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We give children a broad and balanced curriculum that provides rich, stimulating learning experiences enhanced through first hand experiences, visits and visitors. We make great use of the local area to tailor the curriculum to meet the needs of the children. We provide a curriculum that develops children academically, physically, socially, and spiritually based in a strong Christian foundation. Our enrichment teachers provide expertise in their field, giving the children the best possible learning experiences.
We use the National Curriculum programmes of study as the basis for the children’s learning. We follow a rolling programme using a topic based approach that links different areas of the curriculum. Each aspect of the subject is then differentiated to meet the needs of the children. We provide a curriculum map each term showing the learning planned in all aspects of the curriculum.
We reflect and review our curriculum topics regularly, ensuring variety and interest for our children.
Our aim at Mrs Ethelston’s is to promote high standards of language and literacy by embedding our teaching of spelling, reading, grammar and writing across the whole curriculum. This allows us to maximise exposure to these skills and enables the children to consolidate their learning in a range of ways. We plan our literacy units of work to closely match our creative topics thereby providing purposeful and engaging opportunities for the children to write. We facilitate this learning by sharing with the children a wide range of high quality texts and genres to expose the children to a substantial variety of writing styles and authors.
We strive to develop a passion for reading and use this as a tool to unlock interests and topics. We publically promote reading for pleasure through our new library space, our class reads, celebrating World Book Day, D.E.A.R challenge and a sponsored readathon.
Where possible, teaching of reading and grammar is interwoven into literacy sessions so that the skills can be embedded alongside writing. In some classes separate skills sessions are also taught to support understanding in these areas. Discussions, debates, presentations, drama and other speaking and listening activities are also used so that all learners can explore the themes and ideas of texts and genres in a variety of ways.
The children are really proud of their literacy work and this is celebrated through displays, sharing work with other adults and children, and as part of our collective worships.
KS1 Phonics and Reading Schemes
In KS1 we use The Early Reading Programme to teach phonics, and a variety of reading schemes including Jelly and Bean, Oxford University Press, Collins and Rigby. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme designed to teach the first stages of reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding). The programme is designed by Educational Psychologists and is based upon extensive research into the most effective ways of teaching reading.
This is a twice daily session and then application becomes evident as the children approach their reading and written work. Children’s progress is continually reviewed and they are formally assessed regularly. The National Phonics Screening Check is performed in June of Year 1. The purpose of the screening check is to confirm that all children have learned phonic decoding to an age-appropriate standard. The children who did not meet the required standard for the check in Year 1 enter again in Year 2 with additional support. 'Sight words' are also learned throughout KS1.
We follow Westover Green spelling programme, investigating spelling patterns and rules, and the key words for each year group. Spelling patterns and rules are taught daily and weekly tests take place in KS2.
As children move into key stage two, we also use an Accelerated Reader programme to develop comprehension skills and aid our assessment of individual children. This tests children on books they have been reading.
Spellings Years 1-6 08.06.17.109440383.pdf
Complex Speed Sounds Chart 20.06.17.109526573.pdf
Year 1 and 2 Common Exception Words.109526725.pdf
English Glossary - Explanation of Terminology 08.06.17.108474459.pdf
Early Reading Strategies 2017.pdf
We ensure that children form their letters correctly as they progress through their reception year. As they continue through year one and into year two, cursive handwriting is taught. The aim is for all children to have neat, legible, well-formed handwriting, with correctly proportioned ascenders and descenders. Children may earn a pen licence in Lower Key Stage 2 when they prove they can maintain this neat style consistently. Whereas, in Upper Key Stage 2 the children who have previously earnt their pen licence will maintain this as long as they maintain their handwriting.
Handwriting Policy Sept 2017.pdf
Please click here to view the ways in which we teach calculations at Mrs Ethelston's. Although these are shown in year groups, this is a guideline and every child is at a different stage in their own development. Your child may be a stage further ahead, or may still be relying on methods they have learnt previously. It is important that children have a breadth of knowledge, therefore, rather than moving ahead to the next year group, they will broaden their knowledge and skills in other ways, for example through problem solving, missing number calcualtions and investigations. The children will have the opportunity to embed their skills through 'Find out Friday' investigations.
At Mrs Ethelston's, science stimulates and excites children’s natural curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them, as well as satisfying their curiosity for knowledge.
Through scientific activities, we aim to encourage children to be curious about what is happening around them and to develop a positive and practical approach to scientific learning. We also hope to instil a sense of enjoyment. Our children are encouraged to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives and the future of the world.
Pupils also have the opportunity to develop their practical scientific methods, processes and skills through a range of scientific enquire, to answer questions they have generated. They are taught how to recognise and control variables where necessary and can use a range of scientific equipment with accuracy and precision to help them to gather data and results.
Many of our investigations start by the children making a rational prediction and considering things, such as how we will ensure fair or reliable testing throughout. Finally the children will present their findings in a conclusion whether this is in an oral or written form allowing them to evaluate their findings further.
At Mrs Ethelston's, we aim to develop the children’s geographical and historical understanding through engaging and meaningful topics. We strive to develop the children’s engagement with geographical and historical knowledge with an understanding of how the past impacts upon the present. The children’s historical and geographical enquiry skills are developed through evaluation of evidence, logical thinking and working systematically to ask and answer questions.
In History, our children in Key Stage 1 are taught to consider changes within living memory, events beyond living memory and the lives of significant individuals in the past. In Key Stage 2, children develop their sense and understanding of chronology through local, British and world history.
In Geography, Key Stage 1 children are taught about their local environments, to be able to name and locate the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and to be able to name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans. The children in Key Stage 2 are taught about places in the United Kingdom, wider world and how places relate to each other.
At Mrs Ethelston’s, we use a creative and flexible approach to provide RE, incorporating art, music and drama into our study. Pupils learn about Christianity as the main religious tradition in this country, but also about other principal religions represented in Britain such as Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism. RE, however is not only about understanding specific religious traditions. It offers pupils the opportunity to think about their own lives, values, attitudes or beliefs and the chance to express their thoughts and ideas in a variety of ways.
The study of Christianity is at the heart of our curriculum. We follow the Christian calendar and embed the core Christian values throughout our teachings of other faiths. The required syllabus in Devon is Understanding Christianity, which provides a systematic and consistent process which enables children to develop their understanding of religious traditions of our increasingly diverse society. The principal aim of RE in Devon is to engage pupils in enquiring into big questions arising from the study of religion, belief, philosophy and ethics. In doing so Religious Education will support pupils’ own personal moral, philosophical, ethical and spiritual development and promote respect for others.
As a Church of England school we take seriously our role of presenting Christianity as a living faith. A close link with the church community is encouraged so pupils can see Christian Life, Worship and commitments at every opportunity. We also make a point of marking the celebrations of the Christian Year to deepen their understanding and support our Christian ethos.
Art and Design
At Mrs Ethelston’s, we aim to develop children’s creativity through our topics. Each topic is designed to cover a wide range of skills that progress through each year. They have opportunities to draw, paint, print, make collages, use fabrics and threads and use clay. They are taught the skills and techniques, then given the opportunity to practise them to produce individual and group pieces of work. We also encourage the children to study a variety of classical and modern artists such as Van Gough, William Morris and Roy Lichtenstein . As children go through the school, they are encouraged to think critically and develop an understanding about art and design. We often invite artists to work with the children providing valuable experience and expertise creating both collaborative and individual art.
At Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy we know that music promotes positivity, self-confidence and a sense of community. We believe that it should be a part of our everyday experience at school, whether through singing Worships, choir, performances or music lessons. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music. The music education at Mrs Ethelston’s Primary is supported by the Devon Music Education Hub.
In Key Stage 1, the children will learn to use their voices to sing expressively through learning songs and chants linked to their topic. Each session will begin with listening to a new song and an appraisal of the piece. Throughout the year the children will be exploring and playing tuned and untuned instruments, which will include contributing to group and class compositions where there will be opportunities to rehearse and perform.
In Key Stage 2, the children will also play and perform in solo and ensemble contexts, using both their voice and instruments with increasing accuracy, fluency, control and expression. As part of the music session, the children will be exposed to a variety of musicians and composers. They will be guided on how to appraise the piece of music through attentive listening, this will support their understanding of the history of music. The children will learn how to read and record notation so that they can rehearse and perform collectively.
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- Are physically active for sustained periods of time
- Engage in competitive sports and activities
- Lead healthy, active lives.
At Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy, we believe that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil’s physical development and well-being. Our broad and balanced physical education curriculum is intended to provide for pupils’ increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations. Through a selection of suitably differentiated and logically developed tasks, it is intended that our children, irrespective of their innate ability, will enjoy success and be motivated to further develop their individual potential.
Through lesson time, specialist coaching and our broad range of sports clubs, we support pupils in developing skilful use of the body, the ability to remember, repeat and refine actions and to perform them with increasing control, co-ordination, fluency and safety. We also support pupils in developing an increasing ability to select, link and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas.
Children are encouraged to describe and make simple judgements on their own and others work, and to use their observations and judgements to improve performance. We believe in the importance of drawing cross-curricular links where it is appropriate. Pupils are taught about the affects of exercise on the body in science, PSHE as well as PE.
At Mrs Ethelston’s Primary Academy, we promote an understanding of safe practice, and the development of a sense of responsibility towards a child’s own and others’ safety and well-being.
At Mrs Ethelston’s, in PSHE, we follow a scheme called Jigsaw which is organised into six themes:
- Being me in my world
- Celebrating difference
- Dreams and goals
- Healthy me
- Relationships and
- Changing me
These themes are constantly revisited throughout the year as we refer to them in our core values, whether this is through Worship, class discussions, themed days and daily opportunities.
- P.E. Multi-skills / Alternative Sports - Primary Sports
- ICT - Mr Harris
- Music- Mrs Osborne
- Forest School - Primary Forest School
- MFL - Miss Lyons
Please contact us if you have any questions about SATs in year 2 or year 6. Some information is available here.