Castle Primary School offers a broad and balanced, rich and exciting curriculum.
We use the National Curriculum (2014) as a foundation for our children's learning, adding depth through a range of exciting themes which are, wherever possible, related back to the children and their own lived experiences.
In devising our curriculum at Castle Primary School we initially sought the views of our pupils, parents and staff to ensure we could develop a curriculum based on shared vision. This vision would aim to meet the needs of our community, prepare our pupils for wherever their future takes them and to create lifelong learners.
From these discussions, it was felt strongly that our curriculum should be based on hands-on experience, should help the children to understand how they learn, make use of our unique locality and reflect our local history, including that of the school itself. It should develop social and emotional understanding so that we encourage the development of independent, resilient and empathetic learners. In doing so, we aim for a curriculum that is relevant, purposeful and engaging for all of our pupils.
In order to give our pupils the necessary skills and cultural capital needed to succeed in life, we want them to dig deep in their learning and give them the opportunity to be fully immersed within a subject area. The National Curriculum gives children a good introduction to the essential knowledge they need, but it is our belief that to create truly independent learners we need to offer them the freedom to delve deeper and encourage the natural curiosity with which they start their educational journey. In order for us to do this, we teach through a Curriculum of Discovery.
Our Discovery lessons have one main driver, chosen from the key foundation subject areas of Science, Geography, History and Design & Technology. This driver remains the same for a full half term period, alongside further stand-alone units for Science, DT and Art, as well as RE, Music, and Drama. This ensures we are able to help our pupils to become Scientists, Geographers, Historians, Designers, as well as Artists, Musicians and Performers, and to have an understanding of People of Faith.
By allowing this immersion, we are able to foster and promote resilience, as well as to make sure that learning ‘sticks’ by making connections, extending learning and exploring topics fully. Children know and understand the subject that they are learning, and teachers are able to plan a more purposeful learning journey that has a clear and sequenced progression of knowledge and skills. Across the year, children will experience this depth of learning across the Curriculum, with subjects such as English, Maths, PE, Computing and PSHE being taught as continuous units alongside.
Please follow the individual subject links below to explore content overviews, skill progressions and further information on curriculum delivery. For any other questions or information please contact the school office.
At Castle Primary School, we use the Read, Write Inc. scheme for teaching our children to read and write using a synthetic phonics approach. Please follow this link to see a short introductory video:
The scheme is introduced in Early Years and carried on into Years 1 and 2. Discrete phonics are taught alongside a range of engaging and high quality texts in daily, small group sessions. Progress in understanding is reviewed every half term and children are supported or challenged further accordingly. The consistency in our approach to phonics is reaping great rewards and our Year 1 phonics screening results at school are in line or slightly above national averages.
Supporting at home
With Read, Write Inc. each sound has a word to help us remember the correct sound i.e. mmmmmountain; sssssssssnake and a saying to help us remember how to form the letters correctly, e.g. 'maisie, mountain, mountain'; 'slither down the snake'.
It's important to use only pure sounds, ('mmmm' not 'muh', 'sssss' not 'suh', etc) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. The teachers and teaching assistants at Castle Primary School can show you how to pronounce these sounds and we hope that you will not hesitate to ask any of our friendly team if you'd like some help. There are also resources and videos available for you to watch by following this link:
We ask all of the children in our school to read at least four times a week and to record this in a Reading Record. We send home books that are also from the Read Write Inc scheme so that every child has a book that is at the correct level. Children read regularly in school and books are changed weekly.
When your child first starts at the school we hold a Phonics Awareness session for parents to answer all of your questions and to explain how the children learn to read and write. It's a hugely exciting journey!
Maths@Castle Primary School
Belief + Hard Work + Understanding = Success
Mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand and change the World. We want all pupils at Castle Primary to experience the beauty, power and enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject.
We foster positive ‘can do’ attitudes, believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems before acceleration through new content.
Curriculum Intent: Skills
We aim for all pupils to:
+ Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics (see Year by Year Curriculum Maps) so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
+ Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios.
+ Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
+ Have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately.
Our maths timetable consists of a daily 45 minutes mathematics lesson which introduces a new small step in learning.
Each day, in a seperate Maths on Track session there will be opportunities for practise, arithmetic and intervention.
1, Retrieval: Quick practise of prior knowledge that children will have to apply in new small steps.
2, Hook it: Introduction
3, Teach it: Live moddelling of new learning with explict use of potential misunderstandings.
4, Practise it: All children practise together (Support & Challenge)
5, Do it: Up to 5 examples - 5'What it is' or '3+2 'What it is/What it's also' (Challenge1: Procedural Fluency)
6, Secure it: 1 or 2 misunderstandings (True/False, Spot the mistake) (Challenge 2: Conceptual Understanding
7, Deepen it: Apply understanding to solve new problems (Challenge 3: Mathematical Thinking)
8, Review it: Lesson recap: Key Concept Statement and Key Vocabulary
MathsOnTrack (MOT) sessions:
Extra Maths sessions throughout the week where the following can happen;
- Immediate intervention from previous small step is addressed
-Deliberate practise of weaker area of Maths identified by QLA/ presvious step
At Castle Primary School we want all of our children to become accurate, independent and creative writers.
At Castle, we want to inspire the children’s love of literacy and enable them to become creative writers. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas with fluency and to present their work with pride. We have worked hard to equip our children with rich and varied learning opportunities which will allow them to become enthusiastic and confident writers. Through our English curriculum, we teach the children how important the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing will be in the real world. This supports our children to understand the value of English to them now and in their future lives.
Our vocabulary rich approach to writing provides a basis for much of our teaching in Literacy sessions. The children are immersed in carefully crafted texts, which enables them to become familiar with a richer and more diverse range of new vocabulary and sentence structures upon which they can innovate and invent.
We believe that nurturing the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak is vital to developing their vocabulary, grammatical understanding and ability to write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. Our current curriculum is built on vocabulary rich texts, where children are taught to understand diverse and rich language that they need for a particular topic, before they start writing. A range of quality texts are used to inspire the children and these are then analysed through reading and discussion. This acts as a creative springboard allowing the children to develop a wealth of their own imaginative ideas before putting pen to paper.
Our writing curriculum is driven by the 2014 National Curriculum English programmes of study. The aims of this are to ensure all pupils:
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
- At Castle we have developed clear progressions for both fiction and nonfiction writing. This ensures breadth to our writing curriculum that covers the four main text types: writing to explain, persuade, inform or entertain. This sits alongside our clear grammar progression that allows our children to be taught new grammatical concepts in a logical order.
- Our writing units all follow a systematic three phase teaching sequence that is driven by a quality text. A ‘child speak’ version of the teaching sequence is shared with the children and displayed in their classroom. This enables the children to visually see where they are on their learning journey and the destination piece of writing that they are heading towards.
- Phase 1 has an opening experience to engage the children and allow them to explore the model text. Phase 2 focuses on teaching the children new skills and revising teaching content from previous units. Phase 3 supports the children to produce a final piece of writing as their outcome from the unit. Some possible activities in each phase are suggested below.
- At Castle we believe that it is of vital importance that the children are given the opportunity to write as frequently as possible and not just produce a final polished piece of writing at the end of a unit of work. In each phase short writing opportunities are planned for that allow the children to revisit text types from other units. This not only allows the children to explore ideas, themes or characters from their current unit in more depth, but also provides a fantastic opportunity to practise skills from their prior learning. Discrete grammar learning is also planned for, to introduce new concepts, but wherever possible this is contextualised within the unit to have a greater impact upon the children's learning. Although at Castle Primary, writing is taught as a discrete lesson, often teachers are able to make links to draw in learning from both Guided Reading lessons and themes from their current History or Geography topic. This provides the children with the opportunity to explore and practise their learning from writing lessons, in other areas of the curriculum.
The impact of Writing at Castle is seen in a number of ways.
- Learning walks undertaken by the Writing lead and the SLT.
- Lesson observations
- Book scrutinies carried out by the Writing lead and the SLT.
- Discussions with children.
Science Curriculum statement
At Castle Primary School we aim for all our students to become inquisitive learners that question the world around them and beyond. Through encouraging their curiosity and questioning, we aspire for all our children to develop their own lines of enquiry to investigate. The skills needed to work scientifically to conduct these investigations are essential. The fundamental skills to assist our children to plan, test and review their practical learning are embedded into our science curriculum, allowing our young scientists to flourish.
Our students will obtain a rich knowledge in all biology, chemistry and physics units within the National Curriculum, as well as learning about the leading scientists that have shaped these areas throughout history. Using live experiment demonstrations, high quality lessons and visits by experts in their field of science, we expose our children to a diverse range of modern-day scientists too. In addition to this, our students will be able to experience science outside the classroom such as visits to local farms, coastlines, wildlife sanctuaries and science museums. These encounters not only support learning through practical and real-life scenarios but help to inspire future careers and scientific interests.
Across all areas of the science curriculum there is a clear progression of knowledge that is built upon every year from EYFS - Y6. Where possible, units are taught alongside topics and forest school to allow cross-curricular opportunities to further enrich their learning and present the science using real life concepts.
At Castle Primary School, we see the importance of protecting our world and strive to promote an admiration and respect for our planet, as well as the people working to make it better. We want our children to be passionate about the environment and give them the knowledge to make a difference.
Our aim for all teachers is to plan creative, engaging and practical units of science that excites children’s curiosity about all areas of the National Curriculum. We create safe learning environments that promote pupil confidence to ask questions and problem solve, while developing scientific knowledge and skills. Castle’s whole school approach to teaching and learning includes the following:
Science units outlined in the National Curriculum are clearly planned by teachers to be taught across each year to best support their learning outcomes. For example, biology subjects such as: ‘plants’, ‘living things and their habitats’ and ‘animals including humans’, are taught during Spring and Summer terms to allow for successful gardening and habitat projects to occur, thus enriching the real-life experiences for our pupils.
As teachers, we understand how science influences everyday life, which is why science is one of the main drivers throughout our curriculum. At Trinity, we have strong links between our science, computing and design and technology subjects, as well as forest school, to ensure a more cohesive approach to learning. This enables the children to delve deeper into the topic they are learning and understand how these subjects link to real life experiences. Additionally, this allows rich opportunities for our children to develop problem solving and collaborative skills while working on projects with their peers.
At Castle Primary School we strive to engage children in practical experiments to enhance learning, following an enquiry-based approach. We believe it is essential for children to develop their own questions and curiosity around science, which leads them to ‘Plan, Test and Review’ their own hypotheses. Children need to learn a variety of skills and processes to be successful scientists. They need to learn how to hypothesize, predict and test; they need to be confident in their own abilities to observe and record their findings and then interpret, communicate and conclude these. Our goal is for all students to be able to plan and carry out their own investigations independently; deciding how best to present and communicate their findings and evaluating their results. For this to be achieved, a clear progression of scientific skills is embedded throughout our curriculum, as well as the vocabulary and science equipment required. Furthermore, this child-led, enquiry approach enhances children's engagement and provides them with ownership over their own learning of scientific discoveries.
Teachers continuously assess and monitor children's knowledge, understanding and development of skills through reviewing prior learning, good questioning, quizzes and observing how they conduct themselves during independent practical tasks. As we have a clear progression of skills, all teachers have a clear understanding of prior and future learning before starting any unit.
The successful learning approach at Castle Primary School, creates a high quality, fun and engaging science education that children love. It provides all children with a strong foundation of scientific knowledge to support their understanding of the world they live in, as well as developing respect and compassion for our planet and the threats it faces.
We strive for all children to become curious and inquisitive learners that are equipped with the scientific skills to conduct their own investigations. Children will understand that there is not a simple correct or incorrect result in science, but that all scientific results are evidence for or against their hypothesis and predictions. They will become resilient learners that learn from their results and problem solve to best adapt their next investigations; this is the key to working scientifically.
Through practical experiences inside and outside the classroom, high quality teaching, as well as participating in a range of encounters with scientific experts, we aim to develop new and existing scientific interests among our children and encourage them to recognise and appreciate the vital importance of science to all our lives and future.
Forest School Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that a holistic education is vital. Forest School is an important part of the children’s education and crucial to our taught curriculum offer, as well as the enrichment opportunities we offer our pupils.
By providing rich and well planned outdoor learning experiences, we aim to develop children’s self-esteem, independence, emotional well-being, communication and problem solving skills. Our ultimate goal is to empower the children to make informed choices about their lifestyle and positive attitudes towards nature and the world in which we live. Our three Learning Intentions (independent, resilient and empathetic children) underpin the teaching and learning experiences. A ‘hands-on’ approach is key to ensuring children learn the skills and knowledge taught and crucially, that the learning ‘sticks’.
A clear ‘Skills and Knowledge Progression’ ensures a systematic teaching and learning sequence that builds on children's prior attainment. We enhance the Forest School provision for children by ensuring we use highly trained Forest School providers, provide access to the local woodland area and utilise opportunities for outdoor learning by accessing the local country park, Ham Hill.
During a typical Forest School session, we ensure groups are kept to a minimum size and rotate around two or three activities to reduce group numbers and enhance the teaching and learning from the skilled Forest School Leaders. We use high quality equipment that is fit for purpose and ensure a valuable hands-on learning experience for all involved. Children are given plenty of opportunities to take calculated risks to aid resilience, work independently and in collaboration with others to achieve high expectations which requires great determination. They learn to problem solve in teams thus enhancing their empathy with others. Our biennial ‘rural visit’ to Pinkery provides an enhancement for the children to apply some of their outdoor learning skills and knowledge during their stay. Children's achievements are celebrated at the end of each session and selected children receive a Forest School Certificate each week in the Celebration Assembly. The school environment provides space to share the children’s successes and outcomes in the form of a display.
At the end of each half term, the Forest School skills and content progression is reviewed and Leaders highlight the relevant statements based on what was taught and learnt. Children who have excelled or who have struggled to achieve certain objectives are identified so that staff are aware how to support these children during the next phase of learning.
Forest School is taught to the children as a basis for their growth and development to become holistic individuals. The children of Castle Primary School are increasingly resilient, independent learners who are developing huge amounts of empathy. The skills and content progressions recognise the children's achievements and these attributes are evident throughout the school. The willingness and confidence of the children to not only engage but to challenge themselves in their learning is testament to their independence and determination. They are children who do not shy away from a challenge and welcome activities which further them as learners.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
From an early age, children of Castle Primary School are encouraged to explore the outdoors and we have spent considerable time enhancing the outdoor learning environment for children in EYFS. They develop an early understanding of the outdoors through a child-centred approach which supports their physical development and their understanding of the world.
Geography Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that through geography, pupils should be given the opportunity and encouragement to become worldwide citizens, global explorers, and eco warriors. Geography is concerned with the past, present and future and helps pupils make sense of the world around them: it is about seeing, doing, enquiring, making links and experiencing. Our approach to the Geography curriculum is underpinned by our Learning Intentions: Independent, Resilient and Empathetic learners.
Castle Primary School aims to:
ensure that all children develop a good sense of location and place and are able to identify human and physical features in the environment.
gain an appreciation of life in other countries and cultures.
think about their own place in the world, their values and their rights.
encourage children to respect and care for their environment to sustain its future.
equip the children with the geographical knowledge and skills required for them to further their studies in Geography and develop an interest, curiosity and enthusiasm for working geographically.
Geography at our school takes place as part of our Discovery sessions, meaning the children will be immersed for a half term in the unit of work based on Geography. The teaching follows a progression of skills and curriculum-based objectives across the year groups to ensure effective coverage throughout the school and to ensure each child gets the full depth and breadth of Geography teaching during their time at Castle Primary School.
As children progress through the school they develop a deep knowledge, understanding and appreciation for their local area and its place within the wider geographical context. Children will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes and how this affects landscapes and environments. Geographical understanding, as well as children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is supported by our ‘experience based’ curriculum. Children learn about careers related to geography from members of the local and wider community with specialist skills and knowledge through visits and outings, ensuring that all children are well prepared for their next steps in education and learning.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. We provide children with opportunities to develop their understanding of ‘geography’ in a range of contexts.
History Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we aim for children to explore History with a critical and enquiring mind. One that ignites a curiosity for the past with which they learn how history, in Britain and the wider world, has shaped the world we live in today.
In line with the 2013 National Curriculum, children are taught the chronological narrative of the British Isles, how the lives of significant individuals have shaped the nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world. Alongside this, they will look at significant aspects of the history of the wider world. Through these, they will use and develop their understanding of historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance. Using these tools they will be taught to dig deep by looking critically, drawing comparisons, making connections, analysing trends and framing questions to create their own structured accounts as independent learners. Using methods of historical enquiry they will be encouraged to apply their knowledge and make connections to gain historical perspective that sticks, as historians themselves.
Our three Learning Intentions (to create independent, resilient and empathetic learners) underpin the teaching and learning experiences. By encouraging and teaching the children to reflect, we ensure they dig deep and connect their learning further to ensure it sticks, and can be applied in the future.
In order to foster historical curiosity, the delivery of our History curriculum is hand-on, exploring artefacts and sources so that children can examine and enquire just as a historian does. This critical viewpoint helps to foster resilience in our learners as they learn to examine sources and build up a full picture for themselves. History lessons are discrete and taught in a block each year so that children are fully immersed in the subject and a clear learning journey can be created. By the end of year 6, children will have a chronological understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day. Interlinked with local history are studies of world history, such as the ancient civilisations of Greece and the Mayans. Learning is taken outside wherever possible and resources from the Museum Service, Rural Life museum and History Association are utilised to enrich lesson design and ensure an engaging and meaningful learning journey is created. Knowledge organisers are used as learning tools but are also monitored to ensure that they reflect a sound understanding of the key identified knowledge. Planning is informed by and aligned with the national curriculum, ensuring the children gain, not just the knowledge needed, but the Historical skill for this knowledge to be fully understood and embedded.
Children come to understand that History and specific events have influenced many aspects of our culture, beliefs, routines, and developments of today. Through reflection, they are able to draw comparisons and make connections between different time periods, their own lives and the lives of others to help create an independent historical viewpoint. With this, they create a rich tapestry of historical knowledge and an empathy for how the future is often impacted by history.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the ‘Development Matters in the EYFS’ guidance which aims for all children in reception to have an ‘Understanding of the World; people and communities, the world and technology’ by the end of the academic year. We provide children with opportunities to develop their understanding of ‘history’.
Computing Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that a holistic education is vital.
Computing skills is an important part of the children’s education and crucial to our taught
curriculum offer which is underpinned by our Learning Intentions, to create Independent, Resilient and Empathetic learners. It is a way of thinking, problem solving and using creativity to understand and change the world.
Through the teaching of computing we aim to develop the processes of computer systems, technologies, hardware and a variety of software. We also aim to provide children with the opportunities to work through the essential elements and concepts of computer science, programming and data handling as well as building on the children’s research, communication and presentation skills using the eLim resources as a basis for our programme of study. Computing encourages logical thinking, problem solving and creativity and strongly links to all other areas of the curriculum.
A clear ‘Skills and Knowledge Progression’ ensures a systematic teaching and learning sequence that builds on children's prior attainment. Our Learning Values (Independent, Resilient, Empathetic learners) support the holistic development of the children in all areas of the curriculum. Through the study of Computing, children will be able to develop a wide range of fundamental skills, knowledge and understanding that will actually equip them for the rest of their life. Computers and technology are such a part of everyday life that our children would be at a disadvantage would they not be exposed to a thorough and robust Computing curriculum such as the eLim programme of study. Children must be taught in the art form of ‘Computational Thinking’ in order to provide them with the essential knowledge that will enable them to participate effectively and safely in the digital world beyond the school gates.
Castle Primary School takes internet safety extremely seriously. We have an E-Safety Policy that provides guidance for teachers and children about how to use the internet safely. Woven within the eLim programme of study are specific lessons on e-safety appropriate for each year group so that children understand how to stay safe in the digital world.
At our School we believe that a clear and effective scheme of work that provides coverage in line with the National Curriculum is essential and we have chosen the eLim scheme for this purpose. This covers five areas of learning: e-safety, programming, technology in our lives, handling data and multimedia. Teaching and learning facilitate progression across all key stages and is fully inclusive for all learners. In KS1, one of the ways we are teaching pupils about the language and concepts of computer programming is by using the espresso coding lessons using block coding. Children in KS2 build on this knowledge using a wide variety of hardware and software. Computing is implemented across all aspects of our school curriculum, examples are the use of Seesaw in all classes, ixl and Times Tables Rockstars during Maths lessons.
The importance of online safety and celebrations of the computing curriculum are shown through displays within the learning environment. The school takes part in Safer Internet Day and within the scheme of work spend further time exploring the key issues associated with online safety. Every child actively participates in a range of activities linked to being safe with technology and parents are informed or any issues relating to this.
Our School strives to ensure that every child can become a confident user of technology, while being able to accomplish a wide variety of goals, both at home and in school. Children will have a secure and comprehensive knowledge of the implications of technology and digital systems by the time they leave. This is important in a society where technologies and trends are rapidly evolving. They will be able to apply the school values of respect, responsibility and tolerance when using digital systems, which will hold them in great stead in their future endeavours.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
It is important in the Early Years stage of schooling to give children a broad, play-based experience of computing in a range of contexts, including outdoor play. They use technology to access age appropriate software to provide opportunities for mark making as well as supporting their imaginative play, often re-enacting real life experiences both inside and outside the classroom.
|Castle Curriculum Progression Computing 2021|
PE & Sport
Physical Education Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that a program of high quality physical education experiences is crucial to the healthy body and mind of our children. We are committed to promoting healthy lifestyles within our school, and do this by providing the opportunity to our children, of learning and playing various sports and games. Further skills, such as teamwork and leadership, play an important role in the development of children as individuals and will enable our children to access further opportunities in the future.
It is our intention to build a curriculum that enables children to develop knowledge, skills and vocabulary in a broad range of sporting activities, as well as developing values and transferable life skills that support our school values: respect, perseverance, integrity and resilience. This will be done using a clear ‘Skills and Knowledge Progression’ ensuring a systematic teaching and learning sequence that will build on children's prior learning.
We want all children at Castle School to experience a wide variety of sports and physical skills which will enhance life-long fitness and life choices. PE can challenge and promote self-esteem through the development of physical confidence and problem solving. It can teach children to cope with both success and failure in competitive, individual and team based physical activities. Furthermore, physical activity can be used as a tool to assist children in expressing their individuality in the form of creative movement.
Physical activity is crucial in the development of a healthy body and mind. We want our children to foster an active attitude to their learning and to develop a level of activity that can be continued for sustained periods, leading to the intention of all of our children to lead healthy, active lives.
PE at Castle school is taught by class teachers, and on occasion, specialised qualified sports coaches. Children have an equal opportunity to participate in a range of sports and physical activities within a supportive environment where effort as well as success is recognised. Physical activity is encouraged during break and lunch times. In all out of class sessions, sports equipment is provided to support Castle's approach. Throughout different days, various sporting equipment is provided for the children; this includes: football, basketball, tennis, hockey, and general ball skills.
PE at Castle is taught in relation to the National Curriculum intentions and is structured to provide a range of sports experiences during which every child participates to develop their skills and learning through competitive, team and individual sports. Through this provision, children can aim to flourish at sports in which they have a particular interest or flair for.
Castle provides two hours of PE a week for its children. One hour of this is dedicated to specific sports outlined in the National Curriculum. The second hour is driven by Real PE. Real PE provides a comprehensive progression of skills from Reception to Year Six, building and developing on the previous year’s skills. This structure ensures that all children learn skills at a level that is suitable for them; these skills are easily monitored using the Real PE assessment system. Real PE focuses specifically on: balance, agility, coordination and fitness. These skills enable the children to access the National Curriculum lead sports efficiently.
Extra curriculum sports are encouraged at Castle School. After school clubs such as: Football and Quidditch feature weekly at Castle. Furthermore, Cross Country running events, organised by the local Sports committee, are available to children three times a term.
Our children have a secure understanding of leading healthy lifestyles. Through our extensive programme of teaching, our children have been afforded the skills to enable them to participate in sports and team games. The benefits of our P.E curriculum have afforded our children with the skills to be able to work as part of a team and individually with the confidence to make decisions for both themselves and the team.
Through experiences offered to Castle children, our children have the ability to take the initiative and become excellent young leaders, organising and officiating, and evaluating what needs to be done to improve- leading to motivating and instilling excellent sporting attitudes in others.
Our children use movement and dance to demonstrate exceptional levels of originality, imagination and creativity- supporting their overall confidence and boosting self-esteem. These skills enable Castle children to have the self-belief and motivation to take the necessary steps to improve themselves as young adults, including having the resilience to be brave and take risks in life.
Art Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that a holistic education is vital. Art is an important part of the children’s education and crucial to our taught curriculum offer, as well as the enrichment opportunities we offer our pupils.
'Art has the role in education of helping children to become like themselves instead of more like everyone else'
Sydney Gurewwitz Clemens
At Castle Primary School, we believe that through art, craft and design we want to engage, inspire and challenge pupils by introducing them to a broad range of techniques, materials and a diverse range of artists, craftspeople and designers. We want to equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, explore, take risks, invent and create. It will enable them to be authentic and explore their own identity as well as being curious about respecting and connecting with others. Most importantly, we want them to foster a positive, life-long relationship with the subject and have fun.
The National Curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all children:
- Produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences
- Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques
- Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design
- Know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.
During art sessions we focus on developing the children’s ability to create artwork, allowing them the opportunity to experiment with different media. This gives them the chance to realise their potential and enables them to use art as a medium to express themselves. Understanding of the visual elements of art and design and developing these by providing an accessible and engaging curriculum. A clear ‘Skills and Knowledge Progression’ ensures a systematic teaching and learning sequence that builds on children's prior attainment developing their understanding of the visual language of art with effective teaching and experiences. This is supported through the studying of a diverse range of artists and designers and their work.
Sketchbooks are used effectively across KS1 and KS2 at Castle Primary School. They provide a record of the children’s learning and progress of art in school. Although not an expectation for KS1, the use of these provides somewhere for children to express their ideas and develop techniques that they have learnt. Sketchbooks are then taken to their subsequent class where they will continue to expand on techniques and their appreciation of artists’ work. Photographs of larger, group or 3D pieces are also kept within this book.
Children’s art can be seen on display around the school, giving them ownership of their educational environment and celebrating their art achievements. All staff take responsibility for developing arts and culture within the school and are held accountable for this through regular audits and sketchbook looks.
Art contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. It encourages children to develop a sense of ownership of their work and reflect on their experiences through evaluating their progress and development. Children enjoy participating in a range of artistic opportunities through school and Trust wide competitions.
We ensure that art is included across each year group. The level of progression supports and challenges the children.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
From an early age, children of Castle Primary School are encouraged to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feeling through art. They will do this by exploring a range of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, mark making, modelling, shape and function. Nurturing curiosity and an open mindset as well as skills and techniques is important when supporting the progression of the children’s creativity and confidence in their ideas and skills.
PSHE Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we are committed to promoting a safe and healthy lifestyle for our pupils, teaching the skills and knowledge needed to lead happy, healthy lives that are built on the foundations of strong and successful relationships which is underpinned by our Learning Intentions, Independent, Resilient and Empathetic learners.
In order to ensure our pupils are able to live spiritual, happy and healthy lives, we recognise the need to create a mentally healthy environment for our pupils. For this reason, we aim to deliver PSHE in an environment that ensures children feel safe, valued and have a sense of belonging. Creating the right classroom climate is essential to ensure all children feel they can contribute fully and engage in, what are often, more sensitive issues. Our three Learning Intentions (to create independent, resilient and empathetic learners) underpin the teaching and learning experiences. By encouraging and teaching the children to reflect, we ensure they dig deep and connect their learning to ensure it sticks, and can be applied in the future.
A clear progression of PSHE skills through a spiral SCARF programme of study ensure that learning is built upon as the themes of ‘Me and My Relationships', ‘Valuing Difference’, ‘Keeping Myself Safe’, ‘Rights and Responsibilities', ‘Being my Best’ and ‘Growing and Changing’ are revisited each year. The skills taught will be amended following consultation with parents, pupils and staff to take into account the age, needs and feelings of our pupils. These are also in line with the 2020 Relationship Education statutory guidance.
PSHE sessions take place weekly and are delivered by class teachers. The SCARF programme of study is used with access to online planning and resources. Staff are encouraged to adapt sessions to meet the needs of their class and to ensure delivery is engaging, yet sensitive, to ensure the right balance is achieved. Games are used as icebreakers and varying techniques to encourage learners to be reflective in their discussions to foster a natural empathy. All contributions are welcomed and children are encouraged to be independent thinkers, learning about themselves as they listen and question the thoughts of others to challenge their own thinking. In addition, some tasks are designed to develop and challenge resilience, encouraging learners to look at the learning journey as a whole and not merely the end product. There is no expectation for written outcomes during sessions but often an individual, group or class activity involving recording may be used to support the learning intention.
Termly, staff use the SCARF online assessment tools to review class progress and the individual progress of key individuals. These may be shared with our school ELSA who works closely with staff to provide more targeted support. To promote and record children’s own reflections on their learning, we use the ‘wearing my SCARF’ self-reflection tools which help children to look back at the learning journey and aid teacher assessment.
PSHE sessions help us to ensure our pupils are independent, resilient and empathetic learners. The carefully planned learning journey throughout their time with us means they have the building blocks in place to be happy and healthy individuals. However, the learning that takes place inside weekly sessions does not stop there. Themes are picked up in lessons, parts of the school day and followed up in assemblies. The climate created helps to ensure children feel safe, have a strong sense of belonging and know there are trusted adults who can help.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
PSHE forms a huge part of the EYFS Curriculum and is woven into provision as well as being taught more discreetly where needed. Opportunities in everyday play are taken to model and develop skills crucial to ensure children have the solid foundations to be happy and healthy individuals.
|Castle Curriculum Progression in PSHE 2021|
Music Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that music is a unique way of communicating that can inspire and motivate children through our Learning Values: Independent, Resilient, Empathetic learners. It is a means of personal expression, and it can play an important part in the personal development of people. Music reflects the culture and society we live in and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world around them. It also plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical forms and to begin to make judgments about the quality of music.
Castle Primary School aims to:
enable all children to have access to music and to develop an enjoyment of music
encourage children to express their ideas and feelings through music develop children’s awareness and understanding of music from a wide variety of styles, periods and cultures
develop teamwork skills such as negotiation and discussion through working in groups
offer children the opportunity to experience personal satisfaction by making music together through performances both within school and with larger groups in the wider community
The music curriculum ensures students sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies. There is an opportunity for all children in Year 4 to learn to play instruments in the school from visiting teachers (such as ukulele and brass). Then in the classroom following the ‘Sing up’ program, the children are given the opportunities to learn how to use their voices and bodies to make music and to use percussion instruments. There are regular opportunities for children to perform and participate in music activities as part of special services including Harvest and Christmas.
Our music curriculum ensures our children will have the opportunity to foster their instrumental flare and use this as a form of expression, they will participate in wider musical activities. They will gain wider audience performance experience which will improve well-being and confidence. Through these performances to parents and families the children will develop their sense of teamwork and collaboration. The children will develop a heightened awareness of musical opportunities available in and outside of school in the hope that access will be increased. The children will be able to appreciate varied music types and make choices about their own musical tastes.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
It is important in the Early Years stage of schooling to give children a broad, play-based experience of music in a range of contexts, including outdoor play. They use continuous provision as a means to develop their independence and curiosity of a variety of areas including music. We seek and create opportunities to encourage children to explore music as a means of expression and enjoyment.
Languages Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School, we believe that a high-quality languages education should foster children’s curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We are committed to enabling children to explore another language, enabling them to interpret, create and exchange meaning across cultures, while equipping them with skills which will open up further opportunities for them in the future. Our approach to Modern Foreign Languages is underpinned by our Learning Intentions: Independent, Resilient and Empathetic Learners.
At Castle Primary School, the teaching of Spanish aims to provide a “balance of spoken and written language” that should “lay the foundations for further foreign language teaching at Key Stage 3” (National Curriculum, 2013). We aim to ensure that all children:
Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources.
Engage in conversations, speaking in sentences using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.
Are able to speak with increasing fluency and confidence, continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
Appreciate stories, songs and poems in Spanish.
To present ideas and describe people, places, things and actions orally and in writing.
Children gain independence through oral partner work, trying out new phrases and vocabulary together. Lessons foster a ‘have-a-go’ atmosphere, where mistakes are valued as the path to greater understanding, leading to stronger resilience. By gaining a deeper understanding of a global language like Spanish, children develop empathy with other countries and cultures, both near and far thus supporting their self-esteem we aim to create empathetic learners.
Children are introduced to Spanish from an early. Lessons support the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
In typical Spanish sessions, children…
…are taught to listen attentively to new spoken language and learn how to respond, joining in with songs, rhymes and games.
…spend time consolidating and reinforcing their understanding of key vocabulary, including colour, number and basic greetings.
…have the opportunity to engage in conversational Spanish, talking about themselves, their likes and dislikes, as well as asking and answering questions.
Our Languages curriculum ensures that children develop their knowledge of different languages. Varied learning experiences, including the annual celebration of the European Day of Languages also ensure that languages are celebrated throughout the school community, providing a context for language learning.
Through ensuring an emphasis on oracy, developing speaking and listening skills in particular, and the use of filming equipment, children have the opportunity to record and reflect on their learning, making them more competent and confident linguists. The children enjoy their Spanish sessions, and have plenty of opportunities to develop their independence, resilience and empathy.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
It is important in the Early Years stage of schooling to give children a broad, play-based experience of different cultures from around the world. They use continuous provision as a means to develop their independence and curiosity of a variety of areas including different cultures and their languages. We seek and create opportunities to encourage children to explore our world to gain a greater understanding of diverse cultures from an early age.
Curriculum Statement for Religion and World Views
At Castle Primary School, we believe that through Religion and World Views, pupils should be given the opportunity and encouragement to become worldwide citizens through the development of the Christian Values of; respect, responsibility, perseverance, integrity, tolerance and courage.
The principal aim of teaching Religion and World Views is to explore different beliefs and the impact they have on people’s lives, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to consider questions raised by different religions and world views, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
As our vision states, we offer an experiential curriculum that nurtures childrens’ innate curiosity, creativity, uniqueness and personal aspiration. We inspire courageous advocates and deep thinkers who celebrate the local whilst embracing the global, giving our pupils the skills and confidence to own their futures.
Our Religion and World Views syllabus is based upon ‘Understanding Christianity’ and the Somerset agreed syllabus: Awareness, Mystery and Value. We follow a rolling program that ensures a balanced coverage of Christianity and other World Views.
The focus in KS1 is largely centred around Christianity and Judaism however as part of being a global citizen we look at the world religion calendar and have days that focus on celebrations such as Diwali and Ramadan. Children in KS2 focus on Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Humanism.
Children have the opportunity to visit different places of worship, including our local parish church. We provide the children with opportunities to ask questions each lesson. During each unit of Christianity teaching, the local Reverend is invited into school so the children can ask questions to further their learning and understanding.
They enjoy hands on experiences, such as making Christingles, baking Challah bread, celebrating the Chinese New Year and making Diwali lamps.
We aim for children at Castle Primary School to develop spiritually, academically, emotionally, morally and socially. This enables them to reflect upon their own beliefs and see how these fits with others and develop respect and empathy for those who have different views to themselves so they can be global citizens and cope with the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities of living in a rapidly changing, multicultural world.
What does it look like in the EYFS?
Religion and World Views, within EYFS sits firmly within the areas of personal, social and emotional development and understanding of themselves, and others. Children learn how to form positive and respectful relationships through encountering religious and non-religious world views through special people, books, places and objects and by visiting places of worship. The children will have the opportunity to listen to and talk about stories. They are introduced to subject-specific words and use all of their senses to explore beliefs, practices and forms of expression. In the Early Years, the children ask questions and reflect on their own feelings and experiences. They use their imaginations and curiosity to develop their appreciation of, and wonder at, the world in which they live.
Drama Curriculum Statement
At Castle Primary School we believe that through drama, pupils should be given the opportunity and encouragement to develop and demonstrate their creative talents. As with all arts, drama involves imagination and feeling, and helps children make sense of the world. It does this through the creation of imagined characters and situations, and the relationships and events that they encounter. Through engagement in drama, pupils apply their imaginations and draw upon their own personal experiences. Their increasing knowledge and understanding of how the elements of drama work enables them to effectively shape, express and share their ideas, feelings and responses, making use of language, space, symbol, allegory and metaphor.
We believe that all pupils should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Pupils should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.
Castle Primary School aims to:
encourage imaginative and creative processes and responses by involving pupils in a range of drama methods and activities.
develop the capacity to express ideas and feelings through drama by encouraging constructive responses to drama work, sharing ideas and selecting appropriate drama methods
develop oral and physical skills, including using language and movement appropriate to role, through poetry and drama activities and responding to drama.
offer pupils the opportunity to experience aspects of theatre by rehearsing and presenting their work to others.
provide the opportunity for script reading and script writing skills through structured activities and lesson plans.
provide opportunities to see and hear different types of performance and drama.
The drama curriculum ensures students perform, listen, and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as part of English lessons. During these the children are given opportunities to read aloud their own work in lessons. Role-play in English is a key part of rehearsing stories and developing oral skills. There are regular opportunities for the children across the school to perform and participate in drama activities as part of the class performances including Easter, Harvest and Christmas.
Our drama curriculum ensures our children will have the opportunity to develop self-confidence and sense of self-worth through their participation in performing for an audience. Through these performances to parents and families the children will develop their sense of teamwork and collaboration. The children will develop a heightened awareness of drama opportunities available in and outside of school in the hope that access will be increased. The children will be able to appreciate varied drama performances.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Our curriculum approach to reading reflects our Trust wide values of ‘Courage, Compassion, Collaborative Service and Excellence' In particular, we are keen for pupils to develop a true passion and love for reading as well as develop as confident, competent readers.
We believe and expect that everyone can achieve and will learn to read at Castle. Everyone leaves Castle as a reader, opening the gateway to providing a life of learning and pleasure.
Reading is an integral part of the school curriculum and therefore importance is given to it in every subject, as well as the discrete teaching of reading.
For all children to become resilient, fluent and accurate readers.
For children to have the opportunity to develop their reading habits and styles.
For children to be encouraged to explore and expand their reading repertoire from a rich and wonderful selection of texts..
For Castle to have an authentic reading culture across the school where all children choose to, want to and enjoy reading.
All children will read daily at Castle School. To ensure consistency in EYFS and across KS1, the school uses the 'Read, Write Inc' phonics programme. There is a strong emphasis on phonics teaching which is then built on and consolidated through the rest of the school.
From Year 2 onwards, reading is a combination of RWI (for decoding and fluency) and the Trust framework for the teaching and learning of reading. Through these daily whole class reading sessions, the children have the opportunity to broaden their experience of literature with a clear and purposeful synergy to other areas of their learning.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, we have a skills based approach to reading and follow the VIPERS to focus on the comprehension aspect of reading:
V - explore vocabulary
I - Infer
P - Predict
E - Explain
R - Retrieve
S - Summarise and sequence
In addition to this, there will be time allocated for independent reading and reading for pleasure. Teacher's will have a daily, systematic 'read aloud programme' in every class which incorporates high quality fiction, non fiction and poetry. We work hard to develop an authentic reading culture across the school with a number of key events including bakes for books, Summer Reading Challenge, Cracking Good Read boxes, annual book fair, book weeks, World Book Day and Author focus.
Parents will be involved through their support with Go Read (min 4 reads a week at home expectation). All children in KS1 are issued a reading book that is appropriate for their reading ability and is changed weekly. In KS2, children are guided by Bug Club and teacher suggestions for appropriate home school reading books.
Parents are motivated through RWI workshops offered in September to new Reception parents, home school booklets on how to support your child with reading, VIPERS bookmarks with key comprehension questions, booklists with Christmas present suggestions, Summer Reading Challenge in the local library, annual book fairs, providing bakes for books and Seesaw activities uploaded to share with parents the reading the children are doing at school.
At each stage, from Reception, children have developed an ability to read for pleasure and comprehension. Decoding, fluency and vocabulary are well developed and children are able to read for meaning using a range of strategies.
The impact of reading at Castle has been seen in a number of ways:
Learning walks undertaken by the Reading Lead and SLT.
Discussions with children.
In KS1, phonics is given a high priority. Teaching is daily, purposeful and rigorous. Teachers use RWI materials to support their planning and delivery of early reading. This is accompanied by daily reading for pleasure and comprehension using VIPER questions and a high quality stimulus.
From Year 3 onwards, teachers plan from the KS2 Trust planning model (see attached).
A reading spine of core texts is available for each year group to enable teacher's to select the highest quality books/extracts when selecting the material they use. (Pie Corbett Reading Spine/Somerset Literacy Network read alouds)
Knowledge and skills progression
Individual long and short term planning demonstrates how reading learning lesson sequences are increasing the depth of understanding and range of knowledge throughout the primary years. A full copy of the progression grid is available for reading.
Once children have finished the RWI programme, they record their reading learning in books. These are marked in line with the school marking policy.
Work/reading events will also be documented through Seesaw and Facebook.
RWI assessment is carried out at the end of each half term to inform next steps and to ensure children are in the correct group to meet their phonic needs.
In KS2, as part of formative assessment, children complete PIXL reading tests. Teachers use this information to inform areas of focus. Regular assessment in daily shared reading and knowing each child as a reader is used to identify what is working and what needs adapting. Those children who are not meeting ARE are quickly identified and given extra practice. Assessment materials including PM benchmarking are used to pick up on issues such as fluency and comprehension.
On our annual reports, which are given to parents at the end of the year, a judgement will be made regarding their child's attainment in reading relating to the National Curriculum for their year group.
Curriculum leader to collate evidence including analysing how planning for learning for Yr 2 and above matches the evidence in books, learning walks, speaking to the pupils about their learning and discussing with colleagues what has gone well and any areas for development.
Where relevant the implementation of school policies (such as marking) will be reviewed to ensure the workload for reading is both manageable and making an impact on the children's learning.
Written by Jo Downes with reference to Pie Corbett/Maria Richards Transforming Reading and Writing Programme. Dec 20, 2021
DT Curriculum Statement
The students at Castle Primary School will be taught how to take a design brief and see it through to its evaluation stage. They will work through a process, whereby they research and design a product, then make trials, construct and evaluate the product. These skills will enable them to become brave and ambitious designers and innovators. They will learn how to grow their confidence and produce models that they can be proud of which have purpose and audience. Our pupils will be creative and practical with their ideas and show courage in presenting them through a variety of communication means. Our DT curriculum will enrich our students’ understanding of famous inventors and designers and their impact on our world. It will enable them to recognise their own ability to make their stamp in the world as innovators and entrepreneurs in our ever-growing and changing world. Castle Primary School pupils will gain an understanding about how inventors can impact the wider community by visiting sites of significance such as Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol.
We teach a skills-based design and technology curriculum at Castle Primary School, which gives opportunities for our children to express their creative imagination and use a wide range of materials and components to create their purposeful designs. Through delivering an iterative curriculum, children are given the opportunity to continually evaluate and rework ideas so that they can produce the most effective and functional prototypes and models. Children practise and develop their skills, leading to mastery in the key processes of DT: researching, designing, building and evaluating. A whole-school approach has been adopted ensuring that DT is integrated through the wider curriculum across the school (specifically science) and many positive experiences are taking place, including; well-planned DT lessons which have deep cross-curricular links, visits to Bristol and other surrounding areas, links with our local businesses and trips to local secondary schools. We celebrate our children’s talents through termly celebration days, where we invite our parents in to see the fantastic creations the children have made.
Design Portfolios are incorporated in the Discovery books and are used throughout KS1 and KS2. They are record of the progression of the design process for each project. They include a variety of different design processes such as drawings and sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, peer discussions and initial brain storming ideas. The portfolios also include photos of models and mock-ups that were made in the process. The children’s progression is shown through the portfolio from brief to final outcome. It demonstrates the skills and knowledge they have acquired and built upon each year and are a vital piece of evidence in our monitoring process. Alongside the portfolios, at the end of a DT unit, children produce a polished model in which they can be proud of. Teachers encourage their class to produce individual models as well as whole class/school projects too. By the end of Year 6, the pupils at Castle Primary School will have been exposed to a variety of established innovators and will be able to recognise and comment on many aspects of their work. They will have developed a strong technological skill set and be confident in their ability to take an idea and develop it into a purposeful, appealing and functional product.
Children’s work is celebrated on display both inside and outside their classrooms, giving them ownership and pride in their achievements. It is the responsibility of all members of staff to present and celebrate this work through the school. Teachers are held accountable through portfolio scrutinies and audits. Through staff meetings and insets, teachers own subject knowledge is developed and their confidence built. Required resources are ordered well in advance of the proposed lessons, so teachers feel prepared and confident to teach. Once a term, parents are invited in to celebrate their children’s work. The products that children produce is a key element of what children enjoying sharing on these occasions.
Design and technology is a practical and vital subject. It is crucial to the advancement of children’s development in creativity, self-reflection and their ability to turn academic subjects such as science and maths into meaningful products in the real world. It teaches them how to take risks and so become more innovative, enterprising and capable. Students develop a critical understanding of the impact of design and technology on daily life and the wider world.
If we want Britain to be one of the leading countries in designing, making and inventing, then DT needs to be at the forefront of our curriculum. Innovation in the UK depends on design and technology being taught in our schools. The more we apply these creative elements at primary and KS3, the bigger the outcome at KS4 and beyond. We want our children to be the next generation of designers, innovators and engineers.
|Castle Curriculum Progression in DT 2021|