We have two classes at Pendock.
Class One comprises Reception (EYFS), Year 1 and Year 2.
Class Two comprises Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.
The curriculum is designed around mixed-age classes to ensure progression throughout a child's time at Pendock. We are very lucky to be able to provide smaller teaching groups for Phonics, SPAG, Reading, Writing and Maths as we utilise all our teaching staff to meet the needs of our children. This means we know our children very well and can scaffold or challenge as needed.
Our curriculum is structured using enquiry-led questions centred around the History and Geography Curriculum. We link as many other subjects into that enquiry as possible to provide a holistic and balanced approach. We are firm believers in giving all children the opportunities to experience all subjects, as we recognise that children have passions and interests in so many areas - we really want to capture that love for learning.
We operate a 3-year rolling programme in Class 1 and a 4-year rolling programme in Class 2, ensuring that careful planning enables vocabulary, core substantive and disciplinary knowledge to be revisited at pertinent intervals, informed by the work of Ebbinghaus. Our planned learning sequence across the course of each academic year, begins locally, working outwards logically. We ensure appropriate pitch and progression by using the EYFS framework and the Durham Skills Progression to structure planning for each cohort at an age and needs-appropriate level.
The information that follows outlines some of the requirements of the National Curriculum and how we have shaped our curriculum using our enquiry- led questions.
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. There are seven areas of learning and development that shape our educational programme. All areas of learning and development are important and interconnected. Three areas are particularly important for building a foundation for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forming relationships and thriving. These are outlined below:
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development – self-confidence and self-awareness, making relationships, managing feelings and behaviour
- Physical Development – moving and handling, health and self-care
- Communication and Language – listening, understanding, speaking
We also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied.
- Literacy – reading, writing
- Mathematical Development – numbers, shape, space and measure
- Understanding the World – people and communities, the world, technology
- Expressive Arts and Design – exploring media and materials, being imaginative.
Years 1 – 6
We follow the National Curriculum. At the Primary Stage this consists of the following subjects:
- English (Phonics, SPAG, Reading and Writing)
- Design and Technology
- Art and Design
- Physical Education (PE), including swimming
- Ancient and Modern Foreign Languages (at Key Stage 2)
- Relationship and Sex Education & Personal, Social and Health Education
Religious Education is also taught throughout the school. Through this subject, children learn about the major world faiths. They have the opportunity to compare them to Christian beliefs whilst developing respect for different religions and ways of life.
Whilst we hope that all children will be allowed this opportunity, we respect that parents do have the right to withdraw children from Religious Education and Collective Worship (Assembly) if they believe participation would be detrimental to their own beliefs and practices. In such circumstances, alternative provision would be made.
Wherever possible, we apply a thematic approach to help make topics more relevant to children and to help children make links between subjects and prior learning.
Throughout the year, the whole school takes part in Forest School activities around the school grounds and in Jubilee Wood. We all put on our wellies and head outside!
The sessions give children the opportunity to learn through experience within an outdoor setting in a hands-on way to develop their self-esteem and confidence. They also have the opportunity to develop an inquisitive and positive relationship with the natural world and respect in preparation for an ever-changing world.
We teach phonics throughout school using the Little Wandle Programme. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme that is designed to help children become fluent readers by the age of seven. It focusses on the ‘simple view of reading’ and high-quality phonics (using blending and segmentation techniques). This helps to teach children the correspondence between graphemes (letters) in written language and the phonemes (sounds) in spoken language. These correspondences can then help children to read and spell words.
Little Wandle begins with a focus on listening skills and sound-making in phase one. The teaching of systematic synthetic phonics begins with phase two, where children start to be taught the relationship between written letters (graphemes) and the sounds of spoken English (phonemes). Blending and segmenting skills are taught from the start, and applied into reading fully decidable captions and phrases. The programme includes the teaching of 'tricky' words. By the end of the programme, children are expected to have developed strong decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills. Children usually secure accurate word reading before they secure comparable accuracy in spelling; therefore, the teaching and learning of spelling continues beyond the programme.
In Foundation Stage and KS1 we use books that are linked to our phonic sessions using the Little Wandle reading books. The children read this books several times a week in school and then take it home over the weekend to enable independent practise. In KS2, we use the Collins Big Cat series for our individual readers, which are matched to our reading ability. KS2 also has guided reading sessions, where the children dive into a more complex texts together. We also have a variety of other reading material for use alongside these schemes which helps to promote reading for pleasure.
Children are continually assessed and encouraged to evaluate their own learning. To support this process in Reading, Writing and Maths children share what went well with their teacher and think about what they could do to extend their learning.
In all lessons, children are given clear learning outcomes and success criteria to make the activities planned meaningful and to help the children evaluate their own performance.