The School Curriculum
The National Curriculum is a statutory requirement in England. Progression in the long and medium term is assured through the school’s curriculum frameworks and schemes of work. Our schemes of work ensure the whole National Curriculum is covered. Each year group works as a team and has the same scheme of work to follow in order to ensure that children gain similar knowledge, skills and experience.
In non Covid times, we would always upload the curriculum Long Term plans for each group. However, we made a change in the Autumn term to our curriculum planning and all year groups followed the same whole school Big Idea topics.
We always start the academic year off with a year group Book Study, so we maintained this practice but thereafter we all followed the whole school Big Ideas titled: Antarctica, History of York and Inventors and Inventions. All year groups approached these topics at an age appropriate level with coverage suiting their curriculum objectives. The outline plans are as follows:
We moved to Phase Big Ideas in the Spring term 2021 in addition to Remote Learning for pupils unable to attend school. Our current practice is following our remote Learning Offer.
Early Years Foundation Stage
All pupils at Knavesmire access an inspiring and engaging English curriculum that focusses not only on developing excellent communication skills but that fosters a lifelong love of reading. Our intent is that children leave Knavesmire with excellent written communication skills, confidence in their proficiency in using the English language and with a genuine love for reading. We teach children the building blocks of word recognition through high-quality phonics teaching and we build on those foundations with teaching comprehension and understanding skills through whole-class reading; we enable children to access a wide range of high-quality texts that reflect the diversity of our world. Children are taught how to write a variety of text types and are encouraged to explore their creativity through a high-level use of language. The impact is that Knavesmire children go into the world able to communicate effectively; our pupils are confident, well-read learners who take their enthusiasm for reading and writing onto the next stage of their education and into their adult lives.
The school use the Letters and Sounds Scheme for the teaching of Phonics.
Progression of Skills for Reading:
- Yr 1 Reading Assessment Grid
- Yr 2 Reading Assessment Grid
- Yr 3 Reading Assessment Grid
- Yr 4 Reading Assessment Grid
- Yr 5 Reading Assessment Grid
- Yr 6 Reading Assessment Grid
Progression of Skills for Writing:
At Knavesmire, our intent is that every pupil accesses a broad and balanced mathematics national curriculum. Maths is presented as a challenging, exciting, creative and relevant subject. We believe that practical and outdoor activities help children to develop and understand a range of mathematical concepts.
The National Curriculum is divided into Number, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics, Ratio and Proportion and Algebra.
The impact is that all pupils develop resilience and creativity which opens doors academically for future learning. Confidence through a broad, balanced and purposeful maths curriculum enables future success; delivering the school values of Knavesmire Character.
All pupils at Knavesmire Primary School access a broad, balanced and enriching Science curriculum. Our intent is to teach scientific concepts through our Big Ideas, making cross curricular links where possible. Sometimes we do this through whole class teaching, while at other times we engage children in an enquiry based research activity. We encourage children to ask as well as answer scientific questions. They have the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as statistics, graphs, pictures and photographs, and use computing where appropriate. The impact is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding and to be positive in their approach to Science. We recognise that there are widely differing scientific abilities in all classes and we ensure that suitable learning opportunities are provided for all children.
All pupils at Knavesmire access a broad, balanced and enriching History curriculum. Our intent is that History teaching at Knavesmire Primary School stimulates the children’s interest, curiosity and understanding about the past. Through the Big Idea, pupils will gain a knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We teach pupils a sense of chronology and through this they develop a sense of identity and an awareness of the challenges of their time. Teaching of the progressive knowledge and skills, equips children to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. The impact is that History teaching will help pupils to understand the complexity of their lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and the relationship between different groups. This learning knowledge will facilitate the critical, empathic thinking, of lifelong learning and the values of Knavesmire Character
All pupils at Knavesmire access a broad, balanced and enriching Geography curriculum. Our intent is that Geography teaching at Knavesmire Primary School stimulates the children’s interest, curiosity and understanding of the world through knowledge and skill based lessons. Through the Big Idea, pupils will gain a knowledge and understanding of their home town, the wider world and the similarities and differences places share over the globe. Children at Knavesmire progress their learning of Geography as they learn about a village, town, city, country and eventually continent, always challenging themselves to compare and contrast the different places in our planet. Teaching of the progressive knowledge and skills, equips children to ask questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop perspective and judgement. The impact is that Geography teaching will help pupils to understand the relationship between human and physical Geography and develop an understanding of how they can improve the world we live in. This learning knowledge will facilitate the critical, empathic and creative thinking, of lifelong learning and the values of Knavesmire Character.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
At Knavesmire, foreign language learning is an important and established part of our curriculum. Our intent is that every child studies French from Reception right through to Year 6 and that each child is taught for one hour per week. Emphasis is on learning through fun, with clear progression in the key skills of listening and speaking, reading, writing and grammar. There is also opportunity for various enrichment activities, such as French Café day and European Day of Languages.
The impact of teaching is that children develop a good grasp of phonics in French, sound dictionary skills and a good grammatical awareness. They have a stock of vocabulary and phrases and are able to adapt sentences for their own use. They use a wide range of resources to develop their language skills and recognise that these skills are transferable whatever language they go on to learn.
In addition, pupils in Years 1-4 are taught taster German sessions and Year 5 and 6 taster Spanish, where the emphasis is on practical use and transferable skills.
Year 6 children complete a unit on "secondary ready French Language skills". At Knavesmire we enjoy working with partner schools in France, Spain and Germany and children enjoy a sense of purpose through regular exchange of real work.
h regular exchange of real work.
Our intent is that Computing teaching at Knavesmire Primary school enables children to be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology. At Knavesmire Primary school, the children make use of a wide range of new technologies and applications. They learn to apply their skills in document production, data-handling, graphics and controlling devices. There is also a clear structure that develops programming progressively throughout the school. Through the use of a variety of programmes, these skills are used to enhance work produced in other areas of the curriculum. The school is linked to a large internal network which gives pupils access to their own files, printers and other multimedia devices and this is also connected to the internet via a ‘fire wall’ to provide appropriate access and protection. Pupils have access to desktops and iPads to encourage them to use their research skills in other areas of the curriculum. All year 5 and 6 pupils also have access to their own, individually assigned, Chromebook. Chromebooks are a versatile tool that can be used across all subjects in the curriculum: they enhance learning experiences by providing an interactive approach to all lessons. The school has a structured scheme to teach coding with a range of resources to facilitate its effective delivery. The impact is that Computing teaching enables children to become digitally literate and use information and communication technology to express and develop their ideas.
Art and Design
At Knavesmire, Art and Design lies at the core of our creative Big Idea curriculum as an inclusive host subject. The intent is to spark our children’s imagination and encourage them to become confident artists with a ‘can-do’ approach.
Six areas of skill are taught - drawing, painting, printing, textiles/collage, sculpture and computing which are supported with an understanding of the work of artists, designers and craftspeople. These are implemented and developed year-on-year through a continual progression.
Experimentation is greatly encouraged and through discussion and evaluation, the children form opinions on their own work and that of others. This approach facilitates an understanding that Art and Design can impact through an appreciation for its beauty and/or its emotional expression.
Design and Technology
At Knavesmire, Design and Technology prepares children to take part in the development of tomorrow’s changing world. Our intent is that the subject encourages children to become autonomous and creative problem solvers, both as individuals and as part of a team where they are also able to develop their innovative thinking. Design ad Technology enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond by developing ideas, reflecting and evaluating present and past design technology and eventually making products and systems. The impact is that Design and Technology allows pupils to combine practical, creative and reflective skills allowing them to become discriminating and informed consumers and innovators.
Music is taught throughout the school by a music specialist with each class receiving around an hour’s music lesson every week. The music curriculum is created in line with the National Curriculum using elements of Kodaly, Dalcroze and Orff.
Our intent is that the pupils access high quality and authentic opportunities to learn in music and that through these opportunities the children are able to access creativity, resilience, cultural understanding and communication skills.
The impact is that each child sees themselves as a creative musician who can participate in music making and appreciation whilst developing self-expression, communication skills and a cultural understanding of music history.
Current restrictions mean that extra-curricular music clubs have been suspended. At other times the extra-curricular music provision includes choirs, recorder groups and will see the introduction of music technology and percussion groups. Peripatetic music teachers usually visit the school on a weekly basis, giving individual or group lessons in strings, woodwind, guitar, drums, piano and keyboard. In the current situation these lessons are taking place online. The school also invests in the Whole Class Ensemble Tuition scheme, run by York Arts Education, which provides class lessons in violin and ukulele in Year 4 and this is currently in place. When possible, singing is an essential part of all musical learning and singing together is usually an important part of school life. Additional music workshops are provided by the Music Education Group at York University. All our children have the opportunity to take part in performances throughout the year, as well as additional projects such as the Minster Outreach Project.
Physical Education (PE)
The P.E. curriculum is created in line with the National Curriculum with objectives further divided into each phase within the school.
Our intent is that all children access high quality P.E. provision throughout the school, allowing them to showcase key skills across a variety of sports and performance based units. The impact is that each child can see a clear end purpose and journey for every unit of P.E. they take part in.
Pupils from Year 1 to Year 6 receive two PE lessons per week (a minimum of two hours in total). Pupils in the Foundation Stage all have access to the outdoor learning environment in which they are taught gross motor skills and the prerequisites of physical development. In nursery, children access outside play provision independently every day as well as one focused P.E session every fortnight. In Reception classes, children receive one P.E session a week as well as one focused outdoor activity. In Year 3, Physical Education also includes swimming lessons which continue throughout the academic year. Year 5 pupils participate in a residential to gain additional opportunities of outdoor and adventurous activities.
Religious Education (RE)
Religious education contributes to children’s spiritual, moral, social, cultural and intellectual development. At Knavesmire, our intent is that children will be encouraged to respect the religious commitment of others and embrace that people have the right to hold different religious beliefs. The school teaches RE in line with the legal requirement, by following the agreed Programme of Study of The City of York although instead of selecting Christianity and two other religions to teach we teach about all six major world religions across the seven years from Reception to Year 6. It is felt that all children, whatever their personal beliefs and commitments, can study RE in line with this syllabus. The impact of this is that the children are given the opportunity to enhance their own spiritual, moral, social and cultural development whilst given the teaching tools to recognise the right for people to hold different beliefs within an ethnically and socially diverse society.
Personal Social Health Economic Education (PSHE) and Relationships Sex and Health Education (RSHE)
All pupils at Knavesmire will access a high-quality spiral PSHE curriculum. Our intent is that this PSHE curriculum will contribute to providing personal development for all pupils to enable them to achieve their full potential and leave our school prepared for the demands of society in their future. It is our intent that Sex and Relationships Education will support pupils in their understanding of healthy friendships, families and relationships with children and adults. The impact is that high quality teaching and delivery of the PSHE and RSHE curriculum will encourage pupils to build skills such as empathy, making reasoned arguments, understanding other points of view and discussing issues in a respectful manner, as well as allow them to develop their discussion skills and present information and views in a respectful and accurate way – all within the realms of Knavesmire Character and all its values.
We aim to ensure that the broad traditions of Christian belief are reflected in our daily worship and that all our assemblies reflect values which would be acceptable, not only to Christianity, but also to most other religions. Our collective worship will not be narrowly Christian, nor will it be distinctive of any particular denomination and we shall make no assumptions about the children’s personal commitment to Christianity or any other religion. We also integrate SEAL and Special Mentions Assemblies to celebrate good work and behaviour.
Right of Withdrawal
Our intention is that Religious Education and Collective Worship, as well as our Sex and Relationship Education, shall be inclusive activities, respecting the integrity of all concerned. Children may be withdrawn from these activities, but we encourage parents to discuss this fully with the Head Teacher before coming to a final decision.
Features of Learning at Knavesmire - The Big Idea Explained:
Knavesmire Primary School’s curriculum is diverse and creative, with the key feature that all learning is purpose-driven. The self-design process enables accountability to statutory National Curriculum requirements - whilst designing a curriculum bespoke to its learners.
Pupils are both partners in learning, and in their curriculum design. This ownership ensures accountability and enthusiasm, and a passion and excitement for learning. In consultation with the pupils, the teachers decide an end goal for each 'topic' to work towards (The Guiding Purpose). Pupils then generate a series of questions which will need to be answered to achieve this end goal. These questions are ordered so everybody understands what will need to be answered at which stage of the unit (The Learning Journey). Pupils and teachers can then evaluate the successes and adapt their learning as the 'topic' progresses. Key Skills are developed so they can be used in future learning. Subject specific objectives are used so that discrete subject knowledge is developed/ achieved.
The enrichment and diversity of the curriculum enthuses learners and teachers, creating heightened ambition and high standards across the full breadth of the curriculum. Its diversity showcases talents and conceives inspiration. Inbuilt flexibility embraces new technologies and fosters skills for a fast changing world. Breadth of quality of provision is built on expertise of staff and well-developed, sustainable partnerships.
Read the Theory behind the Big Idea Curriculum to hear why we have developed our curriculum in this way. The information listed above gives you information on how everything fits together. Our Big Idea curriculum meets the legal requirements of the National Curriculum and engages our pupils in purposeful and exciting learning opportunities.