Curriculum Information

Visit our Pupil Year Group pages to see what the children have been doing this term.
 

Our school curriculum is broad and balanced in order to promote children’s intellectual, physical, personal, social, spiritual, moral and cultural development.  This includes the areas of learning when children begin school and the subjects of the National Curriculum, as they become older, including religious and health education.  Our curriculum is well planned and structured to meet the different abilities and learning needs of all children.  A programme of assemblies and a range of exciting extra curricular activities enrich the curriculum further.  Opportunities are provided to extend children’s experiences through day visits to places of educational interest.

 

Teaching organisation and methods

Teachers use a variety of strategies and methods to help children to learn.  A blend of whole class, group and individual teaching is used to suit the purpose of the lesson and the needs of the children.  Our teachers use a range of skills including demonstrating, explaining, instructing, questioning, evaluating and providing feedback.

 

Mixed Ability Classes and Ability Grouping

In the first instance, children are organised into registration classesIn all year groups parallel classes are formed. From the summer term in Year 1 up to Year 6, children are placed into sets for the teaching of  Reading, Writing and Mathematics. These groups are based on prior attainment and enable focused teaching within a defined range of abilities. This enables teachers to meet the different needs of children more fully.  Children’s attainment and progress is continually monitored and the composition of the ability groups is reviewed regularly and adjustments made. All classes benefit from the support of Teaching Assistants who work alongside teachers and children.

 

The Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS) Curriculum

The Early Years and Foundation Stage includes children who are of nursery age (3 to 4+), and reception age children who will become of statutory school age during that academic year. Children work towards the Early Learning Goals and their progress is tracked and reported to parents at the end of Reception.

We aim to help children learn through practical experience and play, both in and out of doors.  High priority is given to supporting language development and promoting positive attitudes towards learning.

 

The National Curriculum

The National Curriculum sets out what children between the ages of 5 and 16 should be taught.  The National Curriculum for children aged between 5 – 11 years is organised into two key stages:

Key Stage (KS)

Child Ages

Year Groups

KS1

5 – 7

Y1 and 2

KS2

7 – 11

Y3, 4, 5 and 6

 

Within each Key Stage, the National Curriculum sets out which subjects children should study. At Castlefield, English, Mathematics, information and communication technology (ICT) and Science are considered the core subjects.  Art, design and technology, geography, history, music, a modern foreign language and physical education are known as the foundation subjects.  Religious education is compulsory in both Key Stages but because local education authorities decide what is taught, it is not part of the National Curriculum.  The school follows Buckinghamshire’s Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. This has been established in consultation with representatives of all the main faiths.  In addition children follow a programme of personal, social, health education and citizenship.

 

Phonics

In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, phonics is taught in small, focused, ability groups. The school follows the 'Read, Write Inc' programme.  This continues into Key Stage 2 for children who still require support with early reading skills.

 

 

Maths Mastery
We are developing aspects of the Maths Mastery Curriculum which focuses on developing a deep understanding of the subject through a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach (see the diagram below for an example of this approach). This allows our pupils to visualise and explain clearly the mathematics which they are being taught.
 

Counting
Children count in many different ways such as: practising odd and even numbers; times tables; crossing hundred and thousand boundaries; and much more.  Encourage your child(ren) to become fluent counters by practising regularly at home counting in different amounts, starting at different numbers.  For example, practise counting in 3s, starting from 11, or count in 500s starting at 3200.

Mental Maths
Children should be able to explain their thinking about maths topics that they have learned in school.  They tackle questions like: ‘Explain how you know?’; ‘Do you agree or disagree with this answer?’; and ‘Which is the odd one out and why?’.  Help your child(ren) at home by asking them questions to solve in their heads in a short time limit.

Number Facts
It is important that children know a range of number facts appropriate to the level that they are working at.  This is because knowledge of number facts enables children to concentrate more on applying their knowledge to solve problems.  Examples of number facts that could be practised at home are: pairs of numbers that make 10, 20, 100, or 1 whole; times tables; equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages; and special numbers like prime numbers. 

Using objects, models and images 
In mathematics lessons, children use a range of equipment and diagrams to help them to understand how numbers work. We

Maths in the real world
Children will be shown how the mathematics that they learn is used in real life.  Talk to your child(ren) about the maths that you use in your day to day business, such as estimating how much a shopping bill will be.

 
English 
We use an approach to teaching English which broadens their range of experiences, encourages the children to be more engaged with their writing and creates interesting, purposeful pieces of writing.
 
Each term, the children are provided with an experience. This might take the form of a trip, visitors coming into school or themed days. For example Year 2 have enjoyed a trip to Windsor Castle and Fire Engines visiting school; Year 6 have taken part in a mock trial with local magistrates & had police officers visit; Year 3 hold a Stone Age Day where they dress up as cave people and hunt 'wild' animals on the field.
 
The experience then feeds into the writing curriculum and teachers plan purposeful writing opportunities which have been inspired by the experience. This might be to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to discuss.

To find out more about the Computing curriculum that we follow at Castlefield School, take a look at the Rising Stars website below.

https://www.risingstars-uk.com/Series/Switched-On-Computing

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