Our Curriculum

Piddle Valley CE First School

Living, Growing, Loving, Learning

 

Our School Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

Each half term or termly in some instances, we send home a Parent Curriculum leaflet that shows which elements of the curriculum are being taught that half term through individual subjects or through a topic based curriculum.

On the Curriculum overview we provide ideas on how parents are able to support their child's learning. In the Early Years parents/carers are also invited to share ideas with their children in themes/topics that interest the children. This may be generated by a favourite story book, a family visit or an interest the child has expressed.

Our Curriculum

Intent

At Piddle Valley CE First School, every child's ability is valued and developed, underpinned by our Christian Core Values of respect, courage, responsibility, forgiveness and creativity. Our curriculum is shaped to meet individual needs and aspirations to ensure all our children are engaged and motivated to learn. We have high expectations across all aspects of the curriculum with a strong focus on English and Maths. We promote enjoyment for learning and encourage children to be independent and reflective learners.

Piddle Valley CE First School teaches the EYFS Framework and National Curriculum.

Religious Education is taught through Understanding Christianity/Discovery RE.

The school teaches Personal, Social and Health Education through the Jigsaw programme.

The school promotes a child-led curriculum that put our children and their interests at the heart of learning.

Music, Design and Technology, Computing, Art and Design and Humanities are all key areas of learning in our curriculum.

Through the curriculum, we give our children the opportunity to make suggestions on how we might approach a topic/theme as well as to ask questions they would like answered within the topic. The teachers’ then plan the topic based curriculum to reflect the ideas of our children ensuring full coverage of each age groups objectives. Due to our mixed age groups we follow a two year cycle across the school. We also work collaboratively with other schools within our mini pyramid as part of the Dorchester Area Schools Partnership (DASP).

We continue to promote our themed weeks/events such as Arts Week, Science Week, Healthy Body & Healthy Brain and Samba drumming workshops as we believe this enables our pupils to experience a wide range of learning opportunities and to work with artists and specialist teachers who really have a passion and knowledge for their subject.

The National Curriculum

The link below will take you to the National Curriculum page on the Department for Education website. Here, you can see the individual subject areas and year groups and how these subjects are to be taught. If you have any queries or wish to discuss your child's learning then please talk to your child's class teacher. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum

Implementation

Reading and Phonics: 

Here at Piddle Valley, we use the synthetic phonics programme, Little Wandle for Letters and Sounds Revised to teach reading. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is now validated by DfE (June 2021) and is included on their list of approved SSP programmes. Please refer to our page Phonics and Early Reading for detailed information about how we teach phonics.

Reading Books:

Our core reading scheme is Collins Big Cat Phonics Little Wandle for Letters and Sounds Revised

Oral language and reading: what should we foster and why?

Children’s proficiency in oral language is predictive of both the rate and the ease of reading development. Children who know the meanings of more words, who produce longer sentences, and who are better at understanding and recalling narratives, are more likely to develop effective
reading (and listening) comprehension skills than their peers. Successful reading extends beyond accurate word recognition; skilled readers are able to extract and construct meaning from a variety of texts with ease. So, activities to support reading and, critically, comprehension are central in Piddle Valley classrooms. Vocabulary (knowledge or word meanings) and grammar (understanding sentences) are taught through the rich language of books, high-quality interactions, story times and 1:1 Reading practice and Reading Skills sessions. More information about how we develop oral language, speaking and listening and reading skills (comprehension) can be found on the Reading Skills (VIPERS) page English pages.

Reading Skills (VIPERS):

Reception to Year 4 have daily Reading Skills sessions which focus upon the comprehension reading skills and strategies through VIPERS. These sessions are timetabled straight after lunch for 20 minutes in Reception and Year 1 and 30 minutes in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. All classes follow the same structured session with an emphasis placed upon oral and listening comprehension with additional recorded responses in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. Please refer to our Reading Skills page for further information.

Talk for Writing:

Talk for Writing is an engaging teaching framework developed by Pie Corbett, supported by Julia Strong. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version. At Piddle Valley, we use key texts from Pie Corbett's Reading Spine to structure our sequence of lessons. Please refer to our Talk for Writing page for more information.

Singapore Maths

The school has introduced ‘Maths No Problem’ using Singapore Maths strategies and teaching methods. We use the Maths No Problem scheme of textbooks and workbooks in class to give the structure of the learning and ensure coverage of all mathematical concepts are fully taught.

Singapore Maths emphases teaching pupils to solve problems and ensures that pupils learn concepts through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract learning (CPA).

We focus on our pupils being able to make connections in their learning and explain their reasoning. 

We have recently (November 2019) started using White Rose to supplement the teaching of maths across the school particularly to support mixed age groups. White Rose enables staff to introduce key vocabulary to the children as well as pose key questions related to a maths theme. We feel it is a useful vehicle to implement the pedagogy/intent of our maths curriculum.

The Early Years Curriculum From September 2012, our Pre-School and Reception class introduced the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The curriculum is implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.

Curriculum Outcomes

At the end of a topic, generally the end of a term the parents are invited into school for a ‘sharing’ of the children’s learning. This may be as an assembly or when parents come into the classroom to share displays, workbooks etc.