Grange Community Junior School
Our Vision, Aims and Values (Intent)
“Our vision is to create a school community in which everyone can participate, excel and be proud of their achievements”
Whole school ‘Golden Threads’
We use the golden threads of participation, excelling and being proud to steer our decision making and curriculum planning. These threads set out our commitment to high-quality learning and teaching, intercultural learning, and a commitment to well-being. These threads are continually revisited as pupils travel through their KS2 journey.
To ensure children participate in their own learning we:
- Work to ensure that all children are able to read which will enable them to access the wider curriculum
- Work to ensure that children are able to be fluent with number through our maths curriculum including how to problem solve and reason
- Work to develop learning to learn skills through Building Learning Power which will enable children to become lifelong learners
- Work to ensure children are able to communicate with adults and their peers to help learning stick. This is sometimes through formal discussion in Lets Think in English and through discussion in class.
- Use success criteria for children to assess their own learning.
- Give children home learning to involve them in their own practice
To ensure that children excel in their learning we:
- Encourage pupils to read, as we see this as the most important key to learning. Pupils are taught reading skills and are able to access texts relating to other subject areas to boost learning.
- Work to ensure that all children are able to learn new knowledge. We routinely recap and revisit learning to ensure that it sticks in the long term memory.
- Encourage pupils to strive for improvement, building upon their own starting points.
- We have a motivating curriculum that inspires our children to want to learn more.
To ensure that children are proud we:
- Encourage children to explore their interests and things that they enjoy doing. We aim to spark interest through the curriculum. Pupils take part in societies, extracurricular activities and complete homework projects.
- Give encouragement and show appreciation of children’s achievements and work, whether great or small. Pupils are encouraged to
- think about our school values as they nominate a person in their class each week for their achievements.
- Building children sense of self worth.
Our strapline is
“Where everyone counts”
Our ethos at Grange Community Junior School is based on inclusivity. Everyone in our school community is cared for and valued equally as a unique person. We believe that the ethos creates an environment where all members of our community can learn. We know that by working in partnership in a positive, caring and supportive environment, people develop a sense of belonging and feel valued. We understand the impact of self-esteem on motivation and the ability to learn.
At Grange Community Junior School, we strive to break down any barriers to learning and provide high quality teaching which will inspire and motivate children to engage in their learning and be prepared for the ever-changing world ahead of them. We commit ourselves to our own development, always seeking to improve our practice. We aim to provide pupils with the tools for learning and first-hand experiences, we aim for our teaching to lead to learning that is real, relevant and will support our children to leave primary school equipped for life: able to make their own informed choices, with the skills and mind set to thrive, live happy, healthy lives and take on the world.
How our aims for our children align with our curriculum
Information about our curriculum: Purpose and delivery
We are clear about our expectations and we are ambitious for every pupil in our school. We provide strong and coherent learning opportunities alongside carefully-planned additional learning opportunities and experiences to enable children to discover new talents, skills and interests. Underpinning this, is the belief that every child has the potential to achieve and excel.
In pursuit of our vision ‘Where everyone counts,’ our curriculum seeks to enable every child to ‘let their light shine,’ by providing opportunities for them to grow in wisdom, knowledge and skills which will equip them with the vision, passion and abilities that they will need to transform their own world and wider society.
Our curriculum has the following objectives
To secure, for all children, fluent and effective reading to enable them to access the wider curriculum, develop a rich vocabulary and enjoy reading for pleasure and as a door to further learning.
- To ensure children are able to communicate articulately and confidently in a range of forms and situations.
- To secure, for all children, a fluency in number and an ability to manipulate number to support problem-solving and reasoning.
- To develop resilience and problem-solving skills to enable children to link their knowledge and skills to become creative thinkers who act with wisdom.
- To provide our children with secure knowledge and skills across all National Curriculum subjects to equip them for future learning in secondary education and beyond and to enable them to discover areas of interest.
- To ensure children understand how to keep themselves safe and healthy, both physically and mentally, to support their long-term wellbeing.
- To develop and understanding of, and deep respect for, the beliefs and cultures of everyone in our global society.
Curriculum threads and milestones
To help teachers to plan for progression within every area of the curriculum, subject leaders have developed ‘threads’ and ‘milestones.
Threads are themes or concepts that are woven within the fabric of each subject. As such, children come back to them time and time again throughout their time at primary school. An example of a curriculum thread from History would be ‘to understand chronology’. Every time a child studies History (whether it be an exploration of The Stone
Age in Year 3 or a study of The Greeks in Year 6), they are deepening and developing their understanding of chronology. These threads, essentially, are what define a subject and a strong awareness of them is essential to ensuring progression across year groups.
To ensure that understanding is deepened each year, in relation to each curriculum thread, we have developed milestones. For each thread, these set out the typical expectations for knowledge and skill development at the end of each year:
- End of Year 2 (KS1) We ensure that this is secure in Year 3
- End of Year 3
- End of Year 4 (LKS2)
- End of Year 5
- End of Year 6 (UKS2)
These are an invaluable tool in helping teachers to ensure progression within every national curriculum subject.
Curriculum Threads and milestone have been developed for each of the following:
- Art & Design
- Design & Technology
- Languages (French)
In other subjects areas (such as English, mathematics and science), we use the national curriculum to map progression across key stages.
To deliver these goals we are purposeful and strategic in our implementation of the whole school curriculum. Our self-evaluation informs school development priorities and CPD to ensure we are effective as a whole staff team in meeting these aims.
We have created bespoke curriculum overviews, ensuring coherence and progression in both knowledge and disciplinary knowledge/skill development across all year groups in every subject. These have been designed to maximise opportunities for purposeful links between different subject disciplines whilst ensuring that each subject in the National Curriculum is taught discretely and effectively. Our timetable is carefully structured and includes both blocked and spaced learning to ensure efficient use of resources and the retention of knowledge and skills.
This structure provides us with the framework to focus on the most important element of all, the quality of teaching and learning. We are relentless in bringing the focus of professional dialogue back to core aspects of effective pedagogy.
We intend to work as a staff team to develop a “Grange Guide to High Quality Teaching and Learning” which draws upon research and is discussed regularly to ensure it is refined and reflects the best of what we know about teaching effectively to achieve the best outcomes for all of our pupils. In order to facilitate purposeful professional dialogue, we will hold regular “teach meets” where principles or aspects of teaching and learning are discussed, reviewed or shared to promote for all our staff an opportunity to reflect on their classroom practice. This is supplemented with appropriate and high quality professional development for staff closely linked to our curriculum intent, whole school priorities and individual staff need whether that be subject or pedagogy specific.
We use assessment purposefully to ensure it fulfils its main purpose: supporting teaching and learning and promoting progress for all children. Assessment processes and structures reflect subject specific need and support, and are a valued tool used within the classroom and are not a burden to staff.
The development of our learning environment has and continues to focus on ensuring that this contributes to our strong values and ethos and supports children’s learning and personal development. We balance displays and opportunities to celebrate children’s achievements and work with working walls which support the learning journey for children in all classrooms.
Some of the practical delivery of the core purpose of our curriculum can be seen in the following procedures, systems and processes:
To secure for all children fluent and effective reading to enable them to access the wider curriculum, develop a rich vocabulary and enjoy reading for pleasure and as a door to further learning:
- Early reading and phonics is given a high priority and taught in school using arrange of strategies to support all learners.
- Reading and high quality books and resources are invested to support reading at all ages.
- Vocabulary is taught explicitly and rigorously.
- Reading opportunities (fiction and non-fiction) are explicitly linked to specific subjects in all year groups.
- A strategic approach to the teaching of reading is in place.
- Our school environment reflects this intent through engaging library.
- Reading for pleasure is prioritised with daily whole class reading for pleasure times in every class.
- Parents are supported in helping to develop reading habits and understanding of early reading knowledge and skills. Reading lead to hold parent information events.
To ensure children are able to communicate articulately and confidently in a range of forms and situations across the curriculum.
- We have developed an overview of opportunities for children to lead events and collective worship opportunities across the school. This ensures that over their time with us, each year children will have the chance to present and speak to an audience.
- We focus on quality talk in the classroom and encourage talk to promote learning across the curriculum. We use Lets Think English lessons which are largely oral and based on reading, with open-ended questioning and structured group discussion. These lessons focus on building skills of inference, deduction and analysis to build students’ understanding, ability to express ideas, and confidence with unseen texts – whether fiction, poetry or non-fiction.
- We use the principles of “Talk for Writing” to teach English. In this approach to teaching writing it encompasses a three-stage pedagogy: ‘imitation’ (where pupils learn and internalise texts, to identify transferrable ideas and structures), ‘innovation’ (where pupils use these ideas and structures to co-construct new versions with their teachers), and ‘invention’ (where teachers help pupils to create original texts independently). These tasks aim to improve writing ability by giving pupils an understanding of the structure and elements of written language.
- We are planning that Learning overviews for each subject unit have identified opportunities for writing and so children are able to use their writing skills and knowledge across the curriculum.
To secure for all children a fluency in number and an ability to manipulate number to support problem solving and reasoning:
- Fluency in number is given a high priority and children engage in daily fluency sessions across the school. These include early morning warm up sessions.
- Online resources such as TTRockstars are used to support number fluency at home and at school.
- A range of resources support the teaching of mathematics and the use of a “CPA” (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach to the teaching of maths
- Reasoning and problem solving are a feature of maths lessons in school
To develop our children’s resilience and problem solving skills to enable them to link their knowledge and skills to be creative thinkers
- Building Learning Power is used across school. It is about creating a culture in classrooms that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable pupils to become better learners; facing difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively.
- We build “challenge” opportunities within our curriculum to ensure children experience “struggle” in a supported learning environment.
- Our curriculum knowledge overviews are going to be reviewed to make explicit links to prior or other teaching to ensure teachers and children can draw together knowledge and skills to develop ideas and learning.
- We promote and provide a range of learning opportunities both in and out of school to promote resilience e.g. residential visits, trips, visitors, theme days.
To provide our children with a secure knowledge and understanding of the National Curriculum to equip them for learning in secondary education and learning beyond.
- We have created bespoke curriculum overviews, ensuring coherence and progression in both knowledge and disciplinary knowledge/skill development across all year groups in every subject.
- Our timetable is carefully structured and includes both blocked and spaced learning to ensure efficient use of resources and the retention of knowledge and skills.
- All classes enjoy the whole curriculum, with our focus being on everyone can participate, excel and be proud of their achievements. Hard work every day leading to excellent outcomes for all.
- SEND provision with Individual Support Plans in place for pupils who need targeted support and effective intervention strategies in place.
To offer for all our children the knowledge and understanding of how to keep themselves healthy, both physically and mentally, to support their long term well-being.
- PE and sports in school contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
- The effective use of the whole school day to promote physical activity e.g. lunchtimes, daily mile and the range of before and after school opportunities.
- Specific health and well-being lessons in PHSE.
- Specific Growth Mind-set and resilience teaching through BLP.
- Opportunities to engage in a range activities to enjoy physical activities.
Through our school ethos of inclusivity, RE and Collective Worship curriculum, we share with all our children an understanding of and deep respect for the beliefs and cultures of others.
- RE is a staple part of weekly timetables.
- Collective worship plays a central role in school life each day.
- Children experience high-quality worship led by church leaders for special events.
- Our PSHE Curriculum makes explicit links to British values
- Designated time built into the structure of our RE curriculum to focus on other faiths and worldviews. Teachers follow the Hampshire RE syllabus ‘Living Difference’.
- Artefacts, visitors and trips to sites of religious importance enrich children’s learning.
The basis and rationale for the structure of our curriculum:
The timetabling and delivery structure of our curriculum plays a significant role in enabling it to succeed.
With this in mind, we undertook a range of activities to find a structure and system that works. These activities included:
- Whole-staff discussions
- Attending relevant professional development
- Evaluating current research
- Trialling different approaches
When considering how to best deliver our curriculum, we were very aware of:
- The compelling research into spaced learning (or ‘retrieval practice’). The concept of retrieval practice has its origins in cognitive science. It has a strong evidence base and is becoming more widely discussed amongst teachers around the globe. It is a learning approach focussed on getting information out of pupils’ brains (retrieval) after it has been learnt. When we focus only on getting information into pupils’ brains, we can be misled by instant recall and success – we assume that because pupils learn quickly, they will remember. This is often not the case. Pupils forget. Retrieval practice intervenes after a pupil has started to forget. They are challenged to retrieve their knowledge. It is not always easy. In a blog post, US educator Doug Lemov (author of Teach like a Champion) explains that “the fact that you must work harder to retrieve it but then do so successfully causes you to build a stronger neural pathway.” In the context of curriculum design, we were eager to ensure our curriculum was structured in a way that allowed learning to be spaced over time, providing opportunities for ‘retrieval’. Almost all our lessons start with a ‘flashback’ where we revisit previously learnt knowledge.
- The benefits of discrete subject teaching. We wanted to be confident in our delivery of the full National Curriculum in KS2 – we also wanted children to develop a clear understanding and awareness of the separate subject disciplines.
- The opportunities we have tolink learning across the clear and discrete subject disciplines. We wanted to grasp every opportunity we had to forge meaningful links across the curriculum – when done well, this improves engagement and enhances knowledge retention.
- The advantages of longer timetabled ‘blocks’ in providing scope for deep learning. By devoting a full afternoon of curriculum time to a subject, we are better able to ‘dive deep’ into the learning content. From a learning perspective, we believe this will help pupils develop a stronger knowledge and understanding because they are focussed on one thing for a full afternoon – switching subjects may confuse some pupils and weaken our attempts to help them remember. There is a practical element here too – if a class are using a particular set of resources to support their learning in a subject, it is more efficient to use these resources all afternoon (rather than pack away half-way through in order to get out another set of resources). In the context of curriculum design, we were eager to ensure our curriculum was structured in a way that allowed ‘deep dives’ into subjects whilst using our time efficiently.
We found a way in which we could combine both longer timetabled ‘blocks’ of deep learning with the research around spaced learning.
Which subjects do we teach and when?
Our approach involves splitting subjects into two groups. The first set of subjects (group A) are taught every half-term; this list includes mathematics, English, science, PE, RE, French, music and computing and PSHE. The second set of subjects (group B) are each taught in 3 of the available 6 half-terms; in KS2, these subjects include art and design, design and technology, geography, history. Group B subjects have been carefully mapped across the 6 half-terms to ensure that meaningful links can be made between discrete subject areas.
Within each half-term, when is each subject taught?
Across a typical 6 week half-term, each of the group A subjects is taught every week. We then devote a series of full afternoons to the group B subjects. The teacher will look at the half-term as a whole and decide how to allocate the full afternoon slots effectively so that each of the three group B subjects is taught well.
The number of full afternoons allocated depends on the subject. This ensures learning is deep across a full, focussed afternoon but also ensures learning is spaced over time.
If you have any questions about the curriculum please email email@example.com
Grange Junior School follows the Living Differences IV (2021) RE Agreed Syllabus for Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.