Our English curriculum follows the guidelines laid down in the New National curriculum. We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through reading for enjoyment.
Children are taught to write fluently so they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Children develop their understanding of a range of genres and styles including fiction, non-fiction, poetry and plays. Grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting are taught rigorously across the school, beginning with teaching synthetic phonics and fine motor skills to develop mark making in the Foundation Stage, to enable children to have the skills and confidence to write effectively for a variety of purposes. Our school uses Ros Wilson’s Big Writing methodology which equips all children with basic writing skills and a writing voice. Children are regularly given the opportunity to practise their writing during the weekly Big Write session. Up levelling the Big Write ensures that children know how to develop their writing further.
Across the school children have access to a wide range of high quality texts to develop learning in all curriculum areas. Reading good quality fiction to the children is a priority in all year groups. The teaching of reading begins in the Foundation Stage with the systematic teaching of phonic skills using the DfE’s ‘Letters and Sounds’. When they are ready, the children move on to reading using a wide range of reading schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree and Phonic Bug. Parents support their children's reading daily at home. Once our children have grasped the mechanics of reading our priority shifts towards reading comprehension and children take part in regular guided reading sessions. Reading for pleasure is a high priority – our library has recently been refurbished and every classroom has its own reading area from which children are encouraged to borrow books to take home.
Speaking and Listening
Children develop both the confidence and skills in speaking and listening through planned learning opportunities across the curriculum including drama, group discussions, poetry and role play. Every pupil participates in class assemblies and many year groups put on an annual production where they experience speaking to a large audience. As part of the Big Writing approach to English, “If a child can’t say it, a child can’t write it”, pupils learn and develop their ideas, vocabulary and higher level grammatical structures needed to improve their writing almost entirely through talk. Talk Homework is set to continue the process of dialogue in preparation for the Big Write.
We aim to produce confident mathematicians who can use and apply their knowledge and understanding in a variety of contexts. We endeavour to provide children with a diverse range of opportunities to use their maths skills across the curriculum. Children are encouraged to take risks and to face challenges and problems with a positive approach.
Maths includes many areas including the number system, measures, shape, problem solving and handling data and these are covered throughout each year following the 2014 National Curriculum. It is taught daily and includes oral, mental and written work with an emphasis on using appropriate mathematical vocabulary.
A variety of approaches are used and children are encouraged to make their own choices with regards to resources needed and level of challenge. We ensure that the curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of each child while developing their skills and understanding at an appropriate level.
Science experience is presented to the children in a practical, relevant context. The concepts which are taught and developed are taken from the National Curriculum 2014.
Systematic inquiry, analysis of problems, formation of ideas, their testing and modification are encouraged through whole class, group or individual investigations and project work, designed to arouse the children's natural curiosity.
Our scheme of work for computing scheme provides a creative approach to delivering the 2014 National Curriculum. Using the learning objectives from ICT Essentials Curriculum we offer an innovative and engaging program from the EYFS to Year 6. The content is broken down into strands and then organised into learning themes. At the end of each strand we carry out assessments and an independent task enabling the children to demonstrate their computer capability around the knowledge and understanding of the term. This allows the children to embrace current and emerging technologies to develop their computer science concepts, skills and experience. At Lordship we offer a wide variety of resources and software in order to support teaching and learning in computing.
Useful Computing Websites
Humanities: History and Geography
Our History and Geography teaching follows the 2014 National curriculum and takes the form of termly ‘topics’. We endeavour to link subjects where appropriate across a topic, weaving these into our whole school curriculum planning so that there is progression through the school. Pupils can therefore link their learning and build on existing knowledge to extend and widen their skills, concepts, attitudes and understanding.
We bring the curriculum to life through a wide range of hands-on and ‘real-life’ activities, such as handling historical artefacts or carrying out practical environmental activities in our own grounds or the local area. In addition children have the opportunity to participate in regular trips and themed days to bring topics alive, for example, ‘Greek Day’, ‘Roman Day’ and trips to local museums and exhibitions.
Residential trips throughout Key Stage 2 further support learning linked to both Geography and History in addition to developing children’s confidence, independence and their teamwork skills. Trips include for example, Wymondley Wood, North Wales and The Forest of Dean.
We place a big emphasis on PE and the need to be healthy. We aim to provide sustainable high quality PE and School Sport experiences that are innovative, creative and enjoyable. The PE curriculum consists of 4 main areas, gymnastics, dance, games and athletics. These are taught progressively throughout the school from the basics skills in Early Years, to more routines and tactical awareness in upper KS2. Outdoor and adventurous activities are introduced in KS2, including orienteering and team building sessions.
Year 3 children also have the opportunity to swim during the summer term, which is aimed at developing their basic swimming skills as it is a statutory requirement that all children can swim 25 metres by the end of Year 6. Children are then offered further top up sessions in later years if required.
To enhance their sporting experiences, our children are offered a variety of extra -curricular clubs.
Religious Education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. It develops pupils’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of Christianity and other principal religions, religious traditions and world views.
Religious Education has an important role to play in preparing pupils for adult life. It encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging. At Lordship Farm School, we use the Hertfordshire agreed scheme of work to teach Religious Education. This allows us to explore a range of religious beliefs in a variety of ways. The children also get the opportunity to visit local places of worship which is important for developing respect for others.
The teaching of music in our school follows the aims of the National Curriculum. We want children to experience music by way of practical engagement in performing, composing and appraising. Children are taught to internalise music to develop aural memory and the emphasis is placed on sound before symbol. Singing and work with rhythm play an important part in the development of musical skills. All children have opportunities to sing within lessons, in weekly singing assemblies and in musical productions. Extra-curricular activities, which include a choir, orchestra and various instrumental ensembles, provide further opportunities to develop performance skills in concerts within the school and the wider community.
Years 3 to 6 have a discrete lesson each week using a variety of resources including Tout le monde, Languagenut and materials from the Institut Français to foster the children’s understanding of the French language and culture. We are aiming for French to be spoken creatively and spontaneously and we practise really hard to speak French without an English accent! Once we have learnt some basic French words and phrases we try to link our learning with other curriculum areas.
P.S.H.E. (Personal, Social and Health Education)
PSHE is an essential part of your child’s learning. It gives the children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. We use the DfE’s SEAL Scheme (Social and Emotional aspects of Learning) on a weekly basis, which focuses on learning to understand and respect diversity and differences. This scheme aims to enable children to form effective relationships with others and also gives the staff the flexibility to tackle issues as and when they arise in school.
Sex Education forms part of the Health Curriculum and Science Curriculum in school. Children in Year 5 are taught about how their bodies will change through puberty, through the Science Curriculum. In Year 6 children will continue this learning as well as learning the importance of being in a loving relationship. Parents will receive information regarding the framework prior to these units of work.
Design and Technology
At Lordship Farm we follow the National Curriculum for Design and Technology. The children are encouraged to identify, examine and solve practical problems and to make existing situations better. They are encouraged to be inventive, using a range of materials and tools, developing, modifying and evaluating their ideas, with an iterative approach, through a series of projects. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically, developing a more rigorous understanding of art and design, which demonstrates knowledge of how art and design has reflected and shaped our history and contributed to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Art and Design
Through our teaching in Art and Design, we develop skills and foster creativity in our children. Knowledge and skills are taught through the aspects of; colour, pattern, texture, shape and space, also of line and form. Children’s skills are applied and developed through both 2D and 3D mediums. Sketchbooks are used with increased frequency throughout the school years to record, develop and evaluate work. In every year group art is taught explicitly, although it is primarily project based within the overarching topic of the term. Inspiration is taken from famous artists, art from other cultures and/or time periods, craft makers, architects and others. Every year Arts Week enables the entire school to take a creative approach to a school-wide theme, such as ‘From a Distance’ and ‘Take a Closer Look’. During this week all Key Stage 1 and 2 children have the opportunity to work with a professional artist.