At St. Mary’s we take care of each other, aim high, enjoy learning and achieve success within the family of a Church school.
Our school curriculum encompasses everything your child experiences during their time with us whether this is in the classroom, woodland learning, outside on the playground, through visits and visitors or in the dining hall. We aim to provide a curriculum which…
- provides exciting and interesting learning opportunities
- is matched to each child’s individual needs
- gives opportunities for creative expression
- encourages health and fitness
- gives opportunities to develop the skills of enquiry and effective communication
and, most importantly, prepares children for life in an everchanging, modern world.
Through our curriculum we intend to…
- Enable the children to develop a strong sense of identity and belonging by learning about themselves, where they live, who lives amongst them, the location’s landscape and its history.
- Support the children in recognising their own talents and, in time, knowing how to use these to build a successful future for themselves.
- Develop in each child, an understanding of their place in the world and knowledge that they are part of this ‘big story’ of human existence, development and achievement.
- Expose the children to the opportunities that are open to them as citizens of the world.
- Encourage children to acknowledge and be inspired by the talents of those who have gone before them and those who are making a difference to the world today.
- Help children to learn about the diversity of our society and develop a strong respect and appreciation of those around them and of those that have gone before them.
At St. Mary’s we use specialist teaching resources to ensure that we provide high quality teaching and learning experiences for all children.
The Curriculum for Unity School’s Partnership (CUSP) is used for English, Science, History, and Geography. This is an ambitious, evidence-based curriculum with a focus on vocabulary. End points are identified and carefully planned for, building on previous knowledge. Long-term plans comprehensively map out what is taught across the school in all subjects. See the documents below for the content of our different subjects across the curriculum. Subjects are taught individually but links are made across different subjects where appropriate.
We also use Read, Write, Inc for phonics, White Rose for Maths, Jigsaw for PSHE and RSE, Charanga for music, and Real PE for physical education. See the tabs below for more information.
At the Lighthouse Federation we know that reading is made up of many different skills which children need to be able to draw upon when decoding, understanding and analysing texts. These skills will never be used in isolation and all need to develop together as our children grow as readers.
As well as developing children’s decoding and phonetic skills, we use the CUSP reading curriculum to help children develop the following key reading competencies…
- Language meaning
- Retrieving key details
- Reframing and performance
- Making meaning
- Thematic and structural understanding
- Authorial intent
- Composition and connection
- Reading behaviours
- Personal response
CUSP reading lessons enable us to teach these reading competencies in a progressive and sequential way across the year groups. The reading competencies are taught in a systematic way across a two-week programme using core and supplementary texts. See our literature spine for more information.
Using the mastery approach, we support our children to acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of mathematics;
- Through following the three aims of the 2014 National Curriculum, we allow our children to:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including the varied and regular practice of increasingly complex problems over time;
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, understanding relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- Solve problems of increasing sophistication, including breaking problems down into simpler steps, and persevering in seeking solutions;
- By using concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) representations of mathematical problems, our children can approach a single concept in multiple ways, moving through each one in any order depending on their need and level of understanding;
- Rather than simply memorising procedures or facts, we teach our children to understand a concept, as well as be able to show and explain, how and why their mathematics works the way it does.
These are the key features of mathematics in our school:
- Teachers spend more time delivering each topic, to allow all children to gain a secure understanding before moving on to the next one; (Teaching for Mastery requires each topic to be broken down to small sections that gives a deeper understanding to children and hence more time in each topic)
- Mixed ability grouping / seating, which allows children to work with a broad spectrum of mathematically-confident peers in their classroom across the school year;
- Lots of talking about mathematics – children answering in full sentences and providing reasoned responses to questions;
- Extensive opportunities for problem solving;
- Mini-plenaries during lessons, where pupils can share misconceptions, pose questions, challenge ideas and make and/or prove conjectures;
- Free access (for all pupils, in all year groups) to concrete manipulatives such as Dienes blocks, Numicon, counters, bead strings, number lines etc.
This is how it works:
- Through a Mastery approach, children approach concepts at largely the same level of difficulty. However, teachers will move children on to more challenging tasks earlier in the lesson, if they feel it is appropriate, to allow them to deepen their understanding;
- Teachers use correct mathematical language in their delivery of content, employing a ‘word of the day’ or related vocabulary, and displaying these on working walls for children to see and make use of in their learning; You will see ‘Stem Sentence’ used in the current topic displayed in class room
- There are frequent opportunities to talk mathematically, both to the teacher and to each other;
- Using ‘answer, prove, explain’ (APE), pupils are expected to demonstrate their understanding in multiple ways, to avoid the focus being purely on getting the correct answer; We instil children to understand that ‘Answer is just the beginning of the journey’.
- Children are given the time they need to solve problems (returning to a task in a subsequent lesson, for example), meaning that sessions are more ‘fluid’ than they are ‘compartmentalised’;
- Teaching assistants (TAs) are sometimes used to pre-teach concepts to targeted pupils ahead of a lesson, to ensure any gaps in learning are filled effectively.
This is what staff do:
- Plan lessons with a focus on the ‘three aims’ (see above);
- Reflect on lessons in order to inform next steps for individuals and groups of children;
- Encourage positive attitudes to mistakes / misconceptions, in discussions and in the learning environment; Children call these ‘Marvellous Mistakes’.
- Participate in regular book scrutinies, learning walks, planning audits and pupil perception sessions;
- Engage in collective professional development, both as a school and as part of the Lighthouse Federation
- Raise the profile of mathematics through Maths Cafés and STEM week;
- Encourage parental involvement in their children’s maths journeys through Maths Passports and maths workshops, parent vocabulary booklets.
This is what you might typically see and hear in our classrooms:
- Open-ended investigations, including low threshold/high ceiling tasks to ensure access for all pupils;
- Word problems that encourage pupils to ‘find the maths’ contained within; We use the language – ‘What is the story here?’ in our problem solving questions to encourage children to like Maths and see a story in every problem rather than seeing it as a problem to be solved.
- Pupils talking mathematically, making conjectures and applying reasoning skills to problems;
- Calculations represented in different ways – missing digit problems, ‘Here’s the answer, what’s the question?’, CPA representations;
- Paired / group work;
- Working walls containing relevant examples of work, key vocabulary and photographic evidence;
- Active maths, where pupils move around the room or work outside
- Teachers encouraging pupils to discuss and prove / challenge other pupils’ conjectures and ideas.
This is what you will see on our working walls:
- Topic/Module-specific vocabulary;
- Stem sentence to do with the current topic;
- Evidence of mistakes and misconceptions to promote positive attitudes to these;
- Photos of children working;
- Number lines – differentiated by year group (for example, 0-100 in KS1, negative numbers/ratio lines in UKS2) and big enough for children to get up and use freely.
This is how we know how well our pupils are progressing:
- Prompt marking of classwork, with appropriate feedback and ‘next steps’ given;
- Pupil progress meetings based on formative and summative assessment data;
- Termly teacher assessment judgements and target-setting;
- Targeted use of TAs, who make notes about observations of, and discussions with, pupils;
- Interventions planned ahead.
This is the impact of our teaching:
- Confident children who can talk about maths in a positive manner;
- Children displaying a real love of the subject, putting it in their ‘top 3’ lessons;
- A depth of understanding and the ability to apply this in a variety of contexts.
This is how we use intervention:
- TAs and Teachers support individuals and small groups, either inside or outside of class, based on misconceptions that have been identified during lessons, promoting the progression of all children rather than some.
This is how we challenge higher attaining pupils / rapid graspers:
- Always have a deepening activity planned.
- Encourage them to use higher-order thinking skills to solve problems in a range of contexts;
- Ask for developed reasoning and justification in support of an answer or solution;
- Encourage them to support other pupils, to help spot any misconceptions in their working and model the correct steps to solve a problem;
- Ask them to make generalisations and conjectures, and test (prove / disprove) these.
Our Art curriculum is knowledge rich and builds progressively throughout each year group. Each programme of study is designed to ensure that children acquire subject specific knowledge throughout their primary years, thus preparing them for secondary school. Children will think like artists, connecting with what they already know when exploring new ideas.
At the Lighthouse Federation, we use the CUSP Art curriculum to support teachers in delivering high-quality Art lessons which focus on the skills and language children need to be successful, to talk confidently about their work and to feel proud of their outcomes.
The curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of artistic disciplines, including drawing, painting, printmaking, textiles, 3D and collage. Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils can revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity.
In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of artistic development in the Working Artistically section. Each module will focus on developing different aspects of these competencies. This will support teachers in understanding pupils’ development as artists more broadly, as well as how successfully they are acquiring the taught knowledge and skills.
Please see our 2-year topic cycles for information on the Art topics covered in each term.
The National Curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- Can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- Can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- Are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
At the Lighthouse Federation, we realise that digital technology is everywhere and an ever increasing part of everyday life at home, school and in the wider world. Because of this we follow the national curriculum for computing and provide a computing curriculum which is not only deeply linked with maths, science and design technology but also every area of the wider curriculum.
Children encounter a rapidly changing world where computing technology is at the forefront. Our curriculum will prepare them for this by ensuring an in depth coverage of the three main strands of computer science, information technology and digital literacy. All children will learn the function and uses of a wide range of programmes and technology, be able to apply those skills and showcase their creativity in doing so. By carefully building upon knowledge and understanding in each year group, children will progress year on year and be ready for their responsible, active future in the workplace and the wider digital world.
Underpinning all of our teaching in Computing, is the need to embed an understanding of how to stay safe online in all of our children. Online Safety is taught in every year group through our computing curriculum and our PSHE programme.
By the time children leave year 6, they will be able to understand the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, analyse problems in computational terms and have had repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems. They will also know how to evaluate and apply information technology, including unfamiliar technologies analytically so solve problems and, crucially, will be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
Computing in EYFS
In Early Years, Computing is taught fluidly through the Early Years Curriculum. In the Early Years classroom there are computing resources available at all times in the continuous provision. For example, our children take photographs on the iPads and cameras, experiment with pully toys and lift-the-flap books and have access to remote controlled cars and Beebots to begin experimenting with Programming.
Our Design and Technology curriculum is knowledge rich and builds progressively throughout each year group. Each programme of study is designed to ensure that children acquire subject specific knowledge throughout their primary years, thus preparing them for secondary school. Children will think like designers, connecting with what they already know when exploring new ideas.
At the Lighthouse Federation, we use the CUSP Design and Technology curriculum to support teachers in delivering high-quality DT lessons which focus on the skills and language children need to be successful, to talk confidently about their work and to feel proud of their outcomes.
The CUSP Design and Technology curriculum is organised into blocks with each block covering a particular set of disciplines, including food and nutrition, mechanisms, structures, systems, electrical systems, understanding materials and textiles. Vertical progression in each discipline has been deliberately woven into the fabric of the curriculum so that pupils revisit key disciplines throughout their Primary journey at increasing degrees of challenge and complexity.
In addition to the core knowledge required to be successful within each discipline, the curriculum outlines key aspects of development in the Working as a Designer section. Each module will focus on promoting different aspects of these competencies. This will support teachers in understanding pupils’ progress as designers more broadly, as well as how successfully they are acquiring the taught knowledge and skills.
Please see our 2-year topic cycles for information on the DT topics covered in each term.
Geography is the study of where places are found, what they are like and the relationships between people and their environments.
At the Lighthouse Federation, we use the CUSP Geography curriculum to ensure that children acquire subject specific knowledge throughout their primary years, thus preparing them for secondary school. Children will think like geographers, connecting with what they already know when exploring new ideas.
In Geography we focus on four different areas in planning and teaching lessons:
- Substantive knowledge – this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
- Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of knowledge and how children become a little more expert as a geographer by Thinking Geographically.
- Geographical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and making sense of the content in response to structured questions and well-designed tasks that cause children to think hard as geographers.
- Substantive concepts are the big ideas, and the golden threads, that run through a coherent and cohesive geography curriculum. They can include place, space, scale, interdependence, physical and human processes, environmental impact, sustainable development, cultural awareness and cultural diversity.
Please see our 2-year topic cycles for information on the Geography topics covered in each term.
History is the study of the past – learning about people, places, events and changes.
At the Lighthouse Federation, we use the CUSP History curriculum to ensure that children acquire subject specific knowledge throughout their primary years, thus preparing them for secondary school. Children will think like historians, connecting with what they already know when exploring new ideas.
In History we focus on four different areas in planning and teaching lessons:
- Substantive knowledge – this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the past. Misconceptions are challenged carefully and in the context of the substantive and disciplinary knowledge.
- Disciplinary knowledge – this is the use of that knowledge and how children construct understanding through historical claims, arguments and accounts. We call it ‘Working Historically.’ The features of thinking historically may involve significance, evidence, continuity and change, cause and consequence, historical perspective and contextual interpretation.
- Geographical analysis is developed through selecting, organising and integrating knowledge through reasoning and inference making in response to our structured questions and challenges. We call this ‘Thinking historically’.
- Substantive concepts are the big ideas, and the golden threads, that run through a coherent and cohesive history curriculum. Concepts such as invasion and civilisation are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.
Please see our 2-year topic cycles for information on the Geography topics covered in each term.
Modern Foreign Languages
The National Curriculum for music aims to ensure that all pupils…
- Perform, listen to, review and evaluate music
- Are taught to sing, create and compose music
- Understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated.
At the Lighthouse Federation our intention is that children years 1 to 6, learn about music through active listening, movement, singing, playing, composing and evaluating across a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and genres. Our objective at is to develop curiosity about music in all its varied forms and roles in our world.
We ensure that children…
- learn about the development of music across history and cultures, making connection with the music of today
- participate in whole school singing and performance including sharing hymns as a part of collective worship
- have specific instrument tuition which may include recorder, ukulele and drums
- have opportunities to compose and evaluate music based on learning using a wide range of tuned and un-tuned instruments
Our children in Year 3 and Year 4 have the opportunity to have weekly specialist teaching provided by the Norfolk Music Hub. All other teaching is based on the Charanga scheme.
We provide as many opportunities as possible to help instil a love of all kinds of music and a curiosity for the subject. We encourage children to question and explore different types of music and reflect on what music means for them personally, socially and spiritually.
The national curriculum for physical education aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- are physically active for sustained periods of time
- engage in competitive sports and activities
- lead healthy, active lives
At the Lighthouse Federation, our primary objective is to nurture a lifelong enthusiasm for physical activity and sports among all pupils. We proudly uphold an inclusive, skill-centric curriculum that accommodates each child’s individual learning pace while simultaneously challenging them to reach their highest potential.
Recognising that children are inherently inclined to move and explore their surroundings, our mission is to assist pupils in refining and honing their fundamental movement abilities, gymnastic/dance aptitude, and athletic prowess.
At Lighthouse Federation, children engage in 2 sessions of PE per week (this can include Woodland Learning at St. Mary’s). Lessons are delivered by either a teacher, a specialist coach or qualified Woodland Learning instructor. In Key Stage 1, the focus on the development of fundamental movements through multi-skill lessons. Children are set individual and group tasks in order to develop additional skills such as team work, communication, personal challenge and leadership. In Key Stage 2, children will revisit and build on skills and knowledge acquired in KS1 and apply them across a wide variety of sport and movement.
Skills are developed through a range of topics (both competitive and non-competitive) including: dance, games (invasion, net, wall, striking and fielding), gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activity, swimming* and athletics. Children will develop: flexibility, strength, technique, control, agility, co-ordination and balance. They will master basic movements including: running, jumping, throwing, striking and catching. Children are given the opportunity to represent the school in sporting events with other schools.
Our ultimate aspiration is for every child to:
- have a positive and engaged attitude toward physical activity.
- understand the benefit of exercise both to their physical and mental health.
- eagerly anticipate their PE lessons.
- foster the self-assurance and passion necessary for a healthy and active lifestyle throughout their lifelong journey.
*Children in Upper Key Stage 2 will attend swimming lessons off of the school premises which will be delivered by a qualified swimming instructor for at least one term. By the end of Primary School, it is expected that they confidently swim 25 metres using front crawl, use a range of strokes effectively and demonstrate safe self-rescue.
In Reception –
Movement is integral to children’s development. Through continuous provision both in and out of doors and in the natural environment, children regularly practice fundamental gross motor skills of movement (climbing, cycling, jumping, running and skipping). This assists in developing fine motor skills. Children are also supported to develop co-ordination, strength and balance and negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others. In the summer term, children join weekly PE sessions linked to running, skipping, hoping and throwing skills.
At the Lighthouse Federation, our goal is to prepare our students to be well-rounded individuals who are confident of their place in the world. Our whole school approach to PSHE develops the qualities and attributes which children need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. It helps our children to gain the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to successfully manage their lives – now and in the future.
We teach our PSHE education through the Jigsaw Programme which supports all of the requirements of the National Curriculum and has children’s wellbeing at its heart.
Jigsaw is a whole-school approach which embodies a positive philosophy and creative teaching and learning activities to nurture children’s development as compassionate and well-rounded human beings. It also builds their capacity to learn.
Jigsaw is a comprehensive and completely original PSHE Education programme (lesson plans and teaching resources) for the whole primary school from ages 3-11. Written by teacher and psychotherapist, Jan Lever MBE (services to education) and teachers, and grounded in sound psychology, it also includes all the statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education. Sex Education is also included in the Changing Me Puzzle (unit).
Jigsaw has two main aims for all children:
- To build their capacity for learning
- To equip them for life
Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, compulsory Relationships and Health Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. It is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time at their own level. There are six Puzzles (half-term units of work) and each year group is taught one lesson per week. All lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs. Please see the curriculum overview below for more information.
At the Lighthouse Federation, we use the CUSP Science curriculum to ensure that children acquire subject specific knowledge throughout their primary years, thus preparing them for secondary school. Children will think like scientists, connecting with what they already know when exploring new ideas.
In Science we focus on four different areas in planning and teaching lessons:
- Substantive knowledge – this is the subject knowledge and explicit vocabulary used to learn about the content. In CUSP Science, an extensive and connected knowledge base is constructed so that pupils can use these foundations and integrate it with what they already know.
- Disciplinary knowledge – this is knowing how to collect, use, interpret, understand and evaluate the evidence from scientific processes. This is taught. It is not assumed that pupils will acquire these skills by luck or hope. Pupils construct understanding by applying substantive knowledge to questioning and planning, observing, performing a range of tests, accurately measuring, comparing through identifying and classifying, using observations and gathering data to help answer questions, explaining and reporting, predicting, concluding, improving, and seeking patterns. We call it ‘Working Scientifically.’
- Scientific analysis is developed through IPROF criteria. We call it ‘Thinking Scientifically.’ • identifying and classifying • pattern seeking • research • observing over time • fair and comparative testing
- Substantive concepts include concrete examples, such as ‘plant’ or more abstract ideas, such as ‘biodiversity’. Concepts are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study.
Please see our 2-year topic cycles for information on the Geography topics covered in each term.
At Happisburgh CE VA Primary School we have adopted the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus and follows its principles and aims in delivering RE using a multi-disciplinary approach.
We want to fully prepare our children for life in modern Britain and enable them to flourish in an ever- changing world. We believe that learning in Religious Education will give the children the knowledge and the skills they need in order to live and work productively alongside all members of society in harmony
As a Voluntary Aided School, RE lessons are taught each week or in a block of at least 6 hours, with a minimum of a 51% focus on Christianity and the remainder focussing on other key religions and world views. Our curriculum has been designed using planning from the Diocese of Norwich to ensure that there is an equal balance of learning with the 3 disciplines, Theology, Philosophy and Human/Social Sciences.
Within Theology, we consider how well the children understand:
- Where beliefs come from
- How beliefs change over time
- How beliefs relate to each other
- How beliefs shape the way believers see the world and each other
Within Philosophy, we consider how well the children understand:
- The nature of knowledge, meaning and existence
- How and whether things make sense
- Issues of right and wrong, good and bad.
Within Human & Social Sciences, we consider how well the children understand:
- The diverse nature of religion
- The diverse ways in which people practise and express beliefs
- The ways in which beliefs shape identity and impact on communities and society and visa versa.
In line with the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus, we have adopted the Enquiry Approach to unit planning:
- Engage – The new enquiry is introduced by exploring the conceptual focus and core question.
- Enquire – The enquiry is co-constructed with the pupils whilst staying within the parameters of the learning outcomes.
- Explore – Pupils enquire into the core question through the suggested core knowledge.
- Evaluate – Pupils respond to, analyse and evaluate their understanding of the core question.
- Express – Pupils express the knowledge and understanding they have gained to answer the key question, with an opportunity for the teacher to assess if pupils have met the age-related expectations if appropriate.”
Attainment and progress in RE are linked to the multi-disciplinary approach and measure how well pupils are able to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religion and worldviews. We use the non-statutory age-related expectations to ensure that the RE provision is balanced and that pupils become more religiously literate through their time in school.