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Our curriculum is founded on the school aim of ‘Learning, Caring, Succeeding… together’.
Our school values
Our inclusive curriculum is based on our school values. We are teaching all children to be ambitious, resilient, confident, creative, considerate and healthy. We have created a school charter of ten experiences that every child should do at school before they leave, each of which is an important life skill. Every child will have developed these skills during their time at school through revisiting each item on several occasions in a carefully structured way. These are interwoven into our curriculum.
Our school values align closely with British values and through these our pupils will become productive citizens of modern Britain. These values are threaded throughout school life and evident in pupils’ behaviour in all areas.
The academic core of our curriculum.
Pupils’ skills in English and mathematics are essential for them to access a wide range of learning experiences in all subject areas. This is why we ensure that every child is supported to make very good progress in these areas.
Our curriculum has been developed with all subject leaders to ensure that it is progressive, builds skills sequentially over each year and gradually develops children’s understanding of concepts and vocabulary. Every child’s progress is tracked in each subject and potential for high achievement nurtured in each subject area through a variety of ways. If any child is vulnerable to underachieving, we support them with care so that they too can develop quickly.
The Arts and PE
We believe that PE and the arts (for example music, art, design, poetry, photography and sculpture) have a critical role in our curriculum. They allow children the opportunity to learn through direct experiences and experimentation. They offer pupils time to reflect and challenge themselves and their views. They also allow pupils to express their individuality and many of our pupils shine in one or more of these areas. Through these areas they are inspired to be creative and to achieve their very best, ensuring that they develop lifelong interests and skills.
Our curriculum is firmly based in our beautiful locality. Many lessons draw on our seaside location and on the science, history and geography of our local area.
A wide range of learning experiences enables our children to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Literacy lessons take place on a daily basis.
From the Foundation Stage onwards children read regularly in the classroom, choosing from a large selection of quality books and are given every opportunity to become confident, fluent readers and to develop a love of reading.
Each child will read with an adult at least once a week, this may be in a group or reading individually.
Phonic skills are taught systematically in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 on a daily basis. We use Read Write Inc. as our scheme of work for phonics. This work continues into Key Stage 2, placing more emphasis on higher order reading and spelling strategies. Throughout the school, children are also taught to use context clues, grammatical knowledge and word recognition skills. In Key Stage 2 children use the Accelerated Reader programme to develop their skills and love of reading.
The children are offered many opportunities to write for different purposes and audiences, and we aim to foster creativity and personal expression. Good habits of letter formation, spelling, punctuation and grammar are also central to the school’s English work. Through whole class writing pupils will be taught to develop their written skills in various genres.
Our handwriting scheme is intended to support children in developing a legible joined style.
Children take part in a mathematics lesson each day. We attach great importance to the development of both mental and practical mathematics as an aid to understanding. We follow a Teaching for Mastery approach in mathematics with children building coherent learning with small steps based on: representation and structure; mathematical thinking; variation and fluency.
From the time children enter our school we aim to give them mathematical experiences from which they derive pleasure and enjoyment. In promoting this positive attitude we are able to teach the necessary skills and basic facts at the appropriate stages. Pupils wear 'Times Table Champion' badges to celebrate their achievement in securing their times table and division facts. Through enquiry and discovery we develop children’s understanding of mathematics and their awareness of its uses in the world beyond the classroom.
Science is generally taught through a ‘Learning Journey’ style approach with links to other subjects, for example mathematics and technology.
Where this is not possible science is taught as a separate subject. Children’s natural curiosity is harnessed by providing ‘hands on’ experiences, which form the basis for scientific investigations. Skills in observing, predicting, hypothesising, measuring, communicating, obtaining and analysing evidence are developed from Foundation Stage onwards.
At the heart of school’s computing curriculum is the aim of preparing children for the real world with the skills to stay safe online.
The children will be taught about using a range of text and multimedia resources, about data handling as well as ‘Technology in our Lives’.
There is also a focus on programming or coding. This builds from our youngest children in Foundation Stage working with toys they can control electronically, into Key Stage 1 when the children will develop their understanding of the logical way computers works. In Key stage 1 the children will also start to write simple instructions or algorithms on the computer and this will progress into more complex approaches in Key Stage 2. We look for children to demonstrate their ability to work logically, be able to deconstruct algorithms and to work creatively to overcome problems.
Our school ethos is powerfully shaped by the importance we accord to moral and spiritual development, which we encourage in every way possible.
Religious education is given to all pupils in accordance with the Education Reform Act 1988 and the East Sussex County Council Agreed Syllabus. Parents should be aware that the law states that an act of worship must be wholly or mainly Christian in its nature.
The RE syllabus is multicultural and non-denominational. The main Christian festivals are studied in all year groups and a proportion of children’s learning will be drawn from Christianity and the children will learn about other faiths.
Daily assemblies are held, during which an act of collective worship takes place; this may be in the form of a whole school, year group or class assembly. Children’s achievements are also celebrated regularly.
The School has developed strong links with our local Church St Marks, and regular visits take place to integrate our pupils into the local community.
Parents who do not wish their children to be taught the agreed syllabus, or to take part in the short acts of worship which are held at school, should let us know so that their children can be excused, and alternative arrangements made. Regular group meetings for pupils of different faiths can be organised.
The personal and social development of children in the school is supported and enhanced by a planned and progressive programme.
PSHE is taught weekly at a level appropriate to the child's age, maturity and understanding. The school uses the PSHE Association Programme of study.
The school has a clear policy on Relationship Education. The school scheme of work enables the children to gain an understanding of the working of their bodies, including human reproduction using correct vocabulary. This is a gently progressive curriculum as the children move through the school, meeting the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Sex and Relationship education is always presented in the context of family life, of loving relationships and respect for one another. Children are able to ask questions which teachers answer in a manner appropriate to the age and maturity of the children. In Key Stage 2 smaller groups of boys and girls are given the opportunity to work separately and ask questions, which they may feel uncomfortable to ask in the presence of the whole class.
Parents are given the opportunity to view the teaching resources prior to the lessons and to meet with the class teacher if required.
At Little Common we promote a healthy and active lifestyle for all our pupils; Physical Education plays an important part of this ethos. Pupils are taught key skills in Dance, Gymnastics, Outdoor Sports and Team Games. We have received the School Games Gold mark for the last 3 years.
Competitive sport is promoted within the context of a supportive learning environment. P.E lessons take place both in our school halls and outside on the play areas and field. We have our own swimming pool where the children's swimming skills are enhanced during the summer months. In addition, our Year 3 pupils attend Bexhill pool to develop their technique in deep water.
Arts & Humanities
Children learn best when they are motivated and inspired and it is our aim as a school to achieve this. Learning journeys are a way of inspiring a child's learning though linking two or three curriculum areas or subjects together in a theme. Work is closely matched to individual pupils' abilities.
First hand experiences, use of the local environment, development of key skills for life and quality of work are all part of our approach.
We pride ourselves on providing a rich, broad curriculum. The teaching of each subject is planned to include exciting experiences through which children learn whilst having fun. The development of key skills underpins all our learning journeys.