The Curriculum – Key Stages 1 and 2
At Kenton Bar Primary School, we provide exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills. We deliver a broad, balanced and creative curriculum which takes account of children’s interests and learning needs. The curriculum is taught in the following ways:
Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are taught English from the National Curriculum (2014) which focuses on: reading, writing, punctuation, grammar, spelling and speaking and listening.
At Kenton Bar Primary School, English is taught in blocks allowing children to get an in depth understanding of each genre. Children study a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts which are used as the stimulus from which English objectives and learning outcomes are derived. At the beginning of each block children undertake a ‘cold write’; an unsupported assessment of the children’s ability and knowledge of that text type. From this piece of work, teachers then plan a structured series of lesson that can address the areas identified during their cold task. Children analyse pieces of work, become familiar with the key features associated with that genre, analyse their importance and work collaboratively to share knowledge and expertise. During English lessons children also engage in practical drama and speaking and listening activities. Children develop the confidence to present ideas and deepen their understanding of texts by taking on the roles of different characters. At the end of each unit children complete a ‘hot task’ –an independent piece of work where children apply everything they have learnt during the unit.
Texts used in English are cross curricular and closely link to the work children are doing in their topic. For example, Children in Year 2 studying Castles in their topic sessions, may study the book Rapunzel in English. Children practise and apply the skills they learn in English lessons by being given the opportunity to write for a range of purposes in their topic lessons.
Phonics, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
As well as daily English lessons, children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One access daily phonics sessions to develop the basic skills necessary for reading and writing. Where appropriate, children in Key Stage 2 also continue to access phonics intervention. At Kenton Bar Phonics is taught using the Read, Write Inc. scheme. Children are split into groups depending on their phonic ability. Regular assessments ensure children are in the correct group and can move forward, or spend longer consolidating, depending on their individual need. In Key Stage 2, children also have a daily ‘Basic Skills’ session where a strong emphasis is placed on the development of essential grammar, punctuation, spelling skills alongside handwriting.
Spelling is a current priority at Kenton Bar and we are always seeking new ways to improve and engage children in spelling activities. Children take part in daily word wall activities and enjoy playing a range of spelling games throughout the week to embed their weekly spellings.
Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are taught mathematics in line with the National Curriculum (2014). We provide a curriculum that offers opportunities for children to reason mathematically and solve problems. In Key Stage 1, the principal focus of mathematics teaching is ensuring that children are confident and secure in mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. The main focus in Lower Key Stage 2 is to develop the children’s fluency with whole numbers and the four operations, number facts including multiplication facts and the concept of place value. When children reach Upper Key Stage 2, teaching focuses upon extending children’s understanding of the number system and place value to include larger numbers. This then helps to develop the children’s skills in multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. Teaching also focuses on the four operations of number and developing efficient written methods.
Basic Skills (Key Stage 2)
Each morning, children in Key Stage 2 are taught a basic skills session aimed at raising attainment in both English and Mathematics. These sessions focus on mathematics, spelling, reading, punctuation, grammar and handwriting.
Science is taught throughout the school using objectives from the National Curriculum (2014). The focus of science lessons is based on scientific enquiry, life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Where possible, science is taught in conjunction with our topic focus.
Our topics are cross-curricular and consist of computing, history, geography, art, design technology, music and PSHE. Wherever possible, science is taught in conjunction with topics. During all curriculum lessons, speaking & listening, reading, writing and mathematics opportunities are incorporated to consolidate key skills in a purposeful environment.
The school’s planning incorporates National Curriculum objectives. An overview of the topics covered within Years 1 – Year 6 gives a broad outline and shows progression and continuity in topics and subjects taught in a cross-curricular way across school.
To ensure full coverage of Year One to Six objectives, the school has timetabled targeted learning weeks to focus on History, Geography, P.S.H.E., and Science mini-topics.
Religious Education (RE)
At Kenton Bar Primary School, RE is taught on a weekly basis. We follow SACRE objectives. Children are taught about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Hinduism in order to develop their understanding of religions around the world.
Physical Education (PE)
In Physical Education at Kenton Bar Primary School, the children are taught one timetabled lesson of physical activity a week. Children throughout the school experience elements of: Games, which include: Invasion, Net and Wall and Striking and Fielding; Athletics; Gymnastics and Dance.
Further to this, Years 3-5 also attend swimming lessons in different terms throughout the academic year; with Year 6 participating in booster lessons in the Autumn term should they need support in reaching the national swimming requirements.
We have started to roll out the nationwide Daily Mile programme throughout both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Children and their teachers aim to run, jog or walk, without stopping, around a set route on the playgrounds on a daily basis.
In addition, where possible, the children take part in inter-schools tournaments within our SMART Multi Academy Trust and compete against other schools within Newcastle through our links with the Newcastle PE and School Sport Service and Schools 500 Games.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education
Our PSHE curriculum is delivered through our topic-based approach to learning. It is also delivered through workshops which are run by external agencies, e.g. School Health, Bikeability, Show Racism the Red Card and delivered through assemblies. Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) is an important part of PSHE education and this is delivered by our school nurse in Years 5 and 6. Prior to these sessions, a letter is sent to parents/carers to ensure they are informed of the content of the sessions.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Kenton Bar Primary School, we are keen to promote language learning to support children to become well rounded individuals who can communicate with others. The importance of learning a Modern Foreign Language (MFL) has been recognised in the National Curriculum which states that there is a statutory commitment to give all children the opportunity to learn a new language.
To support our pupils' transition to our local secondary school, we teach French and aim to ensure that pupils understand and can respond to written language, speak with increasing confidence and fluency, write using the grammatical structures they have learnt and listen and respond appropriately within conversations.
Children will have their learning embedded through drama, role play and warm up exercises in PE.
The main reading scheme used in school is Oxford Reading Tree and runs from Foundation Stage through to Year 6. Children begin by taking home wordless books in the Early Years and move onto books with text when it is appropriate for each individual child. Each child is provided with an appropriate home reading book.
Each afternoon a 25 minute slot is dedicated to every child reading in class. This time consists of children reading in groups with a teacher (guided reading), carrying out reading workshops and comprehensions. These sessions enable teachers to work closely with children, supporting them to develop a deep and broad understanding of different genres through a range of texts.
Our new School Library offers a wide range of exciting and engaging texts to encourage all children to develop a deep love of reading. Children have weekly opportunities to visit the Library with their class to read for pleasure, exchange books and gather a range of literature. This enables children to research and enhance their understanding of topics and class work. The school also has strong links with our local community Library and classes have the opportunity to visit regularly throughout the year.
Reading across the curriculum
Reading widely across all areas of the curriculum is encouraged through our Literature Works approach to lessons. This format begins by asking children to make predictions about texts, read them in depth, discuss their likes and dislikes, then question, clarify and summarize what they have read. Lessons are planned to incorporate a wide range of purposeful reading opportunities where children can consolidate and develop the skills they have learnt.
Once children reach Reception, they are given letter and sound books which should be taken home every day. These are updated weekly. Parents/carers are expected to spend a few minutes practising each day. Later on in the year, home word lists and reading books are sent home when teachers feel children are ready and it is expected that parents/carers spend ten minutes four times a week practising these word lists and hearing children read.
Key Stage 1
Children in Key Stage 1 are expected to read at least four times a week for ten minutes at a time. In addition to this, children will be set a piece of phonics homework and a piece of mathematics homework each week. All homework should be completed in the homework books provided. Both Phonics and Maths homework tasks will be set on a Monday – completed homework is handed in each Friday. On occasion, children may be asked to complete a small homework task or research related to other subjects to consolidate their learning.
Key Stage 2
Children in Key Stage 2 are expected to read at least four times a week for ten minutes at a time. In addition to this, children will be set a reading/writing/spelling piece of homework and a mathematics piece of homework each week. On occasion, children may be asked to complete a small homework task or research related to other subjects to consolidate their learning. All homework should be completed in homework books with the exception of Year 6 who move to Study Guides in preparation for end of Key Stage Tests.
English homework tasks will be set on a Monday - this homework must be completed and handed in by the Wednesday of the same week.
Mathematics homework tasks will be set on a Wednesday - this homework must be completed and handed in by the Friday of the same week.
Please feel free to ask at the school office for further information on the School's Curriculum Policies.