At Earlsmead, we approach learning in exciting, enriching and creative ways, in order to engage, inspire and enthuse our children. This develops the inquiring ‘minds of tomorrow’ into forward-thinking, problem-solving, understanding and confident potential leaders.
Knowledge provides the driving, underpinning philosophy for our curriculum. The content is specific in details. It is structured in such a way that children have the chance to engage and remember their learning; not just encounter it.
We want our children to amass a specific body of content that is planned; therefore units of work are not defined by headings but by details. For example: when learning about the Romans, it would go beyond the general sense that the Romans had an empire and lived a long time ago to include knowledge about key figures, dates and events. They will be able to identify key sites in the UK where Romans have had an influence.
Our approach to the curriculum builds in spaced retrieval practice, formative low-stakes testing and plenty of repeated practice for automaticity and fluency. Our aim is for pupils to have requisite skills to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for the next stage of their education.
Our curriculum enables us to provide challenging, varied and meaningful learning experiences for all pupils. An excellent range of educational visits, clubs and special events also help to bring learning alive.
The curriculum is organised into six themes per year group. Each topic is launched at the start of term with an unusual experience which stimulates and motivates pupils’ interest and subsequently leads to great progress being made across the unit.
Further information on the national curriculum is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-curriculum.
Please click on each subject or the Year group tab to find out more about the learning that takes place at Earlsmead Primary School.
At Earlsmead Primary School, we endeavour to inspire a life-long love of reading and communication by learning English skills through the use of high quality children's texts, books and topics that inspire and excite young readers and writers.
How we teach Reading at Earlsmead Primary School
At Earlmead we have a strong belief that not only is it our duty to provide provision for the teaching of reading but we ensure that being a ‘lifelong learner’ is at the fore-front of our vision, ensuring children develop a love of reading and it becomes a pleasure for them.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, children take part in daily Guided Reading sessions which demonstrate a range of skills, enabling children to decode and comprehend what they read. These sessions adopt the ‘Whole Class’ approach, during which the class shares the same text with a specific skills focus.
Children are able to access the school library on a weekly basis, allowing their imaginations to run free. As well as the quality core texts read in class, the children have access to a wide range of interests and experiences through books.
Children have access to an online reading platform called Bug Club. Every child has their own personal login with a range of reading material which has been personally set by their teacher. This can be accessed at home from any device.
Children are expected to read at home daily; this helps to develop confidence and fluency.
How we teach Writing at Earlsmead Primary School
We aim to develop confident, fluent and enthusiastic writers. Writing is delivered in a cross-curricular manner using our termly, topic-based curriculum as the stimulus. This work takes place alongside daily basic skills sessions (which may focus on handwriting, spelling and phonics) as well as discreet teaching of grammar topics.
Children are taught writing in a creative way using the cross-curricular approach so that English lessons link to their current topic. Children are given regular opportunities to produce extended pieces of creative writing and to edit and improve their own work.
A progression of grammar, sentence level and punctuation objectives are used to inform planning.
Children are given success criteria that link directly to the learning objective. These are used for self, peer and teacher assessment.
Children’s writing is monitored on an ongoing basis with both verbal and written feedback given to children in order for them to improve and grow their writing skills.
How we teach Phonics at Earlsmead Primary School
We recognise that a systematic approach to teaching phonemes (sounds) plays an important part in developing fluent readers.
Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, children are taught phonics on a daily basis.
The ‘Letters and Sounds’ approach provides a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills starting with initial sounds, blending and segmenting. It also introduces children to ‘tricky’ words or words that cannot be decoded by breaking it down such as ‘the’. The children are taught that these tricky words break the rules and sometimes have to be learned by sight.
At Earlsmead, we understand that developing phonetic knowledge is only one skill to becoming a confident and competent reader. Starting in Reception, children are encouraged to demonstrate an understanding when talking with others about what they have either listened to or read. Teachers consistently model a range of reading strategies which support children to read with fluency and a depth of understanding.
YEAR 1 PHONICS SCREENING CHECK
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is an assessment to confirm whether pupils have learnt their letter sounds and whether they can use them to decode and read a range of words of increasing phonic complexity.
It is a compulsory requirement that all schools carry out the check.
Class teachers will conduct the phonic check with each Year 1 child in their class on a 1:1 basis.
Games to develop phonic awareness:
At Earlsmead we aim to produce ‘Inspired and Confident Young Mathematicians’. We believe every child is capable of achieving a high standard of Mathematics and grow in confidence within Mathematics. We strive to unlock this enthusiasm and love of learning as the students move through Earlsmead. We believe that developing early number sense, using a range of images and concrete resources, are essential foundations for more advanced maths and problem solving skills. We build on this early knowledge to recall and apply mathematics knowledge fluently and rapidly.
At Earlsmead we understand that mathematics can teach us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child’s ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. Mathematics can enable children to understand and appreciate relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives.
Mathematics lessons at Earlsmead aim to develop enjoyment for the subject to enable the students to study it with confidence and a sense of achievement. We strive for this at Earlsmead through: Themed days, dedicated maths weeks, practical investigations, problem solving and reasoning days, cross-curricular learning approaches and engaging children through a wide variety of activities.
Science is highly valued at Earlsmead for developing skills and attributes including curiosity, critical thinking, observation, communication and determination. All science at Earlsmead is taught in line with the National Curriculum, with a strong focus on developing the children’s scientific skills and enjoying science.
The aims of science are:
- To empower children to question, interrogate and understand their everyday experiences.
- To develop logical thinking and the understanding of the methods of scientific enquiry that help scientists to answer scientific questions about the world around them.
- To understand scientific concepts across a broad and balanced range of topics.
- To develop children’s scientific literacy so that they are equipped to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Scientific skills do not change over time and are built on as children progress from reception to Year 6. Each year group focuses on four to six scientific content areas, through which the working scientifically skills are taught and practised.
Working scientifically skills:
- Asking questions and recognising how they can be answered
- Performing scientific enquiry safely
- Selecting appropriate equipment and resources to investigate
- Observing using scientific equipment
- Measuring using scientific equipment
- Recording and presenting scientific findings and data
- Performing comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations)
- Identifying, classifying and grouping
- Seeking and describing patterns
- Using observations and results of enquiries to draw conclusions and make predictions
- Suggesting improvements for experiments and understanding how errors can come in to experiment
- Using secondary sources to investigate
Science and the wider curriculum
At Earlsmead, science offers excellent opportunities to practise their literacy and numeracy skills. Writing in science books regularly covers a range of non-fiction genres, including instructions, explanations, descriptions, recount, non-chronological reports. Other non-fiction genres and even fiction are sometimes included too. Reporting on scientific enquiries offers regular opportunities to hone data handling skills, while scientific measuring equipment gives practical experience of using scales in a range of situations.
As science is seen as a vital part of the broad curriculum, many topics throughout the school are science led. For example, Year 3 study the topic “Poles Apart” focusing on magnetism and Year 5 learn all about the force of gravity through their topic “What goes up, must come down.”
Other topics led by a literacy, geography or history focus cleverly weave the science in to keep it central to the curriculum. While reading “Bog Baby,” Year 1 consider the question “Why are humans not like Bog Babies” to discover more about animals, including humans. Similarly, Year 4 read “The Incredible Book-Eating Boy” in literacy while learning more about teeth in science. Perhaps they’ll be able to tell us which teeth are most useful when eating books!
At Earlsmead we provide an exciting and innovative Computing curriculum that enables us to build a firm foundation for ‘Budding Computer Scientists of the 21st Century!’
Our programme offers 6 creative units (one for each half term) using the latest software in real life situations. Each year group from Year 1 to Year 6 covers the areas of: Programming; Computational thinking; Creativity; Computer networks; Communication & collaboration as well as Productivity. There is a clear progression of skills from Year 1 to Year 6. E-Safety is embedded throughout the curriculum to ensure safe and responsible use of technology.
Computing is used as a cross curricular tool and permeates most other areas of the curriculum. We have a computing room which is fully resourced with 30 PCs and a projector. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards, visualisers and cameras. We also have whole class sets of notebooks and laptops to ensure our teaching is flexible and accessible to all age groups.
History & Geography
At Earlsmead Primary School we ensure that pupils cover the key skills required for History and Geography objectives taken from the National Curriculum. History and Geography are taught in a practical, cross curricular way incorporating art, music, literacy and many other subjects where possible. This provides opportunities for the children to see how their learning can be applied to many different, real-life situations.
It is our aim at Earlsmead Primary School to develop young geographers who are able to make links and connections between the natural world and human activity. Through our exciting topics and ‘hooks into learning’, we enable children to develop their enquiry skills and understand the kind of questions asked by geographers. These include, but are not limited to: Why is this place like it is? How is it changing and what will be the costs and benefits of these changes when they happen? What would it feel like to be in this place?
Every half term, each year group has a new and interesting topic to learn about. This will often have a specific History and Geography focus. Each half term’s topic is launched with a ‘hook into learning’. This is an exciting and engaging introduction to the new topic. Some of the topics include: Magnificent Monarchs, Sensational South America, China, Magnificent Mummies, Rampaging Romans, Murderous Mayans, the Blitz, and Vicious Vikings.
Trips and Learning Experiences
Wherever possible, every class should have the opportunity to go on an educational experience or attend an in-school workshop each half term. These give the children an opportunity for ‘hands-on’ learning and can take place at any point throughout the half term.
Websites to use at home
PE and physical activity play a very important part in the school lives of pupils here at Earlsmead Primary. We believe that, given opportunities to take part in a range of high quality PE activities, children will develop the life skills of team-work, resilience, meeting challenges and setting high aspirations for themselves.
Our aim is to inspire and encourage all children, regardless of background or ability, to engage in a variety of physical activities to strengthen and broaden their agility, balance and coordination.
Our children enjoy a range of physical activities through PE lessons, swimming lessons in Year 3 and 4, break and lunchtime provision and extra-curricular activities. In these sessions the pupils take part in a wide variety of sporting activities including team-based sports and those of a competitive nature.
We employ a full-time sports coach to ensure that our sports provision is of the very highest quality. Also, Earlsmead Primary has also been awarded the Silver quality mark from the Youth Sport Trust.
At Earlsmead Primary School we believe that teaching and learning in art is paramount because it stimulates creativity, imagination and inventiveness. Art enables children to communicate what they see, feel and think through the use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes.
At Earlsmead Primary School we aim to provide opportunities for children to:
- Understand, explore and enjoy art, craft and design
- Experience a broad and balanced range of art activities and show progression within these experiences
- Show development of ideas and their own skills through the use of a sketchbook
- Develop their ability to observe, investigate, respond to and record the world around them through a growing variety of forms and media
- Develop use of a range of tools, media and processes
Design & Technology
Design & Technology helps to develop children’s skills, knowledge and understanding of designing and making attractive and functional products. It incorporates many traditional skills such as drawing, cooking, model making, problem solving, observation, discussion and puts them together in an approach which encourages the children to become innovative inventors and designers!
At Earlsmead Primary School we feel it is vital to nurture creativity and innovation through design, and by exploring the designed and made world in which we all live and work. Three Design & Technology units are covered each school year with lots of opportunities for cross-curricular learning such as the properties of materials in Science, the use of measuring in Maths, Computing and Art. A range of units are focused in Food Technology where children develop skills in designing and preparing a range of healthy foods.
At Earlsmead, children are given opportunities to grow in awareness of themselves, others and the world around them and begin to understand the response of religion in these areas. Children learn to respect and understand the views, practices and beliefs of others. They are encouraged to share and compare their experiences and knowledge.
The meaning and purpose of life, beliefs and values are investigated through literature, sacred texts, religious buildings and artefacts. The school follows the Harrow Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education as recognised by all the local faith leaders represented in the London Borough of Harrow. A copy can be seen on request.
Music at Earlsmead is taught as a discrete subject but permeates throughout the curriculum and beyond. Children have weekly music lessons based on a multi-media scheme called Music Express. Children learn to listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions, with increasing confidence, imagination and control. They explore and enjoy how sounds and silence can create different moods and effects and also begin to use simple notation.
We also offer tuition to learn to play instruments such as the keyboard and guitar.
Children learn songs in class and have the chance to perform to their peers and their parents in concerts and assemblies – often to celebrate end of term or a religious festival.
Modern Foreign Languages
Children in KS2 have an opportunity to learn French. They will gain a basic understanding of the language and the culture through oral and interactive activities.
Learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures. The high-quality languages education provided at Earlsmead fosters pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. Teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond, both in speech and in writing.
Learning a language should provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.