Learning should be fun, relevant and equip children with the basic skills they need to be successful in life. This is what we believe. Every morning at school the children will receive tuition in maths, writing and reading skills. We also run daily phonic groups for children who need it. Our afternoons are taken up with lessons that cover all the other subject areas. some of these are taught through themes or topics, some as discrete stand alone subjects. Science is an important curriculum area which is why it is taught outside of topic lessons. history, art, geography and design technology lend themselves well to a thematic approach, where for instance a child under the umbrella of a topic on the USA may learn about the geography of the states, produce their own graffiti art, explore key historical events and design travel agents posters promoting each state.
We know that some children need to receive more support than others, whilst others have high academic potential that needs pushing. This is why we use ability grouped sets to teach Maths and English in our junior classes and in phonics across the school. Our lower sets are smaller with high child to adult ratios. Our top sets are full of children who can be challenged more strongly without the teacher having to take time to support the children who require more teacher support. Setting the children means that the ability spread within a class is much smaller and therefore teaching can more accurately meet the needs of individual pupils.
Where we combine subjects to teach them through topics we have consulted the children about what they are taught. We run a Pupil Curriculum Council who input into our planning, telling us what topics they find most interesting as well as how they like best to be taught and grouped. This has led the children to be more engaged in what happens in their classroom, with many choosing to continue their exploration of their topic theme independently back at home. All teaching follows the National Curriculum's skills and knowledge, however we take advantage of the freedom schools have to deliver these in a way that the children enjoy. We value the impact of 'special' lessons which is why we take the children out of school to enhance their topic work, or invite specialists into school to teach them more. We offer free brass tuition throughout year 4 to every pupil, and swimming throughout the children's time in year 3. Every year group from year 2 upwards will have at least one term every year when they will go swimming. In the junior classes, we also offer the children the opportunity to take part in a residential trip over three days that challenges them to try some adventurous activities in the great outdoors !
Children learn through:
Playing and exploring
Active learning : being involved and keep on trying
Creating and thinking critically : having our own ideas and choosing ways to do things
Children are introduced to letter sounds so that they can read and write. Children also being to make friendships and learn how to tackle challenges independently.
Literacy runs through all areas of the Curriculum. Literacy consists of:
* Reading * Writing * Phonics * Speaking * Listening * Drama
Phonics lessons teach children the skills that they need in order to read and spell. The Phonics scheme used at Chowbent Primary School is 'Letters and Sounds'.
All areas are included in other subject areas, such as Group discussions held to decide on how a Science investigation should be conducted or hot - seating (drama) to find out more about Florence Nightingale (History).
The reading schemes used at Chowbent Primary School are:
SPaG Overview: Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
• Children in the juniors are setted for SPaG.
• Children in the infants (Y1 and Y2) work in classes with work differentiated, according to their knowledge, understanding and application of SPaG elements.
•Termly assessments take place for all children from Y1 to Y6 and next steps for learning are planned for by the teacher.
• Lessons are broken into steps in learning for each SPaG element chosen. These are displayed on stickers in children's SPaG books which both the teacher and child can tick off if the steps have been achieved.
•The SPaG tracker is broken into sections - section 1 relates to new curriculum expectations for Year 1. Teachers use the tracker to inform planning i.e. tracking back to earlier SPaG elements that aren't secure as well as teaching the age expected elements if SPaG.
•Children are assessed at the beginning of each term. This highlights improvements in taught areas, new topics needing to be covered and possible movement for pupils between sets. Year 6 are assessed as part of their SATs tests in May.
•SPaG sessions take place every Thursday at 9:00 and last for 1 hour.
•Year 1 children only start official SPaG lessons during the Spring Term.
Mathematics is all around us; it underpins much of our daily lives and our future as individuals and collectively. We teach number, calculations, using and applying, shape, space and measure as well as data handling.
Geography is about developing a sense of place and understanding of the human and physical processes that shape the world we live in. Children are encouraged to look at a variety of places, cultures and environments and to compare what they find to their own experiences.
History is our record of what happened in the past and why. Children begin to learn and understand how the past influences life today. Their study of history contributes to children’s knowledge and understanding of other peoples, countries and cultures.
We teach geography, history, art, design and technology, ICT through topic work. The plans for which are written in collaboration with the children by means of the curriculum council.
Design and Technology
At Chowbent design and technology lessons offer children opportunities to develop their designing, making and evaluating skills through textiles, food technology and woodwork. Children gain knowledge and understanding of materials, mechanisms, structures, quality and health and safety. Children’s work in design and technology is linked to topic work, for example in a world war 2 topic, children may design and create a Jeep or Anderson shelter.
At Chowbent we aim to give children the opportunities and skills to be able to experience and enjoy being creative. Children have chances to express themselves and use their imagination using a range of skills and materials, such as paint, day or ICT tools. Children’s work in art is linked to the termly topic and opportunities are also given for the children to visit art galleries and work with professional artists in school.
At chowbent, the Science curriculum aims to stimulate children’s curiosity in finding out why things happen in the way that they do. It teaches methods of enquiry and investigation to stimulate creative thought and covers all the areas of the National Curriculum. Including Sound, Forces, Materials, Electricity and Green plants.
At Chowbent, we recognise Religious Education to be an essential part of the school’s curriculum. By following the Wigan agreed syllabus, we hope to develop an open, sensitive and reflective approach to understanding humankind varied religious experience. In response to our last OFSTED inspection, we aim through our religious education to develop knowledge and understanding of not only Christianity but other world religions, therefore celebrating diversity in society and appreciation of cultural differences in the uk today
Chowbent has a Bronze Award for Philosophy 4 Children. We hold philosophical enquiry sessions in all classes at least once a week. These sessions are designed to improve the children's speaking, listening and communication skills as well as to develop their understanding and thinking skills.