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Our Curriculum Intent

Our Curriculum Intent

Our Curriculum Intent

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Our curriculum ensures learning is effective, exciting and above all, relevant to the needs of our children.

 

All our pupils will leave Parklands with a very good education in both English and mathematics that underpins a growing excellence in the other subjects of the curriculum. Our child-led and knowledge-based curriculum offers the full range of National Curriculum and other recommended subjects from Early Years to the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2). We believe in bringing children’s learning to life, both indoors and outdoors, with the aim of all children being excited by a love of learning that prepares them for their future lives.

While great importance is placed on children learning the core skills of English and mathematics, Parklands Primary School also places great value on developing the ‘whole child’ by providing a rich programme of study across all curriculum areas. This programme is enriched by an exciting range of visits to places of interest and importance, and visits from people of complimentary backgrounds who share their experiences and knowledge in exciting and interesting ways.

The Resource Provision (RP)

 The Resource Provision meets the complex learning needs of 25 children aged 4 to 11, all of whom have their own, personal curriculum and learning plan. These children are divided into 2 groups, each in their own home-room, and teaching is carefully matched to each child’s abilities rather than their age. Thus, learning looks different for each of our children in the Resource provision, as it is planned to meet their own identified needs.

Children who are academically, socially and emotionally able to learn through an academic curriculum are included in mainstream maths and cross-curricular lessons. The wider foundation subjects are taught through planning matched to their ability, that closely follows that taught in the rest of the school. This enables children in the RP to enjoy the same enrichment of the curriculum through visits and visitors that the main school experiences.

For other children in the RP, their curriculum is planned through direct experience and play-based learning across a range of rich and varied sensory experiences within their home-room, the sensory room and our outdoor environment.

All children in the RP enjoy daily outdoor activities, enriched physical education (PE) and weekly swimming lessons. The aim of Parklands Resource Provision is to enable all children to become successful and independent individuals as they grow, through their wide ranging, enriched curriculum.

 

The Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Our high expectations for all children in

Parklands Primary School start in the EYFS, where it is our aim to provide a high-quality curriculum planned to meet the many different needs of our children and the community we serve. We are proud of the fact that we know our children and their families so well, and we use this knowledge to shape our curriculum which gives knowledge and enrichment to our children’s lives. We have high expectations for our children, aiming for them all to learn well and succeed as they grow and move through our school. Thus our curriculum is skilfully planned to meet the needs of all children and to make sure that there are no gaps in their learning and understanding, with planned assessment points throughout each year to ensure that every child is making the expected progress.

Children in the Reception Year will enjoy a very busy curriculum in school. Learning in Reception takes the form of both planned lessons that include English, phonics, mathematics and topic, and investigative learning in the outdoor environment. Both the Reception curriculum and the outdoor learning environment are planned and designed in such a way as to make sure that every child makes good progress, whatever their starting points.

At Parklands Primary School, the English curriculum is provided through ‘Talk for Writing’ (including in Reception) which is a fun and interactive way for children to learn language structures and vocabulary through exploring and understanding stories and then planning and then writing their own stories. The framework of texts is planned across the year, and is supported by the story-spine of books known as the ‘Fab 5 Stories’, which are carefully selected for their content and enrichment that broaden children’s experiences and expand the language opportunities.

In the Early Years, the child is at the heart of the curriculum and subject knowledge is matched to the interests and expected leaning of the children. Curiosity, awe and wonder are inspired through real and rich experiences that engage the full interest of the children. We are committed to giving all children learning through real life-experiences such as seeing and touching live farm animals, observing and drawing the life-cycle of a caterpillar or washing, cutting and eating a wide variety of fruit, many unknown to our children.

Parents and carers are frequently welcomed into our Early Years setting, as we believe that when we all work in partnership together we can provide the best start for a child’s learning journey. We provide many ways for families to join us, including a daily ‘open door’ where parents and carers can help their child with their ‘early bird’ work, ‘stay and play’ sessions each week, half termly ‘book looks’ and many termly events including parent meetings, craft mornings and other learning experiences.

 

Key Stage 1 (KS1)

In KS1, children at Parklands Primary School continue their exciting learning journey through a wide and varied curriculum. Each morning they learn English, including phonics and reading, and mathematics. In the afternoons they enjoy carefully planned topics that provide an interesting and exciting context for learning across the wider curriculum, as well as daily lessons covering the subject requirements for science, RE, PSHE, history and geography. IT, art, DT and music are taught in weekly blocks across each half term. Wherever possible, cross-curricular links are identified to make learning more meaningful. PE is taught in timetabled morning sessions every week, by specialist coaches who are part of the fully trained school staff.

Throughout KS1 there are a range of support sessions in place for children with identified specific needs. These mainly take place through targeted work to address gaps in learning in phonics, English, mathematics, speech and language. These support sessions change across each half term, in response to the needs of the children. Each week, children in Year 1 enjoy the Performing Arts Programme, which is linked to their current learning across the curriculum, and through which they further develop their speaking and listening skills.

Learning across KS1 is fun, interactive and relevant to the experiences of our children at Parklands Primary School, their environment and the wider world. Children are encouraged to be independent learners with enquiring minds and a love of learning in all aspects of their school life. They are supported to be the best that they can be, celebrating their differences, their joy and their cultures through their strengths and interests.

 

Key Stage 2 (KS2)

Across the 4 years of KS2 at Parklands Primary School, we are committed to the importance of helping every child to develop as a whole person, happy and ready to take their next steps in both their education and wider life experiences beyond this school.

Each morning starts with Early Bird Arithmetic, which helps children to develop number skills through daily practise. This is then followed by wider mathematics, guided reading and English – which includes weekly spelling, grammar and handwriting. Children experience the wider curriculum through afternoon lessons in science, art, music, RE, PSHE, IT and Spanish. PE is taught by specialist coaches. In addition, children enjoy deep and meaningful learning of history, geography and DT through topic.

Our aim, across KS2 at Parklands Primary School, is for education to take place within exciting and interesting activities that explore and provide purposeful learning for each year group. This will be through a curriculum that fosters confidence, independence, co-operation and self-esteem so that all children leave our school with a wide range of learning and knowledge, and the self-belief to excel in their later lives.

Carefully planned interventions are provided for children identified as being in need of additional support, but we ensure that their provision does not lead to pupils missing out on the wider curriculum. In Years 4 and 5, all children access a daily ‘mastering number’ programme focussed on improving the recall of times tables.

Children across KS2 further develop their academic, social and cultural skills through our carefully planned enrichment curriculum. This includes learning both within school and through termly school trips and residentials, which include Grassington, Whitby and Peter Gordon Lawrence – where Year 6 pupils celebrate the end of their primary school journey while exploring their limits through outdoor adventure.

 

Subject Specific Curriculum Information.

 

Mathematics:

Early Bird Maths: starts each day from Year 1 upwards. Purpose: reinforce and develop numeracy skills.

White Rose Maths Hub (across KS1 and KS2): Resourced to ensure progression from concrete activity learning into numerical challenge and problem solving. A carefully structured programme that ensures number and skills fluency and leads to the ability to solve complex tasks. WRM is planned through a rigorous programme of small-steps with regular opportunities to revisit and consolidate learning.

Penguin Jump is a weekly session devoted to the improved recall and fluency of times tables across the school.

 

English:

Reading.

Read Write Inc Phonics: Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 experience a daily 30-45-minute lesson which follows the recommended revisit, review, teach, practise, apply structure of lively, fast and fun lessons. Children are assessed each half term and are set into small groups, streamed from Reception to Year 2. This ensures that each group is pitched at every child’s level and possible gaps closed. Any child who has not completed the programme by the end of Key Stage One, will continue to access the Read Write Inc. phonics programme in Lower Key Stage Two. In Upper Key Stage Two, we support children appropriately through the Read Write Inc. Fresh Start programme.

In Early Years and Key Stage One, early reading is taught through the Read Write Inc phonics programme. From Ditty group onwards, every child reads daily to develop their decoding skills, fluency, comprehension and expression. Books are carefully matched to each child’s challenge level, which allows them to put their phonics skills and sound focus into practise straight away. Prior to Ditty groups, children read wordless books to develop their experience of exploring and sharing information about texts. The focus is on communicating and speaking in full sentences when expressing ideas. These books are also sent home to parents to read.

Throughout Key Stage Two at Parklands, the focus of reading instruction shifts from decoding to developing vocabulary and reading depth, which is taught through whole class reading sessions. These daily forty-five-minute sessions incorporate teacher modelling, pupil reading, explanations, and discussions. Our approach emphasises listening, deep thinking, and discussion of a wide range of texts, enhancing both love for reading and vocabulary.

Writing.

Our writing curriculum ensures that children develop both their transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). Across our writing curriculum, a range of purposes for writing are sequenced, so that children make progress in different styles of writing (for example narrative writing, informative writing and persuasive writing.) In Key stage 1 and 2 writing units span a few weeks at a time, focusing on a particular type of writing. This ensures children have time to refine and embed their writing based on feedback and responsive teaching.

In Early Years, children are explicitly taught and practise forming letters through daily phonics lessons. This builds up to CVC words and then ‘Hold a sentence’ writing. This is completed in small groups. In addition to Phonics, writing is also taught through Talk for Writing and Drawing Club. In Talk for Writing, children retell stories which are then drawn and written onto story maps and story mountains adding words, then captions and short sentences when appropriate. Through Drawing Club children are encouraged to draw freely, based upon a text and add meaningful words and sentences where appropriate.

The Early Year’s learning environment is designed in such a way that children are encouraged to apply their skills which have been taught. This might be through the application of phonics and/or Talk for Writing or even building muscle strength in preparation for writing.

Oracy:

Oracy is embedded within our English Curriculum. We recognise that in order to be successful readers and writers, children need to be able to communicate and express themselves through their talk. Effective communication skills can positively impact various forms of learning. As a result, we strive to provide numerous opportunities for our children to thoroughly develop their communication and language skills.

The Early Year’s curriculum is based upon promoting effective communication and many different methods are implemented to promote this. Effective communication is modelled and promoted daily through interactions, modelled sentences and the use of sentence stems. Children are taught to speak in full sentences to express themselves and their ideas.

In addition, children access ‘Drawing Club’ daily which has a focus on introducing, modelling and using ambitious vocabulary. The intervention Talk Boost and Elklan are used for small groups of identified pupils, to develop vocabulary, speech and interactions.  

In Key Stage One, a ‘Suave Word of the Week’ is introduced at the start of the week, this is then used in teaching across the week. Children learn the definition of the word and are encouraged to use it in their work where appropriate. In Year 2, children learn the definition of the word, how to use it and how to spell it.

Children in Reception and Year 1 also have a weekly performing arts lesson with Artis, which centres itself around building oracy, confidence and communication skills. These lessons encourage all children to express themselves clearly and communicate effectively through spoken language, all of which are designed to link to the high quality texts used in our English curriculum.

In KS2, weekly ‘Suave Words’ are learnt and used on a daily basis; Word Ladders are used to explore synonyms of words and an Etymology Pyramids are used to discover the meanings of roots of words and how they change for purpose.

SPAG, (spelling, punctuation and grammar).

The teaching of SPAG + vocabulary is embedded across all reading and writing lessons. In Early Years and Key Stage One, spelling is embedded through the Read Write Inc, phonics programme. From Year 2, pupils follow on from this programme with the Read Write Inc Spelling scheme. Pupils in Key Stage 2 access four RWI spelling lessons per week.

Handwriting: children follow the whole school handwriting programme ‘Letter Join’, working towards a neat, cursive style.

 

Science: 

Children throughout the school follow the school’s curriculum for progression and learning in science. They work as practical scientists, investigating and conducting experiments both indoors and across the extensive school site. There is a natural pond on-site that provides a real-world setting for their observations and discoveries, plus the regular cross-curricular trips and residential visits include opportunities to study rocks, soils and other geographical features and environments.

Participation in British Science Week provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for working as scientists each year.

 

IT / Computing:

The ‘Parklands Programme for Progress in Computing’ is followed throughout the school and technology plays a pivotal part of children’s lives. They leave Parklands Primary School as confident MASTERS of a range of technology.

The school’s comprehensive progression document provides a developmental scaffold to the curriculum and enables tracking of progress.

 

History:

The key concepts of the National Curriculum for history have been mapped out through the school’s history curriculum, to ensure progression through effective teaching and revisiting of key skills and knowledge.

EYFS:  The theme of ‘The World Around Us’ is sub-divided into termly topics to study change within their own lives, the lives of their wider family and the early life of humans.

KS1: ‘British History Beyond Living Memory’ provides termly opportunities to study key events in British history such as The Great Fire of London, and the lives of famous people such as Florence Nightingale and Guy Fawkes.

KS2: Termly topics focus on key periods of history such as the Romans, the Anglo Saxons, the Victorians and World War 2. They enable children to identify change within the period and to contrast life in the past with life today.

 

Geography:

The key concepts of the National Curriculum for geography – with adaptations to reflect the locality of Parkland’s Primary School – have been mapped out through the school’s geography curriculum, to ensure progression through effective teaching and revisiting of key skills and knowledge. Pupils learn appropriate geographical vocabulary and fieldwork skills whilst using a wide range of resources including maps, atlases, globes and compasses. By the time our children leave primary school they have developed a good understanding of the complexity of our world and an appreciation of the diversity of cultures that exist across the continents.

EYFS: Our ‘Understanding of the World’ curriculum guides our children in exploration of our locality, through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places and the environment.

KS1: Children study 3 main aspects: 1) The United Kingdom, its 4 countries, their capital cities and the seas around them. 2) 2 contrasting locations, through studying Leeds as a small area of the United Kingdom and Mumbai, as a small area of India. 3) Children study the geography of the world, naming its 7 continents and 5 oceans, and compare the similarities and difference between hot and gold localities.

KS2: 1) Children expand their learning from the United Kingdom to include Europe and South America. They study the location and characteristics of a range of the world’s most significant human and physical features. 2) Knowledge of the world is extended through study of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and the Lines of Latitude. Children investigate climatic zones of the world, and significant geographical features including earthquakes, volcanoes and The Water Cycle. 3) Understanding of contrasting localities is further developed by comparing Leeds with a region in Europe (Andulasia, Spain) and in South America (Brazil and Caracas).

 

PSHE and Personal Development:

‘The One Decision Programme’ is followed throughout the Reception Year of the school.

The ‘You, Me, PSHE’ Scheme of Work provides the curriculum for KS1 and KS2. Through these 2 very thorough and well-planned progressive programmes, children develop strong personal awareness, including emotions, relationships and their bodies; social awareness including behaviour, respect and making choices; and health education awareness, including hygiene, mental health and body development and awareness. All year groups study the most sensitive and crucial aspects that include anti-bullying, mental health, internet safety, consent and ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe’ (NSPCC).

At Parklands Primary School, we not only focus on academic growth and achievement but also on personal strength of character. They learn through our values of ‘Nurture, Grow, Succeed’. These values are celebrated through both school assemblies and our commitment to both pupil voice and representation on the School Council.

 

RE:

The Leeds’ Syllabus, ‘Believing and Belonging’, provides a broad and balanced programme for RE throughout the school and is addressed through 3 key areas:

  • A study of key beliefs and practices in a range of religions, plus other world views including those represented in Leeds.
  • Opportunity to explore the questions we ask that underpin the key religious concepts.
  • Enables investigation of ways beliefs affect moral decisions and our identities, exploring both diversity and shared human values.

These studies are focused in a progressive, planned programme across the school through:

KS1: Christianity and Islam; non-religious views and other-world views.

KS2: Christianity and Islam; Judaism and Sikhism; non-religious views and other-world views.

 

PE: 

The Parklands Curriculum for PE is planned through a bespoke assessment framework that enables an overall progressive development programme that ensure children develop overall physical literacy from an early age. It ensures that pupils leave primary education able to make informed choices about their personal physical activity both in and outside school.

KS1:  ‘The Four Core Skills Strategy’ leads to a high level of engagement for all and provides an overall focus on movement, balance, control and co-ordination, and includes the understanding of physical language.

KS2:  Termly formative assessments inform the progression and adaptation of each following term’s learning. This ensures pupils experience a much greater exploration of physical activities – both competitive and non-competitive. They learn about fairness, rules and safety as well as personal development.

 

Art:

The ‘All Leeds Art We!’ programme informs and develops our Parklands Primary Curriculum for Art and includes celebration and study of the work of local artists and works of importance in Leeds. The curriculum includes the study of the history of art, including famous artists and the importance of their work today.

EYFS:  Children investigate and experiment with a range of media, building their confidence, skills and language.

KS1 and Lower KS2:   Children develop techniques for working in a range of media within the 3 areas of learning: sculpture, modelling media and a variety of 2-dimensial work, including painting, sketching and collage, using a range of media.

Upper KS2:   Children work both independently and collaboratively on termly ‘Art and Design Briefs’, making their own decisions on media and tools to produce original and creative work.

 

DT:

The Parklands Primary School ‘How and Why?’ curriculum ensures children throughout the school develop the skills of exploring the way things are made, how they work, what they are used for and how the materials are chosen and constructed. Pupils learn and apply their skills through projects that include: food technology, textiles, mechanics, electronics and structures. They learn to test, make and evaluate their own designs, working towards critical thinking and problem solving as they mature.

The curriculum includes the study of the history of design, chefs and inventors, and their importance today.

 

Music:

The Parklands Curriculum for Music nurtures a passion for music throughout the school that brings joy to learning in every aspect of the children’s lives. The progressive curriculum nurtures children as they explore and develop their abilities across the 3 vital areas of performance, composition and appraisal.

As children progress through the school they experience a range of instruments and styles from the rhythm of the drums in EYFS, through the xylophone in KS1 to the ukulele in KS2. Children develop their skills of performance, notation, creation and evaluation as they move through the 3 areas each year. Pupils develop a broader love and understanding of music of today, comparing and contrasting it with music of the ancient world.

 

MFL:

‘The Language Angels’ scheme steers the Parklands Curriculum for Spanish across KS2, through an understanding and ability in spoken Spanish, age-appropriate grammatical constructions, and reading and writing in Spanish.

The termly themes ensure interest and enthusiasm, and celebrate life in Spanish speaking countries and communities around the world, with cultural features including dance, menus and cuisine.

 

EAL:

The Parklands Curriculum for English as an Additional Language ensures that all children learn in an inclusive and supportive environment with a priority for learning English whilst learning in English, and understanding the culture of our country. Children develop their skills of speaking, understanding and learning in English as they study across the curriculum in all other subjects, through a carefully planned and sequenced programme that leads to cultural understanding and successful integration into the school, the wider community and beyond.