The School Curriculum
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in line with national requirements aimed at the development of the whole child.
The subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education, History, Geography, Design Technology, Music, Art and Design, Computing, Physical Education and French are also taught. We also teach Personal and Social Education in a range of contexts.
We use information technology across the curriculum. We teach English and Mathematics in a range of contexts across subjects.
Our Assessment, Recording and Reporting Policy ensures that the staff are continuously focusing on pupil achievement and progress. We use feedback marking to support individual progress detailing appropriate next steps for learning.
At Shears Green Juniors we use the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum programme of study for teaching English (September 2014). This is separated into the separate strands: Reading, Writing, Spoken Language and Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation.
We use a creative, text-based approach to teaching English. The texts children study are linked to the ‘Mantle of the Expert’ topic and ensure children have a real purpose for writing in a variety of different genres. Emphasis is placed on the whole writing process from planning, drafting, proof-reading and editing, and publishing the final written piece. Punctuation, spelling and grammar work are key skills which are embedded into all English lessons, ensuring children can apply these skills in a range of writing contexts. In Year 3, this is extended to daily Phonics set lessons, which enable the children to consolidate their spelling work from KS1 and secure the requirements of the KS2 curriculum. Handwriting is also an important focus in the English curriculum and children are given regular opportunities to practise this regularly.
The use of key class texts is extended to our work on shared reading, whereby children are given opportunities to grasp a deeper understanding of the text through Guided Reading and English lessons. Guided Reading is taught daily in all classes in order to both develop the children’s reading skills but also to foster a love of reading. All children have access to books to take home to read with their parents daily. In Years 3 & 4, children select books from a carefully graded book band scheme. In Years 5 & 6, children select books from the Accelerated Reader scheme.
Throughout the school there is great emphasis on spoken language. Children are challenged to develop their vocabulary throughout the whole curriculum, through speaking and listening, being given the opportunities to hear and use rich language, and being encouraged to find out the meanings to any new words the children come across. In all areas of the curriculum, children are provided with opportunities to present their work in a variety of ways, for example: presentations, discussions and debates, performances and role-play. An importance is placed on speaking fluently to a range of audiences so children can become confident in selecting the appropriate register to enable effective communication.
Computing was introduced in September 2014, following changes to the New Curriculum. Technology is essential in our lives, both at home, at school and at work. Our computing curriculum aims to equip our children with the foundation skills, knowledge and understanding of computing, so that they are better prepared for today’s world and the future.
The children learn how computers and computer systems work; they design and build programs, in addition to having many opportunities to develop their ideas using technology- with an emphasis on teaching pupils to think computationally.
In computing, we aim to allow the children to learn practically, encouraging invention and resourcefulness within three main areas: Computer science; Digital Literacy and Information Technology. We strongly encourage aspects of computing to be incorporated within all curriculum areas, as it is in the world in which we live.
E-safety is a priority at our school and we ensure that our children are fully aware of how to stay safe online, as well as when using electronic media- so that they can benefit fully from the new and developing technologies, without risk to themselves and others.
Children are assessed against the key objectives of the new curriculum using Classroom Monitor, our online tracking system; additionally portfolios of their work are stored on our school system.
Our school is well equipped for computing. We have a good range of computing equipment and resources. Facilities include a computer suite, which boasts a computer for each child in the class to use. We also have laptops and tablets for the children to use. In order to support a more practical approach to computing, the children can also make use of: Probots, Makey Makeys, Arduino kits, as well as Raspberry Pi computers. Every class is equipped with two computers, a laptop, a SMART board, projector and a visualiser. The school has a good wireless system to support these devices, so that technology is readily available and easily accessible in all areas.
At Shears Green Junior we aim that children will be given the opportunity to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history. We aim to develop this understanding through a ‘Mantle of the Expert’ approach where possible. The children will learn about connections and contrasts in history. They will use a variety of historical evidence to develop historical skills and support their knowledge and understanding. The children will learn the appropriate historical vocabulary. The themes we cover are detailed in our curriculum maps.
We aim to provide children with the opportunities to study the physical and human features of their immediate environment and the wider world
We aim that children will acquire knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments. Where possible we teach geography topics through a 'Mantle of the Expert' approach. Please see the year group curriculum maps for details of the themes we cover.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is approached through our 'Mantle of the Expert' topics. The children are given opportunities to develop skills in investigating, designing, making and evaluating. They are also given the opportunity to learn how to use a variety of tools and materials competently. The National Curriculum for Design and Technology should be read in conjunction with the year group curriculum maps.
At Shears Green Junior School we believe that physical education provides a vital and unique contribution to the physical and emotional health development of each pupil.
Our goal is to provide a wide range of activities aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle and developing skills and enjoyment in games, gymnastics, dance, athletics, swimming and outdoor pursuits.
We follow the new programmes of study for the new National Curriculum which encourages the pupils to develop and apply a broad range of skills. Our programmes of study are also aimed at developing an understanding of the need for safety; develop co-ordination, self-confidence, co-operation and enjoyment.
We believe that maths is vital to everyday life. A high quality maths education is essential for every child. We intend to develop a passion for maths through fun, engaging and challenging lessons linked to real life and cross curricular topics. We aim to develop children’s ability to:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.
Develop deep conceptual understanding through the effective use of manipulatives and reasoning.
Develop a rapid recall of key knowledge and facts essential to support mental mathematical fluency, essential for later life.
Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
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.
At Shears Green Junior School we follow the National Curriculum program of study as the basis for our long term plan. Year groups then organise the learning into termly plans based from Kent guidance documents. The areas of focus will be shared with parents on a termly basis.
Children will be assessed regularly against the National Curriculum program of study for their specific year group. Pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will need to consolidate this before moving on. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged by being offered enriching and sophisticated problems.
We have a structured approach to teaching of calculation. Rapid recall and counting skills are detailed each year group. Please see policy for further information.
Maths homework is given weekly following the homework policy and should be linked to the learning that is taking place in class.
Children throughout the school are taught French. Our aim is to give all pupils a working knowledge of basic written and spoken French.
The school has a long musical tradition. Children are encouraged to participate in a wide range of musical activities.
Class lessons include the development of creative music using a variety of percussion and wind instruments. All children learn to play a musical instrument. Currently Years 3 and 4 children learn to play the descant recorder. In Year 5 and 6 children have the opportunity to progress onto the treble or tenor recorder during our ensemble units of work.
The enjoyment of singing plays an important role during class lessons, music time and the school choir. As a school we participate in local recorder and choral festivals.
Art and Design
Our aim at Shears Green Junior School is to deliver an Art and Design curriculum that stimulates curiosity and interests and excites our children. Opportunity is given for the children to use a variety of materials and to acquire skills and techniques which develop creative and imaginative expression. Children are provided with a range of experiences and skills that are built upon as they progress through the school. The presentation and display of children’s art work is given prominence in the school.
A new science curriculum was introduced in September 2014 following changes to the National Curriculum. The school broadly follows the themes detailed in the Kent scheme of work
Our science curriculum aims to introduce children to the exciting world of science that is all around them every day.
We believe that effective science teaching involves children seeing science in action by conducting practical experiments themselves, usually to solve a problem that they have been set and then investigating and interpreting their results.
Science lessons are, wherever possible, incorporated into our ‘Mantle of the Expert’ work so our children have the opportunity to extend and apply their scientific knowledge to specific tasks that they have been set.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
RE is taught according to the Kent Agreed syllabus on a weekly basis.
The school has a detailed scheme of work for each year group where children are taught about religion and learn to reflect and understand religious belief. They also learn the differences and similarities between Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism.
An Act of Collective Worship takes place daily within an assembly led by the Headteacher, Teachers, classes and visitors.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from Religious Education and Collective Worship.
Sex and Relationship Education
Children are taught about issues related to growing up. A policy and scheme of work is available.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from all or part of the sex education programme
Personal, Social, Health and Citzenship Education (PSHCE)
Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
We aim to promote children’s learning about themselves and their role and value within society.
The school provides opportunities for children to learn about themselves as growing and developing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their communities, understanding the impact they can have on others. They are encouraged to make informed choices about their health and how to take responsibility for their own learning.
These ideas and skills are taught through the PSHCE scheme of work that offers isolated lessons on specific skills as well as integrated lessons with other areas of the curriculum to provide a breadth of knowledge and understanding. These cover elements of: themselves as an individual, their relationships and feeling; society around us, including rules and responsibilities and health education, incorporating Drug Education and Sex and Relationship Education.
We have implemented a ‘buddy system’ for lunchtimes as well as a successful Peer Mediator scheme that allows children to discuss any friendship and playtime issues with trained Year 6 pupils.
We participate in a variety of different charity and health related schemes to help promote many of the elements of the PSHCE curriculum. As a school we aim to promote the PSHCE curriculum not only through our lessons but also through the school environment and ethos.