Speaking and Listening - Children are encouraged by all staff to express themselves orally in an appropriate manner. Staff model how to match style and response to the audience and purpose. Children are able to demonstrate that they understand what makes a good listener and this skill is encouraged in all aspects of school life. Children are encouraged to make use of their speaking and listening skills when talking to adults around school. We make opportunities for children to speak to adults outside of school through a variety of real life projects and situations; we believe this empowers the children for the future. Pupils regularly plan and present whole school assemblies, further providing opportunities for children to talk to an audience.
Where possible opportunities for speaking and listening are planned for within lessons throughout the curriculum, these take the form of drama and role play activities, hot seating and response partner work. When reading in class, children are encouraged to discuss their opinions of the book, make predictions and justify their reasoning.
Early Reading and Phonics – Reading is taught throughout the school with a focus on two skills - word recognition and language comprehension. Our approach to word recognition and decoding is through systematic and synthetic phonics. This ensures the direct teaching of letter-sound correspondences, blending for reading, segmenting for writing, letter formation and sight reading common exception words during discreet, sequenced, Phonic lessons.
Reading Comprehension - Language comprehension is developed through dialogic lessons, including whole class, one-to-one and guided reading, which help children develop reading skills and apply them across the curriculum. High-quality talk and a language-rich environment are central to our approach and we prioritise the development of pupils' spoken language so that they can articulate their understanding, develop their knowledge, and build the vocabulary they need to support their learning.
Reading is the heartbeat of all learning at Cardwell. Together, word recognition and language comprehension ensure children learn to read confidently and for meaning. We use this dialogic approach to enable children to learn the skills required for reading and apply them across the curriculum. This is central to becoming effective, empowered learners. Intervention and 1:1 reading is prioritised where learners require additional support.
Reading for Pleasure - Curriculum time is also allocated to reading for pleasure, for the joy of reading. In order that the children gain a life-long love of reading, we provide them with a wide range of stimuli, including visual media. These include diverse, interesting, age-appropriate books in class reading corners as well as the large school library and extensive stock of levelled reading books. It is through our resources that children are able to read widely across fiction and non-fiction, experiencing a range of text types.
Author visits and ‘book themed’ days ensure that reading is prioritised and promoted across the curriculum. During our annual book week authors are invited to school, opportunities to dress up as book characters are provided and parents and carers are invited into classes and encouraged to share their much loved books with the children. We also host book fairs, which provide parents and carers the opportunity to spend time with their children choosing books to purchase for home.
Writing - English lessons are based around core texts, which children read, analyse the impact of author choices and discuss in depth. Writing activities are linked to the texts to ensure that they are purposeful and engaging. The school’s English policy has been written with a focus on the 2014 curriculum. When writing, pupils understand the following:
- There is a purpose to all types of writing.
- The need to consider their audience when writing.
- There are a range of text types; each with their own features and conventions to be applied when writing.
- Their writing must make sense and flow.
- The need to pay close attention to Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (EGPS) when working in order to improve the sense and clarity of their work.
- Writing is a process which allows for changes and edits to be made.
- A wide range of interesting and exciting vocabulary should be experimented with.
- They can look at and make use of existing real life examples when working.
- That writing is an enjoyable activity with great value.
- There are different dimensions to the writing process; immersion, practise and application.
Handwriting - At Cardwell, letter formation is taught alongside the introduction of new graphemes during Phonic lessons. Once printed formation is accurate (usually in KS1), children begin to learn cursive script, where appropriate in line with the 2014 curriculum. Handwriting is taught in a discrete lesson and then practised through early morning work and encouraged in all aspects of the curriculum, thus promoting understanding and application.
How to support your child at home - Children may bring home a levelled reading book, to enable them to apply their phonic and reading skills. When reading these books, children will focus on segmenting and blending to decode new words. All children are encouraged to read at home for at least 10 minutes daily.
We want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books, so all children choose a reading for pleasure book to bring home. Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is a confident and fluent reader, it is important for you to read with them, listen to them, enjoy and discuss the books they are reading.
Questions to ask when listening to children read
- Where/when does the story take place?
- Who are the characters in the story?
- What happens in this part of the story?
- Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?
- Can you retell the story using your own words?
- Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story? Why?
- What do you think the character feels about...? How can you tell?
- What do you think would have happened if…?
- What do you think is going to happen next?
- Which part of this book did you like best/least? Why?
- How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?
- Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
- Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.
- Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
- What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
- Has anything like this ever happened to you?
- Non Fiction Questions
- Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.
- What does this part of the text tell us about ….?
- Which part of the text tells us about …?
- Why are some words in bold?
- How does this text/ layout help the reader?
- How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?
Phonics Explained - Phonics is a key aspect in developing reading and spelling. Phonics is the practice of blending letter sounds (known as phonemes) to make words when reading, or segmenting words into sounds to help with spelling. Phonics is taught every day at Cardwell from Nursery to Year 2. Further phonic teaching and support then continues into Key Stage 2.
How Phonics is taught - Children are taught phonics following the Letters and Sounds teaching sequence. New graphemes are introduced using an image to make them memorable and reinforced using actions and songs. Decodable reading books are closely matched to phonics phases, so that children apply their phonics knowledge when reading. Children learn through hearing, saying, reading and writing phonemes and our approach is to make the sessions lively and active; using a wide range of resources including ICT, playing practical games and puzzles.
All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/ exception words, practise the grapheme within a word and application of new skills within a sentence. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing. Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class or as an additional intervention.
Scaffolding and Strategies - When decoding words, children segment words into phonemes, say them slowly, then blend the phonemes together again to read the whole word. For example; c-a-t becomes cat and ch-o-pp-i-ng becomes chopping. Children are also able to read nonsense or ‘alien’ words such as qu-e-m-p or b-l-ur-s-t, to ensure they decode effectively. This helps them to prepare for the Y1 Phonics Screening Check. We encourage children to use strategies to help them, so they progress through the follow selection of key strategies which to support segmenting and blending:
- Alien / Nonsense Words – these are words which are not real, so they allow children to focus on segmenting and blending and ensure that children do not sight read e.g. drap.
- Robot Arms – children move their arms like a robot to ‘chop’ a word into the phonemes they hear. Each new phoneme means moving their arms again. They repeat this, getting faster each time until they have sped up and blended the word together. They then say the blended word and put both their hands together to show it is complete.
- Sound Buttons – Sound buttons are drawn to help children segment words into the graphemes to read or spell. A dot or button is drawn under each single grapheme, a line under each digraph (two letters making one phoneme) or trigraph (three letters making one phoneme) and a curved line shows the two letters which have been split in a split digraph (making one phoneme)
- Phonics Fingers – As children progress, they may use their fingers rather than arms and count the phonemes or graphemes in a word.
- Jaw Drop – To support children identifying the number of phonemes in a word, they rest their hand against their mouth. When they say a word, every time their mouth changes shape or their jaw drops, it is a new phoneme.
The Phonics Screening Check - The phonics screening check introduced in 2012 is a statutory assessment for all children in Year 1. The purpose of this test is to confirm whether children can decode, segment and blend words correctly. The phonics test has a total of 40 words. Some are real words and some are pseudo (nonsense or ‘alien’) words. Children will be asked to read these words one-on-one with a teacher.
How you can support your child at home - Read with them as regularly as you can and listen to them read decodable books. This means your child will see and be introduced to new words to decode, segment and blend. Here are some useful websites to try with your child.
At Cardwell we aim to develop children’s mental and written calculations, while developing their love for number and problem solving, helping them to become more curious and enjoy mathematics.
All classes have a daily mathematics lesson based upon the 2014 national curriculum objectives. The mathematics curriculum is devised to develop fluency, reasoning and problem-solving in all areas of mathematics.
As Mathematics is such an important life skill, we have not only embraced the new curriculum, but have introduced a new ‘Mastery’ approach to our lessons.
What this means is spending greater time going into depth of all maths strands and operations.
These operations would be addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
The key idea of mastery is that pupils gain a deeper understanding of the mathematical concept being taught, so that they can apply it to new situations and contexts.
Another feature of the mastery approach is the importance of high expectations - that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards and that the majority of learners will progress at the same pace, using the concrete, pictorial to abstract model.
Here is an example of the concrete, pictorial, abstract model
Alongside this teaching and learning strategy, all pupils are encouraged to learn key number facts, such as number bonds to 5, 10, 20 and 100 and multiplication tables.
Science units are based on the National Curriculum and our progression document ensures sequenced learning builds knowledge. Investigative elements are included in all units to ensure children are exposed to enquiry and seeking answers to questions that are asked.A Science week and enrichment visits ensure pupils receive a broad Science curriculum.
There is a strong focus on scientific investigation throughout the curriculum. The main areas of teaching cover; life and living processes, materials and their properties and physical processes. Cross curricular links are made wherever possible.
We encourage children to make observations and comparisons, to test their own ideas, consider evidence and provide their own possible solutions to problems. Science is as much to do with the way we find out as what we find out.
As children grow older, scientific knowledge about subjects such as magnetism, electricity, light, temperature, growth, plants, weather and space is acquired through observation, investigation, experimentation, access to books, use of computers and visits to the local environment as well as to museums.
We aim to bring the world around us to life through our Science program of study.
For PE we use PE Passport which is a portable Physical Education planning, assessment and tracking tool. PE Passport is child centred and allows pupils' achievements to be recorded and tracked from Reception right through to Year 6. Our PE curriculum consists of engaging, interactive PE lessons for each year group with each lesson containing clear and progressive learning objectives; and teachers assess and monitor the progress of each child within the curriculum.Our provision of extra-curricular activity also enables children to develop their physical skills further and enables pupils to learn other sports and physical activity outside of the curriculum such as Taekwon-Do and Yoga.
Our children follow a progressive PE curriculum which teaches the skills necessary for a variety of sporting and creative activities and according to the requirements of the new National Curriculum 2014. Our children learn the skills necessary to take part in gymnastics, dance, team games, swimming and athletics.
The government has provided additional funding to schools in the form of a sports premium to improve provision for physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools. We believe that embedding healthy lifestyle habits and a love of physical activity in children is essential to good development, as well as reinforcing core values such as mutual respect, resilience, determination and responsibility.
We have chosen to use our sports premium in the following ways:
- A dance/gymnastics teacher to teach dance, gymnastics and performance skills.
- A specialist yoga teacher to teach yoga sessions.
- Training an LSA who is now a qualified sports coach to working with our children daily, during lunchtimes and playtimes, allowing our children to experience a broad range of games whilst up-skilling our lunch time staff.
- Training an LSA to provide scooter training and balance bike training for pupils in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.
- Offering a range of different sports and dance clubs before and after school to encourage the involvement of more children.
- Provision of outstanding teaching and learning and PE training for our PE subject leader.
- A multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning in the foundation stage incorporating PE and Physical development and skills in English and Maths.
- Opportunities to take part in inter and intra school competitions and travel to and from those competitions.
- Providing costumes and suits for children in Ballet and Taekwon-DO to enable them to enter gradings and competitions and gain qualifications.
- Use of the ‘PE Passport’ assessment tool to track pupil progress in PE and the development of their health and wellbeing.
Impact - A better level of physical development in our younger children with improved fine and gross motor skills – with a noticeable impact on children with special educational needs.
Children enjoy playtimes more and have developed their skills and teamwork.
Children are confident in PE lessons and are keen to take part in PE lessons in all areas.
Pupil questionnaires demonstrate that children value the input of specialised coaches and particularly enjoy taking part in sports activities before school, at break and during lunch times.
Children have developed their fitness and skills in various sports and physical activity and are able to confidently talk about healthy lifestyles and healthy choices with greater confidence.
Geography - Throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils are involved in investigating a variety of people, places and environments both locally, and further afield in the United Kingdom and also abroad. Geographical enquiry is undertaken inside and outside the classrooms and pupils are taught key skills such as; observing and recording, asking geographical questions, analysing evidence and drawing conclusions. Children are provided with opportunities to develop knowledge of globally significant places both terrestrial and marine, focussing of their characteristics through a range of topics. Geography
Pupils learn about vocabulary specific to the subject, the use of globes, maps and plans at a range of scales, fieldwork techniques and instruments, and the use of a range of sources of information including aerial photographs, diagrams and GPS.
We use the 2014 curriculum to uniform our planning and include topical geographical issues which relate to how people affect the environment and how they are affected by it. Environmental change and sustainable development are areas of geographical study which are especially important for the future of all our pupils.
Geography units ensure that children gain a wide knowledge of the human and natural world and understand their impact on the world. Each class has a world map through which to refer during Geography learning or when addressing current affairs.
History - Like geography, history is taught within specific cross curricular themes with clearly identified learning objectives. Pupils learn about the lives and lifestyles of people in the past, including those of significant men, women and children as well as events from the recent and more distant past in our own area, further afield in Britain as well as across the wider world. Chronological understanding is central to an understanding of history and our expectation is that as pupils move into Key Stage 2 they will be expected to be able to place events, people and changes into correct periods of time as well as using dates and vocabulary appropriately and with accuracy. Acquiring appropriate knowledge and understanding about the periods and the people of the time, including their characteristic features, their social, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity and being able to give reasons for, and the results of, the main historical events and changes, enables pupils to learn not only how the past is different from the present but how and why historical developments have shaped the world and their lives.
Local visits and field trips provide excellent learning opportunities for the children in history and geography and enable them to apply their knowledge.
The school celebrates in particular the achievements of pupils who demonstrate kindness and friendship and places due emphasis on the importance of developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people, both of which are an essential part of life and learning.Cardwell’s strong ethos actively promotes, supports and secures high standards of personal behaviour and our pupils are helped to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and develop an awareness of the views, needs and rights of their peers and older people.
Our policies for Behaviour and Equality reflect the importance we place upon these aspects of our curricular provision and in our day to day dealings with both pupils and adults, equal opportunities and inclusive practice are always at the forefront of everything that we try to do.
Regular class ‘Circle Time’ opportunities provide an opportunity for all our pupils to reflect upon their experiences leading to an understanding about how they are developing personally and socially. The PSHE & Citizenship curriculum across the Foundation Stage, key Stage 1 and 2 tackles many of the key spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are central to the process of growing up between the ages of 4 and 11 years as well as preparation for Key Stage 3 and the world of work.
The school actively supports a range of charities and fundraising activities organised by the pupils and these take place on a regular basis each term. Our School Council for pupils in Key Stage 1 and 2, the ‘Playground Friends’ system for playtimes and the school responsibilities undertaken by pupils in years 5 and 6, all contribute fully to the life of the school and its place in the community.
As well as being taught as a discrete subject through our PSHE and Citizenship curriculum, all staff and subject leaders take responsibility for SMSC and it is promoted at every opportunity through the life of the school and throughout every curriculum subject.
Cardwell is a Rights respecting school. This is a UNICEF initiative. We are working towards gaining Level 1 status. Each class has a charter, where the children choose appropriate rights and responsibilities to ensure they are able to learn in a safe and calm environment.
At Cardwell, technology is used across all the areas of school life and we give children the chance to use and explore a variety of technology and tools. This could be anything from listening to recorded stories, drawing images on an interactive whiteboard, recording sounds or creating their own computer games - the possibilities are endless.Children at Cardwell experience a broad and balanced computing curriculum that is based on the expectations of the new Computing programme of study that was introduced in September 2014. It allows staff the flexibility to plan and teach computing in purposeful contexts across different topics, subjects and lessons. There are three strands to our Computing curriculum, which are developed and built upon as the children progress through the school:
- The computer science element of our computing curriculum focuses on programming and networks through outcomes such as creating animations, interactive games and blogs.
- The information technology element includes a wide variety of outcomes including creating images, animations, recording audio, filming, presenting ideas, quizzes, a variety of graphs and designing 3D models.
- The digital literacy element includes teaching children to be safe, responsible and respectful when using technology and the internet to learn and collaborate.
The curriculum is divided equally between the computer science element and the information technology element with digital literacy weaved throughout. In addition to this, every half term starts off with a discrete internet safety lesson in each phase, ensuring that there is clear progression of digital literacy as children move up through the school and that using technology safely and respectfully has a continuously high profile within the children's lives.It is our ultimate aim that by the time the children leave us at Cardwell, they are competent and confident users of a variety of technology, who are aware of a range of tools and can make informed decisions about which to use for a given task.All of our classrooms are fully equipped with interactive whiteboards to support teaching and learning and the school has a bank of networked laptops for all classes to use as well as a dedicated Computing Suite.
Art & DT
Art - In line with the National Curriculum, we believe; ‘a high-quality art and design education should 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.’
At Cardwell we aim to teach art and design in a fun and creative way and we value the opportunities it provides for developing the core learning skills of resilience, resourcefulness and reflectiveness. In order to achieve their best potential children have access to a range of good quality resources that will support each topic and enable a confident approach.Pupils have opportunities to draw upon other areas of the curriculum, such as links to history, geography, science, RE and literacy to further develop their understanding and enthusiasm in the topics they are studying. There is also an opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of art and design by exploring various artists and their wider impact.Pupils learn to experiment with colour, form, texture and pattern using different materials. They are encouraged to use their skills and imagination to create their own independent works of art and then to evaluate their work to suggest any improvements that could be made. The use of sketchbooks throughout the school also allows pupils to record ideas and artwork produced. We ensure that this work is evident in displays around the school giving opportunities to inspire others and celebrate their success.Frequently, we interact with local community projects and we encourage participation and links with art galleries and companies, who often provide exciting visits and workshops.
Design and Technology - Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products, including creating puppets; buildings and toys, which incorporate the skills of cutting, sewing and food preparation. Pupils are also expected to problem solve and evaluate their own pieces of work in order to make improvements and develop the skill of adaptability. Design and Technology promotes both independent and team work, which is something we actively encourage.
Units of music are planned to ensure clear progression for all children and that children are exposed to key ideas and musical knowledge.
In line with the National Curriculum, we believe that music; ‘should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.’
At Cardwell, we provide pupils with a broad music education, which includes performing, composing, listening, reviewing and evaluating music. We recognise that music is something that develops the whole child by providing a practical, co-operative and enjoyable experience, which every pupil can access at some level and develop a life-long appreciation of the subject.
Pupils develop understanding and knowledge of music through experiencing a wide range of musical styles from different times and cultures and they also have the opportunity to enjoy music that they create themselves.
Every pupil has the opportunity to learn the recorder through whole class ensemble teaching and we offer musical instrument tuition in the: Trumpet, Guitar, Saxophone, Fife, Flute and Clarinet. As well as this pupils have the opportunity to go to musical extra-curricular activities including recorder groups, school band and choir.
Singing is a part of every pupil’s school life through all the key stages with songs being used across the curriculum as a creative and fun way to increase enjoyment and achievement in other subject areas. Singing assemblies provide an opportunity for pupils to sing as a collective group and develop their ability to sing for pleasure as well as increase their accuracy, fluency, control and expression and promote a sense of group identity and togetherness. Pupils also have opportunities to perform musically to a wider audience in class assemblies and school performances. The choir frequently sings in borough events and processions throughout the year and sings at various venues.
We have various links with colleges, companies and community groups who provide musical workshops and performances throughout the year that inspire and enthuse pupils in music.
The chosen language for MfL at Cardwell is French. It is taught by a specialist French teacher. Children in KS1 are exposed to French through a weekly assembly where songs are learnt. Children in KS2 receive a weekly lesson and key vocabulary is recapped by teachers during the week.
As a school we adopt the RBG scheme of work, established by the SACRE. Understanding religion is essential in supporting our pupils in being next stage ready and understanding the society that we live in.
We aim to foster a knowledge and understanding of the diverse religions which make up our worldwide community and also to understand and respect the position of people who do not hold religious beliefs.
Religious Education is taught through a variety of approaches such as topics, themes, assemblies, stories, visiting places of worship and visits from members of different religious communities. We believe that one of the best ways to learn about people is to share our thoughts and ideas. We hope to encourage children to develop open minds with a caring and tolerant view of the beliefs of others.
Children have ‘Thinking Time’ during daily assemblies and discussions and considerations of our shared whole school values as well as multi-faith celebrations, also take place at these times.
If parents and carers wish to withdraw their children from assemblies or R.E, they should discuss this with the head teacher and put their request in writing. Should parents and carers wish to withdraw their children from school to celebrate religious festivals, they should inform the Head teacher or the Attendance Officer in writing.