Park Junior School

Curriculum

English

Reading in school

This is our approach to reading – at home and at school.  Hopefully this page will provide a good insight into our rationale.  If you have further questions about how we structure this part of our curriculum, do not hesitate to come and talk to us in person.

Throughout our school day, your child is presented with many opportunities to read.  Chief among them is our guided reading sessions.  These sessions happen four times each week and centre around a detailed focus on a piece of text, which often relates to the wider topic the child is studying (for example, the Industrial Revolution, or the Stone Age to the Iron Age).  Children read out loud to the teacher and class as a part of these sessions, creating regular opportunities for improvement in fluency and confidence.

In addition to this, we use Accelerated Reader to structure your child’s independent reading.  Every term, the children take a Star Reading Test (from Accelerated Reader) which analyses their attainment and then indicates the range of texts which will be accessible yet challenging for them.  Children also take a quiz after they have read each book, and teachers and senior staff use these assessments as part of their understanding of the progress of each child and patterns of attainment across the school.

English lessons themselves centre on class books which link to the topic for the term, and provide many opportunities for reading and exploring stories – all of which feed into high quality pieces of extended writing.

Daily one-to-one interventions support those pupils who find reading challenging – ensuring that they are being heard to read every day, and supporting their learning further with targeted phonic input.

Reading at home

At Park Junior School, we believe that the children’s reading at home should be for pleasure.  We facilitate this by providing opportunities for the children to choose books from their class libraries and our main school library, which they can take home to enjoy.  Once they have read this book, they can then return it and select a new one. 

As the children are choosing these books, they will not be finely tuned to their exact reading level but will reflect something they are interested in reading.    

Occasionally, your child might select a book that is too challenging for them, or indeed too easy.  We see this as an opportunity to discuss this with your child, and for the child to reflect on their own reading skills.  For example, a tricky book can be a great opportunity for you as an adult to join in reading with them – allowing them to feel successful at reading a short but challenging paragraph, then reading the next section to them and providing an excellent role model for them to copy.  

There is no expectation for recording your child’s attainment for the benefit of us in school.  Our portfolio of in-school teaching and learning tools give us a highly detailed picture of how each pupil is getting on, and we share this with families through parents’ evenings and regular, informal conversations.  We actively encourage parents and carers to talk to us on the gate about the child’s attainment across the curriculum, and this is particularly relevant to reading.  Please let us know which books your child has particularly enjoyed bringing home, or which ones they haven’t taken to as much. 

To reiterate:  the aim of reading at home is to encourage the pupil’s love of reading and create opportunities for parents, carers and children to take part in a learning activity at home together – enjoying the shared conversation and experience which stems from sitting down with a good book.

Writing

At Park Junior School, we aim to create independent, imaginative writers. High quality class books provide inspiration and a springboard for the children’s writing in English lessons. These texts are linked to each year group’s topic, providing greater immersion in the subject matter and more opportunities to embed key knowledge from the wider curriculum.

In spring, one half term is spent with the whole school focusing on Shakespeare, with each year group taking a different play as their theme. With this in place, every child should leave Park Junior School with a strong working knowledge of four different Shakespearean plays, equipping them with an understanding which will support their journey through secondary school and beyond.

Our writing sequences – each lasting two to three weeks – follow a pattern of Preparation, Planning and Writing. Each sequence of learning begins with several lessons of preparatory work – equipping pupils with the understanding of the text and grammatical tools they will need to complete the task. New, ambitious vocabulary is introduced to expand the range of language the children are using. Model texts are explored and interrogated to provide clear examples. Children then plan their writing – whether through note taking, ‘boxed-up’ grids or storyboarding. Once written, high quality second drafts are completed of all extended writing, ensuring that every child has a finished piece which they can be truly proud of.

A full range of genres are explored over the course of each academic year, with each text type being covered twice to ensure that pupils have opportunities to overlearn and embed their understanding.

Phonics

At Park Junior School, we follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme.  Year 3 begins with us assessing the children’s current attainment, and using that to select our entry point to the scheme of work.  From there, daily sessions enable the children to consolidate their previous learning and move towards greater fluency with their reading and writing.  Targeted interventions allow us to support those children who have difficulty retaining the material covered in whole-class sessions, with a particular focus on pupils who did not pass the KS1 phonics screening.  Lessons are fast paced and engaging – combining a wide range of games and other activities to appeal to a variety of learning styles.  Classes move on from Letters and Sounds to spelling rule lessons once the scheme of work is complete and our assessments show that the children are ready to progress.

Maths

At Park Junior School, we use White Rose to plan our lessons and to inform specific small step lesson focus. Our aim is to follow the Mastery approach in maths, which means that most children work on the same objective at the same time with the differentiation being the level of scaffolding and support given.

As part of our Maths Catch up Program, we practise our arithmetic skills every day during our 5 in 5 sessions. These sessions are vital in keeping the children's calculation skills fresh irrespective of the maths they are covering in their main lessons.

During the main lesson, each class follows a similar structure. We start with teacher instruction of the new concept, where the children take part in activities with the teacher all together. Some of these lessons, as part of our catch up program, will include some previous year’s objectives to make sure they have that understanding before moving on. The children then move on to a task where they will practice their new skill, which is called ‘Do It’. This will always involve standard examples of the particular maths and some non-standard examples. These non-standard examples really ensure the children have grasped the new learning. This is followed by a test-style word problem, which requires the children to apply their newly gained skills. This task is called ‘Use It’. They then independently move on to a task which involves tackling a common misconception which really stretches their thinking about the particular concept - this is called ‘Twist It’. Lastly, they move on to a task which gives them the opportunity to deepen their understanding and apply their learning to different contexts, which is our ‘Solve It’.

Wherever possible, we mark the children's work with them in the lesson so we can work through any misconceptions, there and then in order to ensure that children have fully grasped the new concept and to identify any pupils that need an immediate intervention in order to further practise the methods introduced.

At the end of every unit, children complete an online assessment test that helps teachers track their progress and identify any misconceptions. The data collected will specifically inform our 5 in 5 sessions and ensure that gaps in children’s learning are addressed promptly.

Alongside our 50 and 100 club times tables tests, we also use Times Table Rock Stars, which is an online programme. The knowledge of multiplication facts is vital, so please encourage your child to keep working on these at home.

 Science

Wherever possible, Science is taught through class topics. Our planning ensures that the children develop skills in observation, questioning, formulating hypotheses, measuring, comparing and interpreting, and aims to develop scientific and conceptual knowledge through biology, chemistry and physics.

 Computing

Most children feel confident when using technology and regularly use tablets, computers, laptops, smart TVs, game consoles mobile phones etc.

In computing the children will explore the importance of staying safe on the internet, building a range of skills using Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint and for years 5 and 6 Excel and learning to create coding and algorithms to problem solve.

The children are asked to follow a set of ICT guidelines when using equipment to keep them safe at school and at home.

 Art & Design

In Art, children explore, express and create using a wide range of materials. Learning will include drawing, painting, sculpture, multi-media and print work and will be a creative part of class topics. We also use art as means to show understanding though other curriculum areas such as RE.

Design & Technology

Design and technology is an inspiring and practical subject, using creativity and imagination. Children design and make products that solve real and relevant problems, using card, modelling materials, construction kits, resistant materials, textiles and food. The majority of Design and technology will be planned through class topics, We also supplement our teaching with STEM workshops and K’nex challenges. Our children have represented the school as STEM ambassadors at Renishaws.

Geography

At Park Junior School the children will expand their geographical knowledge of the world.

By studying physical geography, pupils will take a closer look at the Earth’s natural features such as mountains, rivers, deserts and oceans.

In human geography the children will gain a deeper understanding of how human activity affects or is influenced by the earth's surface.  

 

Year 3:

Year 4:                  

Year 5:

Year 6:

Focus of Study

The United Kingdom

Europe

South America

North America

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Location

Physical and Human Features

Physical and Human Processes

Each year the children will explore 5 key themes within one location. In term one, the children will familiarise themselves with their chosen location. In term two, the children will build on this knowledge by exploring the physical and human features within that area. Finally, in term 3 the children will study the physical processes that have shaped the location. Whilst exploring these themes pupils will be taught skills that will allow for a deeper understanding of the world as they know it and create enjoyable, creative, stimulating learning environment.

 History

In history at Park Junior School, we use big questions to explore and understand the past. Pupils study key periods of time in both British and World history. Being immersed in a resource rich curriculum that allows the children to imagine the past will develop the tools that they need to become skilled historians.  As part of the National Curriculum, pupils will unpick important parts of history that have helped shaped Britain as we know it today. They will be given the opportunity to compare, justify and debate with each other about the achievements and defeats of the early civilisations.  As pupils embark on their historical educational journey, they will build on the knowledge and skills they have acquired so far and ensure they have a solid understanding of how historical events have shaped our society.

 

 

Term 1: World History

 

Term 2: World History

Term 3: British History

Big Question       

What were the triumphs and defeats of the early civilisations?

How did cultures and past-times shape the early civilisations?

How has the past shaped Britain as we know it today?

Year 3

Was Rome built in a day?

What did the Romans do for us?

Which was best Stone, Bronze or Iron?

Year 4

How did the Egyptian civilisation wax and wane?

What was daily life like in Ancient Egypt?

What were the effects of the Anglo Saxon, Viking and Scots settlement in Britain?

Year 5

Was Ancient Greece the most influential civilisation in history?

So, is everyone an Ancient Greek?

What impact did the Tudors have on Britain?

Year 6

How did Baghdad AD 900 prosper and falter?

What made the Age of Islam golden?

Does the Blitz tell us all we need to know about the impact of WWII?

Music

In music we follow ‘Music Express’ and the children will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music from different periods of history and countries. They will use their voices and instruments to compose music of their own and perform in front of others. The children will explore how music is created, including having an understanding of pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and notation. 

Every week the children sing in school during assemblies. Over the last two years children have taken part in ‘Young Voices’ where they learn and perform a range of songs.
 
In addition to this, instrumental tuition is available from peripatetic staff for drums, ukulele and guitar. Music teachers are self-employed and set their own charges and undertake their own administration. Instruments are available to hire from Gloucestershire Music (no hire charge is made for those in receipt of free school meals). Please see the following link for more information: http://www.gloucestershiremusic.co.uk/ 

Personal Social Health and Economic

At Park Junior School we see Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) as being at the centre of all that we do.  Through our curriculum, our school environment and our school ethos, we promote pupils’ self-esteem and emotional well-being and help them to form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, at school, at work and in the community.

Relationshipes and Sex Education  

The purpose of Relationships and Sex Education is to assist young people to prepare for adult life by supporting them through their physical, emotional and moral development, and helping them to understand themselves, respect others and form and sustain healthy relationships.

Mental health

At our school, we aim to promote positive mental health for every pupil.  We pursue this aim using both universal, whole school approaches and specialised, targeted approaches aimed at vulnerable pupils.   By developing and implementing practical, relevant and effective mental health we can promote a safe and stable environment for pupils affected both directly, and indirectly by mental ill health.  

Physical Education

Physical Education develops children’s enjoyment, confidence and skill in physical activity whilst promoting personal, social, emotional and intellectual development. It is also about introducing children to the world of sport, which combined with an enjoyment of exercise, will provide the foundations for a healthy, active adult lifestyle. Children experience high quality teaching from an external company called ATLAS who also provide competitive sports for our children to participate in within school and against other schools. Furthermore, children have opportunity to develop their swimming and cycling confidence through different programmes run by professional agencies. 

Languages

Our children are taught French in KS2.

The ability to communicate in a different language opens up a greater understanding of other countries, cultures and communities. The ability to express ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to written and spoken language enhances children’s confidence in all communication.

Religious Education 
 
Religious Education is an important part of the curriculum. The school’s Religious Education curriculum is based on four key religions (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam) and is closely linked with the school’s values. We follow the locally agreed syllabus to ensure that all pupils explore these religions to develop an understanding of the world they live in. Learning is also linked to the five British Values (democracy, tolerance, mutual respect, rule of law and individual liberty) to help children develop a sense of what it means to be British and live in a multicultural society. During RE lessons, children will be ‘Learning about religion’ and ‘Learning from religion’ to meet the key aim which is to ‘promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ through a key question. As a school, we believe that children can learn more about themselves and the world by studying the beliefs and practices of others. A copy of the agreed syllabus is available on request. Parents have the right to exempt their child from religious education. Those wishing to do so should notify the Head Teacher in writing. 

National Curriculum Link 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2022 Park Junior School. All Rights Reserved.