The English curriculum is wide-ranging, covering all the skills children are required to develop during their primary school education. It consists of:
Each of these areas is taught and carefully assessed to ensure children can access not just English, but learning across the curriculum. English provides the foundation for so much learning in school.
Within speaking and listening, we expect children to speak Standard English well; using the correct grammar and pronunciation as this will have a direct effect on their spelling and writing skills. The more children read good quality books, and are also read to at home, the quicker these skills will develop.
Reading regularly (daily if possible) with a child has such a powerful impact in the short and long term. If a child can be inspired to read independently, they can access so much information of their own, and take independent journeys into other worlds, which will fuel their imagination and make them much better learners. In school, children are read to regularly in and out of English lessons.
Passionate readers usually become passionate and proficient writers. Good quality books will provide children access to high-quality language, phrases and ideas which they can develop.
Writing opportunities in school are diverse, and vary in their formality. Children are encouraged to present their writing neatly and take pride in their work. Daily, children have the opportunity to develop their cursive handwriting style.
Writing is also an excellent way of practising spellings in the right context, to ensure they are not just learning a list, but learning to apply them in their own writing, so their vocabulary can widen. Regular spelling lessons in school, looking at common patterns, provide children with the opportunity to explore how words work, and notice common links between different words, how they sound and how they are spelt.
For those who find reading, writing and communicating more tricky, the school provides a range of effective interventions both in class and in 1:1 or group sessions out of class targeted to individual needs in different areas.
For further information, please look at the 'English' page on the 'Teaching and Learning' section of the web site.
The national curriculum is divided into several main areas. These include number and place value calculations, measures, shape and statistics. Links between the different areas are made and drawn out. For instance, fractions will be taught under number and calculation but will be used with measures, shape and statistics.
Children are expected to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Maths is taught every day. Each class has a teaching assistant for maths to ensure the need of different abilities can be met in every lesson. Maths is also used in other subject areas, particularly science and humanities. All objectives are taught first through using concrete apparatus. This may include equipment such as multilink, numicom, tens frames etc which allow children to see and understand maths in an every day context. We then use visual pictures and cues such as arrays to help the children move to a more abstract understanding of maths. At all stages, children are encouraged to explain their thinking using mathematical terms and to apply new knowledge in different contexts. Children may work at times in mixed ability pairs or in single ability groups to support their learning.
Children with additional needs are supported by programmes such as Plus One or Catch up.
The school currently uses a range of schemes to support learning.
All key stage 2 children are set homework to practise their times tables and this is supported by
the Rock Stars Times Tables computer games. Key stage 1 children are encouraged to practise number bonds and using maths in every day situations such as cooking
Science is taught weekly in our school and teachers follow the EDUKent Primary Scheme of Work. It is the main focus of at least one topic per year group.
The National Curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
This is done through several different strands. In Year 1 they learn about plants, seasonal change, animals including humans and everyday materials. In Year 2 they learn about animals including humans, living things and their habitats, use of everyday materials and plants. In Year 3 they learn about animals including humans, light, rocks, forces and magnets and plants. In Year 4 they learn about animals including humans, electricity, living things and their habitats, sound and states of matter. In Year 5 they learn about animals including humans, earth and space, forces, living things and their habitats and properties and changes of materials. Finally in Year 6 they learn about animals including humans, electricity, evolution and inheritance, light and living things and their habitats.
Religious Education (RE) is a core subject at St Margaret's. It is taught through 'Understanding Christianity', a resource from the Church of England's Education Office designed to help all teachers support pupils in developing their own thinking and their understanding of Christianity, as a contribution to the world and their own experience within it.
Alongside this resource we also use the 'Brighton and Hove Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education'. This provides an effective RE programme of study to enable pupils and students to have the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to hold balanced and informed conversations about religious and worldviews.
RE at St Margaret's is taught for one hour a week and is taught alongside daily collective worship.
The National Curriculum states that the aims of PE are to:
Our PE programme at St. Margaret's addresses these aims through a varied PE curriculum, after school clubs for a range of sports and regular competitions against other schools in the area.
Pupils enjoy PE and the inclusive approach of lessons ensures that all learners are challenged and supported to achieve and progress in a wide range of disciplines.
History leads at least one topic per year group. We begin with a stunning start designed to excite and stimulate the children's interest. A variety of activities throughout the topic are designed to encourage children to make deductions from evidence, research using books, empathise with people from the past and encourage them to recognise similarities and differences between different time periods. The children are encouraged to reason, linking cause with effect. Where possible, we visit local places of historical interest such as Fishbourne Roman Palace. We also invite theatre groups or other experts in to run workshops to bring the past alive.
Geography leads at at least one topic per year group.The infants begin with exploring the local area and comparing it to place in the U.K, while the juniors begin to explore geographical themes and environmental issues and to study places further afield such as Spain and Brazil. All our topics begin with a stunning start and we visit a variety of places such as Cuckmere on field trips. We bring in local experts to help the children understand cultural aspects. For instance, the Brighton Chinese community put on a wonderful taster day with Dragon dancing, Chinese taster lesson, a tea ceremony and Kung Fu demonstration.
It is a statutory part of the National Curriculum that in Key Stage 2 we must teach a Modern Foreign Language. At St Margaret's we teach French. This is taught through the iLanguages scheme of work.
Computing is a vital skill for life and the curriculum helps prepare children for the future. Technology plays a part throughout our lives and so it is important they can use it effectively. They will use a range of technologies and learn different skills such as programming and using different types of software. They will use computing and technology across the curriculum as well as learning specific skills. We have a computer suite with 30 computers and all children have at least 1 hour in the suite a week. They also have computers in their classrooms.
A major part of the computing curriculum is esafety so children understand how to use the internet and technology safely and responsibly. This fits in with the PSHE curriculum around keeping safe and working with others. Children are taught at an age appropriate level what to do if they come across something upsetting on the internet and how to use it responsibly. This is in different units throughout the year and take part in the national Internet Safety day.
In this day and age, children are using technology and the internet much more at home so we encourage parents / carers to talk about esafety with their children regularly and think about appropriate safeguards on any technology children use.
For more information on this please look at:
Music at St Margaret's is taught through the Charanga scheme of work. This provides progression from Reception to Year 6 and exposes children to a range of different music genres as well as teaching them key skills and musical terminology.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) is embedded throughout our curriculum in all year groups (particularly through Science: healthy eating and ICT: E-Safety). In addition it is taught as a discrete subject weekly. Topics are taken from the SEAL scheme of work and the Brighton and Hove syllabus, and cover three key strands: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World – Economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen.