green Meadow, our vision is for our pupils to be happier, healthier and more successful through our physical education curriculum and we recognise that physical education and sport play and instrumental roles in promoting a healthy lifestyle. As a school we intend to provide a high-quality physical education program, which inspires our pupils to succeed and excel. We follow the ‘Get set 4 PE’ curriculum for our physical education clubs. We aim to make PE and sport an integral part of the curriculum, using it as a vehicle to help pupils develop physical skills, exercise, build friendships, have fun, learn about teamwork, fair play and improve self-esteem.
We provide take part in a variety of competitions within school and against other local schools. These opportunities help to build character and help to embed our school. Our provision for PE is also enhanced through a variety of after school clubs.
Our computing curriculum aims to help to prepare our children for their futures outside of school and help them to use computers safely and creatively. At Green Meadow, we follow the ‘iCompute’ scheme of work for computing. Our computing curriculum is split into four areas: computer science, information technology, digital literacy and e-safety. The computer science aspect of the curriculum teaches computational thinking. This area of the curriculum will involve coding and data representation. Children at Green Meadow are lucky to have access to a range of technological resources, including laptops and tablets allowing teachers to incorporate IT into all lessons.
Teaching digital literacy ensures that all pupils can use technology safely and respectfully. In this strand, pupils learn about how computing relates to their wider world and how to evaluate software and technologies critically. E-safety is taught at Green Meadow through the computing curriculum, the personal development curriculum and through assemblies. This helps to ensure that our pupils make the right choices online and that they know what to do if they encounter an issue online.
For our music curriculum we follow the ‘Charanga’ scheme. We also supplement this with lessons led by Services for Education music service who teach guitars in Year 4. The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform, review and evaluate and understand and explore how music is created. This is embedded in the classroom activities and the learning of instruments. The elements of music are taught in the classroom lessons so that pupils are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. They also learn how to compose focussing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music.
SMSC AND BRITISH VALUES
SMSC (along with British Values) is threaded throughout the curriculum and forms the main focus in some of our topics. This is also taught and explored within our assemblies (including those led by outside speakers) and through other activities that are carried out in school, such as our the annual elections for school councillors.
The impact of our curriculum is evidenced in the written work children produce, their attainment and key-stage assessments, spoken and creative work, their engagement in the school and wider community and through discussing their learning with others. We also use staff, pupil and parent voice to evaluate this.