Key Elements of our Foundation Subjects
At Bethersden, we have worked very hard to design a curriculum which is engaging and exciting and which supports challenges and extends every child. We believe that the best way to reinforce basic skills and lead to curious pupils, who explore their learning to the full, is to teach through inspirational topics. These Topics are chosen for each class, dependent on what areas of the National Curriculum they must cover and the personal interests and needs of the children.
Each class in the school will learn about the same topic (e.g. History), but classes will take a slightly different focus (e.g. Year 2 might learn about The Great Fire of London and Year 3 might learn about The Stone Age). At Bethersden, we ensure a range of interest by having a different focus country for each class, in each topic.
Each topic begins with a Stunning Start, where teachers introduce the topic in an exciting way. Twice a year, each class is given the opportunity to launch their new Topic to their parents at a class assembly, where home learning options are shared.
Roughly half way through our topics we aim to add to the ‘WOW factor’ with our Marvellous Middles, which may include: experiencing visitors or performing a class production. Finally, each topic ends with a Fabulous Finish, where the children are given the opportunity to show their learning, or consolidate their learning through an out of school trip.
Not all subjects can ‘fit’ within a topic and so, to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum, these subjects are sometimes taught separately. For example, not everything in Religious Education links effectively with a topic and so this can run separately, but is taught by the same teacher.
At Bethersden, we are becoming masters at the new mathematics curriculum. The principles underpinning the 2014 mathematics curriculum reflect those found in high performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. The 2014 national curriculum for mathematics has been designed to raise standards in maths, with the aim that the large majority of pupils will achieve mastery of the subject.
Mathematics programmes of study state that:
- All pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems.
- The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. When to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage.
- Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
At Bethersden Primary School, we are working exceptionally hard to become masters of mathematics!