Edith Cavell Lower School
Literacy unites the important skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. During Literacy work the children participate in shared reading and writing activities as well as independent and small group work.
Classes in Key Stage Two have at least a daily hour of literacy focussing on reading and writing. In Key Stage One and the Foundation Stage the literacy teaching has been adapted so that we can teach the children through the Sounds Write programme which is delivered in separate sections throughout the day.
Reading – Principal Aim
To teach children to read with confidence, fluency and understanding. To promote a love of books and literature.
We recognise the good experience of books and other literature that our children have. Reading is taught through the sharing of books, building of phonics and the learning of sight vocabulary. Our children are encouraged to discuss, predict and reflect upon what has been read. Children read individually as well as in guided group reading sessions. Reading books are brought home daily and we ask that parents indicate daily when reading has taken place at home. Our children are encouraged to read for pleasure and find information. Children may borrow books from our library.
Parents are expected to be actively involved in the process of reading with their child and on Friday mornings from 8.45am to 8.55am parents can come into school to change a child’s home reader, chat with the teacher and listen to their child read.
Writing – Principle Aim
To make children confident and competent writers. To know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres. To obtain satisfaction, and joy from written activities.
Our children are given many opportunities across the whole curriculum to write for a variety of purposes. This includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, instruction, play writing, letter writing etc. Children are involved in marking their own work and given supportive feedback after their writing so that they can improve their skills further. This is shown by the use of ‘tickled pink’ and ‘green for growth’ highlighting. The children are aware of their targets in writing and are involved in the reviewing process.
We recognise the importance of good handwriting and teach a cursive style. The children learn to join up their handwriting towards the end of the Reception Year. It is essential that children are taught the correct letter formation and that errors are picked up and corrected early so they do not hamper pupil’s later progress.
Children will be taught to spell accurately through the understanding of the sound and spelling system. We use the Sounds Write Programme across the school in a daily focused session on phonics across Key Stage 1 and in Key Stage 2 where required. The children are taught to use dictionaries and thesaurus to support their writing and spelling.
Speaking & Listening - Principle Aims:
To enable children to become confident speakers expressing accurately their feelings, observations and understanding. To help the children become sympathetic listeners able to reflect upon what they have heard in a variety of contexts.
Speaking and listening skills are encouraged from the outset. It is essential that our children are good communicators and listen well to other children and adults alike. We give many opportunities for children to work together with partners and small groups to achieve this.
We aim to provide our children with rich, enjoyable and practical experiences in Mathematical education.
All pupils have daily mathematics lessons that begin with a mental arithmetic starter. Children are encouraged to be able to work out answers to questions quickly in their heads. We use a variety of practical resources to develop secure understanding. Children regularly practise the four operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, so they can calculate efficiently.
Different learning approaches are used such as paired problem solving, using computer programmes and practising calculations.
Mathematics is about the world around us. Children use the skills and understanding that they learn in Mathematics lessons to make sense of today’s world and prepare for the future. By providing the children with challenging activities, we allow them to explore this fascinating subject and gain understanding as well as the facts and skills.
The children discover, patterns in numbers, and look at shape, space and measure and ways to handle data so that they are equipped with the ability to tackle everyday problems as they arise.
Children are prepared for the challenges of the future by giving them confidence in mathematics. Each child has a set of individual targets which help to individualise learning and be successful in their learning. They use and apply their knowledge which they have gained through games, practical investigations, application and experiences. Talk is important to confirm their knowledge and understanding. All these experiences are powerful tools that engage children and encourage them to think in a mathematical way, allowing them to become confident Mathematicians.
The need to gain a greater understanding of the key concepts of Science is becoming ever greater in a world which is seeking to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, and in which technologies are rapidly advancing. Within our Science curriculum we provide many opportunities for pupils to explore both the natural and man-made world in which we live.
Children are naturally inquisitive, exploring the world around them from a very early age. They do this in practical ways by interacting with their physical environment. In Science we encourage children to explore their ideas, observe their effects, develop new ideas and then test them. Children work on a variety of activities designed to develop their knowledge and understanding of life processes and living things, materials and their properties and physical processes. Their understanding is challenged through guidance, practical activities and teaching which extends their knowledge and investigative skills progressively.
In order to engage and enthuse pupils three science weeks are run throughout the year. In addition to this children can attend Science club and take part in Science events such as Science Day which is run as part of Science and Engineering week.
ICT skills and techniques are taught in our computer suite and classrooms. These skills are also transferred into all other curriculum areas. Safe use of technology, both PC and mobile devices are also taught prior to any internet use. We have a wide range of computer systems and Interactive Whiteboards that are used to support children of all abilities. Having internet access, digital recording and a wide range of programmes in every subject we ensure that learning is fun, visually interesting and interactive for the children. The experiences gained also prepare children for the ever growing, widespread use of different technology in the ‘every day’ world.
Using the National Curriculum programmes of study as a guideline, teachers plan activities within Key Stage ‘themes’ as part of an overall ‘creative curriculum’.
Children are interested in the world around them and its past. The study of History makes a valuable contribution to their understanding of all aspects of life giving a sense of identity and heritage.
The topic work is planned to achieve a balance between chronological understanding, knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes, historical interpretation and historical enquiry.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes that shape them, and the people who live in them.
There is a planned balance between geographical enquiry and skills, place and location and environment within our Geography curriculum.
There are also wonderful opportunities for expert visitors and/ or educational trips to engage the children and make the teaching of History and Geography come alive.
We encourage our pupils through art to stimulate creativity and imagination. Our topic based curriculum provides opportunities for visual, tactile and sensory experiences and a special way of understanding and responding to the world. This enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Children learn to review their work and become confident to make changes in order to improve and develop their ideas.
They explore ideas and meanings through the work of artists and designers. Through learning about the roles and functions of art, they can explore the impact it has had on contemporary life and that of different times and cultures.
The appreciation and enjoyment of the children’s work is valued in displays in classrooms and around the school.
Everyone in school is encouraged to sing for pleasure and this is done both as a class, and as a whole school.
We have a range of musical equipment and all the children have the opportunity to participate in music in class, through dedicated music lessons and in assemblies. Violin, guitar and drum lessons are offered by peripatetic music teachers. Children can also learn the recorder at a lunchtime club.
The children listen to a culturally rich variety of recorded music.
Edith Cavell Lower School recognises that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil’s physical development, well-being and overall education. It can teach the pupils, through purposeful experiences, to understand and value the benefits of participation in physical activity whilst at school and throughout life. A broad and balanced physical education curriculum is intended to facilitate the development of the pupil’s body awareness, self-confidence and enjoyment of the activity. It is intended that pupils, irrespective of their innate ability, will enjoy success and achieve their full potential in P.E. The pupils are offered a wide range of extra-curricular sports activities as well as participation in numerous sporting events over the course of the school year.
The school follows the Bedfordshire Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. This seeks to develop knowledge and understanding of different faiths while valuing the children’s own beliefs. Drama, music, art, and role-play are all used as teaching tools for RE. There is Collective Worship each day. This may be whole school, Key Stage or class based. Visitors, drama and storytelling form the focus of many of our assemblies. Both Christian and non- Christian festivals are celebrated throughout the year. Parents may withdraw their child from RE and/or Collective Worship. If you are considering this, please discuss the matter with the Head teacher.
We aim to teach Design Technology skills through practical experience, working with a range of materials both independently and during planned design and make tasks. From the Foundation Stage up to Year 4 children are encouraged to experiment with construction kits, sheet materials (card and papers), reclaimed materials (cereal boxes, yoghurt pots, etc), wood, textiles and food. This experience forms the background knowledge and engenders the skills needed to complete specific design and projects as children move through the school. Children are always encouraged to design, make, improve and evaluate their work, which can be seen displayed attractively throughout the school.
Personal and Social Education
Personal, Social, Health Citizenship and Economic Education (PSHCEE) helps to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. The children raise money to support local and national charities. Children are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities across the curriculum and to take on roles of responsibility within the school, developing their self-esteem, so they recognise their own worth, work well with others and become responsible for their own learning. Achievements are celebrated during Friday Assembly and each class presents an assembly during the school year.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children begin exploring other languages from an early age. In EYFS and KS1 children are introduced to simple vocabulary such as hello, goodbye and thank you, in a range of languages. These languages are introduced through topic work and the sharing of languages and cultures of the children at our school. Children begin to learn French in year 3 and continue to do so until the end of year 4. Speaking and listening skills are taught from the outset with a focus on pronunciation and understanding. The skills of reading and writing are introduced towards the end of year 4. Opportunities to practice what children have learnt in French are given throughout the day, for example, answering the register in French or the teacher giving classroom instructions in French. We use a variety of techniques to encourage the children to engage actively in the modern foreign language: these include games, role-play and songs. In the summer term Spanish and Italian clubs are run for children in KS2 which have an emphasis on fun and practical learning.