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Early Years Foundation Stage
(Through the eyes of a child)
I will look and explore
I will touch, I will try
I will find out more
And question why?
I get time to discover
To create and pretend
To take a new risk
And make a new friend
I am happiest when
I am following my lead
I will play to understand
That is how I succeed.
I try things for myself
And grow my love to learn
Through the opportunities I am given
And the praises I earn
I am very special
That is clear to see
We celebrate our differences
Because I am me!
In our Foundation Stage, we are a united team with play-based child centred learning at the heart of all our practice. At Towcester C of E Primary School, our children are eager to learn and are happy and highly motivated individuals. We promote our love of learning through rich and challenging learning environments; opportunities to explore, take risks, become independent thinkers, and experience life first hand.
Every child is unique. At our school, we celebrate difference and encourage children to become exactly who they want to be. We aim high in Foundation Stage for all of our children regardless of background or previous life experience. This is because we want every child to have the best possible start to their education journey. We carefully plan our provision to suit the needs of all children at different stages of development. We ensure all children thrive and succeed and create learners who are well-rounded, independent, resilient and who have had the chance to access the many different opportunities we have to offer.
We celebrate all success in Foundation Stage, from both school and home. We truly believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to feel proud and enjoy celebrating achievements, no matter how big or small.
The wonderful children at our school are at the heart of all that we do. We build positive relationships with them, help them grow and develop and nothing is more rewarding than seeing the individual they have become when they leave us at the end of the year. When they leave Foundation Stage, our children are happy, proud, independent and motivated to take on the challenges of Key Stage One.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum
Our curriculum sets out the following:
- The 7 areas of learning and development which guide professionals’ engagement with your child’s play and activities as they learn new skills and knowledge
- Expected levels that your child should reach at the end of the reception year; these expectations are called the “Early Learning Goals (ELGs)”
Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first.
- Communication and language;
- Physical development; and
- Personal, social and emotional development.
These prime areas are those most essential for your child’s healthy development and future learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas. These are:
- Understanding the world; and
- Expressive arts and design.
Characteristics of Effective Learning
There is a strong emphasis on the characteristics of effective learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage:
Playing and exploring – engagement
- Finding out and exploring
- Playing with what they know
- Being willing to ‘have a go’
Active learning – motivation
- Being involved and concentrating
- Keeping trying
- Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
- Having their own ideas
- Making links
- Choosing ways to do things
You can find out more about the Early Years Foundation Stage which includes the early learning goals at www.foundationyears.org.uk. The foundation years website also includes a range of resources and contacts.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we endeavour to equip our children with the knowledge and confidence to become fluent and competent mathematicians. We strive for children to feel confident to then apply their deep understanding of mathematical concepts to solve reasoning and problem-solving problems, both in and out of the classroom. We use a wide range of concrete manipulatives, pictorial diagrams and abstract representations, where children can build their fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics. Equally, we provide consistent opportunities to use this fundamental knowledge to be able to reason mathematically and to solve and explore problems. We encourage active mathematical dialogue within lessons, where children participate in their learning. We feel this is vital for them to build fluency and be able to reason and solve problems in a supportive and collaborative environment. We use rich questioning and discussion, a shared active involvement and allow the children time to accurately practice their learning and embed this understanding. We encourage reflection on learning to then take place.
We underpin our mathematics teaching in the belief that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning. We therefore lead a Mastery approach to our teaching, where time is spent on key concepts, that are then revisited and reviewed. This embeds learning by allowing further practice to embed key concepts and facts. We ensure all pupils have access to the concepts and the rich connections between them. Mastery is, therefore, the aim for all children and is rooted in our ambitious Maths curriculum for all.
Devoting time to key concepts enables us to:
- Represent concepts in many ways using multiple representations.
- Teach the processes, then allow the children to apply their knowledge, increasingly rapidly and accurately. (Following a process / procedure won’t enable mastery; applying a process will!)
- Commit key facts to children’s long-term memory by revisiting these facts.
Therefore, at an age-appropriate level, we expect the vast majority of our children to be able to:
- Use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently.
- Have a sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and procedures and use them to solve a variety of problems.
- Recall key number facts and build conditional knowledge, for example, number bonds and times tables and combinations of related facts, with speed and accuracy. Then use these to calculate and work out unknown facts.
Long Term Overview at Towcester
In Early Years, we follow the White Rose plan for Maths whilst in Key Stages 1 and 2, we cover the National Curriculum by following the progression of units taken from the White Rose Yearly Overviews. This sets out each curriculum area into small steps so we can ensure skills progression and curriculum coverage. These are used to inform and support planning and are adapted in response to the needs of the children.
To find out more about White Rose Maths and how you can help your child with their learning, visit: https://whiterosemaths.com/for-parents/advice-and-guidance/
Key Instant Recall Facts
KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) are designed to support the development of the mental skills that underpin much of the maths work in school. Instant recall facts help enormously with mental agility within maths lessons. When children move onto written calculations, knowing these facts can be very beneficial. Each year group is allocated six facts to focus on throughout the year, in line with age-related expectations. These are practiced in daily Maths Meeting sessions and sent home to parents to support at home. Each half term, children will be assessed on their year group’s KIRF, teachers track the outcomes of these interventions and provide support where necessary.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we strive to create life-long readers, who have an enthusiasm to read competently in a range of contexts, as well as a love of reading for pleasure.
Reading skills are taught through English sessions and are reinforced throughout the whole curriculum. Teachers deliver whole-class reading sessions where various text types are explored and children are taught a range of reading skills such as retrieval, vocabulary and inference. We use the National Curriculum objectives and skills-based progression maps to inform our planning.
Throughout the school, we value Reading for Pleasure and children enjoy reading and listening to books every day. All children have the opportunity to borrow level-specific reading books; these are phonetically decodable in Reception, Year 1 and where necessary in subsequent years. Children visit the school library once a week where there are a range of fiction and non-fiction books to borrow. All classes have a Reading Wall Challenge, that contains a selection of high-quality books from a range of authors pitched at the appropriate reading age for the class.
All children are encouraged to share books at home as this is a crucial part of a child’s reading journey. Children are expected to read at home at least three times a week and this is recorded in the child’s ‘Reading Record’ logbook.
Reading Curriculum Documents
At Towcester Primary School, we believe that all children should become confident and competent writers; able to create compositions in a range of genres and for a range of audiences. We aim for our children to enjoy expressing their ideas accurately and creatively, adapting their style to suit their purpose.
All year groups apart from Reception and Year 1 learn writing through genre coverage. Each unit of work lasts 3 weeks. During each unit, children are exposed to a high-quality book stimulus to provide the context for the modelled and independent writing. Age-appropriate modelled texts are analysed to support structuring and composing writing. This is ‘reverse planned’ to identify the key ingredients and components of the genre. The reverse plan is then used to support children to plan their own independent writing.
Working walls are a prominent feature in each classroom. Teachers use these walls to model work during the learning journey of each genre. Children use the working walls to support their understanding and independence when writing.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we use the National Curriculum in England 2014 Framework for English as the basis for our curriculum planning.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we follow the Kinetic letter handwriting programme. This enables children to develop body strength and formation of letters, so becoming fluent and automatic in their writing which frees up their minds for imagination and content.
The underlying principles of Kinetic Letters®:
- Building physical strength underpins handwriting, as poor writing may be due to poor strength.
- Children are not expected to do anything before they are developmentally ready for it.
- The different components of writing are mastered individually before being used in combination.
- Letters are learnt as movements not as visual shapes and movement remains central to developing flow and accuracy.
- When handwriting is automatic, the brain can concentrate on content.
Please see the Kinetic Letter website for more information: https://kineticletters.co.uk/
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we teach spelling for 15 minutes every day in Years 2 to 6, following the National Curriculum spelling rules. Each week children focus on a new rule/phoneme applying core techniques learnt in Read, Write, Inc phonics to support their learning and application of the spelling rule.
The daily spelling lesson follows a set structure to optimise opportunities to revise previously learnt phonemes/graphemes, read words containing the new rule, ‘pinching’ sounds to support spelling and applying learning through dictation.
Spelling lesson structure:
- Teacher ‘Fred talks’ the rule.
- Dots and dashes are applied to identify single sounds, special friends and chatty friends.
- Choral reading of words that fit the spelling pattern.
- Teacher models – ‘Fred talk’ and ‘pinches the sounds’.
- Children echo and write words on whiteboards.
- Review spellings using letter names and the sound chart using the ‘Tick and Fix’ process.
Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.
Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress.
Read Write Inc - Our Phonics Scheme
The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
Here at the Towcester CE Primary School, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.
Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant.
Our Read Write Inc 'Reading Leader' is Mrs Booth (SENDCo)
When using RWI to read the children will:
- Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
- Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
- Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
- Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'
When using RWI to write the children will:
- Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
- Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
- To answer questions
- To take turns talking and listening to each other
- To give positive praise to each other
Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).
Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.
Reading Books Sent Home
Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home sound sheets, Reading Wall Challenge book and a library book for you to read with them.
Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds they will bring home Ditty sheets or a red Ditty book as well as a Reading Wall Challenge book and a library book.
Read Write Inc Books
Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. Your child will have read this book at least three times before they bring it home. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression by the time they bring it home and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.
Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. If you have time (we know it is very precious!), we would urge you to try and read stories to your child before they go to bed. This will help develop a wider vocabulary which makes a vast difference to their quality of writing but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.
Take a look at how to help your child with their pure sounds:
Here’s more information on phonics and resources for parents:
At Towcester CE Primary School we aim to build bright futures for all our pupils, enabling all children to reach their full potential. We believe Science should be practical, with real-life opportunities for all children to experience a broad range of scientific activities in school and beyond to develop curiosity and enquiring minds. We aim to be role models and provide experiences to inspire our children, helping them to develop a sense of their current and future role in society.
We follow the Science National Curriculum where each unit of learning is built upon both Procedural Knowledge (the working scientifically skills…to know how…) and Declarative Knowledge (the subject content…to know that). Using the PDET progression grids, we ensure coverage and progression of all the subject content, including vocabulary. These have been adapted to meet the needs of the children at Towcester CE Primary School. In addition, the use of the school grounds helps to support the development and understanding of living things and their habitats, lifecycles and plants and trees.
At Towcester CE Primary School, scientific enquiry skills are embedded in each topic the children study. Our Science units are revisited and developed throughout the year, so that children can build upon their prior learning and achieve a greater depth in their understanding of the topics covered. These units are mapped progressively across the school, therefore ensuring that the Declarative Knowledge and the Procedural Knowledge enable our children to develop key skills appropriate for their age.
Within the younger years, children have many opportunities to explore the natural world around them. The children will develop an understanding of similarities and differences between the natural world and contrasting environments, for example: the differences brought by the seasons.
All children are encouraged to develop and use a range of skills including observations, planning and investigations, as well as being encouraged to question the world around them and become independent learners in exploring possible answers for their scientific based questions. Specialist vocabulary for topics is taught and built up, and effective questioning to communicate ideas is encouraged. This model allows children to build upon their prior knowledge and increase their enthusiasm for the topics whilst embedding the Declarative Knowledge into their long-term memory through a range of scientific enquiry skills.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, Religious Education plays a significant role in the promotion of spiritual, moral, cultural and mental development, preparing learners for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. It helps them to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens.
The principal aim for RE is:
“To enable pupils to hold balanced and informed conversations about religion and belief”.
This principal aim includes the following objectives for the provision of RE in Church Schools (Statement of Entitlement, 2019) in which pupils are expected to:
- know about and understand Christianity as a diverse global living faith through the exploration of core beliefs, using an approach that critically engages with biblical text;
- gain knowledge and understanding of a range of religions and worldviews, appreciating diversity, continuity and change within the religions and worldviews being studied;
- engage with challenging questions of meaning and purpose raised by human existence and experience;
- recognise the concept of religion and its continuing influence on Britain’s cultural heritage and in the lives of individuals and societies in different times, cultures and places;
- explore their own religious, spiritual and philosophical ways of living, believing and thinking.
The Diocese of Peterborough RE Syllabus is designed to support schools and academies in developing and delivering excellence in RE. It sets out an approach to teaching and learning through which pupils learn about core concepts in religions and beliefs in a coherent way. This in turn develops both their understanding and their ability to hold balanced and informed conversations about religions and beliefs.
The syllabus is underpinned by three core elements (Text / Beliefs, Impact and Connections) which are woven together to provide breadth and balance within teaching and learning about religions and beliefs, thus supporting the aims of RE.
The Understanding Christianity Resource is delivered as our main approach to teaching children about Christianity.
Religious Education is taught weekly as a discrete subject. As a Church of England school, we prioritise the teaching of Christianity. Further units of study provide in-depth, systematic coverage of three other major religions; Islam, Hinduism and Judaism. Children also examine other religious beliefs and non-religious world views such as Humanism. Thematic units of work encourage children to consider a range of themes; for example, Festivals or Commitments, from the perspective of a range of religions and worldviews. Children compare and contrast the practices within these themes in the context of each religion’s beliefs.
The RE units of study are all based on pupils developing a response to a ‘Big Question’ . Question-based and lessons are planned which allow children to be active, reflective and expressive in their handling of questions about beliefs, religion, spirituality and values. We aim to include elements of enquiry, analysis, interpretation, evaluation and reflection within our lessons.
We use a varied range of teaching and learning strategies in order to make Religious Education engaging and challenging for all pupils. These include:
- whole class lessons,
- pair and group discussions,
- outside speakers,
- audio-visual stimuli,
- artwork and
- the use of religious artefacts.
At the end of their education in Church Schools, the expectation is that all primary pupils are religiously literate and able to:
- give a theologically informed and thoughtful account of Christianity as a living and diverse faith;
- show an informed and respectful attitude to religions and non-religious worldviews in their search for God and meaning;
- engage in meaningful and informed dialogue with those of other faiths and none;
- reflect critically and responsibly on their own spiritual, philosophical and ethical convictions.
Religious Education must be provided for all registered pupils in full time education. Parents retain the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons.
If you have any concerns, please talk to your child’s class teacher in the first instance who can direct you to the RE Subject Leader/Headteacher if you need further information.
History at Towcester CE Primary
History teaching at Towcester C of E Primary School aims to give all children a strong and enriching appreciation of the world that we live in and how past events have shaped lives as we know them today, both in the local and wider context of the world. We aim to bring history to life by providing first hand experiences and opportunities for the children to develop their curiosity and imagination throughout the topics we teach and the trips we offer. We allow the children to make connections with their own experiences and between historical events and support them to making connections through time.
Our history curriculum focusses on subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. It also aims to develop a sense of understanding and appreciation of our past, and with it, a sense of resilience to learn from our mistakes and errors and encourage confidence to take our learning with us into the future.
Our history curriculum coincides with the national curriculum in both subject content and stated programmes of study. The History units at Towcester CE Primary are taught in set blocks throughout the year, so that children can achieve depth in their learning. These are mapped across the school, ensuring that declarative knowledge builds progressively and that children also develop procedural knowledge (skills) relevant to their key stage.
Children at Towcester CE Primary School will receive 1.5 hours a week of History or geography, dependent on the unit taught.
Within the younger years, children will have exploratory play experiences to gain experience of a topic and apply it to their own lives, through knowledge an understanding of the world.
Outcomes in History and, at times, Literacy books evidence a broad and balanced history curriculum and demonstrate the children at Towcester CE Primary School’s acquisition of identified key knowledge. Emphasis is placed on analytical thinking and questioning, and children demonstrate a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, in addition to being curious to know more about the past. Through this, pupils use their procedural knowledge to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, to deliver our Computing curriculum, we use a specially designed programme called ‘Purple Mash’ which supports the school with the delivery of high-quality computing lessons from EYFS all the way through to Year 6. It equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and potentially change the world. Children have opportunities to develop the principles of information and computation and put this knowledge into practice, increasingly through programming.
A carefully selected and sequenced progression, incorporating key declarative and procedural knowledge, enables pupils to become increasingly digitally literate and safety aware. This includes being able to express themselves and develop ideas through information and communication technology. The curriculum has been designed to engage, to inspire children and to encourage them to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content. Online safety is regularly revisited within each term.
As a platform, Purple Mash also allows for the delivery of computing across the curriculum, where it provides topic specific tasks, games and research templates. All of which can be used in class or at home to further learning and curriculum coverage.
At Towcester CE Primary School, all children will have the opportunity to take part and compete in a variety of sports and physical activities throughout their education. Through Sports and activities, the children will be provided with a chance to learn and develop outside of the more formal classroom setting. All pupils will understand the importance of being active and the impact that this has on their development, physical and mental wellbeing.
We use the GetSet4PE scheme, which helps to develop skills beyond physical fitness which can be transferred across the wider curriculum and link closely with the values driven ethos of our school. By creating a stimulating environment, we will encourage and improve every individual and, as a result, all children will have an increased confidence and allow themselves to take greater risks and opportunities.
We compete in tournaments within school, as well as outside as part of the Sponne School cluster. At Towcester CE Primary School, we allow many children to take part and enjoy these competitions. Often, our teams progress further into County district events, giving them the opportunity to play against other schools within Northamptonshire.
We also offer in-school clubs by training and developing Year 6 children to work as our ‘Sports Crew’. The children are shown how to deliver fun and engaging activities for all children and run many successful lunchtime groups. Please check out our sports board in the entrance hall for more information.
Modern Foreign Languages
Learning a foreign language is an important part of being a member of a multi-cultural society. The teaching of another language/culture should encourage children’s curiosity and understanding of the world around us – not just the world we live in. The teaching should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language. It should help them to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate and consider new ways of thinking. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages.
Children at Towcester Primary School will have weekly lessons in French throughout Key Stage 2. They use the resources and units of work from Kapow (An online MFL learning scheme). In years 1 and 2 of learning a language, children acquire skills and understanding of French with a particular emphasis on their speaking and listening. These are essential and will be further developed in the 3rd and 4th year they learn a language.
It is intended that when children leave Towcester Primary School, they will be curious about other languages and cultures. They will use our school values to deepen their understanding of their own and other cultures through fellowship. They will use courage to explore a new culture. Children will consider how, in a multi-lingual and cultural society, learning a new language is a valuable skill.
In line with the National Curriculum for MFL, Towcester Primary students are taught to:
- Listen attentively to spoken language and show understanding by joining in and responding to a high quality MFL resources. All teachers will be leading the learning of a new language and this resource allows all learners to have access to quality, authentic materials. Teachers who are not experts will be learning the language alongside the students and modelling how to learn and engage with a modern foreign language.
- Engage in conversations; ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to those of others; seek clarification and help when something is unclear.
- Use familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures in speaking and writing.
- Develop accurate pronunciation and intonation through the use of authentic materials on Kapow. We will also use some adult created worksheets/activities to work on specific skills.
- Present ideas and information orally.
- Appreciate stories, songs, poems and rhymes.
- Develop vocabulary and learn to incorporate new words that are introduced into what they already know. Using sources such as a dictionary or online resource.
- Write familiar phrases and adapt these to create new sentences.
- Understand basic grammar appropriate to the language being studied, including (where relevant): feminine, masculine and neutral nouns. Begin to understand how to conjugate high-frequency verbs; how to apply these to build sentences.
This is done through weekly French lessons. The Kapow programme is taught by year groups from Y3-6 on a 4 year rolling programme.
We measure the impact of our curriculum by:
- Observing children speaking and listening in French.
- Some evidence of written work being applied into work books.
- Interviewing the pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Annual reporting of standards across the curriculum to parents.
- Learning walks.
The MFL subject leader will monitor the impact of MFL teaching on the children’s learning. They will ensure the knowledge taught is retained by the children and revisited.
Modern Foreign Languages Documents
At Towcester Primary School, we intend to deliver a Design Technology curriculum which is inspiring, rigorous and practical. We want our children to use their natural creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, linked to other subject areas. We intend for all children to acquire appropriate subject knowledge, vocabulary, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum. Teachers follow a long-term map outlined by PDET (our Trust), that ensures each key stage covers the strands; structures, electrical systems, mechanical systems and textiles; ensures each year builds on the last and outlines the links to other subjects. We want Design and Technology to enable our children to fulfil the school vision; to give them the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences they need to “fly”.
The Design and Technology National Curriculum outlines the three main stages of the design process: design, make and evaluate. Each stage of the design process is underpinned by technical knowledge which encompasses the contextual, historical, and technical understanding required for each strand. Cooking and nutrition focuses on specific principles, skills and techniques in food, including where food comes from, diet and seasonality. The “Projects on a Page” resources from the D&T association support teachers’ subject knowledge.
Early Years Foundation Stage
During the EYFS, pupils explore and use a variety of media and materials through a combination of child initiated and adult directed activities.
They have the opportunities to learn to:
- Use different media and materials to express their own ideas
- Use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about form, function and purpose
- Make plans and construct with a purpose in mind using a variety of resources
- Develop skills to use simple tools and techniques appropriately, effectively and safely
- Select appropriate resources for a product and adapt their work where necessary
- Cook and prepare food adhering to good health and hygiene routines.
Children will acquire knowledge and understanding of materials and components, mechanisms and control systems, structures, existing products, quality and health and safety. The skills learnt in DT lessons will impact positively on other subject areas, for example; accurate measuring in Maths, selecting appropriate materials in Science and being creative and innovative in Art. Other skills such as problem solving, collaborative working and resilience will enable our children to flourish.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, we believe that Art is a vital part of children’s education. Our curriculum provides children with planned opportunities to develop their technical abilities, express themselves creatively in a range of media and develop their evaluative and critical abilities. Through the study of a diverse range of artists, our children develop their understanding of their own cultural heritage and that of others. Children will develop their understanding of the visual language of art with effective teaching delivered through considered sequences of lessons and experiences.
We aim to dedicate the necessary time and quality resources to facilitate learning
opportunities for our pupils. Our learning sequence develops pupils’ abilities to respond to a stimulus, to select visual elements and rehearse techniques in a process to produce high quality compositions and outcomes. This sequence also enables our pupils to understand that the perseverance and attentiveness needed to complete a piece of artwork leads to a sense of personal pride and satisfaction.
Our Art curriculum delivers the objectives of the national curriculum and its programmes of study. Art is organised into a carefully sequenced, progressive long-term map of units which are taught in year groups throughout the academic year. Units comprise of the strands that run throughout our scheme of work and deliver essential knowledge and skills. These are:
- Generating ideas
- Using sketchbooks
- Making skills, including formal elements (line, shape, tone, texture, pattern, colour)
- Knowledge of artists (from different periods and cultures)
- Evaluation and analysis
Our curriculum mapping is drawn from the Trust’s progression documents which detail the essential knowledge that children should attain in Drawing, Painting, Printing, Collage, Textiles and 3D work in each year group. To ensure that pupils’ knowledge is progressive and relevant to their key stage, units of study containing focus knowledge and skill objectives are carefully mapped across the school in our Long Term Map.
Progression through different techniques is carefully sequenced into year groups to enable teachers to plan medium term units of work which build on and revisit prior knowledge enabling children to ‘know more and remember more’.
Key skills are revisited again and again with increasing complexity within and between year groups enabling pupils to revise and build on their prior learning. This systematic approach to the development of artistic skills means that children are given opportunities to express their creative imagination, as well as to practise and develop mastery in the key processes of art.
Our emphasis on knowledge of artists, vocabulary and technique ensures that children understand the significance and context of the artwork they study, as well as the artists that they are learning about and being inspired by. This also enables links to other curriculum areas, including humanities, with children developing their knowledge of individual artists as well as individual works and movements in art.
Sketchbooks provide a key resource in which pupils learn, explore, rehearse, practise and refine their artistic skills, ideas and creations; they capture each child’s learning journey.
Pupils are taught that their first idea may not be their best idea and that mistakes form an important part of the learning process – this learning is captured in sketch books as skills and ideas develop throughout each unit. Pupils develop resilience and perseverance through experimenting with ideas and processes in their sketchbooks; they are encouraged to take risks and to be ambitious.
The structure of the art curriculum ensures that children are able to develop their knowledge and understanding of the work of artists, craftspeople and designers from a range of times and cultures and apply this knowledge to their own work.
The consistent use of children’s sketchbooks means that children are able to review, modify and develop their initial ideas in order to achieve high quality outcomes. Children learn to understand and apply the key principles of art: line, tone, texture, shape, form, space, pattern, colour, contrast, composition, proportion and perspective. The opportunity for children to refine and develop their techniques over time is supported by effective lesson sequencing and progression between year groups. This also supports children in achieving age related expectations at the end of their cohort year.
Classroom displays reflect the children’s sense of pride in their artwork and this is also demonstrated by creative outcomes across the wider curriculum. The school environment also celebrates children’s achievements in art and demonstrates the subject’s high status in the school, with outcomes enhancing the environment.
The Art curriculum at Towcester contributes to children’s personal development in creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. Children will achieve age related expectations in Art at the end of their cohort year.
At Towcester C of E Primary School, children gain a firm understanding of what music is through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing, and composing across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and musical genres. We are committed to developing a curiosity for the subject, as well as an understanding and acceptance of the validity and importance of all types of music, and an unbiased respect for the role that music may wish to be expressed in any person’s life. We aim to provide children with the opportunity to progress to the next level of their creative excellence.
The music curriculum ensures children sing, listen, play, perform and evaluate. This is embedded in the classroom activities as well as the weekly singing assemblies, various concerts and performances and the learning of instruments. Through the musical program Charanga, teachers are able to produce inclusive lessons for all children to access the musical curriculum in a fun and engaging way, further promoting a love of learning. Teachers deliver music following the Charanga programme, designed specifically for the teaching of music in primary schools. Charanga lessons are planned in sequences to provide children with the opportunities to review, remember, deepen and apply their understanding. The elements of music are taught in classroom lessons so that children are able to use some of the language of music to dissect it, and understand how it is made, played, appreciated and analysed. In the classroom children learn how to play the recorder and a variety of percussion instruments. Playing various instruments enables children to use a range of methods to create notes, as well as how to read basic music notation. They also learn how to compose, focusing on different dimensions of music, which in turn feeds their understanding when listening, playing, or analysing music. Composing or performing using body percussion and vocal sounds is also part of the curriculum, which develops the understanding of musical elements without the added complexity of an instrument.
Music enables children to develop an understanding of culture and history, both in relation to children individually, as well as ethnicities from across the world. Children are able to enjoy music in as many ways as they choose – either as listener, creator or performer. Children have the opportunity to discuss and share their own thoughts, opinions and ideas, acknowledging and respecting that these may vary and that this is positive. They can dissect music and comprehend its parts. They can sing and feel a pulse. At Towcester C of E Primary School children are provided with opportunities beyond the National Curriculum to further and support their understanding. These include having visitors with a musical talent, visiting or taking part in concerts and school productions. External interests and talents are also encouraged and showcased in class and assembly, ensuring that everyone is challenged regardless of previous musical experience. Children have an understanding of how to further develop skills less known to them, should they ever develop an interest in their lives.