Potters Green School’s Curriculum
Nurturing bright futures is the key to our curriculum at Potters Green School. We provide our learners with an ambitious curriculum that meets the needs of all children, developing their knowledge, skills, abilities and resilience to apply what they know and can do with increasing fluency and independence. This involves ensuring that everyone is provided with experiences we believe are needed to succeed in life, ensuring a ‘bright future’.
All learners study the full curriculum through provision that meets the varying needs, interests and passions of the children with Potters Green. Across the school the curriculum is coherently planned and sequenced to allow children to develop the knowledge and skills needed for future learning and in the future, employment.
We believe that children are entitled to access a range of activities and experiences tailored to meet the needs of our unique school community (view the entitlement and enrichment document for more information) with the expectation that this will support everyone in becoming educated, responsible, respectful and resilient citizens of Coventry.
As children’s reading and writing skills are essential in becoming life-long learners, we provide a curriculum where children acquire a wide range of vocabulary, communicate effectively and become confident and fluent readers.
At Potters Green we use a variety of approaches to support the children’s development. One includes the application of Thrive which is interwoven into our P.S.H.E. curriculum. This is used to develop healthy, curious minds and healthy, confident and creative children. It also involves us using targeted strategies and activities to support children in re-engaging if they have been thrown off-track emotionally.
Another is through the use of the Cornerstones Maestro across years 1 to 6 to supplement the school's curriculum. Through this topic based approach to learning, children build their skills year-on-year, increase their knowledge across science and the foundation subjects in particular and identify their own personal passions. We also use the Love to Investigate programme to support the development of children’s knowledge and skills in science. Innovation challenges ensure that all of our pupils put their critical thinking skills to the test across all curriculum areas.
Across all aspects of learning, the school community work collaboratively to ensure that the content and challenge of our curriculum meets the needs of all learners, no matter what their starting points, so that no opportunity is deemed unreachable. In partnership with parents and the wider community, we holistically prepare our children for their futures lives and enable them to develop to the best they can be as unique individuals, encouraging bright futures for all.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Within Potters Green School’s EYFS, teachers plan a rich and varied curriculum that meets the needs and interests of the children within their current cohorts. We value all areas of learning and development equally and understand they are inter-connected.
We recognise that children learn and develop in different ways and at different rates. Learning, development, and unique moments are recorded in each child’s learning journals which are sent home regularly. Evidence of planning for children’s next stages of learning, based on staff assessment and a secure knowledge of the key characteristics of learning and children’s development is documented in each child’s learning journey. Opportunities for learning are provided across the seven areas of learning. In Reception, learning is accessed through whole class, small group and child initiated time. In Nursery learning is accessed through key group time and child initiated time. Partnership between teachers and parents/carers is essential, so that our children feel secure at school and develop a sense of well-being and achievement.
What is SMSC?
SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must show how well they support children's SMSC development.
What does each aspect of SMSC include?
The opportunity to explore beliefs, experiences and faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity and reflect on experiences.
The opportunity to learn what is right and wrong and respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.
The opportunity to use a range of social skills to participate in the local community and beyond; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict.
The opportunity to explore and appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept and celebrate diversity.
What are fundamental British Values?
In 2014, the Department for Education (DfE) instructed all schools to promote 'British values' and advised that this is done through SMSC.
Ofsted who require schools to promote 'British values' at every level including through their SMSC development, the curriculum and school leadership.
The fundamental British values are:
How does SMSC promote fundamental British values (FBV)?
As a school we have embedded SMSC in all aspects of school life, from individual lessons to extra-curricular activities and assemblies. The school uses Cornerstones as a vehicle for its curriculum delivery for a variety of foundation subjects. Cornerstones put SMSC at the heart of its curriculum by basing it's pedagogy, The Four Cornerstones, on the aspects of SMSC. As a school we are able to evidence SMSC in our teaching and learning.
How is Reading taught at Potters Green?
All teachers are required to ensure that they provide a rich reading environment, enabling the children access to a variety of texts. This includes the teacher using high quality texts within their teaching across the curriculum. Reading is taught systematically across the school. All classrooms have a current, good quality class library and ‘reading corner’ to enhance our reading environment.
Reading in EYFS
In the Foundation Stage, English development involves the encouragement of children to link sounds and letters to begin to read. We develop their recognition of familiar words through stories, poems and a range of other texts in our teaching. We use the Letters and Sounds materials along with other tailored resources daily to develop early reading skills and confidence, all set within a broad and rich language curriculum. Children initially take home key words and when ready a book from our Reading Scheme which comprises Oxford Reading Tree, Project x and Big Cat to share at home. Children are heard to read and read to by teachers and other adults throughout the school day.
Reading in KS1
In Key Stage 1, we further develop the children’s interest and pleasure in reading within a context where children are taught to read confidently and independently. Children are immersed in a rich reading environment, exploring a wide range of quality texts to support both word recognition, comprehension and vocabulary development. Throughout Key Stage 1 and into lower Key Stage 2 (if necessary) we teach a programme of systematic synthetic phonics, in discrete daily sessions. We use a multi-sensory approach in order to secure knowledge, understanding and skills. Our teaching is based around the Letters and Sounds programme along with supplementary materials from other sources as required. The Oxford Reading Tree Scheme is our core reading scheme, supplemented by a further range of quality texts which build upon Floppy’s Phonics, Letters and Sounds and supports a systematic approach to developing skills. Children are heard to read and read to by teachers and other adults throughout the week. As part of home learning, children take their reading books home daily and are encouraged to share with adults outside of school. Weekly guided reading sessions develop language comprehension skills as the children move through the Key Stage.
Reading in Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2, we continue to encourage children to read enthusiastically from a range of materials and to use their knowledge of words, sentences and texts to understand and respond to meaning. We endeavour to promote a real love of reading for older children through offering good quality, up-to-date, age and gender appropriate literature through our free readers. As children move through the Key Stage, language comprehension skills are developed and deepened through shared and whole class guided reading and in reading across the curriculum. We teach a range of reading comprehension strategies to help our children go beyond literal interpretation and recall, to explore the complex meanings of a text using inference and deduction. In whole class guided reading sessions, we explicitly teach strategies for reading comprehension, for example vocabulary development and vocabulary instruction. Learning about words, plays an important role in understanding what has been read. Children are encouraged to interact with the text through thoughtful discussion, role-play and drama. As part of home learning, children take their reading books home daily and are encouraged to read outside at every opportunity.
Potters Green has a well-stocked and inviting Library where children are able to go and spend time enjoying the books, magazines and newspapers available. Each class has a time slot where children are encouraged to change their reading book weekly.