At Lower Heath CE Primary School we provide a broad and rich curriculum which promotes a love of learning, personal growth and development through a balance of skills and knowledge.
Our curriculum coverage provides:
- Opportunities that develop a love of learning.
- A wide range of experiences which make learning relevant and to the pupils.
- Opportunities for pupils to investigate, make links and apply their skills across the curriculum.
- Opportunities for pupils to share their learning and learn from others
tools and skills pupils need to become independent learners.
Spring Term 2019
The 7 Rs of Learning at Lower Heath CE Primary School
In order that children develop the skills of life long learning, we have a whole school system of using the ‘7Rs of Learning’. These are fully embedded into all of our teaching, in every lesson, with staff reminding children how important they are not just now, but for the rest of the children’s lives.
We want our children to be…
Resourceful – when faced with a new situation, they can choose and use equipment and ways of working resourcefully in order to get a job done.
Responsible – children need to understand that the person who can affect their learning most is them; responsible learners try their best which is what we want all of our children at Lower Heath to do.
Good at Reasoning – when faced with a problem, children need to be able to think through what is needed, decide on the best course of action and think through how they can work it out, whether it’s a maths problem, an art problem or any other situation that needs to be resolved.
Resilient – keeping on going even when things are hard is so very important, but we want our children to be resilient so that whenever they find things hard in their lives they know that, if they keep on going, they’ll be able to achieve things they thought they couldn’t.
Good Risk takers – the confidence to try new things is key to learning new skills. At Lower Heath we really encourage children to have a go at new things, whether it’s playing handbells, trying a new method for addition or using a new art technique, we want them to try something new with confidence, knowing that we are here to support them.
Reflective – the ability to reflect on what we are doing, how we’re doing it and whether we could do it better is essential to learning new things. We always tell children at Lower Heath that it’s OK to make a mistake, as long as you learn from it. Being reflective is key to this, and is a good skill for them to develop in readiness for later life.
These 7 Rs of learning are displayed prominently in all classes and in the school hall and form a crucial part of our learning curriculum at Lower Heath. It has been lovely to hear stories from children about when they have used these 7Rs at home, too, with one little boy recalling a story about how his dad was struggling to cut some wood. He told us, “I said, ‘Come on, daddy, keep on going – be resilient!’
The mathematics curriculum is made of three different strands: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. All three aspects are equally important and are inter-dependent upon one another.
Fluency: This aspect of mathematics is concerned with rapid and accurate recall and application of knowledge. Children need to be fluent in calculation methods and recall of facts so they can apply them in a range of situations. At Lower Heath, we follow our calculation policies for multiplication, division, addition and subtraction. These policies can be accessed below.
Reasoning: This aspect of mathematics is concerned with developing the children’s ability to find patterns and relationships, develop an argument and provide proof. At Lower Heath, we aim to develop reasoning skills in all the mathematics we carry out and encourage children to explain their reasoning to us and to each other.
Problem Solving: This aspect of mathematics is concerned with the application of children’s mathematical knowledge in a range of different problem solving contexts. To be good mathematicians, children need to be able to break a problem down into simple steps and show resilience when they encounter difficulties. At Lower Heath, we give children a range of different problems and teach children problem solving skills in a range of contexts. Through problem solving situations, we aim to demonstrate to children how the mathematics they learn in school can be applied to their everyday lives.
At Lower Heath, we believe that children learn best when they have access to a range of high quality mathematical equipment, models and images. This enables children to develop their own mental images that will secure their understanding of different aspects of mathematics.
Below is an overview of the literacy objectives from the National Curriculum which are covered in each year group, as well as a medium-term plan showing the spelling, punctuation and grammar objectives which are taught each half term.
At Lower Heath, synthetic phonics is taught as the main approach to early reading. Daily phonics sessions are taught from nursery to Year 2, but for some children the teaching of phonics continues in Key Stage 2 if this is necessary. These sessions follow the government published programme of ‘Letters and Sounds’. Each session is a daily 30-minute structured lesson, where the children have the opportunity to practice reading and writing. It is a fun session with lots of speaking and listening and working with a partner.
‘Letters and Sounds’ is split into 6 phases. These are expected to be taught during the following years, however this again may vary according to the needs of the children.
Phase 1 Nursery
Phase 2, 3, 4 Reception
Phase 4, 5, 6 Year 1
Phase 5, 6 Year 2
At each phase children are taught to recognise individual sounds, pairs and clusters of letters. In phonic sessions children are taught to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition.
In 2012 a statutory check was introduced in Year 1. The check assesses phonics knowledge learnt in Reception (phase 3) and in Year 1 (phase 4,5). It was developed to help identify the children who need extra help with decoding and blending before they begin Year 2.
At Lower Heath our core reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree, however this is supplemented with a range of schemes which will support your child in the process of learning to read. Once we are happy that your child has reached a certain level within the scheme they become ‘free readers’ which means that they move onto short stories and short fiction books, this can be at any point in your child’s learning journey, it all depends on the individual child.
During each week, your child will be involved in a variety of reading tasks such as:
- Reading with the teacher during guided reading.
- Reading with a teaching assistant on a one-to-one basis.
- Reading independently during our daily reading time.
- Paired reading.
- Reading as a class or group.
- A follow-up activity, which could involve working in their Reading Journals or completing a quiz on Accelerated Reader.
Please also read with your child at home and encourage them to read for pleasure.
Children take home spellings each week to learn to reinforce phonics covered in class, or they are spellings that are connected to the National Curriculum.
Spelling tests take place on a weekly basis, again we ask you to support your child with this.
We have now been using Accelerated Reader at Lower Heath for 12 months. It is a great way of measuring and monitoring children’s reading ages (every term), and is really helpful in tracking the progress of children who are no longer on ‘book bands’ and are considered ‘free readers’.
Children usually start to access the programme in Year 1 or 2, whenever they are ready to move away from book bands. Once they start, you will see their reading age in their reading records (which you can compare to their actual age), and you will see a book level which should help your child to choose reading books at an appropriate level.
As a Church of England school, two thirds of our RE curriculum focuses on Christianity. For these elements of RE, we use ‘Understanding Christianity’, a new resource which is informative and engaging, and endorsed by Lichfield Diocese.
For the other elements of RE, we cover Islam and Judaism.
Our long term planning can be found below, along with our RE policy.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Curriculum
Below is an outline of how we at Lower Heath promote British values, and support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils.
PHSE and Citizenship
Below is an outline of what is covered as part of our PHSE curriculum in each term, and in each year group.
Some of the topics are covered as discreet PHSE lessons, and others are incorporated into other areas of the curriculum.
Not all of the topics will be covered every year; issues are addressed on a rolling programme, re-visited at different depths, and are often moved to different times of the year according to the needs of the pupils.
˜Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment ˜ – Forest Education Initiative (FEI)
We are pleased to have a Forest School area at Lower Heath which gives us even more opportunities to take our curriculum outdoors. Forest School sessions are based on the Scandinavian idea of using the outdoor environment as a learning opportunity. Sessions have a holistic approach, which develops children’s self-esteem, confidence, independence, communication and language skills. Forest School sessions can be linked to topics being studied in the classroom, or may stand alone and take a more nature based approach.
A typical session would provide children with a small practical task to achieve, which may, for example, involve using tools, building shelters, designing an animal home or making a stick man from the treasures they find on the forest floor. It could even be toasting a marshmallow around the fire square!
We are very lucky at school to have a lovely site available to us within our school grounds which allows us the regular access that is needed to follow the Forest School ethos.
If you would like to know more about Forest School at Lower Heath, please contact Mrs. Sadler, who will be very happy to show you around the lovely Forest School area.