School curriculum information
Our literacy curriculum is based on the New National Curriculum and builds upon the experiences and knowledge gained by pupils in the Infant School. Pupils are encouraged to read a wide range of literature and have a carefully graded reading book, chosen from our reading areas. Within each classroom, a specific area is designated for a range of high quality reading materials that are age appropriate for each year group. We additionally have a well-resourced library. Those pupils who require extra support with their reading are monitored and heard to read regularly by both school staff and/or voluntary helpers. Some children will participate in some catch-up programmes designed to improve their reading skill and confidence. We expect children to read at home at least three times each week. This should be recorded in the planner/home-school contact book. Teachers work regularly with small groups of pupils in guided reading sessions, where texts are analysed in greater depth and where the focus is on comprehension.
All children are taught spelling, punctuation and grammar in line with the new curriculum requirements. Children will bring spellings home to learn, that are dependent upon their spelling ability. Some children will receive intervention sessions with a focus on phonics if it is felt necessary.
The daily literacy lessons cover a wide range of genres. In these sessions, pupils explore literacy through a range of media including books and film, through reading, writing, speaking and listening and drama. In addition to this, all classes have ‘Big Writing’ on a regular basis. This is a whole school approach and allows children to write at length, independently, after a focussed lesson on basic but important skills such as vocabulary, connectives, sentence openers and punctuation. (VCOP)
We teach a precursive style of handwriting using the Cambridge programme, and all children are encouraged to join their writing once they have mastered a printed script.
In our teaching of this subject through the daily Mathematics lesson, we attempt to ensure that the children enjoy Mathematics and that they appreciate that it is a useful tool for life. We believe that it is essential for the children to gain a thorough understanding of Mathematics through appropriate practical experience and careful recording. Investigational work will form an important part of the Mathematical curriculum and will enable children to acquire the necessary skills and concepts and to develop their mathematical thinking. Children will be involved in practising these skills and where appropriate will apply them to other areas of the curriculum. Proficiency in basic number work is stressed and computation is often linked with measurement, shape and money. We believe there is a need for children to have a rapid recall of number facts including tables and hope that parents will support their children to practise them at home.
Bigfoot Maths - All children are taught mathematics on a daily basis. In addition to this they complete a ‘Weekly Basic Skills’ test which enables us to identify areas to focus on. Following this test, the children are organised into groups according to the areas which the children need to be taught or practise. These groups change on a regular basis depending on the progress made. This also allows us to work with the children on their personal targets.
The session following on from the test is known as the BIGFOOT (Being In Groups, Focusing On Our Targets) session. Bigfoot maths is aimed at improving number understanding and calculation; the foundation of mathematical understanding. Other mathematical concepts, such as shape, space, measures and problem solving are taught alongside this throughout the week.
Even though we have only been running the Bigfoot sessions since September 2013, we have already seen a marked increase in the children’s confidence and accuracy when solving number calculations, puzzles and problems.
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
ICT at Brightlingsea Juniors is taught in many different ways, principally through the use of PCs and laptops, but also using programmable devices, scanners, data loggers and digital cameras. Children are taught specific skills, using a wide range of software, as well as being given opportunities to apply their knowledge across the curriculum. Children are taught about e-safety and responsible use of the internet; they are also encouraged to use our safe learning platform which can be accessed both at school and at home. We are equipped with trolleys of laptops which can be used in classrooms; each class also has a PC and an interactive whiteboard.
We have a school website www.brightlingseajuniors.ik.org, this is maintained and updated by school staff. It contains a great deal of information and key documents for parents and visitors.
International Primary Curriculum
From September 2009 our school has been delivering the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which is an internationally-minded, thematic, cross-curricular and rigorous teaching structure used in over 50 countries.
IPC is aimed at primary aged children growing up in the 21st Century. It nurtures a love of learning and encourages the necessary key skills and personal qualities. During the school year children will follow a number of units on different themes. These are designed to be creative and challenging. At the start of each unit we will send out a letter to parents to let you know:
�� What your children are learning
�� What activities they will be doing
�� How you can help / support
You can find out more about IPC on their website http://www.internationalprimarycurriculum.com/
Our IPC Route Map has been updated to ensure coverage of all requirements of the new 2014 National Curriculum. You can download a copy of our new route map by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page. We began teaching these new topics from September 2014.
Pupils use a range of methods of enquiry with emphasis placed on the practical and ‘hands on’ approaches. Through such practical activities scientific skills and processes are introduced and developed and the child’s natural curiosity and desire to find out about their world is embraced. The provision is further enhanced through the use of our extensive grounds, wildlife garden, school pets, educational field trips and increasingly the use of ICT. ICT is embedded within the science curriculum and is used for simulations, recording and graphing of data and research.
As well as our scheme of work for art we find that art work also arises from all areas of the curriculum. Art often affords opportunity for self expression coupled with awareness of colour, pattern, space and shape. Our pupils will experiment with a range of media. The styles and techniques of successful artists are used to develop awareness of art and to widen the possible techniques to be experimented with and applied.
Design and Technology
Children are involved in a wide range of practical ‘design and build’ projects linked to other sections of the curriculum. These projects develop their planning, drawing, measuring, cutting, shaping and modelling skills while using a variety of resistant and pliable materials.
The teaching of Geography will be linked to a theme to enable the children to explore areas of experience in depth and to foster their natural curiosity. Pupils will study how people live, work and get together to make a society. They will develop an understanding of how the physical land dictates what people can do. A study of maps and the use of ICT, such as ‘Google Earth’, enables children to find their place in the world. Pupils will study our natural world and discover how land is formed and is ever changing.
Through our teaching of History we aim to give children a perspective of time and an awareness of the world around them. Children learn to be “detectives”: to look at evidence and clues from the past, placing important dates on a timeline, and investigating the consequences and effects of key events in time. They learn to imagine what it would have been like to have lived at times in the past. Wherever possible, the children have access to primary evidence, learning to evaluate its reliability and to detect misleading or biased information. History studies include visits to museums or other historical places where possible, including some historical recreations where the children really get to experience life in another time.
Children have many opportunities to listen to, enjoy, and respond to a wide variety of musical genres from different cultures. They also learn to improve their singing, and play both tuned and non-tuned instruments in whole class and group sessions.
Peripatetic music teachers visit the school to give individual lessons on a variety of instruments.
Physical Education and Sport
All children at Brightlingsea Juniors take part in twice weekly PE lessons which cover a range of sports and games. Our children take part in the following sports at different times of the year and according to their age:- Football, Netball, Hockey, Rounders, Athletics, Cricket, Rugby (tag) and Swimming. Swimming is taught off site at Clacton Leisure Pool.
Team sports and competition are encouraged. For example the teaching and coaching of Athletics culminates in a competitive sports day, which has now become an important diary date in our sporting calendar. Such events promote a competitive sporting attitude whilst encouraging sportsmanship.
Extra- curricular clubs are also an important element in the promotion of a fit and healthy lifestyle. These clubs usually run after school and are not part of the statutory curriculum. The range on offer will vary according to the current interests and passions of the school staff.
Some sports clubs and PE lessons are organised and run by qualified professional coaches.
PSHCE (Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education)
PSHCE is an important part of our school curriculum that helps to give pupils the knowledge and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, responsible citizens.
It is taught both intrinsically through other subjects like science and PE and explicitly during dedicated PSHCE and Circle Time lessons. PSHCE topics also form part of our Collective Worship time. Specific lessons, role play and drama, class discussions and many informal conversations with children can be occasions for promoting our school ethos and the values which PSHCE encompasses.
Children will learn consideration for others, the responsibilities of being part of a community, the value of human relationships and the moral values of right and wrong. They are taught that with rights come responsibilities.
Our PSHCE curriculum also covers hygiene, physical fitness – which is taught alongside PE, nutrition and physical growth and development at child appropriate levels.
Controversial and Sensitive Issues
Staff are aware that views around some PSHCE related issues are varied. However, while personal views are respected, all PSHCE issues are taught without bias. Topics are presented using a variety of views and beliefs so that pupils are able to form their own informed opinions but also to respect others who may have a different point of view.
Sex & Relationships Education (SRE)
Work concerning family life, parental care, growth and development, personal relationships and caring for others will provide opportunities for children to ask questions about the basic facts of reproduction and about values and attitudes. Sex & Relationships Education will be linked to our Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education Programme. We involve Health Professionals in this aspect of work. Parents have the opportunity to see videos before they are used in the classroom. Parents can withdraw their children from all or part of the Sex & Relationships Education provided, except that which is required as part of National Curriculum Science.
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) - Spanish
At Brightlingsea Juniors, we believe that learning a language is a valuable experience for our pupils and hope to introduce them to another language in a way that is enjoyable and fun. We also aim to help the children develop their awareness of cultural differences in other countries and to stimulate their curiosity about other languages. By teaching our pupils Spanish from Year 3, with support and advice from our secondary colleagues, we hope to lay the foundations for future study.
School assemblies, based broadly on Christian principles, set out to emphasise the belief that children should live and grow together in harmony. They also promote a greater understanding of other people’s needs and beliefs both locally and world wide. Our Religious Education scheme of work is also mainly focused on Christianity but will also cover the main elements of other world religions including Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism. Parents who wish their children to be withdrawn from Religious Education, Assemblies and Collective Worship should consult the Headteacher and alternative arrangements will be made.
IPC Route Map
Dinosaurs (Footprints from the Past - Science & History focus)
Additional science units: Animals, including humans / Rocks and soils
Feel the Force (Science focus)
Scavengers & Settlers (History focus)
+ Local History study
Additional science unit: Light and Shadow
Active Planet (Geography focus)
Let’s Plant it (Science focus)
Temple, Tombs & Treasures (History focus - Ancient Egypt civilisation)
Bright Sparks (science focus - Electricity)
Turn it up (Science focus - Sound)
British History - Romans in Britain
Shake It! (Science focus - States of matter & water cycle)
Explorers and Adventurers (Geography focus)
Saving the World ~ Rainforests (Geography & Science focus)
Additional science units: Animals, including humans (digestive system and teeth) / Living things and their habitats
Out of this World (Science focus)
Fascinating Forces (Science focus)
Mix it up (Science focus)
The Great, Bold and Brave (History focus)
What a Wonderful World (Geography & Science focus)
Roots, Shoots & Fruits (Science focus)
The Holiday Show (Geography focus)
Being Human (Science focus)
Additional science unit: Light
A turning point in history - World War 2
Additional science unit: Electricity
Variation & Classification / Evolution & Inheritance (Science & History focus)
AD 900 (History focus)
More on the International Primary Curriculum
Brightlingsea Junior School is part of a learning community of schools across the world that uses the IPC (International Primary Curriculum) as their planned curriculum. There are currently over seventy different units of learning for our team to choose from. Firstly, this releases our teaching staff from the onerous task of planning the ‘what’, thereby providing time and energy to focus on the ‘how’ which inspires learners in a creative curriculum. Secondly, this unique curriculum has a strong element of internationalism built into learning. For our children at Brightlingsea Juniors, we recognise the constraints on cultural provision in a rural area of the U.K. By adopting the IPC, we are central to a global learning community. The elements of the International Dimension enables opportunities for our children to:-
- Recognise their own culture and have a sense of identity
- Be open-minded
- Be respectful of other cultures and beliefs (be sensitive to other cultures and beliefs)
- Be aware of and be able to celebrate diversity AND commonality
- Have respect for and value other people and their ideas and opinions
- Be able to communicate (have good interpersonal skills)
- Be adaptable
- Be aware of and have an interest in global issues
Beliefs and Principles
The International Primary Curriculum is a practical tool for teachers to help children learn. Behind the practical components of the IPC are a number of beliefs about education, teaching, learning and curriculum that govern both the contents of the IPC and the way it works.
Children’s learning is the central purpose of everything connected with the IPC. Helping children learn – academically, socially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically – is the only real purpose of schools. Children’s learning will respond to their current and future personal needs, their future career needs and the needs of the varied societies and cultural groups in which they are likely to play a part. Learning is planned to be active, in the sense that children must engage with their own learning. For primary children, this means that learning, relevant to the future is placed in a context that is meaningful to their present lives. Children share responsibility for their learning with their teachers, parents and carers. The proportion of responsibility each bears will depend on the age and characteristics of the children. Nevertheless, learning is constructed in such a way that, by the end of the primary years, children begin to see and experience the potential for taking responsibility for their own learning.
Each child in the school will undertake a unit of work every two years which relates to how they learn. They will understand more about how the brain works and they will develop strategies to assist their learning such as mind maps. They will begin to understand how they may have a preferred learning style and how it is important to experience a range of learning styles. (Howard Gardener’s 9 Learning Styles.)
The purpose of teaching is to facilitate children’s learning in appropriate ways. Wherever possible, teaching is always planned to be enjoyable. The ownership of ‘good’ teaching is rooted more in the highly developed learning of children, than it is in highly enjoyable teaching or successful curriculum development. Teachers of primary children are both teacher-as-facilitator and teacher-as-deliverer. Teachers are likely to be more successful in helping children learn if they work closely with colleagues, parents and other members of the child’s community.
At Brightlingsea Juniors the emphasis is on staff spending more time thinking about helping individual children learn than writing whole-school curricula. We, therefore, support staff with well-designed, up-to-date, practical and relevant help.
An International Primary Curriculum
Brightlingsea Juniors use the International Primary Curriculum to create an effective curriculum that provides the most appropriate support for teachers and others to develop children’s learning.
Our curriculum begins with a set of standards of learning outcomes which clearly defines what children should be capable of at certain important periods of their development.
These standards are explicitly described in terms of the knowledge children should acquire, the skills they should be able to demonstrate and the understanding they should develop. Not all of these standards or learning outcomes are measurable. Some will require professional judgement. The curriculum provides opportunities for teachers to assess or judge the quality of children’s learning through a range of assessment or evaluative opportunities. The curriculum addresses the development of knowledge, skills and understanding in three key areas – subjects, personal development and international understanding.
Our curriculum design is influenced by two ideas. First, the key concepts of independence and interdependence which underpin our view of what it is to have an international mindset and, second, the lessons learnt as a result of a decade of research into the brain and the development of brain-friendly learning and teaching strategies. The National Curriculum learning outcomes are covered by the learning goals of the IPC. Our Route Map has been completely re-designed with a number of brand new units for 2014-2015 to ensure coverage of the new National Curriculum.
Documents available to download below include:
*IPC 'Helping your child' sheets x3
*IPC Information Sheet
*Science Curriculum Map (2014) Years 3 & 4
*Science Curriculum Map (2014) Years 5 & 6
*PSHCE Curriculum Map (2014) Years 3 - 6