Curriculum Statement of Intent 2021
For further information on how we ensure our curriculum is accessible for those with disabilities or special educational needs, which complies with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014, please visit our Equality in School tab. https://pottonmiddle.co.uk/school/equality-in-school/
Curriculum Group Feedback
Our pupil curriculum groups ensure that children at the Potton Federation are involved in the shaping of the curriculum. Subject and aspect leaders meet regularly with their pupils to seek feedback on the subject or area they are leading.
Curriculum Groups have met this term and here are the notes from the children who attended from the Middle School:
Curriculum Group Feedback PMS 1
PMS Curriculum Group Subject Feedback 1.10.21
UKS2 Curriculum Coverage Overview Cornerstones 21-22
Key Stage 2 – Years 5 and 6
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. In order to achieve a this we aim to show mathematics as a creative process, encouraging pupils to explore and develop their skills through questioning and reasoning, challenging their ideas and fostering an interest in, and appreciation of, mathematics.
Key Stage 2
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics;
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry;
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication.
In Key Stage 2 we have adopted a bespoke ‘teaching for mastery’ approach for our pupils which enables them to acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material in Key Stage 3 and beyond.
Elements of classroom practice and school organisation combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that:
- future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught;
- there is no need for separate catch-up programmes due to some children falling behind; children who, under other teaching approaches, can often fall a long way behind, are better able to keep up with their peers, so that gaps in attainment are narrowed whilst the attainment of all is raised.
Day to day lessons involve a number of key concepts that are taught to provide our pupils with the opportunity to master mathematics. A typical lesson will include:
- representation and structure
- mathematical thinking
Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.
Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation.
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others.
Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.
The programme of study for Key Stage 2 follows a spiral curriculum where the fundamentals of mathematics are taught, revisited, practised and developed during each term of study and year after year.
The development of English is fundamental in all areas of the curriculum and therefore is given high priority. The four interdependent language modes are:
- Speaking and listening
- Writing (including Handwriting )
A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. In English, we follow the ‘Write Stuff’ approach. Write Stuff is based on two guiding principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite-sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of The Writing Rainbow. Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar or techniques of writing.
Speaking and Listening
Spoken language underpins the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak. It is vital for developing pupils’ vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. As a school we will ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Children are given opportunities for exploring their thinking skills through discussion, debate, drama and role play. In order to do this the basic skills have to be mastered and the practice of them must be consistent, progressive and well balanced in line with the National Curriculum.
Reading is the most vital skill learnt in the early years of school. Through reading pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. There are two strands of reading: being able to read words and being able to understand the meaning of words and sentences. Our school aim is for pupils to be fluent and independent readers by the time they leave Potton Middle School, with a love of literature and books.
We aim to make children competent, confident writers, to enable them to use the written word to communicate effectively. Opportunities for writing occur throughout the curriculum, as well as specific English lessons and the children are taught the many different genres, for example, lists, stories, diaries, dialogues and accounts. In this way they begin to understand that writing takes different forms for different purposes, for example, children are actively involved in developing the school’s new letter for parents and children. We actively seek to provide opportunities for outside visitors to visit our school to stimulate and enthuse our learners in the writing process.
Children are expected to use fluent and legible handwriting in every lesson, with additional handwriting interventions in place for those children who need them.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.
There are many different spelling strategies that we teach children to help them decode spellings effectively. Spellings are also used to enhance children’s vocabulary and the children are encouraged to use these newly found words in their everyday writing. Each week children are given weekly spellings to learn at home to investigate spelling rules.
In Key Stage 2, children have punctuation and grammar incorporated into their daily lessons through the ‘Grammartastic’s Rainbow’ as part of the ‘Write Stuff’ approach.
In Years 5 and 6, pupils follow the Cornerstones Curriculum which is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Science, Geography, History, Art, DT and Computing are delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs), supported by Knowledge Rich Projects (KRPs) that provide pupils with in-depth learning experiences in specific areas of the National Curriculum. Together, these provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
UKS2 Curriculum Coverage Overview Cornerstones 21-22
In Years 5 and 6, our children continue to develop their knowledge in the basics of the three Sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, whilst developing their understanding of the world around them. In preparation for KS3, we develop their investigative skills and ability to ‘work scientifically’ through teaching the children to formulate questions, and to plan, carry out and evaluate experiments. They learn to draw conclusions from their observations in a variety of scientific enquiries, whilst honing a keen interest in Science and wonder at the world we live in.
At Potton Middle School, Science is taught discreetly, whilst linking, where possible, to the Cornerstones ILP or KRP being taught at the time. This therefore, dedicates time to scientific understanding whilst helping to identify links within the curriculum.
Programme overview Upper Key Stage 2:
Year 5: Working Scientifically, Living Things and Their Habitats, Animals inc. humans, Properties and Changes of Materials, Earth and Space, Forces.
Year 6: Working Scientifically, Living Things and Their Habitats, Animals inc. humans, Evolution and Inheritance, Light, Electricity.
In Years 5 and 6 the children continue to develop a sense of chronology while studying various periods of history including the Tudor period, Ancient Egypt, The Victorians and World War 2. Ancient Egypt and The Shang Dynasty are studied as part of our Non-European comparison with British history. Sources are studied and analysed to aid historic enquiry. Important historical figures are investigated alongside key worldwide events. Pupils make comparisons and identify changes between different times in history with greater independence.
In Upper Key Stage 2 geography work is designed to provide a deeper understanding of geographical facts and concepts. Learning is focused on human and physical features including biomes. By the time children reach UKS2 they are able to apply their previous learning to specific geographical studies, including countries around the world and confidently use atlases, globes and ICT to locate countries, describe their features and support their geographical enquiries. Map and compass reading skills are developed and the impact of climate enquiry is debated.
Children are taught skills that will enable them to become adept in drawing, sculpture and other art, craft and design techniques. Each term, every year group focuses on a different artist through time to develop their understanding of influential artists and their impact across the world. Children will also learn about crafts people and designers, throughout history and study the art form and its cultural development. Alongside this, they will learn to evaluate and analyse works of art including their own and those of their peers.
Design and technology forms an important part of each child’s curriculum, pupils must use their creativity and imagination to design and make products. They follow the design process; identifying need, designing, planning, making and evaluating across a variety of situations. The children work with various materials, including food, textiles, wood and pliable materials. Design technology draws upon other curriculum areas; mathematics, science, computing and art. Pupils are challenged to solve technological problems and understand the importance of design and technology on our daily life and the world around us.
ICT is an ever changing subject and we are developing our provision all the time, adding both hardware and software to our systems. Children have an opportunity to use ICT, not only to support the curriculum, but as a tool for learning. We follow a scheme of work widely used in both primary and secondary education, which focuses on the acquisition of key ICT skills from mouse control to more complex data handling and elements of control technology. All children use the fully equipped ICT suite weekly. There is also a variety of other ICT equipment including digital cameras, video cameras, tablets and Beebots used in the classrooms. In addition, Smart Boards have also been installed in all classrooms.
We use the Charanga music scheme and other resources to enhance this area of the curriculum. All children take part in music lessons as part of the curriculum. They are taught to sing, to play simple percussion instruments and compose music. Children are taught to appreciate and evaluate music. Music and singing form part of our weekly assemblies. Some children are able to learn to play the piano. The peripatetic staff visit weekly to teach these children. The school has a well-attended choir who participate in local events and competitions.
French is taught through a weekly lesson in Key Stage Two. Lessons include understanding and responding to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources. Children learn to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation. Children discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in French. We focus on enabling pupils to make substantial progress in one language.
All children have regular opportunities for a variety of physical activities which form an integral part of the timetable. We expect all children to participate in PE lessons and staff work hard to make any necessary adjustments to include all pupils. Children in Years 5 and 6 follow a balanced and varied program which utilises the sports hall, fitness room, the field (weather permitting) and netball courts. They have the opportunity to learn a range of techniques, skills, tactics and strategies to develop competence to excel across a broad range of activities. These include football, netball, hockey, health-related fitness, gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, kwik cricket, cricket, tag rugby, rugby, volleyball, basketball, rounder’s, athletics, trampolining, table tennis, badminton and handball. In addition to our leader of PE we also employ qualified sports coaches to deliver and develop specific sports such as football and cheerleading.
PE in Years 5 and 6 aims to involve all children in sport and to promote a healthy attitude to physical exercise to build towards a lifelong involvement in sport. We have a range of sporting clubs available for children to attend throughout the year, led by the leader of PE or qualified coaches. In addition to regular PE lessons, we encourage physical activity on a daily basis during break and lunchtimes and also outside of school, including using our Daily Mile track and multi-gym outdoor equipment. All year groups participate in many different sporting events throughout the year, within their School Houses and competing against other schools locally.
Our RE policy provides information on the coverage agreed with the Local Authority by year group.
RE Policy – 2021
The Education Reform Act 1988 requires that there is a daily act of collective worship provided for each child and at Potton Lower collective worship forms part of daily assembly. This may be through the sharing of Bible stories or in asking children to be reflective about events they may have seen or been involved in.
Religious Education and Assembly are not only devoted to the teaching of Christianity but are concerned with laying foundations for the development of religious understanding and providing a context for spiritual and moral development. Parents are entitled to arrange for children to be withdrawn from Collective Worship or Religious Education or both in which case they should contact the Headteacher.
Key Stage 3
Curriculum Coverage Overview Documents
Please see attached overview documents for specific subjects.
Curriculum coverage Overview Art and Design
Curriculum Coverage Overview Citizenship
Curriculum Coverage Overview Computing
Curriculum Coverage Overview Design Technology
Curriculum Coverage Overview French
Curriculum Coverage Overview Geography
Curriculum Coverage Overview History
Curriculum Coverage overview Music KS3
Curriculum Coverage Overview PE (PMS)
Curriculum Coverage Overview PSHE and Sex and Relationships Education KS3
Curriculum Coverage Overview Science
Careers Education and Guidance
Named Careers Lead: Mr P Griffiths
Telephone: 01767 260034
At Potton Middle School we want all of our pupils to understand the full range of opportunities available to them in today’s world and help them to acquire the skills and qualifications they will need to succeed in the workplace today and in the future. Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) has an important contribution to the education of all pupils in order to make an effective transition from school to adulthood and employment. The school will provide a range of opportunities for pupils to learn about work, the world of work, the skills required for work and the Qualification Pathways available to them.
All of our pupils from Year 5 to 8 will have access to a planned CEIAG programme which supports us in achieving our aims. This will be delivered through our PSHCE curriculum and all teachers will support our whole school approach to careers education information and guidance by making explicit links within their own subject areas and sharing this with the pupils they teach. Well thought through decisions about learning and work informed by effective CEIAG can increase participation in learning and, in turn, raise attainment and support further progression.
This policy sets out the school’s arrangements for managing the access of providers to pupils at the school for the purpose of giving them information about the provider’s education or training offer. This complies with the school’s legal obligations under Section 42B of the Education Act 1997. The governing boards of maintained schools have a statutory duty to ensure that all registered pupils are provided with independent careers guidance from Years 8 to 13.
Careers Education & Guidance Policy 2021