Language development underpins all the learning that takes place in schools, as a child’s language is the medium through which he or she learns about other subjects. English makes a major contribution to the development of a child’s language which, in turn, contributes to the child’s understanding of his/her world, the world of others and the world of imagination. Since English is integral to the learning process throughout the curriculum, it follows that whenever anything is being taught or learned there is potential for developing a child’s language.
While there will be discrete English lessons each day, literacy skills, in particular speaking and listening & writing, will be used and developed in every curriculum area through the International Primary Curriculum. Taught Literacy sessions will ensure that children are engaged in a variety of activities matched to their specific needs. Play, storytelling, talking about their own experiences and ideas, drama and improvisation provide a sound base at Foundation, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 with an emphasis on pupils exploring and expressing their own world. Teaching and learning styles will mix instruction; group collaboration; paired work; practical activity, performance; individual research and investigation with appropriate strategies to encourage effective learning through language, such as sharing learning intentions and success criteria and opportunities to review and evaluate. Varied and regular writing tasks will also be a feature across the whole of our curriculum in every year group.
Phonics teaching will follow the ‘Read Write Inc publication’ (RWI). It is a consistent, rigorous and dynamic literacy programme to teach EVERY child to read by the age of six. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme.
The RWI programme has been proven to be a very successful method of teaching every child to read and write using phonics. Evidence of this can be found in the Ofsted Report: ‘Reading by six: how the best schools do it.’
All children in KS1 will be following the programme. They will have already been assessed, so will be put into groups and given the appropriate RWI reading and workbooks to follow. The programme can also be followed by older children to catch up. KS1 will be using RWI as their reading scheme.
In reading we will use a variety of approaches such as:
- shared reading,
- independent reading and
- guided reading;
strategies that enable children to construct meaning from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts; a strong decoding and spelling foundation using a blend of phonics and visual techniques to suit the learning needs of the individual child. However it will be whole texts that will be used as the basis for learning in all areas of literacy. Teaching and learning approaches and styles are adopted using the practices associated with the “Power of Reading” project developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).
In Key Stage 1 reading will be taught in small groups outside of a literacy lesson. Once a week, a teacher will work with a focus group and other children may, at this time, be working independently or with another adult.
In Key Stage 2, reading will be taught to the whole class from a whole text. Learning will be scaffolded and differentiated according to need and a range of different learning styles and approaches put in place to enable effective learning to take place for all. This learning will then be transferred to the literacy lesson and other areas of the curriculum as appropriate.
Additional reading support will be put in place for individuals according to need at the discretion of the class teacher, we will use ‘The Better Reading Partnership’ (BRP) approach for this.
Writing will play an essential role in the curriculum as a whole. Writing opportunities will interest and engage children so that they will learn to become thoughtful, reflective and evaluative writers. They will write for a range of audiences and purposes and throughout the teaching and learning of writing, they will develop an understanding of how to write a broad range of text types (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). They will be taught to use and choose a rich range of vocabulary which will reflect their authorial intent and desired impact on a reader. They will also learn to employ a range of sentence construction that ensures that writing is interesting, clear and concise. Children will build a repertoire of skills that will allow them to control and shape whole texts, thus becoming adept and adaptable writers with transferable skills across the whole of our curriculum.
All of these writing skills will be based on children’s existing phonic knowledge and the way we use the CLPE materials from “The Power of Reading” project.
We follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics, with daily lessons for all pupils. We want our children to develop: mathematical habits of mind; value mathematics; master basic facts; be mentally agile; be creative problem solvers; tackle complex problems with confidence; read, write and discuss mathematics; apply mathematics in other subject areas and begin to understand and appreciate the role of mathematics in the world.
Understanding mathematics is an essential life skill and all our children need to become good mathematicians. This means that the curriculum and teaching need to address not only the mastery of basic skills and recording but also have a progressive focus on real life mathematics and the more advanced concepts. We know that there are persistent gaps between the mathematics performance of primary school children from different backgrounds and with different characteristics. We will make sure that the structure of our curriculum, the teaching strategies and personalised learning programmes are used to reduce these gaps.
What makes Ramsgate Free School unique is that we structure the teaching of Maths across the whole school to have a focus on the mastery of mental skills, the teaching of ‘number’ (i.e. +, -, x, -:-) in terms 1 and 2. This will ensure that children can have a secure understanding and grasp of the concrete skills that are required for more abstract features of mathematical understanding.
Computing and the use of technology
Computing and the use of technology will be based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study. Children will have access to laptops and ipads throughout their working week, often incorporating this technology into their daily lessons. We will support the children to become confident, safe and appropriate users of ICT who are well prepared for a technology rich future.
PSHE – Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education and Citizenship
Through the IPC curriculum we will strive to promote healthy, independent, responsible and resilient members of society.
There will be a clear emphasis on children understanding and responding to their own feelings and those of others, knowing their bodies and learning about relationships. They will be taught how to stay safe including recognising and responding appropriately to danger. We will make sure that they know about safe and unsafe substances, the consequences of choice and how to say no. We will also deal with healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and personal hygiene.
We want our children to develop emotional resilience and to be able to deal with adversity in positive ways.
Non-denominational Religious Education will be provided for all children as part of the curriculum and will be in accordance with the locally agreed County Religious Education syllabus.
Parents will have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and collective worship should they so wish. If parents do not wish their child to be taught the agreed syllabus or take part in short acts of collective worship then we will request they inform us in writing. If the child is excused, suitable alternative arrangements will be made.
We will hold assemblies daily as an important time for the school community to come together to celebrate achievements. It will also be our opportunity for collective worship and a time for singing and music making and also a time when we place an emphasis on the development of values and attitudes towards each other and the world around us. Assemblies will be non-denominational, although they will be of a broadly Christian nature, however due consideration will continue to be given to the multicultural society in which we live, building on our value of international mindedness. We will respect the wishes of families who do not wish for their child to participate in collective worship.
As well as increasing children’s knowledge and understanding in physical education we want children to develop positive attitudes towards physical activity and have a wide range of formal and informal experiences. Participation in physical activities should help to improve pupils’ self-esteem and confidence and also their sense of wellbeing.
A central aim of our physical education curriculum is to cultivate a love of activity and to complement cognitive learning. We want to promote the benefits of physical activity and ensure that children are aware of the link between physical activity, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. We will be sensitive to cultural issues that may influence children’s participation and that of their families.
We intend that every child will be physically fit with a sense of wellbeing. They will have the opportunity to develop any individual physical talents to a more advanced level and also to participate in competitive activities. We will base our formal lessons on the national curriculum programmes of study and there will be regular timetabled activities such as; Rugby, Hockey, Football, Netball, Cricket, Athletics, Gymnastics, Dance and Swimming. As well as opportunities like Surfing and Sailing, building on our already strong links with Ramsgate Yacht Club.
We will provide ALL Key Stage 1 and 2 children with more than the 2 hours a week guidelines with further opportunities through the co-curriculum and our extended curriculum offer in which we will provide physical activity sessions before or after school. These will also be designed so that parents and other community members are able to participate or indeed to lead activities. These sessions will include dance, a wide range of exercise classes, games, walking, cycling, skipping and many more activities that can be continued out of school.
Every child in the school will take part in a music programme. The programme will comprise of specific musical skills including singing, listening, playing instruments, theory, history and performance. There will be formal music lessons each week based on the national curriculum programmes of study and every child as they pass through Key Stage 2 will be offered the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. There will be an opportunity to sing and take part in a range of other musical activities as part of our co-curriculum programme.
Being involved in a school club is a great way to stay active, meet new people and gain new skills. Ramsgate Free School will offer a broad range of activities and clubs throughout the year. Many clubs will follow traditional lines – chess, dance and drama clubs for example. Clubs involving traditional sports will also be made available to pupils in key stages 1 & 2. The green nature of our proposed school environment will also stimulate clubs exploring factors such as forestry, wildlife and conservation and environmental issues. Some of these clubs will run at lunch, while others will take place during the co-curriculum.
Ramsgate Free School through its curriculum promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.