Curriculum provision, content and approach
Our School curriculum follows all the requirements of the National Curriculum and we are proud to offer a much broader curriculum beyond it, making the most of many and varied opportunities to broaden and enrich the curriculum for our children.
The National Curriculum provides the school with the outline of knowledge, skills and understanding that we are required to cover in school. We choose to teach much of this through creative, cross-curricular themes where children will learn different strands of the curriculum from a range of subjects, all within one common theme for a term. The curriculum is taught with the consideration of the needs of all learners. We consider our curriculum to be exciting and one which inspires children to nurture a passion for learning..
Reading and writing are central to the school day. The vast majority of our written work links to topic work, teachers creating meaningful reasons, motivations and audiences for writing. Each piece of written work is careful scaffolded through using ‘success criteria’ to guide a child and then marked by highlighting real successes (pink for ‘tickled pink’) and an area for improvement (‘green for growth’). Alongside creative writing, children learn, as appropriate, aspects of spelling and grammar.
Phonics is taught as a discrete learning area in Rec, Year 1 and Year 2. We follow the DfE ‘Letters And Sounds’ programme as well as a mixture of ‘Read, Write, Inc’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’ materials.
In Reception and KS1 we use the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme as well as Collins Big Cats and Rigby Stars Guided Reading materials. We run the Accelerated Reading Programme in KS2 where children complete online quizzes about the books they read.
Our writing follows the Talk For Writing philosophy – please see the separate page we have about that.
The end of year expectations for each year group in English.
Mathematics is taught every day too. Children at Southill love maths! We place great emphasis on learning through games, problems and practical tasks coupled with an uncompromising goal of learning and memorising key facts such as times tables as soon as possible and using high quality concrete resources in the early years. Together this approach creates fluent and able mathematicians.
Maths is a central core aspect of the curriculum which we are developing further this year
The end of year expectations for each year group in mathematics.
Science may be central to a topic or sit discreetly outside. Children cover a range of early physics (e.g. forces) chemistry (e.g reversible and irreversible change) and biology (e.g. growing plants) topics through practical work, observation and problem solving. We place great emphasis on raising questions, practical work and discussion to develop skills of scientific enquiry.
We want our children to grow up with the skills to use this technology safely and discerningly; to have the life skills that enable them to use it confidently but appropriately. We believe that if we teach our children these skills through a range of relevant, topic based tasks they will become competent and discerning users of IT.
We place emphasis on the teaching of coding (also known as programming) as it is a large part of the computing curriculum. We want even our youngest children to enjoy problem solving; to be confident to have a go, embrace when they have made a mistake and then have a go at correcting it. Using programmes such as Scratch gives our children the forum to do this.
The Internet is an amazing source of information which enhances learning in many ways. Being ‘e-safe’ means teaching our children what to do when online and faced with strangers asking for details when gaming, if they see inappropriate images or if they experience cyberbullying. We use materials by Kidsmart, Thinkuknow and CBBC Stay Safe to teach our children to be digitally aware.
Our children use multimedia programmes and are taught how to use these with a clear purpose e.g. to make a talking book of the Little Red Hen in Nursery or an animation of the water cycle in Year 5
We have a suite of 31 computer and laptops available for the children as well as iPads and Chromebooks – which ensure computing is taught in a rich variety of ways!
History and Geography are central to the curriculum at Southill as they are the focus of many of our termly topics when children are immersed in each of these subjects.
We want children to know about the history of this country and the wider world and how events have influenced and still influence the world today. Through our topic based approach children learn about continuity, change, cause and consequence in history and apply this learning through posing questions, writing accurate accounts and narratives. Most written work comes from our humanities teaching.
We approach history, like all subjects, with a critical mind, encouraging children to contrast and compare different accounts, identifying why there might be different interpretations of events.
When the topic focus is geography, children develop awareness of where they live and how it is similar and different to the world beyond. Our many trips and school journeys incorporate geographical skills such as map work, looking at aerial photos and making comparative studies.
We want our children to know key facts about this country and beyond and encourage them to learn the names of oceans, rivers, capital cities etc.
Our aim is that all pupils understand the nature of religion and acquire an understanding of the beliefs, practices and strengths of all faiths, particularly those represented in our school. Each year the children study one world religion in depth as well as working on aspects of social and moral education, and work around Rights.
We have assemblies every day, sometimes as a whole school, sometimes as a class. This is a chance to come together as a school community, to learn about different faiths and festivals, to reflect on important ideas or to celebrate achievements. We cover all major events in the Christian year in our assemblies, as well as key celebrations for other faiths.
We emphasize the aims and values of our school and seek to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
All pupils in Year 4 learn an instrument, such as the ukulele. They are given tuition by specialists from the Dorset Music Service and all costs are met by the school.
Music is taught in all classes using the Charanga resources which ensure eveyone has an enjoyable time as they learn skills and develop their understanding.
Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education
PSHE and Citizenship help to give our children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. It covers physical health, emotional health and wellbeing, drug education (including alcohol and tobacco), sex and relationship education (SRE), citizenship, anti-bullying, safety and the environment.
We believe that through participating in PSHE & Citizenship, our children will grow to become adults who make sensible choices when faced with issues that are part of growing up. As a Rights Respecting School our approach gives our children an understanding of children’s rights and responsibilities and provides opportunities to develop life skills in a safe, nurturing environment.
Modern Foreign Languages
All classes from Year 3 upwards learn French. It is taught by the classteacher so that it can be fully integrated into class life, for example, linking to topics or answering the register using new conversation learnt. Staff use a range of resources both from the web and from published schemes.
Southill receives specific funding from the government to support the delivery and provision of PE and sport (please see our Sports Premium report on the website).
We are focused on providing a really inclusive PE curriculum, offering a wide (and changing) range of sports for the children to participate in, helping children to understand the importance of an active lifestyle (and associated health benefits) and increasing overall participation in local events. Children learn a range of traditional team sports such as hockey and dodgeball.
We are also using our PE funding to work with individuals and smaller groups of children to involve them in extra fitness sessions to build up their confidence and levels of activity.
We enter as many teams as possible into the local events and tournaments. Although we are a small school, we always do well in these events and our most able children are given a chance to shine.