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North Borough Junior School

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Curriculum Overview

 

 

Curriculum Overview

At North Borough Junior School, we are committed to providing every child with a broad and balanced curriculum experience. One that supports and develops the natural curiosity of children whilst providing them with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to be successful members of the local, British and global society.

Our school curriculum follows the requirements of the National Curriculum. Each subject is adapted to meet the needs of our pupils and to support our school ethos and values. For example, we actively encourage responsibility, respect, tolerance, courage, wisdom and compassion in lessons, assemblies and in the way people treat each other.

 

Writing

At North Borough Junior School we want every child to enjoy writing and develop the skills necessary to become a good and confident writer that has developed mastery of the curriculum.  We use a range of techniques to inspire pupils to become enthusiastic writers by using a range of class novels, visual literacy and poetry. Teachers also ensure that each piece of writing has a specific audience and purpose.  We believe in creating a language rich environment, therefore each classroom is well equipped with dictionaries, thesaurus’, word banks and modelled writing created by the class teacher.  We also believe that it is important to develop pupils stamina and therefore have dedicated an opportunity for sustained writing every Friday during pupils English lessons, whereby they will have the opportunity to undertake ‘Talk for Writing,’ planning, writing, editing, self and peer assessing their written work.

We also place an emphasis upon basic standards and promote neat handwriting through daily cursive handwriting practice in pupils’ English books.  Likewise, as of September 2015, we will be having daily spelling activities across the whole school using the Rising Stars scheme and likewise we have planned weekly grammar activities too.

Mrs Worrall  (English Coordinator)

 

Reading & Phonics

Children take part in daily Reciprocal Reading sessions, whereby they are exposed to a range of genres and higher order thinking activities. Pupils also undertake weekly comprehension activities using Primary Education Literacy Box. Reciprocal Reading refers to an instructional activity in which pupils become the teacher in small group reading sessions. Teachers model, then help pupils learn to guide group discussions using four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying, and predicting. Once pupils have learned the strategies, they take turns assuming the role of teacher in leading a dialogue about what has been read.

At North Borough Junior School, pupils are expected to read five times a week at home and we use our RED TED strategy to help motivate and reward pupils for reading at home. We also ensure that pupils have the opportunity to visit the fiction library once a week to change their reading book or read a range of other books too.

Our approach to developing pupils understanding of phonics is through using Sounds Write. We use a multisensory approach and pupils are provided with a picture, a song and an action to help them learn each different sound. This is an effective and interactive way for our less able pupils in Year 3 to recall phonemes on a daily basis. It aims to build pupils' speaking and listening skills, as well as prepare pupils to learn to read, by developing their phonic knowledge and skills.

Mrs Nicholls (Reading & Phonics Coordinator)

 

Maths

The new National Curriculum has brought many changes to mathematics teaching and learning. We recognise that the new curriculum is more challenging and a greater emphasis has been placed upon mastery. 

The major difference with the new curriculum is that once children have ‘mastered’ a concept, they are then challenged through rich and sophisticated investigations before any acceleration to new content. Pupils of all ages and abilities will be using a range of stimulating resources and apparatus (manipulatives) alongside written methods to help improve their understanding of different concepts. We currently use Maths on Target as a scheme to ensure progression of skills.  Classes in the same year group will be working on the same topic, so that all children receive the same curriculum coverage.

Another vital part of the curriculum is mental fluency. Children need to be able to say whether it is better to use a written method or use their mental skills.  Likewise, they will undertake a weekly arithmetic test.  One of the most important parts of mental maths is that pupils know their times tables. By the end of year four, all pupils are expected to know all of their times tables up to 12×12. To support this, pupils take part in Fast Learning during their maths lessons, whereby they are given a certain amount of time to complete a times table grid and endeavour to improve their speed and accuracy. 

Mr Haynes (Maths Coordinator)

 

Science

At North Borough we want our pupils to develop an enjoyment and interest in science, building upon their natural curiosity and sense of awe about the way the universe works. During their time here, we seek for them to gain an appreciation of the contribution science makes to all aspects of everyday life and for some pupils to become inspired to follow a future career in the subject, possibly leading to the next great discovery of our time. To enable them to fulfil this journey, we recognise that a firm grasp of scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding is essential in order to provide them with a secure foundation for their future learning. 

Well-resourced lessons ensure that pupils are engaged and high expectations are set for all children to achieve their full potential. Children are not only taught knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts, but also how to work scientifically - asking questions, planning, testing, observing, recording and drawing conclusions.

We use the Kent Science Scheme as a starting point for our planning and are currently developing the use of our extensive grounds to promote learning outdoors. We also ensure that we take a multi-disciplinary approach; hence we have an annual STEM week to promote learning in Science, Technology and Mathematics.

Mr Cornell (Science Coordinator)​

 

PE (Physical Education)

At North Borough Junior School we aim to ensure that our pupils both enjoy exercise and excel at sporting activities through a balanced curriculum. 

Lessons are taught by both teachers and specialist Sports Coaches who ensure that lessons cover:

  • Acquiring and developing new sporting skills
  • Selecting and applying new skills
  • Developing their knowledge and understanding of fitness and health
  • Learning to evaluate and improve their own sporting performance

Government funding has been used to improve the provision of physical education and after school clubs.  The impact of the funding is considered in terms of: achievement in weekly PE lessons, increased participation in competitive school sport, personal health and well-being and improved attitudes towards sport. 

We provide our pupils with two hours of physical education a week, which is delivered by the class teacher and a specialist sports coach.  Pupils also have the opportunity to attend many sporting clubs and this has led to an increase in the number of pupils participating in competitive sports tournaments and winning!

We encourage pupils to join after school sports clubs which include: football, cricket, dodge ball, dance, and basketball and tag rugby. 

Miss Fowler (PE Coordinator)

 

RE

At North Borough Junior School, we provide a resourced and stimulating environment to allow pupils to explore and discover the world around them in which they live. This allows our children to reflect, discuss and analyse on all the different aspects of Religious Education.

We aim to prepare pupils for the wider world and enable them to gain an understanding of not only the different cultures around us, but the different beliefs of others. Therefore, we encourage trips to different places of worship and believe that this approach will enable pupils to accept all people of different beliefs and a commonality between all religions.

As a school we currently follow the Kent Scheme of Work for Religious Education.

Miss Pailing (RE Coordinator)

 

Computing

We recognise the importance and the speed at which computing develops.  Therefore, we have worked hard to develop and update the hardware and software at North Borough Junior School. All classes have access to PCs and Chromebooks during a week. In addition, we have a Computing Coordinator and E-Safety Coordinator who teach the new National Curriculum to pupils each week to ensure coverage.

  • The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
  • Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation.
  • Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems.
  • Can evaluate and apply Information Technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems.
  • Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of Information and Communication Technology.

The school has a policy for responsible Internet use. Pupils are not allowed to access the Internet unsupervised and we use an approved, filtered Internet provider. Using the internet safely is a key element of our programmes of study.  Likewise, we place an emphasis upon E-Safety for pupils and parents/carers through the use of workshops provided by external agencies and information leaflets, which are shared on our website.

Mr Sloane (Computing Coordinator)

 

History

History topics are the basis for our Creative Curriculum and the aim is to stimulate the pupils’ interest and facilitate their understanding about life in the past, plus people’s actions, their motives and their environment.

We teach children a sense of chronology by ensuring each classroom has a timeline displayed, and through this they develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage, plus pupils also develop a greater understanding of British Values. We enable pupils to understand how events in the past influence our present lives; we also encourage them to question, investigate and analyse these past events using a range of stimulating historical resources.

To enhance the children’s learning experience in history they are given the opportunity to visit historic sites and museums, and have theatre groups come to the school to re-enact significant characters and events from history. This brings the subject to life and therefore increases their appreciation, understanding and engagement.

Mr Goodwin (History Coordinator)

 

Geography

Alongside the History curriculum, Geography also forms the basis of our creative curriculum at North Borough Junior School. Our aim is to create curiosity about the world in which they live which will stay with them throughout their lives. We approach the teaching of geography from a local, national and global standpoint studying the diverse places, people and resources which our world has to offer.

Locational knowledge is a key aspect of our curriculum where we expect pupils to know the names of the seven continents and five oceans as well as the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom. We will be looking at the similarities and differences between the UK and contrasting European and non-European countries by studying the physical and human geography. Children will be given the opportunity to expand and deepen their knowledge of geographical vocabulary.

Children will be taught to develop a range of geographical skills such as map reading and compass directions as well as having the opportunity to undertake fieldwork such as surveys and observational drawings. We ensure that every classroom has a globe, atlases and a range of maps at varying scales.

To enhance children’s learning in geography they will also be given the opportunity for geographical visits.

Mr Goodwin (Geography Coordinator)​

 

Art

Pupils have the opportunity to develop their artistic skills by undertaking observational drawings and experimenting with line, tone, pattern, shape and texture.  They will also be encouraged to refine and alter their drawings, plus use a range of media.  We also provide pupils with the opportunity to show their talents during an Art Week, which is usually based upon a theme or a famous artist.  Our Gifted and Talented artists have the opportunity to develop their skills at a weekly Art Club, which is run every week by an artistic HLTA.  We have also had the support of a community artist, who has worked with our Gifted and Talented pupils to create an external mural of pupils’ favourite book characters.  Likewise, we work with external art companies to produce whole school 3D art work to enhance our learning environment.

Mr Treays (Art Coordinator)

 

DT

We try to link our DT topics with our creative curriculum, whereby pupils have the opportunity to design makes and evaluate products e.g. designing a chocolate box in Year 4.  We are very fortunate to have two teaching assistants who are qualified cooks, so they undertake regular cooking classes with our pupils such as creating Greek cuisine and living on a ration card, linked to WWII.

Mr Treays (DT Coordinator)

 

Music

At North Borough Junior School, we encourage our pupils to develop a love of music and provide a variety of opportunities for the children to grow into young musicians. We help the children to build confidence to perform in front of their parents and peers, whilst at the same time encouraging all children to experience music, using a range of instruments.

In lessons, children are encouraged to listen to, evaluate and compose taking inspiration from a wide range of genres, styles, traditions and historical periods. We believe that music can give children aspiration, self-confidence, creativity and pride and this is why we strive to provide a high quality experience in this area of the curriculum. We ensure that pupils are exposed to a range of musical genres during assembly and have the opportunity to sing as a group.

We are lucky enough to have talented musicians amongst the staff, so pupils are given the opportunity to learn an instrument in their class music. Pupils have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder and the Ukulele.

The school choir has a number of ‘professional engagements’ during the year and this is led by two of our talented teachers. They perform in concerts at school, the local church and annual competitions held at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls. 

Mr Cornell (Music Coordinator)

 

MfL

At North Borough Junior School, our HLTA who has a degree in Spanish teaches weekly Spanish lessons to all pupils every week.  Pupils enjoy developing their vocabulary, playing games and undertaking role play with their peers.  We follow a scheme to ensure coverage and progression of knowledge and skills.  We also provide an annual Spanish Day, whereby pupils have the opportunity to experience the culture of Spain, which includes food tasting, geographical skills, music and traditional dance. 

We also have a strong Nepalese culture in our school, so we are working hard with the British Council to develop international links with a school in Kathmandu to enhance pupils understanding of cultural differences and similarities.

Miss Brading (MfL Coordinator)

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

 

If you would like to find out any further information about the curriculum our school if following, please speak to your current class teacher.