At Colvestone, we shape our curriculum to ensure all pupils have access to a rich, exciting, experiential curriculum, which celebrates the rich diversity of our schools.
Drawing on the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, we provide broad, balanced and inclusive cross curricular topics that encompass British Values throughout. We ensure a sequential development of concepts, knowledge and skills in order to help our children to understand the world they live in and the impact that they can have on it.
Miss Lucey is our Teaching & Learning Lead and oversees the curriculum and the subject leaders. She works with the T&L Leads across the Federation work together to ensure consistency of provision and the sharing of ideas.
Our Curriculum Team is newly formed this year.
The Curriculum isn’t just about reading, writing and maths – it includes a wide range of subjects, and knowing about what your child is studying at school can help you support their learning at home.
The compulsory subjects under the National Curriculum are:
- Design & Technology
- Art & Design
- Physical Education (PE)
- Religious Education (RE) - although parents have the right to withdraw children from all or part of this aspect of the curriculum
These subjects form an integral role in our Creative Curriculum. Our curriculum is planned in consultation with all members of staff. A Curriculum Working Party, which consists of teaching staff and members of the senior leadership team then collate information gathered. This is then given to staff, to be used to inform planning. Teachers plan learning experiences which promote a cross curricular approach.
Every term children learn about a different theme. Currently our planning cycle is as follows:
This is Britain
This is Britain Overview
Exploring our country
Exploring the natural environment
Exploring the built environment
Design + Technology
People and Places
Exploring our place in the world
Space and Aviation
Exploring our place in the solar system
Design + Technology
History of Hackney
Exploring the local area
We also teach:
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), which we believe is essential for children’s all-round development and self-esteem. This includes Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL), Citizenship and Drugs as well as Sex & Relationships education. In addition to our dedicated PSHE lessons, children also have the opportunity to participate
- in House Time learning experiences on a Friday. The aim of House Time is to continue to promote enrichment opportunities for the children of Colvestone. To develop children’s holistic development, with an emphasis on Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED). Children engage in a range of enrichment activities in House Teams alongside other children from different Key Stages including their own siblings.
- Spanish (as part of the extended curriculum)
Our vision of Colvestone pupils as learners
We want our pupils to:
- Know what they have done well (how they have met the success criteria) and what they need to do next (targets)
- Be able to self assess so they can measure their learning against the success criteria and generate their own ‘next steps’ (targets)
- Be able to generate success criteria based on previous learning
- Enhance their learning through dialogue – with other pupils through partner talk and group work and with adults in the class
- Understand that their contribution to whole class teaching/discussion is as important as anyone else’s
- Receive instant feedback through offering answers on whiteboards/flip flap cards/number fans etc
- Understand that mistakes are to be celebrated as no learning takes place without them
- Respond to marking in their books – correcting mistakes, up-leveling work, completing challenge questions
- Be truly independent learners.
The uniqueness of every child in our school is recognised and valued. Our curriculum embraces the community, recognising and celebrating our children’s diverse backgrounds and experiences. We recognise children's strengths, interests, diversity and learning needs, in order to promote a culture of acceptance, with PSHE, mental well-being and Growth Mindset at the heart of all lessons. We constantly reflect on our learning journey to ensure that it meets the current needs and interests of our children, offering an excellent education underpinned by a broad, culturally rich curriculum to ensure that all pupils are well equipped for the next stages in their education. Our curriculum is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills, knowledge, concepts and values however, creativity is pivotal and used throughout. We aim to provide an environment that encourages lifelong learning.
Children leave us with a sense of belonging to a school community where they have the confidence and skills to make decisions, ask questions, self-evaluate, make connections and become resilient, lifelong learners.
We ensure that all children have access to a broad, creative, balanced curriculum with Numeracy and Literacy at the heart of all learning. Skills and knowledge are taught in all subject areas; we ensure there is a progression of skills, across each subject, which is built upon each year and mapped across the key stages. The building blocks of our curriculum have been developed to allow children to learn more, remember more in a vocabulary rich topic based curriculum. We ensure that children have the opportunity to deepen their understanding by making links with reading and writing across all topics, which embeds transferable skills throughout. Trips and visits are a keystone of our learning to enthuse, immerse and deepen knowledge in our topics.
The foundation subjects are taught through a half termly focus. This includes Geography, History, Art, Design Technology and Science.
We plan our lessons with clear learning objectives, which are based upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of each child. Reflective teaching and ongoing summative assessment, leads to planning that is constantly adapted to the needs of the individual classes.
Children are expected to make good or better progress in all subjects and this individual progress is tracked termly. Pupils are assessed in reading, writing, maths and phonics at the end of each term. Subsequent year group progress meetings identify the needs of a year group to ensure that they are on track to make expected progress or that there are support plans.in place. From these an action plan is created for the future term. SLT and subject leads use this in their monitoring of teaching and learning.
Below is more information on how learning is developed in different subjects.
At Colvestone, we ensure that our children are taught to read with fluency, stamina, accuracy and understanding through a variety of discreet and cross-curricular learning opportunities. We have a range of approaches and strategies to develop children’s reading skills and love of reading. These include:
At Blossom Federation we have devised our own phonics programme based upon the principles of Letters and Sounds to provide concentrated and systematic teaching of daily phonics in EYFS and Year 1. We use a range of resources and strategies to tailor the phonics provision to meet the needs of our pupils. It forms the foundation for early reading and aims to build children's speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and decoding skills. All Year 2 children do daily phonics in the autumn term then targeted support is given to children needing additional support in Year 2-4. This is being implemented at Colvestone this year.
DSR (Daily Supported Reading)
In KS1, children do Daily Supported Reading four times a week which complements our teaching of phonics. This programme provides children in KS1 with a daily adult-led reading lesson. It ensures that children become fluent and independent readers. The programme develops children’s decoding, word reading and understanding of language. They then do a comprehension lesson every week to further develop their comprehension skills. In Reception Daily Supported Reading starts in the autumn term.
Children in KS2 develop their stamina, fluency and comprehension skills through a combination of whole class and independent reading. They complete short tasks linked to the reading skills and weekly comprehension activities. They will read an appropriately levelled book independently and have regular opportunities to read 1:1 with an adult.
Writing is taught through quality texts and stimuli linked to the cross curricular topic to give the writing purpose and context. All children at Colvestone experience a range of fiction and non-fiction writing genres including narrative, poetry, reports, letters and persuasive arguments. Children will be immersed in the topic or text stimuli and look at the grammar, language and layout features of the genre they are writing. They are then given opportunities to draft, edit and publish writing in order to aid their progression and meet national expectations.
Children in Year 1- 6 are taught grammar through discrete sessions based on the National Curriculum expectations for each year group. This teaching is reinforced by applying the grammar rules and punctuation associated which each genre.
In Year 1 - 6 spelling is taught following National Curriculum Guidelines. It is taught as a discrete session twice a week and also integrated into literacy and guided writing sessions. Children in Years 2 - 6 are given spelling to practice at home for a weekly spelling test to assess their progress.
Handwriting is developed through the school. In EYFS pupils are taught to hold a pencil correctly and begin mark making. In Year 1 they learn how to have a positive learning posture and form lower and upper case letters as well as digit correctly. In Year 2 they start to use the joins that lead to cursive writing and children continue to develop this in KS2 through the use of our bespoke handwriting book.
- Arithmetic is taught daily in all year groups to allow the fast recall of key facts. Year groups have specific skills that they must teach.
- Across the Blossom Federation, we follow White Rose Maths to ensure that all children have access to apply their skills and knowledge and achieve maths mastery. Children will be embedding their oracy skills whilst completing reasoning activities.
- In Science, skills and knowledge sheets are used which follow the National Curriculum and the topics are linked to the humanities subjects where applicable, to allow for skills and knowledge to be transferred and developed.
- Children learn biology, physics and chemistry through a range of different areas including animals including humans, plants, materials and states of matter.
- It is a spiral curriculum which shows progression across year groups. When starting a new topic, children link the upcoming unit to previous learning they have done. Recaps in every lesson allow children to learn and remember more
- “Working scientifically” means that students can learn scientific skills through practical work such as predicting, performing experiments, observing, recording results, reporting results and drawing conclusions.
The Wider Curriculum
- All pupils experience weekly music lessons in their phases, delivered by one of our experienced teachers.
- The children will develop their skills and learn the fundamental elements of music. These are pulse, rhythm, pitch, duration, timbre, texture and structure
- They have the opportunity to compose and perform their own pieces of music.
- As well as taught PE sessions, with a specialist PE teacher, with half termly focuses there are also other sporting activities available, including cross federation sports events.