CURRICULUM

At Estcots we offer a rich engaging curriculum which provides our children with an exciting learning journey where they will encounter experiences that will develop their thirst for learning.

Children at Estcots follow a broad and varied curriculum which places the key life skills of Literacy and Maths at its very heart.

Each phase uses engaging themes and topics with rich good quality books to deliver a truly irresistible curriculum. All planning is topic based and is designed to be as engaging as possible for all learners. Each topic is enhanced by stunning starts and fabulous finishes with exciting experiences on route to drive the learning and engagement forward. We provide the children with connected learning opportunities which are enriched with specialist music, French, and Physical Education teaching.

ENGLISH

Children at Estcots learn English daily, they are taught through a combination of lessons including Phonics, Guided Reading, Writing, Spelling and Grammar. Children are ‘hooked’ into termly topic through the use of quality core texts.

At Estcots we believe phonics is crucial in children learning to read and write. We teach phonics in both discrete lessons and throughout the whole curriculum. We use a scheme called Read Write Inc to support the teaching of phonics. The children are taught the letter sounds, letter names and tricky words in a multi sensory way.

Reading is a strong focus throughout the whole school. Alongside teaching children to read, we believe reading for comprehension is of equal importance. We use a variety of strategies to teach reading, which include encouraging the children to use picture clues, phonics, and contextual clues. A rich variety of books are available throughout the school, for example, picture books, big books, storybooks, reading scheme books, shared reading books, poetry and non-fiction books. The children also visit the library regularly where they can take out a range of books.

We believe parental involvement is crucial in developing children’s reading. We involve parents closely in the school’s reading programme, beginning with the taking home of books for adults to read with their child. The school’s Home Reading Scheme is operated to give children a shared experience of reading with adults at home and to promote a love of, and respect for, books.

Home/School Reading

Each child will have a home/school reading record book for parents to record the books they have read at home with their child. The staff will read these regularly and respond to any comments written in them. Children who read regularly at home are entered into a fortnightly prize draw with the chance to win an exciting new book.

At Estcots Primary School we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

Each year parents will be invited into school at the start of Early Years to learn about the RWI programme.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences

MATHEMATICS

Purpose of Study – National Curriculum 2014

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems.

It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

Aims

The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Delivery of Maths at Estcots

All pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2 receive 4 x 1 hour maths session per week in line with the new National Curriculum expectations for maths (See Medium Term Planning below) and an additional 3 x ½ hr ‘Big Maths’ sessions.

Big Maths

After very successful results in Years 2-4 last year, from Autumn 2014, we are developing the teaching of ‘Big Maths’ throughout the whole school. These 30 minute sessions, 3 times a week provide an accurate and simple, but highly effective, framework for numeracy progress.

This framework is known as CLIC (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New and Calculation) and is characterised by accurate steps of progression (known as Progress Drives) that make new learning easy and obvious to children.

Big Maths provides a rigorous, systematic and structured approach to develop and improve pupils’ mathematical understanding and mental maths recall.

 

CLIC resources provide progression at a glance as well as progression in detail. This empowers all adults in our school to easily and accurately intervene and plug gaps where necessary, and to prevent future gaps from developing as all children make their way through the system with the necessary pre-requisite skills to meet new learning with further success and confidence.

Big Maths is not just high on systemisation, it is also high on empathy. It provides children with a fun and lively experience as they learn with jingles, songs, games and the Big Maths Characters.

Numicon

In this school we use Numicon to raise achievement across all ability levels.

With problem-solving, reasoning and conversation at its heart, Numicon perfectly embodies the aims of the Primary National Curriculum 2014 for mathematics:

  • Develops fluency by using a visual, practical base to develop conceptual understanding and fluent recall.
  • Helps children to reason mathematically through the use of concrete objects and spoken language to explain and justify.
  • Develops children into confident problem-solvers.

All classes in the school are well resourced with Numicon packs for every child, along with a wealth of support materials to develop and extend our learners. Termly and weekly planning includes opportunities for pupils to select and use the resources to support their learning.

Our Medium Term Planning Document

The purpose of our planning document is to map out the mathematics medium term plan for the academic year.

There are 36 mapped weeks for the delivery of the year groups’ objectives and curriculum coverage. It is important that the order of the units is maintained in sequence as concepts build upon each other week by week. However, there are 2 flexible weeks (as we have 38 weeks in the academic year) that can be used for extension or reinforcement of learning at any given point. It is designed to support the 2014 National Curriculum for Mathematics at Key Stages 1 and 2.

SCIENCE

Estcots strives to provide a high quality science education for all of its pupils. We believe that it is crucial that all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, concepts, processes and uses of science.

We aim to achieve this by Science at Estcot’s Primary School being taught with a strong focus on working scientifically and enabling children to be involved in investigative, hands on Science.

By answering scientific questions about the world around them children are best equipped to develop their understanding of the different processes and methods of science. It is felt that experiencing different types of scientific enquiry is the most productive way for children to develop a feeling of excitement and curiosity towards science.

Also if working scientifically is embedded in to all aspects of science children are more likely to experience a broader range of approaches to answering scientific questions.

Within Key Stage 1 we encourage children to have a curiosity about the world around them and ask questions about it. They develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry to answer questions. They use simple scientific language to discuss what they have found out and communicate these findings in a variety of ways.

Children in Lower Key Stage 2 progress on to broadening their scientific view of the world around them. They beginning to ask their own questions and make some of their own decisions about which scientific enquiry are the best ways to answer them.

In Upper Key Stage 2 children begin to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of scientific ideas. This is achieved through exploring and talking about their own ideas and analysing their findings more systematically. Children in Key Stage 2 will be presented with more abstract ideas and begin to see how these help to explain how the world operates. They will also discover how scientific ideas change over time. When looking at scientific questions they select the most appropriate way to answer them using different types of scientific enquiry. They then go onto draw conclusions based upon their data.

We use the Kent programme of study, which is based around the New National Curriculum and encourages lot of hands on learning. This means the children are engaged with and enjoying their learning. Through our programme of study the children are able to develop a secure understanding of each block of knowledge and concepts whilst still progressing. An overview of which unit is covered in each year group and when can also be found below. Working Scientifically is taught within each block.

ICT is used to enhance the learning within Science where appropriate and links are made between English and Maths; particularly collecting, presenting and analysing data. Where possible, science is taught in line with the wider school curriculum to maximise pupil’s engagement and motivation. Children have opportunities to build up their specialist scientific vocabulary using it accurately and precisely. They also investigate how science is applied in real life situations and the implications that has for today and the future.

Our learning takes part in various learning environments; the classroom, outside learning spaces, trips and through links with Sackville Secondary School and their observatory. We also run an after school club that promotes working scientifically and gives the children a chance to earn the CREST Star Award.

It is hoped that through this method of teaching we will produce young scientists who will have the skills to continue to change our lives through the advancing world of science. As well as play a vital role in the world’s future prosperity.

British Science Association
BRITISH SCIENCE ASSOCIATION

COMPUTING

At Estcots, the teaching of computing centres around developing learners who: create, communicate and are responsible citizens in the digital world. Pupils will learn how to create programmes using algorithms and coding, as well as problem solving and evaluating the use of technology. They will be confident when communicating through technology, understanding the importance of being safe whilst online. The teaching and practise of computer skills are applied throughout all areas of the curriculum to enhance and support learning.

FOREST SCHOOL

Forest school is an opportunity for children to experience nature and the outdoor environment in a safe, secure and hands on way.

At Estcots Forest School, we aim to provide our learners with an education that encourages an appreciation of the natural world and where they will be able to play, learn and develop through games, activities and exploration.

Some examples of Forest School activities include:

  • Shelter building
  • Nature art
  • Wild food and foraging
  • Wood craft (spinners, jewellery, animal toys etc.)
  • Fire making
  • Knots
  • Rope swings and bridges

 

Forest School

At Estcots Forest School we aim to encourage learners who feel:

  • I enjoy Forest School and being outside.
  • I like trying out new activities and discovering new things.
  • I like trying out my own ideas and don’t mind if it doesn’t turn out as I imagined.
  • I feel good about myself.
  • I enjoy working with others.
  • I can work well by myself.
  • I am good at using tools safely and effectively.
  • I have learnt lots about the nature around me and want to do my part to look after it.
  • I can make decisions for myself and I feel confident about the choices I make.
  • I know when it is safe to take a risk.
  • I have lots of questions and want to explore and find out about things!

In this way, our Forest School aims to bring a holistic approach to learning, developing our learner’s:

  • Intellect
  • Problem solving skills
  • Emotions
  • Intuition
  • Imagination and creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Practical skills and practicality
  • Social skills
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Physical development.

SUMMARY

Our curriculum is enhanced by all our wonderful volunteers who generously give up their time to support our pupils in reading, maths and other exciting projects.We all work hard to provide the very best opportunities to ensure that the children continue to learn and grow throughout their lives.

Estcots Primary SchoolCurriculum