We aim to provide creative connected curriculum which is broad and balanced and is appropriate for all pupils, at all stages of their development.
Through this curriculum we aim to enable children to reach their full potential and develop their talents, experiences, interests and skills.
We seek to provide opportunities for development, not only through academic subjects, but through all aspects of the school day, including break and lunch times, assemblies and extra- curricular activities.
We follow the National Curriculum at Southfield but we then organise the proscribed content under our theme headings – one whole-school theme each term. Each term’s theme allows us to ensure full coverage of the basic skills while making logical connections in learning and to stimulate the interest of the children.
We run a rolling programme of themes – see below. You will notice that not every subject is taught every term (or not to the same degree) but is fully covered over the course of a Phase. The National Curriculum is organised into ‘phases’ which match our coverage – Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception), Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2), Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) and Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6). Each pupil revisits the same subject in each phase but at a different level of learning that is appropriate to the individual pupil.
At Southfield we use a mixed approach for the teaching of reading. Our youngest pupils, in EYFS, learn to sound out words by learning synthetic phonics using an approach called ‘letters and sounds’ as well as having a wealth of experience of real books through class stories, reading to adults and using texts for learning individually and in groups. We also encourage and reward home reading and offer structured reading through dipping into a range of reading schemes as well as using our extensive library.
In Key stage one children have discreet phonics sessions where they continue to learn new sounds. These are practised through the use of phonic games and flash cards. Children then learn to use these sounds to read new words. We also complete reading comprehension activities where children write answers to more complexed questions. The children enjoy reading their own reading book with an adult. Weekly guided reading sessions also take place for all children. In these sessions children read a range of texts with an adult, discussing features of the text type and celebrating authors work. The children can change their reading books independently, on any day.
In Key stage two children are more fluent readers and work on developing their comprehension and broadening the range of texts they are reading, both for pleasure and for reading. Throughout Key stage two, we use an online program called Reading Plus. Children are provided with a personalised reading program which helps develop their reading fluency and stamina, vocabulary, comprehension skills and confidence. Children log on a least once a week at school and are encouraged to complete three challenges at home each week to reach their full Reading Plus potential. We are proud to say that in 2016 we have won the Brackley Library Summer Reading Challenge – with the most pupils in the area taking part – for the third year running! Some of our Year 5 & 6 pupils also take part in a cluster book club.
Our English lessons are linked to our fantastic themes. The children enjoy exploring our themes throughout their reading and writing work. Writing in EYFS begins with children learning to hold their pencil correctly and modeling to them how to form their letters correctly. As a school we teach cursive handwriting. Children are encouraged to write short sentences linked to the current theme, thinking about their letter formation and using their known sounds. In Key Stage One, they use their phonics or ‘phonics fingers’ to help them write new words. Starting with simple sentences the children build these up using conjunctions to extend them. Children learn about types of words, such as adjectives and how to use these to make their writing better. We use a range of punctuation. We also work on the layout of our writing and start using paragraphs to organise our fiction and nonfiction work. In Key Stage 2 children explore a broad range of genres, considering different grammatical, language and presentation features. Grammar is taught both as a stand alone lesson and as part of the English lesson, children are encouraged to use learnt grammatical features throughout all their writing. Children cover aspects such as adverbial phrases, subordinate conjunction, prepositions and embedded clauses.