At Roundhay St John's, we see the curriculum as being central to achieving a rich, well balanced, challenging and exciting provision for our children. Our ‘New’ Curriculum was launched in September 2014 in line with the reviewed National Curriculum. Our response to the curriculum is ever changing as we respond to the needs of the children, striving to ensure that each of them reach their full potential.
All pupils follow a broad and balanced curriculum which consists of the core and foundation subjects in the National Curriculum i.e. English, Mathematics, Science, Design Technology, Computing, Geography, History, Music, Art, Physical Education, Personal, Health, Social and Citizenship Education and Languages at Key Stage 2. As a Church Aided school, the Leeds Diocesan Scheme for Religious Education is followed and we recognise RE as being a core subject within the school's curriculum. Our curriculum, as a whole, seeks to develop each child as a well-rounded young person and, as such, also places great emphasis on children’s spiritual, moral and cultural development.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Starting school is a significant milestone, not just for your child, but also for parents, and we aim to make the experience a happy one for all. As we have our own Nursery, children can start with us from the age of three, at the start of the Early Years phase.
The Early Years Foundation Stage lasts for two years. The first year is ‘Nursery’ and the second is the ‘Reception’ year. It is a distinct phase of your child’s learning journey with its own curriculum, learning goals and attainment profile. Within the overall ethos of the school, the children enjoy a wide range of activities and play based provision, giving them appropriate access to all the areas of learning of the Early Years phase. These are:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Understanding of the world
- Expressive arts and design
We value the contribution and support of parents/carers and work in partnership to give the children every opportunity to become confident, independent and successful young learners well equipped for Year 1 and beyond.
The English curriculum at Roundhay St John’s covers written English, spoken language, grammar, punctuation, spelling and reading. The Curriculum is covered using different genres of fiction and non-fiction literature. In literacy lessons, children learn about and celebrate the work of authors and poets, explore classic and modern texts and understand the links between the work of an author and the enjoyment of a reader. Fostering a love for literacy and embedding key skills is essential to all the progress children make at Roundhay St John’s.
Writing is taught through shared text writing and guided writing sessions. Children are taught to understand the purposes for writing, and real reasons for writing are actively sought across all year groups. Writing skills are applied and embedded across all areas of the curriculum as children record their learning from Foundation Stage to Year 6. Children are taught to write in a range of genres and text types, helping them to understand what the ‘key features’ of each form may be and to encourage children to understand how they can manipulate language to best effect. The specific teaching of ‘talk for writing’ is used throughout school to enhance the learning process. Technical skills such as spelling, grammar and punctuation are integrated into daily literacy lessons. Work on presentational skills is ongoing throughout the year, with a focus from Reception onwards on using fully cursive handwriting.
Reading is broken down into small-group or whole-class guided reading sessions, which take place at least three times a week, and shared text reading which takes place in various lessons across the curriculum. Home-school reading books go home twice a week with a home-school record book. In EYFS and Key Stage One, children read individually with an adult, and additional adults come into school to support children with this. Children frequently hear stories for pleasure, and reading skills are applied in other subject areas.
The reading schemes used at Roundhay St John’s are: Oxford Reading Tree, Phonics Bug, Rigby Star, Collins Big Cat in EYFS and Key Stage One and Oxford Reading Tree in Key Stage Two.
Early Literacy at Roundhay St John’s (Phonics)
Early Literacy is about teaching the children everything they need to know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Most children begin to learn the skills that lead to reading before they even step into school; sharing books at bed time, talking, playing noisy games, listen to sounds when out and about and recognising shop signs are all part of this learning journey.
At Roundhay St John’s, we use ‘Letters and Sounds’ to teach phonics. The teaching of phonics begins in nursery with Phase One of ‘Letters and Sounds’. Phonics is the relationship between letters and their sounds and children need to understand how to blend these sounds together to read, and segment words (sound out/split up) to write. Children in Reception, Year One and Year Two have daily discreet phonics sessions and are provided with cross curricular opportunities for reading and writing to embed and extend this learning every day. To help your child we hold annual phonic sessions for parents to support how parents can really enhance their child’s early reading.
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment.
At Roundhay St John’s we aim to deliver a high-quality mathematics education to provide our children with a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
We aim to provide all pupils with direct teaching every day, which is oral, interactive and stimulating Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their previous learning, use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills, pose and ask questions, investigate mathematical ideas, reflect on their own learning and make links with other work to produce individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We promote mental calculations and opportunities for investigations. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and adequate resources so that pupils can develop their mathematical skills to the full.
Our Maths curriculum is taken from the new National Curriculum (September 2014) and supports its aim to ensure all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
As a Church Aided School, Roundhay St John’s, provides Religious Education for all pupils from the Church of England Diocese agreed syllabus. Religious Education does not seek to urge religious beliefs on children nor to compromise the integrity of their own beliefs. We promote respect for all religions and cultures and our curriculum allows our children to explore the diversity that surrounds them in our school as well as the wider world.
Through their work in RE children explore, analyse and reflect on a range of religious and non-religious responses to basic human questions of meaning and purpose. In particular Religious Education:
- helps children to know about and understand the religious beliefs, values, experiences, practices and traditions by which people live and make sense of their shared human experience;
- enables children to examine and draw upon their own experience through reflection and response.
Religious Education, therefore, has an important contribution to make to children’s personal and social development and especially to their spiritual, moral and cultural development.
Parents may, if they wish, withdraw their child(ren) from RE lessons after discussion about the reasons for this with the headteacher.