Staff plan and organise the learning for each year group to ensure that there is continuity and progression. Our curriculum planning framework aims to provide a broad, balanced and exciting education set within the context of the National Curriculum.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri we make every attempt to develop meaningful links between these subjects. Although English and Maths are taught discretely at certain times of the day, they are also taught within a cross curricular context.
Visits and visitors are seen as a vital stimulation for children’s interest and are closely linked with the context for learning.
Each year there is at least one themed curriculum week in which the whole school focuses on a particular area of interest. These have included Cultural events, Book Week and Science.
For more information on the curriculum in your child's class please click here
In the Foundation Stage
Children’s learning is planned, organised and assessed under the following headings
- Personal, social and emotional development
- Communication and Language
- Mathematical development
- Knowledge and understanding of the world
- Physical development
- Expressive Arts and Design
We place a firm emphasis on learning through structured play both indoors and outdoors. The development of children’s social skills such as sharing and turn taking are very important at this stage.
Key Stage One & Key Stage Two
Through the teaching of reading, all staff at Our Lady and St Philip Neri aim to ensure that all pupils have a strong commandment of the spoken and written word, developing their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment and purpose.
To achieve this, we aim to ensure that all students:
- Have a firm understanding of phonics and apply their phonic knowledge when reading.
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
- Acquire a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar.
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
- Use discussion in order to learn; children should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas, evidenced from the text they have read.
- Have high quality teaching in regular phonics, Destination Reader, Whole Class Reading and group reading sessions.
- Are read to daily by an adult.
- Are heard read by an adult no less than once a week.
- Are provided with appropriate reading materials that support their phonic knowledge and understanding.
All children are provided with opportunities to read in small groups, whole class or individually with the support of a known adult.
Children in EYFS and KS1 participate in regular, small group or whole class reading sessions. The children are placed into small groups of no more than six, reading books that are chosen to support their phonic knowledge and developing automaticity, fluency, confidence and a love of reading a variety of texts. These small group sessions are taught by the class teacher and at times the class teaching assistant.
Throughout the day, in any classroom at Our Lady and St Philip Neri, you will find whole class reading taking place. This can be seen in discrete reading sessions, where children spend at least 30 minutes developing their fluency, automaticity and prosody.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri, our reading sessions comprise of fluency, extended and close reading.
Fluency Practice: Development of fluency is done through repeated oral reading of a short text or extract. The text is long enough that the children are unable to memorise it and has a level of difficulty that allows them to improve word accuracy and fluency with each 1- 1.5 minute read through. Fluency practice is completed in pairs and the whole class reads aloud at the same time.
Extended Reading: Prolonged engagement with a text or extract that focuses on the development of fluency, word knowledge, background knowledge and text knowledge. This can be done one of four ways, the teacher reads aloud and the children follow, pausing at any moment for the whole class to read the next word, children are selected to read sections while the rest of the class follow, children read silently in short bursts or children read in silence for extended periods of time. Once the time has been reached, a variety of questions will be asked and a class discussion is had about the events, vocabulary and features of the text or extract that has been read.
Close Reading: This is an opportunity for children to have a sustained, detailed analysis of a text from a class book. Once again it focuses on word knowledge, background knowledge and text knowledge through deep discussion. It involves repeated reading so that children are able to understand the overall sense of the text, with subsequent reads allowing for in-depth discussions around themes, vocabulary choices, literary devices or plot points.
All staff are encouraged to read stories and other texts aloud to their class. As the children get older, this story would be a class novel that is read over a longer period of time. Children have weekly access to
We follow the National Curriculum Guidelines for each year group: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study/national-curriculum-in-england-english-programmes-of-study
At OLSPN, we aim to develop children's ability to produce well-structured, concise writing in which meaning is communicated effectively and clearly. Children are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes; they are encouraged to think about and engage the intended reader. Particular attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, including sentence construction, punctuation and spelling. We focus on striking a balance between the essential formal structures of standard English and allowing the creative juices to flow!
Throughout Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, writing is based on age appropriate texts, children's interests and the content of the wider curriculum. Stimuli is found from a range of sources. Writing opportunities are sourced and developed based on the needs of each class/cohort. Our curriculum allows children to have the opportunity to explore rich, high-quality texts in depth, enhancing reading comprehension and providing meaningful contexts and purposes for writing
To structure our Writing programmes, we use four distinct areas to give children's writing purpose. These are: writing to entertain, writing to inform, writing to persuade and writing to discuss. Throughout a unit, children have opportunities to see writing forms read aloud and modelled. They take part in shared writing using scaffolds to help them organise their ideas. When ready, they can draft, edit and write their own pieces of work. There are opportunities for children to apply new learning at different stages in the process and in other curriculum subjects such as RE and Science.
Comparative Judgement and The Writing Hub
Since 2020, OLSPN has used Comparative Judgement via nomoremarking.com to assess children's writing and identify strengths and areas for improvement. All senior leaders and teaching staff take part and children's work is initially anonymised to reduce the possibility of teacher bias. Furthermore, unlike internal or local moderation, this allows us to compare cohorts nationally. We have found this to be an effective method of assessment and a useful tool. This year, we have also joined 'The Writing Hub', a CPD programme for teachers with an accompanying sequence of lessons for children. This programme aims to address one of the most prominent issues in students' writing: being unable to recognise what makes a complete sentence. In undertaking this project, we hope that children will have the knowledge they need to be able to correct their own work and, eventually, write in a coherent and meaningful way. We also do internal moderation termly where teachers can come together in their phase groups to discuss children's writing across the curriculum. Reception, Year two and Year six teachers also attend end of key stage moderation training in order to compare judgements with other schools in the borough.
We use the Letter-Join Handwriting Scheme.
On entry, our Foundation Stage children are involved in varied activities to develop essential prewriting skills in line with the Early Learning Goals; there is much focus on developing gross and fine motor skills and strengthening muscles in the arms and fingers as well as learning to recognise and write their own names. Children are also introduced to the individual letter sound correspondences and rigorously taught correct formation from the very beginning of their time in school. From the time that children start at our school, they are taught to sit with a good posture and how to hold a pencil with the correct grip. Parents and children can access Letter-Join at home. As children progress through school, there is an increasing focus on cursive fluency, consistency and speed.
The teaching of phonics is the strategy for teaching children to decode words in order to read them and segment words in order to write them. It runs alongside 1: 1 reading, group reading, whole class reading and Destination Reader (KS2). Please see our Reading statement.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri School we teach phonics through structured, daily sessions outlined and supported by the accredited Sounds-Write program. The children in EYFS, KS1 and LKS2 are taught through daily, 30 minute sessions. These sessions are delivered by Sounds-Write trained staff.
The Sounds-Write approach begins with the sounds in spoken language and moves on from the sounds to the written word.
Through the teaching of Sounds-Write, children will understand that:
- Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
- A sound may be spelled by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.
- The same sound can be spelled in more than one way.
- Many spellings can represent more than one sound.
Children will learn three (3) very important skills:
- Blending- the ability to push sounds together to build words.
e.g. /k/-/a/-/t/ = cat
- Segmenting- the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words.
E.g. pig = /p/-/i/-/g/
- Phoneme manipulation- the ability to insert sounds into and delete sounds out of words. This skill is necessary to test out alternatives for spellings that represent more than one sound.
E.g. spelling < o >
Is it /o/ in hot, /oe/ as in no, or /u/ as in son?
Each phonic session follows a structure of well scripted, vocabulary specific lessons that allow children to recognise (new learning), read (consolidate learning) and retrieve (previously taught learning) information for reading, writing and spelling.
Phonics Screening Check
Children in Year One complete the Phonics Screening Check in Summer Term- usually in early June. This is a statutory assessment that all children in Year One must complete. The check is administered by a known adult, usually the class teacher, but sometimes this can be done by the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher. The Phonics Screening Check takes between 5 and 10 minutes and children are asked to read/ decode 40 words- 20 real words and 20 pseudo (nonsense) words.
If a child does not meet the expected standard in the Phonics Screening Check, they are able to resit the screening check in Year Two.
Children who do not meet the expected standard in reading when they leave KS1 or do not pass the Phonics Screening Check resit in year two continue to receive high quality, first wave phonics lessons in KS2.
The staff at Our Lady and St Philip Neri encourage and support the engagement of parents in the teaching of phonics. Due to Covid-19, we have been unable to provide the level of support through workshops and information sessions that we would have liked.
Please keep a lookout for any upcoming workshops being offered.
The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils can concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the child's self-image as a writer. We aim to use explicit teaching in line with our phonics provision from Sounds-Write which begins with systematic synthetic phonics and word building, moving on to complex and polysyllabic spellings. This enables us to draw children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts.
In Reception and KS1 and LKS2, daily phonics is key to the children’s learning of spelling. From Year 3 and into KS2 the children continue to use their phonic knowledge to help them understand more complex spellings using syllabification. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spellings and letter-sound correspondences is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. Spelling in some form or another is taught daily in both KS1 and KS2.
At OLSPN, from Early Years to Key Stage Two, mathematics is taught every day following the National Curriculum. We begin with a focus on number and numerical patterns in EYFS and build upon this as the children progress through the school. In Key Stage One, we introduce the concepts of place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry and statistics. In Key Stage Two, we build upon their prior knowledge of fractions, teaching decimals and percentages. They also study ratio, proportion and algebra. Through this, we provide the essential foundations that the children need to continue to progress through their mathematics education in secondary school.
We use the 'White Rose' scheme of work to teach mathematics. This scheme spends a lot of time building strong number skills. These essential core skills lay a solid foundation for more complicated learning later on. Furthermore, progression through the curriculum is divided into small, manageable steps, which research tells us helps the children to digest new knowledge and remember it. For more information, you can visit: https://whiterosemaths.com/maths-with-michael, where you will find a series of videos. In the videos, there is a brief description of the rationale behind the scheme, followed by some examples of how we teach specific mathematical concepts to the children.
In addition to this, in Early Years and Key Stage One, we are taking part in a project from the NCETM (the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) called 'Mastering Number'. The project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future. For more information on the impact of the programme, see: https://vimeo.com/720204519.
All children have access to the websites 'Numbots' and 'Times Table Rock Stars' at school and home. Children start with 'Numbots', where they follow a story that takes on a natural mathematical progression, playing games and completing challenges as they work their way through. They will work on key skills, beginning with subitising (telling at a glance, without counting, the number of items in a set) and adding and subtracting 1 or 2 within ten, before finally progressing to trickier skills such as adding and subtracting any two digit numbers. The focus is on fluency and children cannot progress onto more challenging levels until they are secure in their knowledge and understanding of a key skill. When they are ready, we introduce the children to 'Times Table Rock Stars', where they are assessed with a baseline multiplication test and set tables to learn. Similarly to 'Numbots', they rehearse their tables through playing games and completing challenges, and do not progress to the next set of tables until they have mastered the previous ones.
Our faith is at the heart of our school. Religious Education is one of the core subjects at Our Lady and St Philip Neri school. The school follows the Catholic approved The Way, The Truth and The Life scheme of work as well as studying Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. We look to develop a deeper knowledge, understanding and love of the Word Of God, as revealed in the Scriptures and the teaching of the Church. We also use the Ten Ten resources for Collective Worship.
At Our Lady and St Philip Neri, Science is a core subject that is taught from Nursery up to Year Six. To help children think and work scientifically, we aim to build on children's natural curiosity. We encourage them to explore and investigate by developing their skills of observing, questioning, hypothesising, fair testing and recording. Over the years, we have aimed to foster a love of science outside of the classroom; educational visits have included trips to the Science Museum, the Horniman and Godstone Farm. We have also run an annual Science week, during which children take part in workshops, meet local 'experts' and participate in investigations and experiments.
In the early years, teachers develop the children's understanding of the world. In particular, the children will explore the natural world around them. They will make observations about what they see, hear and feel and will begin to learn about the changing seasons. Additionally, they will be taught about their own health and personal hygiene through topics such as 'Myself'. This will include handwashing, teeth brushing and healthy eating.
As the children move through their primary education, teachers use the 'Outstanding Science' scheme to support our full delivery of the National Curriculum. We aim for lessons to be knowledge-rich and regularly quiz the children to encourage them to retrieve previously-learnt information from their memories.
The specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics are studied throughout the primary phase. In Key Stage One, children learn about living things, including animals and plants, and their habitats (biology). They also learn about materials (chemistry) and seasonal changes (physics). The Key Stage Two curriculum is mapped over two years to ensure full coverage of the curriculum. This year (2021-22), Key Stage Two Science will focus on physics, with topics around electricity, forces, sound and light. Year Five and Six will also study 'Earth and Space'. KS2 children will also learn about living things. Next year (2022-23), they will focus more on chemistry, with topics including 'Rocks' and 'Properties and Changes of Materials', although they will still cover some biology and physics topics as well.
Our curriculum is designed with the aim of helping pupils make progress in geography by developing:
- Substantive knowledge which sets out the content that is to be learned, based on the National Curriculum, broken down into 4 interrelated categories (locational knowledge, place knowledge, human and physical processes, and geographical skills), and
- Disciplinary knowledge, which helps pupils gain an understanding of the interconnectedness of the subject and gain insight into the practices of geographers, the types of questions asked by geographers and how geographical knowledge is constructed and revised.
This is summarised in the following diagram.
Our curriculum is designed with the aim of helping pupils make progress in history by developing:
- their knowledge about the past (often described as 'substantive knowledge')
- their knowledge about how historians investigate the past and construct historical arguments (often described as 'disciplinary knowledge')
The substantive knowledge is divided into two strands.
1) An understanding of key historical concepts such as 'empire' or 'civilization' We have created a list of the substantive concepts pupils should know by the end of KS2 (which can be found at the end of this document as an addendum). We ensure that pupils have opportunities to learn these substantive concepts in multiple contexts, in order to deepen their understanding.
2) Knowledge of key historical events and people that have had an impact in our local area, the UK and the world at large. The study of these events and people is broadly based on the National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2.
We ensure that disciplinary knowledge is entwined into every topic we study. We do this by:
- focusing our topics around a disciplinary enquiry question (such as a cause and consequence question)
- giving pupils access to primary and secondary source materials to teach them how historians investigate the past.
- where appropriate, providing different historical interpretations of the events we teach, to show pupils that stories of the past are contested.
Art and DT
Art and DT"Every child is an artist." - Pablo Picasso“The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.” - Jean-Jacques RousseauAt OLSPN, we love to see the creativity of the children brought to life through their artwork.The children learn about different artists and are given opportunities to recreate various artwork. The children are taught different skills and techniques through the use of a range of media. They gain an understanding and appreciation of the art forms and styles from other times and cultures. Art is often linked to other areas of the curriculum.We encourage children to develop their skills of observation and self expression. We try to foster in our children a sense of aesthetic awareness and a critical appreciation of the work of artists.DT is a practical subject which involves children in designing and making products that have purpose. We aim to encourage children to find solutions to practical problems.
Our school's computing vision is to support all children in developing a healthy relationship with technology. We strive for everyone in our school community to be equipped with the digital literacy skills to meet technology with confidence, enthusiasm and prepare them for a future in an ever-changing world. We empower our children to be digital creators and innovators; utilising computational thinking, complex problem solving and collaboration, in order to excel.
Computing is taught in discrete lessons with the curriculum designed in logical sequenced units that are mapped against England’s computing curriculum and provide opportunities for cross-curricular links. We follow the Teach Computing curriculum for Key Stage one and two and the Barefoot curriculum in the EYFS.
The key stage one and two curriculum is divided up into for main strands:
- Computing Systems and Networks
- Creating Media
- Data and information
We ensure that children can build on their understanding, as each new concept is taught with opportunities for consolidation and reapplication of knowledge and skills throughout the year. There is a strong emphasis on improving computing/digital vocabulary, core fundamental digital skills and computational concepts, whilst providing challenge and variety to cultivate our children’s natural enthusiasm.
Music is a strength of the school. In Music, children listen to, play and appreciate different forms of music. All children sing, use instruments, make music and perform. We currently have a 60 strong brass band. We offer lessons in trumpet, tuba, recorders, violin, percussion and guitar. We have a 30 strong choir for children in years five and six. Children regularly attend other schools to perform. We hold a Summer Concert and perform at local events, church and for charity. We have a hymn practice at the Infants once a week and at the juniors twice a week.
PE is an important aspect of school life as it helps to develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. PE develops self discipline, self awareness and the ability to work as a member of a team. We aim to give children a varied programme of athletics, dance, gymnastics and team games including football, hockey, netball, cricket and tag rugby. We have a number of visiting coaches who teach the children specific skills.
Children in years three and four have the opportunity to go swimming. There are sports afternoons in the summer term to which parents are invited.
Spanish is our chosen modern foreign language.
All children from Yeah 3 to Year 6 will have the opportunity to develop their linguistic skills in an enjoyable way. Each Spanish lesson uses a variety of techniques to encourage the children to have an active engagement with Spanish, and to develop a positive approach to languages.
Our Spanish curriculum is in line with the new National Curriculum and is adapted to each class topic, where possible, to ensure children learn Spanish in a meaningful context. Children are given opportunities to listen to and perform traditional songs, join in with story-telling and engage in short-conversations or role-play
Key Stage 2
Per the National Curriculum, in our Key Stage 2 Spanish lessons, the children will learn to:
- communicate orally in Spanish
- share their ideas and feelings in Spanish
- compare their use of English grammar and spelling to another language
- express some ideas in writing in Spanish
A good way to help your child is to use some of the free online resources that are available.