The Irthlingborough & Finedon Learning Trust
Stronger together for all our children
STRONGER TOGETHER

Our Curriculum

 

At Finedon the children are at the heart of our curriculum. We follow the National Curriculum, which identifies the subjects, the skills and the content to be taught to children.

It is our aim to offer a creative and enriching curriculum that provides exciting, stimulating topics which the children become fully absorbed in using a cross-curricular approach so we have developed this curriculum, organising learning into themes.  We strive to encompass as many curriculum subjects into each topic, making them relevant and meaningful for our children.  Therefore, during each topic children will encounter a ‘Wow Day’ that serves as a ‘Super Start’ to the topic, a ‘Marvellous Middle’ and a ‘Fantastic Finish’; which we hope will inspire the children and engage them fully in their learning.

We use a number of different approaches to explore and deliver the topics to ensure we enable our children to develop all the skills they need to be confident and successful learners. Wherever possible, children are involved in the planning stage of new topics as we value their ideas and contributions; we believe that children learn best when they are able to steer and direct their own learning. We want our children to be inquisitive and passionate about their learning and spark a desire for lifelong learning.

The curriculum at Finedon School’s is delivered through three key stages; Foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Below are the subjects taught in school, identified in the National Curriculum, for Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) pupils. Have a look at our curriculum maps by clicking the links below:

Foundation Stage Learning Themes

Year 1/2 Curriculum map 2016/2017                     Year 1/2 Curriculum map 2015/2016

Year 3/4 Curriculum map 2016/2017                     Year 3/4 Curriculum map 2015/2016

Year 5/6 Curriculum map 2016/2017                     Year 5/6 Curriculum map 2015/2016

 

A useful guide to what we teach in English, Maths and Science in each Year Group - Parents Complete Guide to the new Curriculum

The ‘Class’ pages on our website are set up to allow parents and friends an insight into some of the curriculum content and activities that the children experience during the course of the year. There is also a parent guide to the new National Curriculum which can be accessed by clicking here.

Literacy:

All children learn skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Literacy is vital to the future of all our children and is of the highest priority at this school.

Teaching Reading at Finedon Schools

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island and best of all you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” – Walt Disney

We believe the most important skill any child can leave primary school with is the ability to read independently and effectively for meaning. We therefore provide a curriculum which offers a structured approach to the teaching of reading through discreet reading lessons and embedding this work within our creative curriculum.

Phonics

Our teaching of reading is initially based on pupils learning sounds, (phonics). There is more to reading than this but there is a weight of evidence that systematic synthetic phonics, taught in the first years of a child’s education, gives children the key building blocks they need to understand words. This underpins children’s successful progress in reading and can inspire a lifetime love of books.

Alongside formal lessons, we are committed to promoting the importance of reading for pleasure. Evidence shows that young people who read for pleasure daily perform better in their lessons and assessments than those who do not read regularly. All teachers support children to enjoy reading and enable them to read a wide range of good quality fiction and non-fiction.

Phonics focuses on sounds rather than, for example, having children try to recognise whole words. In synthetic phonics, children start by sequencing the individual sounds in words – for example: ’s-t-r-ee-t’, with an emphasis on blending them together. As they learn their phonics they apply their skills through reading books of the appropriate level. Children who learn using synthetic phonics are able to tackle new words working from sound alone.

The phonics scheme we use at Finedon is well recognised and called ‘Letters and Sounds’; it begins in the Foundation Stage and progresses throughout the school. For the progression of Phonics teaching, please click here.

Guided Reading

Guided Reading is introduced to the children in the Foundation Stage in preparation for transition to Year 1 and continues up to Year 6. Once a week children are put into ability groups to read and discuss what they are reading with their teacher. The whole group reads the same book or an extract from a book and the teacher then asks specific questions to individuals based on their needs. The teacher will take notes about everyone’s progress and update reading records accordingly. During guided reading children are taught a range of reading strategies, not only phonics. They will look at punctuation, vocabulary and give their opinion about what they are reading. Children develop strategies to retrieve information and make inferences from the text which together improves their comprehension when reading.

Shared Reading

This is when the whole class study a book or a text. This could be a big book, a poster or class sets of books or extracts. The text is the genre which the class will be studying in their literacy lesson that week, it is often quite challenging and a higher level than the texts they read independently. Shared reading is often followed by independent comprehension work or a writing activity. It is also a technique used when reading about other subject areas e.g. in History or Science lessons.

Individual reading

This is when children read to Teachers, Teaching Assistants or classroom helpers. What pupils need to work on next is recorded so whoever listens to the same pupil next time is informed. There is also quiet reading time in class as well as opportunities for the Infant children to regularly visit the Infant School library. As children grow in confidence with their reading, it is positive that children also read independently at home as well as reading to a parent, carer or a sibling on a daily basis.

What books do children read?

Children choose their books according to the level they need. We do not use one scheme but a selection of books by different authors and publishers, the main ones being Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star, Project X and Story World. We allow children to be ‘free readers’ when they can read fluently and with understanding and they can choose from a large selection of books which are not levelled. There are occasions when children choose to read the same book more than once, this is not a problem and it helps children establish the type of genre they enjoy.

Assessing Reading

At Finedon, teachers are gathering information about children’s reading on a daily basis from a number of activities. This helps us ensure lesson planning meets the needs of individuals. Teachers also assess and record reading progress in terms of National Curriculum levels three times a year, this is called a ‘Reading Conference’. Any child who is not making the expected progress is discussed and strategies are put in place to support them. This could be in the form of 1:1 teaching, small group activities or being heard read on a more regular basis. All Y1 pupils are tested in June to establish their phonic knowledge and the results are reported to parents. Extra support is given to any child who has failed to reach the expected standard. Statutory testing of reading also takes place at the end of Y2 and Y6.

If you have any questions about how children learn to read at Finedon Infant or Finedon Junior School please contact either of the school offices or your child’s teacher.

Mathematics:

We believe that giving children the skills to be numerate is vitally important. Children are taught maths skills that develop their awareness and understanding of number, measurement, shape and data handling. Children are not only taught mathematical skills, but also how to apply them in problem solving situations.

At Finedon Schools we place a huge emphasis on mathematical thinking and reasoning. Children are encouraged to explain their thinking at all points in their maths lessons and to relate their learning to any one or more of four mathematical powers:

  • Conjecturing a convincing (What I think and why)
  • Organising and classifying (Order and sort)
  • Imagining and expressing (Show my thinking)
  • Specialising and generalising (Use examples and notice what is the same).

If you would like a copy of our schools calculation policy please contact us and we can arrange for a copy to be provided for you.

Science:

Children are taught about the world around them – animals and plants, different materials, energy and forces. More importantly, they are taught to ask “How?” and “Why?” and taught how to find the answers through practical science investigations.  Wherever possible science is incorporated into the theme the children are currently studying.

Support your child’s science education at home

Computing:

Children use computers to learn the following skills: Research, Music and Sound, Multimedia, Modelling and Simulations, Handling Data, Digital Imagery, Control and Communicating, Collaborating and Publishing. We teach specific computing skills in one discrete lesson per week, but we also use computing as a tool to teach other subjects as well.

Other subjects taught through the theme are:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Design Technology

We also have the responsibility to teach Physical Education (PE) and Religious Education (RE), although parents have the right to withdraw children for all or part of the religious education curriculum, we feel that it is vital for children to learn, understand and become respectful of other religions.  In addition, schools are advised to teach Personal, Social and Health Education as well as Citizenship together with a Modern Foreign Language in Key Stage 2.

Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum:

The Reception Class’ Curriculum is part of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. In EYFS there are 7 learning areas. The 3 ‘Prime Areas’ are: Communication and Language; Physical Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The 4 ‘Specific Areas’ (through which the 3 Prime Areas are strengthened and applied) are: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design’.