What does your child learn at school each day?
The following information is an overview of the intent, implement and impact of Elkesley Primary and Nursery School. For further information about individual subjects, please select one of the links above.
At Elkesley Primary and Nursery School, we aim to provide all pupils with a stimulating and inclusive educational environment in which everyone feels safe, respected and supported to grow and develop to their full potential. We encourage our children to develop an internal moral code based on British values and a wish to learn and understand how they can improve their own lives through education and first-hand experiences. It is our mission to support, challenge and inspire children to achieve their ambitions and become well-rounded adults that are fully prepared for a purposeful and enriched life in the modern world.
The school aims to offer high quality education in a friendly and supportive environment by:
At Elkesley, we know that pupils who have a positive attitude towards their learning will make good progress and be successful; consequently, instilling a 'growth mind-set' is important. We want all our pupils to relish challenges, embrace their mistakes as part of the learning process, value the importance of effort, respond carefully to feedback and take inspiration from others. We want all of our pupils to develop strong working memories whereby they are able to recall and build upon a wealth of knowledge. This will help them to achieve, not only with us, but also in their adult lives.
We know that, in order for our pupils to fulfil their potential and encourage them to become confident and resilient learners, we, as a team, need to be modelling the mind-set of a learner who is not afraid of making mistakes but who thrives upon them, knowing that this is all part of the learning process. At Elkesley, we consistently endeavour to challenge and develop the attitudes of all pupils and staff towards learning by considering what makes a successful learner.
Our children will develop love for lifelong learning and will be happy, welcoming, compassionate, resilient, talented achievers.
The curriculum is not just a list of subjects that are taught in the school: our curriculum helps children to learn about the world around them. We believe that we should provide a broad and balanced curriculum offering the children the opportunity to achieve success in many different areas. Although our curriculum is based on the National Curriculum, there are other planned opportunities that make up the wider curriculum. We like to involve learning inside and outside, promoting their social, moral, cultural and spiritual development.
Where possible, we follow a theme-based approach to the curriculum in the belief that children learn best when logical connections are made between different aspects of their work. We support them in becoming aspirational – aiming high – in order to make the most of their learning.
At Elkesley Primary and Nursery School, we embrace a pedagogy of ‘Personalised Learning’, an approach that expects all children to reach or exceed national expectations, to fulfil their early promise and develop latent potential. High expectations of progress apply equally to children working above, at, or below age-related expectations, including those who have been identified as having special educational needs. There is an expectation of participation, fulfilment and success; and teaching and learning is characterised by ambitious objectives, challenging personal targets, rapid intervention to keep pupils on trajectory and rigorous assessment to check and maintain pupil progress. There are clear plans to support those who are struggling to maintain trajectory. The teacher’s priority is to support and challenge children so that they can keep up with the pace of learning and make good rates of progress.
Traditionally, it was expected that teachers would differentiate by task or expectation and many different levels of success were accepted, this approach often ran the risk of lowering expectations. Today, the effective teaching practices at Elkesley Primary and Nursery School see teachers expecting everyone to succeed by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it, so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected year group standard.
Key Foci for Effective Teaching:
We acknowledge that people learn in different ways and we recognise the need to develop pedagogies, which enable all children to learn in ways, which suit them. We offer ways for children to learn in different ways including:
Implementation - Our Curriculum
In the Foundation Stage we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). We support our children to become independent and collaborative learners by providing a range of activities and experiences. Through these experiences we encourage children to take risks, discover and make links between their explorations.
In Nursery, we work to the New Development Matters. This framework Prime Areas: CL, PSED & PD, and Specific Areas: Literacy, Maths, UW & EAD. In Reception, we follow the New Early Years Framework which supports an integrated approach to early learning and care. It gives all professionals a set of common principles and commitments to deliver quality early education and childcare experiences to all children.
A vital aspect in the development of essential knowledge and skills is the use of continuous provision. This means that children are using and developing certain skills throughout the year on a daily/weekly basis. Continuous Provision practice and principles begin in Early Years Foundation Stage and support children to develop key life skills such as independence; innovation; creativity, enquiry; analysis and problem solving.
Our curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to:
Where possible our teaching is theme based to allow pupils to make links in their learning across a wide range of subjects, apply their skills in a variety of ways and develops a structured approach to the acquisition, understanding and use of a rich vocabulary.
Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary. English is taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions. Their vocabulary is developed systematically. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely.
We use LittleWandle which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds. The children will be heard reading individually and in groups. The guided reading sessions are taught whole class and cover both fiction and non-fiction books. Parents are given clear expectations about reading at home. From Year 2 – 6 spelling is delivered – supported by Spelling Shed.
We develop writing skills so that our pupils have the stamina and ability to write at the age-expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing, we provide a wide range of activities including use of film and imagery, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer editing and discussion. All of our writing units are based around a book from our book list or another form of media. . We provide opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. We promote the status of written work by providing opportunities for children’s writing to be published and read by real audiences.
Handwriting sessions are taught discretely: we use Martin Harvey’s ISHA scheme to ensure progression
A range of extra activities are used to promote literacy within the school including an annual focus week, World Book Day and author visits.
At Elkesley Primary and Nursery Academy, we ensure that mathematical skills are taught every day following the White Rose Maths Hub. We also use cross-curricular opportunities to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency. Each half term, a key skill is taught discretely using the schools Key Instant Recall Fact planning to allow key skills to be embedded. Our pupils understand the importance of mathematics, are encouraged to be confident in numeracy and to apply the skills that they learn to simple problem solving and reasoning. Mathematical vocabulary is taught and modelled; children are expected to explain their understanding through reasoning activities, applying their mathematical vocabulary. The activities cover a wide range of mathematical knowledge, many with an emphasis on practical work: each area of learning within mathematics is taught using a concrete approach before moving onto pictorial and abstract approaches. In each lesson, there is a short and simple times tables session. We build on skills and understanding in a systematic and progressive way and continue to develop place value, the four number operations and the understanding of fractional parts. We have a whole school calculation policy which builds upon and extends previous methods as children move through the school and within each new area of learning, children are taught, and expected, to apply known skills and approaches to new areas of learning.
There are extra activities throughout the year to promote mathematical skills and thinking including participation in World Maths Day and Numbers Day. Timestable Rockstars and 10 ticks are available for the children to engage them with their mathematical learning further at home.
Science is linked to our theme work but taught as a separate lesson (supported by Rising Stars scheme) where appropriate. We encourage our pupils to be curious about natural phenomena and to be excited by the process of understanding the world around them. Key scientific terminology is introduced each lesson and knowledge will be built upon throughout the school. Pupils are encouraged to work scientifically and will able to carry out simple tests and experiments using equipment and to gather and record data. Whilst at Elkesley Primary and Nursery school, children learn about plants, animals including humans, materials, seasonal change, habitats, rocks, light, forces, states of matter, sound, electricity, earth and space and evolution and inheritance. Visits by specialists such as Mad Science and Bugtopia. We also have dedicated science weeks throughout the year.
Art has a very important place in our curriculum. We see art as a vehicle for creativity and individual expression and it provides opportunities for collaborative work. It is an important form of cultural expression and, therefore, has significance and meaning for all our children. Our teaching provides an understanding of all the diverse art forms so that the children experience drawing, painting, collage, textiles, 3D designs, printmaking and digital media. We use Kapow to support planning and delivery
We have Art Days with a whole school focus on one artist or painting and we include art in our themed weeks.
Our design and technology lessons encourage the designing and making of products to solve real and relevant problems. Our pupils learn to select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics.
Drama is used as a key tool in developing oral skills, vocabulary development, building confidence and self- esteem, and as an essential tool in developing imaginative, expressive, and persuasive spoken and written language. ‘Hot seating’, and ‘response in role’ drama techniques are used in literacy lessons aid the development of speaking and listening, reading and writing skills. Imaginative role-play is fundamental to developing the whole child, not just in Early Years and KS1 education, but also as they children develop, and our curriculum provides opportunities to perform to wider audiences through assemblies and events around key festivals. There are increasing opportunities for our pupils to perform as they progress through the school.
We do have discreet timetable time for the development of IT skills. From EYFS to Year 6, we use a Rising Stars scheme. The children develop their skills, starting in reception with mouse control, keyboard skills, saving and printing work. They draw pictures, write and use the internet to carry out research. They then progress to more complex skills such as data analysis and coding. Pupils will use technology safely and identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns. IT is also used to enhance homework through research skills, spelling and mathematics programmes and challenges, which can be accessed from home via the academy website or at academy.
From Year 3 to Year 6 we teach French to all children, based on La Joile Ronde. Our approach is to make learning a new language fun! Young pupils are very receptive to learning a new language; they like to mimic pronunciation and they can easily pick up and duplicate new sounds. They feel a real sense of accomplishment when they learn to say something new. We will have discreet lessons on the timetable but we will also integrate the foreign language into the everyday routine.
In their music lessons, pupils use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes. Assemblies also provide an opportunity to practise singing; along with children showcasing individual skills on a variety of instruments. Pupils experience playing a variety of instruments musically and encouraged to play together in ensemble groups. These lessons are taught by a specialist. We encourage listening to a wide range of music with concentration and understanding. Music lessons are linked to the class theme and music is used in a variety of lessons and activities to create, mood, atmosphere and to help thinking. Along with singing and using a variety of instruments, children are given the opportunity for using technology to create and explore music. The Kapow programme supports our teaching of music across the school.
Our PE sessions are both indoor and outdoor for Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1. They focus on mastering basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination. Pupils are encouraged to participate in team games and to develop simple tactics for being an effective team member.
Key Stage 2 pupils will also complete lessons inside and outside and may visit other facilities including the local swimming pool. Swimming is introduced to the timetable from Key Stage 2. We ensure wider participation in the community by involvement in interschool sports and swimming tournaments, local authority and Trust based competitions. Get Set 4 PE supports our progression of skills and lessons.
PSHE, or personal, social, health and education, is a planned programme of learning (Kapow) through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives. As part of a whole school approach, PSHE develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. It prepares them to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in such rapidly changing and challenging times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfil their academic potential. In our programmes, we actively promote British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs to prepare our pupils for life in modern day Britain. Our citizenship lessons enable our pupils to understand the British democratic process and how to effect peaceful changes in society.
All our year groups have timetabled PSHE time but we encourage a cross-curricular approach to the development of PSHE skills and understanding. Pupils learn about similarities and differences between people and cultures. They participate in a variety of cultural events such as Diwali, Shrove Tuesday and Chinese New Year. Planting and growing things are important aspects of our PSHE curriculum and we link this to an understanding of healthy eating.
The Kapow programme underpins the qualities and skills that help us manage life and learn effectively. We look at self-awareness, how to manage feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills. Children are encouraged to respect others, develop good relationships with other members of the academy and wider community. The academy supports a positive disposition to learning (Growth Mind-set) and for the children to become healthy independent and responsible members of society.
Our school council (Elkesley Innovators; Earth Ambassadors; Play Leaders; Reading Legends) library monitors and music lead roles encourage self-awareness, managing feelings, development of motivation, empathy and social skills through mutual respect.
Sex and Relationship Education develops life-long learning about physical, moral and emotional development. This will include understanding the importance of; marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, care and love. The programme of work is tailored to the age, physical and emotional maturity of the children in the classes. As they begin to develop into young adults, they face the changes of puberty. Our oldest children receive information about how this may affect them personally in the future.
Drug education focuses on prevention. This is due to primary aged children being exposed to mixed messages particularly around medicines, alcohol and tobacco. The work equips the children with knowledge and skills; this allows them to develop attitudes about all these substances from an early age.
We follow the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education (SACRE) produced by The Educational Framework for Religious Education in Nottinghamshire. Religious Education (RE) is taught to all children except those who are taken out by their parents. Our teaching promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. It reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Our teaching enables pupils to acquire knowledge and understanding of religious beliefs, attitudes, practices and rituals. They will also develop their own beliefs and values. We will not convert or steer pupils towards a particular religious’ belief. They will also be aware that some people have no attachment to religious beliefs and follow secular philosophies.
We use themes to deliver humanities subject skills and understanding. Our theme programme, based on Rising Stars is carefully balanced and planned to be age appropriate across the years. Curriculum maps are produced to show how each is taught, the knowledge and skills covered and links to other parts of the curriculum. It is important to us that art, music, literacy and where appropriate numeracy and science are linked in theme teaching.
So, for example, a history theme about Romans could include urn making in art, catapult construction in design and technology and catapult testing and measuring in maths and science. Our themes have a history and geography base so that we teach location and place knowledge, weather and climate skills, knowledge, and about significant historical events, people and places in our own locality. Humanities time also provides further opportunities to learn about people and cultures. A timetable of trips to support pupils’ learning and to enhance the curriculum is published as part of our long term planning.
We are committed to the broadest educational offering, and that means looking beyond the National Curriculum. A very successful enrichment programme that draws upon a wide range of adult skills is offered through school trips, visiting specialists and themed days and weeks. The programme is planned throughout the year.
We plan a series of trips throughout the year for each year group and these are communicated to parents at the start of the academic year.
We have themed days and weeks throughout the year. Themed days are also incorporated into curriculum. These may be designed to fit with national initiatives e.g. World Book Day, to match with events in the UK e.g. a national election and to highlight our curriculum subjects e.g. Art Day.
Homework is an important part of supporting pupils at Elkesley Primary and Nursery School. Homework is not intended to be onerous but it does help support children’s progress and includes daily reading at home, and weekly Maths and spelling activities.
We believe that parents have a crucial role in helping their child to learn. We do all that we can to inform parents about the progress of their child by:
The main source of impact will always remain the quality and breadth of work seen in pupil’s books and the learning environment. We are striving to raise the expectation of learners and the quality of work they produce from a rounded and connected curriculum. We ensure there are always opportunities for application of learning within and across subject disciplines.
The impact of our curriculum is measured by assessment procedures, which allow us to measure outcomes against all schools nationally.
Furthermore, the impact will be measured by how effectively it helps our pupils develop into well- rounded individuals who embody our values and carry with them the knowledge, skills and attitudes, which will make them lifelong learners, and valuable future citizens.