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Eldon Primary School

Aspiration, Determination, Success

The Curriculum at Eldon

Approach

At Eldon, we aim to foster a life-long love of learning, through adopting a highly practical and cross-curricular approach to learning. Our Creative Curriculum aims to deliver a twenty-first century education that will equip our children with the skills required to be an independent and responsible citizen. We aim to deliver this through:

  • Developing a sense of community and belonging, contributing to our community through direct interaction – making links with local organisations.
  • Equipping children with skills for life, through practical work
  • Providing opportunities for children to broaden their outlook on life
  • Making learning more meaningful, through putting it into context
  • Holding a flexible timetabling approach to make space for true depth of study
  • Establishing cross-curricular links to foster a broader understanding
  • To build on their achievements, through continuing the Early Learning Goals – the six aspects of learning.

 

We use a variety of teaching styles. Most lessons conform to the three part model: Introducing with whole class teaching, using open ended probing questions, visual stimuli and talk partners; followed by a period of learning, where children may work independently, in pairs or as groups; lessons are concluded with a plenary that extends, applies or previews learning. Some lessons may begin with an investigation or include mini plenaries throughout the session.

 

We recognise that children have preferred learning styles, and so make allowances for this in our planning and delivery. We provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability and learning style of the children. We achieve this in a variety of ways by:

  • using visualisers to elicit an agreed success criteria;
  • setting common, open ended tasks to elicit a variety and depth of response;
  • assessing children’s’ knowledge at the beginning of a topic
  • setting tasks of increasing difficulty, scaffolding where appropriate
  • grouping children by ability and setting different tasks for each ability group;
  • grouping children into mixed ability to enhance peer to peer learning
  • providing practical opportunities for kinaesthetic learners;
  • using visual stimuli and artefacts to promote interest;
  • using trips and visitors to further understanding
  • using Teaching Assistants to support the work of individual children or groups of children.

 

Reading at Eldon 

‘The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.’ 

Dr Seuss

 

Early Years

From nursery upwards, we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.

Reception children have daily phonics lessons, initially as a class but by the spring term, they are split into phase groups. We aim to have children achieving Phase 3 by the end of Reception.

In the Nursery and Reception classes we focus on engaging children in a love of books by using quality texts as a central theme in the classrooms and by sharing stories with them throughout the day.

In Reception, children read in groups with an adult, weekly, once they are settled. Staff also hear children read on a one-to-one basis where this is needed. In the spring term, we introduce ‘Daily Supported Reading’ to Reception groups.

 

KS1

In year 1, we continue teaching phonics, daily in phase groups, using Letters and Sounds. We aim that all children leave year 1 at Phase 5.

 

In year 1, children take part in ‘Daily Supported Reading’ for 30 minutes every day.

 

In year 2, we continue teaching phonics through Letters and Sounds. We aim that all children leave year 2 at Phase 6.

 

DSR continues in Y2 until children are on Level 22. In year 2, we also teach many reading skills through the English lesson. As children learn about each genre, they will deconstruct texts, learn new vocabulary and discuss inference etc.

Once they are no longer receiving DSR, children have 3 x weekly 30-40 minute sessions in which they are taught a very specific skill or strand of reading e.g. retrieval or prediction. This session is ‘whole class’ with a short follow-up activity. The whole class sessions end with children reading an appropriately levelled book for 15 minutes.

 

KS2 

The Letters and Sounds phonics programme continues to be taught daily in year 3 for those children not at Phase 6: this may be as an intervention.

Children who are not reading at Level 22 will also receive DSR in a class or as an intervention.

 

Once children are fluent readers, our approach to the teaching of reading in KS2, like in year 2, is to embed many of the reading skills into the English lesson. In addition to this, children have 3 x weekly 40-minute sessions in which they are taught a very specific skill or strand of reading e.g. skim-reading, scanning, inference and deduction. This session is ‘whole class’ with a short follow-up activity. The whole class session ends with children reading their current reading book for 15 minutes. We use a range of materials to support these sessions and training takes place both externally and internally.

 

Children who have the potential to reach Greater Depth require challenge across the school. Teachers plan so that more-able children are asked to read, interpret and infer from more complex texts and to answer questions in greater detail. Teachers will monitor theses children’s choice of texts to ensure challenge is always there.

 

Across the school, children are read to on a daily basis by the teacher. Each class has a library session each week.

 

We expect children to have at least one book in their book bag that is stage-appropriate as well as a free choice or library book.

 

In EYFS and KS1, parents are expected to comment in reading logs regularly and school staff weekly.  In KS2, children and parents are expected to comment in reading logs regularly and school staff, weekly.

 

As we develop our curriculum, we know that reading must be a central theme and children will be asked to engage with texts and apply their skills across the range of subjects.

 

The Foundation Stage Learning Environment

The Foundation stage covers the Nursery and Reception years. Pupils at this stage of their education follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum which helps them achieve nationally determined Early Learning Goals. The children’s learning is planned to cover the following areas:

Prime Areas:

 

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

  • Making relationships
  • Self-confidence and self-awareness
  • Managing feelings and behaviour

 

Physical Development

  • Moving and handling
  • Health and self-care

 

Communication and Language

  • Listening and attention
  • Understanding

 

Creative Arts

At Eldon, we aim to foster a life-long love of learning, through adopting a highly practical and cross-curricular approach. Our Creative Curriculum aims to deliver a twenty-first century education that will equip our children with the skills required to be independent and responsible citizens. Our vision is to be a centre of excellence providing exciting learning opportunities and enhanced life chances. Our curriculum is heavily based upon practical, creative opportunities and each half term we focus on a new topic. Class topics are chosen using the children’s ideas and work is differentiated to ensure all abilities are catered for as we have a fully inclusive ethos. This enables each class teacher to personalise lessons for their class, and the children to feel a sense of ownership over their learning. Topics can be found for individual year groups and classes within the curriculum document on the website. Within topic teaching we include many creative art subjects such as art, design and technology, role play and drama. Dance is taught within time allocated for physical education. Each class has an allocated music time with a music specialist where they are taught in a designated music room and have the opportunity to learn about music through composing, performing, listening and appraising. Much of our curriculum is based upon the arts as it enthuses and stimulates children to progress and enjoy their learning.

 

 

Andrew Mutter
Arts Mark Assessor

"When visiting the school I was overwhelmed with the excellent practice. There were children involved in developing fine motor skills and discovering the world around them, through participation in role play and art activities. It should be noted, that Eldon school is a beacon of good practice. It is a good school, with features of outstanding arts education practice."

 

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