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Curriculum

We are fully committed to ensuring that every day at Deanshanger Primary School is as happy as possible and that all children feel well-supported. It is important that everyone feels safe at all times – our safeguarding practices must provide all children with a listening ear and the additional support that they might need for various reasons.

Our curriculum has been built to provide a rich, broad, balanced, well sequenced, relevant, engaging and inspiring curriculum that provides opportunities and creativity to develop the whole child. In these uncertain times, it is important, perhaps even more than ever, that our curriculum matches post lock down needs. We are very aware that whilst many children have made extensive progress since March 2020, the complex difficulties posed by the pandemic have left many gaps for many other children whilst also highlighting new needs in terms of social and emotional wellbeing. Our recovery curriculum is built to address complex and varied needs - it is very dependent on the cohort's specific needs, both academic and socially and emotionally. 

As always, we want our children to feel excited about the learning ahead from the beginning of the journey in Reception throughout their primary years to the end of year 6. We want them to engage fully, to make connections with their learning and life outside Deanshanger, and to be enthused to push their learning forward. There are no ceilings on children’s success, and we continually promote a ‘Yes, I can’, growth mind set attitude. We also want our children to grow into all rounded citizens that grow in to thoughtful adults fulfilling a meaningful and unique role in society.

In Reception, an interest led curriculum is built based on the characteristics of effective learning. The Reception team meet the children’s needs through carefully planned Continuous Provision, which is enhanced with ‘provocations’ to inspire and challenge. Our intention when planning is to provide children with interest-led opportunities to become fully immersed and deeply engaged in their play which encourages independent learners and critical thinkers. Our mantra is “watch, wait and wonder”, to ensure that we observe before intervening in children’s learning, to empower and enable them to resolve conflicts and issues, solve problems and develop imagination and creativity. 

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) has been selected to provide engaging, cross curricula topics with a rich international outlook; it is used from Year 1 to Year 6. The IPC is used by over 1000 schools in over 90 countries worldwide and where possible we link with other schools to enrich learning further. The IPC is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum, with a clear process of learning and specific learning goals for every subject. It also develops international mindedness and encourages personal learning. The topics in Reception and beyond, cover the statutory expectations of the national curriculum and bring it fully to life.  

Click here for our curriculum overview document demonstrating the IPC topics for each year group.

The IPC provides the basis for the majority of our English, Science, Technology, History, Geography, Music, Art and Society and some ICT & Computing curriculum. Maths, RE and PE (Physical Education) are largely discreet subjects with their own schemes of work and expectations, although links are made when they are authentic and meaningful. Planning is very structured and builds upon core skills, knowledge and understanding. Learning in all subject areas is supported by regular sessions in Forest School. 

Everything in our curriculum is supported and underpinned by our school values; these provide the individual qualities and dispositions that we believe children will find essential in the 21st century. There are eight IPC Personal Goals that we have adopted as our school values — enquiry, resilience, principled, communication, thoughtfulness, cooperation, respect and adaptability. Opportunities to experience and practice these are built into the learning tasks within each unit of work, in all ‘other’ subjects, assemblies and Forest School. Power points and class dojos are used to celebrate the successful modelling of the school values.

We ensure open access and inclusiveness, providing opportunities for all, irrespective of their personal characteristics.  It is important that there are no curriculum barriers — pupils will have access to all opportunities and, where there is a choice, they can select appropriately, and with guidance, according to their ambitions, interests, abilities, and needs.

We are keen to hear how curriculum learning is progressing from the children's viewpoint and have set up subject elevation groups this year.  In year group sessions, we share the children's learning in the chosen subject and understand their recalled knowledge, use of subject-specific vocabulary and their ability to apply skills and knowledge to an investigative type activity. These groups allow us to further improve our teaching and learning. 

SRE (Sex and Relationships Education)

SRE is part of our ongoing programme. Initially, it focuses on looking at the body and taking care of it. Later it considers friendships and relationships. As the children grow older, Years 5 and 6, puberty is discussed. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from the SRE programme. The request to withdraw should be made in writing to the Head Teacher, Mrs Rachel Rice head@deanshanger.northants-ecl.gov.uk

Our extensive commitment to PE is demonstrated in our gold school games award and to the Arts, through our silver Artsmark award.  

For further curriculum information, please click on the subject links below. Don’t hesitate to make contact with us if you have any further questions or comments about our curriculum.

 

Computing

Frequency of sessions: One lesson per week for computing with additional opportunities for the cross-curricular use of ICT  at other times.

Scheme of Work used: Purple Mash is our main scheme followed to ensure coverage and progression of computing skills and knowledge.

What does computing look like at Deanshanger Primary School?

The curriculum below demonstrates the expectations -​​​​

Reception : We aim to provide our pupils with a broad, play-based experience of computing in a range of contexts.

  • Early Years learning environments should feature ICT scenarios based on experience in the real world, such as in role-play.
  • Pupils gain confidence, control and language skills through opportunities to ‘paint’ on the interactive board/devices or control remotely operated toys.
  • Outdoor exploration is an important aspect, supported by ICT toys such as metal detectors and walkie-talkie sets.
  • Recording devices can support children to develop their communication skills. This is especially useful for children who have English as an additional language.
  • Show an interest in technological toys with knobs, buttons or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras, mobile phones and ipads/android tablets.
  • Show skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images;
  • Know that information can be retrieved from computers;
  • Complete a simple program on a computer;
  • Use ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software. Recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools;
  • Select and use technology for particular purposes. Find out about, and use a range of everyday technology. They select appropriate applications that support an identified need- for example in deciding how best to make a record of a special event.

Key Stage 1 outcomes

  • Understand what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices, and that programs execute by following a sequence of instructions.
  • Write and test simple programs.
  • Organise, store, manipulate and retrieve data in a range of digital formats.
  • Communicate safely and respectfully online, keeping personal information private, and recognise common uses of information technology beyond school.

Key Stage 2 outcomes

  • Design and write programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.
  • Describe how Internet search engines find and store data; use search engines effectively; be discerning in evaluating digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property; use technology responsibly, securely and safely.
  • Use sequence, selection and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output; generate appropriate inputs and predicted outputs to test programs.
  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.
  • Use logical reasoning to explain how a simple algorithm works and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
  • Understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration.
  • Describe how internet search engines find and store data; use search engines effectively; be discerning in evaluating digital content; respect individuals and intellectual property; use technology responsibly, securely and safely.
  • Select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.

Resources

The Computing 'Champion' keeps up to date with the latest technology resources and makes informed decisions about new resources in conjunction with the whole teaching team (working within a horizontal leadership model). A range of resources are available which successfully support the delivery of the computing curriculum and enable all learners to reach their full potential.  We have a studio where computer lessons can take place (although the laptops and ipads are often taken into the classroom).

A range of apps and programmes, suitable for primary school age pupils, are accessed including Purple Mash and Switched On! These provide schemes of work and resources for planning and teaching. We also have a green screen in the studio and several Beebots.

Inclusion

At Deanshanger Primary School, we aim to enable all children to achieve to their full potential. This includes children of all abilities, social and cultural backgrounds, those with disabilities, EAL speakers and SEN statement and non-statemented. We place particular emphasis on the flexibility technology brings to allowing pupils to access learning opportunities, particularly pupils with SEN and disabilities.

Extra-Curricular Activities (these will resume once we are safely learning outside year group bubbles)

Digitial Leaders is an after school club for KS2 children with a keen interest in computing. They do not just attend a club, they are seen as ambassadors for the subject in their class and are called upon at events as IT support when required. They are also keen to share their knowledge and skills by helping staff and children alike.

For further information about supporting healthy amounts of screen time at home, please find the following very useful guides -  Key Stage 1   Key Stage 2 

Design Technology and art

The school's 'Champion' for art and DT is Mrs Amanda Davis

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week.  However, there are plenty of additional opportunities given throughout the school year for children to practice their art and DT skills for example; Chinese New Year, Remembrance Day, Christmas and New Year and End of Year Art exhibitions to name a few.

We have recently been awarded our silver Artsmark award. We continue to be fully committed to delivering a rich diet of opportunities that are deeply embedded in our cross curricula diet in all year groups. Artsmark provides a clear and flexible framework for teachers and schools leaders to embed creativity across the whole curriculum and address school improvement priorities - something that we fully believe in. 

The national curriculum for art and design aims to ensure that all pupils: 
· produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences 
· become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques 
· evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design 
· know about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.

Key stage 1 
Pupils will be taught to use a range of materials creatively to design and make products. They will have the opportunity to use drawing, painting and sculpture to develop and share their ideas, experiences and imagination. They will develop a wide range of art and design techniques in using colour, pattern, texture, line, shape, form and space. They will explore the work of a range of artists, craft makers and designers, describing the differences and similarities between different practices and disciplines, and making links to their own work within their sketchbooks.

Key stage 2

Pupils will be taught to develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design. They will use their sketchbooks to record their observations, review and revisit ideas and practice new skills. They will be given the opportunity to improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay]. They will learn about great artists, architects and designers in history

At Deanshanger Primary School we aim to ensure that children have explored, evaluated and become familiar with a range of art media by the time they leave Year 6 from watercolour and acrylic paints to batik and screen printing. Children from Year 1 to Year 6 are encouraged to annotate and evaluate their work and the work of Artists.  Children’s comments should demonstrate a progression of their understanding and ability as they move through the school.  Although there is no formal assessment in Art the annotated sketchbooks will make clear the skill level each child is working at both in their own ability to produce artwork and in their ability to evaluate works of art. 

We hope that the children at Deanshanger Primary School enjoy and engage thoroughly with their Art sessions and can look back and reflect upon their developing skills throughout their time here.

Design and Technology (DT) is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils from Foundation Stage to Year 6 design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. 

They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.

Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world.

High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation. The teaching of Art and DT is a mandatory element of the National Curriculum. The statutory requirements plus the advisory content of the Dimensions scheme of work will form the foundation for this subject.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What decisions have been made about the DT curriculum ? 

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well-prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.   

We are incorporating DT as part of the IPC curriculum. It will link in with the various topics being covered i.e. Bake It! In Year 5 covered baking bread as part of the DT topic. The progression of skills document will be tied with this showing progression throughout the year groups. IPC is beneficial to our children due to the cultural aspects, for example with the Year 5 Bake It! Topic the children looked at breads from around the world, which they may not have otherwise experienced. IPC covers a wide breadth of areas which allows our children to experience a range of topics, linking them with a real world focus. 

2. How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?  

The school follows a progression of skills document which covers what our children need/will cover throughout their DT Primary School journey, this aligns with statutory requirements. Our DT follows a plan-do-review cycle which allows children to evaluate their learning and skills which they can then apply to their next DT unit. All of our children will be given/provided with the resources to create their DT projects. All children will be aiming to show the required skills through each task, with the teacher supporting where necessary. This allows all our children to try skills that they otherwise may not have used/experienced such as sawing wood to create a model Roman catapult. Experiencing these units/projects firsthand also engages the visual and kinaesthetic learners. As some skills will overlap it will allow our children to readdress anything they may have been unsure of in previous years. 

3.  How do you know the DT curriculum is working? 

The teachers have always planned DT projects connected to their topics. The IPC overviews give examples of DT topics as per the curriculum which our teachers use to influence their planning.  Our children will be able to plan-do-review any work completed as part of the DT topic. They will be applying knowledge to their designs and implementing these in the practical elements.  

4.  What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can you share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

Though the children have not been in school physically there have been some lovely examples shared from parents of great DT at home. In Year 3 the children were looking at examples of marble runs. Our children designed their own and then created these using recycled materials at home. We also gave them opportunities to collect materials from school to create other projects for example with Chinese New Year.  

5. What are the strengths of the DT curriculum? 

The way the DT curriculum is linked with the IPC allows for a great cross over and strong links with the other subjects being covered. This can be seen in teachers planning. 

6. How do you lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues?

When everything is in place for the new DT layout, subject champion will run a training session for all staff to show and demonstrate what is expected with DT. All staff are very good at helping others and requesting help when needed.  

7. How is DT resourced?

The DT resources are extensive and are central placed. New resources are ordered as needed to further enhance the children’s learning.  

8. What would external visitors see if they focused on DT in a visit?

They will see children enjoying the subject. They will see each DT topic links with the IPC unit being covered in class. They will see clear designs which the children have then tried to create. They will see a progression of skills throughout the school, with children using key vocabulary when talking about the subject. 

9. What do you expect that Ofsted will see when they focus on the subject?

They will see children enjoying the subject. They will see each DT topic links with the IPC unit being covered in class. They will see clear designs which the children have then tried to create. They will see a progression of skills throughout the school, with children using key vocabulary when talking about the subject.

Eco School

The school's 'Champion' for Eco learning is Ms Nyree Kenzie.

Our Eco team form and lead an Eco-Committee. In conjunction with the rest of the school and the wider community, it’s the pupils that decide the environmental themes they want to address and how they’re going to do it. Deanshanger Primary School helps children to address a variety of environmental themes, ranging from litter and waste to healthy living and biodiversity. 

The club will resume once we are safely learning outside year group bubbles.

Eco Schools is an international award programme that guides schools on their sustainable journey, providing a simple framework to help make sustainability an integral part of school life. Eco-Schools can help enhance the curriculum and get the whole school united behind something important. 

Measuring and monitoring is an integral part of the Eco-Schools programme, providing schools with all the evidence they need to showcase their environmental success. In fact, Eco-Schools can fit into virtually all aspects of the curriculum and help to make learning, both inside and outside the classroom, fun and engaging.

Our School has previously achieved the Bronze and Silver awards and we are now setting our sights on the Green Flag award, which symbolises excellence in the field of environmental activity. 

Undertaking the Eco-Schools programme is a long-term journey and it can take time for schools to implement the different elements of the framework and engage their staff, students and the community with it. We think it's a journey well worth taking though and the Eco-Schools team, along with a whole host of materials, information and resources, will be there to support schools along the way.

English Language

The school's 'Champions' for English learning are Mrs Sarah Webb, Miss Steph Forward and Ms Nyree McKenzie.

Pupils’ key skills, knowledge and attitudes are developed within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. This is usually implemented through a daily English lesson for Years 1 to 6, and is linked to the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) whenever appropriate. Our long term plan for English maps out these opportunities against the IPC ensuring a carefully thought out structure of core English skills and knowledge to prepare them for the next stage in their learning. Click this link to view our long term plan. EYFS learning opportunities are planned using continuous provision and interest child-led learning. The core English curriculum is divided into the following strands:

Phonics

In Reception and Key Stage 1, children are systematically taught the phonemes that enable us to read and then spell words using the Little Wandle phonics programme. During phonics sessions, children are taught to identify all the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in a particular order beginning with s,a,t,p,i,n. They are taught to blend, where they say the sounds that make up a word and merge them together until they can hear what the word is – this is a vital skill of early reading. Children are also taught to segment, which is the opposite of blending, by saying the word and breaking it up into the correct phonemes – this skill is a key aspect for early spelling. The learning of phonics are linked to your child's spellings.

Our school booklet - 'Reading and Phonics, Information for Parents/Carers' can be found here and a short video demonstrating pure sounds, below. Children access ‘Letters and Sounds Big Cat Books’ to introduce and reinforce their phonics learning in school. These books are physically stored in school using Huxley Horse Box. Children and their parents can also access books, from home and school, using the Collins e-book system. Additionally, children in Foundation Stage and  Year 1 use ‘Reading Eggs’ to aid and reinforce their learning in phonics. All children should have an individual account to make phonics learning fun using this interactive programme.

Reading

Foundation Stage and Key Stage One

 Regular reading practise, shared reading and guided reading sessions enable children to apply their phonic decoding skills, as well as other reading cues, to read for meaning. Children consolidate their phonic knowledge and comprehension at home by taking home an individual reading scheme book and/or library book. In all year groups children listen to and discuss a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently. They become very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics. They learn to appreciate poems and learn some by heart. Please see our ‘Early Reading/Phonics Policy’ for more details.

In Year Two children are introduced to books that are structured in different ways. They retell a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales and continue to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart. Word reading and decoding skills that promote fluency continue to be explicitly taught. Children take part in discussions about a range of texts and explain their understanding.  Many children will begin Accelerated Reader and use our extensive library to independently select a well-matched reading book. There will be some children who continue with ‘Big Cat Letters and Sounds’ scheme. These children will be carefully monitored.

Key Stage Two

At Key Stage Two children build on the good reading habits and reading fluency established at Key Stage One. Many children will continue on their Accelerated Reader journey and use our extensive library to select well-matched books. The teaching of reading skills is still addressed through English lessons or guided and shared reading sessions. Proficient readers are encouraged to extend their experiences and are guided by their class teacher in their book choices. Children who require support to develop their reading skills participate in small group phonics work. The principles of the Little Wandle programme is still endorsed throughout this Key Stage with intervention strategies put in place to support all children in becoming confident and competent readers.

By the end of Key Stage Two we expect all children to use the library regularly to make their own independent book selections. In Years Three and Four children read books that are structured in a variety of ways and continue to listen to and discuss a wide range of fiction, poetry, plays and non-fiction. Children identify new vocabulary and check the meaning of words using dictionaries and thesauruses. They recognise different forms of poetry and prepare play scripts and poems to read aloud.  In Years Five and Six children continue to read an increasingly wide range of text types and recommend books that they have read to their peers, giving reasons for their choices.  We access an e-book system: myON to create reading projects of fiction and non-fiction books to support cross curricular reading linked to our IPC topics. A parents’ guide to myON can be found here. Across all year groups, we promote the reading of ‘classic’ children’s literature either via individual reading comprehensions or reading a shared class novel. The English Long Term plan gives further details of these texts.

The use of ‘Reading Vipers’ is a key principal to our teaching of reading. The use of the VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarise) help us to identify key skills we are developing in reading throughout and across the school.

These key skills are introduced in Early Years and Key Stage One during shared and guided reading sessions. During Key Stage Two, children will apply these skills in all forms of reading .

Parents take an active part in developing the joy of reading by sharing the books brought home each day and making comments in the reading diary. Children should be reading at least five times a week for at least 20 minutes. This is an expectation in all year groups, though will increase to 30 minutes in Year 6.  All reading should be recorded in the 'Home/School Diary'. Reading time should be a comfortable, stress-free and enjoyable time for both parent and child. We encourage children to read a range of materials. For example, boys may be inspired to read the sports column in their newspaper or graphic novels.

Reading is celebrated in school in classrooms and communal areas. Also, during weekly whole school assemblies and on our school Twitter feed. We regularly invite authors to school to further celebrate reading and writing.

Writing

Children in Key Stages 1 and 2 are encouraged to write independently to produce well-structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, handwriting, punctuation and spelling. Our long term plan document carefully maps out progression of SPaG skills across the school. In our 'Home/School Diary' there is a glossary of SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) terms used across the school; a DfE glossary document is also attached.

To support our teaching of writing we use our own assessment criteria based on the National Curriculum 2014 requirements with further guidance provided to Years 2 and 6 by the DfE performance descriptors and national writing standards.   Teachers model writing strategies and the use of phonics and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals. Once children have successfully come to the end of their 'Letters and Sounds' journey, we use the 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme to teach spelling. 

The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts, for a variety of purposes and audiences, using quality texts as a model. There are many opportunities for children to improve their writing. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of a group. Children can also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing. Please refer to our separate presentation policy for details about expectations for handwriting and presentation of work. Click here for the presentation policy. Across the school, we use the 'Letterjoin' scheme of work for handwriting.

As part of our development of writing skills, all children across all phases of the school, independently produce a ‘First of the Month’ (FoTM) piece. This is marked against either the year group writing pathway or toolkit. Children may improve their pieces afterwards using purple pen marking. ‘First of the Month’ exercise books are passed on to the next year group. This ensures that future teachers have an understanding of the child’s writing journey across the school; it also provides a record for children and parents.

Speaking and Listening

Children are encouraged to speak clearly, fluently and with confidence in groups of varying sizes and ages and to listen and respond to other people. There are many opportunities within the school to speak confidently through class assemblies and performances. Drama is used whenever possible which helps in bringing the curriculum to life. Children also perform poetry. This can be individually or as part of a group. 

There is weekly English homework set across the school.

Within English, there are statutory assessments in reading, writing and SPaG (KS2 only) at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2. There is also a statutory phonics screening where children read real and nonsense words. Years Three, Four and Five engage in termly assessments for reading and SPaG with a termly teacher assessment of writing.

Our Maths/English powerpoint presentation for parents can be found here. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What decisions have been made about the English curriculum ? 

The English long term plan document, maps out the knowledge, skills and understanding that should be covered in each year group for English (reading, writing, SPaG and spoken language). This document is revised annually and was implemented as a result of OFSTED feedback given in June 2019 where a key action was to ‘improve the planning of the curriculum so there is a clear framework for teachers to provide learning that systematically builds pupils’ knowledge and understanding across year groups and a range of subjects.  

The English long term plan document maps out writing expectations and genres to be covered, steps in spelling, punctuation and grammar, breaks down reading skills and opportunities for spoken language. Where possible, the English long term plan document directly relates to the IPC (International Primary School Curriculum) topic being taught. Writing opportunities and where possible, reading opportunities relate to the teaching of this IPC unit. This gives opportunity to develop cultural capital. The English long term plan is supplemented by our ‘Early Reading/Phonics Policy’, ‘Reading Policy’ and ‘English Policy’. 

Following the school Ofsted visit in May 2021, where the key action was to: 

‘refine the curriculum for phonics so that it demonstrates high expectations of what pupils will learn each term.’ 

coupled with the Year 2 phonics results in December 2021 (81% of the cohort achieved a score of 32 plus), the decision was made to implement the ‘Little Wandle’ systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) in January 2022. As stipulated in the ‘Reading Framework’, all members of staff, from across the school, participated in the training. 

2. How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?  

We have organised our curriculum around the IPC units.  

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.  

Our current curriculum in English, as shown above, has directly built on previous OfSTED feedback. The long-term plan document is built using statutory guidance from the national curriculum. For example, SPaG outcomes are matched.  

Our writing pathways, based on ITAFs (Interim Teacher Assessment Frameworks) for the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 from the DfE, help to inform us about the end points we are working towards in writing. There are termly opportunities for us to moderate written work across all phases of the school. One of our English co-ordinators is a trained KS2 moderator who leads whole school training.   

We assess children in reading termly across the school. This is using previous SATS papers, NFER assessments and Little Wandle phonic assessments. These results are shared across the school and with governors in milepost documents.  

If any gaps are identified, interventions are put in place to address them.  

3 - How do you know your curriculum is working? 

In school year 2020/2019, we received two Ofsted inspections. 

In March 2021, inspectors stated that: 

‘Pupils at home and at school continue to take part in reading lessons. You have continued to develop the reading curriculum and provide staff training on phonics, despite the current circumstances. Parents of children in the early years who are being educated at home can post videos of their children reading with them. This enables teachers to talk with parents about how they can further help their children with reading. Teachers use their checks on pupils’ phonics skills to make sure that books match pupils’ reading ability. You have provided electronic versions of the wide range of books available in school so that pupils can enjoy these books remotely’ 

‘Following the previous inspection, you changed the content and organisation of the curriculum. You are continuing to put these changes into practice. This means that pupils are continuing to receive an education. You have developed further the expertise of and partnership between leaders of subjects. Teachers now understand, more clearly than they did previously, precisely what you intend pupils to learn.’ 

In June 2020, inspectors commented that: 

‘Leaders have raised their expectations of what all pupils will be able to read. Teachers have chosen books to share with pupils. They have picked particular texts to enrich pupils’ awareness of the world around them. Pupils speak with enthusiasm about their reading. They say that they need to ‘practise, practise, practise’ to become better readers. Younger pupils enjoy the chance to read in ‘Huxley’s horse box’ and older pupils describe what has influenced them to choose the authors that they like to read. Teachers and leaders have worked together to prioritise reading. Staff like working together in teams. This helps them to share their knowledge of what sounds pupils remember and what they have forgotten. Staff value the training that they have had. Leaders know that more training is still needed to make sure that staff subject knowledge is completely consistent. Leaders have begun to establish a curriculum which builds pupils’ knowledge of sounds. However, the curriculum does not yet precisely show what teachers expect pupils to know each term. Many pupils become fluent early readers. Most books match the sounds pupils know, but some contain sounds that pupils have not yet mastered.’ 

Data from Milepost 3 (July 2021) 

Reading 

End of Key Stage 2 – Year 6 Outcomes 

80% of children achieved the expected standard; 39% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Papers were marked by a Year 6 teacher outside the school and year group. 

End of Key Stage 1 – Year 2 Outcomes 

68% of children achieved the expected standard; 18% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

End of Early Years 

79% of children achieved the expected standard: 14% of children were exceeding 

Data from Milepost 1 (September 2021) 

Reading 

Year 6 Data  

61% of children achieved the expected standard; 11% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Year 2 Data 

35% of children achieved the expected standard; 15% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Reception Baseline 

54% of children at 2; 46% of children at 1 

Writing 

Year 6 Data 

51% of children achieved the expected standard; 0% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Year 2 Data 

27% of children achieved the expected standard; 6% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Reception Baseline 

46% of children at 2; 54% of children at 1 

SPaG 

Year 6 Data 

48% of children achieved the expected standard; 3% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

Year 2 Data 

37% of children achieved the expected standard; 23% of children were working at greater depth within the expected standard. 

All Milepost 1 targets for October 2021 were met 

We complete assessments termly and all data is presented in a milepost document. This is shared with staff and governors. 

Throughout Lockdown we encouraged author visits. For example, visits from children’s author, Nik Larcombe. This academic year, we have hosted a visit from Tom Palmer and Holly Ryan in Year One. This has strengthened teaching of the IPC and cultural capital. 

Pupil voice during the OfSTED inspections was strong with children sharing their enjoyment of reading and interest in books available within school. 

4 – What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

During lockdown, provision for reading was strong. We subscribed to Collins e-books and an online library - MyOn. MyOn is connected to Accelerated Reader so enabled children to read, undertake tests on books they had read participating in Accelerated Reader. Myon also had the capacity to enable us to create projects of non-fiction books linked to IPC topics. During Lockdown, we continued to celebrate Accelerated Reader and our ‘Word Millionaire’ challenge. These individuals were acknowledged during celebration assemblies. 

As stated above from the Ofsted inspection in March 2021: 

‘Pupils at home and at school continue to take part in reading lessons. You have continued to develop the reading curriculum and provide staff training on phonics, despite the current circumstances. Parents of children in the early years who are being educated at home can post videos of their children reading with them. This enables teachers to talk with parents about how they can further help their children with reading. Teachers use their checks on pupils’ phonics skills to make sure that books match pupils’ reading ability. You have provided electronic versions of the wide range of books available in school so that pupils can enjoy these books remotely’ 

As we were using electronic reading platforms, we were able to monitor carefully which children were reading and which were not. We were able to chase up children who were not reading and speak to parents to suggest strategies to help with learning. In Early Years and Year One, Tapestry and Collins e-books were used to track progress with phonics and Early Reading. 

During Lockdown, we continued our whole school journey to change and improve our phonics scheme and Early Reading strategy. 

We also had one child who wrote a collection of stories during Lockdown. These were later published and sold to children and parents. 

These are positive examples of learning, in this area, during Lockdown. 

Data from Milepost 3 would indicate that writing was the area that suffered during Lockdown. Governors have undertaken visits with all year groups in the school from September to December 2021. Evidence from their visits would suggest that all teachers are aware of this, have planned a comprehensive writing curriculum to engage and interest children to write. This is linked to the IPC. Teachers are also skilled at identifying gaps in learning and putting in place strategies to address these. Conferencing is enabled during French sessions. 

5 - What are the strengths of your current subject curriculum? 

  • The subject knowledge and interest of the subject leaders in this area.  

  • The relentless drive to improve this subject area and move forward. 

  • A range of resources. For example, e-books, access to online platforms – SPaG.Com/ Accelerated Reader, Little Wandle, a range of books, school library... 

  • Reading results at the end of Key Stage 2 (Year 6) 

  • Milepost One data across the school 

  • Children able to talk with interest about reading  

  • How English is embedded across the curriculum. For example, writing science reports, accounts in history... 

Supporting evidence: 

Year 6 data, Ofsted report evidence, evidence from learning walks, physical learning resources 

 

6 - What are the areas of the curriculum that might need development? 

  • Writing - developing stamina and resilience 

  • SPaG - ensuring precision of terms, accuracy of use and inaccuracies being picked up in marking/feedback. 

  • Phonics/Early Reading – ensuring a consistent approach across the school. 

  • Ensuring staff who have recently joined the school know about our approaches towards teaching elements of this subject – use of pathways, toolkits, VIPERS so they are consistently used. 

  • Use of our breakdown of reading skills across the school – similar to writing pathways 

 

7. How do you lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues?

  • In September, we led a staff meeting, outlining strengths and areas for development, summarising the previous academic year so that phase teams could write a coherent whole school action plan. 

  • As an English team, evaluated Early reading provision, within school, against ‘The Reading Framework’. 

  • Attendance on Little Wandle taster session 

  • January 2022 – Led whole school Little Wandle training. 

  • Coaching of colleagues following the Little Wandle training. 

  • Demo teaching for colleagues – Phonic sessions, how to teach writing for ECT teacher, modelling VIPER sessions... 

  • Attended LA KS2 moderation training. 

  • Undertaken and led moderation visits for KS1 and KS2 writing across the Grand Union MAT. Also, internally across school.  

  • National College CPD 

  • Visit to other Schools delivering Little Wandle 

8 – What does resourcing in English look like?

  • How do you ensure that appropriate resources are in place to deliver a rich and challenging curriculum? Have new resources have been bought to improve teaching and learning in your subject? 

  • We have significantly invested in ‘Big Cat Letters and Sounds’ readers over the last two years. This has involved writing and submitting bids to the local ‘Reading Hub’ at Roade Primary School. 

  • We have subscribed to the Little Wandle learning platform. 

  • We have purchased a range of Little Wandle resources – friezes, flash cards... 

  • We have purchased some texts that connect to the IPC. These are recommended by the Centre for Literacy Education. 

  • We have purchased a textbook related to ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Considine. 

9. What would an external visitor see in English?

  • A visible and tangible reading environment that inspires children to read for enjoyment.

  • A consistent approach towards teaching Early reading/phonics. 

  • A consistent approach towards teaching guided reading from Year Two onwards. 

  • Writing at length with good content. 

  • A range of spoken language opportunities. 

  • Children engaged and happy to talk about their reading. 

  • Staff who feel they have been well-trained and have a good understanding of school approaches. 

10 – How are the needs of the lowest 20% and higher ability pupils supported?

  • Children identified on short term planning and clear differentiation when delivering quality first teaching 

  • Daily Reading for bottom 20%  

  • NELI in Reception 

  • Little Wandle Daily support sessions to keep up!  

  • Additional intervention support – To support and deliver interventions in Reception, Year 1, Year 2 

  • Year 3-6 Reading comprehension groups that focus on the development of inference.  

  • Year 4-6, children have access to CGP workbooks to support home learning in reading comprehension and SPAG 

  • Years 3-6 children SPAG intervention groups to support gaps in learning 

  • Year 2-6 conferencing to address gaps in learning in writing.  

  • HAPS: Additional workshops, Quality first teaching, teacher led differentiation, Challenging texts in library.  

  • A range of Barrington Stokes Books for dyslexic learners. 

  • Lynn Mildren is able to undertake initial dyslexia screening tests, if high probability results, children are referred to level 7-9 screening by outside specialist. Their advice is then used to inform IEP targets and practice.  

  • Dyslexia friendly dictionaries and other resources  

  • Yellow paged exercise books for dyslexic learners.  

  • SEND training  

  • Chris Rutter – Speech and language  

  • Access to Nessy Phonics.  

  • Use of technology to support  

  • Additional access arrangements for SATS for example. 25% extra time, scribe, amuensis, enlarged script, rest breaks. These arrangements are replicated in daily classroom practice.  

11 – How does your subject support children with SEND, PP and the most able? 

  • Children identified on short term planning and clear differentiation when delivering quality first teaching
  • Daily Reading for bottom 20%
  • NELI in Reception
  • Little Wandle Daily support sessions to keep up!
  • Steph Mazey – To support and deliver interventions in Reception, Year 1, Year 2
  • Year 36 Reading comprehension groups that focus on the development of inference.
  • Year 46, children have access to CGP workbooks to support home learning in reading comprehension and SPAG
  • Years 36 children SPAG intervention groups to support gaps in learning
  • Year 26 conferencing to address gaps in learning in writing.
  • HAPS: Additional workshops, Quality first teaching, teacher led differentiation, Challenging texts in library.
  • A range of Barrington Stokes Books for dyslexic learners.
  • Lynn Mildren is able to under take initial dyslexia screening tests, if high probability results, children are referred to level 79 screening by outside specialist. Their advice is then used to inform IEP targets and practice.
  • Dyslexia friendly dictionaries and other resources
  • Yellow paged exercise books for dyslexic learners.
  • SEND training
  • Chris Rutter – Speech and language
  • Access to Nessy Phonics.
  • Use of technology to support
  • Additional access arrangements for SATS for example. 25% extra time, scribe, amuensis, enlarged script, rest breaks. These arrangements are replicated in daily classroom practice.

French

French is taught in a whole-class setting by our language 'Champion' and specialist, Mrs Emilie Stevenson.  Emilie is a native French speaker. 

Frequency of sessions: Sessions in KS1 are 30 minutes long every other week. In KS2, lessons are largely 45 minutes long every other week. Sessions in EYFS are more ad hoc and incorporate stories and songs. 

Duo Lingo and Salut provide a wealth of opportunities to support the progression of skills. The lessons are designed to motivate children and are mainly practical in focus. They have clear, achievable objectives and incorporate different learning styles. SEND children have access to the curriculum through variation of task, grouping or support from an adult. 

French lessons provide a variety of sources to model the language, use games and songs to maximise enjoyment and make as many connections to real-life situations as possible. Lessons focus on speaking and listening. However, when appropriate, children record written work informally in books which are passed through the years and become a portfolio of their learning. This then will be passed on to the secondary school.

In KS2, each class has a timetabled lesson of at least thirty minutes per week. Foundation Stage have 15-minute sessions to share a story, song or rhyme. KS1 build up from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. French can also be revisited in short sessions throughout the week to consolidate knowledge and ensure new language is retained.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 1- What decisions have been made about the curriculum in your subject? 

The school has a French native teacher that will teach across all year groups in KS1 and Ks2s. We are using a program called “Salut” that provide games and song to support the curriculum. The French teacher has created a curriculum that will provide a wide range of opportunities to learn how to communicate in French in different subjects of life and about the French culture. In KS1, we will learn a theme vocabulary per term and we will extend that learning in KS2 by writing sentences, have a conversation, listen to stories. 

The objective is that all pupils will develop an interest and curiosity about France and the French language , finding it enjoyable to learn. 

With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well-prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.   

2- How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?  

Since starting French teaching at the school in 2021, I have adjusted my teaching strategies and the curriculum quite substantially. I have created a curriculum that will teach children Early French in KS1 by learning vocabulary on different themes and extend it to Intermediate French in KS2 by  by introducing grammar and starting to build simple sentences in Years 3 and 4 and by progressing in years 5 and 6 to making more complex sentences and using all our previous knowledge to create role play and being more fluent in speaking French. 

Children will acquire, use and apply a large amount of vocabulary, skills and grammar knowledge organised around age-appropriate lessons. Units will increase in level of challenge. 

The curriculum is building towards being able to listen, speak, read and write in French and to have a good French knowledge to start KS3 French in secondary school. The curriculum is adapted to every child as we all go through the vocabulary and worksheets and we do games to make sure that everyone is included in the activity. Children are in teams for games most of the time, so they can all exchange their knowledge. 

I am now happy that the curriculum allows the children to gradually rehearse and consolidate appropriate learning that builds naturally, starting with basic introductions and greetings that will allow children to have a start of a conversation with French people and then we will learn about different subjects in life such as ordering at a restaurant, presenting family, school life, and also learning about the French culture by celebrating Bastille day on the 14th of July, the Tour de France, Christmas, Epiphany... 

We are also having Zoom calls with a French class in Brittany in France. Children on both sides are enjoying the exchange with other pupils and sharing their experience of a day at school and learning about different cultures. 

3 - How do you know your curriculum is working? 

I can see a very strong and rapid improvement in the children’s acquisition of the French language. Across the school the children wow me with their attitude toward learning and trying to speak French even outside of the French lesson. This is very noticeable in the levels of engagement in their recorded work, the enjoyment of doing games and trying their best. 

External observations have commented on the high levels of engagement, the ever-growing confidence of the children. 

Across the school, we hold subject elevation groups whereby the children are asked to speak about a different area of the curriculum to support our growing understanding of their feelings towards the subjects and the retention of their knowledge. These sessions have been really valuable in other subjects and as a result, we will be planning one shortly for us to understand the children's voice – do they feel they are making progress? What are they most proud of? What supports their solid learning? What strategies are not so helpful? etc 

4 – What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

During lockdown the class teachers did deliver some basic French sessions.  Lessons have been learnt as a result of this and have been incorporated into teaching strategy. Lessons can be taught via Zoom and the French teacher has included home learning tasks that can be share with students. 

 5 - What are the strengths of your current subject curriculum? 

It is being taught by a strong member of staff with French as their first language. In this way, the build of skills, knowledge and understanding and very importantly, the accent, is authentic and provides an excellent model for the children. 

Where possible and appropriate, we have made links with other schools to provide a real opportunity for the children to not only practice their French language skills but to also learn more about French culture. We recently had a Zoom session with a primary school in France. This special opportunity for our Year 2 children provided great enthusiasm from children as they learn about a French school day, they asked lots of questions.. We have plans to set this up with every year group at least once a year and also add on letter writing with our KS2 children.  

6 - What are the areas of the curriculum that might need development? 

The curriculum is new so it might need adapting to make sure children have a great knowledge on a subject before we move to the next one. We need to be more consistent with our link with the French school, as it is providing a great opportunity for the children to share different culture.  

Over time we expect to see a greater differentiation of skills across the school as the impact of the specialist teaching really embeds. 

7 - Leading professional development, providing guidance and support to colleagues. 

Unlike other subjects in the school (with the exception of music), French is taught by a specialist teacher. This decision was made recognising that French was previously a developing subject for the school. 

Having said this, although we have a specialist teacher, every session supports the growing skills, knowledge and understanding of the class teachers and LSAs, as they are in the classroom too. Feedback from staff has been very positive as modelling the sessions in this way to them, is improving their own French knowledge, skills and understanding.  

The French lead has visited a local school and shadowed the French teacher in that setting and a recipricated visit is being organised. This provided invaluable opportunities to see games and subjects being taught to be competently used within the sessions to drive standards through fun and engaging sessions.  

The French teacher has also done some training in French conjugation. ( SPAG). 

8 – How is the subject resourced? 

We are using a program called “Salut” to help us with interactive games and songs. The French teacher is using French story books and activity sheets from the French curriculum, French books, twinkl.  

Each subject has a vocabulary sheet, flashcards and activity sheets with different level of difficulties, so children can choose to challenge themselves.  

9 – What do you expect external visitors see when they focus on the subject?  

If any outside visitors came into the school and observed French sessions they would see a high level of participation, repetition and recall, games, some recorded learning in French books and, by visiting classes across the school, a growing build-up of French knowledge, skills and understanding - each year group is built upon prior learning. 

10 – How does your subject support children with SEND, PP and the most able? 

We recognise that children are in very different places with their use of the French language – I ensure that I incorporate the needs of all children and repeat sessions and deliver them in different ways in order to support a strong foundation of knowledge – knowledge which is constantly reviewed and recalled.  

Children with additional needs are supported by being included in group games, adapting the activity sheet to their abilities, supporting them in recording in their book. 

There are children in each group that are very able in French, sometimes this is because French is their first language or one of their family is French speaking. For these children I provide them with challenging activities and ask them to support me with the lesson, by asking them to extend sentences. 

Geography

The school's 'Champion' for geography is Miss Sophie Peers.

Frequency of sessions: This change depending on the topic being studied, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be geography and therefore there will be a high focus on geographical skills. In other topics, there might not be a geographical focus.

Geography is covered through the IPC schemes of work and where appropriate, cross-curricular links are made within literacy, art, DT, music and science.  Our aim is to deliver a high-quality geography education, which stimulates pupils thinking about the world and its people. Teaching equips pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with the Earth’s key physical and human processes. As our pupils progress, they will deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. 

Pupils will develop contextual knowledge of the location of places, seas and oceans, including their defining physical and human characteristics, understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world and learn how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time.

In addition to this, pupils will collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes, interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps and writing at length. 

In Key Stage 1, focus includes: 

Being able to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.
Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles.
Emphasis on basic geographical vocabulary is paramount.
Basic use of world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage. 

Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment. 

In Key Stage 2, geography focuses include:

Locating the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe, concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities. Being able to  name and locate counties and cities of the United Kingdom, geographical regions and their identifying human and physical characteristics, key topographical features (including hills, mountains, coasts and rivers), and land-use patterns; and understand how some of these aspects have changed over time. 

Position and significance of latitude, longitude, Equator, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, Arctic and Antarctic Circle, the Prime/Greenwich Meridian and time zones (including day and night) should also be covered.

Describe and understand key aspects of: physical geography, including climate zones, biomes and vegetation belts, rivers, mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, and the water cycle. KS2 should be able to confidently Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied and use the eight points of a compass, four and six-figure grid references, symbols and key to build their knowledge of the United Kingdom and the wider world.

For further information about the national curriculum guidance for geography, click here

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What decisions have been made about the geography curriculum? 

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well-prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.   

Due to the high white British cohort and limited intake of EAL children, the International Primary Curriculum for Geography ensures that children are aware of a life outside Deanshanger. It offers a breadth of understanding, skills and knowledge of Geography across the world which they can compare to their own immediate locality. As a result, this ensures that children develop aspiration and cultural capital. During Geography Elevation Groups, children have shared that they haven’t left Deanshanger, and they wouldn’t want to even as an adult as they unaware of the wider world. This is why the International Primary Curriculum is right for the children at our school. 

2. How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs at Deanshanger?  

Everything in our curriculum is supported and underpinned by our school values.  During Geography Elevation Groups, children have shared that they haven’t left Deanshanger and they wouldn’t want to even as an adult as they unaware of the wider world. This is why the International Primary Curriculum is right for the children at our school. Gaps in children’s locational knowledge across the school is another piece of evidence to suggest that this curriculum is appropriate for the needs of our children in our school now. The International Primary Curriculum is National Curriculum plus, covering all requirements of the National Curriculum and more. The geography curriculum ensures that it builds upon prior knowledge and takes learning forward in each year or each phase. This will ultimately ensure that pupils in Year 6 leave primary school with secure geographical knowledge, skills and understanding to use as a basis to build upon in secondary school. It will ensure that children have secure locational knowledge and as a result, will ensure that children develop cultural capital and aspiration to explore and visit the world beyond Deanshanger. 

3. How do we know that the geography curriculum is working? 

Geography Elevation groups are a form of assessment to monitor the progress in geography in each year group and across the school. The geography curriculum ensures that progress is taking place from year group to year group as it builds upon prior learning. Skills, knowledge and understanding are applied during geography lessons, buddy share sessions, house events and elevation groups. Geography end of unit self-assessments completed by pupils also demonstrate progress over the unit. Children’s progress and attainment is measured through the use of rubrics, geography walks, exit points, book looks, summative assessment during lessons, geography elevation groups and self-assessment sheets at the end of units. Monitoring this academic year tells me that children have made an incredible amount of progress in geography over the past year. This was evident in the geography walk, geography elevation group and book look. Children are now more able to talk about their learning in geography, many children are able to do this with confidence and are passionate when sharing knowledge, skills and understanding. Local walks around the village support children when learning about geography. Visits to geographical places of study such as Celtic Harmony or Chiltern Open Air support children with their learning during specific IPC units. Visitors or Virtual trips such as Celtic Harmony also support children with their learning in geography. 

4. What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject, and what examples can you share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

Throughout lockdown, teachers continued to teach a broad curriculum and all subjects continued to be covered. However, there will be gaps in children’s knowledge, skills and understanding due to the level of support they received during online lessons, how much of the work they completed at home and how many online lessons they attended. This is why entry points and Knowledge Harvests are crucial when starting a new topic to assess what knowledge, skills and understanding the children have or don’t have that has been previously taught. During Lockdown the children were able to continue their geography learning from home as they were able to research topographical features about volcanoes, for example, in the unit ‘Active Planet’. Children were challenged to use things from around their home to create their very own volcano which they then shared with the rest of the class on Zoom. The whole class then were given the opportunity to erupt their volcano using coke and mentos. 

5. What are the strengths of the geography curriculum? 

Children have made a lot of progress with the knowledge, skills and understanding in Geography over the last academic year. This was evident during the last geography elevation group where children were able to confidently and fluently verbalise their learning in geography during a current IPC unit or recall prior learning from a previous IPC unit. The learning environments are a strength through the school with each year group modelling strong geography displays and ensuring each area has geography resources, such as, a world map, map of the UK and globe. Again, children were able to talk about these during the geography elevation group which demonstrates that they are being referred to or used during lessons. 

6. How does the geography champion lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues?

After the geography walk and geography elevation, I shared with staff strengths and next steps feeding back to the team during a staff meeting, individually or via email. I have also asked the staff if they would like any training for areas they feel less confident to teach geography. No one has asked for any training yet. Staff have received IPC training on 6th December 2021. If staff were unable to attend training, they have received electronic copies via email. Staff have access to the IPC pinboard which offers ideas to teach a unit of work with pictures, examples of work and video calls. Staff can also add their own pictures, examples of work and videos to the pinboard. 

7. How is geography resourced ?

After the previous geography elevation group in the last academic year, it was evident that children did not have enough resources that they knew of or could access. I have since completed a resource audit for geography. New resources have been bought to improve teaching and learning. For each year group I ordered a world map, map of the UK and a globe. This is to ensure locational knowledge is supported across the school. 

8. What will outside visitors see if they focus on geography?

External visitors will see quality first teaching from every member of staff across the school. The lessons will be based on the Tasks in the International Primary Curriculum and can take place in the classroom or outside for example a scavenger hunt around the field during the IPC unit, Scavengers and Settlers. I also expect that they will see children engaged with learning during geography lessons that are able to talk about their learning within the lesson or prior learning to demonstrate progress. I expect visitors to see resources being utilised in all areas, good quality displays, high-quality geography work in books or on tapestry and children that are able to talk about the subject. I expect visitors to see examples of cross-curricular work, for example, a newspaper report about the gold found in Varna Necropolis. Visitors should see a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding of Geography across the school. 

 9. What do you expect that Ofsted will see when they focus on the subject?

I expect that Ofsted will see quality first teaching from every member of staff across the school. The lessons will be based on the Tasks in the International Primary Curriculum and can take place in the classroom or outside for example a scavenger hunt around the field during the IPC unit, Scavengers and Settlers. I also expect that they will see children engaged with learning during geography lessons that are able to talk about their learning within the lesson or prior learning to demonstrate progress. I expect Ofsted to see resources being utilised in all areas and good quality displays. I expect Ofsted to see good quality geography work in books or on tapestry, that children are able to talk about. I expect Ofsted to see examples of cross curricular work, for example, a newspaper report about the gold found in varna necropolis. Ofsted should see a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding of Geography across the school.

SEND / PP / Gifted and Talented -

Gifted and Talented children are challenged in geography lessons through the use of focused questioning to develop thinking skills and reasoning.

SEND pupils are supported in geography lessons through the use of carefully selected resources, outcomes tailored around different learning styles and the teachers’ awareness of the children they are teaching.

We have used funding to buy resources such as globes for children so they have a concrete understanding of an abstract concept. Trips, visits and exploring the environment provides children with valuable opportunities and ensures the development of children’s geographical understanding.

history 

The school's 'Champion' for history is Miss Nico Brooks.

Frequency of sessions: This change depending on the topic being studied, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be history and therefore there will be a high focus on historical skills. In other topics, there might not be a historical focus.

History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first-hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources. 

Staff at Deanshanger Primary School strive to passionately deliver history knowledge, skills and understanding making educated citizens who learn from the events, people and ideas that we study and developing a growing interest in building upon the past locally, nationally and internationally. 

Aims and Objectives 

  • To foster an interest in the past and to develop an understanding of how the past has influenced the present. 

  • To develop a sense of chronology so the children can organise their understanding of the past. 

  • To provide opportunities for investigation and learning using a wide range of sources and information. 

  • To develop an understanding of how to interpret primary and secondary sources. 

  • To distinguish between historical facts and interpretation. 

  • To provide opportunities for children to develop their skills of enquiry, analysis and investigation. 

  • To learn about key events in the history of their own locality, country and the world. 

  • To organise information about past societies, making comparisons. 

  • To promote pupils, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development through the study of past societies. 

  • To provide an inclusive curriculum that enables consideration of diversity. 

History teaching at Deanshanger is part of our International Primary Curriculum (IPC); it focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources. 

Where possible, we give children the opportunity to visit sites of historical significance. We encourage visitors to come into the school and talk about their experiences of events in the past; we have very close links with Deanshanger’s Heritage Society and the British Legion. For example, the Deanshanger Heritage Society regularly maintain and update a local history display/installation in the school about specific themes. Recently this has included leisure activities over time. 

We focus on helping children understand that historical events can be interpreted in different ways and that they should always ask searching questions, such as ‘how do we know?’, about information they are given and should consider the beliefs and values of that time. 

Wherever possible, local, national and world events are incorporated into the school’s curriculum in order to enrich and embed learning. For example, VE Day, Remembrance Day, Chinese New Year…. 

For further information about the national curriculum guidance for history, click here

Frequently asked questions 

1. What decisions have been made about the history curriculum?

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well-prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important.   

2. How has the history curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?  

Everything in our curriculum is supported and underpinned by our school values. The IPC focuses on enabling children to think as historians and sits history learning authentically within a broad study of different curriculum areas. Whenever possible, we provide children with first-hand experiences and place an emphasis on examining historical artefacts, photographs and primary sources.  

Staff at Deanshanger Primary School strive to passionately deliver history lessons that teach knowledge, skills and understanding making educated citizens who learn from the events, people and ideas that we study. This develops a growing interest in building upon the past locally, nationally and internationally. 

3. How do we know that our history curriculum is working? 

As a school we are also keen to hear how curriculum learning is progressing from the children's viewpoint and have set up subject elevation groups.  In year group sessions, we share the children's learning in the chosen subject and understand their recalled knowledge, use of subject-specific vocabulary and their ability to apply skills and knowledge to an investigative type activity. These groups allow us to further improve our teaching and learning.   

Assessment is carried out through the use of rubrics. These are specifically designed to support teachers in coming to a common awareness about learning and the stages and progression of learning in different subjects. In particular, the rubrics can be particularly helpful in focusing staff development sessions about learning in action and encouraging the process of ‘moderation’. The rubrics are also a tool to check on the progress of children’s learning in specific subjects or at specific stages of their school life.

Skills, knowledge and understanding are applied during history lessons, buddy share sessions and house events. History end of unit self-assessments completed by pupils also demonstrate progress over the unit. Children’s progress and attainment is measured through the use of rubrics, history walks, exit points, book looks and summative assessment during lessons. Visits to historical places of study support children with their learning during specific IPC units. Visitors or Virtual trips also support children with their learning in history. 

4. What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the history and what examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

Throughout lockdown, teachers continued to teach a broad curriculum and all subjects continued to be covered. It is important to be mindful that although History was taught, we will never be completely sure how much of the work was independent or fully supported at home. Or how much the children engaged with it. This means that there will be gaps in learning for some if not many children. When returning and starting a history topic, it is important to make sure that recaps and knowledge harvests are carried out, in order to close the gaps that were made during remote learning. 

5. What are the strengths of the history curriculum? 

The strengths that have been noted from elevation groups have been that the children remember a lot of history learning from previous year groups and can talk about their previous learning. Pupils enjoy learning about the past. 

6. What are the areas of the curriculum that need development? 

It is evident that although children can talk about their previous history learning, their chronology of historical event or even events in their own life are not fully accurate yet. They need increase of knowledge of broad developments and historical periods, and their ‘mental timeline’ of the past. We are also building upon the use of appropriate historical language. 

7. How do you lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues in history?

Staff meetings leading on from elevation groups have given the opportunity to discuss gaps and ideas on how to work on the weaknesses. 

Staff have received IPC training on 6th December 2021. If staff were unable to attend training, they have received electronic copies via email. 

Staff have access to the IPC pin board which offers ideas to teach a unit of work with pictures, examples of work and video calls. Staff can also add their own pictures, examples of work and videos to the pin board. 

8. What history resources does the school have ?

Staff are encouraged to contact the subject champion once medium-term plans are completed in order to gather any resources they need from the school's supplies. If they are not available in school then they can be purchased through the school. 

9. What would an external visitor see if they focused on history?

Visitors will hear pupils confidently discussing broader developments across the periods they had studied, and drawing on secure and well-organised knowledge of events and periods. They will see timelines in the classroom environment. These will be age specific. Visitors will see history learning in the children’s Everyday books. 

Visitors will see lessons that based on the Tasks in the International Primary Curriculum and can take place outside or in the classroom, for example learning about how fossils are formed through photographs, historical artefacts, primary and secondary sources and then creating their very own fossils, during the IPC unit, Scavengers and Settlers. Resources will be being utilised during lessons like the timeline.  Visitors will see good quality history work in books or on tapestry that children are able to talk about and examples of cross curricular work, for example, writing an information text about how fossils are formed.  Visitors should see a progression of knowledge, skills and understanding of History across the school. 

Differentiation in History lessons is vital if all learners are to achieve to their potential. Yet differentiating is something that is regularly picked up on in lesson observations as being lacking, or in need of improvement.

Different pupils prefer to learn in different ways, so its important to cover a concept or content area in a number of ways. Tell them, show them, manipulate them via Active Learning, get them making or doing something. Not only does use of lots of short activities add pace, it also ensures that pupils will have more of an opportunity to get to grips with the issue at hand. SEND pupils may benefit from a more hands on approach whereas your higher ability children may be more visual learners and prefer texts over manipulatives.

Pupil premium children are also provided with resources to meet their individual learning needs using their funding and looking closely at their learning styles.

 

Maths 

The school's 'Champions' for maths are Mrs Kim Ritchie and Mr Trevor Gregory

Frequency of sessions: From Years 1 - 6, maths is taught for one hour every day. In Early Years Foundation Stage, mathematics is taught through the continuous provision and short focussed inputs. In KS2, maths is taught in ability groupings.

Deanshanger Primary School uses Classroom Secrets which is based on the White Rose schemes of learning. This is designed to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning as well as to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum. Classroom Secrets breaks down each area of maths into small steps. Each step is planned to develop children’s fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills. All mathematics lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of every child.

Mathematics is assessed using a range of formative and summarise assessments. There are three formal assessment points throughout the year. National tests are carried out at the of the EYFS, and at the end of Key Stages one and two. Although the assessment of children's multiplication in Year 4 was originally planned to start from June 2020, due to the pandemic, this has been delayed.

In Year 1, 3, 4 and 5, NFER maths tests inform progress and identify next steps and the gaps in learning. 

Our Calculations Policy outlines the methods used in each year group to meet the expectations. 

Homework will be set in this area of the curriculum to extend and apply the knowledge taught in lessons. Children also have access to Times Tables RockStars, an app that supports the recall of multiplication facts.

Our Maths/English powerpoint presentation for parents can be found here. 

The following sites will also support your child's learning in maths :

Oxford Owl Maths

BBC Bitesize

National Numeracy

Maths Zone

For a comprehensive guide to supporting maths at home,

click here

                         Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What decisions have been made about the maths curriculum? 

We chose to use White Rose as a basis for our maths planning to ensure curriculum coverage and progression. Alongside this we have made it clear to staff that they can use White Rose, Classroom Secrets and Twinkl to resource lesson inputs and tasks. The White Rose curriculum is right for our children as it works in line with the National Curriculum expectations, so we know they are given the breadth of maths they are entitled to and it can be differentiated to each child’s ability and understanding. The decision to use White Rose was made before we became subject champions but is one, we believe is correct for the children in our school.  

2. How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?  

The curriculum we have now enables our pupils to be given appropriately challenging tasks and for the school to be consistent in doing this across the year groups. This addresses the Ofsted point: ‘Not all teachers are routinely showing pupils how to tackle appropriately challenging tasks, particularly in mathematics and reading in key stage 2.’ White Rose will raise the standard of maths teaching and learning which in turn will have a positive effect on the progress by the end of Key Stage 2 which was identified as persistently below the national average in the 2019 Ofsted report. In the report it stated that the use of ongoing assessment was highly effective to plan targeted and structured opportunities to develop skills particularly number, this has continued to be a strength across the school. The White Rose based curriculum will prepare the children for their learning in secondary school as it gives them the opportunities to learn all the areas of the maths curriculum, eliminating any social disadvantage by consistently addressing gaps in their knowledge and skills. 

3. How do you know that the maths curriculum is working? 

We ensure that pupils make progress through each year group, acquiring and applying key knowledge, so that they at least meet the agreed age expectations in a subject, this is done through 3 assessment weeks over the year and teacher ongoing class data analysis sheets which help identify successes and gaps. This then feeds into each year group’s provision maps and short-term maths interventions. We use the gap analysis to feed into our weekly plans. The White Rose curriculum is directly in line with the calculation policy for the school. Assessment in Foundation and Year 1 is evident on Tapestry, across the other year groups there is use of White Rose end of block assessments, previous SATs papers and NFEl assessments.  

4. What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can you share about the subject and its remote delivery? 

During lockdowns, whether it was learning packs in 2020 or live zooms in 2021 the use of White Rose based resources was easy to access and use by teachers and parents. The children were focussed and were able to concentrate on the maths fully, The children also had the opportunities to apply their maths learning practically at home and parents enjoyed learning alongside their children. Teachers were able to provide interactive lessons using whiteboards or paper and pupils were able to complete tasks in a live lesson or as a follow-up in their own time.  

5 - What are the strengths of the maths curriculum? 

We have a robust and comprehensive curriculum which gives full coverage for each year group. All teachers have had training in the use of White Rose and resources. There is now clear and consistent planning. The star system is consistently used from Years 2-6 and Tapestry in Rec/Year 1 this demonstrates strong learning and progress across the school.  

6. How do you lead professional development, provide guidance and support colleagues in maths? 

Training provided in September on using White Rose and supplementing resources approved as mentioned before. Rolling multiplication introduced. Hashtags introduced. Maths expectations on the working walls with stem sentences. All previous planning provided for new and existing members of staff. Resources all organised within maths cupboard for access to all. 

What training has been put in place and why? Who has been included into this? What is the impact on this (for all groups of children). How are new staff supported in your subject? 

7. How is maths resourced?  

Subscriptions paid yearly to classrooms secrets, white rose and twinkl. Manipulatives are resourced as requested and shared as good practice for others to use as needed. 

How do you ensure that appropriate resources are in place to deliver a rich and challenging curriculum? Have new resources have been bought to improve teaching and learning in your subject? 

8. What would an external visitor see if they focused on maths?

Hopefully all of the above, but within a lesson they will see consistency and appropriately challenging lessons that advance children’s knowledge daily as well as over a longer period of time. 

Differentiation is clearly evident is every single lesson and progress can be tracked easily. They will also see children who have gaps in their learning and how these are addressed within the lesson or supported externally from that lesson so all are moving as one across the year group curriculum coverage. 

9. How does your subject support children with SEND, PP and the most able? 

Intervention and additional support is given in maths for SEND/PP children where needed. The White Rose scheme of work allows the teachers to access resources from previous years or terms to support children with maths concepts they are yet to grasp. The schemes and resources also allow the teacher to plan for the gifted children working at a greater depth.

 

Music

The school's 'Champion' for music is Mrs Jess Hunting.

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and time of year, but will largely average out as one session a fortnight with additional music opportunities in school assemblies and special events.  

At Deanshanger Primary School, our aim is to deliver a high-quality musical education.  We believe that music enables children to better understand the world as music reflects the culture and society we live in.  Music provides the children with a unique method of communicating their ideas and understanding; it also provides a strong outlet for emotions and building a sense of community.

The school is well equipped with a wide selection of percussion instruments, key boards, drum kits and a piano.

Where opportunities become available, the school actively engages in cluster music events, workshops in neighbouring schools and sets up choirs for school and community events. 

Music teaching comes in many forms –

  • Class music sessions largely using the Charanga music scheme - A complete scheme to teach the national curriculum for music.  Class sessions start in foundation stage and gradually build upon the skills and knowledge. 
  • School assemblies – music plays a very prominent role through learning and performing traditional school songs and modern ones and listening/reviewing to different styles of music. We are very proud of the repertoire of songs that we know and the gusto in which we perform! In addition, children are warmly invited to showcase their musical talents in assemblies.
  • Children are able to sign up for one to one or small group instrument lessons from peripatetic specialists in the county. We currently offer lessons in drums, guitar, flute and the clarinet.
  • Children across the school are also able to sign up for weekly Rocksteady sessions – these have grown enormously over the last two years. We all look forward to the termly Rocksteady concerts where parents/carers are invited into to join in the children’s growing musical talents and confidence.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Physical Education

The school's 'Champion' for PE  is Mr Gregory working collaboratively and with the whole teaching team (within a horizontal leadership model) to deliver Physical Education across the school, ensuring standards continue to replicate the School Games gold award - a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.

Frequency of sessions: Two hours per week. At the current time (because of the pandemic), all sessions are outside. In non covid times, there would be an hour of indoor PE and an hour of outside PE a week. This is in line with the current statutory requirements for PE:

The minimum content for each Key Stage is as follows:

  • Foundation and Key Stage 1 - athletics, dance, games, and gymnastics
  • Key Stage 2 - athletics, dance, games, gymnastics and swimming

To read further about the statutory requirements in this subject click here.

At Deanshanger, we believe that Physical Education is a vital part of the curriculum as it not only promotes a healthy and active lifestyle but teaches the key values of teamwork, honesty, self-belief, passion, determination, and respect.

We currently use the REAL PE programme which heavily focuses on coordination, balance and agility and promotes mastering and improving key skills within a sport. All staff are trained in this approach and deliver REAL PE to their class.

Foundation Stage follow some of the REAL PE programme and satisfy the Early Years curriculum through other units of dance, gymnastics, apparatus use and multi-skills activities. They also incorporate Balanceability into the week for some children. 

Key Stage 1 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM and dance for indoor PE. In addition, KS1 take part in a skills-based approach to invasion, net/ball and fielding and striking games for outdoor PE.

Lower KS2 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM, and dance for indoor PE. Outdoor games covers traditional sports games which focus on the skills development whilst being played within competitive recognised sport.  REAL PE units can also be done as the outdoor games too.

Upper KS2 follow their REAL PE programme, complete with REAL GYM, and dance for indoor PE. Outdoor games consists of traditional sports games which focus on the skills development whilst being played within competitive recognised sport. REAL PE units can also be done as the outdoor games too. Upper KS2 also follow an in-house competition format earning points towards Sports Day.

All year groups have access to the Real Jasmine platform which enables the subject to be taught using real-life context for the skills needed to be successful. There is a heavy focus on individual self-improvement no matter what the perceived ability. The best examples of this come through our investment in Skip2Bfit and Run a mile.

As well as Physical Education in curriculum time, Deanshanger Primary also take part in many sporting events with other schools in the local area. These include tag rugby, football, athletics (indoor and outdoor), gymnastics, netball, cricket, Kurling, Boccia, Archery, Tri-golf, cross country and hockey.

Specifically, Year 4 attend Towcester swimming pool for swimming lessons and top up swimming is provided to children in Year 6. Years 4 and 6 get the opportunity to go to school residentials which provide chances to explore more outdoor experiences related to physical activity.

We also offer a range of extra-curricular activities before and after school. These include the traditional sports of football, gymnastics and athletics as well as individual events such as run a mile and Skip2Bfit.

We also have a broad range of in-house activities delivered by our Sports Leaders, Play Leaders and several outsourced sports providers.

There is no formal assessment within Physical Education. However, teachers are consistently assessing their pupil’s attainment and progress against the skills outlined in the Real PE programme. The success of this programme is apparent in the ability of Year 5 and Year 6 to take part in competitive sport.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1 - What decisions have been made about the curriculum in your subject?

For indoor PE it was decided that we would follow the REAL PE/REAL GYM programme offered by Create Development and an outside Dance provider. For outside PE Key Stage 1 and below would follow Val Sabin which offers the three types of invasion, net and fielding games that can be adjusted as needed. For outside PE Key Stage 2 we allow any sport to be focused on provided the skills taught match the needs of the children following the national curriculum.

PE is a stand-alone subject incorporated into the IPC as and when allows depending on the topic. For example, dance can be included depending on the culture being covered in the topic.

The REAL PE/GYM is heavily focused on the individual and coaching/mentoring through peer and adult reflection.

This is the right curriculum for our children as it caters, includes and offers PE for all children across the school, regardless of ability, EAL, ethnicity, gender, etc… It has a healthy balance of individual and team improvement whilst not losing the healthy competitive side of sport too.

2- How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?

REAL PE and REAL GYM are both written to fully accommodate and ensure the requirements of the national curriculum. The outdoor PE we follow allows teachers to cover the breadth of skills needed to be taught across a range of traditional sports that children could have an interest in and out of the school setting.

Ofsted 2019: Leaders use the additional funds provided through the primary physical education (PE) and sport premium particularly well to ensure that all pupils take part in a range of sports and make healthy choices. Raising day-to-day physical activity is given a high priority for pupils and families through ‘skip2bfit’ and ‘run a mile’. There are events for elite sports and less confident pupils. There are also opportunities in alternative sports, such as martial arts and yoga. Staff training and working alongside specialists has raised their confidence and subject knowledge in aspects such as teaching gymnastics.

Our curriculum works even better now due to competitive competition having almost ceased to exist, we still have the developed competitiveness within all Key Stage 2 year groups.

3 - How do you know your curriculum is working?

All staff have the required training to deliver all parts of PE. If any gaps are identified, training is provided externally or internally. We constantly take part in outside sporting competitions which show that are children develop their abilities to a standard good enough to compete against others. Teachers regularly feed back that children are accessing the content in line with expectations, if not pushing themselves to achieve more. Since 2019 it has been very hard to monitor and assess individual lessons but a plan is in place for this to happen during this academic year so the evidence to prove this is there to back up it up. Elevation group planned for.

 

4.  What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery?

Lockdown and Covid measures destroyed the subject initially. To begin with children were set tasks and directed to such things as Joe Wicks. Following the improvement of remote learning, Northamptonshire sport offered a range of activities that were shared with pupils as much as was possible to continue providing ideas and activities for children and parents. Some teachers took it to the next step of even doing their own Joe Wicks lessons. Now we are back in school the curriculum carried on as normal from before all of the disruption with training provided as needed. Recently, indoor PE was halted but children were given extended outdoor sessions to make up for the loss of indoor session time.

5. What are the strengths of your current subject curriculum?

The healthy balance of individual improvement and competitiveness in a healthy all participating environment. This is down to the use of REAL PE/GYM and the open sport focused approach to outdoor pe. This can be demonstrated at the end of each half term with inter tournaments taking place across Key Stage 2.

6 - What are the areas of the curriculum that might need development?

The assessment side where we prove children’s progress with physical tangible evidence from lessons over a period of time. This is part of the subject action plan and time has been allocated ready to do this.

7.  Leading professional development, providing guidance and support to colleagues.

REAL PE and REAL GYM training provided in staff meeting time for all staff so many had a refresher and new members of staff had full training. Support is regularly given by myself to colleagues who need help and support. In year 6, teaching to strengths is encouraged where one teacher does both PE lessons and the other does both RE lessons.

8.  How is PE resourced?

See Ofsted comment above but I write the Sport Premium document with the head so I know resources are provided as needed. The equipment is checked every year so all equipment is ready for use. Subscriptions are also paid and provided for through sustained funding every year too. REAL PE and REAL GYM were the most recent but now longstanding. Equipment is

9. What do you expect that Ofsted will see when they focus on the subject?

They will see indoor PE delivered through the interactive resource of REAL PE or REAL GYM across years 1 to 6. In reception the planning and provision is fluid and can be found more easily on planning for the week. This is then encouraged and provided for individual children as needed. Outdoor PE will see a skills-based lesson followed by an opportunity to use skills taught in an arranged sporting environment.

PSHE - Personal, Social and Health Education

The school's 'Champion' for PSHE is Miss Claire Stanley.

Frequency of sessions: This will largely average out as one session a week but at certain times of the year, and depending of school events or external activities, may be more regular. 

In PSHE we aim to offer children the opportunity to express their thoughts, ideas and emotions about important issues in school, home and society. PSHE is taught once per week using the PSHE Association Scheme of work in Foundation Stage, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.   In addition Year 5 also follow the “Friends for life” scheme. Through group discussions and activities, children develop life skills to build resilience and self-confidence. 

In Year 1 children follow the “Zippy’s Friends” scheme. Through stories, children will explore and discuss a variety of topics during the programmes six modules: ‘feelings’, ‘communication’, ‘making breaking relationships’, ‘conflict resolution’, ‘dealing with change and loss’ and ‘we cope’. 

Through our programme of study we encourage an awareness of keeping healthy and eating healthily. The school provides healthy eating snacks at break time for Key Stage One and encourages healthy eating by choosing a hot meal or bringing a healthy packed lunch.

As there is no formal assessment for this subject, the subject champion monitors the outcomes of each year group’s objectives through work samples and ongoing staff audit grids.

The School Council at Deanshanger Primary is a successful and active group that meet on alternate weeks along with class councils. School council organise house and charity events and provide a pupil voice to our school's development. Each year group from Year 1 to Year 6 has two representatives and are elected by their peers in September.

Religious Education

The school's 'Champion' for RE is Mrs Emma Neville.

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week.  However, there are plenty of additional opportunities given throughout the school year for children to develop their RE skills according to special events in the RE calendar.

Religious Education is an important curriculum subject in its own right and also makes a unique contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and supports wider community cohesion. RE is taught on a weekly basis in all class across the school. In it supported in school assemblies, in cross-curricula topic learning and through our PSHCE curriculum at times. We follow the Local Authority’s statutory SACRE guidance, SACRE stands for Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education; this is based on DfE non statutory guidance (2010).

Where possible, we invite in visitors from different faiths to talk to the children and allow open questioning; we alo plan trips to enrich learning. We have close links with Holy Trinity church here in Deanshanger, and a team share half termly ‘Open the Book’ assemblies.

Religious Education is a statutory requirement, but it is not part of the National Curriculum.  Schools in Northamptonshire follow the SACRE agreed syllabus, which we base all our learning on.    

The agreed syllabus for RE in Northamptonshire is called 'Growing Together' and is the responsibility of the local authority.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1 - What decisions have been made about the curriculum in your subject?

Since 2020, we have been using the RE scheme Discovery RE as a basis for our RE teaching.  The scheme provides the coverage specified by the SACRE guidance (provided by Northants County Council) while enabling us to extend the pupils’ learning beyond the guidance provided by SACRE.  Broadening our pupils’ knowledge and understanding within the subject of Religious Education is vital as our school has a basis of 80% white, British (Could we include some background information about Religions within our school?).  The scheme develops the knowledge and understanding through the teaching of 6 key religions providing a rich and diverse curriculum, over the primary phase of learning.  We know that as a school we have the crucial role in extending the pupils’ understanding of their cultural capital and this scheme provided the basis for this. As part of the curriculum, RE teaching fall into two attainment targets: 1 – learning about religion; 2 – learning from religion, and this scheme provides the foundation for leading the learning from these two points. 

 

2- How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?

What evidence do we have to suggest that the curriculum is appropriate to our needs now? Does it build upon previous Ofsted feedback? How does the curriculum for your subject align with national policy and statutory requirements? How have you thought about what end points the curriculum is building towards, what pupils will be able to know and do at those end points, this includes considering how the intended curriculum will address social disadvantage by addressing gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills.

The Discovery RE scheme provides a systematic and progressive approach to teaching RE.  It provides clear scaffolding for teachers to build on pupil's knowledge and understanding with its provision of curriculum-themed knowledge organisers, which set out core knowledge set out under the headings of: key terms and definitions; links to other aspects and beliefs; considerations for personal resonance; history and context link; impact on the believer and daily life and suggestions to home-learning.  These aspects were especially considered when reflecting upon our previous Full Ofsted Inspection that was carried out in June 2019 when it was said (not specifically about RE, but may have included it):  In some subjects, teachers’ subject knowledge does not enable them to plan effective sequences of learning. Consequently, while the curriculum is rich and encourages pupils to learn, teachers do not systematically build and deepen pupils’ knowledge well over time.

 3 - How do you know your curriculum is working?

Having spoken with colleagues and with pupils, the Discovery RE scheme has provided the systematic and progressive learning that pupils require and the staff appreciate.  The scheme outlines both the learning and assessment opportunities; and the chance for pupils to open self-reflection discussions, which lead to self-assessment. 

Since last year, we have begun to collate cohort data reflecting our AT1 and AT2 outcomes for each year group, which is then used to support teachers in understanding where they are picking-up pupils’ learning the following year (Could we reference this data?). This data uses the terms as specified as SACRE: working towards, working at, or exceeding.

I have also been able to carry out elevation group meetings with collections of pupils from each year group to gain understanding about their feelings about the subject and to hear, first hand, how their learning is progressing. During the elevation sessions pupils were asked several different questions, but were specifically asked what RE meant to them and the responses were: Year 2 – RE helps us to be kind and respect others;

Year 3 – RE helps us to understand how people do things differently to us and how different celebrations are celebrated;

Year 4 – RE helps us to understand what has happened in the past and where religion comes from;

Year 5 – RE helps us to understand what other people are like and think about how to treat them; and helps us to know what else is going on in the world in different countries;

Year 6 – RE helps us to treat people equally; understand people and people’s opinions; and respect what other people believe; learn about different ways of life and how other people live.

We are working on developing our links to the local and wider community that will help to deepen and broaden the pupils’ experiences along their learning, but we recognise that our curriculum should always be reviewed to reflect our local community as well our wider learning.

“A major contribution to the education of children and young people. At its best, it is intellectually challenging and personally enriching. It helps young people develop beliefs and values, and promotes the virtues of respect and empathy, which are important in our diverse society. It fosters civilised debate and reasoned argument, and helps pupils to understand the place of religion and belief in the modern world.”  (RE: realising the potential, Ofsted 2013).

4 – What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery?

Teachers were able to continue to teach the RE curriculum, particularly the aspects of knowledge, but as pupils were not alongside their peers were not able to enhance and broaden their understanding of concepts in the same way as being present and engaging in peer-on-peer conversations in class would have done.  Being in class offers broader perspectives than learning in a nucleus environment, at home. 

5 - What are the strengths of your current subject curriculum?

The strength of the subject is the coverage of learning that is made over the course of a year and the primary years in total.  Teachers look to develop learning in range of methods and incorporate other areas of the curriculum, which enrich learning experiences, e.g. using art, drama, dance, etc.  The introduction of the RE books for children has helped to collate learning, helping to build up specific learning journals, helping children to enhance their understanding of what constitutes Religious Education. 

 

 6 - What are the areas of the curriculum that might need development?

Making links with the wider community and visiting various places of worship will enable us to strengthen learning in school and enhance learning opportunities while developing the pupils’ cultural capital and challenge any previous misconceptions.

 7 - Leading professional development, providing guidance and support to colleagues.

When I introduced the new scheme, as a school team, we explored the planning format and looked at how the sessions were developed.  We also discussed the aspects of assessment and how this information and judgments should be formed.  Resourcing needs are also reviewed regularly, and staff are encouraged to come forward with any resourcing needs.  When new staff have joined the school, I have sat down with them to share the scheme and discuss any questions. 

 8 – How is RE Resourced?

Many of the resources that we regularly use are IT based, however, we do have a large collection of specialist resources that reflect the curriculum teaching and the 6 main, world religions. 

9 – What do you expect that Ofsted will see when they focus on the subject?

Ofsted will see that pupils are developing a confidence when discussing their RE learning, but recognise how it enriches their understanding of the world and lives of the people around them. RE learning takes many forms, which are collated together and evidenced in pupils’ RE journals with each new term’s theme being introduced with a cover sheet outlining a key idea.  Cover sheets are then added to and developed throughout the theme’s learning, with children adding key vocabulary and terms as they are taught.  Over an academic year, pupils learn about different religions and these depend upon the year group being visited/observed.  Over a term, learning focuses upon aspects of both attainment target 1 and 2, though these may not be present in every lesson.  Whenever possible, teachers try to enrich learning opportunities by reaching out into the community by making links to families and communities further afield. 

10 - How are SEND, PP and Gifted and Talented pupils supported in learning?

Discovery RE is an enquiry-based scheme of learning, and as such, always begins from gaining an insight of the pupils’ understanding of the theme question presented.  Pupils, of all abilities and backgrounds, are then encouraged to share and deepen their understandings by making discoveries and links from different perspectives before extending their knowledge and understanding further by learning how the theme is represented within a particular religion.  This sequence of teaching allows teachers to tailor each enquiry to meet the needs of the children in their class whether requiring additional support or challenge.  The scheme also promotes learning to be explored using a range of media, allowing for pupils’ interests and abilities to be considered, for example, by using writing, art, drama, etc.  The scheme provides teachers with exemplars for children working towards the learning objective, working at the expected level for their age groups and working beyond the expected level of achievement.

Science

The school's 'Champions' for science are Miss Georgia Whitaker and Mrs Sarah Burdett

Frequency of sessions: This may change depending on the topic and activities in the week, but will largely average out as one session a week. In some topics the main focus will be science and therefore there will be a high focus on scienctific skills. In other topics, there might not be a science focus.

Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modelling. Pupils learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children are encouraged to develop the characteristics of effective learning, many of which help the children to develop skills that support their scientific learning. Science is taught through ‘Understanding of the world’, building on their natural curiosity and fascination with the world around them.

Science teaching in the rest of the school follows the National Curriculum guidelines through a topic approach from the IPC (International Primary Curriculum), providing a broad, relevant science curriculum for all the children.

In Key Stage 1, pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and physical phenomena. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. They are helped to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of enquiry to answer their own questions, including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate. Most of the learning about science is done through the use of first-hand practical experiences.

At Key Stage 2, pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the work of scientists and the effects over time of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They ask their own questions about what they observe and make decisions about what types of scientific enquiry are likely to be the best ways of answering them, working on their own and with others. They draw simple conclusions, use scientific language and a range of reference sources in their work.  They also use conventional diagrams, charts, graphs, and ICT to communicate their ideas. Children may also be asked to write-up their experiments as reports or extended pieces of writing.

We have a well-stocked cupboard of resources which the children access regularly through their work and we have recently developed an outside science lab - a new space to enhance the learning. The school site itself is rich with scientific opportunities, our Forest School area is a prime example of this. It is home to a vast variety of wildlife including: hedgehogs, newts, mini beasts and many trees which the children explore with enthusiasm each week; there is even one which they are shown how to climb safely!

Our children are assessed annually, and at the end of most units, in science using the Rising Stars scheme. We also use rubrics with the children, from the IPC, to develpe self review skills.

Frequently Asked Questions 

 1 - What decisions have been made about the curriculum in your subject?

Science is taught through the IPC (International Primary Curriculum), IPC was chosen for the school in 2016 based on our local context and school make up. With a high white British cohort (currently 80%), it is important for us to provide a rich and diverse curriculum that ensures that are children are well prepared for the world beyond Deanshanger and are increasingly aware of other countries, cultures and religions.  Developing cultural capital and constantly pushing aspiration are very important. The IPC provides a rich base for practical activities within science lessons, this enables our children to develop their knowledge of scientific concepts and their practical working scientifically skills simultaneously. The IPC also has direct links with the national curriculum enabling us to provide our children with the breadth of knowledge required by the national curriculum. Prior to COVID we ran a science club to provide children with more real life context to science.

2- How has the subject curriculum been adapted to meet our needs?

The IPC links directly with the national curriculum and as science is a core subject this is followed. The IPC has lots of opportunities for cross-curricular learning allowing for the children to experience science within other contexts this allows the children to understand science within real life situations through engaging topics and experiences. In our previous Ofsted report they said: ‘Forest school is a particular favourite with pupils and provides science study opportunities and positive personal development.’ With this in mind we have coordinated with the Forest School team to ensure that scientific opportunities are incorporated into the sessions planning frequently and that these are related to the national curriculum as well as the IPC topics the children will be studying at that time. We ensure the children are ready for secondary education by covering the national curriculum expectations. We have also identified whether each unit is a Biology, Chemistry or Physics unit which helps to prepare our children as they are likely to study these separately in secondary school.

 3 - How do you know your curriculum is working?

The IPC has rubrics for the assessment of key skills within the subject, for science this is used by teachers to assess the children in their ability to work scientifically. This includes assessment of skills such as; prediction, testing, observing, pattern-seeking and drawing conclusions. We have bought a selection of Rising Stars assessments that provide tests to ascertain the level of knowledge of the children at different points in their learning. Currently we are using these as end of unit summative assessments in conjunction with the knowledge harvest, which assesses their prior knowledge and teacher assessment for learning throughout the topic. Progress and attainment is assessed against the national curriculum requirements. Recent monitoring of the subject tells us that scientific vocabulary is now being used more frequently and effectively thanks to subject leadership. We have also seen key questions being used on the curriculum boards to deepen the children’s understanding. We have also started labelling science activities to make clear for the children when we are completing science work and help them to understand what science is. We have also seen the implementation of rubrics within the everyday books which have been used for effective assessment. Rising Stars assessments are now being used more consistently and providing teachers with ample gap knowledge for follow up teaching. Children enjoy their science lessons especially when very practical as said in the science elevation group.

4 – What has been the impact of lockdown etc on the subject and what positive examples can we share about the subject and its remote delivery?

Even through lockdown, the entirety of the curriculum was made available to the children whether at home or at school. The impact was mostly in the practical skills of the children at home as this was harder to provide through a screen.

5 - What are the strengths of your current subject curriculum?

  • Assessment – use of rubrics/rising stars
  • Outdoor learning – Forest School and Science Lab
  • Hands on learning – Plenty of experiments etc.
  • Children enjoy their learning

 6 - What are the areas of the curriculum that might need development?

  • Vocabulary
  • Curriculum overlap

7 - Leading professional development, providing guidance and support to colleagues.

New staff are supported by their partner teachers and phase leaders to understand the use of IPC. Training opportunities have been offered to staff.

8 – How is Science Resourced

  • Wealth of science resources
  • Audit of resources
  • Emailed teachers to ask for requests
  • Repeat yearly in case of breakage
  • New resources ordered as a when needed
  • Science Lab

9 – What do you expect that Ofsted will see when they focus on the subject?

Ofsted will see well-resourced practical activities that enable children to use their scientific enquiry skills to further their knowledge of scientific concepts. Children will be engaged in enjoyable investigations that help them to understand the world around them, as they would in Reception using the characteristics of effective learning. Assessment will be used by teachers to ensure that the children are being challenged during each session. The IPC will provide the context to hook the children into their learning.

 

Special Educational Needs and Disability - SEND
 

Special Educational Needs and Disability - SEND

Special Educational Needs and Inclusion at Deanshanger Primary School are co-ordinated by our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) Miss Natalie Wilmot - SENCo@deanshanger.northants.sch.uk

The lead governors responsible for Special Educational Needs and Inclusion are  Mr David Aaronson and Mr Andy Limbert.

Across the school we ensure that all children’s needs are catered for, allowing for them to be involved in all aspects of the curriculum. This is delivered in a number of different ways from differentiated lessons, specific small group interventions and one to one support to develop a specific aspect of a child’s learning need.  A provision map for each year group shows the additional support being delivered to meet the needs in that year group.

Some children may require further assistance and support with their learning where guidance from county based agencies such as the Education Psychologist, School Nursing Team, Speech and Language Therapists, Autism Outreach and other organisations is sought. When a child needs this level of additional support with their learning, a clear programme of learning and support is put in place to ensure that work is appropriately matched and termly targets are set. This is recorded in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and is shared with parents and the child. 

Children may require high levels of support to meet their needs.  In this case we may need to move from an IEP to an Education Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). This is also shared with parents and the child and provides more specific targets to support the child in all aspects of their learning and social engagement.  

We have a comprehensive Inclusion Policy, which has recently been updated to meet the requirements of The Code of Practice, set out by the DfE.  A copy of the policy can be viewed on the policy page of the website. Alternatively, you can request a hard copy from the school office. Within the policy you will find out about - 

  • Our provision for SEND and how we promote inclusion 
  • Methods for identifying and assessing pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Additional support available in our school for children with Special Educational Needs
  • How the school involves pupils with Special Educational Needs and their parents in decisions
  • Working alongside other professionals, including health and social services to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs and supporting their families
  • The role of governors
  • The Local Authority Special Educational Needs offer. For more information click here

All staff and governors also have a duty to promote equality and accessibility for the disabled which are fully explained in the school’s Equality Policy and Accessibility Plan.

If you have any questions about provision for your child, their progress and attainment and well-being in any way, you should contact the class teacher in the first instance followed by Miss Natalie Wilmot (SENCo) and/or Mrs Rachel Rice (Head teacher)