Abbey Gates
Primary School

Curriculum

Our Approach

At Abbey Gates Primary School, we love being engaged and active in our learning through a wide range of topics, subjects and lessons.

We have planned our own curriculum content, to ensure full coverage and delivery of Curriculum 2014 through topics which our pupils have requested and which are relevant and of interest to them. Our curriculum is consistently broad and balanced for every child, with a wealth of opportunities and experiences to fully engage in cross-curricular teaching and learning.

The curriculum is regularly reviewed in each year group and at a whole school level, with feedback from pupil and parental voice. All stakeholders therefore have ownership of the curriculum at Abbey Gates Primary School.

The Foundation Curriculum

Children entering the Foundation Stage at Abbey Gates Primary School have a range of different experiences and a variety of skills and interests that they bring with them to school. To ensure that our early years curriculum is effective, it is carefully structured with quality teaching of skills that builds upon what children already know and can do. We promote learning through play and plan around the needs and interests of children giving them the opportunity to learn about the world around them. Children have rich and stimulating experiences through our well planned and well organised learning environment. We believe that children develop rapidly during the early years-physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Therefore, our practitioners ensure that all children feel included, secure and valued. Planning is based around children’s interests and loose seasonal topics.

Teaching and learning is strongly underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • playing and exploring children investigate and experience things, and have a go
  • active learning children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.

The well-planned activities provide opportunities to develop all their skills in the three prime areas.  These areas are crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive:

  •  Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development

 The four specific areas enable the three prime areas to be strengthened and applied:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

 We provide a balance of adult-led, adult initiated and child-initiated activities, delivered though both indoor and outdoor play. Children are taught both phonics and maths in differentiated teaching groups allowing their teaching to meet their level of development. Skills taught within these sessions are consolidated through both continuous provision and guided activities. Adults are clear of their roles in these sessions as to the amount of involvement they have in an activity and the recording of achievements through observations, notes and photographs.

 Wider skills, such as fine and gross motor skills or creative skills, are taught through adult initiated sessions of mixed ability groups and practised in child initiated learning sessions.

 The children are given the opportunity to evaluate and recall their work in a variety of ways including during review sessions. This is support by a rich and varied range of continuous and enhanced provision across the unit.

 In addition activities are planned for the well-developed Outdoor Learning area to ensure children regularly have access to experiences which support all areas of learning.

 Key Stage One and Two – Key Drivers

 We have three key drivers we focus upon in our curriculum each year:

  •  Autumn Term - Discover – This is a humanities focus, where the majority of the skills and knowledge being taught is through Geography, History and Religious Education.
  • Spring Term - Explore – The main focus is on Science and Scientific enquiry, building on skills, investigating and problem solving.
  • Summer Term - Create – Time to get creative and further develop skills, understanding and enjoyment of all arts subjects, such as Music, Art, Design Technology and Drama.

 Key features of The Abbey Gates Curriculum

 Key features and drivers which flow consistently through all year groups and topics are:

 -Details of every subject area within the curriculum

-Core texts (Novel study approach to English)

-SMSC and British Values

-E-Safety

-Enterprise and charity projects

-Collaboration and engagement strategies

-Diversity

-Experiences, opportunities, visits and visitors

-Outdoor learning opportunities

-Skills based learning

-Metacognition; children understanding themselves as learners

 Long Term Overview

To ensure our curriculum maintains relevance to our pupils, teachers review and update the curriculum regularly. Our Long-Term Overview shows coverage of The National Curriculum across Key Stage 1 and 2.

 Curriculum Long Term Overview

Below you will find copies of our archived long term planning.

 Experiences, Opportunities, Visits and Visitors

We believe in providing children with first hand engaging experiences both in and out of school to supplement and extend in-class learning.

 Curriculum Leadership

Strong subject leadership underpins curriculum development with teachers having excellent subject knowledge which they use to monitor the subject they lead.

 Subject Leaders provide structure, professional development and peer challenge in a supportive manner to subject leaders. The group discuss their subject action plans, priorities, monitoring, and use of budget. As a group, work scrutiny and pupil voice is shared and then reported back with strengths and key development points which become part of the curriculum review. This ensures the curriculum has breadth and balance with a cross-curricular and skills approach in all year groups.

 English

We have an English lead who ensure there is full coverage, teaching and tracking of all aspects of English. Current educational research and development underpins our English Developing Excellence Plan which draws on research by the Education Endowment Foundation, building on good practice taken from ‘Effective Characteristics of Literacy’ research findings.

 Maths

At Abbey Gates, we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and, indeed, must – be successful in the study of mathematics. At Abbey Gates, we do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’ or that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone at Abbey Gates.

 We plan our learning by designing coherent extended units of work in the medium term which take into account the relevant mathematical progression. This allows our children to master the area of mathematics being studied before moving on to new learning. To support us in our long and medium term planning, we currently use White Rose from Year 1 to Year 6.

 Measurement, Geometry and Statistics are taught through topic wherever possible, providing children with engaging stimuli for their maths, and showing them the mathematical links to the real world.

 At Abbey Gates, we believe that when it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts children remember, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations. Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help pupils master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!

 Science

Here at Abbey Gates Primary school we acknowledge that children, who are actively engaged, perform the very best. Our science curriculum focuses primarily on providing children with the opportunity to work scientifically through the means of fun, practical experiences in and outside of the classroom. Our delivery of science within Abbey Gates, develops a sense of excitement and curiosity, with children being encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The five fundamental ‘Working scientifically’ approaches embedded within our curriculum and teaching include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources.

 Humanities

Geography and History are taught through our topic based curriculum.  We aim to give children an enthusiasm for these subjects which they will carry through their whole lives.   Skills in both History and Geography are taught progressively across the school, within engaging contexts, where children are able to explore and discover principles, make links between areas of learning and develop their knowledge and understanding in a coherent way.  The children learn aspects of Geography and History relating both to Britain and to the wider world.  Both subjects are also supported by visits where pupils gain first-hand experiences.

 In Geography, pupils develop their knowledge of people and places to understand the physical, social and economic forces which shape those places and the lifestyles of the people who live there. We study local areas/issues and extend these studies into the wider world. The children learn to use maps to locate cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, seas and oceans. They use atlases, photographs and the internet to explore the environment and economics of those countries which they study. They then use the skills they have developed in English, Maths and ICT to report and record their findings.

 In History, pupils will think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.  They are taught about changes within living memory and about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally or globally.  Pupils are also taught about the lives of significant individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements and about historical events, people and places in their own locality as well as events that have impacted on Britain and the wider world.

 Physical Education (PE)

PE plays an important role in a child’s development; physically, socially, emotionally and mentally. As a school we believe PE enables children to progress through the physical ABC’s – Agility, Balance and Co-ordination, these are known as the fundamental skills which enable children to not only participate in sport but also everyday physical activities. As well as teaching our children the physical fundamentals, PE allows us to teach and encompass other skills alongside these, such as team work, self confidence and belief, creativeness, persistence and communication which are all taught through PE.

 Religious Education (RE)

At Abbey Gates Primary School we follow the Nottinghamshire Agreed Syllabus for R.E. We focus on the three world religions of Christianity, Islam and Sikhism as these reflect the religions of our local community, revisiting them in increasing depth through the Key Stages.

 R.E. is delivered through block units of work or weekly lessons except in the Foundation Stage where it underpins their Understanding of the World area of development.

 We have very close links to our local church. Reverend Kate/Claire are regularly in school and children always enjoy partaking in his half-termly assemblies. As a school it is important to us that we also help the church.

 Computing

Who knows what the digital age will look like when Abbey Gates’s pupils are living their adult lives? Recognising this, Abbey Gates Primary School’s Computing curriculum helps our children to increase their knowledge and expertise in using a wide range of digital technology as well as ‘computational thinking’.  The children will progress through our Computing curriculum, developing skills in the key areas of computer science, information technology and digital literacy.  At the core of all of this knowledge is progression in the children’s ability to problem solve and apply logical reasoning.  E-safety is also a principal theme throughout as children become increasingly aware of their interactions with technology and the wider world.

 Our E-Safety Curriculum

Abbey Gates Primary School recognises that technology plays an integral part of our children’s lives and their future. Our aim is to equip children with the skills, knowledge and attitudes that will allow them to use such exciting advances in technology in a safe, secure and respectful manner. 

 Discrete sessions of e-safety are delivered by class teachers in every year group throughout the year, with teachers following a clear overview and map of progression that ensures the depth and breadth of children’s e-safety awareness is meticulously planned for. This progression map and curriculum is reviewed constantly to take account of new technologies. Our curriculum makes direct links with our SMSC, the Prevent agenda and the promotion of British Values in school. 

 ⦁ Technology use within the wider curriculum

Our staff and students use technology within school on a daily basis. When situations arise for discussions on e-safety, teachers are eager to explore these with children. This may be from simply using the internet on interactive whiteboards with children to discussing how to carefully select suitable websites for research in topic lessons. 

 ⦁ Assemblies & Extra-Curricular Activities

Assemblies and participation in international events focusing on e-safety allow children and staff the time to explore the possibilities at our fingertips of international communication.

  ⦁ Staff awareness

Technology advancements are made each and every day. Computing & E-Safety leaders within school ensure that all staff are made aware of the latest trends in technology. This ensures that as teachers discuss online safety with their children, staff are well-prepared for such discussions. 

 Art, Design & Technology

At Abbey Gates Primary we deliver a high-quality art and design curriculum which will engage, inspire and challenge pupils; equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress through school, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.
We aim to provide pupils with the opportunity to produce creative work, exploring their ideas and recording their experiences so they will become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. Pupils will have the opportunity to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design. And will learn about great artists, craft makers and designers, and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms.

 Music

At Abbey Gates Primary School we engage and inspire pupils to develop their love of music and talent as musicians through a wide range of musical opportunities and experiences.  Self-confidence and creativity are nurtured through opportunities to perform both in school and at outside venues.

 During their time at our school pupils learn to listen, respond and appreciate a range of musical genres.  In year three they are taught by specialist musicians to play a musical instrument such as the Ukulele.  All pupils are provided with the opportunity to play a range of musical instruments both tuned and untuned and sing in one of the schools successful choirs.

 Links to other subjects enable pupils to develop a greater understanding of cultural and religious traditions, express their sense of rhythm through dance and movement whilst developing their self-confidence and sense of achievement through performance to a range of audiences.

 Spanish

Learning a foreign language is liberating and provides an opening to other cultures.  Here at Abbey Gates Primary, we use stories, songs, poems and games to help us learn how to speak Spanish.  We follow a structured scheme of work which is based on real life communication situations using role play and lots of talking.  We count, greet each other, give and ask our names and ages before moving on to colours, foods, weather and much more.  Alongside the language aspect, we also delve into the Spanish way of life and begin to understand and accept customs and traditions, different to our own.

 Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development and the Fundamental British Values

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development along with the Fundamental British Values are embedded in all aspects of the curriculum at Abbey Gates Primary School, amongst all age groups. Class teachers track coverage on a half term basis, highlighting key teaching moments directly relating to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. This also includes assemblies, trips and whole school events.

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