Curriculum Overview

The curriculum is what children learn in school. Children in Blue Whale class follow the Early Years Foundation Stage 2 curriculum, please click here to find out more.

For children in years 1 to 6 the curriculum is based on a progression of skills, non-negotiables and cross curricular topics on a two year rolling cycle. The topics for this academic year are:

Tiger (Year 1) and Puffin (Year 2)

From A to B

Let's Explore

The Enchanted Forest

Panda (Year 3) and Polar Bear (Year 4)

Life in the Freezer

Tomb Raiders

Tribal Trails

 

Zebra (Year 5) and Leopard (Year 6)

Island Invaders

Take one Picture

Myths, Minotaurs and Mortals

 

 

Before the topic begins, the children are involved in suggesting a range of activities they would like to explore. Class teachers then use their ideas to determine the direction of the learning journey. Prior to each new topic  a Brilliant Beginning task  is given for completion as homework in the holiday and displayed in the classroom. A ‘Sparkling Start’ is used to engage and excite and a ‘Fabulous Finish’ to culminate or reflect.Wherever possible we like to include many first hand experiences, whether this is through using our local environment or a trip further afield. We also invite visitors into school to support the children’s understanding. Learning webs for each class can be found on each class page found in 'Our Classes'.

We use Chris Quigley ‘Essentials’ and the National Curriculum 2014 to plan the children's learning experiences which include:

English, Mathematics, Science, Computing, Art, Design Technology, Geography, History, Music, Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), Physical Education and modern Foreign Language.

Curricular Areas: English

Our English lessons are based on the National curriculum programmes of study and are subdivided into four categories.

Phonics and Spelling

Phonics is at the heart of learning to read and spell. It is about the sounds (phonemes) we make when we talk; we connect (blend) these sounds together when we read words, and split them up (segment) when we write. Children are taught the letter sounds through daily phonics lessons through Letters and Sounds and the Nelson Scheme for Phonics and Spelling.  The input during these lessons are whole class so that all children have the opportunity to learn and be exposed to every sound. The activities however can be differentiated to meet the needs of the children and to plug any gaps. 

beginning when they first start school in the Reception class. At first, the children learn the sounds and names of the letters of the alphabet; then they begin to blend sounds together to read small words, e.g. p-a-n. Later, more complex sounds (digraphs/trigraphs) are taught, e.g. aias in 'rain' and 'igh' as in 'high'. As the children progress they learn the different spelling patterns which make up the same sound, e.g. ea/ee/ey. This structured teaching enables children to acquire a thorough knowledge of letters, spelling patterns and words, and of the phonetic translation of all three. The acquisition of these skills support the children’s development into fluent readers and writers.Once the children are secure within Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds they will progress to the school spelling scheme which will continue to develop their knowledge of sounds and words so they can become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

Spoken Language

We teach and encourage children to develop their skills in speaking clearly and confidently in front of others. The children are expected to be able to work well in groups so we cultivate their listening skills through paired discussion across the curriculum. 

In Key Stage 1 we encourage the children to use clear language to express their feelings and ideas as well as developing their imaginative language for use in their writing. We teach the children how to work collaboratively in groups and the skills needed to listen carefully and actively.

Once the children move to Key Stage 2 we build on their existing skills to help them progress in their ability to speak in a range of contexts with increasing sense of audience.

Writing

At King William Street CE Primary School we want to make sure every child is not only skilled at writing but enjoys being creative too. We want our children to be excited about the effect that their writing will have on anyone who reads it.

The ability to produce fantastic writing depends on a sound understanding of basic skills and as a school we work hard to develop clear and well-formed handwriting, good spelling skills and a sound understanding of punctuation and grammar.

The writing curriculum across the school is broken down into units. These are often linked to each classes’ topic and are based around a range of high quality stimuli including books, visits, video clips or experiences. Each unit focuses on one text type and usually lasts 2-3 weeks.

Each unit begins with a cold task that is the text type the unit is focusing on however it is in a different context to the hot task. The task is completed independently and is marked against a focused criteria for that text type as well that year group’s grammar objectives. The class teacher then uses this assessment to inform the planning for that unit. Based on the assessments made, sentence level work focused on the year group’s grammar objectives is planned to ensure the children can understand and use the skills correctly.

Within the unit, opportunities are planned for the children to use the grammar skills they have been taught within a short piece of writing. This is often a text type that has been covered before but does not have to link with the text type of the hot task. Each unit ends with a hot task within a unit which has a clear purpose and audience. The audience may not be a ‘real’ audience however the children need to understand who would read their writing for example, when writing a diary the audience would be that person or character.

We celebrate the children’s achievements in writing in many ways, including certificates presented during our celebration assemblies and displays on the walls around the school. 

Reading

It is important that we develop in our children the ability a lifelong enjoyment of books and reading.  We build on the interests, personality and different levels of ability each child brings to school.  Children follow a progressive phonics programme from the time they start school.  Reading is taught and practised individually, or as a whole class and children are given access to a range of stimulating reading materials from their first days at school.  All children are expected to read regularly at home, and the close partnership we have with you as parents is vital to the process of learning to read. 

Whole class reading

At least four times a week, every child in each class takes part in whole class reading for approximately 30 minutes. The focus of each session is based on six key skills (VIPERS) which are vocabulary, inference, prediction, explain, retrieval and summarise or sequence for Key Stage One. The whole class read a text together and then in a mostly verbal way, the class have a discussion about the text with the teacher asking some key questions focusing on one of the key skills above. The children will have the opportunity to read a variety of texts including poetry, non-fiction, extracts and whole novels as well as being exposed to pictures and film clips to develop their comprehension.

We celebrate the children’s achievements in reading in many ways, including  certificates presented during our celebration assemblies.  Every summer we also encourage the children to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge in association with the local library.

For our reading policy click here.

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Performance Poetry
Performance Poetry
A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by Leopard class on the school field.
A Midsummer Night's Dream performed by Leopard class on the school field.
Paired Reading
Paired Reading

Mathematics

At King William Street CE Primary School we aim for all children to see mathematics as a vital part of everyday life.We want children to develop a confident and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them through their education.

Our mathematics lessons are based on the National curriculum programmes of study. The Do It, Use It and Own It (DUO) approach guides our mathematics planning and teaching and is the vehicle through which all children are chellenged within the expected year group of the curriculum.  

Do it activities are designed to increase the children’s fluency in maths.  

Use it  tasks involve problem solving skills including word problems  and empty box questions. We use ‘Jedi maths skills’ to teach children a range of problem solving approaches. We regularly teach whole class use it lessons where the children are presented with a range of problems from the full mathematics curriculum which they solve that problem. 

Own it  task challenge the children to reason and explore a problem at a deeper level. Children are challenged to think for themselves and justify their answers to questions.  At least once a unit all children are given the opportunity to take part in a whole class own it lesson where the learning is scaffolded so all children can achieve.

In addition to daily mathematics sessions the children participate in daily arithmetic sessions. During this time the children will be explicitly taught mental calculation strategies as well as opportunities to practice their termly targets and times tables.  

For more information about how we teach mathematics at King William Street click on this link.

Using Klandinsky for geometry
Using Klandinsky for geometry
Using Numicon
Using Numicon

Science

Our Science curriculum is enquiry based. It aims to enable children to learn the scientific skills they need to be super scientists. The development of these key science skills is at the heart of each new topic; this allows teachers to respond to the natural curiosity of children and enables the children to learn and to develop their scientific knowledge in a fun and engaging way. The knowledge taught relates to the key national curriculum areas of Life Processes and Living Things, Materials and their Properties and Physical Processes.

As they progress through school, children will become more proficient in selecting and using scientific equipment, at collating and presenting results and they will become increasingly confident in their ability to draw conclusions based on real evidence. In the context of science, children are encouraged to use and apply skills learnt in other curricular areas; they use and apply skills learnt in Mathematics, English, PSHE and ICT. Each year we celebrate science by holding a Science Week. These weeks allow children to further develop their skills and to learn that science has a place in the world of work.

Investigating Air Resistance
Investigating Air Resistance

Religous Education

King William Street CE Primary School use Discovery RE and Understanding Christianity as the scheme of learning throughout the school which adopts an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Through this approach children learn not only knowledge but also develop an understanding of the world of religion and how beliefs impact on daily lives. Christianity as the main religion of the indigenous population is taught in every year group whilst Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism are also covered.

At King William Street CE Primary school, RE forges important links within our local community. Local clergy from the Old Town community of churches lead our assembly every Thursday. We value the opportunity of bringing learning to life by visiting local places of worship.   We also have strong links to Christ Church where the whole school celebrates the Christian festivals of Harvest, Christmas and Easter. Children have also benefited from visiting places of worship from other faith such as a Sikh temple and a mosque.

As a Church of England Primary School we follow a set of jointly held Christian based values that help us to grow and develop. Although we see these values as Christian values, we strongly feel that they are values all children need to learn about and develop in order to become productive, successful and caring members of society.

For an overview of the RE to be taught during the year 2018-19 please click here

These values for the year 2017-18 are Friendship, Courage and Trust.

Visit to the Sikh Temple
Visit to the Sikh Temple

History, Geography, DT and Art and Design

Chris Quigley ‘Essentials Curriculum’ provides the base for developing learning in these subject areas and includes:

Essential Characteristics which are the characteristics required to be successful and to achieve within each subject.

Essential Opportunities which lists the content of what we teach.

Essential Learning Objective which identifies and defines the learning objectives which are essential to support a culture of deep learning for all our children.

Essentials for Progress which lists the milestones within the curriculum which will enable us to measure progress. Children are expected to reach milestone 1 by the end of Year 2, milestone 2 by the end of Year 4 and milestone 3 by the end of Year 6. The milestones use the National Curriculum as a reference point but in most subjects are far more ambitious supporting our high expectations and opportunities for challenge.

Modern Foreign Language

Across King William Street, Spanish is the language taught to all children. Purple Mash provides the scheme of work for years 3-6 and complements the requirement of the 2014 National Curriculum. 

Medieval weaponry first hand
Medieval weaponry first hand
Colour Mixing
Colour Mixing

Physical Education

We believe that Physical Education should lead to a sense of well-being, a greater understanding of health and fitness, a healthy lifestyle, a feeling of self-confidence and a lifelong passion for physical activity. Every child will experience a varied physical education programme which involves dance, gymnastics, games, outdoor and adventurous activities, athletics and swimming throughout their school life. We aim to provide two hours of high quality physical education throughout the week, which involves outdoor games skills as well as indoor gymnastics or dance. Children in year 2 and year 6 swim during term 6.

Children are encouraged to become actively involved in extracurricular sports clubs and represent the school in a range of tournaments and festivals. This year King William Street will participate in the following competitive events:

Swindon Primary Schools Football League.

Swindon Small Schools Football Competition. 

Swindon Primary Schools Quadkids Competition in June/July.

In addition we will participate in Swindon Primary Schools Dance Festival in January.

For more information about our Sports opportunities see the Sports Funding page

Gymnastics
Gymnastics

PSHE

King William Street CE Primary School use Jigsaw PSHE as the scheme of learning as it brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development to form a cohesive picture, helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people the world. Divided into Puzzles, each year group working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time. The 6 puzzles are:

Autumn 1

Being Me in My World

includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising learning charters

Autumn 2

Celebrating Difference

Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work

Spring 1

Dream and Goals

Includes goal-setting, aspirations, working together to design and organise fundraising events

Spring 2

Healthy Me

Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyles

Summer 1

Relationships

Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, and conflict resolution and communication skills.

Summer 2

Changing Me

Includes Sex and Relationship Education in the context of looking at change.

For our PSHE Policy click here