At Chestnuts Primary School we believe wholeheartedly in a broad, balanced and creative curriculum. We believe that children learn best when they are happy and engagaed in their learning.
- Our curriculum is developed into half termly topics which deliver our principles and entitlement whilst ensuring it covers the statutory requirements of the national curriculum
- The long term curriculum maps provide progression across the school
Most of the curriculum is covered through the topics (English, Science, History, Geography, Art, D&T and Computing). In addition to this other subjects are taught discretely.
English is taught daily with different focuses of spoken language, reading and writing. Each topic in enriched with a range of quality whole class texts which are explored and often used as stimulus for writing. Detailed long term planning ensures different genres are covered throughout the year. A fortnightly ‘extended writing’ lesson provides the opportunity to write at length on a regular basis both linked to the topic or with topical tasks that reflect the interests of the pupils.
In EYFS and KS1 Phonics is taught on a daily basis following Letters and Sounds which is enhanced with games and resources.
The reading scheme in KS1 used for home independent reading is aligned with national book banding using a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction. Pupils receive reading rewards for books read and understood.
In EYFS reading is taught in guided groups but throughout the rest of the school pupils have whole class reading sessions using a variety of reading materials, (class texts, non-fiction articles and poetry) these concentrate on developing both word recognition and comprehension skills.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (GPS) teaching is interwoven into English lessons taught in a meaningful context with opportunities to apply learning across the curriculum.
Science: Our Science curriculum is structured to allow pupils to explore science linked with their topic through practical and investigative work. The aim of the curriculum is to develop ‘working scientifically’ skills such as planning, conducting, recording, concluding and evaluating as well as secure curriculum knowledge. The children regularly encounter science through real and meaningful experiences by going out on educational visits or welcoming visitors into the school. We encourage natural curiosity and allow the children to investigate for themselves to find answers to their questions about the world around them and beyond.
History: Our curriculum in History is designed to build upon skills and knowledge learned, ensuring our pupils gain a coherent understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We explore a vast range of historical events linked through their half termly topics. Children are encouraged to develop their skills and learning with a hands-on approach through regular investigative work. We aim to inspire curiosity, encouraging children to ask perceptive questions, compare and examine sources, debate and critique arguments, stimulating their ability to develop their own sense of perspective and judgement. Primary History enables children with an opportunity to begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. Here at Chestnuts, we provide our children with an opportunity to know more about the past in a variety of innovative ways, such as: our range of educational excursions, inviting visitors to come in and speak with the children, role play, research tasks, and even partaking in debates.This, in turn, builds a solid foundation to move onto KS3, inspiring them to become life-long learners.
Geography: The Geography curriculum is brought to life in each year group with supporting memorable experiences for each topic, such as a field trip or guest speaker. This fosters a love of learning whilst developing knowledge and skills related to the National Curriculum. Each lesson the children are exposed to relevant vocabulary to embed their understanding of each topic. This is further supported with cross curricular links to other subjects. We are proud to celebrate the range of nationalities we have at Chestnuts with our International Evening each year.
Art: All pupils have the opportunity to express themselves artistically. Our curriculum is designed to deliver a high-quality education that engages, inspires and challenges all pupils. We explore a range of Artists throughout each year group that is linked to their topic. Pupils are inspired to experiment their creative ideas through a range of resources. Pupils are encouraged to develop their ideas through a hands on approach, practising, improving and developing their skills. As pupils progress throughout Chestnuts, they develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design.
D&T: In DT we develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world. Children will build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users. Children are given opportunities to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others. They will understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook, using produce grown in our Garden classroom. With this, children are offered many enrichment opportunities with the potential to gain a hands-on experience by exploring where food comes from by visiting a local supermarket to understand where and how they gain their produce, giving children a deeper understanding of a balanced diet.
Computing incorporates computer science, information technology and digital literacy. There are strong links with maths, science and D&T which are combined in termly ‘topics’ supporting cross-curricular learning. The National Curriculum aims for all children in KS1 and KS2 to be able to understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science; can analyse problems and write computer programs using computational thinking; can evaluate and apply information technology; and are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of technology. Our Computing curriculum at Chestnuts is tailored to provide a rich, engaging and memorable programme of study for our children including opportunities to work creatively and collaboratively using a range of software and hardware. Online Safety is taugh both discretely and cross-curricularly. Each year we hold events for Safer Internet Day.