The George Street Curriculum themes
Our curriculum is carefully planned in order to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, whilst also adapting to suit the interests of our pupils, e.g. to use the locality wherever possible to enable Learning to Come Alive.
Longitudinal learning allows for revisiting, e.g. in history in KS2 pre-history is studied in Y3 by looking at buildings, whilst in Y5 the theme is beliefs.
Skills are developed as pupils become older, in line with National Curriculum expectations.
Our class pages give greater detail of the themes across KS1 and 2.
Maths Learning at George Street
We use the Maths Essentials resources produced by Herts for Learning. This is an easy to pick up and use set of sequences with step by step guidance covering the entire mathematics curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6. Designed to support teachers, the planning includes examples of how concrete and pictorial representations can benefit pupils’ learning as well as other mastery techniques. The new ESSENTIALmaths planning tool has a wealth of ideas to deepen and extend mathematical thinking for all learners.
We aim for every child to leave their year group with a confident mastery of the skills expected of them for their age, and the ability to use them in a variety of contexts.
This is achieved through:
We believe in teaching spelling as an essential life skill, through regular dedicated lessons and through all the writing that we do.
We follow the National Curriculum for each year group - including Common Exception words and the Year3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 Spelling lists - as well as regularly revising and reviewing previous year group’s patterns and rules. This systematic over-learning aids in the embedding of this skill, and gives the confidence to try new vocabulary by applying logical rules and a ‘best guess’ approach.
We follow a practice of a balance between fluency and comprehension skills.
From Nursery to Year 1, the children follow a rigorous phonics programme. From Year 2 upwards, an enjoyment of reading and sound understanding of what has been read are developed through a mixture of reading comprehension, verbal questioning and discussion, reading prosody and whole class texts (including novels) through our English lessons, linked to writing.
ICT at George Street
We are currently using the Purple Mash scheme to teach computing. This covers Computer Science; Information Technology and Digital Learning, with the NC programme of study being assigned to each year group, including EYFS with long and medium term plans. This supports all members of staff to be able to deliver the curriculum regardless of subject specialism.
ICT is generally taught discretely initially in order to support pupils with their understanding of the various skills required, e.g. coding; how to create and store documents, etc. However, as pupils become more confident they are given opportunities across the curriculum to further use these skills.
'Learning Really Comes Alive' for our children when they are using the computers. We have Google Chrome books, where the children can quickly access their saved work, using Google Drive for Google Classroom, Maps, etc. This enables work to be accessed at home and helps parents to keep up to date with what their children are learning.
Pupils are able to develop through reading through computing using programmes such as Bug Club and online First News. Research online also develops reading skills and retrieval. Maths skills are also developed, particularly using data through the use of Excel and producing graphs, which can then be interpreted.
Keeping themselves safe through e-safety lessons, visiting speakers, etc., is also an important area to ensure the safeguarding of all pupils. This also extends to out of school, e.g. social media and gaming.
Through art and design, learners are given opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. At George Street pupils explore a wide range of two- and three-dimensional media and technologies. Their exposure to the works of artists and designers serves to enhance their enjoyment and deepen their knowledge and understanding too.
Inspired by a range of stimuli, pupils are encouraged to express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings through activities within art and design whilst honing developmentally appropriate skills via the Quiggley themes to cover; Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, 3D sculpture ,Textiles, and Digital photography skills.
Pupils are encouraged to respond and comment on the work of artists and designers and develop, give and accept constructive comment on their own and others’ work.
We want our children to have an interest and curiosity about the world, including a deep understanding about the journey that their own local area and its people have been through. We promote a connection to the past through a personal view, developing empathy for real people who lived real lives, as well as for people from all cultures in all countries, celebrating our differences and similarities.
Through our history topics, we aim to provide a meaningful purpose for writing, through diaries, information texts, reports and stories, applying skills taught in our English lessons. However, we feel it is important to also ensuring that learning and understanding can be enjoyed and evidenced through art, role play, trips, visitors, online research and other hands-on experiences.
Our curriculum is designed so that eras are revisited across multiple year groups, for example the Stone, Iron and Bronze Ages, Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Victorians (amongst others) are returned to through our themes of Local History in Year 2, Architecture and Archaeology in Year 3, Eurovision in Year 4, Beliefs in Year 5 and Conflict in Year 6. It is our intent that in this way, knowledge of several eras is built over time, drawing on previous learning, whilst constantly making links.
It is important to us that our children develop not just the essential fact-based knowledge about times and places throughout history, but the procedural-based knowledge of historical skills, such as:
As such, we shape our learning journey through the questions that we ask as a basis for each lesson, or over-arching a topic, using these 8 areas of historical learning.
Era, historical, archaeologist, century, government, civilisation,
within a period/situation (social diversity including beliefs and attitudes)
We aim to equip our children with a wide and deep understanding of the world: in their local area, Great Britain and across the globe. We want them to be able to be able to communicate confidently about different places and the people who live there, with clarity, detail and empathy.
In order to achieve this, geographical learning is woven into our cross-curricular themes in all year groups, and takes place through writing, drawing, model-making, fieldwork and research, covering three main areas:
At George Street, we recognise and value the fact our children speak a wide variety of languages and come from different cultures. In today's world it is vital to appreciate that willingness and ability to communicate with others is a key life skill. Whilst we don't expect children to build fluency in modern foreign languages at this stage, exposure to another language has been proven to boost mental development and promote an appreciation of other cultures. Plus, learning languages is fun! As a school, we have chosen to focus on French.
Children will be encouraged to learn more about the French language and culture through discussion, research and games. They will find out how to introduce themselves, basic phrases and how to hold some simple conversations.
RE at George Street follows the Hertfordshire Agreed Syllabus which aims to ensure that all pupils develop knowledge and understanding of sources of wisdom and their impact whilst exploring personal and critical responses.
Sources of wisdom and their impact
All pupils should:
Personal and critical responses
All pupils should:
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the teaching of RE that year.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) is a planned, developmental programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future.
The overarching aim for PSHE education at George Street is to provide pupils with:
At George Street, PSHE education is embedded into all aspects of our curriculum and school life. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
The PSHE education at George Street makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, their behaviour and safety and the school’s statutory responsibility to promote pupils’ wellbeing.
PSHE education equips pupils with the knowledge, understanding, skills and strategies required to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives.
PSHE education contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings.
At George Street, we recognise the importance of looking after children’s wellbeing and their mental health. All of our children are valued and respected by all adults. We believe that happier children learn better and we do all that we can to ensure our children are happy. We actively promote the fact that children should look after their mental wellbeing as much as their physical needs. We have held a whole school Mental Health week and are beginning to implement the 5 ways to wellbeing into everything that we do. Over the summer term, we will be focusing on each of the 5 ways over the course of a week with the intention that from the autumn term, these will be fully embedded into everyday school life.
Sex and Relationships Education (SRE)
Sex and relationships education is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up and relationships. Some aspects are taught in science, and others are taught as part of personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE).
SRE provides accurate information and gives children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitative relationships and staying safe both on and offline.
High quality SRE helps create safe school communities in which pupils can grow, learn, and develop positive, healthy behaviour for life.