Curriculum

Finding the talent in everyone
We encourage our children to imagine the possibilities and persevere to achieve their goals.

Curriculum Intent Statement

At Swillington Primary School we aim to provide opportunities for children to develop as independent, confident, successful learners with high aspirations who know how to make a positive contribution to their community and the wider society. We provide a highly inclusive environment where learners enjoy their education.

The curriculum at Swillington Primary has been carefully designed to ensure coverage and progression. It provides pupils with memorable experiences, in addition to diverse and rich opportunities from which children can learn and develop a range of transferable skills. A primary focus of our curriculum is to raise aspirations, engender a sense of personal pride in achievement, provide a purpose and relevance for learning and ultimately to help every student to find strengths and interests.

Our school ethos and curriculum is under pinned by four main drivers. These reflect the values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:

  • Imagine the possibilities – By knowing the purpose for our learning in order to connect it to future goals.
  • Be tolerant – By working together to understand, respect and value other beliefs and opinions.
  • Be safe – By understanding how to keep ourselves happy, healthy and safe.
  • Respect our environment – By valuing the world we live in and understanding how our actions have an impact on the future.

Sport has a high profile at Swillington Primary School, and pupils are introduced to a huge variety of activities both in school and as part of the Brigshaw Learning Partnership and with through links with local sporting teams.

Creative Arts are at the heart of the curriculum with school working in partnership with professional theatre companies and through offering children an opportunity to perform through productions, music recitals and choir performances. The school also excels in art – providing quality opportunities for students to share their creative talents. As such we aim to provide our children with a ‘cultural capital’.

Subject leaders play an important part in the success of the curriculum by leading a regular programme of monitoring, evaluation and review. Enjoyment of the curriculum promotes achievement, confidence and good behaviour. Children feel safe to try new things. High quality visits, including residentials, and visitors to Swillington Primary School are also well designed to enhance the curriculum.


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British Values

At Swillington Primary School we ensure that the fundamental British Values are introduced, discussed and lived out through the ethos and work of the school. All curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, RE, PSHE and Assemblies provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.

The Department for Education defines British Values as follows:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs

You can find out more about how we teach British Values at Swillington Primary here. (PDF)

English

In English, we aim to develop our children as enthusiastic and confident writers.
In all writing lessons, our children are encouraged to:

  • Write in a variety of ways for different audiences and purposes.
  • Develop the stamina and skills to be able to write at length.
  • Be grammatically correct by using our ‘must haves’ for each year group.

Grammar, punctuation and vocabulary choice is taught within the context of the genre and modelled throughout the unit using ‘what a good one looks like’ to understand the intent of the authors choices. Through using ‘what a good one looks like’, the children will be given the opportunity to explore writing styles, reflect on why the writing is effective and then imitate these skills with their own writing.

At Swillington, we want our children to develop their creativity and enthusiasm towards writing therefore we hook our writing genres onto exciting texts, drama days, school visits and link to real life experiences to expand our children’s understanding of writing being a life -long skill.

Reading is a high priority at Swillington as we believe that there is no skill more vital than being able to read. Reading is the gateway to knowledge. We want to give our children the tool of being a fluent reader to enable them to explore and learn in everything they encounter.

We teach reading through the use of the Read Write Inc. scheme. Read Write Inc. is a whole-school approach to teaching literacy for 4 to 9-year olds that creates fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. It integrates phonics (the sounds that letters make) with comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting.

Read Write Inc. enables children to recognise and say sounds. The children can then blend these sounds to read and write words. Read Write Inc. strategies are embedded across the curriculum to help children to become independent readers and writers. Children are taught to segment (break up) sounds and blend them back together to read words accurately. Children also learn to sight read ‘tricky’ words, such as ‘the’ or ‘said’, that cannot be read phonetically.

Read Write Inc. lessons are taught daily. Children are taught in small, ability groups. They are assessed at regular intervals to ensure that they remain in the group most suitable to their ability.

Mathematics

At Swillington, we strive to find everyone’s talent as Mathematicians. Maths is vital skill for future career paths so our lessons harness the ideas of ‘imagining the possibilities’.

We are committed to ensuring that all pupils master the key concepts of mathematics, in order that they make progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving, the development of mathematical thinking and development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of the Swillington approach to this subject.

In our lessons, you will see a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons during each lesson. Our lessons strive to:

  • Encourage children to enjoy mathematics
  • Explore concepts and generate questions and answers
  • Build children’s confidence and self-esteem through understanding developed from Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract ideas
  • Use practical approaches to mathematics (models and images)
  • Challenge children of all abilities
  • Contextualise mathematics with real life example
  • Allow all children to experience regular success using ‘we do’ ‘you do’ practice
  • Develop children’s understanding of mathematical language and concepts through embedded reasoning
  • Learn from teachers, peers and their own mistakes and misconceptions
  • Develop children’s independence

In our lessons, you will see:

  • Context for real life
  • Open ended problems
  • Manipulatives for all pupils
  • Teaching using reasoning questions
  • Teaching with sentence repetition
  • Teaching with Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract
  • Guided practice as a model for pupils
  • Answering in full sentences
  • Independent tasks
  • Opportunities to master class/ address misconceptions
  • Deepen learning for higher ability with questioning

Examples of questions we use to deepen learning:

  • What does each part of the number sentence represent?
  • Show me another way.
  • Explain how you know- full number sentences
  • What’s the same? What’s different?
  • Write a number story to represent the number sentence (First, Then, Now)
    (First there were 7 duck, then 2 swam away, now there are 5 ducks. 7-2=5)
  • Do you agree? Why? Why not?

Progression in Calculations (PDF)
Additional Mathematics Information (PDF)

Science

Our aim is for children to have as many opportunities as possible to be curious, to discover and to investigate. The experiences we provide are personalised and relevant to the children’s interests and their prior knowledge. Science should be based around enquiry skills such as asking questions, finding answers in different ways, group work and critical thinking; these will underpin and enrich the rest of the curriculum. We believe that children should be challenged and engaged in order to open up discussion which leads to investigative opportunities. Lessons involve exciting, child led science where children are answering their own questions using the 5 enquiry types.

History

History, at Swillington Primary school, forms an integral part of the curriculum. We believe the study of history inspires children’s curiosity, encourages them to ask critical questions and enables them to have a better understanding of how historical events have shaped how we live our lives today. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. Our history curriculum will equip the children to weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgment. History enables pupils to see themselves as Historians by using evidence to investigate and interpret the past, describe and compare historical periods of life to now, understand chronology and communicate historically. We endeavour for our children to ‘imagine the possibilities’ by understanding the role that history plays within today’s society.

Geography

At Swillington Primary School, we provide our children with the opportunities to become global citizens, deepening their interest and wonder in exploring their own place in the world. Through our curriculum, our children will develop a sense of their world at local, national and global scales understanding the interconnections between people and the environment. Fieldwork is an essential part of this. Pupils learn to think critically, think spatially, use maps, visual images and new technologies, including geographical information systems to analyse and present information. They will have a rich understanding of their responsibility and recognise how they can respect the environment within their own society and the world. As Geographers, the children will develop their knowledge of significant places, understand physical and human geographical features and interpret geographical information.

Art

At Swillington Primary School, we strive to provide a high quality art curriculum which engages, inspires and challenges all of our pupils. We have developed our creative curriculum to an Artsmark gold standard and believe this has enabled us to provide virtuous opportunities for our children to express themselves imaginatively and creatively within all areas of the arts.

Our lessons are designed to incorporate a range of teaching and learning styles which equip pupils with the knowledge and skills they require to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Where possible, art is delivered in a sequence of lessons where it is used to support learning of our history and geography topics so that our children are able to progress their learning and make purposeful links and associations with the wider world. During the process, we encourage pupils to use the correct vocabulary when evaluating and describing the key elements of art so that they are able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and how it reflects and shapes the history, culture and wealth of our nation.

Modern Foreign Languages

We believe language learning is an essential part of today’s culture. Through teaching Spanish in Key Stage Two, we teach the essential skills to learn languages.Children learn through exploring the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes. They build on learning to be able to engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others. Games and activities help to broaden their vocabulary and develop their ability to understand new words that are introduced. We promote the importance of language learning and give a sense of how languages can be useful in the personal and professional life.

Music

Music is a very special way of communicating that can enthuse and stimulate children in their learning. It is a way of expressing oneself and it can hugely influence the personal development of people. Music reflects the culture and society we live in and so the teaching and learning of music enables children to better understand the world they live in. It is a creative and fun activity, but can also be highly challenging subject. It also plays an important part in helping children feel part of a community. We provide opportunities for all children to create, play, perform and enjoy music, to develop the skills to appreciate a wide variety of musical genres and to begin to form opinions and critique the quality of music.

Music Teaching

Early Years

From entering the school in the Early Years Foundation Stage, children have frequent opportunities to sing and experiment with a variety of musical instruments and sound makers indoors as well as outdoors. This develops their musical appreciation and creative performing skills. ‘Charanga Music School’ is delivered as a 30 minute session and in Reception as a 40 minute session. Early Years Charanga sessions are taught by an HLTA.

Keystage 1

Charanga is delivered by the class teacher as a 40-50 minute session. In addition to Charanga the class teachers can supplement other resources such as Music Express and other A&C Black publications linked to stories or topics to enhance music teaching.

Keystage 2

At Swillington Primary we value how learning a musical instrument can help a child develop in so many areas socially, personally and academically. In key stage 2 the children learn to play an instrument as part of their music provision. When not being taught instrumental skills, the children focus more on listening, appreciation and composition using Charanga Music School delivered by the class teacher.

Ensembles and Performances:

Children are encouraged to perform together in a variety of situations, including in class as part of the curriculum and in formal concerts throughout the year. As part of their collaborative performance work, the children compose, listen to, and appraise their own and other’s work.
Both, KS1 and KS2 are timetabled to receive a weekly singing session in the hall of 40. Minutes. In these sessions the children learn new songs for up and coming performances/events/competitions.

Children have opportunities in school to listen to a variety of music and composers from different times and cultures. We invite a variety of musicians into school to perform for the children – these sessions frequently involve the children in practical workshops and give them the opportunity to ask questions about the music and the instruments. We do try to match the live performances to the topics been taught if possible. We also invite music specialists to deliver workshops (if possible topic linked). These often culminate in a performance to the whole school to showcase what they have learned in the workshop.

Extra-curricular opportunities

Choir – Over the last couple of years we have set up a number of extra-curricular groups.
We have a small choir for Y1-Y6 children to attend. As well as the choir performing in assemblies and the musical extravaganzas, the children have sung at the Great Preston Christmas Fayre 2017 and has just taken part in the Young Voices 2018 concert at Sheffield arena.

We also run a ukulele group after school for 40 minutes. We use the musical futures ukulele scheme to support this and other ukulele material recommended by Artforms.

Physical Education

The three main elements of the curriculum are gymnastics, games and dance. Swimming is an additional activity for Year 4 and it takes place at Rothwell swimming baths on Tuesday mornings. The aim of PE is to enable children to build and maintain fit and healthy bodies, to develop co-ordination, balance, strength, speed and endurance; to encourage creative expression through movement, and be aware of the effects and consequences of actions upon others.

Gymnastics involves floor work to encourage appropriate use of space and awareness of body parts. Control and quality of work and simple sequence work is encouraged.

The children are introduced to minor games skills using a variety of equipment such as various-sized balls, quoits, hoops, ropes, bean-bags and bats. Children practise skills individually, then in pairs and small groups, and eventually in larger teams for games such as rounders, netball, hockey and football.

Children are made aware of safety aspects for themselves and others and are encouraged to develop the ability to handle success and failure and the concepts of competition, fair play and good sporting behaviour.

Children also learn about the importance of exercise and fitness and the part these play in developing a healthy lifestyle.

From Year 1 onwards most classes receive coaching from professional coaches for 6 weekly sessions in cricket, rugby, soccer, basketball or racquet skills.

At Swillington Primary School we are committed to the delivery of a high quality PE and sport curriculum and to the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles. We aim to develop skills and knowledge through participation in diverse and varied physical activity and sport, as well as improving fitness and developing social skills.

In order to promote health and fitness, the government allocated £8000 (plus £5 per pupil) to all primary schools.

To read a full breakdown, you can view our Sports Premium Funding page.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Our aim is that ICT will develop the children’s understanding of the ever-changing technological world and to develop their awareness of the dangers that they face when they are using online platforms. We want children to see the benefits of technology and how it can help them in their day to day life within and outside of school.

Religious Education

Our vision for RE is based on the national guidance issued by the RE Council in 2013 and the local agreed syllabus, 2014.

Our world is enriched by a wide and profound diversity of cultures and beliefs. Human beings are strengthened and empowered by learning from each other. Engaging and stimulating RE helps to nurture informed and resilient responses to misunderstanding, stereotyping and division. It offers a place of integrity and security within which difficult or ‘risky’ questions can be tackled within a safe but challenging context. Religious education contributes dynamically to children and young people’s education in schools by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life, beliefs about God, ultimate reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.

In RE pupils discover, explore and consider different answers to these questions, in local, national and global contexts, through learning about and from religions and other world views. They learn to appraise the value of wisdom from different sources, to develop and express their insights in response, and to agree or disagree respectfully.

Teaching should equip pupils with knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and other world views, enabling them to develop their ideas, values and identities. It should develop in pupils an aptitude for dialogue so that they can participate positively in society with its diverse understanding of life from religious and other world views.

Pupils should gain and deploy the skills needed to understand, interpret and evaluate texts, sources of wisdom and authority and other evidence. They learn to articulate clearly and coherently their personal beliefs, ideas, values and experiences while respecting the right of others to differ.

Collective Worship

The school complies with the 1988 and 1993 Education Acts in providing a daily act of worship which is ‘wholly or mainly of a Christian character’, reflecting the broad traditions of Christian belief without being distinctive of any denomination.

We are in agreement with the Leeds Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education’s suggestion that the ‘broad traditions of Christian belief’ should include such themes as forgiveness, justice, love of one’s neighbour, festivals, the moral and spiritual dimensions of human experience as well as the teachings of Jesus.

Collective worship aims to promote those values which we believe a caring parent would wish to adopt. For example, kindness, compassion, understanding, honesty, consideration, empathy, encouraging respect for religious and moral values, and tolerance of other religions, races and cultures.

We take account of the family backgrounds of pupils and at times Assemblies will be held which embrace relevant themes shared by Christians and non-Christians alike. An Assembly is a valuable occasion when all can gather together to reflect or celebrate.

We hold a range of different types of Assembly throughout the week:

  • Whole School Assembly every Monday. This may reinforce PSHCE themes relating to values and attitudes and include information about school events and organisation, a reminder of school rules and codes etc.
  • Birthday Assembly KS1 every Wednesday KS1 celebrate the uniquness and worth of children who have recently had a birthday.
  • Key Stage 2 Assembly every Wednesday. Focuses on similar themes to the Whole School Assembly but can be more focussed on the older children.
  • Celebration Assembly Fridays at 3.00pm. Parents are invited on a rolling programme (see newsletters for dates).

On days when the hall is being used, teachers hold a class assembly.

Parents have the right to withdraw a child from RE and/or Collective Worship. All such requests should be made in writing to the Headteacher. A provision will be made for any child so excused; a child cannot be excluded from the school for exercising this right.

Download the RE Policy here

Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)

This is a broadly-based area of the curriculum dealing with health education, including diet, exercise, rest, life-style, self-image, relationships, keeping safe, dealing with bullying and personal, social and emotional development. It includes drugs awareness and education.

The citizenship element involves children in learning about their place in society, their growing responsibility as citizens and as members of the global community, and their developing understanding of systems such as Democracy. The school has a School Council through which the children learn about citizenship issues. Many aspects of PSHCE are taught in an integrated way through other subjects, and through daily school routines, while some units are planned for separately.

An activity called ‘Circle Time’ is often used to explore moral and emotional issues. School assemblies reinforce the teaching of many of the themes covered in PSHCE.

Sex Education

This is an integral part of the PSHCE curriculum. Through the Science curriculum children learn about life cycles, including plant and animal (including human) reproduction and the care of the young. Care is taken to match appropriate teaching to the maturity of the child. We encourage our children to develop skills, values and attitudes that will give them confidence when coping with the physical, emotional and social changes of growing up. Sex education is placed in the moral framework of a caring, loving family relationship and showing respect for others as well as for themselves.

Parents are invited into school to look at the materials used for sex education in Year 6. During the next year we will be extending this education to appropriately include Year 5. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of sex education, except for the part which is a requirement of National Curriculum Science.

Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social Development

We aim, through the curriculum, to promote children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, in particular, develop principles for distinguishing between right and wrong.

Spiritual development involves the growth of one’s own sense of self and one’s place in the world. Children are encouraged to ask questions about the world, their own inner lives and non-material well-being.

We aim to promote enduring values, develop children’s integrity and autonomy and help them become responsible, caring citizens.

Children are helped to promote equal opportunities; to challenge discrimination and stereotyping; to make informed judgements and independent decisions, and to understand their rights and responsibilities.

We promote children’s self-esteem and emotional well-being and help them to form good relationships based on respect for themselves and others. Children are encouraged to respond positively to opportunities and challenges, to manage risk and cope with change and adversity.

Increasingly, we have used a wide range of resources and teaching/learning strategies, to support S.E.A.L (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).

The personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.

Sustainability

The importance of sustainability issues is now integral across the curriculum. Children learn about the need to sustain resources through being involved in initiatives such as recycling, waste management, conservation of energy, local organic farming etc.

Design and Technology

Children learn to design and make products using an increasingly wide range of materials, tools and developing skills.

They learn about the properties of these materials and about the different ways of shaping and joining them for different purposes. Children work on topics which develop their awareness of the design and purpose of artefacts, and their ability to evaluate their design and fitness for purpose.

As they get older they consider the effects of technological change on societies, past and present. This subject has many links with other areas of the curriculum, especially, Science, Mathematics, Art, History and Geography

Curriculum Enrichment

The school plans many activities throughout the year in order to enhance learning opportunities for children.

Teachers sometimes arrange educational visits for their classes to enhance a particular area of the curriculum they are studying. Some examples are: Whitby, Yorvik Viking Centre, art galleries, museums, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, features in the local community such as a farm or the church, a place of worship, theatre, sports centres etc.

We also provide enrichment activities within school, inviting a range of visitors and providers of practical workshops in History, Music, Science, Design and Technology, PE. These are very valuable experiences which help to bring subjects to life and make learning memorable for the children.

We take advantage of many opportunities to invite sports coaches into school who work with classes on a range of activities such as gymnastics, football, rugby and dance. Some of these activities involve sponsorship which raises funds for both the school and a charity.

Charging for School Activities

The school is entitled to charge for certain activities (under the 1988 Education Act) including some of the enrichment activities described above. Parents are asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of such visits/activities on the understanding that the activity may not take place if insufficient funds are received.

A charge will normally be made for an activity wholly out of school hours which is not a part of the National Curriculum or statutory religious education. Such activities are not compulsory eg. theatre visits.

For a visit within school hours parents may be asked for a contribution to cover the cost. Children will not be excluded if a contribution is not made for them, and the contributions of others will not be used to subsidise them. If, however, there are insufficient funds available, the activity may have to be cancelled. We aim to subsidise as much of the cost of these experiences as we can but this is largely dependent on the income generated for School Fund.

There is a charge for the extra-curricular music tuition provided by Artforms peripatetic teachers. Parents will also be required to purchase or hire an instrument. (This can be done more cheaply
through the school.) If parents or carers have problems contributing they are welcome to discuss this with the Headteacher who will assist them in any way possible.

Sending money into school

At any one time throughout the year we may be collecting money for a variety of reasons. Therefore, we ask parents to ensure that money sent into school is in a sealed envelope with details of the contents, together with the child’s name and class written on the outside. Parents are sometimes asked to make a voluntary contribution towards the cost of articles made in art / craft / cookery.

Educational Visits

Planning for educational visits always includes a thorough risk assessment and planning procedure, and sufficient adult supervision appropriate to the safety and well-being of the children and the nature of the activity being undertaken.

All planning and arrangements are made in line with Local Authority and National guidelines. No child may take part without written parental consent. Sometimes we ask parents if they would like to volunteer to accompany classes on educational visits, but parents are not permitted to supervise their own children for health and safety reasons.

If you are having trouble downloading the documents, you can download pdf reader here.

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