At Stebbing Primary School we follow the Primary National Curriculum.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) encompasses a statutory curriculum designed for children aged from birth to five. In order for all of the Early Learning Goals to be met by the end of the year, we provide a topic-based approach which is carefully planned to include child-led and adult-led activities. Throughout all learning activities, all teachers make close observations of the child’s learning and behaviour which is continually assessed and evidenced.
The Montessori materials and principles are fundamental to develop the key skills outlined in our EYFS curriculum with a mixture of indoor and outdoor learning opportunities facilitated to effectively support the children in their spontaneous, independent learning.
At Stebbing we are very proud of the Maths curriculum. There are 3 strands that underpin the curriculum and they are: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. To support our teaching of those key areas and the wide range of concepts the children have to learn, we use the White Rose documents . These documents help break down concepts into smaller steps and really fits in with the Montessori ethos of the school. During maths sessions teachers are developing the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial and abstract). This is to ensure that the children have a very clear understanding of a mathematical concept where they have been given time to play with physical manipulatives, draw and represent a concept in a number of ways, before then moving onto answering questions about that area of learning. This coincides with the belief that all children can achieve mastery in maths and learning should, where possible be kept together as a class. We offer all children the opportunity to ‘Dive Deeper’ where they can showcase their understanding of a concept in a variety of different ways. Alongside teacher assessment, we assess the children’s level of understanding by asking them to complete an end of block assessment at the end of a unit of work. The score of this assessment is then logged and tracked across the year. We also use Flashback 4’s a number of times a week at the beginning of a lesson. These will always include questions based around prior learning as well as what the children are currently learning about too. It is vitally important that children are constantly revisiting areas of the maths curriculum to allow them to continue to build on their knowledge. At Stebbing, we believe that Maths should be fun and engaging and linked to real life where possible to give the children a really solid foundation, love of learning and develop children with inquisitive minds.
At Stebbing Primary School we believe that a secure knowledge of the English language is fundamental to everyday life. Our English work unites and develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. It is the purpose of the teaching and learning of English at Stebbing to prepare children for their future. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.
To ensure that we adhere to recent changes in government guidelines for the teaching of phonics, we have signed up to a new phonics programme run by Essential Letters and Sounds.
Repetition is the most effective strategy for reading success, fluency and progress, so for this reason Wrens, Robins and selected children in Kingfishers will keep the same reading book for one week. At Stebbing, we ask that children read their book at home four days each week. While learning to read, here is a sequence we recommend to help you and your child get the most out of your four days of reading:
Figuring out the words by recognising letter sounds and blending.
Reading the book more fluently having figured out the words last time.
Reading the book with expression now they are familiar, fluent and confident with the words.
Now the actual reading is taken care of, this is the best time to talk about the book; what is happening & why, what new vocabulary is there and do we already know different words that might mean the same as that new vocabulary.
We may also send home additional reading books alongside the phonics scheme books. These additional books are also a vital tool, so the children learn vocabulary, sequences, characters & settings. In order to be successful with these additional books and to promote a love of reading and self-confidence, they are designed to be shared as they will feature graphemes that the children are not yet familiar with.
At Stebbing, we believe that reading is the foundation of all learning and knowledge. With it, the broader world is within your grasp. As with all areas of the English curriculum, the national curriculum provides the content to be studied whilst Stebbing Primary’s very own reading curriculum that has been fine tuned over the years provides children with the opportunities to develop a love for reading whilst ensuring a wide range of comprehension skills are covered. Through the use of reading VIPERS, we ensure that the content domain outlined in the national curriculum is covered in all year groups. With this approach alongside the children reading daily, engaging in a whole class book and most importantly, having access to high quality texts within school, we feel that all children who pass through our doors have the opportunity to fall in love with books.
Writing is the product of all elements of the English curriculum and enables the children to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of all areas of the English curriculum. Developing ideas and strategies from books that they have read, applying their spelling rules learnt and incorporating the wide range of grammatical concepts and punctuation taught throughout the school. Whilst we value the objectives identified in the national curriculum and have ensured they are included in our curriculum and assessment, we have developed our own school specific curriculum and assessment to meet the needs of the children at Stebbing Primary School. The aim, to create life-long writers who use their prior knowledge, creativity and knowledge to produce pieces of writing for a purpose.
Following on from the high quality phonics teaching that all children receive in year 1 and further up the school where appropriate, at Stebbing, children are encouraged to work hard on their spellings both in school and at home with Spellings making up one of the at home tasks that is required on a weekly basis. Our spelling curriculum has been adapted from the Spelling Shed’s scheme of work which is supported by their online platform providing fun and exciting methods to help the children learn their spellings. New spelling patterns are taught each week and referred back to throughout the week in all English lessons with any spelling homework tasks linking back to the spelling rule taught. In order to develop consistent, accurate and confident spellers at Stebbing Primary School, high, age-appropriate expectations are maintained in all classes. We also ensure that participation and effort in spellings at home is rewarded in our weekly celebration assembly with opportunities to extend the more able provided in our annual internal and external Spelling Bee competition. We believe that through the range of strategies mentioned above, the children at Stebbing Primary School all have the skills, opportunities and appropriate support to develop into consistent, accurate and confident spellers.
Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation is taught in regular, discrete lessons covering the concepts outlined in the school’s curriculum at the appropriate stage of a child’s development. Our curriculum ensures that the national curriculum objectives are covered at the appropriate stage in a child’s schooling.
Follow the links below to access Stebbing Primary School’s very own Writing Assessment Framework which has been adapted from Ros Wilson’s writing assessment and planning documents.
In Science we use a knowledge and skills based, broad and diverse curriculum. We believe we are providing an exciting curriculum to engage and enthuse the children. We aim for children to be given the opportunity to take part in scientific enquiries and for these to be child led. We want children to leave our school with good attainment of knowledge and skills but also a love and enthusiasm for learning science. During Science lessons, teachers are developing lessons to demonstrate both a knowledge and skills learning objective. This will enable teachers to gain a more in depth understanding of where the children are when assessing. We are expecting to see a mixture of teacher and child centred approaches. The explicit teaching of knowledge will be mainly teacher led but we hope that scientific enquiries and investigations are more child centred. We feel this is in keeping with our Montessori school ethos and will allow children to be facilitators for their own learning.
We feel that children should be exposed to certain scientific concepts throughout their school life. Therefore topics are pre-taught and re-taught in year groups other than those specified in the national curriculum. These are taught using a more scientific enquiry approach where children can practise their skills and experiment with finding out knowledge for themselves. We believe that this is what creates an inquisitive mind, which is an important skill in Science.
Art & Design
In art, craft and design we ensure that children are allowed to be creative and express themselves freely. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress through the school, they are encouraged to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design including the study of famous artists. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
Technology has become an integral part of our children’s lives, and using it safely and confidently is of the utmost importance. We want to create learners who are excited to explore and independently solve problems whilst understanding how to look after themselves when using a variety of technology. The internet has become an important part of their school life across the curriculum and we want to build their computing skills so that they can use them to improve their learning in all areas. Computing is an area of the curriculum which will encourage skills based learning and problem solving skills to produce confident, independent users.
Design & Technology
Design and technology is a hands on subject that allows plenty of opportunities for practical learning. It is taught in a cross-curricular way to allow children to use previously taught knowledge to support their research and design, whilst encouraging them to draw on their own experiences to help generate ideas. We aim for children to work towards solving problems based on real life contexts to encourage enthusiasm and ambition. For each project the children will follow the process of design, make and evaluate and will focus on food and nutrition, mechanisms and structures and textiles. This will allow the children to develop their skill set within each area during each school year. Design and Technology goes hand in hand with our Montessori ethos at Stebbing School. It encourages independence and gives children the opportunity to use tools and equipment effectively and safely, learning applicable skills for later life.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and complements the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.
‘Forest School is a feeling you can’t put into words.’ Tonicha, aged 9
The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.
‘I don’t have ADHD when I`m out in the woods.’ David, aged 14
( Forest School Association)
The Forest School Association has set out 6 Principles for good Forest School practice-
- Principle 1 – Forest School is a long term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
- Principle 2 – Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Principle 3 – Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Principle 4 – Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Principle 5 – Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
- Principle 6 – Forest School uses a range of learner -centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
At Stebbing Primary School, we believe every child should have the opportunity to study a foreign language and develop their interest in the culture of other nations. The learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for pupils. Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between French and English. Learning another language raises awareness of the multilingual and multicultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils’ learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular links and for reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.
At Stebbing Primary School, children are taught French from Year 3 to Year 6. For Years R, 1, and 2, short 10 minute sessions are scheduled whenever these can be practically accommodated. Children study all disciplines: speaking, listening, reading and writing, and are given opportunities to practise all of these within the weekly lessons, which cover varying topics and themes throughout the year. These topics are revisited each year to introduce increasing depth and complexity within them. The aim by Year 6 is to provide children with a secure basic understanding and encourage a love of language learning.
In Geography, we want to stimulate children’s curiosity, imagination and fascination about the world around them whilst developing their knowledge and understanding, key language and geographical skills. We would like the children to understand and appreciate where things come from and the impact our Geography has on the wider world, also encouraging them to be independent and responsible children who care for their environment. Where possible Geography should be a hands on experience for the children to encourage interest and proactive behaviour. This will develop their ability to apply geographical skills to enable them to confidently communicate their findings and geographical understanding to a range of audiences.
In History, we want to encourage an interest and love for learning about where we have been and how that affects where we are today, and where we may progress to in the future. We encourage critical thinking and analysis, and using key skills that can be applied in many areas of the curriculum. The knowledge that is learnt in History aids us in our understanding of the past and the world around us whilst also providing the context for us to work on our independent and analytical thinking. Children should see themselves as part of a team when learning in History, not as the recipients of knowledge as they are just as much a part of the process as the teachers.
“Before we sang we spoke, before we danced we walked, before we wrote we told stories, before we told stories we lived. Those songs, dances, and writings allow us to speak to one another across generations, they gave us an understanding of our commonality long before that DNA told us we are all part one glorious procession.” Wynton Marsalis
Music is the art of the invisible, no amount of theory and academic understanding can substitute for hearing – you have to put your ear on the sound. You cannot write an intention or sound, you can only hear it. Music is taught through doing, the children learn to play, together. Once we can play together we can move forward with a unified intention.
Music is the art of negotiation, as musicians we are continually striving to find a place for our own voice – how do I fit in? How can I be me if I am stopping you from being you? This is a question that musicians have reflected on and understood since the dawn of humanity. When our distant African ancestors first danced around a fire in celebration, the music has taught us that we are worth more than the sum of our parts.
At Stebbing, our physical education policy and curriculum aims to foster a life-long love of physical activity, sports and maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle. There are many strands to the PE curriculum which can be read in more detail in the Physical Education Policy (January 2021). Including but not limited to, high quality teaching from all teachers and subject specialists, consistent and progressive curriculum throughout all year groups, a wide range of sports and activity based extra-curricular activities for all members of the school challenging the more able and providing opportunities for all through inclusion events. Through daily physical activity, the Change4Life programme, inter-house competitions, our gifted and talented scheme and the valued role of sports captain – physical education plays a vital and pivotal role in each child’s development at the school as we aim to provide each and every child and member of the school community with a wonderfully positive experience of physical education and sport at Stebbing.
At Stebbing, PSHE is embedded into many aspects of our school life. Our assemblies; school council; year 6 responsibilities; rabbit ambassadors and many other roles within the school enable children to develop their independence, negotiation skills and team work. Children work towards our 7 Class Dojo principles to achieve individual points and points for their class. These are: Being helpful, Being kind, Good manners, Listening, Teamwork, Working hard and Perseverance.
In reception, PSHE is taught through the prime area of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. This is broken down into 3 key themes Self Confidence and Self Awareness; Managing Feelings and Behaviour and Making Relationships.
In key stage 1 and 2, we teach PSHE predominantly through the curriculum we have designed by adopting the PSHE Association key themes. The core themes are: Health and Wellbeing, Living in the Wider World and Relationships. These are further broken down into topics that are covered across the year. Teachers and support staff adapt these topics to suit the needs of the class whilst ensuring that all curriculum content is covered.
At Stebbing we teach RE from SACRE’s Essex Agreed Syllabus ‘exploRE’ (formerly known as RE matters for every child). https://schools.essex.gov.uk/other/Essex_SACRE/Pages/Essex-SACRE.aspx
Through ‘exploRE’ we teach 6 religions during Year 1 and 6 (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism), with the additional faith of ‘Humanism’ in Year 6.
In EYFS RE is more personal and emergent, based on first-hand experiences, often related to the faiths, festivals & celebrations of individuals within the class or those occurring within our seasons and calendar.
RE lessons at Stebbing teach us that other people’s opinions are just as important and valid as our own, even when they are different to our own and we don’t agree with them; that we ourselves are free to believe what we wish, as are others; because faith as an attribute, as a concept, does not require or rely on fact or evidence; Faith is by definition what we/others believe, and choose to believe.
RE taught at Stebbing encourages philosophical thinking and discussions – it is more about teaching the children that there is no right or wrong way – we are all free to believe what we wish, what our family wishes, make up our own minds as & when. However, finding out about other ways of life and talking about the similarities & differences promotes a more tolerant and peaceful world, to know it is ok to disagree and be different, but that it is more important to understand and accept differences, not hate them.
Understanding and accepting differences will help each child to know and feel that they, with their uniqueness, also belong in our diverse world. This self-confidence they can take with them through life. Children of Stebbing will contribute to a more peaceful, more united future.