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Curriculum

  • English

    At Silchester we consider literacy not only essential for learning across the curriculum and throughout a child’s academic career, but a life skill which is vital for independence and which gives access to many aspects of our culture.

    Our approach to teaching literacy across the school is based on three identified building blocks; speaking and listening, reading and writing. All three are interdependent but we believe that they also build upon one another cumulatively. Therefore, through carefully constructed learning across all three areas, we strive to develop good writers.

    Assessment for Learning underpins our practice. Consequently, while the curriculum and learning objectives are identified for each year, lesson planning is informed by teacher assessment of the learning needs of cohorts, ability groups and individual children.

    Reading

    Reading is taught to every child in some form every day.

    Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 children receive daily phonics tuition which follows the Read, Write Inc. scheme. Once reading becomes more fluent, children also develop their decoding and interpreting skills in guided reading groups with an adult. This is normally towards the end of Foundation Stage or beginning of Year 1. The guided reading books are sent home weekly so that the skills can be consolidated through further practise.

    In Key Stage 2 the comprehension skills become more complex. The focus of weekly guided reading groups shifts to developing book talk where children learn to share their responses to texts and reading as a writer where children identify and learn from the writing techniques used by authors.

    Throughout the school, children enjoy class stories through which they are introduced to texts which may be beyond their independent reading level. Units taught in dedicated literacy lessons also include shared reading of texts, where texts are analysed to teach both reading comprehension and writing.

    The development of independent reading skills is encouraged through home reading. Children are expected to read at home daily. Until the end of Year 3, it is expected that this reading will be with parents and a reading record is used to monitor this. Increasingly during Year 3 and subsequently, it is expected that the majority of children will make the transition to mostly independent reading.

    In each classroom and in our school library we have a large collection of books which are varied in type and level. Children are also given the opportunity each week to borrow books from our school library to share at home with their family, promoting reading for pleasure.

    Writing

    Our school approach follows the Hampshire learning journey model. Each unit of work is based around a rich text to ‘stimulate and generate’ ideas. Regular opportunities are made for pupils to engage in dialogue to develop new vocabulary and imitate the key language. Lesson time is regularly devoted to activities which develop and improve crafting of individual sentences. Through shared writing, teachers model the choices made when selecting words and composing sentences and paragraphs. Children are taught to be reflective at every writing opportunity; proof reading, editing and evaluating their work.

    Writing is sometimes taught in a cross-curricular situation and our topics are time-tabled and planned to give children opportunities to apply their literacy learning across the curriculum. Spelling, Grammar and punctuation is explicitly taught and fully integrated into our literacy units across the school.

  • Mathematics

    Mathematics is not only taught because it is useful, but is often a source of intellectual stimulation. It provides a means for organising, communicating and manipulating information with the special power of not only being able to explain and describe but also to predict possible answers to practical problems. Mathematics is a language used in the communication of ideas of increasing importance. The use of statistical tables and diagrams and graphs of various formats can help simplify and clarify a message. The use of symbols enables statements to be made concisely and precisely making it a powerful tool. As technology develops the subject of Mathematics will continue to evolve. While it is often convenient to break down Mathematics into different areas it is important to realise that they do not stand in isolation from each other. This is important when Mathematics is to be applied to everyday situations and other areas of the curriculum, particularly in Science, Technology and Geography. In addition to curriculum areas, through Maths, we aim to help children become functioning numerate people with the knowledge skills and understanding to thrive in today's changing world and society.

  • R.E.

    As a Church of England School, we promote a Christian ethos through example and direct teaching, whilst recognising that not all of the children will be practising Christians. We follow the locally agreed syllabus in Hampshire (Living Difference III) for RE teaching across the school and supplement this with material from 'Understanding Christianity'. The curriculum is taught and experienced in a broad variety of contexts, as we believe that the teaching of RE and the learning environment should seek to be inspirational. We aim to teach RE in a way which gives pupils the opportunity to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, standards of personal behaviour, understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures. Each year group has an RE topic or area to study each half term. These cover a range of concepts, such as ‘holy’, ‘change’, ‘journeys’, ‘identity’, ‘interpretation’. Some of these fit well into aspects of topics already planned across the rest of the curriculum, but they may also be studied as stand-alone RE topics. The RE syllabus requires the exploration of questions and answers in the light of human experience and authentic encounters with religions. There are opportunities for pupils to learn from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam. 

  • P.E.

    Physical Education is thoroughly enjoyed by the children and is a very important part of the curriculum. Through PE children become aware of their own body and learn to control their movements. It creates a healthy, balanced way of living. Children take part in gymnastics, dance, games and athletics sessions. Our PE curriculum sets challenging expectations, whilst allowing all children to achieve success. We aim to develop positive attitudes towards co-operation and competition. We value opportunities to play as part of a team, often taking part in competitive tournaments and other sporting events. We are very fortunate to be able to make use of outside coaches for a variety of sports teaching also.

  • Science

    Science surrounds us constantly in our daily environment, and as such is an important part of the whole school curriculum. At Silchester, we provide stimulating first-hand experiences that encourage children to develop curiosity through observation, exploration, seeking the answers and identifying patterns. The children are encouraged to evaluate evidence and to try to link it to simple scientific ideas. They are supported to share their ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts and tables. 

  • Computing

    We live in a rapidly changing world where development in technology is enabling communication to take place across countries and continents and between peoples and cultures. This modern world requires new skills. Understanding ICT and, more importantly, being able to apply it to the problems we face is one of the most important. We aim to provide children with skills and understanding of computing and information communication technology, not just knowledge as by the time our pupils are adults, the technology available will have changed drastically. ICT is to be presented as a creative and fascinating process in which children are encouraged to use their own initiative, imagination, reasoning and investigative skills. We aim to help pupils appreciate the relevance of ICT in our society and that they see it as an essential tool for learning, communication, research, controlling and understanding their environment, for processing of information to aid understanding and for research of current affairs. As well as discrete sessions on ICT and all its strands we aim to show children the value and purpose of ICT in today's world by providing opportunities for ICT to be incorporated in all other areas of the National Curriculum. 

  • Geography

    Each year the children cover two topics with a geography focus. Geographical skills and knowledge are developed through looking first at where they live and their school, then looking at Silchester and its locality, and finally looking at other areas of the UK and different parts of the world. Skills such as observation and measurement are practised through fieldwork, reading maps is developed, geographical vocabulary is extended, and specific themes such as settlement and environmental change are studied. 

  • History

    We aim to help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We intend to inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past, using artefacts, dressing up and first-hand visits. Our teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgment. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. It can also modify future behaviours by recognising previous mistakes.   

  • Spanish

    At Silchester we consider learning a modern foreign language to be a life skill which provides an opening to other cultures. We aim to stimulate curiosity and deepen understanding of the world as well as enabling our children to express their ideas and thoughts in a language other than their own. We believe that learning Spanish will provide our pupils with the foundation for learning foreign languages in the future. Our approach to teaching Spanish across the school is a balance of spoken and written language. Our pupils explore the patterns and sounds of Spanish through songs, rhymes and stories and we aim to develop accurate pronunciation and intonation. They learn to ask and answer questions; express opinions and respond to others, both in speech and in writing, focused on familiar and routine situations. Formal Spanish teaching begins in KS2, however our KS1 children are also introduced to Spanish language and culture through activity days which include the introduction of simple vocabulary. 

  • Art

    At Silchester Primary we highly value the creative arts and recognise the value that an exciting and enriched curriculum gives to children. Through Art, children are enabled to develop and share ideas, experience success and celebrate their creativity.  

    We teach a variety of different skills in Art and how to apply them, whether in painting, drawing, sculpture or mixed media. Children learn about Great Artists and are able to explore, question, experiment and apply different ideas and techniques. We challenge our children with creative tasks that encourage them to take risks and think independently. 

  • Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE)

    Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) PSHE helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. With the help of the Social and Emotional Aspect of Learning (SEAL) curriculum materials pupils take part in a range of activities enabling them to work with others and recognise their own worth. They reflect on experiences and tackle many of the moral and social issues we see in school life and the wider community. Pupils learn to understand and respect diversity and differences enabling them to form effective relationships with others. Pupils become more aware of how to look after themselves through both Science and PSHE. We aim to give pupils an understanding of the importance of diet, hygiene and exercise. Sex Education forms part of the Health Education and Science Curriculum in school. Year 6 are taught about the importance of a loving relationship and how their bodies will change through puberty. Parents will receive information regarding the framework prior to the course being studied. 

  • Design and Technology

    In design and technology children find out how familiar things work, and talk about, draw and model ideas for new purposeful products. They are encouraged to think imaginatively and talk about their likes and dislikes. They work collaboratively to solve problems, developing a range of ‘design, make and evaluate’ skills. 

  • Music

    Music enriches the quality of life in all individuals and communities and is an essential part of our curriculum. In addition to regular singing and practical creative music making using a wide range of instruments, our children enjoy many other valuable experiences, including opportunities to perform to an audience. Music is a very important part of Silchester Primary school. We are fortunate to have a number of staff and parents who are musicians and who teach and perform to the children. The school values music and provides highly subsidised instrumental lessons. Nearly 50% of children in Key Stage 2 receive instrumental tuition. Music is also an integral part of daily Collective Worship at Silchester, providing space and quiet time for spirituality and reflection, as well as exciting the imagination and bonding the school community together through singing. 

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