The Curriculum at Maybury Primary School
Our Learning Philosophy
At our school we believe that “everyone is a learner and every experience is a learning opportunity.” Our primary aim is to develop a love of learning through meaningful, engaging and creative learning experiences. We aspire to enable each child to become an active member of our school and the wider community.
We are a multicultural and diverse school community where all pupils are equally valued. We use children’s experiences to deepen and extend their understanding about each other and the world in which they live. These experiences are vital in enriching the revised National Curriculum that we follow to enable every child to excel. We celebrate all major religious festivals and mark significant events in the national calendar.
Children’s learning is supported by exciting and inspiring trips both in the local area and further afield. In addition to this we organise regular visits from artists, performers and visitors. In Year 4, our children have a sleep-over at school and in Year 6 all children have the opportunity to go on a two night residential trip. We enrich the learning experiences that our children have with specialist teaching in music and physical education. The children have the opportunity to enter more able Maths workshops, compete in PE competitions and enter writing competitions. We also offer a wide range of popular after school clubs which are free to all children, including: sports, art, DT, music, computing, timetable, board games, book and writing clubs. Furthermore, we have a trained Forest Schools teacher who delivers Forest schools lessons to children throughout the school in our purpose built Forest School area.
We provide a personalised curriculum for New Arrivals and children with English as an additional language, which involves clear language modelling and vocabulary development through Quality First Teaching and using interventions such as ‘Race into English’. We provide a range of first hand, multi-sensory learning opportunities throughout our curriculum. We teach ‘Word of the day’ in Key Stage 2 and ‘Word of the week’ in Key Stage 1 to enhance children’s vocabulary.
OFSTED (2018) “You and your staff are motivated by an astute awareness of the pupils in the school and their diverse range of needs. Collectively, you are determined that pupils have every opportunity to succeed and you work persistently towards achieving this goal”.
Our children’s safety in modern society is paramount to us and we consider internet safety to be an essential skill to teach. We have an annual ‘Internet Safety Week’, half termly online safety lessons and regular parent workshops. Our children are also taught about road, fire and water safety.
OFSTED (2018) “ All parents….said that their children feel safe at school and are well looked after. Pupils learn how to make sensible choices, considering topics such as online safety, road safety and when to call 999…. They [the children] play their part in promoting safety”.
These experiences, which are ever evolving to meet the needs of our children, help bring learning to life and make it memorable for our children.
Our curriculum is underpinned by a strong values based ethos which helps our children understand about their responsibilities to themselves and others. We have high expectations of all our children and encourage them from the outset to be aspirational and self- reflective individuals. They appreciate that our children live in ‘complex and demanding times’ (Claxton, 2011) and as a result our curriculum takes their personal development and welfare into account.
OFSTED (2018) “Your school is a vibrant and purposeful place. Pupils enjoy coming to school[...]Pupils are friendly and courteous. Their conduct is excellent. This contributes to the positive learning atmosphere that is evident around the school”.
Accessibility and Support
Our highly qualified staff use their expertise to skilfully scaffold and support children’s learning across all curriculum areas. Children are carefully observed and assessed at ongoing and regular intervals to ensure that the learning opportunities we provide are relevant and responsive to individual needs. We utilise a number of targeted interventions and adaptations to the curriculum in order to present our children with additional challenges or support as appropriate. These focused interventions include: Reading Recovery, Numbers Count, Boosting Reading at Primary (BRP) Talking Partners, Talk Boost, firstclass@number, Success@Arithmetic, Early Literacy Support (ELS), literacy interventions using Fischer Family Trust materials and web based support through online learning platforms such as Lexia. Staff regularly work with link professionals such as speech therapists , educational psychologists or specialist teachers to receive training which enables them to support the specific needs of individual pupils.
In addition, we recognise the importance of promoting pupil emotional wellbeing and we have a number of high quality interventions which can be used to address the needs of individuals and groups of children. These include Lego based interventions, Drawing and Talking therapy and Young Carers drop in sessions. We are fortunate to have a trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who provides support to a number of pupils helping to develop their confidence, social skills and self-esteem.
We value and encourage parental involvement and the benefits this has for children’s learning and development. We fully support our parents through focused parent workshops where we model how we teach children and show parents how they can best promote their child’s learning in specific areas.
OFSTED (2018) “Parents and carers have great confidence in the school. They feel supported by the caring and open ethos that is evident throughout”.
Each class has a dedicated page on our school website with ideas and strategies for parents on how to support their child’s learning at home. In the foundation stage classes parents are invited to complete ‘Proud Clouds’ to share and celebrate their children’s learning achievements at home. All children have home reading records and we encourage parents to make comments in these.
We hold regular parent/teacher meetings to inform parents about their child’s progress and to share individual targets. In between these times, parents are encouraged to come into school for half termly parent drop ins to look at books and talk to the class teacher in a more informal setting. We are also fortunate to have a full time, bilingual, home/school link worker who works closely with our families.
Learning in the Foundation Stage
Learning in the Early Years at Maybury is informed by the Foundation Stage curriculum guidance, ‘Development Matters’ (2012) and builds upon what our children already know and can do. It recognises and provides for children that have different starting points from which they develop their new learning. The curriculum is structured into seven distinct areas of learning. There are three prime areas: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development. In addition to this there are four specific areas, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Essential to these areas of learning are the ways in which children learn: through playing and exploring, active learning and creative and critical thinking. Many of the activities that take place incorporate more than one area of learning.
OFSTED 2018 “The strong progress that the children make during their time in Nursery and Reception prepares them very well for kay stage 1”.
Research has shown that young children learn best through exploration and play and by building on personal interests and experiences to motivate and encourage them. At Maybury we deliver learning for all of the areas through: purposeful play and learning experiences, with a balance of adult-led and child-initiated activities. Children and adults engage in exploratory, practical and hands on active learning, where creativity and independence are developed, supported and extended and all areas of learning and development are implemented. Our learning experiences take place both indoors and in our outdoor learning classrooms
At Maybury our EYFS practitioners are highly skilled in observations, knowing that what is seen, heard or done informs the next steps to each child’s learning. The observations gathered, are collected using Tapestry which parents can read and add to themselves, thus collecting a whole picture of what the child can achieve both at home and at school. We measure the progress and success that children make towards the Early Learning Goals continuously during the foundation year. Their achievements are reported to parents at the end of the Foundation Stage as they move into Year 1.
OFSTED 2015 “Early years teaching is outstanding. The school uses the extremely rich Nursery and Reception indoor and outdoor classrooms to promote learning exceptionally well. Children’s achievement in the early years is outstanding. All groups of children, including disadvantaged children and those who have special educational needs, make rapid progress “
Pupils are given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills across all lessons.
All children have individual targets and effective and relevant feedback at the end of lessons celebrates their successes and informs them of their next steps using a ‘wish’ approach. Children are encouraged to respond to the feedback given.
Within any class there will be a range of abilities and teachers plan to ensure that any learning opportunities are carefully differentiated according to the needs of all pupils. This may be through adaptation of the objectives, resources or environment or by differing outcomes. Supporting adults are used in the most effective way to support this learning whilst still allowing children to develop confidence in their own independent abilities.
High quality texts are integral to our teaching of writing, together with a range of age specific resources and the use of technology. Children learn about a range of genres throughout the year. They focus on the key features for each genre and learn the skills to write in that particular genre. The different genres are then retaught throughout the school, ensuring that there is progression between the year groups.
Each half term the children complete an unaided piece of writing which is used with other evidence to build up a picture of each child’s strengths and next steps in writing. The teachers work together in school and with partnering school to moderate this work.
During ‘Writing Workshops,’ children are grouped by ability to ensure that the learning is at the most appropriate level for their needs. This is taught three times a week for 30 minutes in KS2 and every day in KS1, in addition to the literacy session and Reading Roundabout. The main emphasis of this teaching is on phonics and grammar and teachers use ‘Letters and Sounds’, online ‘Phonics Play’ activities and ‘Jolly Grammar.’
OFSTED (2018) “Pupil demonstrate pride in their work, presenting it with consistent care”
Speaking and Listening
We aim for children to become clear, fluent and confident speakers and we provide a range of speaking and listening opportunities, such as, drama, presenting, questioning and the use of ‘Talk Buddies’. Teachers also utilise strategies for ‘Talk for Writing’. Children are encouraged to articulate their thinking before writing.
Maybury is a ‘Every Child a Reader’ we have specialist reading teacher who provides our ‘Reading Recovery’ programme as well as trained support staff who deliver targeted intervention such as Boosting Reading @ Primary, Early Literacy Support (ELS), FFT and Inference development. School Reading levels are assessed regularly using the Benchmarking materials. Our school has a new, well - stocked library and excellent resources to support all areas of the curriculum. We teach explicit inference skills using a range of resources including "Cracking Comprehension."
We develop children’s comprehension skills through Read Aloud, Think Aloud. These are strategies we teach during Read Aloud, Think Aloud:
1. Use our background knowledge and connect to text.
2. Predict, ask questions, I wonder…
4. Think like a detective-use inference
5. Notice breakdown and repair
6. Watch out for VIP words/phases/ideas… and put together to build GIST
Handwriting (Foundation Stage and Year 1)
Handwriting is taught using the ‘PenPals’ scheme which is a multisensory, pre-cursive model. This is introduced in the foundation stage through the use of fine motor skills practice activities. Children in Reception use Read, Write, Inc. rhymes to develop letter formations.
Handwriting (Year 2 and Key Stage 2)
Children are encouraged to write using the cursive script. Children practice their handwriting in a range of activities throughout the school day including; writers workshop, writing in their literacy lesson, spelling practice and many more.
We have a structured and effective system for teaching essential literacy skills such as phonics, spelling and grammar through our Reading Roundabout and Writers Workshops. Children learn to write for a range of purposes and audiences. They will learn the skills through different genres including fiction and non- fiction with the emphasis being on writing for a purpose.
Maths at Maybury provides a foundation for understanding the world; the ability to reason and problem solve mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
There is a strong emphasis on Mastery, which means children having a secure understanding of mathematical concepts and processes, combined with a genuine procedural fluency. Children are able to apply their understanding of a concept in a wider variety of contexts, some of which are more difficult. They can manipulate the facts they know and the skills they possess in order to solve more complex problems.
At Maybury, there is an expectation that all children can succeed in maths, giving children a secure and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts by developing consistent models and images throughout all year groups. Teachers ensure that children are fluent in mathematical procedures and number facts by rehearsing these in systematic ways. Children who master a concept easily are expected to deepen their understanding, for example by applying it to solve problems embedded in mathematical investigations or more complex contexts. Children who do not master an objective with the rest of the class are supported to enable them to gain more experience and achieve mastery, for example through same-day intervention, plus longer-term help if necessary.
Maybury is fortunate to have a specialist maths teacher who provide the ‘Numbers Count’ programme as well as trained support staff who deliver targeted interventions such as ‘First Class @ Number’ and ‘Success @ Arithmetic’.
All children at Maybury have access to Abacus at school and at home, which is a unique maths toolkit that is carefully crafted to help inspire a genuine love of maths and help every child to master the national curriculum through fun and interactive games. KS2 also use Timestable Rockstars to promote quick recall of number facts.
Science teaching enables children to broaden their scientific view of the world around them, progressing to a wider range of scientific ideas. The children will do this through exploring and talking about their ideas; asking their own questions; and solving problems. At Maybury, we aim to deliver a high quality science education, which provides children with a secure understanding of the world we live in. We aim to help children develop an understanding of key scientific concepts whilst engaging in meaningful enquiry. We strive to provide extra-curricular activities for children in science including our annual science week in June and trips within the local area that enable children to consolidate and maintain their curiosity in science.
OFSTED (2018) “They [the children] feel sufficiently challenged by their work and relish the opportunity to think more deeply….teachers use questioning well to probe and broaden pupils’ understanding”.
The Foundation Curriculum
In each year group children cover the New National Curriculum (2014) through a range of exciting learning experiences. Learning for Geography, History, Art and design, Design and technology and Music is taught through a cross curricular approach and themed units of work. History is taught in chronological order and the school utilises school trips, visitors, artefacts and other high quality resources to bring each topic to life. Where possible, links are made to our local area during Geography lessons and our international week provides the children with a rich understanding of a range of different cultures and traditions. At Key Stage 2 children will begin to learn French as an introduction to modern language.
Children are also given ‘100 things to do before you leave Maybury’, including: bake bread; build a den; and go to the theatre. These are intended to expand our children’s life experiences.
Computing is integral to children’s learning across the curriculum. We recognise that the use of information communication technology is a central part of our children’s lives both at home and at a school. We aim for our children to confidently and independently use and apply these skills to support and extend their learning.
Children have shared access to 30 laptops, 30 iPads, flip cameras, desktop computers, magnifiers, recording equipment and a range of software. The children are both taught and assessed using Interactive whiteboards, visualisers, iPods, digital cameras, voice recorders, and numerous other technologies. The children also have access to a SMART table that allows them to learn in small groups on more focused and personalised tasks. Our school also subscribes to a number of online resources including PurpleMash, Phonics Play and RM Maths. We have a range of programming hardware and software available to the children to help teach the computing curriculum in a fun and engaging way such as Scratch, Beebots, Probot and a Makey Makey.
Digital Literacy is a big part of the curriculum, with children learning how to use ICT safely – at regular points throughout the year children undertake online safety sessions on topics such as cyberbullying or keeping information safe as well as having lessons in class.
In Physical Education children have the opportunity to engage in a variety of team games including football and hockey, as well as learning about gymnastics and dance. In these sessions, they learn about the rules of the games as well as developing different sporting skills. Swimming is taught during Key Stage 1 and 2. We have good links with our neighbouring schools and our children enjoy participating in inter-schools matches and activities. They also enjoy taking part in intra-school competitions where sports teams within the school play against each other. We have strong links with staff at our local secondary school, who support and extend our teaching of physical education.
Religious Education is taught according to the updated 2017 agreed Surrey syllabus. This syllabus promotes tolerance of and respect for people of all faiths, cultures and lifestyles which supports our school’s multicultural beliefs. It focuses on teaching the children about all six of the main faiths. We demonstrate this through celebrating festivals from all faiths including Eid, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Harvest, Christmas and Easter. The new syllabus focuses on improving children’s understanding of each religion’s teaching by building on previous learning ensuring progression throughout their time at Maybury. The children are also taught units about comparison and spiritual development which encourage them to reflect on their learning about religion and life as well as how we can learn from religion.
Personal, Social and Health Education – Learning for Life
This is a key learning area which underpins all areas of the curriculum but is also taught in a more specific way through focused PSHE sessions. PSHE is now called Learning for Life as it covers the six areas which educate and prepare the children to be responsible citizens that understand what it is to have a healthy, physical and emotional lifestyle.
It is supported by our commitment to Values Education and our restorative approach to managing conflict. We explicitly learn a value each month including respect, tolerance and responsibility which reflects the fundamental British values. Children are given opportunities to make a positive contribution to the life of the school and all children are members of a ‘learning team’. We regularly participate in national and local focused weeks and projects such as ‘Anti- Bullying Week’, ‘Online Safety week’ and ‘MyMoneyWeek’ which help children to learn about keeping themselves safe, healthy and responsible citizens. Children also learn about others living in challenging circumstances and help to support charitable bodies and causes through national fundraising days such as ‘Children in Need’ and class ‘Enterprise’ weeks. Children learn about being part of the school community, local community and being part of the British society. Throughout the school the children learn about right and wrong through assemblies, role play and circle times. They are taught about human rights and what it is to live in a democracy. Learning for Life also teaches the children about finances, careers and gives them confidence to be what they want to be. In Upper Key Stage 2 children learn about the rule of the law and the British criminal justice system.
To find out about our curriculum click on the documents below: