The school curriculum needs to be continously evolving to meet the needs of every child in a rapidly-changing world. Ours was updated again in December 2015. We are a values-led school and we have a strong focus on social, moral, spiritual and cultural education at all times. You can download documents below to see how the values and SMSC are promoted across the school.
We also have a long-standing Resilience Programme, which helps children to develop resilience in all aspects of their lives. You can download our Tracker below. Children who have achieved their Gold level wear a special Penguin badge, and go on to support younger children in order to achieve Platinum.
In September 2014, the government introduced a new National Curriculum, which is statutory for all maintained schools. This has set challenging aspirations for primary school pupils, especially in writing and mathematics. However, the government also made it clear that the National Curriculum is one element of the whole-school curriculum, which can be tailored to meet the needs and interests of the pupils in each school.
At Bletchingley Village Primary School, our aim is to provide a curriculum that is broad, balanced, engaging and meaningful. To achieve this, we plan the children's learning through termly themes which are shared right across the school, and developed at a level that is appropriate for the age of each class. We are also developing expertise in "Mantle of the Expert", in which children become experts in a particular field and carry out projects through creative enquiry and role-play. To find out more, visit the website at www.mantleoftheexpert.com. Alongside our mantle work, we are following the Talk4Writing programme. This programme begins by developing the children's spoken language, especially through traditional tales, and then takes them into writing. The standards expected are high, and we are already seeing the impact in the children's work. In additiona, shape-coding scaffolds writing for every child, and particularly those who access our specialist provision.
Teachers plan carefully for their class, ensuring that work is set at the right level for each child so that children who fall behind are helped to catch up, higher attaining children are challenged to do as well as they can, and children with special educational needs and disabilities have effective support. We plan in three ways:
Long-term planning: This is a four-year curriculum, planned through themes, and with the content of the national and school curriculum allocated to years and terms. The long-term curriculum map ensures coverage, depth and breadth. We also now have a core curriculum to show how science, art, DT and music units fit into the curriculum. To support these, we have a continous coverage document, which identifies skills and knowledge which is taught continuously within each subject. You can see our long-term map and other documents by clicking on the links on the panel. You will also find documents which explain and clarify the requirements of the new National Curriculum for reading, writing and mathematics.
Medium-term planning: This is done each term and shows the learning journey for each class. Medium-term planning identifies how children will be engaged and motivated by meaningful tasks and activities. Teachers plan learning activities which promote the values and drivers we have identified, and to make sure that children develop the positive learning skills and characteristics that they will need at secondary school and in their adult lives. You can see the medium term plans on your child's class page.
Short-term planning: This is done weekly and daily. Short term planning is designed to secure high standards of attainment and progress through the use of clear and challenging learning objectives and steps to success or toolkits. Timetables are flexible so that lessons and units of work adapt to the responses of the children and so that there can be in-depth study related to the steps on their learning journeys to promote deep learning.
Reading and Phonics: Reading has a very high priority, and the younger children read regularly with an adult at school. We use the Nelson Thornes PM Reading Scheme, which enables them to read independently using a range of strategies, develops their phonic knowledge and increases their sight vocabulary. Once children no longer need the structure of a reading scheme, they move onto our colour bands, which ensures that they read a range of high-quality children's fiction, at the appropriate level. In addition, all children from Year 1 upwards have daily "guided reading" sessions and have a Reading Passport to track their progress through the school. We teach phonics daily. Our usual scheme is Phonics Play, which children can also access at home: www.phonicsplay.co.uk. This is currently under evaluation, and we are trialling Phonics Pathways and Reading Pathways to help children secure their blending skills more quickly. Children who need additional support with phonics are given one-to-one or small group sessions using a range of interventions including "Alpha to Omega; Word Wasp/Toe by Toe and Download Reading.
Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic education runs through everything we do, and we teach discrete Relationships and Sex education in Years 5 and 6. This policy has recently been updated via a working group comprising parents, staff and governors. Our PSHE curriculum and tracking has been shared and recommended as good practice by the local authority, and you can download the documents from this page.
Religious Education is taught in line with the Surrey Syllabus, and we hold a daily act of Collective Worship which is based on our values; current events; global citizenship; and a range of festivals from Christianity and faiths. We hold six RE theme days across the year to promote meaningful and in-depth study of the topics. Parents and carers have a right to withdraw their children from Sex and Relationships and Religious Education if they wish, by informing the head teacher in writing.
Children’s learning across the school is enriched and broadened by many educational visits, theme days or weeks, and visitors to school. There is a residential visit plan for children from Year 2 upwards. These are funded in part through the school's delegated budget or donations kindly provided by FROSCS, but we are dependent on voluntary contributions from parents/carers as well. Arrangements are always made for any parent/carer in financial hardship.
Homework: Children have homework in line with our policy, which was updated following extensive consultations with parents/carers and pupils. In the infant classes, this is normally reading, spelling and number work. In the juniors, children will also have English and Maths homework and may also have work to do related to their topic work, some of which is optional. Teachers will explain the homework schedule to you at the beginning of the school year at our Meet the Teacher event or at our half-termly Open Classroom. Homework remains under continuous review, and in 2016 - 2017, we will be working with our local small schools group to agree and implement best practice. Our new library is open to parents and children after school and there is a drop-in Lunchtime Learning Club. We have a study support group to which children may be invited if they would benefit from some additional support with their homework, and/or a quiet place to study. We want homework to be a valuable and rewarding experience for children and we try to avoid it becoming something which causes stress or pressure at home, so please talk to your child's teacher if you are finding homework onerous or stressful.
Extra-curricular activities: We are very proud of the wide range of clubs and activities we are able to offer, some of which are free of charge and run voluntarily by members of staff or older children, and others are run by outside organisations who make a charge. We now run more lunchtime clubs, many of which help to promote increased physical activity, so that they are available to children who travel by taxi. We offer a range of our-of-hours learning support. This includes: Lunchtime Learning; Homework Club; Going Forward lessons after school; and Open Library from Tuesday to Friday.
We run a variety of musical clubs, and Infant and Junior Choirs as well as a good range of instrumental lessons.
We have good links with the Red Oak Children's Centre in Merstham, and they provide a range of activities to help involve younger children with the school.
We have a high focus on children's physical and emotional wellbeing. Our daily Wake and Shake has been updated, and every child has a weekly gymnastics lesson with a highly-qualified and inspirational coach. All children in Years 3 to 6 have also had a course in Mindfulness. Both of these initiatives include staff CPD so that the impact can be sustained. During the new school year 2016 - 17, we aim to provide quality sports coaching to improve children's fitness and skills.
Can you help?
We welcome parents, carers and members of the community into school to work with the children during the day or after school. Many of them hear children read, and others run sports or other clubs. All our volunteers undergo DBS and have a full induction in order to safeguard our children.