The curriculum at Woodmansterne Primary School is bespoke and personalised to meet the needs of our children. We provide a broad, rich, creative, knowledge based curriculum, with the development of skills at its heart. Our curriculum enables all our children to aim high, take risks and fulfil their potential.
We believe children learn best when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning in engaging, purposeful contexts. Underpinning our curriculum are first hand experiences and learning outside the classroom is an integrated part of the experience for all children. Our curriculum is steeped in high quality vocabulary and a love of reading and books is integral to our learning across the whole curriculum.
Writing is taught through a journey enabling children to write accurately and coherently, adapting their style and language to a range of contexts, purposes and audiences whilst developing their creativity and imagination. Our teachers promote the development of a growing vocabulary through a rich and stimulating language environment. Explicit grammar skills are taught in every year group and our expectation is that children then apply and develop their grammatical knowledge in their writing.
We take pride in our presentation and have high expectations for handwriting across all subjects. In Early Years, children practise manipulative skills in order to prepare them for writing. They are taught to hold a pencil effectively and form recognisable letters. In Key Stages 1 and 2, handwriting has a strong emphasis in all lessons.
Reading for pleasure is at the heart of the teaching of reading at Woodmansterne. Through our reading curriculum we develop children's fluency, confidence but above all, enjoyment of reading. A love of books and reading are promoted through engaging book corners and staff who model good reading practices. Reading in EYFS and KS1 has a strong phonics focus which gives the pupils the tools to independently read and spell familiar and unfamiliar words. Phonics teaching is based on Read, Write, Inc. and in the early years children are exposed to range of reading books including those which support Read, Write, Inc. Children take part in shared reading with the intent of developing a love of reading whilst gaining valuable reading comprehension skills such retrieval, inference, authorial language choices and viewpoint. The Spelling Shed scheme is used from Year 2 on wards to ensure children continue to make progress with their reading and spelling. KS2 use Accelerated Reader, to help assess pupils’ reading level in order to identify and address gaps, as well as guiding appropriate book choice and support reading at home.
Please click here to access the Accelerated Reader website.
Our maths curriculum is designed to provide children with the skills and confidence that they need to be successful mathematicians, at school and beyond. Not only is our aim that every child will develop a deep understanding of maths skills, but we also want our children to be confident, inquisitive mathematicians with a love of the subject. We aim to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts whilst enabling them to practice and use skills and methods. We want Woodmansterne mathematicians to be able to think critically and reason their ideas and understanding. Our curriculum provides opportunities for children to develop problem-solving skills useful for maths and across the curriculum.
We follow a mastery curriculum, which means that rather than a short focus on each skill, repeated each term, we teach each concept in a ‘block’ which ensures a deeper understanding. Our children ‘self-select’ their own level of challenge during maths lessons which allows them to take ownership of their learning and stretch and broaden their thinking.
We see our scientific learning as focussing on increasing children’s knowledge and understanding of our world and with developing skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. We ensure that the "working scientifically" skills are built upon and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science in a range of contexts.
Our teaching offers opportunities for children to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding across the science disciplines and answer scientific questions about the world around them.
Children have weekly science lessons based around the Snap Science scheme and this is complimented by other programmes of study and resources. In the Early Years, science is taught by learning about the world around us through play. Science is linked closely with Outdoor Learning and incorporates this in to its coverage.
We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we provide will give children the confidence, enthusiasm and motivation to continue to further develop their skills into the next stage of their education and life experiences.
We provide a fulfilling and innovative computing curriculum that inspires children to stretch their abilities. We aim to spark curiosity and encourage our children to embark on new challenges. Children will learn how to design and write programs, create a range of content using digital software and devices, create 3D models, critically evaluate the vast flow of information provided by the internet and learn how to be responsible digital citizens.
The computing curriculum has three main areas of focus. We teach children the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and put this knowledge to use through programming. They are equipped to use computer science knowledge and understanding to create programs, systems and a range of content and are helped to become responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Our coverage prepares our children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
At all stages, online safety is embedded into the learning and emphasised through discreet teaching linked to PSHE objectives.
In our school we offer a broad and rich RE curriculum which explores religions in a variety of ways. Our RE curriculum is taught through half termly RE days where lessons have an intention of providing a high quality, coherent and progressive experience of the subject, with many opportunities for cross-curricular learning.
Throughout their time here at Woodmansterne, children have the opportunity to learn about and understand a range of religions and world views. They will be able to identify, investigate and respond to a variety of issues. SMSC, personal growth and community cohesion are featured throughout and are there to ensure opportunities for children to develop positive attitudes and values and to reflect on and relate their learning in RE to their own experiences. The intent is to make sure that children understand the relevance of RE in today’s modern world and how it affects their lives. We expect all pupils to experience the full breadth of our curriculum, but should parents wish to exercise the right of withdrawal for all or part of RE, they should consult the Headteacher.
Collective worship (often known as assembly) is a part of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. At Woodmansterne, assemblies are an important part of our school community life and so we hope that pupils will participate. Any parent wishing to exercise their right to withdraw their child from all or part of collective worship should consult the headteacher.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We encourage our children to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community as Pupil Parliament members, Values Ambassadors and Head Boys and Girls. We provide our children with active opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and value what it means to be a member of a diverse society with British Values at its heart.
We follow the SCARF scheme of work which reflects the needs of our children. This ensures that they are provided with a broad curriculum which aims to develop their personal and social skills and enables them to make safe and informed choices and decisions. Our four school values of Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection are reflected throughout all our PSHE learning.
We have recently introduced our pupils to the 'Zones of Regulation' curriculum which provides children with the skills needed to understand their emotions and regulate their actions; which in turn leads to increased control and problem-solving abilities. Click here for more information about 'The Zones of Regulation'.
Responses to the PSHE Survey conducted in July 2020 can be found here.
Relationships, Sex & Health Education (RSHE) is an integral element of both the PSHE and science curriculum beginning in Nursery with topics such as ‘Relationships with others’ and ‘Me and my body’. The spiralling programme builds on the knowledge and understanding acquired by the children as they progress through the school. Please see the school's RSHE policy here. Leaflets to support parents in talking to their child about these subjects at home and to prepare parents for any questions their child may have can be found on the relevant Year Groups pages.
It is our intention that Geography is taught through topics designed to encourage a love of learning. This enables teachers to forge cross-curricular links giving a meaningful context for learning. We focus on giving children the chance to develop key geographical skills through a variety of Learning Experiences.
Geography is important at Woodmansterne as it provides a means of exploring, appreciating and understanding the world in which we live and how it has evolved. It stimulates curiosity and imagination. Children will develop a deeper understanding of places both on a local and global scale and appreciate the need to live in balance with the environment.
History is taught in an interactive and meaningful way at Woodmansterne to inspire children’s curiosity about the past. The school’s own rich history, within the context of the local area, is celebrated and explored. Our teaching and learning in this subject aligns with the National Curriculum’s aims to provide children with a high-quality history education which enables them to develop a range of key skills. These include cultivating their ability to investigate, think critically, weigh evidence and develop their own perspectives on the world around them. Lessons are taught as part of Learning Experiences, in cohesion with other humanities based subjects, to be a relevant and exciting exploration of the past whilst broadening children’s understanding of the chronological concept of change over time.
Teaching French as our modern foreign language at Woodmansterne helps enable our children to develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves members of a wider multicultural world.
We aim to support children to understand another language and culture so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences. The priority is that children are keen to participate and make progress in being able to converse using useful sentences to communicate. Ultimately, we wish for our children to develop a curiosity and love of languages and to become interested and respectful of the world around them.
We recognise the vital role of art in allowing curiosity, creativity and self-expression to develop alongside resilience and confidence. Our aim is that through expanding children’s understanding of artists and artistic techniques, we can help each child to develop their own artistic style. Those less confident in purely academic subjects or with language barriers can express themselves fully in this practical subject. Within each year group there is a clear progression of skills which build on prior learning and helps to produce resilient, confident artists.
The study of design technology allows our children to acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on experiences from other subject areas such as science, mathematics and art. We believe that design technology should provide children with a real-life context for learning; making it meaningful and engaging. It is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject, encouraging children to learn to think and intervene creatively to solve problems; both independently and as members of a team. Children learn to take risks, become resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable individuals.
It is our intent to make music an enjoyable learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical activities through which we aim to build up the confidence of all children. Our objective is for the children to gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing. The Charanga scheme of work is used from Year 1 - 6 to ensure a wide exposure to different genres, historical periods and traditions of music, with lots of practical opportunities to explore and develop as musicians and singers.
Woodmansterne also offers a range of musical clubs (KS1 music club, recorder, ukulele and the school choir) to support children in developing their musical skills, love of music and self-confidence. It is our aim to provide children with as many opportunities to perform as possible and children regularly perform in class, during singing assemblies, to parents/carers and to the wider community.
Physical Education (P.E.) at Woodmansterne aims to develop the knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary for mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing in our children now and for their future. Our 4 school values – Respect, Responsibility, Resilience and Reflection permeate the teaching of PE at the school.
It is out intent to deliver a high quality, enjoyable and inspirational curriculum that encourages all pupils to succeed and to nurture individual excellence. We ensure that all children develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities; are physically active for sustained periods of time; engage in competitive sports and activities and are taught how to lead healthy, active lives.
Children are taught PE over two lessons each week, as well as being given opportunity to participate in extra sporting activities, such as the Active Mile and Skip2Bfit. Opportunities are provided for all children to engage in extra-curricular activities before, during and after school, in addition to competitive sporting events.
In addition to weekly PE lessons, Woodmansterne runs an excellence stream which aims to identify and develop the sporting talents of our children. Each term, our Sports TA and PE leader identify children with a talent or potential for the focused sport of the term, which include rugby, cricket and tennis. Our excellence stream then receives a bespoke programme of additional sports teaching. We also use this as an opportunity to identify children for selection to our school teams, as well as signposting them to local sports clubs and development programmes which will help to develop their talent further.
We aim to inspire all children to develop a respect of and appreciation for the outdoor environment. We do this through providing enriching opportunities, which support our broad and balanced curriculum and develop pupils’ talents and interests in Outdoor Learning. We deliver a clearly mapped Outdoor Learning curriculum which steadily builds the knowledge and skills of all children and which extends beyond the academic and provides for pupils’ broader development. This also provides a wide range of enrichment opportunities which nurture, develop and stretch children’s talents. Such enrichment opportunities support the curriculum in giving disadvantaged pupils the knowledge, experiences and cultural capital to succeed in life.
Early Years Curriculum
Nursery Class and Reception
We believe that the Early Years Foundation Stage is crucial in securing solid foundations that children continue to build upon. We use a philosophy that is built on a secure understanding of child development, predictable interests and fascinations and how these ignite children’s natural curiosity and inspire children to explore, investigate and be motivated to continue to develop a love of learning. Rich, first-hand experiences, continuous and enhanced provision indoors and outdoors and thoughtful adult interactions, based on mutually respectful relationships support, facilitate and extend children’s learning and development ,enabling them to reach and exceed their potential.
This approach is supported through the implementation of the statutory Early Years Foundation Stage Learning and Development Requirements and the characteristics of effective learning. Children are encouraged to develop as individual, independent learners who feel free to take risks and have a love for learning.
Here at Woodmansterne we provide a creative curriculum based around the requirements of the National Curriculum. The core subjects of maths, English and science along with other subjects such as PSHE, RE, PE, music and French are taught discreetly through carefully sequenced schemes of work. However, we also teach our creative and humanities subjects through a more holistic, cross curricular approach based on Cornerstones topics. Learning for these subjects is planned within a sequence of learning experiences which develop both knowledge and skills and work towards a creative project with a clearly defined end product.