Curriculum and Learning
At Colehill First School, children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum in their Reception year, and the National Curriculum from year 1 onwards. The basic skills of literacy and numeracy are given appropriate emphasis in English and mathematics teaching respectively, and the children follow learning ‘themes’ each term or half term to provide a focus and context by combining learning meaningfully across a range of curriculum subjects. These themes have been adjusted to take into account the requirements of the revised National Curriculum from September 2014. For more information, please click on the link below.
Wimborne Academy Trust's Curriculum Vision
VALUES: Our three core Trust values are excellence, collaboration and respect.
VISION: Our pupils develop character through a love of learning to achieve and thrive. They are prepared to be lifelong learners and responsible citizens with a global perspective.
OUTCOMES: Every child will leave our schools with the best possible character - resilience, confidence, aspiration, integrity, compassion for others, respect, curiosity, spiritual awareness and team working.
Our Curriculum Statement - January 2022
At Colehill First School we are transforming our curriculum. Leaders are designing a curriculum that maximises every pupil's academic, physical and emotional learning and promotes and upholds their well-being. The curriculum is planned to be sequential and coherent. It is progressive, building step by step on pupils’ previous skills and knowledge. Skills are underpinned by secure knowledge and are embedded, enabling them to be transferred in a variety of contexts. The curriculum is designed to secure key knowledge in pupils’ long term memory. The curriculum relates to the local, regional and national context of the school. The cultural capital we develop ensures that we will not only inspire but also challenge our pupils in their learning.
We believe that children learn most securely through a thematic curriculum in which individual subjects are combined meaningfully in age appropriate contexts and interwoven into daily learning. We also plan learning so that children’s interests can mould and shape the experiences we provide. Each curriculum subject, and its associated knowledge and skill set, is respected as a discipline and afforded appropriate coverage. Basic skills in English, mathematics and other disciplines are regularly and systematically applied across the whole curriculum. We strive for pupils to achieve mastery across a wide range of subjects.
Basic skills in English, mathematics and other disciplines are regularly and systematically applied across the whole curriculum. We strive for pupils to achieve mastery across a wide range of subjects.
In KS1 our approach teaches the conceptual understanding needed to become an effective reader:
that letters are spellings of sounds: visual language is a representation of spoken language
that a spelling can contain one, two, three, or four letters - examples are: s a t, f i sh, n igh t and w eigh t
that there is more than one way of spelling most sounds: the sound 'ae', spelt as in 'name', can be represented as in 'table', in 'rain', in 'eight', in 'play', and so on
that many spellings can represent more than one sound: can be the sound 'e' in 'head', 'a-e' in 'break', or 'ee' in 'seat'
Within this conceptual framework, we teach the factual knowledge required to become an effective reader and speller: the approximately 176 spellings that represent the 44 or so sounds in English, starting with the most simple one-to-one correspondences.
Reading and spelling also requires expertise in the skills necessary to make use of the alphabet code and pupils need to be able to:
segment, or separate sounds in words
blend, or push sounds together to form words
manipulate sounds: take sounds out and put sounds into words
Letters and Sounds is used as the basis for delivering phonics within KS1. Resources from other schemes such as Phonics Bug Club are also used to enhance delivery where appropriate.
Reading in Key Stage 2 is taught through whole class reading lessons teaching specific reading skills; allowing pupils to access extracts of high quality texts and teaching all pupils to analyse texts in depth.
Writing is taught through high quality texts and learning experiences. Discrete grammar and spelling lessons are taught in every class. Pupils apply their learning independently, sometimes with an element of choice, for example writing from the perspective of a chosen character. Following both personal and general whole class feedback or discussion pupils are encouraged to edit their writing
Mathematics is taught using a mastery approach with Maths- No Problem! as a core resource from Year 1 - Year 4. This approach is based upon the research from Bruner (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach), Vygotsky (rich discussion & peer talk), Piaget (thinking processes rather than outcomes), Dienes (exploration before structure and a variety of methods) and Skemp (making links). Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Pupils are given time to think deeply about the maths and really understand concepts at a relational level rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience.
Pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
Enrichment Through Visits and Visitors
Annually, the school arranges a significant number of visitors, projects and class trips. This includes a residential trip for Year 3. Enrichment activities are an important aspect of the school’s curriculum provision.
Pupil voice is fundamentally important in all the decisions made regarding the curriculum. The school council, sports leaders and eco team all make decisions regarding relevant aspects of school life. Pupils also take part in partnership work with other schools in Wimborne Academy Trust and beyond; this includes WASP sporting events, an annual Maths Day at St Michael's Middle School and joint events such as supporting Wimborne Food Bank. Whole school questionnaires and subject specific pupil voice also inform decisions regarding the curriculum.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Our children benefit from a programme that involves appropriate emphases on play and child initiated, exploratory learning, balanced with a programme of adult led sessions, guided support and independent opportunities to read, write and solve problems. Our Reception pupils develop as confident and capable readers, writers and problem solvers. We are able to provide a strong foundation enabling pupils to thrive as they enter Year 1 and throughout the rest of their school years and beyond.
To evaluate the impact of our provision, senior leaders and subject leaders undertake book scrutinies, observe the quality of teaching and learning and undertake pupil voice interviews. As part of the process, whole school areas of strength and areas for development are identified. Whole school action plans are created and implemented as a result, and then the impact of any intervention is evaluated. ACM also undertake regular visits to monitor the effectiveness of school priorities and curriculum areas.
Assessment is used not only to inform teachers of progress, identifying gaps in pupils’ knowledge and skills, but also to reflect on the appropriateness and effectiveness of the taught curriculum, its design and implementation.
Senior leaders maintain a strong focus on the curriculum and are accountable for its design and implementation. However, all teaching staff make valued contributions towards the planning, delivery and review of the curriculum, both as subject leaders and as classroom teachers.
We believe that our broad, rich curriculum will prepare pupils effectively for internal and external tests and assessments, and the outcomes of these should reflect the success of the curriculum.
Please follow the link to read the National Curriculum in full: National Curriculum 2014.
Click the link for information about the curriculum across all Wimborne Academy Trust schools.
For more information about the school's curriculum, please consult our parents' handbook or contact the school via phone or email (details here), marking your email 'Curriculum query'.
Policies for Curriculum Subjects:
Please click below on links to each curriculum policy.
We aim to provide annual written reports to parents about their children’s progress which are detailed, accurate, wide ranging and jargon-free! Click below to see the report templates for key stages 1 and 2