Primary Curriculum

'The feeling that they care about my child and her development. They also make me feel valued as a parent.'

'There is a personal approach and very much a community feel to the school.'




Curriculum Statement: Our Intent:

At Folkestone Primary, we believe our purpose is to offer a wide and varied knowledge based curriculum, which challenges, inspires and stimulates children to become curious, autonomous learners. Our curriculum focuses on the importance of knowledge, designed in progressive steps to ensure that children receive a well-rounded understanding of each subject. We offer a broad and balanced approach that values the importance of reading, writing and Mathematics, but also allows children to gain a strong foundation in History, Geography, RE and Science.

We believe in giving every pupil experience of learning beyond the classroom that enriches their understanding of the society in which they live. We aim to excite and engage our children through a wide range of resources, giving them a number of different learning experiences both within the classroom and through trips and extra-curricular activities. We try to link these to the local area, embracing local History, Geography and culture to give children experiences that enrich their learning and make it relevant to their context.

Children come to our school to experience being successful learners and through our curriculum provision, we commit to:


  1. Promoting and sustaining a desire for knowledge and a love of learning

  2. Ensuring each child is secure in reading and writing, equipped with the skills they need for the next phase of their education

  3. Promoting the importance of problem solving and reasoning skills, underpinned by a secure foundation of basic number concepts

  4. Promoting inclusion, diversity, tolerance and community

  5. Engaging children in new technology and ensuring a secure base of computing skills

  6. Promoting cultural capital to ensure children are exposed to the very best of what has been thought and said

  7. Developing emotional intelligence and resilience, developing children as autonomous learners

  8. Having high expectations for all, raising aspirations and ensuring each child realises their full potential


Please click on the link below to read an overview of our curriculum content:

English:

Within Folkestone Primary, our English programme of study follows the National Curriculum, covering recommended objectives for each year group, and is implemented through a range of whole school approaches, ensuring progression across the school. Our English lessons develop pupils' spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary. We teach our pupils to speak clearly and use Standard English, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. We have a huge emphasis on vocabulary in all subjects and children are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely.


Phonics:

Our phonics teaching follows a programme of synthetic phonics with Read Write Inc., which takes the learner incrementally through phases into full proficiency as confident readers.Children’s phonic knowledge is carefully tracked across the school using a bespoke phonics tracker to ensure progress is being made. Reading books match phonics teaching so children can practise applying their phonic knowledge. Our teaching of reading ensures that comprehension develops at the same rate as decoding of print.


Reading:

At the same time as the teaching of reading skills, we are determined that a love of reading and good literature is taught to the children, promoting a life-long love of reading for enjoyment and as a source of information and knowledge. Reading plays a key role in our English lessons, which are centred around texts that offer rich opportunities and include a variety of genres, including poetry. Class texts are used throughout the school and are chosen in order to expose children to a range of contexts including refugees in Year 6, shipwrecks in Year 4 and traditional tales in Year R. Lexile levels are considered to ensure texts are challenging as children progress through the school, whilst maintaining children’s interest. Children engage in reading activities daily in school, either reading directly with an adult or through guided reading experiences. Children are also benchmarked regularly to ensure they are reading challenging texts and that their progress is carefully tracked.


Writing:

We use the Talk 4 Writing (Pie Corbett) approach across the school to develop children’s writing and knowledge of different genres. During a three week block, children learn to imitate, innovate and invent using a model text. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. We teach all of our English through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing. This enables them to choose the writer tools they want to use in their independent writing, which in turn helps them to develop their own literacy voice. All of our writing is taught with a clear audience and purpose in mind.


Criterion scales are used to assess children’s writing against National Curriculum objectives which again ensures progression across the school – this includes developing a secure knowledge of punctuation and grammar and ensuring children are equipped to apply these within their writing.

Spelling rules are taught daily in accordance with the National Curriculum guidelines. High Frequency Words are taught systematically and monitored regularly to ensure children have personalised words to practise reading and apply within their writing. Children are taught to write in a pre-cursive script from Year R in preparation for writing in a fully cursive style when they are ready.



Maths:

In Maths, the subject curriculum matches the breadth of the National Curriculum and utilises the White Rose objectives to ensure lessons are logically sequenced. The long term plans have been adapted from these objectives to ensure sufficient coverage in number and place value, vital building blocks for a secure understanding of more complex mathematical concepts.


Each lesson includes a ‘Do Now’ activity for the children to revise their fluency skills in arithmetic with the aim of increasing pupils’ confidence, speed and accuracy. Starter activities are carefully selected to revise prior learning and ensure topics previously learnt are not forgotten, but continually embedded.

In each lesson, there is a coherent model of developing fluency first, before moving onto reasoning problems which are relevant to real life contexts and situations the children may encounter. There is also a focus on the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract model to allow children to develop their understanding first through the use of manipulatives, before moving on to written and more formal methods. Teachers use the objectives to track progress and long term plans are used to build on pupils’ prior learning. Assessments are then utilised to identify misconceptions and remaining gaps in children’s learning.



History:

At Folkestone Primary, children are taught History chronologically, beginning with studying the ancient world, including Egypt, Rome and Greece in Key Stage 1. They move on to study British History from Year 3, beginning with a study of the Anglo-Saxons and the Norman Conquest, before moving on to the Crusades. This chronological approach to the curriculum supports children’s sequencing of events, learning about important historical moments that have shaped the development of civilisations, along with their impact on future events and nations. The British History curriculum links to our local context and we ensure these connections are explored and embraced with all pupils in Key Stage 2 visiting Canterbury Cathedral.


Our History curriculum has a clear focus on improving students’ literacy and centres around high quality texts with stretching vocabulary that are explicitly explored and unpicked through class discussion and questioning. Pupils are asked to complete creative writing tasks and build up to essay writing tasks at the end of each unit of work.



Science:

Science knowledge is vital to a child’s education, supporting them to learn about the world around them and how it works, as well as piquing their curiosity and enthusiasm. Our aim is to teach scientific knowledge and concepts so that children can understand how science works in everyday life. Using the ‘Empiribox’ Science programme, our pupils are exposed to exciting practical work and investigations every week to bring their Science learning to life! It is important that children are able to apply their understanding in a practical manner, both effectively and safely, knowing how to conduct an experiment, and also how to analyse the results that it produces.


Geography:

At Folkestone Primary, the Geography curriculum closely follows the National Curriculum guidelines, and is designed so that students develop a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our teaching will equip pupils with knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.


Pupils will be actively engaged in a range of field work opportunities across all topics which will bring the subject to life. Our location as a coastal town and our proximity to France raises fantastic learning opportunities for practical work and discussion based learning, allowing their learning to be applied to a real life context.


As pupils progress through the curriculum, their growing knowledge about the world will help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Geographical knowledge, understanding and skills provide the framework and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. Across the key stages, this is frequently delivered using case study questions to allow pupils the opportunity to explore geographical concepts and areas in more depth.


Following this curriculum will allow the pupils of Folkestone Primary to understand better the environmental and political factors that shape the immediate world they live in and fully prepare them for their next step into secondary education with a deep rooted understanding of the fundamentals of Geography, which will be built upon as they progress into Key Stage 3.



Art and Design Technology:

At Folkestone Primary, we recognise that Art and Design play an important role in the development of children. Art and design activities enrich children’s learning and enable them to communicate their thoughts, ideas and observations in a practical and expressive way. In talking about art and evaluating their own and others’ work, children are encouraged to develop their visual language, ideas and feelings. Our Art and Design curriculum ensures that children have the opportunity to study a range of artists, designers, and artistic movements and develop associated skills and techniques. Within our art framework all children have opportunities to:


  • Know about great artists, craft makes and designers; understand the historical and cultural development of their art form. Children compare, discuss and evaluate art work to identify the techniques and skills that will be required for them to recreate art.

  • Become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture and other craft and design techniques and skills.

  • Produce creative work, exploring ideas and recording experiences.

  • Evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.


RE:

At Folkestone Primary, we strive to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. To help achieve this, we follow the Kent Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, delivered over six R.E days throughout the year. This is taught through a series of questions that relate to a range of different aspects of varying religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Atheism. Each question enables the children to explore beliefs from many different viewpoints and perspectives. From their learning, the children are able to make comparisons between the religions they’re exposed to. The knowledge the children gain is vast, as it is not centred around one belief; through the curriculum the children have a chance to decide for themselves and make their own choices about their own beliefs. The curriculum is relevant to their everyday lives, supporting them to learn the skills of empathy, acceptance and tolerance.

PE:

As a school we follow the National Curriculum to teach PE, implemented in a variety of different ways. We employ specialist sports coaches from Active Community Sports who teach high-quality physical education for 20 hours each week. This includes PE lessons, after school clubs and playtime activities such as facilitating football, aimed to inspire children to excel in competitive sport. Each year group will have a new focus sport each term. Initially, pupils learn the key skills of this sport and then gradually apply these skills in different scenarios including partner work, mini games and focus games. By the end of term, the children should be able to apply these skills within a match, game, performance or routine scenario.

Class teachers also have a designated sport space assigned to them for a “free” PE session each week. This gives the opportunity for children to engage in further physical exercise or activity, developing skills further from their termly focus sport or other games. Lower down the school, our school places greater emphasis on multi-skills to ensure the children master basic movements so they can develop on to participating in team games with greater success. As the children move up through the school, they will build upon the skills that they have learnt from multi-skills and will apply these to mini-games that are based on a specific sport. This leads on to playing sports in their natural form, and sports are carefully selected to become more complex as they progress.


In addition to this, conversations regularly take place across the school that highlight the importance of fitness to encourage positive physical and mental health through PE, PSHE lessons and assemblies. The Spirit of the Games values are also promoted within the school to encourage determination, team work, self-belief, honesty, passion and respect. Children are recognised for exhibiting these values across the school. Ultimately, the PE curriculum within Folkestone Primary aims to create an environment that promotes pupils to be active and healthy for life.



Computing:

Computing at Folkestone Primary is taught using the online platform Kapow. Through this platform the curriculum is in line with National Curriculum guidance and is taught on a weekly basis in every year group.


When delivering Computing lessons, teachers may use a variety of technology including desktop computers, laptops, iPads, bee-bots, pro-bots, recordable buttons and microphones to teach the children how to use these for various purposes outlined in year group plans.

Children may also be taught parts of the curriculum through ‘unplugged’ lessons which require no technology at all. Through our computing curriculum, children begin their journey with learning the fundamentals of how digital systems work and how to apply this through programming. After, pupils are prepared towards creating their own programs, systems and a range of content such as 3D modelling.


Across the school, children are also taught how to be safe online and what to do if they encounter any problems. Ultimately, our curriculum’s purpose is to develop digitally literate individuals who can use technology to express their ideas in preparation for becoming active participants in a digital world.



French:

Since we are able to see France on a clear day from our school grounds, it is essential that our children are given an introduction to French during their KS2 years, ready for further language learning as they progress through KS3 and beyond. In an increasingly globalised world, learning a modern foreign language equips children with the skills to make connections with different people and cultures. Knowledge of a modern foreign language develops a confidence in pupils which equips them with the communication skills needed in Europe and a global marketplace.

We use "Language Angels" as a basis to deliver French lessons to our pupils, covering listening, reading and writing skills through interactive and engaging activities.


Music:

Music at Folkestone Primary is taught using the online platform Kapow. This is a complete scheme for all year groups, which follows the National Curriculum for music. The sequence of learning within this scheme is based on: listening and appraising; composing; and singing and performing.

Through Kapow, the interrelated dimensions of music weave through the units to encourage the development of musical skills as the learning progresses through the year groups. Children are exposed to a range of music across time periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the work of composers and musicians.


PSHE & Relationships:

An holistic approach is taken in supporting the children’s wellbeing and health at Folkestone Primary; including their mental health. Each year group has a safe space area, which all children are able to access and resources have been purchased for each year group, to support the children’s wellbeing when in school.


Through our PSHE curriculum, the children develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need in order to keep themselves healthy and safe, prepared for life as well as nurturing their aspirations toward future career choices. These lessons have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils. We aim to develop skills and attributes such as resilience through growth mindset, self-esteem and critical thinking in the context of three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world. We follow the National Curriculum guidance that states that ‘all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education’ (PSHE). The PSHE Association’s vision and curriculum is followed, yet adapted in order to suit the emerging needs of the children as they grow and move up through the school.