Children learn their language by talking, listening, writing and reading. There are many opportunities in class for speaking and listening activities (drama/role-play, talk partners and regular discussion times) to enhance pupils’ understanding of language and of the way language can be used to communicate.
We aim to develop a love of reading for all our pupils - all children have access to a wide variety of literature and non-fiction containing quality text, language and illustrations.
To explore the relationships between letters and sounds, pupils in Reception and KS1 participate in a daily phonics session. They follow the synthetic phonics approach, in which individual letters or letter sounds are blended to form groups of letters or sounds, and those groups are then blended to form complete words. Pupils in KS2 participate in shared, guided or whole class reading activities. Children choose their own individual reading books from decimal-coded selection. Progress is monitored regularly through the accelerated Reader project so that appropriate programmes of work can be matched to individual children, ensuring that comprehension and research skills continue to develop.
Discrete Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling lessons (GPS) are delivered from Y1 – Y6 and form a key part of the English curriculum. Writing is taught using a cross-curricular approach meaning that the skills children learn can be applied across the topics covered, giving them a clear purpose and scope for creativity. Once per half-term, all children in KS1 and KS2 consolidate their writing skills with a ‘long write’. This encourages the children to develop speed, fluency and stamina. All children are taught to write in a legible printed style of writing on entering school. This develops into joined handwriting in Y1, with teaching delivered through the Pen Pals handwriting scheme.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At Orchard, we use the White Rose Maths Scheme which enables us to increase each child’s confidence in maths through a varied and integrated approach whilst ensuring the process is both enjoyable and purposeful. Maths lessons take place for at least 5 hours each week. This may be as a daily lesson or could be blocked over a morning to allow longer investigative work to take place.
Understanding of concepts is developed in several ways:
- modelling and imagery (e.g. a number line to order numbers or to demonstrate addition/subtraction)
- practical application of skills through meaningful and relevant mathematical tasks
- developing fluency through the use of mental methods (e.g. rote learning of multiplication tables)
- interaction with/between pupils (e.g. discussing methods/explaining solutions)
- practising/applying concepts (e.g. through investigative work/problem solving)
Mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding are therefore taught through a variety of activities including:
- written calculations practice/arithmetic
- visual, auditory and kinaesthetic games
- problem-solving and investigational tasks
- practical work
Opportunities to extend concepts and apply knowledge across the curriculum are readily taken; as is the use of ICT to support and facilitate learning. We expect children to learn multiplication tables both by rote and as instant recall of multiplication and division facts.
The Science curriculum has four areas of study:
- scientific enquiry – this is taught throughout all areas of science, not as an individual topic
- animal and plants
- physical processes e.g. forces, electricity, light, sound
Science may be taught through subject specific lessons or a topic based approach depending on the theme. In our Science lessons, the children acquire knowledge and understanding through investigative work, practical activity and first-hand experience. Our aim through this work is for children to be able to plan, hypothesise and predict outcomes, design and carry out investigations to test their hypothesis, interpret their results and be able to explain what these results mean.
Religious Studies is seen as an extremely important part of Orchard Primary’s curriculum and it is a legal requirement for children to be taught RE. In this subject, children will learn about beliefs, practices and ways of life which are taught through art, drama, discussion, as well as writing. Teachers use enquiry based learning methods to stimulate children’s interests, allowing children to search for answers to the many difficult questions which life poses.
At Orchard Community Primary School, we aim to make Information Technology an integral part of the curriculum so that our pupils obtain a set of skills that can be built on in other subjects, at secondary school and in later life.
This is achieved by presenting children with opportunity to:
- meet the requirements of the National Curriculum to enable all children to reach the highest possible standards of achievement.
- enable all children to use IT with purpose and enjoyment to become confident, independent users through individual and team learning.
- further extend their experience of using IT by delivery across the curriculum.
- respond to new developments in IT, facilitating effective use.
- understand the capabilities, limitations, implications and consequences of the use of IT.
- provide tasks which are interesting and give scope for further development in IT capability.
- understand how to be safe using e-technologies.
Computing is taught through the following strands:
- Communicating – through the use of: various word processing/multi media programmes, e-mail, the internet and creative software that covers all areas of the curriculum.
- Handling Information- using IT to sort and classify, extract and interpret information
- Modelling - using IT to work collaboratively in “real and imaginary” situations using interactive learning games and content based simulations related to topics.
- Controlling - using IT skills to control on screen and external objects.
- Computer Programming – create/design/write and debug simple programs.
Design & Technology
Technology activities provide pupils with opportunities to develop problem solving strategies and ‘design and make’ skills. Children work with construction kits, simple woodworking tools and a variety of materials.
Art & Design
Used as a means of enhancing pupils’ observational skills, understanding and enjoyment of the world around them, Art and Design provides a variety of opportunities for pupils to explore ideas, feelings and meanings.
We provide a well-planned curriculum that enables children to develop their skills in drawing, the use of paint, printmaking, textiles and three-dimensional work from direct observation of a subject, as well as from experiences, memory and imagination. Either as individuals or in groups, the children experience working with various media so that they can experiment with colour, textile, tone, line and pattern using a variety of tools, materials and techniques. Children learn to appreciate that there are connections between their own and others’ work and the work of artists past and present, as well as those from other cultures.
History & Geography
Children study the Humanities in an exciting, meaningful and memorable way. Historical Studies may be concerned with individual figures and events but more often will focus on features of a period. Topics include Invaders and settlers, The Egyptians and Location, Location, Location. ICT, research skills and first hand resources are widely used. Enrichment activities, such as visits to museums, theatre groups, and special theme days, also enhance this area. In Geography, pupils study their immediate surroundings and their home region, before going on to learn about the geography of the UK and the wider world. Studies include mapping skills, the use of diagrams and fieldwork techniques. Lessons help children to develop their knowledge and understanding of physical and human geography, together with an appreciation of the quality and vulnerability of different environments and the need for protection and conservation.
A structured programme of Music teaching is delivered throughout the school, linked through the creative curriculum where relevant, in order to develop children’s appreciation of music and their own musical skills. Clarinet tuition, through the ‘Wider Opportunities’ scheme is provided by staff from Leicestershire Music Service and is available for pupils in Y4/5. A peripatetic teacher provides private tuition for children who wish to learn to play the piano.
A high-quality physical education curriculum inspires all pupils to succeed and excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. Our curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness. Opportunities to compete in sport and other activities build character and help to embed values such as fairness and respect. We follow nine core values in PE:
- Become more determined and demonstrate resilience
- Understand and demonstrate the importance of respect for others
- Learn to develop self-control and manage emotions
- Experience being part of a team and understand their contribution to it
- Win with pride and lose with grace
- Learn the importance of practice and preparation
- Learn how to set realistic goals and work towards achieving them
- Aspire to improve and challenge themselves
- Have fun and enjoy themselves
P.E. starts with individual activities aimed at developing personal skills and moves on to co-operative work in small groups and teams. Orchard School provides a balanced programme of games, athletics, gymnastics, dance and outdoor activities. Highly qualified coaches support teachers to Children are encouraged to be active at break and lunchtime and are encouraged to take part in after school clubs and other sporting activities. In order to help them gain the confidence to become competent swimmers, children in Y3 and Y5 also have the opportunity to undertake swimming lessons at Ashby Grammar School.
French is taught across Key Stage 2 and is used in some of our everyday routines. We sing songs; play language games and learn about France and French culture. Most of all, we make it fun!
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
The PSHE curriculum at Orchard is delivered both as a subject in its own right and through the creative curriculum and is intended to enable children to make informed choices about lifestyles they adopt. It includes activities to develop children’s self-esteem, their ability to relate to and collaborate with others, their awareness of bullying and its consequences and their ability to resolve differences. Health Education provides the context for teaching ways in which children can take greater responsibility for their own health and well-being, and includes elements of Sex and Relationships Education. Many aspects of PSHE are covered through the ethos of the whole school. Physical and mental well-being is emphasised within a range of topics which include e-safety, personal hygiene and dental care, medicines, smoking and other drugs.
We want to develop a very child-centred, explorative approach to education at Orchard Community Primary School, which sets learning from the national curriculum in a different context – outdoor learning activities enable us to do just that.
Staff at Orchard are passionate about enabling children to explore their own learning in the richest classroom possible – the outdoors.
We therefore look for creative ways to integrate a range of practical outdoor activities into lessons, such as building fairy and elf houses from mud, leaves and twigs to inspire storytelling and literacy or to support work in maths for example, through the creation of 3d shapes by lashing whittled wood together.
Moreover, children are physically active helping to lead to the development of healthier lifestyles.