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Many subjects are taught through topics (the curriculum plan showing the topics can be downloaded from the link below) where there are cross curricular connections around a topic – e.g. a topic on food could include Science, Geography, History, Art, DT, Computing, and of course English and Maths.
We have five classes which have mixed years, so we have a rolling programme for our topic work so that a pupil will not repeat the same topic. We do, however, think of our curriculum as being spiral, so skills and knowledge will be reinforced at a progressively higher level each time.
At Smeeth English skills are central to all learning whether through speaking and listening, reading or writing and this is reflected in our teaching across the school.
We believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read and we hope that our children go beyond this and develop a love and pleasure for reading during these formative years. Reading is taught through phonics sessions, one-to-one with the teacher, teaching assistant or helper, guided group reading and by teachers reading high quality, stimulating texts aloud to the children. Every member of staff is a reading role model who demonstrates and encourages a love for reading. Children have access to a wide variety of age and ability- appropriate reading materials in addition to the following:
- Each year has selected reading books in the classroom.
- There is a beautiful school library which has been updated and had an electronic system put in place to monitor each pupil's individual reading.
- The school reading scheme provides structured progression at school and home.
- Teachers choose challenging guided reading texts to be studied in small groups.
- Teachers carefully select core texts to be used in lessons.
- External visits from authors, poets and dramatists take place.
- Visiting book fairs provide a range of extra incentive and promote a love of reading.
Staff track the progress of children throughout the year ensuring that each child is supported and challenged at their appropriate age.
At Smeeth we believe that development in writing follows naturally from the enjoyment and inspiration provided by high quality texts as well as the systematic teaching of grammar, punctuation and spelling. In addition, children are given a purpose for writing with experiential opportunities for creating poetry, story-writing, reports and explanations.
Children are encouraged to develop a joy in communicating from the emergent writing in the Foundation Stage to the accomplished and confident writers who leave our school. Children are given opportunities for speaking and listening in all writing units taught. Storytelling plays an important role throughout the school allowing children to internalise writing patterns in order for them to imitate, innovate and invent their own.
Children are given regular opportunities for extended creative writing sessions which are cross curricular.
Phonics, spelling and grammar are taught systematically throughout the school and reinforced and applied during writing sessions, including shared writing and guided writing. Teachers use feedback marking to inform pupils of their next steps and to inform future planning for individuals and groups. Children are encouraged to reflect on their own learning and that of their peers, and to draft, edit and improve their writing.
We use the Jolly Phonics - Letters and Sounds programme from EYFS to the end of Year 2 and our reading scheme books are from Oxford Reading Tree, Dandelion Scheme, Big Cat Phonics, Project X and Snapdragons.
At Smeeth, all teachers use Inspire Maths and the White Rose Maths Hub as a process for teaching mathematics. When introducing children to new concepts, they have the opportunity to build fluency in topics by taking the following approach: children have the opportunity to use manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Children build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.
With the foundations firmly laid, children are able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence. Reasoning and problem solving is encompassed in the above approaches to deepen and master all aspects of mathematics. This policy outlines the different calculation strategies that are taught and used from Year R to Year 6 in line with the requirements of the Primary National Curriculum.
Wherever you look, whatever you do and wherever you go, science is all around us. Human nature is to be curious about the world we live in and children enjoy being inquisitive. From an early age children ask the question ‘Why?’ As parents and teachers we may not always have the answers to these questions but it can be fun trying to find out and make sense of what is happening all around us.
Primary Science is split into four areas:
- Scientific Enquiry
- Life Processes and Living Things
- Materials and their Properties
- Physical Processes.
Scientific enquiry is the area that the children seem to enjoy most. Discovering things for themselves, rather than being told, is a great way to learn in a meaningful way. It’s not always finding out why things work but also learning from why things don’t work.
Our Computing Curriculum is taught from Reception to Year 6 and children learn numerous skills. These skills are built upon year on year, until the end of year Key Stage Two where children will emerge accomplished in many aspects of computing. Within the computing curriculum children learn through completing projects and have to gain new skills to complete these units of work. Children in all key stages learn computer programming and coding, testing and debugging their apps as they go.
We have a wide variety of resources to support learning both in computing lessons and across the curriculum. We have a computing suite with computers and iPads that allows for each class to have a dedicated day using these resources. This means every class has the opportunity for more than one session in the computer suite each week. Classrooms are well resourced with interactive whiteboards, laptops, PCs, cameras and visualizers, all of which are used to enhance children’s learning. The school also makes use of shared resources such as iPads, laptops and netbooks which can be used within lessons or as part of group work.
Both these subjects are taught through a chosen topic that ensures all skills and knowledge are covered over the key stage. Specific historical time periods and geographical themes are incorporated in the programmes of study. The work produced in these subjects will therefore be found inside topic books but also in displays, in digital form, and many other practical forms.
Smeeth’s Physical Education inspires all pupils to participate and succeed. Children will have two lessons per week; at least one out of the two lessons will be taught by Kate Horton, our fantastic sports coach. Children are offered a variety of extra-curricular activities throughout the school year, including Athletics, Football, Gymnastics and Netball.
Children are also encouraged to take part in competitive fixtures in a variety of different sports throughout the school year. In terms 5 and 6 our Years 3, 4, 5, and 6 take part in swimming lessons at the Stour Centre. Our school sports day takes place in the summer term and allows all children (and parents!) to participate in fun activities.
Children at Smeeth are encouraged to develop their musical talent. Children are encouraged to sing songs every day in assembly as well as in a dedicated Singing Assembly once a week. In these assemblies children are encouraged to sing fun songs (sometimes with actions and dance moves!) to coincide with seasonal events, (Easter, Christmas and Harvest Festival) where each class performs a song.
Smeeth has a successful choir that has over 30 members from Key Stage 2. Every year we attend the Young Voices Concert at the 02 which gives choir members the chance to sing with 7000 other children from the South East! The teaching of the Music Express Scheme is adopted throughout the school; this is an extremely comprehensive set of resource materials and termly plans which provide continuity and progression in the teaching of music from the Foundation Stage through Key Stage 1 to the end of Key Stage 2.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) helps to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to develop as confident, healthy and independent individuals. PSHE lessons at Smeeth help to promote physical and emotional well-being for all our children and support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children. Our planning for PSHE covers emotional health and well-being, financial awareness, sex and relationship education, drug, tobacco and alcohol education, bullying and citizenship, at a level appropriate to children’s age.
At Smeeth we promote British values and prepare children for life in modern Britain; through PSHE and across the curriculum, children explore democracy, rights and responsibilities, respect and tolerance of those of different faiths, beliefs and opinions. A wealth of enrichment activities further support and complement our PSHE curriculum. These include residential trips, school visits, community events, sports, arts and music clubs and events.
Targeted nurture clubs and 1:1 sessions to support individuals and small groups who need additional support. Personal and Social skills are at the heart of our school values and are the focus of school assemblies, class behaviour reward systems and shooting star awards. Children are actively involved in making decisions and discussing issues surrounding their health, friendships and wellbeing through the School Council and other pupil voice activities.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Smeeth all pupils in Key Stage 2 learn languages for approximately 45 minutes per week. This time allocation is made up of a combination of dedicated language lessons, lasting 30 to 40 minutes, teaching language through other subject areas and using language for real purposes in daily classroom routines. Through our teaching of Languages we aim to:
- Ensure every child has the opportunity throughout Key Stage 2 to study a foreign language and develop their interest in the culture of other nations.
- Ensure pupils’ learning is enriched in a broad curriculum to which languages contribute.
- Ensure pupils have access to high quality teaching and learning opportunities, making use of native speakers whenever possible .
- Provide language teaching informed by the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Cultural Understanding.
Religious Education enables children to investigate and reflect on some of the most fundamental questions asked by people. At Smeeth Primary School we develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths, and we address the fundamental questions in life, for example, the meaning of life and the existence of a divine spirit. We enable children to develop a sound knowledge not only of Christianity but also of other world religions, especially those that are the main faiths of children within our school. Children reflect on what it means to have a faith and to develop their own spiritual knowledge and understanding. We help the children learn from religions as well as about religions.
The aims of Religious Education at Smeeth are to help children:
- develop an awareness of spiritual and moral issues in life experiences;
- develop knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other major world religions and value systems found in Britain;
- develop an understanding of what it means to be committed to a religious tradition;
- be able to reflect on their own experiences and to develop a personal response to the fundamental questions of life;
- develop an understanding of religious traditions and to appreciate the cultural differences in Britain today;
- develop investigative and research skills and to enable them to make reasoned judgements about religious issues;
- have respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society.