At St. Matthew's, our curriculum will be based on a thematic approach. In the first instance, whenever possible, the same topic will be studied throughout the school, but with different elements and skills being studied. Children will be ‘hooked’ into their learning with experience days, visits and visitors and there will always be a clear and purposeful outcome to their learning which will be shared with parents. Parents will be informed of learning via a termly overview and through the class pages on the website. Parents and pupils will be asked to evaluate the topic to help with future planning and to enhance the development of the areas studied. We will utilise the strengths of our staff to meet the needs of our pupils and hope that , in the near future, Music and French will be taught by specialist teachers. We will enhance learning opportunities through visits and visitors as well as through the use of Pupil Premium and PE legacy funding.
St Matthews Primary Academy is committed to meeting the new National Curriculum that came into force in September 2014. The Academy, will deliver the statutory content of the National Curriculum, through a thematic approach to learning. Our topics will;
change regularly to excite and stimulate the children
build on key literacy and numeracy skills
include theme weeks and days such as: Enterprise, Global activities, National days, and Book Week
prepare our children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain
include a modern foreign language which will be taught throughout the school
promote and develop core learning values through indoor and outdoor experiences
promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our children
include a computing curriculum that will integrate new technologies, programming and media into school
As an inclusive school , we believe that every child matters and we work towards our children knowing how to stay safe, be healthy, achieve economic well-being , make a positive contribution and enjoy their learning to subsequently achieve. With these foci in mind as well as the promotion if our school Christian values and British values, we will deliver an enriched curriculum that meet the needs of our pupils. Such activities may include:- Forest school outdoor learning, First Aid course, enterprise projects, road safety, water safety, fire safety, team building, taking part in Anti Bullying activities, cooking, supporting community based projects, fundraising, Child line projects and e-safety awareness.
We believe that English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English teaches pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
Key Stage 1 (KS1)
In KS1, pupils learn to be confident when speaking, listen carefully to others, read and write independently and use language for exploration.
During KS1, pupils learn to speak clearly, thinking about the needs of their listeners. They learn to listen carefully to what is being said by others and learn to use language imaginatively to express their ideas through role play and drama.
During KS1 pupils begin to develop interest and pleasure in reading as they learn to read confidently and independently. Their focus is on words and sentences and the meaning of simple texts. Pupils are encouraged to share their opinions of texts, saying whether they like them or not.
It is in KS1 that pupils begin to see the value of writing. They learn to communicate their thoughts in both narrative and non-fiction texts whilst practising their spelling and punctuation.
Our pupils follow Letters and Sounds and the spelling elements of the new curriculum in Year 1 and Year 2.
Key Stage 2 (KS2)
In KS2, pupils learn to change the way they speak and write to suit a variety of situations, purposes and audiences. They both read and respond to texts and explore the use of language in them.
During KS2, pupils learn how to speak in a range of contexts paying attention to what they say and how it will be understood by their audience. They may take varied roles in group situations which will give them the opportunity to contribute in a range of ways. Pupils will also respond to others, paying attention to what has been said and the type of language used.
During KS2 pupils are encouraged to increase their ability to read challenging and lengthy texts independently. They both discuss and analyse the texts with others.
In KS2 pupils understand that writing is essential to thinking and learning, whilst being enjoyable in its own right. They learn the rules and conventions of written English and use this to express meaning in a range of different ways. Pupils work through the planning, drafting and editing process to improve their own work and also support their peers by peer-editing their work.
Maths equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life, in many forms of employment, science, technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and in public decision making. Over time, different cultures have contributed to the development and application of Mathematics. Today, Mathematics transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. Mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a pupil solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees a hidden connection.
In Key Stage 1 the children develop their knowledge and understanding of maths through practical activites, games, exploration and discussion. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers to at least 100. They are encouraged to develop a range of mental skills and strategies and use these when solving calculations. They learn about shape and space through practical activities and where possible these are linked to other topic areas they are learning about. They are encouraged to use mathematical language what talking about how they solved a problem.
In Key Stage 2 the children build on their knowledge and skills. They use numbers and the number system more confidently and make links in their learning. They carry out calculations using all four number operations. The children are encouraged to try mental methods initially when solving calculations or problems, before moving onto other methods. The children develop their knowledge and understanding of features of shapes and their properties and increase the accuracy of their measuring skills. The children are encouraged to discuss and present their work using a wider range of mathematical vocabulary, diagrams and charts.
Through science, pupils understand how major scientific ideas contribute to change. Science should evoke questions and a sense of wonder about the world we live in, then guide the children in answering these questions to do with the physical, natural and human worlds.
To fulfil these aims, children need to acquire both factual knowledge and the skills of scientific enquiry; identifying questions that can be addressed scientifically; planning and carrying out experiments; evaluating data; and recognising the limitations of their own and others’ work.
At Foundation and Key Stage one pupils observe, explore and ask questions about living things, materials and seasonal changes. They begin to work together to collect evidence to help them answer questions and to link this to simple scientific ideas. Key stage one also begin to evaluate evidence and consider whether tests or comparisons are fair. They use reference materials to find out more about scientific ideas. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables with the help of ICT if it is appropriate.
At Key Stage two pupils learn about a wider range of living things, materials and physical phenomena. They make links between ideas and explain things using simple models and theories. They apply their knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas to familiar phenomena, everyday things and their personal health. They think about the effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They carry out more systematic investigations, working on their own and with others. They use a range of reference sources in their work. They talk about their work and its significance, using a wide range of scientific language, conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT to communicate their ideas.
All children have weekly R.E. lessons and we use the agreed Torbay, Plymouth syllabus alongside Understanding Christianity. We believe children should have an understanding, an increased awareness and a growing respect for the variety of faiths and cultures in our World. With this in mind, we aim to give them interesting and exciting opportunities so that they can learn first hand. We work with the Plymouth Resource and Cultural Centre who are able to provide us with faith speakers and enriching material. Our Reverend, Chris Routledge, also supports us with the delivery of RE in school by bringing resources and speakers from our local Church community.
Throughout KS1 and KS2, our Art and Design curriculum is skills based. Each Year group covers the range of visual and tactile elements of Art, including colour, tone, form, texture, pattern, shape, space and line. During KS1 and KS2, children develop a variety of skills using different materials and processes.
In order to make meaningful cross curricular links, the teaching and learning of materials and processes has successfully been linked to topic based year group learning. The teaching and learning of visual and tactile elements runs alongside this, and certain elements are highlighted specifically for certain year groups, in order to enhance the teaching and learning of materials and processes.
There is a balance of 2D and 3D outcomes planned into the Art and Design curriculum for KS1 and KS2. Throughout each Key Stage, children learn about a range of artists, craftspeople and designers from different times and cultures. They explore a range of starting points for practical work, including themselves, their experiences, stories, natural and manmade objects and the local environment. They also investigate different kinds of Art, craft and design either in the locality, in original and reproduction form. This includes visits to Art exhibitions where possible, and looking at Art in galleries on the Internet. Opportunities are keenly sought to work collaboratively with other local schools and with Artists.
In 2014 the Government's new National Curriculum began to be statutory in schools. At St. Matthew's, we integrate Computing where possible into other lessons, so that it becomes a natural tool for supporting children's learning.
Some examples of the technology that we currently use include:
At St. Matthew's, we believe that a creative curriculum is one that is never taught without being linked to another aspect of our learning. By linking Computing with life, our children are better able to see the real use of the taught skills and apply them effectively both inside and outside the classroom.
Check out our Pupils Staying Safe area and Parents Keeping Safe from Harm areas of the website for further information on ESafety.