At King Alfred's Trust, our curriculum is at the very heart of everything we do and since 2018, we strive to develop a well sequenced curriculum, tailored to the needs of our children.
Using the National Curriculum as a start point, we are building our curriculum so that it is ambitious, memorable and provides our children with the very best understanding of the world around them.
We know that our minds privilege stories therefore each unit of our taught curriculum uses a high quality core text as the stimulus for all teaching and learning. This helps our pupils to know more and remember more of what they are taught. It also allows us to teach our foundation subjects through the lens of that story and give pupils a rich and powerful bank of subject specific vocabulary.
Our curriculum aims to:
- provide our children with the knowledge of each of the subjects as well as the knowledge of how those subjects are connected
- specify exactly what our children will know, be able to do or understand in each subject and how this will support future learning while reinforcing information and skills previously taught
- provide opportunities for children to revisit and review information, so that they really remember it
- carefully sequence the substantive knowledge (the knowing what) that children will be taught
- provide children with a clear understanding of the disciplinary aspects (the knowing how) of each subject
As a trust, we use three core documents to ensure that our curriculum is consistently and carefully enacted in our schools:
- Long Term Overviews
- Unit Overviews
- Knowledge Organisers
Long Term Overviews
These documents map out how we sequence the content of the National Curriculum across each year group. They also contain information about the Units that will be taught and any trips or enrichments that have been planned across the year.
These documents contain the detail of each unit: how the subjects have been broken down into small steps for learning, the core knowledge to be taught in each small step and how that relates to prior and future learning. Our Unit Overviews also specify the core, high quality text that we will be using and the key vocabulary that children will be taught.
These documents set out precisely the information that children will be expected to know, understand and use by the end of each Unit. We send these home at the outset of each new term and they are also available as links, directly from each class page.
As a trust, we believe that all children have equal rights to a broad and balanced curriculum which enables them to achieve their full-potential. Our values guide everything we do in our schools, including teaching and learning, and it is our intention that our children leave our schools as confident, happy young people who are ready for the next stage in their education, wherever that may be.
We understand that not all children have had the same experiences in life, and we believe that as schools, we have an obligation to increase the Cultural Capital of each child. We have put together a list of experiences and opportunities that we believe all of our children should have during their time with us:
Phonics and Early Reading
From September 2022, we have been using Supersonic Phonic Friends to teach Phonics and Early Reading. This is one of the new Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programmes that have been validated by the Department for Education, and which replace Letters and Sounds.
All of our teaching staff attended comprehensive training from the creator of Supersonic Phonic Friends.
When children come into Reception, they all start reading books with no words. This ensures that they all know how to use a book and that they can tell a story using the pictures. As the children start to learn sounds, they will have a reading book matching the phase/ level of phonics that they are working on.
We have carefully sourced reading books from a variety of schemes to ensure that we have enough books at each phonics phase/ level. Having a mix of schemes gives the children variety too. The books are sorted into the appropriate phases/ levels. A book sort took place in October when the Supersonic Team were here to ensure that it is finely tuned.
Once the children move past phase/ phonic level 6 (often in Year 3), they move onto our other reading books that are sorted into reading stages.
We offer Phonics and Early Reading Information Sessions in every academic year. In Term 2 2022, we delivered an information session on Supersonic Phonic Friends to all parents. In Spring term we welcomed parents in to take part in phonics lessons to find out how we teach our lessons and how they can support at home.
"Attending the lesson was a bit of a game changer for me in terms of how I support my child at home with phonics."
We use a pre-cursive and cursive handwriting style and teach the children this from Reception. We use an online scheme called Letter Join and all parents and children can access this at home as well as in school. A link to this can be found in the Home Learning Hub. If children struggle with fine motor skills, it may be that we focus on activities to support their progress in this before we move them on to handwriting.
At KS2, reading is taught through whole class reading sessions embedded and are embedded into our writing approach. More detailed information is available here.
Children are encouraged to read a minimum of four times a week at home as part of our Fantastic Four Reading challenge as well as our '100 books' reading challenge. Each phase (KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) has a book list compiled of recommended books that cover a variety of genres and authors which the children are encouraged to read. Lots of these texts are available in school where we have a growing collection in the classrooms as well as in the local libraries. '100 books' booklets are available to view and download on class pages as well as children receiving a hard copy when they enter each phase.
We plan and teach writing using a three phase approach and linked to our core curriculum texts. Each year group uses the Wiltshire Writing Progression to ensure that children's learning is developmentally appropriate. We have also developed fiction and non-fiction progression documents to ensure that children's skills in writing improve over time and are built on secure foundations.
Across the school, we use a scheme called 'White Rose' to support our planning and teaching. Maths is divided into units of work which last for varying lengths of time. We then use a wide variety of resources to ensue that we deliver Maths in an interesting and engaging way, ensuring that all children have access to their year group expectations. We use a Mastery Approach to teaching Maths and you can read more about this here.
We plan and teach science discretely using the national curriculum as a progression model. We also use support from the Association for Science Education and guidance from the PLAN materials to help us specify the knowledge we want pupils to be taught across the school.
History and Geography
At King's Gate Primary School we respect the subject disciplines of History and Geography, even though they are taught within the context of a Unit. We work hard to improve our subject knowledge through Subject Associations and the Local Authority subject leadership network.
We use a scheme of learning called Kapow to support the teaching and learning of Art and guidance from The Design and Technology Association to help us plan interesting and and informative design projects.
Across the school we use a programme called Teach Computing.
We teach French in KS2 using the Language Angels scheme, which provides us with support to improve our own subject knowledge as well as providing our children with a well sequenced, and high quality language programme.
Religious Education will be provided for all pupils in compliance with Statutory Regulations linked to the local authority’s syllabus through discrete and enquiry based teaching using the Discovery Scheme of Work.
PE and Sport
Sport and PE is very important to us at King's Gate Primary School as it promotes healthy lifestyles as well as improving physical skills. Pupils across the school are taught PE twice every week using the Get Set 4 P.E. Scheme of Work and pupils in KS2 participate in swimming lessons at Durrington Pool. Children also have the opportunity to participate in inter-school and trust matches, festivals and events including visiting sports people.
We teach Personal, Social, Heath and Economic education using a scheme called Jigsaw to support our delivery of the subject.
The Pastoral Manager will provide support for the social and emotional aspects of learning and intervention will be provided in small groups or 1:1 for a variety of needs: Anger Management, Social Skills, Friendship, Bereavement and Loss, Self-Esteem etc.
Instrumental Music Teaching
Across the school, we teach music using a scheme called Charanga. In addition, we also provide opportunities through the use of peripatetic music teachers, for pupils to learn a musical instrument – this will be at a cost to parents. Please see the office if you would like to discuss this.
Pupils all get the opportunity to take part in a production during the year. FS2 & KS1 perform at Christmas, Year 3&4 in the Spring and Y5&6 in the Summer. There will also be the opportunity for performances to showcase learning to the rest of the school, parents and wider community on a termly basis throughout the year. Performance opportunities will be provided for all pupils.
We are lucky enough to have an outdoor learning site at King's Gate Primary School. We are able to offer children at King's Gate sessions of Outdoor Learning every year during their primary school life. We also use Outdoor Learning to increase the confidence and self-esteem for some of the more vulnerable children in our school, and these children have a timetable of sessions, some of which are provided by Wiltshire Wildlife, and are reviewed regularly.
Home Learning is a crucial element of the home/school partnership. It gives parents the opportunity, from the outset, to support their children in their learning whilst enabling the children to reinforce the work covered at school.
Our Home Learning Policy outlines the requirements at different stages and ages.
The National Curriculum defines the material that has to be covered in all subjects and copies of this, our policies and schemes of work can be seen in school. A variety of teaching methods are used – sometimes the children will be working independently, sometimes in small groups and at other times as a whole class. Care is taken to adjust the work to cater for all the children at all levels, the more able children and those who may have special educational needs and require a little more support to achieve their potential.
At our schools, we believe that children learn best when they enjoy their learning and are interested in what they are learning. Please come and visit us and witness for yourselves the vibrant classrooms and the enjoyment that the children have for their learning
Please view the school's Policy Page here
King's Gate Primary School is committed to promoting understanding of the principles and practices of equality and justice. We aim to equip our children with an awareness of our diverse society and to appreciate the value of difference. This may be considered as gender, beliefs, culture, race, sexuality, disability, and/or ability.