Ladysmith Junior School Curriculum Statement
At Ladysmith Junior School, our aim is to provide our pupils with a thoughtfully designed, engaging and motivating curriculum. We provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum with stimulating and enriching experiences allowing children to immerse themselves fully in a topic and recognise the importance and the impact on learning that all subjects offer our pupils.
Our curriculum is fully inclusive and designed to recognise that children learn in different ways; they need to absorb information, construct meaning and transfer it to memory. We provide opportunities and experiences where they can develop a range of multiple intelligences (linguistic, mathematical, visual, kinaesthetic, music, interpersonal).
Through our curriculum, our children not only develop a thirst for knowledge but are also able to be creative and acquire relevant skills which can be transferred across a range of subjects. We also believe that our learners should have the opportunity to develop their own confidence, self-esteem and aspirations through the curriculum.
Our maths curriculum is based on Power Maths. Power Maths is a whole-class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and help children develop confidence in maths. Teaching sequences are based on small steps to ensure a good level of coherence and of understanding, application of understanding and transference of skills to a range of mathematic problems. Power Maths is perfectly aligned to the White Rose Maths progressions and schemes of learning. It has been written specifically for our classrooms by leading Maths mastery experts, and is recommended by the DfE.
Our English writing curriculum is based around the use of high quality texts which are used to expose the children to a wealth of new vocabulary and teach the children a range of grammatical features, sentence constructions and punctuation which will allow them to become skilled writers. Where possible, texts are linked to topic learning to provide context for their writing. Units are usually structured following Babcock’s ‘No Nonsense Literacy’ approach. We also ensure pupils have the opportunity to write freely and independently with limited support. Each half term, the children have an opportunity to write their own choice of text in a child-led unit.
Reading VIPERS is our way of supporting children with their reading comprehension skills. VIPERS is an acronym for the six key reading skills children need to master to become successful readers (vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve and summarise). All children will be working on VIPERS during guided reading throughout the week. Children are also given the opportunity to read for pleasure and share books daily to foster a love of reading. We also use the Accelerated Reader Programme to support children in becoming independent readers.
Alongside Maths and English, each year group teaches one topic per full term. These can be viewed on our year group curriculum overviews. The topics are centred on big questions which underpin each area of learning within that topic with the content drawn from our knowledge organisers. These outline key historical concepts, vocabulary and chronology of that period. Our topics combine history and geography subject areas with the former following a chronological approach and following a theme of ‘Life on the Homefront’ for each historical topic. These topics cover the statutory aims outlined in the National Curriculum.
Within each topic, children will learn through a series of blocks. These blocks could be more than one lesson and allow the teacher and children to fully immerse and develop a concept. The outcome from these blocks could be an art, DT or a digital piece demonstrating the knowledge of the children. In order to achieve these outcomes, within each block, children will focus on and develop different skills as well as key topic subject knowledge.
By recognising and valuing both knowledge and skill, we enable more cross curricular approaches throughout the term. This provides our learners with a rich and thorough experience of a topic.
Within each topic block, children will have the opportunity to develop and enhance their understanding and knowledge through reading of key texts and information and identifying and understanding topic based vocabulary. These are reinforced through our English units where texts are carefully selected to ensure opportunities for cross-curricular writing as well as key English skill.
Teachers have a good knowledge of the subjects they teach. They are comprehensively supported by subject coordinators and a wider curriculum coordinator. Detailed subject specific documents ensure that the curriculum is coherently planned throughout the key stage and skills, and knowledge, are built upon sequentially across the year groups.
Each subject has a specific subject coordinator who will monitor and review their individual subjects. Coordinators are afforded release time to do this on a ½ termly basis. As part of their monitoring, they may visit classrooms, hold pupil conferences or discuss aspects of work in their topic. These monitoring visits then inform actions plans which highlight areas for further development. These are regularly reviewed and updated as well as being shared with relevant governors.
Maths and English are monitored through our tracking grids and White Rose RAG grids. Our topic skills and knowledge is monitored through our planning documents which inform end of year attainment assessments.
We use triangulated monitoring throughout the year to gauge the impact of the curriculum delivery and design. Alongside senior leadership, middle leadership and core subject leaders/teams monitor individual subjects by reviewing learning, evaluating pupil voice, highlighting areas of development and providing individual feedback to move practice forward through regular PDMs and INSETs within school and our learning partnership.
Learning is assessed through the analysis of the pupil’s ability to apply relevant skills across the curriculum and evidence of thorough subject knowledge.
We believe all of our children possess unique talents, skills and qualities. Our curriculum aims to foster, develop and enhance the lives of our learners through our school ethos of ambition, adventure and achievement.