Curriculum overview

Curriculum Intent

All of our actions in school are informed by our guiding principles that form the ‘Kemsley DNA’:

We feel safe.

We feel loved.

We take responsibility.

We are always learning.

Our curriculum is no exception to this and is planned and delivered within the framework created by the guiding principles.  The curriculum is broad and balanced and provides significant opportunity for children to apply and express their knowledge and understanding across subject areas. Due to the fact that our approach is project based and thematic, it provides children with a range of rich and memorable learning experiences.  We believe that a rich diet of learning experiences is undoubtedly the best way to develop well-rounded, happy children who are able to face all of life’s challenges and opportunities.

Our Aims

Ø To engage children through interesting topics and hands-on activities

Ø To make meaningful links between subjects whenever possible

Ø To develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding of a range of themes and concepts

Ø To make effective connections to the real world

Ø To help children to think creatively and solve problems

Ø To develop children’s capacities to work independently and collaboratively

Ø To enable children to make choices about their learning

Ø To take account of children’s interests and fascinations

Our Approach

A large proportion of our curriculum is based on the ‘Cornerstones’ publication where learning is delivered through ‘investigative projects’. Further information regarding the Cornerstones philosophy can be found through clicking here. Details of the projects being undertaken by each of our year groups is given in separate downloadable documents in the download menu.  Leaflets covering the key elements of the next project are sent out in the last week of each term to parents.  These leaflets provide suggestions for home learning over the holiday period. All home learning that is brought in will be shared with the class and is incorporated in celebratory displays of the class learning at the end of the project. At the end of each half term, celebration or ‘express’ events are held by all year groups so that parents can come into school and share in their children’s learning.

Each investigative project lasts for a term.  In order to develop links within the school and ensure that learning experiences are shared, each project is covered by two year groups at the same time ie year 1 and 2 work together, year 3 and 4 and year 5 and 6.  Work is suitably differentiated to ensure that all children are able to make maximum progress and each classroom interprets the projects in their own way.  To ensure that we are giving children as many learning opportunities as possible, we make full use of our varied outdoor learning areas and commit to taking children in years 1-6 on at least 3 trips outside school each academic year.

Literacy

As far as possible, literacy work is integrated to the theme of the investigative project so that there is real purpose for writing.  We ensure that genre coverage is broad and balanced and each half term, children will have the opportunity to write to entertain, write to persuade and write to inform. Expectations around progression in genres for each year group can be downloaded.

Information regarding punctuation and grammar and our approach to spellings can be downloaded from the menu on the right.  Information on phonics and reading comprehension can be found in the ‘reading’ tab of the learning menu.  Documents regarding our approach to spellings can be found in the ‘spellings’ tab.

Maths

Maths is taught discretely from the investigative learning project (although links are made whenever possible).  The coverage for each year group is provided in the medium term maths maps provided in the download menu.

Arithmetic is taught separately on a daily basis with clear expectations that these skills are utilised during the main maths lessons that focus on provision of opportunity for further skill development, application in problem solving and investigative approaches.  The content of the Arithmetic lessons is based upon gap analysis of termly year group specific tests.

Foundation Subjects

To enable children to have the opportunity to investigate and develop skills in depth, each investigative project focuses in detail on 2 or 3 foundation subjects.  These foci are carefully mapped to ensure that there is full curriculum coverage of the whole curriculum across each year group.  Due to the intense focus in these foundation subject areas, many classes have focus days on the subjects.  At the end of each term, children are assessed as to their level of attainment against the school’s year group expectations in each foundation subject area.  The foundation subjects ‘in focus’ each half term are listed on the learning project overviews and clearly outlined in the termly information leaflet to parents.

Personal, social and health education (PSHE), Religious Education (RE ), Physical Education (PE) and, for KS2, French as modern foreign language, are taught consistently throughout all terms.

RE

Our RE curriculum is based upon the Cornerstones ‘Love to Celebrate’ projects and focuses around the six major world religions with each year group spending time studying each religion.  The focus of each half term is on a specific celebration or tradition for the religion that is in focus.  All terms have a mixture of learning about religion and learning from religion.  Focus objective coverage for each half term is defined in addition to children building knowledge and understanding of the key celebration for each term.  Detailed information about coverage is provided in the RE information document that is available from the download menu.