Please click here for the Primary National Curriculum.
Reading is the foundation on which all learning must take place, and our children are encouraged to read at every opportunity. Phonics is taught daily in the Foundation Stage and KS1 using Letters and Sounds and Sounds-Write as well as being revisited when necessary in KS2. We follow the PM Benchmarking and Colour-banding scheme which is a levelled reading programme, and we ensure throughout the whole of the school children are reading at an ability appropriate to them. Reading is also taught in literacy lessons and across the curriculum. We also use Sounds Write and Fisher Family Trust as interventions to help those children who require additional support with reading and writing, and every child is benchmarked each term to monitor their progress in reading, in addition to other methods of assessment.
We believe that children need to be taught the basic skills of writing. These are taught in daily literacy lessons. We also feel it is important to teach writing skills across the whole curriculum so our themes have a large literacy base. We aim to teach writing to children at their ability. One of the main strategies we use is the Big Write, which is a piece of focused independent writing and allows our children to use the writing skills and grammatical knowledge they have acquired during lessons. We also teach spelling to children at their ability.
At Cotton End teaching and learning is based around seven key areas:
Children learn using a variety of methods and resources with the emphasis on practical activities in which they can practice and refine their skills. We teach Maths as a discrete lesson, but include it within the Creative Curriculum wherever possible. We use Numicon as an intervention tool, and lessons are differentiated by ability within each class.
Teachers plan the PE curriculum based on the needs of children within their class. We ensure that we cover gymnastics, dance, athletics and games. In KS2 the children have swimming lessons in the summer term. The children also receive PE lessons delivered by Premier Sport on a weekly basis. As a school we regularly take part in external Multi-Sports activities, which gives our pupils the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports, as well as to mix with, and compete against other local schools.
We follow the Bedford Borough SACRE agreed syllabus. We also have a ‘comparative’ approach to celebrating and learning about the similarities and differences between cultures and religions. The children regularly visit different places of worship and we also have visitors from Open the Book. RE Plan Overview
The Creative Curriculum
The Creative Curriculum at Cotton End Forest School encompasses core and foundation subjects and enables us to provide a high standard of teaching and learning.
We aim to foster a life-long love of learning, through adopting a highly practical and cross-curricular approach. Our Creative Curriculum aims to deliver a twenty-first century education that will equip our children with the skills required to be independent and responsible citizens
The creative curriculum is a carefully planned, thematic approach to teaching and learning designed to support children’s natural curiosity and stimulate their creativity. It offers children the opportunity to work in depth, giving them the time they need to reflect, consolidate and transfer their learning.
All the different subject areas are covered by linking them as closely as possible to the overall topic. This lends itself to plenty of cross curricular activities in Literacy and Numeracy as well as the foundation subjects. We ensure that National Curriculum objectives are incorporated into our planning.
An overview of the topics covered within Years Reception-Year 6 gives a broad outline and shows progression and continuity in topics and subjects taught in a cross curricular way across school.
There are three parts to our planning:
Long term planning; these show an overview of topics/themes covered in each year group. They give a broad outline for each year group and shows progression and continuity between topics taught in a cross curricular way across school. We follow a two year rolling programme of topics to ensure progression with a combined teaching unit.
Medium Term Planning: these show specific objectives to be taught within each area of the curriculum and the links between them.
Weekly Planning: These break down the objectives into weekly achievable targets and activities.
Monitoring and Evaluation and assessment
The HT monitor the progression, continuity and effectiveness of the creative curriculum together with the governing body. Curriculum and Standards Committee meetings are held regularly.
We value the diversity of individuals within the school. All children have equal access to the curriculum and are treated fairly regardless of race, religion or abilities. (See inclusion policy)
For more details about each class’ individual curriculum please refer to the class pages.