At Rawdon St. Peter’s, we believe that pupils should enjoy learning and we therefore prioritise the planning of a creative and stimulating curriculum for all our pupils. Motivated learners make better progress and so learning is supported and enhanced at our school by pupils taking part in a range of school visits and we often have visitors into school to share their experiences and knowledge with the pupils. We recognise that children learn in different ways and so present our curriculum in a variety of styles, including lots of opportunities to take part in practical activities.
Our teaching strategies are flexible and the children are taught as either a whole class, in broad ability groups, in small groups or individually. This approach enables us to match the work to the ability, attainment, interest and experience of each child. Children learn most effectively through first hand experiences. Their interest is stimulated by visits whenever possible to farms, museums, theatres and special displays etc and further enhanced by visitors to school and residential opportunities for our older children. We believe in active learning where pupils are involved in practical activities as much as possible.
The Creative Curriculum
Our curriculum is based around “The Big Question”, for example, “Where did all the dinosaurs go?” and “What will life be like for our children?” Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and to think of ways to answer smaller questions that in turn build up to answer the big question. This approach encourages the natural inquisitiveness and curiosity of children and enables them to ask questions, research ideas and to problem solve; it is designed to encourage and develop independent learning. There are opportunities through our Big Question topics for pupils to develop a range of skills in Science, History, Geography, Art and Design, Design Technology, Religious Education, ICT, PHSE, Music and P.E. as well as in English and Mathematics. The statutory National Curriculum 2014 is covered through our Big Questions.
English and Mathematics
The teaching of basic skills is a priority at Rawdon St. Peter’s. These are often taught explicitly, for example, in specific Maths and English lessons, but opportunities are also provided for pupils to practise those skills across the whole curriculum.
Great emphasis is placed upon English in school as it is the means by which all learning is accessed. The development of language permeates the whole curriculum and is based upon the children’s own language. The teaching of reading is linked to speaking and listening as the words we read are made up of sounds that we hear. There is a structured and successful Big Cat phonic scheme in school which is supported by our school reading scheme. Children are encouraged to read at home and we strongly recommend that parents and carers regularly read to their children as well as hear them read. Children also benefit from their parents/carers discussing and questioning the text they are reading with them, this deepens comprehension skills. Good readers who have been read to regularly develop into confident writers. Opportunities for writing are provided throughout the curriculum and opportunities for early mark making and emergent writing are provided as part of the continuous provision in Early Years and KS1. All pupils take part in Big Writing – a dedicated time when pupils can write fuller, more extended pieces of writing.
A good understanding of mathematics not only enhances learning in maths, science and technology subjects, it is also a fundamental skill relevant to many aspects of everyone's working and social life. At Rawdon St. Peter’s, mathematics is seen as a high profile subject and is taught on a daily basis throughout school. In line with the new National Curriculum 2014, teaching staff focus on developing pupils’ fluency and mastery in maths. Teaching staff also believe that it is important to make maths learning as practical as possible, using resources such as, Numicon and Diennes to consolidate learning.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1 classes, pupils are taught maths by their class teacher. In Key Stage 2, pupils are taught in similar maths ability groups. Furthermore, Rawdon St. Peter’s continues to fund an additional maths teacher in Year 5 and 6 classes in order to reduce the teaching group size and increase the amount of dedicated teacher time for pupils. This has resulted in a year-on-year rise in pupil attainment since its commencement.
To further promote opportunities for maths, teaching staff at Rawdon St. Peter’s combine opportunities for learning in maths in cross-curricular ways, for example, through incorporating maths and logical problem-solving in specialist weeks, such as science week and through Active Learning Games including Tagiv8, where maths challenges are solved alongside the physical game of Tag rugby. Staff also liaise with LCC ‘Artforms/ Artemis’’ to loan artefacts and artwork on which to build sequences of maths lessons which provide a real context for learning. There are also many maths foci incorporated into the learning of our “Big Question” topics.
We believe the quick recall of number facts helps all pupils to use maths more efficiently, thus, mental maths skills are also taught daily. Problem solving and investigations make up a significant part of the maths curriculum and enable pupils to use maths in real life situations.
In order to develop the maths confidence levels and skills of our parents/carers so that they can fully support their children at home, teaching staff, hold regular ‘Maths Morning workshops’ in which parents/carers join their child in their child’s maths lesson. Maths Mornings and Maths Evenings have a focus on the learning of calculation methods.
EYFS The Journey to Writing - Powerpoint for downloading