Literacy within Vickerstown School is varied and exciting. We focus on developing, Reading, Writing and using effective grammar skills.
Writing is essential to thinking and learning, and is enjoyable in itself. It provides a vital tool for both communication and learning activities. Writing is entirely cross-curricular in nature and as such is not confined to Literacy lessons. Writing is an important life skill. Society frequently makes instant judgements about a child or an adult from his/her writing. We believe that all pupils should, therefore, be equipped with the skills which will allow them to write confidently and competently.
We incorporate different schemes into the planning of Literacy and some of these include Twinkl Plan It, Hamilton Trust, CGP and Literacy Shed.
Writing takes place constantly across all genres and follows the idea of a “Big Write” planning and editing skills are highlighted as the norm. Children develop this process through a variety of methods, texts and images are used as stimuli with a major focus in upper Key Stage 2 on using film as a stimulus. We use the Literacy Shed as a corner stone for this. We also incorporate Reading Vipers and Punctuation Ninjas.
Correct spelling is an important part of written language as a means of communication. We provide every opportunity to develop their competence and confidence in this area.
We use Spelling Shed for spelling, these are in the form of interactive games tailored to the individual child. Children collect honey pots to develop their avatar all free of charge. The children use their individual login: https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb/index.html
We follow closely the “Big Maths” scheme of work which develops all aspects of Children’s maths skills in a variety of innovative ways.
These follow up in the form of weekly self-assessed challenges.
The children will complete a regular ‘Learn Its Beat That Challenge’ which is a timed test of the times tables that they have learnt. They are all mixed up and are time restricted, so children have to know them by rote. Once the children have achieved full marks, 3 times, they can then move on to the next step.
Part of the framework is something called ‘Learn Its’, which are addition bonds and times tables that the children are expected to know off by heart without working them out. They are organised into ‘Steps’ from Step 1 to Step 15 and each step includes a few addition bonds and later on, times tables too.
The aim is for the children to beat their own score each time and they receive rewards for achieving this. Parents are expected to help their child learn their ‘Learn Its’ homework as often as possible.
Big Maths’ is a key part of our mathematics curriculum. The focus is on developing core numeracy skills, learning essential tables , applying their knowledge into developing both mental and formal calculation strategies. The children will learn through daily Big Maths ‘CLIC’ (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New and Calculation) and 'SAFE' (Shape, Amounts, Fractions and Explaining data) sessions and the weekly ‘Beat That!’ challenges. These sessions are focussed, quick, and most importantly fun.
The Big Maths teaching approach provides children with a fun and lively experience. Particularly in KS1, children learn through songs, games and the Big Maths characters. Don't be surprised if they come home talking about Clic, Pom, Pim, Squigglesworth or Count Fourways.
In addition to Big Maths we also follow Twinkl Plan It plans for Maths and CGP Maths in preparation for our End of Key Stage assessments.
Ideas to help at home:
Topmarks is a fantastic website for learning times tables and number facts with many interactive games for the children to enjoy.
Maths is fun: the Maths is fun website gives an clear insight into how we tackle different mathematical methods.
Maths Shed: Similar to Spelling shed we have quick fire questions to earn tokens!
Science is taught throughout the year following the QCA schemes of work using a variety of approaches. A large proportion of practical work is undertaken with both visits out of school and visiting specialists to enrich learning opportunities.
Information and communication technology (ICT) is taught throughout the school as a subject and used as a tool across the curriculum. All the computers in the school are networked, we have access to the Internet and E-mail. In addition to direct tuition in ICT skills, computers and other technologies are used to support the curriculum throughout the school, e.g. spelling and number programmes.
Geography is taught as a main focus in the spring term and as a supporting area of study in other topics. Mapping skills and specific geography sessions are taught throughout KS2. Through school linking with schools overseas pupils are introduced to different ways of living and global issues. Environmental education is also an integral part of our work
Our excellence in The Arts was recognized in 2008 when we achieved Artsmark Silver, we are currently applying for the next level of accreditation. The art curriculum covers all media, pencil, chalk, paint, clay, fabrics, dyes and needlework. Clubs offer painting, drawing and clay for enthusiasts. Special events, visiting artists, gallery visits and competitions increase opportunities in art for all children. We are developing a new arts base within school to provide opportunities for large and small scale work outside the classroom.
Pupils are offered opportunities with junk modeling, woodwork, fabrics, clay, food technology and construction skills. Sometimes skills will be specifically taught, at other times DT will support the general topic framework.
History is taught as a main focus in the autumn term and otherwise as a supporting subject in other work. Educational visits and residential opportunities involve the children in direct experiences.
The school has developed its own thematic approach to R.E. which incorporates the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus for R.E. Each day there is an assembly of mainly Christian character. Classes regularly take it in turn to hold an assembly to which parents are invited. The main Christian festivals are celebrated. Under Section 25 of the 1944 Act parents have a right to withdraw their children from any of these sessions.
Vickerstown Primary School believes that a strong PSHE education is important to help our pupils develop into well-rounded members of society, who able to make a positive contribution to their community. At Vickerstown Primary School, our PSHE curriculum is strongly tied to our sex and relationship education (SRE) and pastoral care programme.
At Vickerstown Primary School, we understand the importance of educating pupils about sex and relationships, in order for pupils to make responsible and well-informed decisions in their lives.
SRE is a lifelong learning process of acquiring information, developing skills and forming positive beliefs and attitudes about sex, sexuality, relationships and feelings (Sex Education Forum 1999).
Effective SRE can make a significant contribution to the development of the personal skills needed by pupils if they are to establish and maintain relationships. It also enables young people to make responsible and informed decisions about their health and well-being.
The 1996 Education Act consolidates all relevant previous legislation and states that all primary schools must provide an up to date policy that describes the content and organisation of SRE provided outside the National Curriculum Science Order. The DfE Sex and Relationship Education Guidance (2000) supports this legislation and recommends that all primary schools should have a sex and relationship education programme tailored to the age and physical and emotional maturity of the children.
The vision for students, staff and others linked to our school is to always look to achieve our personal best in every aspect of school life.
·Our school is one where everyone is encouraged and supported to achieve their personal best.
·Our school is welcoming, inclusive, has a real community feel and is a place where everyone is valued.
·Our pupils and staff treat each other equitably, fairly, with kindness and with mutual respect. At all times, staff and pupils are encouraged to show a high regard for the needs and feelings of others through their actions and words.
·Our pupils and staff are enterprising and approach challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude.
·The needs and interests of all pupils, irrespective of gender, culture, ability or aptitude, will be promoted through an inclusive and varied PSHE curriculum at our school.
·Our environment is safe and clean with everyone sharing responsibility for it.
·Our culture is one of continuous improvement, creativity and enthusiasm.
·Parents and carers will be informed about the policy via the school’s website where it, and the PSHE and SRE curriculum, will be available to read and download.
·The Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education Policy (PSHE) will be used alongside the Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) Policy, Safeguarding policy, Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, British Values Policy and Parent Partnership Policy, in order to ensure a comprehensive PSHE education.
Class music lessons comprise singing, listening and composing. All children in Year 3, 4 and 5 have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder. Some children continue to play a variety of instruments, with tuition available from specialist music teachers for woodwind, brass, keyboard and violin. Visiting experts perform regularly in school, introducing children to a wide variety of activities. Children with an interest are encouraged to develop skills in extra curricular groups such as the Rock choir and the music group on a Wednesday evening with instrumental and singing opportunities. Year 6 are also having a weekly violin lesson.
The school is proud that our excellence in P.E. and other sporting activities was recognized in 2008 when we once again achieved Activemark status. This is a nationally recognized award. P.E. dance and games are taught in a scheme of work which includes, dance, athletics, small and large games, gymnastics and skipping.Weekly swimming lessons are provided for children from Reception to Year 5. There are many opportunities for additional sporting activities in teams and clubs, e.g. rugby, netball, skipping, swimming and gymnastics.
The wearing of any form of jewellery during physical activities is not permitted.
We aim to provide an outstanding education in the heart of the community and as such we make every effort that the children at Vickerstown have the best academic start and grounding possible to enable them to become successful members of society.