The Curriculum at Long Wittenham Primary School
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
At Long Wittenham Primary School, our curriculum is based on our 5 learning behaviours: respect, resourcefulness, resilience, reflection and responsibility. We have adopted an experiential approach to teaching and learning because our vision is to provide the very best experiences to enable our pupils to thrive.
Experiential learning is,
‘…a philosophy that informs many methodologies in which educators purposefully engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop people's capacity to contribute to their communities….It is often utilized in many disciplines and settings: outdoor and adventure education, non-formal education, place-based education, project-based learning, global education, environmental education, student-centered education, informal education, active learning, service learning, cooperative learning and expeditionary learning.’ -The Association for Experiential Learning
In teaching our pupils to become reflective, resourceful, resilient, respectful and responsible, we build their core skills of being a good self-manager, team player, reflective learner, effective participator, resourceful thinker and independent enquirer (Empowering Learners - Focus Education), all of which are celebrated in all aspects of teaching and learning.
Of course, in order to build these skills, we plan a curriculum rich in exciting and inspiring content that often encompasses a whole school topic based around a big question aimed at engaging all pupils. As much as possible, we use pupil voice to plan, ensuring that our children tell us what they would like to learn and what interests them and then we match the subject with The National Curriculum objectives.
Our pupils' love of learning is reinforced in their experience at Forest School which lies just beyond our school grounds. Each and every child attends Forest School one afternoon per week for half of the academic year. This provision is a perfect way in which to consolidate our 5 Rs: our essential learning behaviours here at Long Wittenham.
Here at Long Wittenham Primary School we follow the Talk for Writing (TfW) model.
The 3 stages of TfW are: immersion, innovation and invention. All 3 stages are covered and pupils complete a piece of writing every day in their Big Learning Books. This ensures that every child has the opportunity to practice their writing every day.
At the start of a unit of work, our pupils carry out a ‘cold’ writing task which provides an accurate assessment of their skills to date. Following this task, our teachers teach to the specific needs of each child to ensure that they make rapid progress. In order to accurately assess this progress, our pupils then go on to produce a ‘hot’ writing task which performs the basis of assessment evidence for that unit of work.
All classes at Long Wittenham School follow the Whole Class Guided Reading methodology, ensuring all of our pupils are given exposure to challenging texts to support their inference and deduction skills whilst building on their reasoning skills at the same time. All classes also take part in Reading Buddies once per week where they team up with a younger class and share stories together.
Pupils are required to read their school reading book 5x per week and parents are asked to record this reading to feedback to teachers and teaching assistants regarding their child’s progress. Of course, staff and volunteers read with your child too. This can be recorded in their yellow reading diary, and/or our records in class.
Mathematics at Long Wittenham School is taught using the Maths Mastery approach. This ensures a deep understanding of mathematical concepts throughout primary school. Pupils are taught to develop a fluency in maths without resorting to rote learning, meaning that they become better able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. This in turn means that they can apply their mathematical knowledge to specific problems and articulate their reasoning in a confident and succinct manner.
Early Years and Foundation Stage
The School’s curriculum includes all the areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and the core and foundation subjects specified in the Key Stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum established in 2014, with the appropriate levels of study for each age group. We follow the letter and sounds guidance when teaching Phonics.
The curriculum areas are as follows:
Communication, Language and Literacy
Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
In addition, your child will study Religious Education following the agreed RE syllabus.
The six key skills we wish to promote across the school are:
- Communication through reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Application of number, shape, space and measure
- Using Information Technology
- Working with others
- Improving own learning and performance
- Problem solving
Other skills on which we place a great importance include:
- Information-processing skills
- Reasoning skills
- Enquiry skills
- Creative thinking skills
- Reflection and evaluation skills
- Risk taking and resilience