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At Smeeth, we follow the National Curriculum. We have now completed the design of our bespoke Smeeth curriculum, which ensures that the progression of skills from Early Years to Year 6 is knowledge-rich, inspires learning and embedded throughout our children's time at primary school.
We use topics to link the curriculum and to make learning purposeful. Children understand what they are learning and why it is important. Topic webs can be found on the class pages on our website. Knowledge organisers further detail how progression in each subject is learned across the curriculum.
English skills are central to all learning and this is reflected in our teaching across the school.
We believe children must love books in order to become proficient readers. Our children develop a deep love of books and stories, and reading for pleasure is a focus. Reading is taught through phonics sessions, group interventions and guided reading sessions, and there is plenty of opportunity to read for pleasure. Our children are given the opportunity to read high quality, exciting texts. Each member of staff demonstrates and encourages a love for reading. There are lovely book corners in every classroom, in addition to our wonderful library and reading space where children love to spend time choosing their next book. Our library is extremely well-resourced as we believe there are few things nicer than a beautiful new book to read.
In addition, the school reading scheme provides structured progression at school and home. Teachers choose challenging guided reading texts to be studied in small groups. External visits from authors, poets and dramatists are soon to take place and 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 to be the best reader they can be.
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 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. Phonics, grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught throughout the school and reinforced and applied during extended writing sessions, as well as any other writing activity. These include shared writing, guided writing and independent 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 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. All children are encouraged to be free readers as soon as possible. Throughout, children choose books for pleasure in addition to the reading scheme books, which are specific to their progress.
At Smeeth, all teachers use 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: concrete, pictorial and abstract. Children have the opportunity to use manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing, which is then built on 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 National Curriculum.
The scientific area of learning increases children’s knowledge and understanding of our world, and develops skills associated with science as a process of enquiry. It also develops the natural curiosity of children, encourages respect for living organisms and the physical environment and provides opportunities for critical evaluation of evidence.
Primary Science is split into four areas:
- Scientific Enquiry
- Life Processes and Living Things
- Materials and their Properties
- Physical Processes
At Smeeth, children learn through a range of engaging, practical activities that reflect a broad and rich curriculum. Our children learn collaboratively and independently across the school and we encourage them to explore practical investigative work and solve problems. Planning is based on clear progression so that they move forward across the school, revising and building on prior knowledge. Children are encouraged to record their work in a variety of ways, and learning is differentiated where needed, so that all children are able to make progress in their learning.
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 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, as well as touch-typing and how to use common computer software.
We have a wide variety of resources to support learning both in computing lessons and across the curriculum. We have a computing suite 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, 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 and laptops 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 at least two lessons per week, taught by our PE specialist. Children are offered a variety of extra-curricular activities throughout the school year, including athletics, football, gymnastics and netball - the list goes on!
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 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 O2 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 core 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 sessions support children to develop social skills and a sense of self-worth. Kindness and well-being are at the heart of our school values and are the focus of school assemblies, class behaviour reward systems and star awards. Children are actively involved in making decisions and discussing issues surrounding their health, friendships and well-being through the School Council and other pupil voice activities.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Smeeth all pupils in Key Stage 2 learn languages. We teach 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:
- have deep respect for other peoples’ views and to celebrate the diversity in society;
- 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.