Learning is the core purpose of our school and is central to everything that happens. Our curriculum integrates the requirements of the National Curriculum in a bespoke and engaging way. It is designed to meet the needs of future citizens and equip children with the foundations for life.
We admit 75 pupils into each year group which requires a degree of mixed age teaching and therefore our curriculum map rolls across a 2-year cycle. In addition to whole class teaching, we also group children flexibly in English and Maths.
You can see our whole curriculum map by clicking here.
We plan and teach thematic units of study which make the most of real cross-curricular links. This approach promotes opportunities for children to apply their learning with purpose and leads to high levels of engagement. Every term children will be encouraged and supported to reflect on a whole school big question that links to their relevant unit of study.
Overall we want Spurcroft pupils to be inquisitive, motivated and resilient learners.
English is taught through a daily English lesson and handwriting is taught. There is a Guided Reading lesson where the teacher works with one group of children while other children read independently in order to develop and practice skills. In Year 1 and above, children are taught library skills and are able to change their library books each week.
Lessons are planned on a unit planner and are based on children’s needs from prior assessment as well as guidance from the national strategy.
A strong emphasis on reading and phonics in Early Years and Key Stage 1, giving children the necessary building blocks to become confident and independent learners. We are fortunate to work closely with the internationally acclaimed phonics expert, Debbie Hepplewhite, to trial her new Phonics International resources. This gives a core structure to our phonics teaching and children's understanding and development of early literacy skills.
For more information on how we teach phonics, watch this video of Mrs Flowerdew (our Headteacher) in action: http://view.vzaar.com/7553537/video
Maths is taught through a daily maths lesson. Lessons are based on children’s needs from prior assessment as well as guidance from the national curriculum. All lessons begin with counting and mental starter which gives children the opportunity to practise and develop skills using a range of mental calculation methods. Pupils are given the opportunity to explain, reflect on and extend their learning at the end of each lesson. Maths skills are also taught and applied through other areas of the curriculum for example when presenting results in a graph or measuring.
Science is taught each term as part of topic work following the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to think about their own understanding of the world around them, to ask questions and to explore finding the answers to these questions through investigations. Investigative science is the core element of the science curriculum and at least fifty percent of science taught is practical investigation. Children are taught how to ask a question and then test this through a planned investigation which involves making a prediction, keeping it fair by changing the one variable they are testing for, using a range of equipment safely, to measure and record their results, draw conclusions from these and then present their results.
History and Geography
Children explore a range of issues within the different contexts of place and time. Where possible first-hand experience is drawn on through trips and visitors.
Art and Technology
Children have the opportunity to explore their ideas through a wide range of media; from printing to pastels. In Design Technology, children design and make products with a specific user in mind, for example, waterproof clothes for a teddy or a funfair for a child in their class. They use kits and various construction materials to make their end product.
Music offers children an exciting and creative learning opportunity that is supported by our newly developed music room. Children are able to pursue instrumental tuition with peripatetic teachers from Maestros and this is strongly encouraged. Some musical instruments are taught through school clubs.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
PSHE provides children with the chance to develop their social and emotional skills as well as knowledge of key topics such as relationships, health, safety and drugs.
Citizenship is part of preparing children for adult life. They are able to explore what is meant by citizenship, key skills and ideas relating to society. Children are encouraged to develop a strong sense of identity and heritage alongside awareness of the diversity of our world. Each class has a council, who meets regularly to discuss class issues; these can then be taken to the whole school council. The school also promotes enquiry through enquiry based teaching of Philosophy.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children in Year 3 and above receive a half hour French lesson a week and French is incorporated into other aspects of school life. The focus is on speaking and listening taught mainly through the use of songs, rhymes and games. Teaching in Year 5 and 6 is supported through strong links with Kennet School.
Children take part in one indoor and one outdoor activity every week. Indoor lessons focus on dance and gymnastic skills and are taught by class teachers, outdoor lessons focus on team games and skills and are mainly taught by PE specialists. PE lessons also focus on the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For children who need it, swimming lessons are provided in Key Stage 2. Our annual sports days takes place in the summer term. There are a wide range of sporting clubs during lunchtimes and after school. The school also takes part in tournaments across West Berkshire.
Computing (ICT) is taught by a specialist across the school. Where possible this is linked to topic work or learning across the curriculum. This is enhanced by the broad range of hardware available including, laptops, ipads and programming devices such as Raspberry Piis. Pupils are taught to use ICT safely and effectively for a range of purposes including programming to solve problems. Our underlying aim is to ensure Spurcroft children are taught to be responsible competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology and have the skills and understanding necessary to take an active part in a digital world.