At Denholme Primary School we teach The National Curriculum. We endeavour to plan and deliver the curriculum in such a way as to meet our curriculum drivers of:
Growth – which helps children to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’, which will allow them to be independent, resilient and have self-belief.
Diversity – which offers opportunities to celebrate their own community and gives them the knowledge and understanding to respect difference.
Possibilities – which provides our children with experiences and knowledge that allows them to make informed, aspirational choices.
We aim to be innovative in our practice to provide contextualised, stimulating opportunities, which allow all our children to access learning. We aim to provide clear learning journeys for the children through the curriculum, which allows them to make connections between learning and retain key knowledge. We work as part of the Nurture Multi-Academy Trust to share ideas and resources.
At Denholme Primary, we follow a Mastery approach to mathematics. We have worked with the White Rose Hub as part of a Teacher Research Group to develop evidence-based teaching approaches in school and we are now part of a sustaining group to continue improvement. We use the White Rose Maths Hub and Power Maths planning and resources to deliver our mathematics. Mixed ability teaching takes place across the school, children often work in pairs to support each other’s mathematical talk, thinking and reasoning. We believe that in maths ‘Every Child Can’ and use a teaching method using resources, pictures and talk to help children to understand the mathematics concepts covered in each year group. Each year group has ‘Key Instant Recall Facts’ which they work towards, with a new fact being introduced every half-term. This supports children’s mental fluency.
We believe that being a confident reader unlocks the rest of the curriculum for children. In Reception and Year 1, children have small group reading sessions three times per week. These sessions use fully decodable books and have been developed using advice from the English Hub. In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, phonics is taught daily and phonics intervention sessions are run to accelerate progress. These interventions continue into Key Stage Two if there is still need. Guided Reading is taught three times per week in Key Stage 2. We use the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Recall, Summarise) structure to support children to develop their reading skills. All children in school will have a class novel, or a story read daily. Children have an individual reading book and access to the school library to support their reading for pleasure. From September 2021, we will use ‘The Write Stuff’ approach to teaching writing from Y2 onwards. Children will be using a good quality text as a stimulus for writing and have the opportunity to construct their own writing using teacher modelling as scaffolding. Grammar is taught in context, through these lessons. We also build in time for children to write independently. From Year 2, spelling is taught using No-Nonsense spelling and Spelling Shed. Developing children’s Oracy skills is a key focus for our school. Using the principles of Dialogic Talk, oracy is used to extend thinking and advance learning and understanding. Children participate in weekly oracy lessons, using stimuli from across the curriculum to develop ‘talk skills’ before applying them throughout their learning.
Recognition of the place of Computing in all learning is key to our approach. ICT is taught in a variety of ways. Computing skills are taught in discrete Computing lessons, using Purple Mash. Computing teaching also takes place using a cross curricular approach. This allows children to transfer Computing skills and use technology for a real purpose.
We teach the subjects History, Geography, Art and DT, using a cross curricular, theme-based approach. Themes such as ‘Inner Earth to Outer Space’ and ‘Let’s Explore Australia’ include a variety of subjects enabling children’s learning to be contextualised. Themes are enriched by an educational visit or a visiting expert at least twice per year. Each year group has its own plan of themes for the year. We aim to use an approach based around setting the children an enquiry question to investigate over several lessons. The children will then build their learning towards answering these questions. Children will have the opportunity to express their learning in different ways. E.g. through written outcomes, maps, debates.
Science is taught discretely or as part of a theme; whichever fits the content of the curriculum most appropriately. Investigation skills are a key part of the science curriculum and given a high priority in lessons. We use a consistent approach to and vocabulary when teaching investigation skills. The science content taught in each year group is shown on the long-term plan.
Children are taught music using a combination of the ‘Charanga’ scheme and school planned using based around BBC 10 pieces. Year Four and Five are taught musical content through whole class guitar lessons, delivered by Bradford’s Music and Arts service. In Year Six every child who wishes to continue with guitar has the opportunity to do so. Key Stage singing sessions provide opportunities for children to consolidate musical skills. School also runs a Key Stage Two choir and, from September 2021, a Samba club.
We provide 2 sessions of PE per week to fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each class is taught games, dance and gymnastics. Key Stage Two are also taught athletics. Swimming is taught in Year 5. We believe that cycling is a key life skill for children, particularly in the context of our village which has a busy road running through it. Therefore, a focus of our PE Premium spending is the provision of cycling coaches and bicycles. We give our children the opportunity to take part in Bikeablilty training and assessments. We believe that physical activity needs to be encouraged throughout the school day, consequently each class has timetabled time on the school running track and, in the 2021/22 academic year, fixed equipment will be bought to enhance physical activity on each playground. We have a healthy living week each year to support the development of PE.
RE is taught according to the Bradford Locally Agreed Syllabus. This allows children to learn about the six major world religions through different topics such as special books and places of worship; developing understanding of and respect for local faith communities. The structure of the syllabus asks children to answer questions like ‘Can you tell what someone believes by how they look?’
The language taught at Denholme Primary School is Spanish. This is taught discretely in Key Stage Two and in Key Stage One informal activities are used to introduce children to the language.