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Curriculum

Curriculum

The School caters for children aged between 7 and 11 years who follow the Key Stage 2 curriculum. Underpinning our curriculum is our statement:

 

            'We seek to provide a Christian ethos and education which promotes the all round development of

              each child and enables them to achieve success and gain a sense of self worth’.

 

St Laurence Church Junior School offers a broad and balanced curriculum which:

  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

 

Topics are chosen to inspire and engage the children, making learning interesting, creative and challenging.  Inspiration activites, trips, visitors and practical elements offer real experiences for children to engage in the topic theme.  This theme is then applied across a range of subjects, so that children, across the key stage will cover objectives in all subjects of the national curriculum.  Children will have opportunities to develop and broaden their understanding and are encouraged to excel, whatever their ability.

 

Our aim is to motivate children to become confident, independent learners with an enthusiasm and love of learning. We also hope to inspire each and every child to become a respectable, caring, socially competent member of society, equipping them with the skills to adapt to an ever changing world.

 

General information about our curriculum can be found on this page of our website, within our school prospectus or from Year Group pages and Year Group Newsletters. If parents, carers or other members of the public would like any more information about our curriculum, please use the school's email address which can be found on our 'Contact Us' page.

 

English including GPS

English is the cornerstone of all learning. At St Laurence, we plan and teach our lessons following the National Curriculum. During our daily English lessons, which are taught in sets, children are encouraged to develop and express their thoughts and ideas, through drama, role play and discussion, in a range of whole class, group and paired opportunities. 


Reading and Writing are taught seamlessly as part of one learning journey. Teachers take quality, ambitious texts and skilfully use them to plot a learning journey covering a wide range of Reading and Writing opportunities linked to the National Curriculum, which are appropriate for each year group. 
Discrete Reading Comprehension skills are also planned as part of the learning journey. We deliver the punctuation and grammar aspects of the National curriculum through our taught Writing sessions. These sessions are integrated into the English learning journey, with the aim of seeing these skills improve and being applied to children’s writing. The aim of writing is to enable pupils to use a wide range of vocabulary, have a clear structure to their writing and suit the purpose and reader. Pupils are encouraged to develop ideas, plan and review writing and discuss with peers and adults, the quality of their written work. 


The Spelling element of the National Curriculum is also taught discretely. We follow the no nonsense spelling scheme, which allows for both the retrieval and progression of spelling knowledge and strategies. Our aim is to immerse our learners in a language rich environment which encourages them to use a wide range of vocabulary and grammar, spelt accurately and used effectively within their writing across the curriculum. Spelling skills, as outlined in the 2014 National Curriculum, are developed through a series of weekly lessons focused on spelling rules and patterns across each year group. At the end of each week, children participate in a weekly spelling test to consolidate their knowledge and understanding.


Handwriting is highly valued and we have a whole school approach to a joined style, which teachers model and support. Achievement of a Pen Licence is celebrated in a whole school assembly.

 

Reading
At St Laurence we believe that reading is an integral part of the school curriculum and a fundamental life skill that impacts on all learning. We want every child to love reading and to want to learn to read for themselves. Therefore, we aim to inspire a true love of reading, whereby our children are enthusiastic and motivated readers who feel confident to be able to talk about books and authors. We ensure our children have access to a high-quality English curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable for all readers. 


Reading is taught as part of the English learning journey but also discreetly in Guided Reading sessions, where teachers use high quality texts and explicitly teach the following reading comprehension skills to children:
    Activating prior knowledge
    Prediction
    Visualisation
    Summarise
    Vocabulary
    Questioning
    Empathising
    Sequence/ text structure analysis
    Skimming and scanning

 

 All children receive an appropriate level reading book to take home and it is expected that children read at home at least three times a week and fill in their reading diary. Children are informally assessed on a regular basis to ensure that they are reading at the right level. Children should be able to read the books sent home to an adult with ease and should be able to discuss the content of the book and make predictions. Books of a higher level are used within Guided Reading session in school to teach new skills and to make sure that children are making progress. 


We believe it is important that children have a rich diet of texts so we ensure that our home reading books are supplemented by a selection of other reading material. All classes have a weekly trip to the school library where they are shown how to select their own books using the Junior Library system and encouraged to read a wide selection of books. 

 

Mathematics

At St Laurence Church Junior School, our intent is to promote a culture of enjoyment of mathematics and foster a resilience in pupils’. We aim for all of our children to become fluent, reason mathematically and solve problems with increasing sophistication.

Maths is taught daily in ability groupings across year groups.   Our curriculum is in line with the programme of study detailed in the National Curriculum for Mathematics.  Maths lessons are carefully planned and structured showing clear, progressive steps.  The idea is to teach each concept in depth, before moving on too quickly.  We focus on using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations in order to deepen children’s understanding of different concepts.  These are then re-visited throughout the academic year to ensure key learning has been embedded.

In line with the National Curriculum we aim to ensure that pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

Alongside this, children are taught mental strategies to develop their speed with number; formal written methods to complement these and a range of problem-solving strategies to increase their confidence and handling of mathematics. We use Times Tables Rock Stars to promote the learning of multiplication and division facts at home.  This is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice that is accessible to all pupils in Key Stage 2. The online tool is aimed at improving multiplication facts recall speed and pupils are encouraged to climb the ladder to stardom whilst reinforcing and learning mathematical facts.

Homework is key to supporting children's learning and for the majority of the year pupils are given, and expected to complete, a weekly piece of homework.

 

Science

Our programme of study in Science aims to develop enquiring minds and to gain knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas and skills.

Children are encouraged through a variety of situations to develop the skill of questioning. Investigations and experiments help children to understand how ideas develop and allow them to develop their natural curiosity.

Through practical activities children can develop the ability to formulate and test ideas and gain an understanding of scientific knowledge. We ask children to make connections between scientific ideas and develop them beyond the classroom.

Experiences outside the classroom have included Year 5 completing a river study at Woodgate Valley.

The skills of scientific enquiry developed throughout the subject are easily transferrable into other subject areas.

A whole school approach to science is celebrated through events such as Science Roadshows, the Health Bus and the participation in National Science Week.

 

Religious Education

As St Laurence Junior School is a Church school, Christianity is at the forefront of our Religious Education curriculum. This is delivered through the Understanding Christianity scheme of work; Understanding Christianity helps children to develop their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, it helps children to appreciate the world and their own experiences within it. For all children, of any faith or no faith, we believe that developing spiritual, moral and cultural awareness is of utmost importance.  Children also explore the beliefs, traditions and festivals of other faiths and compare how Christianity is similar or different to these religions. Visits to important places of worship are included as part of the entitlement experience for all children.

 

Art

The Art units at St Laurence are covered within the Integrated Curriculum topics. Therefore each year group covers and has experiences in learning a range of different Art work. Each topic changes every 6-7 weeks therefore the Art units change accordingly.

All Art lessons take place within class with differentiation being offered through visual, practical and creative activities as well as peer and teacher support.

The aim is to allow all our children to experience lots of different aspects of Art on a visual, practical and creative level. We encourage our children to learn new art skills and cover own exploration. In doing this we aim to offer children a degree of confidence in this subject area as they progress through their academic and social life.

 

French

At St Laurence Church Junior School we believe that the learning of an additional language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. It helps them to develop communication skills, including key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children an additional perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.

The government changes mean that the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages is now compulsory at Key Stage Two. The school’s Scheme of Work is planned to reflect this new curriculum, encouraging the children to learn not only about the culture of France, but also allowing them to become familiar with some useful aspects of the language.

French lessons take place within class with differentiation being offered through visual and practical activities as well as peer and teacher support.

The curriculum encourages the children's engagement with the subject through practical activities including interactive songs, repetition of vocabulary, role play and much more. The aim is to allow the children to experience the culture and language on a visual and functional level in order to offer a degree of confidence as they progress through their academic and social life.

 

Computing and ICT

Technology is a rapidly changing and developing part of our lives. At St Laurence Church Junior School we aim to use this powerful tool to provide children with learning opportunities which allow them to become digitally literate, develop their computational thinking skills, approach technology positively and creatively and develop e-safety awareness. We follow the ‘Switched on Computing’ scheme which caters for complete coverage of the national curriculum programmes of study for computing. As their knowledge and skills develop throughout Key Stage Two, children will collaborate to use a range of devices and programmes across the curriculum to support their understanding of computing. As part of our curriculum, children learn how to design, write and debug programs allowing them to use simple algorithms (instructions) to achieve specific goals. Children are taught how computer networks provide multiple services and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration, such as the Internet. Computing is integrated across the curriculum to support digital literacy. In maths, children will produce spreadsheets and graphs, as well as using laptops and iPads for research and recording purposes in other subjects. The teaching of e-safety runs through the core our computing curriculum, and each year children participate in activities which promote staying safe online as part of Safer Internet Day.

 

Physical Education

Physical Education

St Laurence Junior School provides all pupils with up to two lessons of quality and active PE lessons a week which includes an indoor and outdoor timetabled slot. The key areas of PE that are delivered at least once every academic year are: Games (including invasion, striking and fielding, and net and wall), Gymnastics, Dance and Athletics.

As part of the National Curriculum requirements for swimming, Year 3 pupils receive weekly swimming lessons where each class will visit the local swimming baths once a term. In addition, to support swimming development and water safety skills further, Year 4 pupils also receive the same weekly swimming lessons.

Our school also supports Year 5 and 6 with developing orienteering skills and we offer the opportunity for Year 4 to receive additional outdoor adventurous activities. These activities cover the ‘Outdoor and Adventurous Activities’ section of the curriculum. 

All children at our school are offered the same opportunities, including the options to participate in extra-curricular activities as well as a variety of sporting events throughout the year. We have a range of before and after school clubs running throughout the week which often include: football, dance, gymnastics, archery, table tennis, netball, drama and tag-rugby.

In addition to this, physical activity is encouraged during break and lunch with a wide range of equipment available. Young Leaders are deployed throughout the year, delivering simple fun activities to encourage, engage and inspire a more active lunchtime.

As well as lesson time, there are several house competitions throughout the year. This encourages intra-school competition. The events are active, enjoyable and carried out in the right sporting manner.

Finally, many children, particularly those who participate in our sports clubs go on to represent the school in inter-school fixtures and events. This includes a range of sports and fixtures and is a great way to develop team work and sportsmanship skills.

 

 

PSHE and SEAL

Across the school children engage with a variety of PSHE/Circle Time and SEAL activities. These are coordinated programmes of discreet, cross curricular and extra curricular opportunities for children to develop their personal, social and emotional skills and develop their knowledge of health education.

There are five broad social and emotional aspects of learning which we address throughout the curriculum. These are:

  • Self-awareness
  • Managing feelings
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

Within each of these there are a number of individual skills the children will develop.

  • Be effective and successful learners;
  • Make and sustain friendships;
  • Resolve conflict effectively and fairly;
  • Solve problems with others or alone;
  • Manage strong feelings such a frustration, anger and anxiety;
  • Persist in the face of difficulties;
  • Work and play co-operatively;
  • Compete fairly and win and lose with dignity;
  • Recognise and stand up for their rights and the rights of others;
  • Understand and value the differences between people.

 

Integrated Curriculum

At St Laurence Church Junior School, to ensure broad and balanced learning, we teach an integrated curriculum - along with discrete subject teaching.

 

We have developed our integrated curriculum to reflect the needs of St Laurence, and to further our understanding of the world in which we live. The topics in each year group have either a geographical or historical focus, with at least one extended topic in each year group. To ensure the children are fully engaged in the work to come, the unit begins with an inspiration day. This day includes exciting, fun activities to enthuse the children!

 

As children learn in many different ways, the units provide a wide range of experiences, delivered in a variety of teaching styles, to give your child the best opportunity to learn. Our pupils experience whole class teaching, along with differentiated individual, paired and group work, which promotes a deeper understanding. There are opportunities for experimenting and investigating, exploring and problem solving, as well as researching and applying knowledge and skills that have been learnt.

 

Over the four years at St Laurence, our integrated curriculum provides a broad and balanced coverage for our pupils, ensuring that the subjects and objectives in the National Curriculum are covered.

 

The children experience creative activities in art and craft, drama, music and dance. They experiment with a wide range of media, and its application, to develop their capacity for innovative thought. We aim to make our humanities work relevant. History encourages the use of first hand evidence from artefacts and documents, where possible.

 

We promote an awareness of past events and help pupils to understand how we can be influenced by and learn from the past. Our geography helps children to understand the world in which they live, encouraging investigation and exploration: locally, nationally and globally. We aim to establish a sense of responsibility for actions on the environment and the world. Opportunities to explore personal, social and health education and citizenship are also linked closely to our humanities work.

 

Design and technology aspects provide opportunities for our children to engage in imaginative and creative work, including the ability to: investigate, design, plan, construct and evaluate. The children can learn by their mistakes, as well as their successes and this helps them to learn how to tackle new problems and tasks with confidence.

 

Throughout the school, the integrated curriculum is supported by a range of trips and visitors to school, to help inspire and enthuse your child in their learning. In lessons, your child will be given clear expectations of what they will learn, guided by an integrated curriculum which aims to be inclusive, engaging, relevant, creative and progressive.

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