“My contention is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status” Sir Ken Robinson
Language development underpins all the learning that takes place in schools, as a child’s language is the medium through which he or she learns about other subjects. English makes a major contribution to the development of a child’s language which, in turn, contributes to the child’s understanding of his/her world, the world of others and the world of imagination. Since English is integral to the learning process throughout the curriculum, it follows that whenever anything is being taught or learned there is potential for developing a child’s language.
Whilst we teach discrete English lessons each day, literacy skills (in particular speaking, listening and writing) are used and developed across every curriculum area. We encourage our pupils to speak with eloquence and our staff team model effective oracy at all times. Pupils are taught a range of relevant vocabulary and the meaning of words within a range of contexts too.
Our English sessions ensure that children are engaged in a variety of activities matched to their specific needs. Play, storytelling, sharing their experiences and ideas and drama and improvisation all provide rich learning opportunities at Foundation stage and Key Stage one. Key Stage two also continue to develop their literacy through drama, role play and story telling too. English lessons at RAPS provide a range of learning experiences for pupils including teaching instruction, group collaboration, paired work, practical activity, performance and research. Pupils explore a rich range of fiction and non-fiction texts, having the opportunity to write using range of genres inspired by their reading. We encourage our pupils to revise and edit their writing, approaching their writing reflectively to aid them in making their own improvements. Varied and regular writing tasks also be a feature across the whole of our curriculum in every year group.
Writing plays an essential role in our curriculum as a whole. Rich and varied writing opportunities interest and engage our children so that they learn to become thoughtful, reflective and evaluative writers. They write for a range of audiences and purposes and they develop an understanding of how to write a broad range of text types (including fiction, non-fiction and poetry). Our pupils are taught to purposefully select and use a range of interesting vocabulary. They also learn to employ a range of sentence structures that ensure their writing is interesting, clear and concise. During their writing experiences, children build a repertoire of skills that allow them to control and shape whole texts, thus becoming adaptable writers with transferable skills across the whole of our curriculum. To aid them with this, we teach daily discrete spelling, grammar and punctuation skills inline with their age related requirements.
Spelling is discretely taught to years two to six through the 'Star Spelling' programme, which guides pupils progressively through a range of spelling patterns and rules, teaching them how to spell effectively and confidently.
All of these writing skills will be based on children’s existing phonic knowledge and the way we use the CLPE materials from “The Power of Reading” project.
Appendices 2 English Curriculum
Phonics teaching at RAPS follows the ‘Read Write Inc publication’ (RWI). This widely-used programme is a consistent, rigorous and dynamic literacy programme to teach every child to read by the age of six. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme.
The RWI programme has been proven to be a very successful method of teaching every child to read and write using phonics. Evidence of this can be found in the Ofsted Report: ‘Reading by six: how the best schools do it.’
All children in key stage one following the RWI programme. Pupils are regularly assessed, so that they can be put into the right groups and given the appropriate RWI texts and workbooks to follow. Key stage one also use RWI as their reading scheme. RWI has a follow on programme called 'Fresh Start'. Some of our key stage two pupils, who are still developing their phonetical knowledge, work through the Fresh Start programme to further help them succeed in reading.
Please click here to access support material for parents and families.
We achieved 91% in our Year 1 Phonics Screen 2017.
To teach reading skills, we use a variety of approaches such as:
- shared reading
- independent reading
- guided reading
- reciprocal reading
These strategies enable children to construct meaning from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. At RAPS our teaching approach for reading is adopted using the practices associated with the “Power of Reading” project developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE). This teaching approach aims to motivate, inspire and spark curiosity around a key text.
In key stage one, pupils enjoy story time on a daily basis; sharing a text together and discussing its events, characters and settings (or its structure and purpose for non-fiction texts).
In key stage two, reading is taught to the whole class from a whole text. Year groups have carefully selected core texts that they read and explore together. During these daily reading sessions, there is a focus on the comprehension of vocabulary, events, author's styles and structure of texts, which is then transferred to the English lessons and other areas of the curriculum as appropriate.
Additional reading support is put in place for individuals according to need (at the discretion of the class teacher). We use ‘The Boosting Reading Potential’ (BRP) approach for this.
Understanding mathematics is an essential life skill and all our children need to become good mathematicians. At RAPS, we follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics, with daily lessons for all pupils. We want our children to develop mathematical habits of mind and value mathematics. We focus on helping our pupils master basic facts, become mentally agile and be creative problem solvers, tackling complex problems with confidence. We structure the teaching of Maths across the whole school to have a focus on the mastery of mental skills, the teaching of ‘number’ (i.e. +, -, x, -:-) in terms one and two. This will ensure that children can have a secure understanding and grasp of the concrete skills that are required for more abstract features of mathematical understanding. We encourage pupils to read, write and discuss mathematics and apply mathematics in other subject areas where possible too. We also aim to develop an understanding and appreciation for the role of mathematics our the world.
Pupils at Ramsgate Arts Primary School really do enjoy maths due to our positive approach towards misconceptions and mistakes in maths lessons. We aim to discuss misconceptions with our classes, encouraging pupils to explore their understanding of mathematical concepts, knowing that strategies and methods are just as important as correct answers!
Computing and the use of technology
At RAPS, the teaching of computing and the use of technology is based upon the National Curriculum programmes of study. Children have access to laptops and iPads throughout their working week, often incorporating this technology into their daily lessons. We support the children to become confident, safe and appropriate users of ICT who are well prepared for a technology rich future.
PSHE – Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education and Citizenship
Through each term curriculum we strive to promote healthy, independent, responsible and resilient members of society.
There is a clear emphasis on children understanding and responding to their own feelings and those of others, knowing their bodies and learning about relationships. They are taught how to stay safe, including recognising and responding appropriately to danger. We make sure that they know about safe and unsafe substances, the consequences of choice and how to say no. We also educate our pupils about the importance of healthy lifestyles, eating and personal hygiene.
At RAPS, we are working on developing ways to support healthy minds as well as healthy bodies. We recognise the importance of mental health and provide our pupils with strategies to look after their minds and wellbeing too. Classes in key stage one take part in peer massage, learning to be kind and gentle. Across the school, we practise mindfulness through mindful stories, breathing techniques and positive thinking.
We want our children to develop emotional resilience and to be able to deal with adversity in positive ways.
Non-denominational Religious Education is provided for all children as part of the curriculum. We explore world religions, learning facts and information about them and comparing people's practices and beliefs with our own.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education and collective worship should they so wish. If parents do not wish their child to be taught the agreed syllabus or take part in short acts of collective worship then we will request they inform us in writing. If the child is excused, suitable alternative learning arrangements will be made.
At RAPS, we hold assemblies four times per week. These are an important time for the school community to come together.
Throughout each term our assemblies will cover: RAPS core values, British values, a health focus, an Arts focus, a world religion, a safety focus and a pupil voice assembly. We often have visitors come along to assemblies to share their experiences and knowledge with teh pupils, making the content delivered relevant and authentic. We are proud to provide a range of varied and engaging assemblies with foci such as:
- Teaching pupils about our core values and the 'British Values'
- Developing pupils' knowledge and understanding of themselves and others
- Developing our pupils' international mindedness
- Developing our pupils' singing skills by learning and singing songs together
- Teaching our pupils about special events and interesting dates (e.g. St George's Day, Holi, Ramadan, Easter, Democracy week, World Space Day, World Book Day etc.)
- Performing live music to our children to inspire them.
In addition to this, we host a 'Celebration Assembly' each Friday. This is a wonderful way to end the school week. During this assembly we collectively celebrate pupils' achievements (academic, arts, sports, personal or other!) and some pupils are selected by their teachers to receive a certificate in front of the whole school.
Assemblies are non-denominational, although they are of a broadly Christian nature. However, due consideration will continue to be given to the multicultural society in which we live, building on our value of international mindedness. We will respect the wishes of families who do not wish for their child to participate in collective worship.
As well as increasing children’s knowledge and understanding in physical education, we want children to develop positive attitudes towards physical activity through a wide range of formal and informal experiences. Participation in physical activities should help to improve pupils’ self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing.
A central aim of our physical education curriculum is to cultivate a love of activity and to complement cognitive learning. We want to promote the benefits of physical activity and ensure that children are aware of the link between physical activity, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. We will be sensitive to cultural issues that may influence children’s participation and that of their families.
We intend that every child at RAPS is physically fit with a sense of good wellbeing. They will also have the opportunity to develop any individual physical talents to a more advanced level and also to participate in competitive activities. We base our formal PE lessons on the National Curriculum programmes of study, with regular timetabled activities such as; rugby, hockey, football, netball, cricket, athletics, gymnastics, dance and swimming. As well as this, we aim to provide opportunities like Surfing and Sailing, building on our strong links with Ramsgate Yacht Club.
We provide our key stage one and two children with more than the two hours of PE per week guidelines, with further opportunities through the co-curriculum and our extended curriculum offer. These sessions include dance, a range of exercise classes, games, walking, cycling, skipping and many more activities that can be continued out of school.
Every child in the school will take part in a music programme. The programme will comprise of specific musical skills including singing, listening, playing instruments, theory, history and performance. There will be formal music lessons each week based on the National Curriculum programmes of study and every child as they pass through key stage 2 will be offered the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. There will be an opportunity to sing and take part in a range of other musical activities as part of our co-curriculum programme.