Primary Curriculum Overview as per Year Group
The aims and principles for our curriculum, is for it to be knowledge rich with a mastery focus. We embed memory and recall throughout the subject journeys and create lessons that are creative and engaging. We have personalised our curriculum so that it builds our pupils knowledge and provides opportunities for experiences that will enrich our pupils lives and build towards their success in the future.
In English we teach our pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate effectively with others in different circumstances.
At DSLV, we love to read. Through their dedicated daily reading lesson, all children develop the skills to become fluent, confident readers:
EYFS / KS1: The phonics lesson develops the key skills associated with decoding texts using the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme.
KS2 (and Y2 spring term onwards): Children continue to refine their decoding skills and develop their comprehension skills too by studying a range of challenging texts across fiction, non-fiction and poetry, which appeal to their interests and broaden their general knowledge.
As well as this, we provide opportunities for children to read across the different areas of the curriculum.
Every child has a reading book, appropriate to their level, selected from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme; this is changed weekly if it has been read competently. We value the part families play in promoting and developing reading and ask that adults take an active role by listening to their child read frequently.
There is nothing more enjoyable than reading a book and escaping to another world. Children look forward to their daily Class Reader session, where teachers read aloud a text selected by the group. Both our KS1 and KS2 libraries are open daily for the children to visit. We have a wide range of books to choose from and the junior librarians are always on hand to help make a selection, or to share a story. Recognising World Book Day is just one way we celebrate reading. We also have reading buddies where children read alongside children from another year group including from the secondary phase.
Our daily writing lessons follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Using a model text as a stimulus, the children plan, revise and evaluate their own writing for a range of audiences and purposes. Children also develop their grammar skills within these sessions (in upper KS2, children have an additional daily grammar lesson).
We believe that quality texts come in many forms and so use picture books and films to inspire our writing too, for example, creating diary entries, letters in role and character descriptions. Also, we look at a variety of poetic structures before having a go at creating our own poems.
Additional time is dedicated to the teaching of spelling and handwriting. All pupils learn to spell by studying spelling patterns and rules, learning letter families and are quizzed weekly on the spellings sent home to learn. We use ‘Letter-join’ throughout the primary phase to teach the cursive style of handwriting so that the children are able to consistently demonstrate fluent, legible and swift handwriting.
At DSLV we are passionate about supporting our pupils to have a CanDo attitude to their maths learning. We focus on teaching for understanding by using practical resources and iconic representations that enable pupils to develop a secure and deep understanding of the concepts being taught. We aim on ensuring learners believe they can succeed by adopting a growth mindset of ‘yet’ and knowing that making mistakes is an essential part of learning. . Mathematics can be difficult at times but success can be achieved through hard work and high-quality teaching.
At DSLV we teach maths through two separate daily lessons:
- A maths meeting which focuses on Arithmetic Proficiency. This daily lesson develops an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately. It is a time to practise and consolidate addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
- Pupils then receive a core maths lesson every day using our CanDoMaths resource. This resource supports pupils by deepening and securing their understanding of maths. It is structured specifically to build children’s confidence with a Do it, Twist it, Solve it approach. This allows them to learn a new mathematical concept, to practise it independently, to see the concept presented in a different way and then secure their new knowledge by solving a mastery problem.
Throughout the primary phase we use a range of manipulatives to introduce and develop concepts. Further development is based on learning models which promote a process of stages in learning maths – practical, pictorial and finally symbolic (abstract). It is understood that any ability child in any age group may need concrete materials to bridge any gaps in their understanding. This approach enables all our pupils to achieve in each and every maths lesson.
Pupils are enabled to thrive and feed their fascination through a knowledge-rich science experience which is delivered through practical investigation and wider school opportunities. We nurture the curiosity and passion for scientific enquiry to provide a better understanding of the world and the skills to make a positive contribution to the local community and wider world.
Our curriculum is built around 10 big ideas: Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth and the Universe, Organisms (mind and behaviour), Interdependence and Variation.
The music curriculum is delivered using Charanga Musical School. Each unit comprises of the following strands of musical learning: Listening and appraising, musical activities, warm-up games, singing, playing instruments, improvisation, composition and performing. Additional singing opportunities are timetabled into our week enabling children to experience and develop their knowledge of music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians.
Our Personal Development curriculum supports pupils beyond the traditional academic subjects. It is an opportunity to consider character development such as resilience, responsibility, respect and independence in line with our school values of ‘Be proud, Be confident, Be successful’. We promote the British Values and encourage children to be understanding of the differences between people so that they can ultimately grow into responsible citizens in the future, including giving them insight into a wide variety of potential career avenues they might wish to take. We are committed to teaching our children how to be safe and healthy, as well as managing their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.
We cover all aspects of Relationships, Sex and Health Education in an age-appropriate way using Jigsaw. This is communicated to parents annually so they have full awareness of the content of these lessons which take place in the Summer term.
Our pupils’ computing subject journey offers a structured sequence of lessons, through our Purple Mash computing resource, which ensures that pupils gain the knowledge and skills they require to meet the aims of the National Curriculum and to equip them with the key skills of computer science. The content is taught weekly and allows for a broad and cross curricular mastery understanding of computing and how it links to the lives of our pupils.
History and Geography
The History and Geography curriculum has been carefully selected to supply our pupils with high quality topics, which are knowledge-rich and develop our pupils understanding of the world past and present year on year, right through to their KS3 learning. In Geography, we focus on change and sustainability – how the world has become what it is and how to care for it for our future. In History, we focus on change and continuity as well as perspective and power, investigating cause and consequences on social, cultural and political systems.
Art and Design & Technology
Our aim in Art is to ensure all pupils produce creative, imaginative work. They will explore their own ideas and record their experiences, as well as exploring the work of others and evaluating different creative ideas. Our curriculum enables pupils to develop confidence and proficiency in a variety of techniques including drawing, painting, sculpting, as well as other selected craft skills, e.g. collage, printing, weaving and patterns. In addition, our pupils develop their knowledge of famous artists, designers and craft makers.
Design and technology extend pupils’ creative thinking in a more logical way, combining science and mathematical skills, by exploring the design and make process. The children use their knowledge and understanding of known products and apply this in their own way.
Our Religious Education (RE) curriculum provides pupils at DSLV with a broad and balanced understanding of the main faiths around the world. In KS1, pupils begin to develop knowledge of celebrations and rituals before we offer them a wider range of learning opportunities about the world’s religions including deeper knowledge and understanding of the origin of those religions and their key stories and teachings in Key Stage 2.
Throughout both key stages, emphasis on SMSC, personal growth and community cohesion are featured (as part of our Personal Development curriculum) and are there to ensure opportunities for our pupils to develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect on and relate their learning in RE to their own experiences.
Across their primary years, the children’s learning within RE will be enriched through visits to places of worship and through the engagement with visitors into school.
Our French curriculum inspires and excites pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes as we develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign language. They follow a dynamic programme which includes the 4 key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. We also recognise the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, to develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them and to develop a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences.
We provide a PE curriculum from Nursery to Year 6 that promotes enjoyment but also allows our pupils to experience a range of activities that help them to develop their health, fitness and wellbeing. We offer a high-quality physical education curriculum that inspires all pupils to succeed in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. It provides opportunities for pupils to become more confident in a way which supports their health and fitness and helps them to embed values such as fairness and respect.
Every child throughout our school has 2 hours of taught PE curriculum and we use the My PE Passport to provide us with a structured curriculum. During lessons, we encourage pupils physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively by providing them with a variety of opportunities across a series of lessons.
PE is a vital part of the curriculum and promotes a healthy lifestyle for all of our pupils encouraging them to be alert and active. In Year 4 and 5 our pupils participate in swimming, which is a compulsory part of the PE curriculum, to support the development of this important life skill.
Early Years Foundation Stage- EYFS
The EYFS is made up of seven areas of Learning and Development all with a strong emphasis on learning through play. All areas are interconnected to characteristics of effective learning which are:
- Playing and Exploring
- Active Learning
- Creating and thinking critically
All areas of learning within the Development Matters document are underpinned by guiding themes and their principles:
The unique child:
- Positive Relationships
- Enabling environments
- Learning and Development
Prime Areas (these work together to support development in all other areas)
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development
- Communication and Language
- Physical Development
Specific Areas (essential skills and knowledge)
- Understanding of the World
- Expressive Arts and Design