Our curriculum ensures learning is effective, exciting and above all, relevant to the needs of our children.
At Claybrooke Primary School, we aim to develop well-rounded children, where learning experiences are created through a rich and varied curriculum offer. Our curriculum is exciting and varied and promotes the whole child to develop and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life and society. We believe in bringing learning to life, both indoors and out, with an emphasis on engaging and purposeful learning.
We place great value on developing the ‘whole child’ and provide an engaging programme of study in all curriculum areas. We believe that in order for our children to thrive, their safety and happiness is paramount. At the core of our approach, we want to develop successful learners that are curious, motivated, courageous and understand that by making mistakes they aid meaningful learning.
Our pupils' journey begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). From the very beginning we have high expectations of all of the children. Whilst in EYFS the children are regularly assessed throughout the year with the aim of meeting the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception year. Provision is adapted and developed regularly to inform planning and identify any children who need extra targeted support. Phonics is taught throughout EYFS (and into KS1 and occasionally KS2) using the Read Write Inc scheme. Exploratory play is a key focus in Reception and is based around topics and core texts. We are extremely lucky to have extensive grounds, a spinney and a generous outdoor learning environment.
In KS1, children continue their learning journey, taking part in maths, reading and writing lessons every morning. In Year 1 (Yr1), children continue to have daily phonics lessons whilst in Yr2, children access daily Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons, which are linked to their learning in writing, to allow them to apply and deepen their basic skills. In the afternoon, children access the wider curriculum through carefully planned topics: Science, History, Geography, Religious Education (RE), Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Art, Design Technology (DT) and Music are delivered as timetabled discrete lessons.
In KS2, children again continue their daily diet of rigorous teaching: maths, reading and writing lessons every morning. In Yr5 and Yr6, focus gradually shifts to the end of Key Stage assessments as children are prepared for these tests and the transition into Yr7. In the afternoon, children access the wider curriculum through carefully planned lessons: Science, History, Geography, RE, ICT, PSHE, Art, DT, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) and Music are delivered as timetabled discrete lessons.
Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and, when required, interventions.
Reading at Claybrooke is one of the cornerstones of our curriculum and is taught through a range of activities. These include; reading with a teacher or teaching assistant, partner reading, written comprehensions and whole class reading. At Claybrooke, we aim to develop a love of reading, so children are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children on a regular basis. We even have a reading dog, Luna, who comes into school to hear the children read! Children have focussed reading sessions at least three times a week with one to one reading occurring throughout. Vulnerable readers are identified in each class to ensure reading progression and a love of reading. There is a clear emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference in reading sessions. Novels are used to teach reading as well as a range of non-fiction texts. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school.
Alongside reading, Writing is another vital part of our children's education. Through our writing curriculum, it is our vision that every child will become creative writers by being given exciting, inspiring and engaging materials and opportunities that challenge and support them. We want children to become confident, talented, enthusiastic writers who develop a love for writing. They will be able to use writing to communicate with others and express themselves, they will be able to write independently and for a range of purposes. Children will be able to reflect upon and evaluate their writing, use vocabulary to create style and convey meaning and use what they read to enhance what they write.
At Claybrooke Primary we follow the Read, Write Inc scheme of phonics teaching. Each child in Reception and Yr1 has a daily, minimum 20-minute phonics lesson. In Yr2, children access a balance of both phonic and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) lessons based on their individual needs and attainment. Reception and KS1 children are taught in targeted phonics groups. Assessment is continuous so that children’s learning needs are accurately matched to the correct provision. Small phonic sessions or interventions are delivered by teaching assistants and overseen by the class teacher, to provide complimentary teaching. Children in Y2 and further up into KS2 who need support with their phonics will also access this programme.
Sessions are lively, fast-paced and fun. In a session, children are taught either phonemes/ digraphs/ trigraphs, high frequency and/or tricky words and these are consolidated through reading and writing. There are lots of opportunities to speak and listen, as well as to read and write the sounds.
At the end of Year 1 children take the national Phonics Test which tests their phonic knowledge. Here, they are required to read real and nonsense words, applying the skills they have learnt. Ideally children will have completed and consolidated Phase 5 during Year 1 and Phase 6 during Year 2, so that they can focus more on higher-level comprehension using increasingly challenging texts. Any child that does not complete the phonics programme will continue learning phonics throughout Year 3/4 during interventions.
At Claybrooke, we endeavour to make mathematics engaging for all. We believe that every child can do maths and tailor our curriculum to ensure that learning is focussed and targeted but also fun and rewarding for all children.
Our curriculum is mapped by the White Rose Maths Hub scheme of work. We focus on a progression from concrete resources, to pictorial representations and finally into the numerical abstract to aid our children’s conceptual understanding.
TT Rockstars and Mathletics are used throughout the school as an additional tool to support children’s fluency.
Science learning follows the National Curriculum to ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to develop their own scientific knowledge and understanding in biology, chemistry and physics. We endeavour to make Science as hands on as possible to give pupils the opportunity to see science in the real world.
Our Computing curriculum comprises a number of different strands: digital literacy, coding, data handling and using technology in the wider world. We are also passionate about ensuring our children are clear about e-safety and how to manage their lives in a digital world. We use the ‘Switched on Computing’ scheme to ensure that all children build on previous learning to enable them to be confident technology students using a range of different programs, websites and apps.
We use ipad Apps to teach skills such as animation, music creation and e-books alongside Google Classrooms in school and virtual learning.
At Claybrooke, we use the Cambridge Personal Development Programme scheme throughout the school. The scheme covers a range of themes including; Myself and My Relationships, Healthy and Safer Lifestyles, Citizenship and Economic Wellbeing. We use this alongside the updated DFE RSHE guidance.
Throughout the year we also do the following activities to support PSHE:
Anti-bullying week takes place in the Autumn Term;
A yearly visit to The Warning Zone (Y6)
SRE is included in the scheme that we follow for Years 5 and 6;
Assemblies are delivered daily covering relevant PSHE themes, religious celebrations, events in the news etc.
Core British Values are embedded alongside our School Values and Rules.
Religious Education (RE)
At Claybrooke we follow the Leicestershire agreed syllabus scheme throughout the school. This provides a broad and balanced programme of RE which reflects three key areas. This syllabus prepares the children and young people of Leicestershire for active citizenship in a diverse and rapidly changing world, exploring some aspects of British values in relation to religions and world views.
The Leicestershire syllabus has a clear aim: to ‘engage pupils in systematic enquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.’
History and Geography
Our History and Geography curriculum has recently undergone a detailed review. We have designed our new curriculum (alongside the National Curriculum) to be well planned, challenging, engaging and thought provoking. Children are given clear opportunities to develop their historical and geographical skills, understanding and knowledge. These subjects are taught discretely; however, if the opportunity arises to incorporate lessons together and fully develop our knowledge-rich curriculum, we will do so.
Physical Education (PE)
We follow the Val Sabin scheme of work, giving comprehensive coverage of skills and knowledge in aspects of gymnastics, games, dance, swimming and outdoor pursuits. PE is taught twice weekly by our PE lead in conjunction with class teachers. We are extremely fortunate here at Claybrooke to have our own swimming pool for the exclusive use of Claybrooke Primary pupils, as well as our own qualified swimming instructor on the staff. Children receive swimming tuition every year in school in a block of sessions each summer term. Our aim is to ensure that every child can swim at least 25m by the end of KS2.
French is taught during KS2 using the Catherine Cheater Scheme of Work. The scheme aims to build knowledge, skills and confidence in three strands: oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding.
As well as being taught through topics, Art and DT knowledge and skills are also taught through specific Art/DT weeks and themed days.
We follow the National Curriculum as well as using Active Music Digital online planning scheme to support the teaching of music. We have weekly music assemblies and individual classes have the opportunity to learn a specific instrument through our partnership with Leicestershire arts, who provide the instruments and expert tuition (eg violins, ukuleles, drumming etc)
We aim to further enhance our curriculum by offering educational visits once per term that link to topics being taught in class, enhancing learning outcomes in a wide variety of subjects. We use our local environment as much as possible. Recent trips have included: farm visits, theatre trips, the Houses of Parliament, Leicester Botanical Gardens, Conkers Outdoor Adventure Centre and The Warning Zone.
A special mention must be given to our annual involvement with Young Voices. Children in KS2 have the opportunity to join the world's largest school choir and sing at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham with over 7,500 other school children from around the UK; a truly unforgettable experience.
We run residential trips for children in Years 5 and 6 alongside our partner school Dunton Bassett Primary to deliver aspects of the Outdoor Pursuits curriculum, as well as help the children learn about themselves and others in a different environment. Recently we have been to Hilltop Outdoor Centre in Norfolk and Boreatton Park near Shrewsbury.