Temple Sowerby Church of England Primary School
“Our vision for the school community is rooted in a deep respect for our human, social, and cultural values, expressed in a caring Christian ethos. We aim to provide high academic standards and a wide range of experiences and opportunities. In doing so, we encourage all children to flourish by giving them the skills they need to become good citizens and to discover life in all its fullness.”
At Temple Sowerby CE School, our curriculum is designed to reflect our school vision and aims by promoting academic standards, providing a wide range of opportunities and experiences and by encouraging children to flourish in a caring nurturing environment.
There are core subjects in our curriculum and we see these subjects as essential skills, which children will need to master in order to prepare them for life. As a result of this, much emphasis and importance is placed on children’s development in these key areas.
English – Core Curriculum Subject
At Temple Sowerby CE Primary School, we understand that language forms a vital part of the whole curriculum, helping each child to interpret and make sense of the world they live in and gives each child the means to communicate their feelings, ideas and experiences. Children develop their English skills primarily through spoken language, reading and writing.
English is taught daily in all classes, following the requirements of the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Curriculum.
Speaking and Listening
We regularly plan a range of speaking and listening activities in all areas of the curriculum. In all lessons, children are given opportunities to discuss ideas with ‘talk partners’, work in groups and share ideas with the class. We encourage good speaking and listening behaviours, which we discuss during focused English sessions. Children regularly participate in show and tell sessions, each class has the opportunity to perform class assemblies on our school values and the older children plan and prepare class talks on subjects of their choice. All children take part in whole school performances each year in front of large audiences in the local village hall.
Reading is taught through phonics and during English lessons. We provide children with a rich environment to help develop confident readers. We read for pleasure through whole class books and children engage in group reading, shared reading and independent reading activities each week. All children receive home readers that are ‘book banded’. When a child can read the ‘colour band’ fluently and accurately teachers will move children onto the next stage. Children are also encouraged to read at home and we run reading challenges, in which children are rewarded for reading at home to parents or guardians. We promote links to the local library service, are visited each term by the schools’ library van and take part each year in Cumbria Library Service’s ‘Summer Reading Challenge’.
Phonics and Spelling
At our school, we teach systematic synthetic phonics on a daily basis in Class 1. We follow ‘Letters & Sounds’ and include ‘Jolly Phonics’ actions. Children in Classes 2 and 3 learn different spelling rules in discrete 30 minutes sessions each morning and each child has a differentiated set of spellings to learn each week. Copies of these spellings are sent home to encourage parental support and children practise on arrival each morning using the ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ method.
At the end of Year 1 all children complete the ‘Phonics Screening Check’ that is administered by the class teacher. The children have to read a range of ‘real’ and ‘nonsense words’ that test children’s ability to recognise sounds and blend words.
Children are encouraged to express themselves by writing in different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences. We develop children’s creativity, imagination, vocabulary, spelling and handwriting through the teaching of writing. We do this through modelling good practice, using good examples and setting writing targets to aid self-improvement. We give each child the opportunity to discuss and assess their own writing and the work of others through self and peer assessment. Handwriting is a skill which can only be improved by constant practice. We have regular handwriting practice sessions and we support the development of this skill across the writing opportunities provided by the curriculum.
Maths – Core curriculum subject
We see maths as a fundamental part of children’s education; it is a vital subject allowing them to solve problems they will encounter in their daily lives. We aim to ensure that all the children develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and to learn to use it with confidence, pleasure and understanding. We involve lots of practical, investigative and problems solving activities in our maths curriculum, allowing our children to be engaged and enthused with mathematics and have an understanding of solving practical problems.
Mental arithmetic is an important element of how we teach maths – children in Class 2 and 3 practice times tables and mental arithmetic daily, with weekly times tables tests each Friday. Class 1 use the ‘Big Maths’ approach to practice mental arithmetic and recall.
Science – Core curriculum subject
Science is taught weekly for up to 2 hours. The children enjoy a range of stimulating lessons, in which practical experiments, investigations and observations are at the heart of our learning and any prior learning is reinforced through investigations. Click here to see an overview of our long term planning for science. Key Stage 1 are taught together, as are Year 3/4 and Year 5/6.
The children are taught many of the foundation subjects in a topic/project based way. We approach this in a cross-curricular approach, which makes for a stimulating and varied environment. It also ensures that they learn to appreciate and to apply acquired skills and knowledge to relevant and important subject areas needed for their future.
In Key Stage 1, we have a 2-year rolling programme of topics and in Key Stage 2 a 4-year rolling programme, to ensure full coverage of the curriculum. Click here to see a summary of the topics covered in our long term curriculum planning summary.
Geography is concerned with the study of places, the human and physical processes which shape them and the people who live in them. We focus on both human and physical aspects of Geography and this allows the children to develop an understanding of the world that they live in, whether this is on a local, regional or on a global scale.
In history, we encourage your child to enjoy their heritage; to increase their motivation to investigate and research; to develop their skills for finding out, understanding and evaluating that information. The multicultural content will also encourage your child to gain tolerance, empathy and social awareness by focusing on different periods of local, national and global history.
As we are a Church of England controlled school, we follow the principles of the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus. We focus on Christianity and Buddhism in Key Stage 1 and Christianity, Buddhism and Islam in Key Stage 2. We maintain links to the local church community and visit St James’ Church to take part in collective worship with the community vicar each month. Collective Worship is held each day in the school hall and provides an opportunity to encourage thought and reflection. Our collective worship is based around our six school values of responsibility, courage, hope, community, resilience and kindness. We focus on one value during each half-term and this is supplemented by children-led collective worship and whole school ‘value days’. These school values underpin the school’s Christian ethos and we encourage the children to implement in all aspects of their life.
In the development of a wide range of physical skills, we hope to promote enjoyment of a range of activities that the children will take with them into adult life. These activities include: creative movement, dance, ball skills leading to team games, athletics and swimming. We also offer residential experiences at outdoor centres for junior children where activities such as canoeing, fell-walking, ghyll scrambling, orienteering and rock climbing provide the children with challenging and exciting opportunities. A residential experience is one not to be missed.
The older junior children take part in several team sports, which include netball, football, tag rugby, rounders and kwik-cricket. The teams take part in league competitions and tournaments with other local schools. Sporting activities are one of the ways we forge links with other schools in our wider community.
In 2019, were awarded Active Mark, acknowledging our good practice in P.E. This is a prestigious national award by Sport England which recognises schools that show a commitment to promoting the benefits of physical activity.
We aim to develop children’s creativity and imagination and to develop their understanding of, and response to, the world, by offering a wide range of visual, tactile and sensory experiences in art lessons.
We aim to stimulate children’s creativity and imagination by exploring ideas and meaning in the work of different artists, craftspeople and designers. We develop children’s understanding of colour, shape, line, space, form and texture by using different materials and the children are encouraged to communicate ideas, feelings and meaning about their work and the work of others.
We teach children about the different roles of artists and about the functions of Art, Craft and Design in different times and cultures. We visit art galleries and exhibitions and provide opportunities for children to work with professional artists.
Design & Technology
Design & Technology is a subject area which is very much related with areas of the curriculum such as science, art and craft, and language work. We also plan design and technology into our curriculum plans. It is intended to provide children with problem-solving experiences. They are encouraged to plan, design, make and evaluate. The children have access to a wide range of materials like construction kits, fabrics, wood, plastic and other items that can be used in their work. We also have a wide range of tools which the children, while supervised, are encouraged to use correctly and safely.
Modern Foreign Languages
Key Stage 2 children study French with a specialist French teacher. The aim is to allow the children have a good understanding of both written and spoken French. The areas covered include: family and daily life, food and drink, shopping, school, travel and holidays using a variety of methods and activities including games, music and film.
We have a range of musical instruments which enable all pupils to experience music, making whatever their individual ability or talent. Instrumental lessons in flute, saxophone and clarinet are available (parents at present are asked to make a contribution to the cost through the School’s Music Service) and we subscribe to ‘Charanga’, an online music resource to enrich our provision.
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PHSCE)
Through PSHCE, we aim to give our children the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to lead healthy, confident and independent lives and to have an understanding of modern society, what is required of them to live as a responsible citizen and to show an understanding of British multi-cultural society.
Assessment is a continuous process whereby the class teacher is constantly monitoring each child’s progress throughout the year. We assess pupil’s progress at different points in the year to ensure children are progressing and this informs our teaching and feeds into the school’s tracking system.
The children are assessed over the first six weeks of their school life. They continue to be assessed throughout their first year in school using the Early Years Foundation Profile. Each child has their own EYFS Profile where their attainment is recorded. This allows us to gain a baseline of information from which they can develop. Standard assessment tests are given to all children at the end of Key Stage 1 (7 years) and Key Stage 2 (11 years). These results are reported in the children’s individual report to home at the end of the school year.
All children receive a written report at the end of each year and we welcome both children’s and parent’s comments.