The Curriculum at Pauntley

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Curriculum Statement

Curriculum Intent:

At Pauntley it is understood that every educational setting has a set of unique factors.  It is important to recognise all children have the potential to achieve the best possible educational outcomes as well as being effectively prepared for their future life. Pauntley School draws children from a range of backgrounds and varied catchment. The intake is diverse and varies year on year due to its numbers. A small proportion of children are from deprived backgrounds, have special educational needs or English as a foreign language. It is important that the school’s curriculum addresses these needs throughout its content and delivery.


The school follows the EYFS Development Matters document and KS1 & KS2 National Curriculum 2014 to provide the skeleton for the knowledge, skills and milestones that are delivered within the school. Using this framework the curriculum is tailored so its delivery meets the following seven statements of intent:

The curriculum intends to teach children Christian values:
Pauntley CofE Primary school is a church school that prides itself on teaching Christian values throughout its curriculum and the wider life of school. As a church school, the children learn about Christian values, as well as those of other faiths, in order to prepare them as caring and considerate members of society. The values of respect, friendship and courage are nurtured and highlighted throughout all teaching and are fundamental to the children’s attitudes towards learning. They help support a growth mindset and also help build relationships and attitudes beyond the curriculum. Periods of reflection and worship support learning attitudes and the ability for children to understand how Christian Values can aid learning new skills; acquiring new knowledge and supporting others to do the same.


The curriculum intends to be experience based:
It is recognised that children start school with a wide range of different experiences. The curriculum is planned to extend and enhance these experiences. An in-depth knowledge of each child allows staff to plan individual programmes and experiences to fill in any gaps in developmental progress. Staff ensure children’s learning, where possible, is based on hands-on experiences; meeting visitors who can inspire children and visiting places of interest which ensure children have first-hand experiences. 


The curriculum intends to utilise the outdoor environment where possible to enhance learning:
Pauntley is set amongst some of the most beautiful scenery around. This provides an array of opportunities to deliver curriculum content outside. The curriculum is planned to utilise this space to enhance learning in all areas. Through this approach children’s curiosity of the world around them; sense of awe and wonder and understanding of our role as stewards of the planet can be fostered.


The curriculum intends to raise self-esteem and self-confidence:
Throughout all aspects of school life staff promote a can-do attitude and celebrate the successes, resilience, perseverance and progress of all children. This is particularly apparent at Pauntley as, due to our small numbers, all children are given the opportunity to develop their self-esteem and self-confidence. Pauntley recognises the opportunities that small school teaching can provide and promotes mixed age learning to support and challenge all pupils. The curriculum is structured to provide the children with the opportunity to experience their full entitlement in a supportive environment that celebrates perseverance and resilience to challenge. 


The curriculum focusses on the core skills of Reading, Writing and Maths:
Staff recognise that for children to succeed beyond the classroom the skills of reading, writing and maths are crucial. Children start school with a range of levels of understanding and development for their age group. The school recognises some children will need extra support in order to close these gaps.  Staff work closely with parents and carers to help children succeed.


The curriculum has a clearly mapped out progression of skills and knowledge:
Staff recognise that in order for children to learn effectively, it is important that the taught curriculum is carefully mapped out. The rolling programme of three and four-year curriculum cycles allow children to acquire and develop these skills, revisiting them and reinforcing them continually. This ensures that long term acquisition of skills and knowledge is embedded. Each curriculum area has been considered to ensure that the benefits of mixed age teaching can be maximised whilst still providing adequate challenge and progression within each key phase of primary education.


The curriculum has a focus on developing Speech and Language:
Some children enter school with Speech and Language development below the expected level. As such staff tailor the curriculum to prioritise this aspect and utilise opportunities both within formal and informal learning. From the first weeks at Pauntley, children are encouraged to develop their speaking and listening skills through performance, stories, singing, rhymes and role play. The unique set up of multi-age classes means that the children have role models to imitate and learn from. 


Implementation

Structure of the Curriculum
Due to the multi-age nature of the classes, a topic based structure best meets the needs of all children. The rationale for this is that topic teaching allows children to make links between curriculum areas. It also develops their understanding, builds new knowledge and extends their learning. This method also builds enthusiasm for an area of learning and presents numerous opportunities for cross-curricular links. It is, however, also recognised that skills/knowledge need to be carefully mapped out to ensure progression.


The school has mixed age classes in EYFS/KS1 & KS2 and it is important that the curriculum allows children to build on their current understanding and not repeat previously learnt skills in the same manner. When reviewing the current curriculum staff will ensure they plan differentiated activities in all curriculum areas which allow children to develop their knowledge base. This will be achieved by sometimes having the same learning objective but a range of resources, success criteria and outcomes which will ensure clear progression. However, in some circumstances different learning objectives will be used as appropriate with different year groups within the same class.


The curriculum intends to teach children Christian values:
As a Church of England school the ethos is rooted in the teaching and modelling of Christian Values. Through regular Worship these values are reinforced and children are taught to understand how to apply them in all aspects of their life. Christian Values permeate every aspect of school and are integral to the design and implementation of policy; planning and delivery of lessons and the behaviour and standards set by all stakeholders. Teachers look to identify, model, include and praise these values in all curriculum areas.


The curriculum is based on a range of experiences and opportunities for learning:
Currently the curriculum provides a wide range of experience based opportunities for children to draw upon in their work these involve a range of visitors/trips and experiences in the classroom.
 
Eg.   EYFS/KS1 – Change -  visit to the Raglan Castle, walk around local area, trip to the Butterfly Zoo  KS2 – Romans – Visit to Roman Baths, Bath, Roman legionary at school, Roman feast day
 
 The teachers also use the local area as a resource for learning in many topic areas. This includes a blackberry pick, a Spring walk, visiting the Church of St John the Evangelist, kick sampling in the River Leadon to name just a few.

 

 
Children present their learning in different ways, including through performance, role play and drama. From Reception they are given the opportunity to share and talk about their work in front of the school and wider community. The school also engage in activities such as: singing Christmas carols at Three Shires, Mayhill Easter assembly, Malvern play and Friday Celebration assemblies.

The curriculum intends to utilise the outdoor environment where possible to enhance learning:
Planned opportunities are used to maximise the amazing outdoor space that is part of the Pauntley environment. EYFS children have access to a large outdoor area that has planned opportunities to develop key aspects of learning.

In KS1/KS2 teachers look to bring the curriculum alive through utilising the outdoor area to enhance learning. Forest School tuition is provided regularly to develop social skills and raise awareness of the world around them. Curriculum areas such as science, geography, art and PE naturally lend themselves to utilising the outdoor environment.

Furthermore, teachers are encouraged, when appropriate, to seize incidental learning opportunities from outdoors: A rainbow in the sky; a woodpecker searching for ants; a flurry of snow etc. 

The curriculum raises self-esteem and self-confidence:
The school has established a foundation of three core values that underpin all actions within the school. These are: Friendship, Courage and Respect and are promoted regularly in all areas of the school and referenced throughout all teaching. The children talk confidently about these and how they impact on their learning. In addition to these are the values of perseverance and resilience as they directly impact on children’s self-esteem and confidence. The school has a ‘Can-do’ attitude in all areas and the children are encouraged to ‘give it a go’ in all aspects of their learning. The school has a culture of celebrating success and effort and has regular opportunities to publically celebrate all children’s learning with each other, within classes and with the local community. This also includes children’s achievements outside of school which are shared in Friday assemblies.

The curriculum focusses on the core skills of Reading, Writing and Maths:
Reading
At Pauntley there is a strong culture of reading throughout the school. In EYFS and KS1 children read to an adult regularly.  In KS2, children are given opportunities to develop their reading skills on a daily basis and some children are heard by an adult on a more regular basis according to need and ability. Class novel time is prioritised within the school day. Stories are read to the children daily in both classes. This includes longer texts in KS2 and picture books/shorter novels in EYFS/KS1. Reading is celebrated weekly within our ‘Celebration’ assembly.

Phonics learning takes place daily in EYFS/KS1 and is supported by closely matched reading books and word games which are sent home. The school follows the Letters and Sounds scheme.
The school works closely with parents and carers to provide a consistent and sustained approach to reading, including a reading meeting, reading diaries and an open door policy with the English lead.
A poetry day is celebrated every September with children working in mixed age groups to cover a variety of activities, including learning the poem by heart.  
Model guided reading sessions take place weekly in KS1 and daily in KS2. These sessions allow children to learn and apply the skills needed to interpret texts. The EEF ‘Developing Literacy in KS1/2’ guidance has informed the teaching of Guided reading.
The school is currently introducing (2020/21) a focussed approach on the core skills of: Activating Prior Knowledge, Prediction, Clarifying, Inference & Summarising. This is underpinned by the research and guidance given by Tony Whatmuff – ‘Think aloud, read aloud’.
 
Writing
The school has a programme of writing which covers a range of genres. The children are given the opportunity to study different high quality texts, learn the features and produce their own pieces. These are shown in specific writing books, topic work and published in class writing books.

Children are encouraged to use their phonic knowledge, grammatical knowledge and wide range of vocabulary to produce writing of a high standard. They are expected to read and edit their own work at age appropriate levels.

Children are taught to join-up their writing in year 1. From year 2 onwards they are expected to present their writing in a neat, legible form with dates and titles underlined.

The school is currently introducing (2020/21) a focussed approach on the core skills of: Immersion, Planning, Drafting, Editing, Sharing, Publishing. This is underpinned by the  EEF ‘Developing Literacy in KS1/2’ guidance.
An action plan related to the development of Reading/Writing is in place for 2020/21.

Maths
The school are exploring the initiatives set out in the TRANSFORM maths SSIF project – working closely with the GLOWmaths hub at Glenfell Teaching School. The approach optimises key learning and allows children to gain a greater depth of understanding. A growth mind-set continues to develop, raising expectations. 

Regular Maths-On-Track sessions allow teachers to reinforce knowledge and children to be able to take part in ‘deliberate practice’. Furthermore, the school attempts to utilise same day intervention and pre-teach strategies in order to ensure a ‘Keep up’ not ‘Catch up’ mentality.
In KS1/KS2 daily sessions are in place to embed core skills. ‘Rainbow maths’ sessions allow for consolidation of rapid recall. Interventions take place where needed.
Children are expected to present their work in a clear, legible and logical form that they can use to check calculations. 
An action plan related to the development of Maths is in place for 2020/21.
The curriculum has a clearly mapped out progression of skills and knowledge:
The school has mapped out skills and knowledge across all curriculum areas to ensure that children achieve full coverage of the National Curriculum and also are challenged at an age appropriate level. Knowledge is taught on a rolling cycle and skills are developed incrementally over the period spent within a learning phase. As part of the mixed age provision - children can be continuously challenged to learn and progress utilising skills from within the key stage they are currently in; furthermore, children that find learning more difficult can be supported and work alongside others that are learning less complex skills. The teaching allows children to consolidate where necessary and aspire to achieve more wherever possible. Teachers strive to ensure that all children are working at age related expectations.

The curriculum has a focus on developing Speech and Language:
Lessons are designed to allow children to practice and develop their speech and language skills. Regular opportunities are made for them to speak in front of an audience and discuss their work with peers. All staff model good speech and children are expected to respond in full sentences where appropriate.

Impact
The impact of the teaching and learning at Pauntley is that the children move on to the next stage of their learning as confident, enthusiastic and knowledgeable students. Links are still maintained with many previous learners who have demonstrated that foundations built at Pauntley have helped them succeed. The school retains a unique character that celebrates and maximises the benefits of a small, rural, mixed age setting with a strong Christian ethos and family feel. 

 

 
Curriculum Structure
Our curriculum is designed around four key principles: Engage, Explore, Employ and Celebrate. These four principles underpin the planning process for topics in each year group and enable staff to deliver a curriculum which matches our curriculum intent. Firstly, the Engage element is used to launch a topic. Then the Explore and Employ elements take place during the teaching process. Finally, the Celebrate element focusses upon reflection, evaluation and sharing of outcomes; celebrating success, effort and achievement. This process varies in length according to the area of learning, with a form of celebration taking place every week in an assembly to which parents are invited. 

ENGAGE => EXPLORE => EMPLOY => CELEBRATE

Engage: Topic stimulus, trip, display, artefact, visitor; Provide context; Provoke thought, interest and enquiry; Used throughout the topic to maintain interest and enthusiasm

Explore: Teach subject knowledge; Model and demonstrate new skills; Opportunities for reading, writing, speaking and listening  

Employ: Provide creative opportunities to use newly acquired knowledge and skills; Encourage individual, paired or group work opportunities; Problem solving and employment of new knowledge and skills

Celebrate: Plan opportunities to evaluate and reflect; Celebrate work; Identify next steps for learning 

We deliver the National Curriculum which comprises of:
 
English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, History, Geography, Design and Technology, Art, Music, Physical Education, Computing and Modern Foreign Languages.


The teaching of Religious Education is statutory in all school. It is taught as a subject outside the National Curriculum but following the Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017. At Pauntley it has particular prominence as it underpins our vision, core values and ethos.


The school recognises the importance of English and Maths as fundamental to all other areas of the curriculum and therefore a large emphasis is placed on these subjects. Cross curricular links are made as often as possible to develop these skills in a variety of activities.


A rolling programme of topics is planned to ensure full coverage of all areas of the curriculum by all children who progress through the school. Planning takes the form of a topic based approach where teachers link subjects to provide an engaging and inspiring curriculum. 


While core subjects are taught on a regular basis, the foundation subjects may sometimes be taught as blocks of work over a matter of days or weeks.


This programme is regularly reviewed to ensure compatibility with new directives, to make necessary improvements to the existing programme of work or to ensure relevance to the children.


At Pauntley we seek to create opportunities for children to experience and excel in a range of activities that extend and enhance the curriculum. Children have opportunities both in and outside of the classroom, e.g. Forest School, Residential trips, Outdoor pursuits, Sporting events, Visiting speakers, using the local environment and facilities and much more. After school clubs are also provided to widen the children’s experiences.


When children leave Pauntley at the end of year 6 they should be equipped with the full range of skills that enable them to become lifelong learners. Through our Personal, Social, and Health Education along with our Christian ethos, children are equipped with the social and emotional skills and understanding to continue being good citizens in the future. 

Throughout their time at Pauntley the children will have had the opportunity to develop our core values of Respect, Courage and Friendship and be able to apply them to a wide variety of contexts.