You can see more detailed information on the National Curriculum Framework here: Gov.uk
What we teach your Child
At St John’s Church School we believe in offering a broad and balanced curriculum. We always seek to provide an education that is appropriate to the needs of each child. We are aware that all children are individuals with different needs and we provide for these both within the normal class situation and through our Special Needs Policy. This sometimes means that children will receive additional help from a teacher or from a Teaching Assistant, either in the classroom or in another area of the school e.g. library.
A flexible teaching approach will be used throughout the various stages of your child’s education. Whenever possible children will be taught in year groups of mixed ability. However, it may be necessary to organise some classes in mixed age groups. The school is co-educational and reflects the rich cultures of Orton and Peterborough.
Your child will be taught using a variety of different methods. These will include whole class teaching, group work and individual teaching. By using these methods, we will make every effort to encourage your child to become an independent and effective learner.
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) states that the National Curriculum does not represent everything that a school should teach. A good school offers a broad learning experience, recognising that it is important to consider the children’s experience and understanding as well as their skills and knowledge. Our school strives to encourage personal qualities and good behaviour as well as seeking to satisfy the intellectual, spiritual, social, emotional and cultural needs of the children. We always try to match the work to the children’s needs and to apply the curriculum to the wider world. We will make every effort to see that our expectations of your child are high, but achievable.
Every school has to provide the basic National Curriculum and Religious Education. The National Curriculum has three core subjects: English, Mathematics and Science. There are also foundation subjects: Geography, History, Technology, Music, Art and PE. Each of these subjects has a programme of study and every teacher in the school uses these to plan her/his work and to assess and monitor your child’s progress.
Phonics teaching is a major focus across Reception and Key Stage One. In Phonics, we use ‘Letters and sounds’ as our scheme in line with the National Curriculum: this is supported by a range of resources from other places like ReadWriteInc, Phonics Play and Jolly Phonics. Children are taught in daily phonics sessions across Reception and Year 1 and into Year 2 until they are secure. Through these sessions, they are taught the key skills of blending and segmenting to read and write words. They can then learn to apply this knowledge throughout the curriculum. Interventions like Project X Code are undertaken in Year 3 to top up phonic knowledge in Year 3 when necessary to support the continued development of skills.
To support and teach reading, children are sent home ‘Colour Banded Books’ which structure their reading and allow them to systematically progress up the levels. This system is supported by books from schemes like Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and a variety of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Children read regularly at school both individually and in guided reading sessions and are also encouraged to practise reading at home. Children need to be able to read the books fluently and talk about what they have read to move onto a new colour band: the teachers make this decision at regular intervals in a term. From Year 2 onwards they also take an extra book from the Accelerated Reader Scheme to expand their comprehension skills. These books are organised by ‘Book Level’ and the children take online comprehension tests for every book they have read. Once children have passed ‘lime’, they become ‘free readers’ and are then all part of the Accelerated Reader System in school, to monitor how well they understand.
If you would like to see a detailed summary of the planning and contents of the Curriculum, please ask. The school also has copies of the National Curriculum requirements which you may see.