At Broomhill First School, we believe that the purpose of the curriculum is to gradually build up pupils’ level of knowledge and understanding across all subject disciplines and then be able to apply this in a thoughtful and considered manner to suit the demands of any given task. The curriculum should excite, enthuse and develop within our students a love of learning that encourages them to pursue their learning away from school.
Broomhill First School offers a curriculum that is balanced and broadly based. Our curriculum promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, emotional and physical development of pupils at the school and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. Our school curriculum comprises all learning and other experiences that we plan for our pupils. The National Curriculum forms one part of the school curriculum. We are legally required to follow the statutory National Curriculum which sets out, in Programmes of study, the basis of key stages, subject content for those subjects taught to all pupils.
Our pupils are taught in mixed ability classes and groups and our approach to learning is based upon meeting the needs of the individual child. The curriculum for Nursery and Reception children meets the standards set out in the EYFS framework and details regarding this can be found in the Early Years section of our website.
The purpose of English in the National Curriculum is to teach pupils to write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Our curriculum aims to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop a love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We aim to encourage each child to develop a love and appreciation of language and reading, and to acquire the necessary skills to become an effective communicator.
At Broomhill First School, English is often taught separately but where possible it is integrated into our topic based curriculum. Through these topics, pupils will learn to read and write through a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. Phonics, spelling punctuation, grammar and handwriting, as well being part of every lesson, will be taught discretely at specific times each week. A weekly school assembly has a specific focus on books and authors that children have enjoyed.
- Speaking and Listening: Great emphasis is given to each child's ability to listen with understanding and to respond to what they have heard. The school provides a stimulating environment in which children are motivated to think about their experiences, and those of others, and to express themselves as clearly as possible.
- Phonics: A daily 20-minute phonics session is planned across the school. Our systematic synthetics phonics programme (SSP) is Essential Letters and Sounds. An SSP is designed to teach children how to read through the act of decoding and blending. An SSP teaches children the link between the sounds of our language (phonemes) and the written representation of these sounds (graphemes), or the spellings of the sounds contained within the English language. Essential Letters and Sounds is a complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme, which has been validated by the Department for Education. All children will receive reading books acutely matched to this programme in Reception and Y1.
- Reading: From the first day in school, your child will be introduced to a variety of print. We ask parents and carers to support and extend their child's reading skills through such activities as reading to their child, listening to their child read, helping them learn letter sounds and key words. We also issue a home-school reading record to be used to record your child’s progress. Children are encouraged from early on to be responsible for changing and choosing their own reading books from our graded reading scheme.
- Writing: Each child is encouraged to express and communicate their thoughts and ideas by writing stories, recording events, writing letters and poetry, and creating lists, pamphlets and posters. Writing is linked to most areas of the curriculum and there is ample opportunity to develop skills to meet a wide variety of situations, purposes and audiences.
- Spelling: All children are encouraged to spell correctly those words in everyday use. We encourage children to attempt their own spellings by listening carefully to the sounds in words, as well as the use of dictionaries. At some stage your child will be given spellings to take home and learn which will have been especially chosen to support his or her own level of spelling ability.
- Handwriting: All pupils are encouraged to write neatly and legibly with control over the formation, the size and the shape of letters. By Year 3 your child will begin using joined writing which will be well established by the time of transfer to middle school at the end of Year 4.
Although the specific teaching of the above skills is delivered through English sessions, children will also have plenty of opportunity to apply their skills throughout the curriculum.
We aim to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations. At Broomhill First School, maths is taught on a daily basis supported by the terminology from the National Curriculum. Maths is taught daily; every lesson includes problem solving in ‘real-life’ situations; arithmetic and reasoning in all year groups consists of number and place value; addition and subtraction; multiplication and division; and fractions. We encourage each child to work with confidence, understanding and enjoyment in this area of the curriculum. Much of our work is taught through the White Rose maths scheme and the following mathematical aspects are covered:
- Numbers and Place Value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
Science and the Foundation Subjects
The purpose of science is to provide the foundations for understanding the world through biology, chemistry and physics. Children are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We aim to ensure that all pupils develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding, develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science and that they are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. At Broomhill First School, the relevant programmes of study are taught for each key stage. Where possible, science is linked directly to the current topic being taught; for example, as part of their topic about Romans the children may investigate which materials are best for making Roman tools or use electrical circuits to make lighthouses during a topic about the coast. Some cross curricular topics may actually be based around a particular science programme of study. By using a topic based approach we aim to deepen pupils’ understanding of how science is linked to the real world as well as providing more opportunities for writing across the curriculum.
The Foundation subjects include Design and Technology, Art and Design, Geography, History, Computing, Music and French (at KS2). These subjects, along with Science, are taught over a 2 yearly cycle to accommodate the needs of our mixed age classes. Much of the curriculum relating to these subjects is taught through termly or half termly topics in KS1 and KS2 (see separate section for an overview of topics planned for this academic year). Specialist music teachers are engaged to enhance the curriculum, such as the teaching of skills in playing drums and singing.
PE is also a Foundation Subject and your child will have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities including dance, gymnastics, games and athletics. Because of the area in which our pupils live, we believe that swimming is also an essential part of our curriculum and therefore pupils from Years 3 and 4 attend a local swimming pool for lessons for part of the year.
The school follows the County syllabus for the teaching of Religious Education which has been organised into a two-year programme of study at each Key Stage.
As well as studying Christianity, your child will also learn about other religions such as Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
Our PSHE curriculum is based upon recommendations by the PSHE Association (see separate section) and relates to the following three themes:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
The specific aspects taught remain flexible to ensure that we are able to best meet the needs of our pupils and prioritise topics that are most relevant at any given time.
All areas of the curriculum are available to pupils regardless of any disability. If an activity cannot be made accessible or would be inappropriate then an alternative activity will be made available. Planning to improve access to the curriculum will include identifying reasonable adjustments to offer an equality of opportunity, staff training and the purchase of specialist equipment.
Extra Curricular Activities
Children are given the opportunity to take part in a wide range of extra curricular activities, including sporting activities, dance, art and craft, and computers.
Further information with regards to annual topic overviews and specific details of what is to be covered each half term can be found within the ‘Classes’ section of our website.