Old Stratford Primary School aims to offer a curriculum that inspires children to learn and to use the skills we need to be a successful learner.
Our curriculum is built around first hand experience, research and using the interests of children to drive our learning. Therefore the children will be involved in a number of themes during the year that could involve a number of different subjects.
We also believe in giving the children the key skills in Reading, Writing and Maths. These are the building blocks to future success and it is extremely important that the school works closely with parents to gain long lasting learning. Children begin reading using the Read, Write, Inc scheme as well as being involved in daily guided reading sessions.
Daily English lessons develop the skills of written and verbal communication. We aim to equip the children with the ability and confidence to express themselves with clarity. Through speaking and listening activites, we help children to sustain and develop their ideas and adopt active listening strategies. Drama is used as a medium to learn across the curriculum, providing opportunites to improvise, work in role and perform. Children are encouraged to work collaboratively and join in group discussions; they are also taught the skills of critical analysis. Children are equipped with the important skills necessary to read for both enjoyment and understanding. We aim to foster a love of reading and our classrooms contain a broad range of both fiction and non-fiction books. There is a progressive reading scheme that is used to support the teaching of specific reading strategies such as using phonics, visual and contextual clues. Much time is spent during a typical week with reading opportunities, including individual, group and class reading. All children have a reading book that they will bring home on a daily basis for you to share and enjoy with them. We follow the 'Read Write Inc' programme to teach phonics and hold parents sessions to support parents .
Writing is taught to enable children to coherently communicate their thoughts, ideas and experiences. Grammar, punctuation and spelling skills are taught in a structured way enabling children to write effectively for a range of audiences. Much emphasis is placed on children being creative in their use of language, and they will learn how to write in a variety of styles and for different contexts.
Phonics and Reading
Our Approach to Phonics
At Old Stratford Primary School, we follow the Read Write Inc programme. Initially children's listening skills are developed through the use of music, environmental sounds and rhyme. In Foundation Stage, children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as 'igh' and 'ch'. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling. Read Write Inc gives children an action for each sound, which supports children who learn in an active way.
In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as 'a' in 'ant' and 'was'. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words. From Year 2 onwards, children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.
Our Approach to Reading Schemes
At Old Stratford Primary School, children are encouraged to read at home every day. In Foundation Stage, children begin by taking home wordless books, to allow them to spend time talking to a parent about the book, without being constrained by the necessity to read words. Once children have a good understanding of how books work and have gained some phonics knowledge, they begin to read books containing simple words which can be blended or sounded out. The reading books are colour banded and, as children become more confident and able readers, they will take home books from different colour bands. The books are phonics based books that are linked directly to the sounds that the children are learning in class. Once children become fluent readers, a range of books are provided to allow children to engage in more lengthy discussions about the content of the book.
Once children have entered Key Stage 2, they will follow the Accelerated Reading Programme. This programme focuses more on the children's comprehension skills and is supported by an online assessment tool to ensure each child is accessing the correct book of complexity to develop their comprehension skills.
Throughout the school day, children will have the opportunity to read in many different lessons. They will also have dedicated quiet time to read to encourage their ability to read for a sustained time. Each class will visit the school library on a weekly basis to choose a non-fiction book of their choice. At Old Stratford Primary School, we want our children to access books that are also beyond their reading ability. Therefore, each class will study a class book that will be read by the teacher.
We teach our pupils Maths through Power Maths which is a whole class mastery programme designed to spark curiosity and excitement and nurture confidence in Maths. An essential concept underpinning maths mastery is the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach which highlights the need to provide children with concrete manipulatives. Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding, based on Richard Skemp’s work.
The questions and examples are carefully varied by expert authors to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
We adopt an approach to science which aims to stimulate and excite the children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. Through practical activities and investigations, children are taught to plan, hypothesise and predict; design and carry out their own investigations; interpret results and draw conclusions; and communicate their findings to others using scientific vocabulary. Children are taught about life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes (e.g. electrical circuits, facts about the Sun, Earth and Moon). Through work in these areas, children are taught about scientific enquiry, answering challenging questions which they attempt solve through experimentation and fair testing.
Religious Education is taught according to the framework of the Northamptonshire Agreed Syllabus. Children learn about the main features and teachings of Christianity and other main religious faiths including Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. Pupils are encouraged to respect others’ beliefs and values helping to promote tolerance and understanding between those of different races and cultures. We also have themed weeks where the schools totally immerse themselves into a particular religion. Visits to different places of worship form part of the RE curriculum. Daily Collective Worship, along with providing structured time for reflection, forms an essential part of our school day. We have close links with our parish and our local vicars play an active role in collective worship.
The schools are fortunate to have the latest technology including touch screen TV’s, Ipads and laptops. Children are taught to use a range of ICT tools and information sources, such as various software programs and the internet, to support their work across the curriculum. They develop their research and communication skills. They learn that information needs to be accurate and relevant and that information on the internet may sometimes be neither. The children are taught how to use databases, word processing programs, spreadsheets and multimedia programs such as Powerpoint. They also learn how to use digital cameras, scanners and recording equipment. All classrooms have touch screen Televisions and internet access. The focus in the teaching of ICT is very much based on preparing children for the future; helping them to see how ICT can be used to solve problems, find, sort and present information, and to model, measure and control events. ICT is changing the way we learn, as well as the way we work.
Our geography curriculum aims to provoke and answer questions about the natural and human worlds, using different scales of enquiry to view them from different perspectives. Children are taught to develop knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, and understand maps and atlases. The children learn through an investigative approach, asking questions, gathering and recording geographical information and using various resources. Their study work is also enhanced by educational visits to places of interest.
Children are helped to recognise that studying history is relevant and exciting. Pupils consider how the past influences the present, what past societies were like, how these societies organised themselves, and what beliefs and cultures influenced people’s actions. The children learn about local, Britsh, European and international history, and the historical order in which people lived and events happened. We aim to bring history alive through an interactive approach including visits to places of historical interest. Pupils are also taught how the past can be shown and explained in different ways.
French and Spanish is taught to all KS2 pupils. The teaching of language to early learners is now widely recognized as a significant contributory factor in improving literacy, building self-confidence and broadening cultural horizons. Other benefits include gains in listening and speaking skills, appreciation of other cultures and enthusiasm for new forms of learning. The main principles of the County approved scheme centre on children enjoying their early years of learning French and Spanish.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. Children are taught to sing and play musical instruments in a controlled way. They learn to perform music in groups, and see how their own contribution makes a difference to the whole performance. As children grow older, they begin to learn to express their ideas and feelings through their own music. They listen to many different types of music, picking out the detail and learning how it was created and used.
Art & Design
We aim to promote the arts in all its forms. The teaching of Art and Design is aimed at stimulating children’s creativity and imagination. Children are taught to:
- explore and develop ideas
- combine materials, tools and techniques to achieve effects
- review their own and others’ work, saying what they think and feel about it
- combine colour, patterns and texture, line and tone, shape, form and space
- investigate the roles and purposes of artists, craftspeople and designers in different times and cultures. Children have the opportunity to work with a range of media and explore a variety of starting points for their work.
Design & Technology
Design and Technology prepares pupils to participate in tomorrow’s rapidly changing technologies. Children are taught to:
- look at products to see how they work and how they are used, and ask the views of the people who use them
- practise practical skills and tasks, such as joining, fixing and connecting
- design and create their own products, using what they have learned .
Children are shown how to work safely using a variety of materials and tools. Learning is through practical activities and involves much collaboration and problem solving.
PE is taught to develop pupils’ physical competence and confidence and their ability to perform in a range of activities including games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming, and outdoor and adventurous activities. Children are taught to play cooperatively and fairly, fostering good sporting behaviour. We participate in a number of sporting events during the school year and our annual Sports’ Day.
We aim to develop well-rounded pupils who show consideration for others, respect for their environment, an ability to make healthy informed choices, and recognition that they can make a positive contribution to society. Children are taught personal skills including how to:
- develop independence
- recognise their own achievements
- decide what is right and wrong
- set themselves goals.
Children also learn social skills where they think about:
- how the choices they make affect other people and the environment
- different groups in society and how to get on with them
- how and why rules are made
Our schools have a strong and very proactive School Council who meet at least monthly. They are involved in many school improvement initiatives and help to make our school an even better place.
SRE (Sex and Relationships Education) SRE is part of our ongoing programme. Initially it focuses on looking at your body and keeping clean. Later it considers friendships and relationships. As the children grow older, Years 5 and 6, puberty is discussed. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any (or all) of the SRE programme. The request to withdraw should be made in writing to the Head Teacher.
If you want to find out more log into your child's class information page and see the work they have done and what is to come in the future. Also you can ask your class teacher for more information as to what your child may be covering during each term.
We have also included a link to the new national curriculum on this page so you can see the objectives we cover with each year group. Again if you need this explaining please talk to your class teacher.