At Elfrida we continue to work hard to develop a curriculum that is relevant, exciting and interesting to the children who live in Bellingham and the local area.
This academic year we are looking to change the curriculum again to ensure that it keeps up with the interests of the children and the changing ways of the world.
We feel it is vital that children are taught the key skills of reading, writing, maths and scientific enquiry, but we also feel that the learning should be irresistible, interesting and enjoyable.
Each year group will complete all of their learning through one topic and this learning will be recorded in their topic books. The topics have been chosen to enthuse the children and the teachers and offer a range of rich learning experiences to support their development into well rounded people who can make a positive impact on our world.
The learning will lead up to one end product. This may be a piece of art, a piece of writing or perhaps a performance. The learning will take place over the course of a whole, or half a term, dependent on the ages of the children.
The teachers will continue to use the National Curriculum to plan from, ensuring that all statutory parts are completed within the year. The children in Nursery and Reception will be taught following the principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework.
If you have any questions about our curriculum, or would like to find out more, please come in and talk to Miss Cartwright, our Deputy Head.
We ensure that literacy skills are taught throughout all curriculum areas. In all classes, speaking and listening activities form an essential part of the literacy teaching. Children are encouraged to develop a love for reading and books from an early age. They read regularly with adults in school and are exposed to a rich variety of literature. Children are also expected to read regularly at home.
The children learn to write in many different forms including story writing, instructional writing, persuasive writing, recounts and poetry. The children enjoy regular ‘Big Writing’ session where they have the opportunity to demonstrate the literacy skills they have learnt.
In Reception and Key Stage One there are also additional phonics sessions which follow the letters and sounds programme. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letters-and-sounds. To access resources to help support your child with phonics and to learn how to pronounce each letter sound correctly click here.
In Key Stage Two children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar to ensure they understand the conventions of print.
Maths is taught through a daily numeracy lesson which follows the programmes of study in the National Curriculum. We are currently working with a programme called Big Maths. This programme aims to develop children's quick recall skills, ensure they understand the basics of number as well as ensuring that they can use the maths they know in real life situations.
Daily CLIC lessons ensure that the children are rigorously taught the skills they need. CLIC stands for Counting, Learn its, It's nothing new and Calculation. We are in the process of producing a parents guide which will be uploaded shortly.
Considerable importance is attached to the children achieving and understanding mathematical processes and it is our aim to ensure children feel confident and encouraged about their learning in maths. This is achieved by planning interesting and enjoyable lessons that give each child the opportunity to actively participate in the learning process. Class teachers also plan for opportunities to develop and apply key mathematical skills in other subjects throughout the year and to real life situations.
Science in our schools gives children the opportunity to be inquisitive, to explore and find out about the world around them. As they progress through the school, the children carry out practical investigations with greater independence and have the opportunity to research information and use a variety of equipment and resources to test out their ideas. In their work children develop a variety of strategies to analyse what they have found out and are encouraged to record their findings accordingly.
This is taught as a discrete subject, as well as being used to support cross-curricular learning. Pupils are taught a range of knowledge, skills and understanding . They use word-processing, multimedia, graphics, data handling and modelling software. Children have good access to computers, laptop banks, digital cameras and programmable toys.
Since September 2014 the core content of computing taught in primary schools is computer science. Pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, how to put this knowledge to use through creating programmes. We have a team of specialist teachers that work across the federation to support the teachers and the students with the computing programme of study.
We strive to make children curious about the past and to ask questions about people’s lives through history. Children study key historical figures and events, such as the Romans and Boudicca, the ancient Greeks, the history of Bellingham and the schools. Our focus is on change through time and how we find out about the past.
We aim to create a culture of curiosity and fascination with the world around us. Children study the local area, looking at the human and physical features around them. They also study a range of other countries, comparing where they live to the other places in the world.
Children develop geographical skills such as map work and data collection through a variety of topics.
We follow the Lewisham Agreed syllabus for RE. Children study key parts of the world’s six major religions, including key celebrations, special foods and dress. Children also visit a range of places of worship throughout their time at our schools.
Art and Design
Children have the opportunity to work with a wide range of media and materials to develop their skills and techniques in Art and Design. These include the use of paint, pastel, charcoal, textile and clay. They are encouraged to express themselves creatively in both 2D and 3D, indoors and outdoors. Often, children study the work of another artist, considering how a piece was made and how it made them feel. They discuss and evaluate their own work and that of their peers. Children’s art work is valued and displayed prominently throughout the school.
We provide the children with a wealth of musical experiences and opportunities to develop their skills and understanding of how music is made. The content of the music curriculum includes using sounds and music to make responses, singing in parts as well as unison, playing a whole array of percussion and other instruments; composition and music appreciation. Music appreciation is very important and children are exposed to a wide range of music from different countries and eras.
In Year 3 all of the children learn to play the recorder and in year 4 there are whole class guitar lessons. In Key Stage 2 children have the opportunity to learn a brass instrument, with a specialist tutor, before and after school They can then become members of a local orchestra.
Children are encouraged to develop their skills in D.T. through practical tasks and projects. They are invited to find solutions to a range of problems. Children are engaged in their own designing and planning, testing of ideas, and product creations. They discuss, evaluate and amend their products throughout the project, supporting each other to improve upon original ideas.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship
Personal, Social and Health Education encourages children to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. PSHE will enable children to develop important life skills, such as how to react in difficult situations, and to learn about rights and responsibilities for themselves and others. In doing this, it is anticipated that self-confidence and esteem will be promoted.
The federation curriculum is designed so that children leave us with the knowledge and skills to become responsible citizens in today’s world.
Physical Education is an essential part of school life at the federation and children have the opportunity to develop a variety of skills, confidence and self-esteem through a wide range of sporting activities. The PE curriculum extends beyond the school day and a varied selection of extra-curricular clubs are offered during the school week.
Children in Year 3 have the opportunity to swim, weekly for the whole year.