Whilst our Big Question curriculum ensures that there is progression through the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum, it is, more importantly, strongly centred on the characteristics of Enquiry Based Learning and collaboration, and has Social, Moral, Spritual and Cultural understanding at its heart. Learning in our school is characterised by the following elements:
- The starting point for learning is a Big Question question, to promote deep thinking and reflection. Learners are encouraged to create their own questions in response to it.
- Learners are taught the skills of, and have opportunities to: research evidence to answer questions, explain their findings and formulate arguments and justifications.
- Learners are taught the skills of, and have opportunities to collaborate with other learners to share ideas and skills, and extend their thinking.
- Learners develop the skills of demonstrating or explaining concepts orally, concretely, visually and abstractly.
- Learners become adept at applying skills or concepts across different contexts, automatically.
Speaking and listening, reading and writing is taught every day in creative ways, often using the Big Question as a stimulus, with opportunities to apply skills across the curriculum in different contexts.
Reading is taught using the Reciprocal Reading approach to develop the key skills of predicting, questioning, clarifying and summarising, which endure depth of understanding.
Writing is taught through a logical sequence of learning and practising the skills of composition, sentence structure, grammar and spelling, with opportunities to apply these to writing in different genres and contexts and for a rang of purposes and audiences.
Phonics is taught systematically, through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme using multi-sensory strategies, to provide a solid foundation for the later teaching of grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Maths teaching ensures a balance of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Fluency focuses on confidence with the four mathematical operations, and quick recall of facts such as number bonds, properties of shapes ,multiplication facts etc. Children are then given opportunities to reason, wonder about and investigate these, and to apply their skills and knowledge to solve 'real life' problems, and in different curriculum areas.
We follow the 'Understanding Christianity' programme, and the Kent Agreed Syllabus for RE
Big Question themes provide the framework for the teaching of Computing, Science, Art and Design, PSHEC, Design and Technology, Geography, History, Languages, Music and PE. This approach takes account of learners' own interests, and learners are involved in making choices and generating questions about their own learning.
- Themes address local, British and international issues and topics
- Outdoor and offsite learning is given a high profile, using our local environment as effectively as possible
- All curriculum areas and themes encourage and foster high levels of creativity
- Wide ranging opportunities are given for learners to apply their literacy and mathematics skills in meaningful contexts across all curriculum areas.
Please visit our class pages for details of the Big Question themes.
See below for our curriculum jigsaws, showing the yearly coverage for years 1 to 6.
EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)
In Foundation stage children learn through a variety of activities and experiences, with a strong focus on exploring and investigating. The learning environment is designed to promote collaborative learning, independence and the skills of evaluating their own learning. Children will demonstrate understanding of learning across 7 areas: -
3 Prime Areas:
Communication and Language
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
4 Specific Areas:
Understanding the World
Expressive Arts and Design