How we developed our curriculum
Our curriculum has been developed based upon the context of our school. We have considered gaps in pupils’ backgrounds and how we wish the children to leave us when they progress to junior school. We have secure models for progression in the core subjects and, although we use the Cornerstones Curriculum topic based planning, we ensure that there is a close focus upon progression through individual subjects. Leadership is distributed throughout the staff team and regular curriculum review ensures our curriculum reflects our intentions.
Curriculum Intent at Little Marlow School
A Christian ethos permeates the curriculum at Little Marlow School and enables children to learn in a peaceful and supportive environment.
Builds on children’s natural curiosity to sustain their interest
- Provides challenging experiences which promotes enjoyment and fosters greater depth learning
- Develops a love of reading and enables children to apply writing and mathematical skills in all subjects.
- Ensures children understand the importance of, and have the knowledge, to stay safe physically and mentally, in and out of school
- Ensures progressive coverage of the national curriculum and the EYFS curriculum in topic based learning through effective planning and leadership
- Grows pupil’s self-esteem and confidence enabling children to respect themselves and others
- Develops loving relationships and ensures children are able to cooperate and work as part of a team
- Enables children to express their opinions and articulate reflections on learning
- Provides purposeful activities which develop problem solving and resilience leading to independent learners
Our Little Marlow creative curriculum was planned in collaboration with Cornerstones, to ensure that each child has a range of opportunities to develop, engage and achieve. This bespoke curriculum meets the National Curriculum for England and Wales and offers numerous activities, which deepen children’s understanding of the world around them.
Cornerstones aims to stimulate children through several phases of learning:
Engage - the children take part in first-hand experiences and begin to find out about their new theme through research and enquiry.
Develop – the children delve more deeply into the topic, developing new skills and understanding. They may also master new skills and use this phase to make links across the curriculum. Here, lines of inquiry or questioning are pursued.
Innovate – the children have the opportunity to demonstrate their newfound skills and knowledge, applying them to a range of problems and reflecting on their own needs.
Express – the children present, perform or demonstrate their learning and evaluate the progress they have made, drawing on links from across the curriculum.
Whilst our Cornerstones curriculum covers all areas of the curriculum, we still offer discrete subjects, including Maths and Religious Education.
For an overview of the topics planned for this year, including some of the proposed activities, please view our Curriculum Overview 2018 document below. Please note, specific activities may change throughout the course of the year.
We teach synthetic phonics following the Letters and Sounds Programme.
At Little Marlow School we believe that an early understanding of phonics is crucial for children to learn to read and write. Over time we have tried different strategies, taking on board government guidance and cutting-edge research, and we have developed our own phonics programme, using some of the phonic play resources. We teach “synthetic phonics”. This means that we first teach letter sounds and then build up to blending, these sounds together make words we use phonics to segment words to teach spelling. All children, from Reception to Year 2 have a discreet thirty minute phonics lesson every day. In phonics lessons, and throughout the day, the children read high quality books to practise using the sounds they have learnt. Phonics lessons are fun, fast paced and exciting. The children are encouraged to praise each other and celebrate their successes, every step of the way.
To help your child at home you can:-
Encourage children to write (shopping lists, letters, greetings cards)
Read together every day
Read signs, posters, magazines, labels, game instructions etc
Use magnetic letters on the fridge
Use bath crayons, shaving foam, pens and pencils to practise writing sounds and words
Try not to use letter names but say the letter sounds
You can find out more using the links below:
Mr Thorne Does Phonics