The Curriculum at Abbotsbury
At Abbotsbury we seek to make creative links between curriculum subject areas and make learning enjoyable and relevant for our children. We promote independent learning and the development of thinking skills. Much of the children’s learning centres around cross-curricular topics. We have recently begun to use a new curriculum, which is called The Inspire Curriculum and is based upon the model created by Cornwall Learning.
This curriculum covers all the programmes of study in the most recent National Curriculum and is organised into a series of exciting and motivating topic areas, which change every four weeks. We use a variety of teaching methods and allow the children to benefit from learning in different styles and environments. We encourage the use of visits to different places, such as museums, galleries, the theatre and outdoor spaces to widen the children’s experiences and to involve them in their own learning. We also arrange for many visitors to work with us in school.
The children have responded very positively to our new approach to the creative curriculum and particularly enjoy our topics and special themed weeks (e.g. International Airport Week, Multi-cultural Week, Book Week).
The Inspire Philosophy
We believe the primary school should be a safe and wonderful place where children want to be: where learning happens both within and outside of the classroom. Children will be encouraged to enjoy life whilst at school and discover their fascinations.
Whatever their background they will learn how to shape their own futures and develop their unique capacities and skills rooted in their own interests. They will learn the literacy and numeracy skills needed for life and necessary to progress in their education. They will be encouraged to be curious and use thinking skills to innovate, be creative and problem solve. They will develop their first understandings of employment and entrepreneurship.
A primary education should set up learners for life, with the knowledge and skills to be well rounded individuals, mentally and physically healthy, with an appreciation for and a generosity toward the people, the world and the universe around them.
(Inspire Curriculum, Cornwall Learning)
The Inspire Curriculum Commitment
The Inspire Curriculum is committed to:
- Achievement and success
- Learning and life skills
- Creative thinking, innovation and enterprise
- Learning through exploration
- Stretch and challenge
- Developing working memory
- Independent and learner-led learning
- Collaborative learning
- Outdoors and nature
- Applied learning
- Authentic tasks with a real audience
- FUN and positive emotional links
Here is an overview of the topics for each year group from Y1-6
|Autumn Term||Spring Term||Summer Term|
|Year 1||The Big Build||Who am I?||Let’s Celebrate!||Posting and Places||To the Rescue||The Potting Shed…Buried Treasure||Brilliant Bodies||Animal Allsorts||Where shall we go?|
|Year 2||What do I need to be me?||Through the keyhole||Flying High||Blown Away||Town Mouse, Country Mouse||Sowing and Growing||National Celebration – Two Queens||Trading Places: Britain or Brazil?||Home and Away|
|Year 3||Why are humans animals too?||Set in Stone?||What’s the attraction?||Art on your Doorstop||Shake, Rock and Roll||Around the World in 20 Days||From Source to Sea||What did the Romans do for us?||Shadow dancers|
|Year 4||Where does my food go?||Were the Dark Ages Dark?||Batteries Included||Dragons: Fact or Fiction?||The Good, The Bad and The Ugly||Sounding Off||Amazing Amazon||It’s a Small World||A Place for Everything|
|Year 5||To the Stars||The Ancient Greeks||Poles Apart||Fever, Fire and Fashion||Round and Round||No Way Back!||Rites and Rituals||Our Commonwealth||The World is our Oyster|
|Year 6||Who is taking control?||What’s happening now?||A Voyage of Discovery||Who’s the Mummy?||Bombs, Battles and Bravery||Angry Earth||A time to Shine||You Choose!||You’re Hired!|
To find more details of the content for each year group and individual topics, please check on the class information pages.
Certain areas continue to be taught and developed outside of topic work.
Maths at Abbotsbury Primary School
Here at Abbotsbury Primary School we follow the programme of study as set out by the 2014 National Curriculum which is facilitated by our use of the Singapore maths approach.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
‘become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately’.
‘reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language’.
‘can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions’.
In maths we follow the approach used in Singapore, which involves the children working from a concrete practical level using apparatus and equipment towards a guided mastery of concepts using more formal written methods. Children are given practical activities and problems to solve, which improves their confidence with basic skills and their ability to tackle mathematical investigations and challenges.
Currently all children from Early Years Foundation Stage to Year 5 follow this maths mastery approach to enable them to become more confident and able mathematicians with a deeper understanding of mathematical topics. Year 6 are using elements of this approach to further their understanding.
The main emphasis in every lesson is on problem solving and thus the children are encouraged to discuss and explore problems through the use of concrete apparatus, visual pictorial models, abstract images and child-led enquiry. Speaking and listening plays an important part in maths lessons and we encourage the children to use the correct mathematical vocabulary at all times. Children are encouraged to explain their thinking, using the correct vocabulary, and to describe their ideas and thoughts to others. We teach children that sometimes there can be more than one answer and there can be different approaches or outcomes to their work. We encourage the children to try to find an answer using a variety of different methods; a method one person may find easy to understand can be different for others.
Children are given time to focus on a particular area of learning for longer periods of time to gain a deeper understanding (mastery) of it. Although our expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace, we will make a decision about progress based on the security of pupils’ understanding. Children who rapidly grasp concepts will be challenged by being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not adequately fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding through additional practice with an adult.
By the time children leave at the end of Key Stage 2, we hope to have been able to equip all children with a bank of strategies and methods to solve calculations and problems in a variety of situations, making them proficient mathematicians and thinkers and not just procedure followers.
Children are also given cross curricular opportunities where possible. We make mathematical links to science, design technology and ICT. This strengthens the children’s use of maths in practical situations and helps them to see just how vital mathematics is to everyday life.
English at Abbotsbury Primary School
Here at Abbotsbury our overarching aim is to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject through our exciting and engaging creative curriculum.
We follow the programme of study as set out by the 2014 National Curriculum.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
‘read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and enjoy reading for pleasure. Pupils should develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They should be taught the correct use of grammar. They should build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use.’
‘Pupils should be taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently. They should learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge.’
‘Pupils should develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on their current knowledge. Pupils should understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects’
At Abbotsbury we strive to ensure that all children become confident speakers, writers and readers. We develop their language skills in all areas of the curriculum and make sure that speaking and listening is at the core of teaching English. Creativity in the curriculum is closely linked with literacy as this can be integrated and developed in all areas of learning.
At Abbotsbury our children write for a variety of purposes and different audiences in response to a wide range of interesting stimuli. We use role play and drama, visual prompts, music, films, stories, plays, poems, information books and ‘real texts’ to inspire our children’s writing as well as by providing real life experiences to engage them further. Big Write is a whole school initiative which children thoroughly enjoy – this exciting session ensures that children are exposed to (and revisit) a variety of genre.
We strive to foster a love of books and reading has a high priority throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6. Books (particularly from Reception to Year 3) are organised according to a colour band system and support national curriculum levels. Parents and staff communicate about children’s reading and progress through the use of the ‘Reading Journal’. Guided reading is taught throughout the school as this gives children the opportunity to develop specific objectives and skills independently and within small group sessions. We teach our children to become fluent and confident readers.
Phonics is taught throughout the school to help children learn to develop their decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills. At Abbotsbury we have successfully used the ‘Phonics International’ programme for the teaching of phonics and spelling. Phonics intervention programmes are run for children who require extra support.
Grammar and punctuation are taught from Reception to Year 6 and pupils are encouraged to use correct grammar and punctuation in all their writing. At Abbotsbury the teaching of grammar and punctuation is supported by the ‘Nelson Grammar International’ scheme.
Religious Education and Assemblies
Religious Education is a statutory part of the curriculum and it is very important because it encourages an understanding and respect for others. At Abbotsbury we follow the Merton Agreed Syllabus, which includes study of the major world religions. Assemblies are led by the Head Teacher and other members of the teaching staff. Representatives of local churches and other places of worship are invited contribute to assemblies and lessons. An assembly takes places weekly in both Key Stages which is led by a visiting speaker from a local church. Parents are entitled to withdraw their child from attendance at collective worship or religious education lessons. Should parents wish to exercise this right, they are asked to discuss the matter with the Head Teacher.
Teaching of Computing
Abbotsbury School is well resourced for teaching the ICT curriculum and also for using computers to enhance learning in other curriculum subjects. All children from Reception to Year 6 are able to have lessons in the ICT Suite (computer room) and have access to both iPads and tablets. Every classroom has an interactive whiteboard and all computers in the school are networked with filtered access to allow children and staff safe internet experience. Our pupils are taught, and required, to use the internet safely and responsibly. Children use their IT skills to enhance their learning across the whole curriculum, for example, when researching topics, creating art work or music and making presentations.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is taught throughout the school and is an essential part of all pupils’ education. Through the teaching of PSHE our pupils learn to understand and cope with risk and develop the necessary skills to make safe and informed decisions. They also learn more about the values and expectations of our school community, how to relate to others, how to manage their own behavior and emotions and how to operate successfully as part of a community. (See also our approach to the teaching of British Values)
Sex and Relationships Education
The Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) programme is taught in Years 5 / 6. It helps the children to understand the changes taking place in their bodies and to prepare them for adult life. Parents are invited to view the teaching materials beforehand and discuss what is being taught.
At Abbotsbury School all the children have two hours of curriculum PE each week where they are able to develop the six areas of activity as set out in the National Curriculum – Dance, Gymnastics, Games, Athletics, Outdoor and Adventurous activities and Swimming. We aim for all children to be able to swim at least 25 metres by the end of Key Stage 2. They also have the opportunity to take part in a cycling course in KS2. During their PE sessions, children are taught a variety of skills which they will be able to progress and develop as they move up throughout the school. These skills are applied to game situations and sequences of movement which lead on to support children in creating their own games, sequences and learning outcomes supported by steps to success.
Close links with the Merton Schools Sports Partnership (MSSP) and qualified dance instructors ensure that our pupils have regular opportunities to work with their professional coaches both within the curriculum and also in a wide variety of inter school events and tournaments. All pupils also take part in intra school house competitions. Through the MSSP, children in Year 5 have training to be ‘play leaders’ for the younger year groups. Our play leaders take the lead in multiskills events, helping younger children to become more skilled at games and other activities. We work closely with a local SEN school to support their annual Olympics day, which all of the children thoroughly enjoy. Whilst promoting their leadership skills, the play leaders act as peer mentors, supporting the values that underpin the quality PE provision of games, skills, cooperation, teamwork and fair play.
At Abbotsbury we have good sports facilities which allow us to provide a comprehensive range of activities both within the curriculum and at extra- curricular clubs. These activities currently include: Wake Up Shake Up Club, Football, Tag Rugby, Netball, Basketball, Kwik Cricket, Dance, Tennis, Rounders, Athletics and Aikido.