Potters Green School’s Curriculum
Curriculum Intent Statement for Potters Green School
At Potters Green School the curriculum is designed to nurture the bright futures of our pupils by giving them a love of learning, broadening their life experiences and enabling them to develop key skills for future success. We believe at Potters Green that the school is a constant figure in a changing world for its pupils. The curriculum offered is a broad and balanced curriculum which ‘hooks’ children into their learning which makes it fun. Within our curriculum we are proactive in working with our young people on issues which may be challenging for them within the local area and upskill them to make good choices for themselves and have high aspirations for their future. Potters Green believes that children are entitled to access a range of activities and experiences tailored to meet the needs of our unique school community with the expectation that this will support everyone in becoming educated, responsible, respectful and resilient citizens of Coventry. At Potters we are also committed to developing the learning outside of the classroom and tailoring the offer that is provided for specific needs. The curriculum fosters resilience and motivates and rewards children for good learning behaviours.
How is the curriculum organised at Potter Green School?
The school curriculum is designed to implement all National Curriculum requirements, so in every class, children are taught the core subjects: English, Maths, Science and the foundation subjects: History, Geography, Music, Art and Design, PE, Languages, Design and Technology and Computing and R.E.
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.
The school uses a combination of resources to deliver the National curriculum subjects and themes.
The school follows the Mastery approach to maths teaching through adopting White Rose Maths. The Schemes of Learning in White Rose outline yearly frameworks that break down what children need to learn during each week of each term to master the learning objectives laid out by the National Curriculum. The resources are enjoyable, engaging and varied, to help pupils develop a love of learning and work towards mastery with differentiated resources. By adopting the maths mastery approach, children are helped to achieve excellence in mathematics. Pupils are encouraged to develop a ‘can-do’ attitude and children are taught to enjoy working with numbers. Adopting a White Rose Maths approach is about building a deep understanding of topics, helping children to become confident mathematicians who embrace mathematical challenges with a smile.
The Schemes of Learning in White Rose make sure topics are introduced to children in a logical order and revisited throughout the year to encourage deep learning and ensure children have the foundational knowledge they need before moving on to more advanced maths concepts and tackling more challenging maths problems.
English, Phonics, Guided Reading and Handwriting are taught as discrete subjects as they build up basic skills. Phonics is taught by following Letters and Sounds and by using the Jolly Phonics Actions (actions which are linked to the sounds). Children in Reception and Year 1 take home a reading book linked to their phonics. For handwriting In Reception children, when ready, are taught the pre-cursive style of handwriting. In year 1 children are taught the continuous cursive style with the aim being that the children are joining up confidently by the end of the year. 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, mainly through the Oxford Reading Owl and project x books. There are also reading books for Reception to take home which links with the phonics that they are doing within the class. All classrooms have a current, good quality class library and ‘reading corner’ to enhance our reading environment. The school recently purchased ‘Bug Club’ which is an online reading scheme and resource so that children are able to access more quality books when at home. Spelling is taught discretely from Y2-6 through Read Write Inc Spelling. In writing the school is following the Jane Considine approach as outlined in 'The Write Stuff'. This enables children to understand the mechanics of writing through sentence stacking. Children are encouraged to develop a wide range of vocabulary with high level modelling of effective writing by the teacher to support them in developing their own.
Science is taught as a discrete subject through six topics across the school year which link directly to the National Curriculum. Each topic allows for additional enrichment opportunities that includes trips, visitors and learning outside of the classroom. There is a heavy focus on investigation within each year group with a strong emphasis on developing children’s scientific vocabulary in order to make predictions and draw conclusions from results. The curriculum is designed with many cross-curricular links to the wider curriculum, in particular to reading and maths. Children are also given opportunities to research great British scientist and inventors.
The teaching of History, Geography, Art and Design and Technology is taught as a theme. At different times in the year one of these subjects takes a more dominant indepth study. One of the ways the school delivers this is through the Cornerstones Curriculum. The theme is delivered through KRPs (Knowledge Rich Projects) and companion projects which provided a rich menu of exciting and motiving learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
At Potters Green we believe that the learning of a modern foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others. At Potters Green Key stage 2 children are taught French using the, ‘La Jolie Ronde’ scheme of work, which immerses children into a fun and positive approach to learning a language.
At Potters Green school we teach music discreetly using Charanga. This ensures that all children from years 1-6 are given the knowledge, skills and experiences to develop as a musician through weekly lessons. Each half term a new music theme is introduced and the children develop their ability to listen, appraise, sing, improvise, compose and perform music. At the centre of all of the learning are the Interrelated Dimensions of Music: pulse, rhythm, pitch, tempo, dynamics, timbre, texture, structure and notation. Children understand musical concepts through a repetition-based approach to learning. Learning about the same musical concept through different musical activities enables a more secure, deeper learning and mastery of musical skills. Through weekly song practice assemblies, children also develop their singing skills further.
At Potters Green School, Computing is taught discretely using Purple Mash. By using this scheme, it ensures children are given the correct knowledge and skills to become competent digital citizens for the future. Computing is taught through weekly lessons, which ensure a progression of skills across the school and within year groups. Throughout the scheme, each unit focuses on a theme, which is built on in the following year group. At the start of year 1, children are given an introduction to Purple Mash, which introduces them to the basics of how to log in, keeping passwords safe and creating an avatar. In addition to the use of Purple Mash for discrete computing lessons, children also use the computing equipment across the wider curriculum to develop their skills further.
RE is taught in line with the Coventry and Warwickshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. Each week, the children are taught one R.E lesson from the syllabus, which is based around a key question. Within each of the units, a number of questions are investigated to allow for an in depth understanding of the religion being studied. Throughout the year, a number of units are taught in each year group. These units allow the children to investigate and learn about different religions and spiritual ways of life. The RE curriculum is fundamental to creating an inclusive community based on mutual respect and understanding.
RSHE (Relationship, Health, Sex and Economic Education) is taught in line with the DfE guidance for teaching relationship and health education in Primary Schools. This guidance is met through following the government approved scheme of work from the PSHE Association which breaks down RSHE learning in each year group into 3 core topics; Health and Well-Being, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. The school focuses on one topic per term which is broken down into smaller units of learning. Each learning focus promotes opportunity for the children to question, research and advise others, and is supported by those members of the community who are able to offer ‘lived’ experiences. Children are encourages to investigate issues on a local, national and global scales and discuss the impact on themselves, their family and other members of the population.
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.
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.