So, what do we teach?
We are guided by the National Curriculum and have adopted a skills based approach.
In English, we centre our work around high quality texts and believe in giving children inspirational examples to engage them in reading for pleasure. In reading, we use a variety of reading scheme books such as Oxford Reading Tree which are 'banded' with non-scheme books in order to give children a breadth of information.
We use Letters and Sounds to support our teaching of phonics. http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/ is a useful website to support children at home.
We have adopted a Mastery approach to the teaching of Mathematics. This ensures children develop a deep knowledge and understanding of concepts, using concrete and pictorial models before refining written methods.
Our Key Stage 2 Science is now taught through the Empiribox scheme. This provides and exciting and engaging experience for all children. The four year program is shown here. Our Key Stage 1 Science continues to be taught through the National Curriculum with a focus on understanding the changing world around us.
Our PE plan for each year is shown here. We use our PE Premium funding to give children opportunities to try more unusual activities such as curling, fencing and climbing. We are committed to ensuring children leave school able to swim a minimum of 25 metres and we use St John's leisure centre for our swimming lessons. A wide range of sports, including Swimming, Cricket, Netball and Rugby are taught at Bidborough.
We use Understanding Christianity for the majority of our RE lessons at Bidborough. Understanding Christianity has identified 8 core concepts at the heart of Christian belief. The approach to teaching builds on pupil’s encounters with the core concepts through biblical texts, placing the texts and concepts within the wider Bible story. Each concept uses key questions, exploring core Bible texts, the impact for Christians and possible implications for pupils. Each unit incorporates: Making sense of the text – developing skills of reading and understanding how the texts can be interpreted and the meanings for Christians. Understanding the impact – looking at the ways Christians might respond to the texts and teachings, putting their beliefs into action within the community. Making connections – evaluating and reflecting on the concepts studied. The possible connections between these and pupil’s own lives.
This approach offers coherence and progression in knowledge, skills and understanding. It places the pupil in the role of a reader, bringing their own world to the text whilst giving them the opportunities to allow the text to further their understanding of the world.
We also teach about other faiths, these units are agreed by Kent and incorporate Understanding Christianity. They have been written by Canterbury and Rochester Diocese and they are based broadly on Understanding Christianity units. Our RE overview can be found here.
For those familiar with the school, you will know that we love to sing! We introduce musical terms and simple notation early in our children's journey with us. We use our music funding to ensure that all children in Year 4 have the opportunity to learn the ukulele. In addition, we teach children in Year 2 to play the recorder.
French is taught across the whole school and this is supplemented by a French Club during lunch times.
We are currently developing our wider curriculum further, based on the National Curriculum, in order to provide a relevant and rich learning experience for our children.
We believe it is important to give children a broad range of experiences.
Year 6 pupils go on a school journey for a week to Pensarn in Wales, which the children report is the best experience of their school life. We will support topic work with trips to museums for example and invite visitors in to speak to the class or present a historical environment. Educational visits are a key feature of our curriculum provision. Recent highlights have included singing with Young Voices at the O2, adventurous activities at Bowles and trips to Canterbury Cathedral, Ashdown forest, and Kew Gardens.
We enrich our curriculum by running two programs. In Cycle A, we run the Children's University. This gives children an opportunity to try new activities such as Television Presenting, Fashion Design, Becoming a chef and Science investigations. In Cycle B, we run Challenge activities in vertical grouping. This year we are running science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) days, which include for example, building bridges out of newspaper.
Children are also taught life skills such as First Aid and through PSHCE, including an annual visit to the 'Life Bus'.
To find out more about the school curriculum please follow the links to individual class pages.