Our Curriculum


Introduction
Our curriculum for each year group is arranged in accordance with 1996 Education Act and the Local Education Authority.
The National Curriculum Overview for Parents



National Curriculum Subjects


Core Subjects
English, Mathematics, Science, RE, Computing.

Foundation Subjects
History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Music, Physical Education, PSHE

For year groups 1 to 6 we have adopted a project based approach for the teaching of foundation subjects; History, Geography, Design Technology and Art. There are three topics each school year and these subjects are an integral part of the topic. Each subject area has a clear progression of skills and all objectives are taken from the National Curriculum.

English 
In English we use the Power of Reading high quality texts to underpin the teaching of reading, writing and speaking and listening skills. Each week children partakes in a Big Writing session. We focus on four areas of writing: Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation (VCOP). The first part of this session is fast, fun work on the correct use of VCOP. Children are then given ‘planning time’ to think about their writing. After planning time the children write silently, with soft classical music playing in the background to focus them on the task.

A secure knowledge and understanding of spelling and grammar is a vital part of improving children’s speaking, reading and writing. Phonics is at the heart of our reading and writing. EYFS and KS1 have a daily phonics session with KS2 children also focussing on phonics and spelling lessons three times a week. All children have spellings to learn at home and they then work on applying these to their work in school. Grammar is explicitly taught at KS2 as well as being a vital part of everyday teaching and learning.

Maths 
Our Maths curriculum is based upon clear progression of skills. The teaching of number is underpinned by our whole school calculation policy that begins in our Early Years Foundation Stage. In KS1 and KS2 every child has a daily maths lesson. Mental maths is taught every day and children are given opportunities to use and apply the skills they have learnt in a range of mathematical situations.

Science 
Our Science curriculum consists of two strands: knowledge and skills. Children undertake various investigations to develop their scientific skills and are encouraged to ask and answer questions as well as to understand why we need a fair test. Scientific vocabulary is explicitly taught and modelled.

Computing
Our curriculum is an implementation of an ICT Scheme of Work. It is based upon progression of skills. These skills are taught in a weekly ICT lesson where a unit is covered each half term.  ICT skills are also developed across the whole school curriculum and tracked by teachers to ensure that ICT is embedded in all subject areas.

Religious Education 
For the teaching of Religious Education we follow the Agreed Syllabus for Bexley. We look at a range of religions and find out about belief systems and practises. Religious Education plays an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. Religious Education enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures.

Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)
The revised National Curriculum requires that: 2.1 Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which:
  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
2.2 The school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that each school plans for its pupils. The national curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. 2.5 All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. Schools are also free to include other subjects or topics of their choice in planning and designing their own programme of education.

Orchard has chosen Values Based Education as the basis for the teaching of PSHE because we felt the philosophy behind it suits our school and the way we wanted to deliver the new curriculum. We have a programme of values, 22 of them, one for each month over a two year cycle, chosen to suit the needs of the school and the children. The values are modelled through assemblies, at least one dedicated lesson, displays and rewards, and form part of the fabric and character of the school. Modelling is the modus operandi, as the staff have to live those values, and use the appropriate vocabulary to support them.

Through discussion, sharing and elimination, we generated this programme, unique to our school.

EditEditEditMonthYear 1Year 2SeptemberPositivityHopeOctoberIndependenceSelf-WorthNovemberForgivenessCompassionDecemberCaringSharing
JanuaryAcceptanceLoyaltyFebruaryLoveRespectMarchPerseveranceFriendshipAprilResponsibilityPatienceMayHonestyFairnessJuneCollaborationTrustJulyPrideCourage

PSHE and Circle Time is used to embed the importance of being an independent and successful learner. Values are rewarded through House Points and other reward systems in the school.

PE 
Our PE curriculum covers all aspects of Gym, Games, Dance and Swimming. Children cover a range of skills related to these areas of the PE curriculum each school year. In Games they complete a half term topic on Football, Cricket, Rounders, Tennis, Hockey, Basketball, Netball and Strike and Field. Planning is closely linked to the national curriculum and a clear understanding of progression of skills in these games.

Music
In Music we look at the different musical elements and use these to explore performance and composition.  We link our music curriculum to our project based curriculum and compose and perform pieces of music within this context.  Singing and developing vocal work is at the heart of our music curriculum and as a whole school we use SING-UP resources to support our programme of singing.  We use our progression in singing to deepen our understanding of music and develop musical skills.  We also use the government’s Wider Opportunity scheme to teach whole class Ukulele lessons in Year 4.  Listening, appraising and evaluating the music of other’s is taught so that children can identify ways to improve their own music.


Aspire to achieve            Believe in yourself            Care for each other

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Orchard Primary School, Oxford Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA14 6LW
Tel: 0208 300 4878         E-mail: admin@orchard.bexley.sch.uk