Curriculum Design & Pedagogy
Learning at Milton Road
At Milton Road Primary School, we offer all pupils a rich, broad and balanced curriculum that not only meets the requirements of the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, as well as the Cambridgeshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, but which also engages and enthuses all learners and makes learning irresistible.
The National Curriculum sets out the skills, knowledge, understanding and expected levels of achievement to be acquired in each subject at Key Stage 1 (Years 1–2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3–6). The core subjects are: English (reading and writing), Maths, and Science.
Beneath the summary statements relating to the different curriculum areas, presented below, are links to the school curriculum for each of our Year groups. The information shows how we organise and deliver the curriculum across the school, as well as providing some of the pedagogy and research behind these arrangements. These documents are revised as the year progresses and the curriculum developed and adapted.
You can also find links to the revised National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which form the basis of our planning.
Reading allows children to both acquire knowledge and to build on that they already know. As children develop their skills they are able to read both for pleasure and for information. Children are supported in developing their reading skills through the explicit teaching of phonics.
Daily phonics sessions are conducted in Key Stage 1. We make use of the 'Letters and Sounds' phonics programme to support planning and delivery. Children in Y1 take part in the Phonics screening check, during the summer term. Children who require further support will undertake the screening check, again, in Y2. Children are supported in developing their reading skills through the use of phonics-based books, including the Oxford Reading Tree reading scheme. These books are differentiated so that they effectively support children's progression and acquisition of reading skills.
Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting.
We seek to provide a range of exciting and engaging opportunities for children to develop their writing skills. This involves writing across the curriculum, so that children become effective written communicators.
We aim to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; can reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems. Mathematics is broken down into seven strands: counting and understanding numbers; knowing and using number facts; calculating; understanding shape; measuring; handling data; using and applying mathematics.
We believe that the acquisition of mental maths strategies, problem solving and discussion are central to learning and teaching in mathematics. Opportunities for the use and development of mathematical skills are continually explored in all subject areas and may include the outdoor environment.
We believe that high-quality science education provides the foundations for children for understanding the world around them. Children should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.
Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, children should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. We seek to encourage them to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.
The approach to learning in History is one of investigation and enquiry, using artefacts, photographs, paintings, DVDs, music, ICT, visits and the experiences of different people. Children begin by learning about themselves, their families and the history of their locality. As they get older, they learn to use historical documents and to recognise and interpret historical evidence.
History is taught largely through topics. In addition to British history, children study Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Ancient China. A number of the history topics also involve educational visits to local museums and other relevant places of historic interest. We aim to make history both thought provoking and fascinating.
Geography is largely taught through topic work and links are made with other areas of the curriculum.
Children explore the natural world and the way humans live in it, affect it and change it. Emphasis is placed upon the development of geographical skills, such as the use of geographical language, the study of maps and plans, and investigation and observation in field study work. Children learn where geographical features are located and how to find them on maps, how and why these features change over time, how to care for the environment and how it is affected by natural and human forces.
Children are given opportunities both to compose music and to perform it. We aim to develop and extend the children’s musical experiences, so they become attentive, discriminating listeners and enthusiastic music makers. Where possible, listening to, composing and performing music is closely linked to class topic work.
A wide variety of musical activities and resources are provided, including the use of ICT music programmes, electronic keyboards and a range of percussion instruments which involve children individually, in groups, as a whole class and as a school. Pupils throughout the whole school take part in the preparation and performance of a dramatic/musical production on at least one occasion in the year.
Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed.
We support children in gaining an understanding of computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Children are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Building on this knowledge and understanding, children are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. We believe that computational thinking provides insights into many areas of the curriculum, and influences work in a wide range of disciplines.
Design and Technology
At Milton Road Primary School, children explore a range of techniques, as part of design and technology, including learning how to use tools safely and effectively. They investigate the use to which a variety of materials and products (including fabrics and food) can be put. They use this knowledge and understanding to design, make and evaluate their own products, including the preparation of a variety of cooked foods.
A voluntary contribution of £5.00 per child is requested each term to help cover the cost of materials used during the course of the year. We particularly welcome parent helpers in this curriculum area.
Art and Design
Children experience and explore a variety of forms of art, craft and design, using a range of materials and processes, such as painting, collage, print making, digital media, textiles and sculpture. Alongside the acquisition of technical skills, creativity and free expression are promoted and celebrated through the use of displays around the school.
Children are encouraged to value and develop a critical response to their own work and that of others, including modern day artists as well as those from different periods and cultures. In addition to books and prints, access to these works of art is gained by visiting museums, art galleries and internet websites.
The skills of gymnastics, games and dance are taught and progressively developed throughout the whole school. At Key Stage 2, swimming, athletics and adventurous outdoor activities are also included.
All children are encouraged to evaluate and improve their own performance, to understand the importance of keeping fit and to take responsibility for working within the limits of safety. As well as promoting fitness, PE is important for the development of children’s self-discipline and social skills.
Children also have the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular sports clubs, enabling them to develop skills and try out new activities. We are always pleased to hear from parents who have coaching skills and can help with training.
Religious Education is the study of the principal religions represented in the UK – primarily: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism.
RE explores the themes of religious people, places, writings, worship, festivals, as well as the concepts of self and community. We seek neither to impose religious beliefs on children, nor to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs. RE aims to develop in children an understanding of the influence of beliefs, values and traditions on individuals, communities and cultures. We seek to foster tolerance, empathy and sensitivity towards the beliefs and traditions of others. Any parent considering withdrawing their child from all or part of RE and assemblies should discuss this with the Headteacher.
Children will be given the opportunity to study a modern, foreign language and develop their interest in the culture of other nations.
The children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 develop their understanding of different languages through song, rhymes and stories. Year 4 learn French through storytelling, continuing to concentrate on developing oral fluency and intercultural understanding. Years 5 and 6 learn French in preparation for their transition to secondary school. They concentrate on speaking and literacy skills, as well as developing awareness of France and other French speaking countries.