Our broad and balanced curriculum is effectively planned and delivered. Article 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child explains that every child’s personality talents and abilities must be developed to their full potential. Teachers recognise the need to continually reinforce English and Maths teaching across the curriculum. However, they are equally committed to ensuring that pupils’ learning is deep in subjects beyond English and Mathematics. Staff plan different aspects of the curriculum around a number of broad enquiry questions that are designed to spark pupils’ curiosity. This diverse and engaging curriculum plays a vital role in sustaining pupils’ thirst for knowledge while greatly expanding their understanding of the world. Article 12 of the UNCRC says that all children have the right to express their views and opinions. The curriculum is interesting, exciting and engaging for pupils. Subjects are brought together in themes and questions that are interesting, relevant and engaging for pupils. Each new topic is introduced by an opportunity for pupils to consider ‘what they already know’ and ‘what they would love to find out’. Each topic ends with time to reflect. The imaginative curriculum successfully builds on pupils’ skills and knowledge as they move through the school. It meets the needs and interests of all pupils because it is effectively linked to national and local events.
English & Phonics
We ensure there is a systematic approach to the teaching of early reading and synthetic phonics which gives our children the foundations for learning and ensures that all children learn to read words and simple sentences accurately by the end of Reception.
We teach regular, high quality phonics sessions following the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. The children are grouped according to their needs, and we use a range of phonics resources to ensure we meet the different needs and learning styles of our children.
The children experience a wealth of activities, learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and revise and build upon those already learnt. The children also develop the skills of blending and segmenting and are taught to apply these skills when they encounter new words. This is supported by practice in reading books consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and skills.
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Marldon Primary School. We believe that reading is key for academic success and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum and give all children the opportunity to develop their love of reading, encouraging pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction genres.
Reading is identified as a key priority on our School Improvement Plan, to enable children to access the full curriculum and ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in all subjects.
In EYFS and KS1, the children begin take home independent readers that match our phonics scheme. This ensures that the children are reading a book that closely matches their phonic ability, and that they can succeed with their reading and practise and improve their fluency at home and in school. The children take home one RWI book and one other book (a reading for pleasure book which may be fiction or non-fiction) to enjoy with their family.
Once the children reach orange RWI level, they are assessed for a reading band book. Our reading books are organised by book band colours that progressively get harder as the children work their way through the book bands and will help them to develop their recognition of common exception words and develop their comprehension.
Once the children are confident and secure at grey RWI level, they then complete a star test on our Accelerated Reader programme and begin to choose from our wide range of Accelerated Reader books in the school library. The Accelerated Reader programme encourages children to read independently at their own level and pace and helps to foster a love of reading alongside a passion to succeed. The children are asked to complete a reading comprehension quiz after every book to ensure they have read and understood the book they have chosen; this helps the children to develop their reading comprehension skills. Teachers use the quiz scores to track each child’s progress and ensure they are continuing to make progress and succeed. Children within key stage 2 continue with the accelerated reader programme.
Personal, Social, Health Education
The personal development of the children at Marldon, is further enhanced by our teaching of Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). We use a whole-school approach to the teaching of PSHE using the Jigsaw scheme of learning. This provides a well-structured, progression of learning, with the aim of preparing our children for life. We teach them to understand and value themselves as individuals, relate to other people and understand how to stay safe and healthy, both physically and mentally.
Throughout the year, the children learn at age-appropriate levels through the study of, and reflection in, the following topic areas:
- BM(Being Me in My World) – Who am I and how do I fit?
- CD(Celebrating Difference) – Respect for similarity and difference, anti-bullying and being unique.
- DG(Dreams and Goals) – Aspirations, how to achieve goals and understanding the emotions that go with this.
- HM(Healthy Me) – Being and keeping safe and healthy.
- RL(Relationships) – Building positive, healthy relationships.
- CM(Changing Me) – Coping positively with change
This mindful approach to PSHE also further enhances our MindUp Curriculum. More information about our MindUp curriculum, and the ways in which we support our children and families’ emotional health can be found by clicking on the link below.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
RSE is about the emotional, social and cultural development of our pupils, and involves learning about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity. It involves a combination of sharing information and exploring issues and values.
At Marldon, our curriculum encompasses many aspects of the Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) curriculum as well as contributing to promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of our pupils. Our policy on RSE is based on the Department for Education (DfE) Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education (2019).
To deliver our RSE curriculum, we use Jigsaw, our PSHE scheme of learning. Through our Relationships and Sex Education programme, we aim to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development. We believe that a successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, will help young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood, through adolescence into adulthood.
The main focus for RSE is in the ‘Changing me’ unit taught in the second half of the Summer term – the learning deepens and broadens every year.
Our programme aims to provide the basis for an ongoing programme of RSE that begins in Reception and continues through to Year 6. The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) in our schools:
- Is a partnership between home and school.
- To prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene.
- To create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships.
- To teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies.
- Starts early and is relevant to pupils at each stage in their development and maturity.
- Includes the acquisition of knowledge, development of life skills and respectful attitudes and values.
- Has sufficient time to cover a wide range of topics with a strong emphasis on relationships, consent, rights, responsibilities to others, negotiation and communication skills, and accessing services.
- Helps pupils understand on and off-line safety, consent, violence and exploitation and how to keep themselves safe.
- Is both medically and factually correct and treats sex as a normal fact of life.
- Is inclusive of difference, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, culture, age, faith or belief, or other life experiences.
- Promotes equality in relationships, recognises the challenges, gender inequality and reflects girls’ and boys’ different experiences and needs.