Teaching & Learning at
Our Lady of Lourdes
Catholic Primary School & Nursery
Our EYFS classes (Nursery 2 and Reception) follow the curriculum suggested through the EYFS Framework and Development Matters. This Curriculum gives our youngest pupils the necessary beginning to their school career to prepare them for the more formal National Curriculum in Year 1.
Children at OLOL are exposed to Read, Write Inc techniques and Jolly Phonics to support the Letters and Sounds programme in these youngest classes and quickly develop sound phonological and early reading readiness. We ensure a balance between explorative learning and development emergent skills to allow pupils to develop at their own pace.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. These three areas, the prime areas, are:
We must also support children in four specific areas, through which the three prime areas are strengthened and applied. The specific areas are:
The information from EYFS is shared with Year 1 staff to support a smooth transition into the main National Curriculum. Years 1 – 6 will have access to the following statutory and non-statutory subjects during the course of the school year:
At Our Lady of Lourdes, our children engage with all subjects of the National Curriculum either as weekly subjects or in a block of intense learning. The approach we use allows all pupils to have the maximum opportunity to attain and to enjoy their learning through a range of exciting and valuable learning experiences. All pupils have access to the same opportunities in their own age group and those who need additional support and intervention will receive it.
Our subject overviews on the school website detail the core topics for each term in each year group in each subject.
At Our Lady of Lourdes we teach:
In the delivery of our broad curriculum we ensure that pupils receive access to
HIGHER ORDER THINKING/DEVELOPMENT
No child is exempted from their entitlement to access all subjects of the National Curriculum since children may demonstrate talents in many ways in many subjects.
Pupils in Year N, R, Year 1 and Year 2 use Letters and Sounds to teach Phonics skills as part of their timetabled English lessons daily. We are using Jolly Phonics and DfE materials so that the Government synthetic phonic strategy can be taught in isolation (while applied in all literacy based lessons).We ensure maximum opportunities to read real books together and use every opportunity to give rounded opportunities to write in context. Pupils continue to embed and apply this phonological knowledge through OLOL to aid independent spelling and writing.
All classes have Guided/Reciprocal Reading sessions to develop key skills in reading for understanding. All classes have at least one extended writing session each week to apply the skills taught through the other English lessons.
Pupils in Years R – 6 will have a timetabled calculations session at the start of each day that teaches quick fire strategies/methods for the 4 operations and place value. These are consolidated on a daily basis through general maths lessons. Mental maths will continue to be taught (even though there will no longer be a Year 6 test in this area, we understand the vital life skill and application this has in all maths work) as we have demonstrated that pupils who have accelerated mental maths skills perform better in all maths activities.
Pupils will begin to learn their times tables as soon as they are ready but formally in Year 2. Pupils are expected to know their tables to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4 (and the inverse division facts).
We have selected 3 subjects to be taught in blocks of learning. It is felt that this will maximise the pupil’s chances to attain the expected level for their year group and also give opportunities for a larger number of pupils to attain “Mastery” of each subject. Pupils who are “Masters” of their subject can utilise the knowledge and skills of the year group and apply them to broader research/study and problem solving. This Greater Depth will be demonstrated in many ways by the children at Our Lady of Lourdes so we plan and assess in many ways to allow this to happen.
Blocked subjects are taught for a term in 1 or 2 hr sessions that allow a full depth study to be completed with opportunities for investigation, problem solving, development of knowledge etc. All other subjects are taught weekly. The SLT organise staff timetables with consultation to ensure maximum time is spent on curriculum delivery.
The following subjects will be blocked on teacher’s timetables
Pupils will receive 1 hr of direct Computing per week for the whole school year and will be expected to apply those skills in a cross curricular way to complete the rest of their time allocation and to meet the range of Learning Objectives for that subject. All pupils have access to iPads and laptops to develop skills.
All pupils will learn Mandarin in a once weekly session. Evidence will be recorded in a specific Languages book that will move with the pupil from Year 1 to Year 2. This will be replaced with a new book for lower Key Stage 2 and a new book for upper Key Stage 2. Books should be kept as pupil’s dictionaries and as evidence of language progression. The Mandarin Character Books will show how pupils develop the Chinese script and each class will have a Floor Book to record their work.
The prominence of Science in the Curriculum means that this will also be taught as a weekly subject in all year groups with an emphasis on understanding the place of science in our world (including work on key scientists) and developing skills in investigation. Pupils use a set of symbols to help them understand the development of an investigation and the correct vocabulary.
Teachers will approach their subjects with a view to maximising the numbers of pupils who reach expected or better in their year group outcomes. We set individual targets with this in mind.
Teachers will plan lessons that scaffold learning objectives so that they are accessible to all pupils in the class. There will be no routine use of previous years Learning Objectives except where there are gaps in learning (a natural result of the implementation of a changed curriculum and to support SEND pupils) or where the previous year group curriculum shows the steps to attain the current year group outcome. It is expected that the majority of pupils will access the age appropriate learning with the support of the adults in their room, carefully designed activities, appropriate resources and teaching aids, peer tutoring, small group boosting/split class teaching and differentiation within the Learning Objective (not to a lower level task) and the use of strategies from the Singapore Maths style of teaching.
SEND Pupils will be supported through IEP’s that quickly narrow the gap with their peers using the Continuum and the national curriculum to support rapid acquisition of skills.
All pupils will be challenged within their ability with the most able pupils (those on track to achieve “Greater Depth”) offered early opportunities to explore their learning at an advanced level. With this in mind we will also not routinely move pupils into a higher year groups curriculum since the aim of National Curriculum is to achieve a much broader knowledge and understanding and be able to apply the skills and knowledge in a wider context, at each year group rather than racing ahead with knowledge. If your child is not pushed into another year group learning and you feel they need further challenge, talk to their teacher about what this will look like.
In some instances it may be appropriate to accelerate in Mathematics, English, Science and Computing but this will only be done after consultation with Senior Managers and detailed assessment of pupil’s current level of skill in those areas.
In their school life at Our Lady of Lourdes all pupils will have opportunities to extend their learning beyond the classroom:
In addition to the above we are actively involved in demonstrating our curriculum developments through the acquisition of nationally and internationally recognised awards. We are currently members of NACE to support the development of more able and talented children and the PSHE Association. We are involved in the following awards
Parents who have any questions about Teaching and Learning at Our Lady of Lourdes are invited to speak to their child’s class teacher in the first instance. You can also follow us on Twitter where we share lots of information about the learning that happens at OLOL.
We welcome suggestions from parents and are always looking for parent volunteers to support skills in school. If you think you have something to offer or would like to volunteer to hear readers, practise phonics or handwriting please let the school office know.
Updated October 2018