Key Stage 1 & 2
Children will be encouraged to think creatively and imaginatively whilst practising and building upon ideas, concepts and skills will be encouraged to develop independence and confidence
We follow the National Curriculum when studying English, developing literacy skills within reading, writing, speaking and listening. Pupils are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, communicating their learning with others effectively.
To support the acquisition of reading and writing, pupils are taught how to spell using the Optima approach, a unique practice that directly combines phonics and reading real books. The fast-paced distributive practice occurring up to three times a day allows pupils to feel empowered to read and write throughout their school day. Their supported application of synthesis and segmentation progresses the pupils to be independent and confident to read and spell the English language.
Reading is an essential skill to aid life-long learning, enjoyment and enquiring information. Our aim is to help children develop as independent, critical readers who have a passion to learn from reading and find pleasure from a good book, but also appreciate the linguistic features within the text.
From Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 2, pupils are guided through several carefully planned strategies to support both learning to read and reading to learn. Children are taught to read through a combination of daily phonetic sessions and guided sessions focused on whole texts. The rigorous daily practice of synthesis, segmentation and sight vocabulary skills alongside the exposure to a wealth of fiction and non-fiction to facilitate their learning, provide a secure foundation of early reading experiences. As the pupils develop into fluent, avid readers, they become critics of language choices, analyse main ideas within texts and read to gain further information. Reading is part of every child’s home experiences and is encouraged daily.
Throughout the school, the acquisition of writing is developed through focused literacy sessions that develop word, sentence and text level understanding. These challenging sessions are linked to creative topics that interest and enthuse the pupils to write in a range of genre. Spelling and grammar are essential skills that are taught alongside composition of creative pieces. Pupils reflect on the effect their writing has on the reader and final pieces are celebrated within school. Presentation and publishing writing is important and a high standard is maintained through regular feedback within literacy sessions. Our aim is for all pupils to enjoy writing in a range of ways and have the skills embedded to succeed.
We follow the National Curriculum and all children follow a structured daily maths lesson. There is a specific focus on the different types of calculation methods and problem solving. The children also learn about shape, measure and data handling.
As the children progress through the school we teach them a range of basic skills, including number facts, number bonds and multiplication tables, which are practised regularly. These basic skills help to equip children with the skills and understanding they need for everyday life and are often a focus for maths homework.
Visual images in maths are very important and we use Numicon as the main aid for this. Numicon is introduced in the Early Years and is used throughout the school to support the teaching of ordering, place value, number bonds and addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
Today’s children are growing up in an increasingly scientific and technological age. Here at Oakley Primary School, we encourage our pupils to view the world with a sense of wonder, to ask questions and seek the answers while developing a scientific approach to understanding what is going on. Science is challenging, exciting and fun and we aim to foster this enjoyment in our pupils’.
We aim to encourage children to be inquisitive by exploring science in as many practical situations as possible, questioning and discovering the world around them using scientific language and understanding. We believe it is important to employ a range of teaching methods including whole class teaching, experiential learning, discovery methods, problem solving and open ended investigation.
Religious education (RE)
RE is taught using the Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus which has been written in consultation with all the major faith groups in the area. R.E. enables children to acquire an understanding of what religion is and to learn about, learn from and respect different faiths and traditions in a multi-ethnic society. Children learn to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their own spirituality, the development of values and attitudes and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life.
R.E. is taught as a discrete subject and also as part of a particular theme in addition to Collective Worship. Parents have a right to withdraw a child from Religious Education and collective worship. Any child withdrawn on religious grounds will normally remain in the classroom.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) / Computing
This area prepares pupils for a society which is served by an ever increasing use of ICT and computing related processes. Each class benefits from lessons in the classroom, learning the skills necessary to enhance their knowledge in other curriculum areas. In order to maximise the application of ICT in the classroom it is often integrated across the curriculum allowing children to apply their developing ICT skills in new contexts. Computing is all about computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming.
Interactive whiteboards are fitted in all Key Stage 1 and 2 classrooms, enabling teachers to model techniques and demonstrate a task clearly. Computers are provided for each class in the school and their use is integrated across the curriculum. I-pads, digital still and video cameras are also available to allow pupils to communicate their ideas and information in a variety of forms.
Design and Technology
Pupils learn skills, understand concepts and gain knowledge that will help them to live in a modern technological world. Children are given opportunities to design and construct using a variety of materials and skills, including food technology and sewing. We encourage children to be creative and solve problems, both as individuals and members of a team. Key skills for maths, such as measuring and marking out, are combined with assembling in order to solve a problem or meet a need.
Art and Design
The art and design curriculum stimulates creativity and imagination. Children use colour, form, texture, pattern and different materials to communicate what they see, feel and think. Emphasis is placed on skills and techniques involving the use of a variety of materials; the children have the opportunity to create in 2d and 3d form, to recognise and appreciate the work of past and present artists and those from other cultures.
We believe that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is vital and unique in its contribution to a pupil’s physical and emotional development and health. We aim through the physical education curriculum to provide for pupils’ increasing self-confidence and an ability to manage themselves successfully in a variety of situations. We use a balance of individual, team, co-operative and competitive activities to cater for individual pupil’s needs and abilities.
The study of geography stimulates an interest in and a sense of wonder about places. Children learn about their own environment and the people who live there, developing a sense of the wider world. As they progress children develop the knowledge, skills and understanding relating to people, places and environments in the United Kingdom and overseas and an appreciation of how places relate to each other and the wider world.
Though our history curriculum we aim to them to help children gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We aim to inspire children’s curiosity to know more about the past and to help them to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
Learning a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our children. It helps them to develop communication skills including the key skills of speaking and listening and extends their knowledge of how a language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others. Pupils in Key Stage 2 learn French as part of their weekly curriculum.
Personal Health, Social Education (PHSE) & Citizenship
Children develop the knowledge, skills and understanding with the aim to lead confident, healthy and independent lives and to become more informed, active members of their communities. Children are taught about general hygiene and cleanliness in order to promote health of mind and body. They learn how to make confident and informed choices about their health and environment; to take more responsibility for their own learning and to resist bullying. Citizenship is deemed important throughout the school and children undertake responsibility such as becoming ‘Play Pals’.
Through the involvement of the School Council children learn to be responsible citizens.
Sex Education is not taught as a formal subject. Until children reach Year 4 it is addressed through Science and PHSE lessons when humans, animals and plant reproduction and Living and Growing are studied as part of the National Curriculum. Teachers respond to individual pupil questions with sensitivity and discretion. Towards the end of the summer term children who are in Year 4 are taught about puberty.
Through music we aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. We aim to develop children’s ability to perform, listen to, review and evaluate music as well as learning to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music. The children are helped to understand and explore how music is created. There are also opportunities for children to extend their skills by learning to play an instrument. Recorder lessons are offered to those in years 3 and 4 or they may choose to take up lessons with one of the peripatetic music teachers who visit the school. Music tuition is currently arranged for violin, ‘cello and double bass as well as flute and clarinet.
At Oakley Primary Academy we are committed to delivering a creative and enriching curriculum which is in line with current research, new initiatives and evolving practices. We feel it is of paramount importance to engage children, in order to maximise their learning, through an exciting cross-curricular approach. This involves linking subjects together within a theme that has a ‘real’ focus to which the children can relate. ICT, for example, is not only a valuable skill which stands alone but it can also have a positive impact on other curriculum areas. We also have themed days or weeks, visitors and speakers to consolidate and further learning as a fun and memorable experience. Every area of the National Curriculum, including English and Maths, is covered thoroughly whether it is via a cross curricular approach or as an independent subject. Objectives are planned to ensure a comprehensive programme tailored to each child’s individual needs. In order for all children to access learning, lessons are differentiated and the environment facilitates different learning styles. We aim for both staff and children to have high expectations of achievement and behaviour.
We strive to develop the whole child and encourage a range of skills that support the ‘Every Child Matters’ agenda. At Oakley Primary Academy we are proud to have achieved the nationally accredited Healthy Schools Award ensuring that children understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle and making healthy choices.
We believe strongly in the benefit of Educational Visits and incorporate these alongside the curriculum where appropriate, allowing children to gain valuable experiences that cannot be obtained in the classroom.
The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences planned for the pupils. The ‘National Curriculum’ is an important part of this.
Subjects included in the curriculum
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)/Computing
Design and Technology
Art and Design
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
To see the National Curriculum please click on the link below.