At Castleton School we offer a curriculum that meets the learning needs of our pupils from whatever their starting point is. We pride ourselves on our family ethos and attention to the individual needs of our children.
We plan our curriculum to support learning, personal growth and SMSC (Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural) knowledge and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also any other activity organised by school, for example, extra-curricular activities and any other activities designed to enrich the experience of the children. There is also a ‘hidden’ element to the curriculum which includes what the children learn from their school environment, the way they are treated and how they are expected to behave.
Along with all other maintained schools we are required by the government to teach the revised National Curriculum published in September 2014. The curriculum is ‘what’ will be taught, whilst the ‘how’ things are taught is left to individual schools.
As we structure our curriculum according to the variety of levels and needs, we use a variety of resources to support this rather than adopt one restrictive curriculum. We use Hamilton Trust, Focus Education and wide range of online resources to ensure variety, but also track the coverage of the National Curriculum 2014 to ensure we meet the DfE requirements.
Our children are taught in two classes; we have a Nursery, Reception and KS1 class and a KS2 class. The coverage of the National Curriculum is achieved through a rolling programme of themes/topics. These are then enhanced further by specific themed weeks and additional curriculum breadth experiences which we plan to enhance what has already been learned. Our long term planning takes into account the fluidity of our groups. The mixture of ages in the specific teaching groups means our planning needs adapting year on year, to ensure continuity of skills.
Our curriculum time table has been developed with our flexi school offer, we plan for the majority of key skills work to be delivered on our core days; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The teaching of Literacy is structured from the National Curriculum and we use a wide range of materials to enhance the delivery of quality first teaching. We also adopt a cross-curricular approach to Literacy, which means that opportunities are taken to make meaningful links with other curriculum areas. For example, this could be writing a set of instructions in design technology, or writing a diary entry or letter from a particular character in history.
Pupils in Reception and KS1 are taught phonics, using the Letters and Sounds framework and Jolly Phonics as a basis for their progress. We use a wide variety of resources including apps and interactive smartboard work to enhance this provision. We have recently bought a phonics based reading scheme ‘Big Cat’ by Collins publishers, this is now being slotted into our reading and phonics work.
The teaching of mathematics is structured from the National Curriculum. A range of additional resources, including the online resources ‘Mathletics,’ and ‘Maths Seeds’ are provided to enhance mathematical learning. Recent staff development training has included input from the regional Maths Hub on the application of Maths Mastery. Our mixed age groups allow us to use some aspects of this to improve consolidation of concepts.
The teaching of Science has been planned to ensure that the relevant scientific skills for each year group are taught through a series of topics that form a rolling programme across two years. Science enquiry is taught through a very practical approach with lots of exciting experiments.
Computing teaching is structured from the Wokingham Framework for computing, which ensures a progression of skills as children move through the primary phase. An emphasis is always placed upon the meaningful and contextualised application of the children’s skills. We have a teacher to deliver the KS2 computing curriculum as a weekly slot in our core timetable. The curriculum also includes termly sessions on Internet Safety, ensuring our children are prepared and knowledgeable about keeping themselves safe online.
Religious Education is provided by following the Derbyshire Agreed Syllabus 2020. Our RE is delivered as termly whole school ‘theme week’, this enables the children to become immersed in the topic and get really involved with some in depth learning and experiences.
Foundation Subjects are delivered by following a four-year rolling programme. Curriculum design is such that a broad range of topics is provided, upon which a range of skills, knowledge and concepts are developed in order to make learning meaningful.
Early Years Foundation Stage is directed by the guidance provided in the EYFS curriculum. documentation. Our Early Years Team have developed an exciting learning environment where learning links are made to real life events, stories, structured activities and activities that allow pupils to lead their own learning.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) is delivered mainly through use of the SEAL(Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) materials in Collective Worship, and a resource called Picture News that explores British Values, Personal and Social elements and global issues. It is taught as a specific lesson but is also an ongoing theme throughout many lessons, in much the same way that Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) dimensions are regularly explored.
Curriculum Enrichment is provided by running a wide range of educational visits and experiences. We regularly take groups of children on educational visits and make good use of our beautiful locality with an outdoor curriculum that allows the children to go a Woodland Adventure every week at our very own Woodland learning site. We equally value the many opportunities we have to welcome visitors into our school.
Teacher assessment is ongoing and regular staff meetings are planned to look at Pupil Progress and ensure we are meeting individual needs. We record pupil progress using the Sheffield STATs system that records attainment against the National Curriculum objectives for each year group.
We meet the DfE requirements for statutory assessment in Y1 phonics, Y2 Maths and Literacy and Y6 Maths, Reading, Writing and SPAG.
Our pupils are taught through a variety of styles, incorporating whole class teaching, group and individual methods as and when appropriate. Some pupils take part in small group sessions when they may be withdrawn from the whole class – this is to maximise their learning experience. We endeavour at all times to treat children as individuals, and according to their particular needs and abilities, and for some children this will be in the form of a specific support plan. This may be to provide additional support for children with learning needs or extension for children who are very able.