Please visit our Policies page to download a copy of our Curriculum Policy
National Curriculum: Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2)
The curriculum for KS1 & 2 are based on Core and Foundation subjects.
With our Federation, we believe that being able to read and write are the vital skills that enable us to understand and express ourselves more effectively. These skills open the door to learning. We passionately believe in helping children to develop not only the technical skills of reading and writing, but also in engendering a love for literature and the different genres of writing.
Our writing curriculum is designed around a core text approach, through which children are taught the fundamental skills of writing through a love of and engagement with high quality texts. Our writing curriculum is constantly under review and has a flexible approach to it so that our teachers, who are passionate about children’s literature, can adapt the text choices based on new and upcoming books and authors that they and the children have read. Underpinning this is our Writing progression framework which clearly sets out the grammatical skills that are required of each child in their year group.
In the Foundation Stage, children are given opportunities to develop their fine motor skills to prepare them for writing. Activities such as manipulating dough, finger-gym, small world play and using one handed tools and equipment all support and strengthen their finger dexterity. Young children are encouraged to express themselves orally and experiment with different forms of written communication. This starts as recording through mark making in a way that holds meaning to them. They progress through different ways of writing for a purpose, such as notes, messages, letters, cards and invitations as a way of communicating their words. Children are emerged with print all around them, to help them to see the purpose of writing, this is then duplicated into their environment so children can master and embed their understanding. Once children have gained good fine motor skills, they are taught the correct letter formation for each letter. They can then begin to use their handwriting skills to write their names, cvc words, captions and simple sentences.
From Year 1, we provide opportunities for our pupils to develop the stamina and skills to write at length; use accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar; write in a range of ways and purposes; and write to support their understanding and consolidation of what they have heard or read. There are two aspects of writing development: transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition. We recognise that both of these elements are essential to success and we support the acquisition of both sets of skills through various methods:
- We teach grammar and punctuation by embedding these skills in every writing session.
- Spelling is taught weekly; age-appropriate spellings are sent home for a weekly test.
- We correct errors in pupils’ written work (see Marking and Feedback policy).
- We use high quality texts.
- We use teacher modelling and collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice.
- We provide writing frames to support pupils when appropriate.
- We provide time for planning, editing and revising.
- We mark extended pieces of work in-depth and set appropriate targets with the pupil.
- Children have an individual writing target that is reviewed every half term.
- Each lesson, the children are given a success criteria.
- We provide regular opportunities for self and peer-assessment, so they can evaluate effectively their own and others writing.
- Structured support is provided for pupils with learning and physical difficulties.
- We have writing working walls.
- Age-appropriate resource packs are provided to support independence in writing.
The development of vocabulary is key to learning and progress across the whole curriculum since it allows pupils to access a wider range of words when writing and for them to understand and comprehend texts effectively. Our pupils develop their vocabulary in the following ways:
- Spelling lists/key words to learn and apply to their writing.
- Display of key words linked to topics and subjects.
- Encouraging and expecting the use of correct vocabulary orally and in written tasks.
- Promoting the use of dictionaries, thesauruses and similar resources.
- Using a range of texts to explore vocabulary choices and the effect they have on the reader Targeted one-to-one or group support, where appropriate.
We understand the children’s spelling is closely linked to their understanding of phonics, which is why we place a huge understanding on Phonics within Early Years and throughout the school. From Year 2 onwards, we also teach the children discrete spelling lessons. We follow the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme for these sessions and they are in addition to phonics sessions for pupils who still need phonics. The programme has been designed to meet the needs of the 2014 national curriculum and it does that in a very manageable and flexible way, explaining comprehensively how to effectively teach spelling. We have chosen this spelling programme as it closely builds on the phonological understanding children have developed and allows for careful progression. As well as the discrete spelling sessions, it is our aim for children to develop spelling strategies which will help them for life. We identify common spelling errors within work and encourage children to use dictionaries and personal dictionaries to support them in correction. Some pupils have more additional bespoke support, from classroom resources or specific spelling intervention programmes to help them ‘keep up’ not ‘catch up’.
Handwriting will be taught in Nelson script and this will be introduced to children from Key Stage One, once they have begun forming their letters correctly.
Phonics (reading and spelling)
At The Federation of North and South Cowton and Melsonby Methodist primary schools, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. Within our Federation, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.
Within our Federation, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
- If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week.
Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week
- We teach children to read through reading practice sessions five times a week.
- are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
- use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’
- are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
- Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
- In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
- In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
- We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
- Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
Ensuring consistency and pace of progress
- Every teacher in our school has been trained to teach reading, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.
- Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme.
- Lesson templates, Prompt cards and How to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.
- The Reading Leader and SLT use the Audit and Prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children within our Federation of schools and our local communities as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
- In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed.
- Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
- As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
- The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times.. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc).
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
- Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is used:
- with any child new to the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan provide appropriate extra teaching.
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
- Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:
- their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment
- the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment
- the appropriate half-termly assessments.
Within The Federation of North and South Cowton and Melsonby Methodist Primary Schools, we want children to explore, question, trial, spot patterns, make connections, generalise, and solve problems in maths. We aim to deliver lessons that are cohesive and engaging, using real life contexts, as this helps children develop skills they can use in their everyday lives. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, reasoning, and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
We teach maths using a mastery approach, predominantly following the White Rose scheme. The focus is not on rote learning, but on making connections across mathematical ideas to deepen understanding. Pupils are introduced to new concepts using the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach with appropriate structures and representations to build understanding. We aim to develop positive mathematical mindsets; appreciating that mistakes are an opportunity to learn and supporting and challenging all learners through ‘low floor high ceiling task’.
We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology, and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
We can link mathematical understanding to our federation vision:
Aspire- To develop resilience in mathematics and seek opportunities for challenge.
Enquire- To pattern-seek, make connections, and ask mathematical questions.
Inspire- To work collaboratively to develop mathematical understanding.
Federation Maths Curriculum
At the federation of North and South Cowton and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we want to develop enquiring minds and 21st century scientists of the future. We endeavour to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Through our curriculum all pupils should be equipped with essential aspects of knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science in the wider world. By building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena
- To ensure our pupils are equipped with the scientific skills and knowledge to prepare them for the implications and uses of science for the future.
- To develop understanding of the processes and methods of science through a range of scientific enquiry that support and encourage our pupils to ask and answer questions about the world around them.
- To develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
Children engage with their learning and are able to think scientifically. They are able to use technical terminology accurately and precisely, as well as describe scientific processes in context. Children have the knowledge, confidence and skills to demonstrate and lead scientific enquiry with a clear purpose. Through generated questioning and hypothesis they are able to practically explore and understand the application of Science in the wider world.
Federation Science Curriculum
The famous Picasso quote ‘Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up’ is central to the development of the art curriculum in our federation. So how do we tackle this problem? At The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we believe that by nurturing the child’s inherent creativity, whilst encouraging an understanding of the subject in its widest sense we can indeed instill a lifelong passion for the subject and their own creativity, the passion necessary to become our artists of the future!
To deliver a skills and knowledge based art curriculum. Through learning about important historical and contemporary artists and their works, pupils will analyse their ideas and practices to inform their own.
To demonstrate a wide range of techniques in using line, shape, pattern, tone, form, texture, space and colour, equipping them with skills that are transferrable across all media.
To celebrate and display as much work created during art lessons as possible creating a stimulating visual environment and to instill the confidence in their creative process in order to- in Picasso’s words ‘remain an artist once they grow up’.
Children are engaged in their learning, can talk confidently and passionately about their own artwork and the artwork of others, whilst using the language of art, craft and design. Experienced at working in a wide range of different media in 2D and 3D, they are equipped with the confidence, skills and knowledge necessary to pursue the creative direction they may wish to take in the future.
At The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School we aim to deliver an imaginative and practical Design and Technology curriculum to inspire pupils’ creativity. Pupils research, design and make products that solve problems across a variety of real-life contexts, drawing upon their knowledge from other subject areas. We want to inspire pupils to explore the world around them, carefully considering problems and how technology and resources can be used creatively to develop solutions.
- To research, critique and test the ideas of other designers.
- To design prototypes, products and solutions to a variety of real-world problems, carefully considering the design, functionality and audience needs.
- To develop and apply the creative, technical and practical skills needed to make a wide range of products.
- To evaluate their solutions, considering ways in which they could be further improved.
Children work creatively and practically to design purposeful, functional and appealing products to solve a problem, drawing upon the world around them and the ideas of other key designers. They are able to communicate their ideas in a variety of ways, including discussions, drawings, templates, prototypes, writing and technology.
They make informed decisions about the materials and tools that they use. Children are able to apply their knowledge, skills and understanding of a range of mechanisms, technology and design properties, in order to inform their decisions. Children explore and evaluate their own ideas and those of others, considering ways of improving the product. As part of Design & Technology, children learn the principles of nutrition and healthy eating, developing crucial life skills and a love for cooking.
At the federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School, we aim to deliver a high-quality geography curriculum which ignites a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people, and an understanding of the role that we all play in ensuring the future well-being of our planet.
We want our pupils to gain an extensive knowledge of diverse places, the people who live there and the human and physical processes that occur. Equipped with this knowledge, they should develop a deep understanding of the interaction between human and physical environments and the impact this has had, and continues to have, on the Earth. Ultimately, our aim is to produce pupils who are wholly committed to the notion of Global Citizenship.
As an integral part of ensuring this knowledge and understanding, we also aim to develop essential geographical skills which will enable pupils to collect data , interpret a range of sources of geographical information and communicate findings in a variety of ways.
Throughout the curriculum for History, children will continually be making links to how the lives of significant people and events including those from Female, Black and Asian ethnicities and Working Class backgrounds have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
Each year, children will progressively develop their enquiry skills with explicit reference to: chronology, continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity and difference and significance. They will also develop specific vocabulary to enable them to make reference to these skills.
Children will use both primary and secondary sources throughout the curriculum and over time will develop a deep understanding of how these sources are used and evaluated.
By the end of Key Stage One, children will begin to understand the concept of change over time and how significant people and events have impacted on society and key institutions in our lives today. Children will also begin to understand the historical significance of the local area and the changes in industry.
During Key Stage Two, children will build on their understanding that people and events can cause change. Through the chronological study of Britain and key ancient civilisations children will explore democracy, conflict, community, power and belief and develop a deep understanding of the impact these have had on governance and civilisations.
As a Federation of schools, we take the power of sport, physical education and activity very seriously and see it as an integral part of our curriculum, ensuring our children are physically and mentally healthy and develop to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens. Teaching them good habits from an early age is key to this.
Our curriculum is designed sequentially to build on knowledge and skills. We know that children learn best when they are able to review and revisit learning. Interleaved practice is purposefully planned so that children can strengthen previously learnt knowledge and skills.
We firmly believe that children’s character is developed through experiences and setbacks as well as achievements. For us, participation in competitive sport is key to this. All children within our federation will take part in a range of competitive sporting activities that will provide a context in which they can fail, learn from failure and begin to develop a growth mindset. Failure, practice and effort are crucial elements of the learning process.
Additional opportunities to play competitive sport are also provided through seasonal lunchtime and after school clubs over the course of the year: including Dance Club, Football Club, Cricket Club and many more.
Our curriculum is wide and varied, covering: striking and fielding, net and wall games, dance, gymnastics, multi-skills and athletics. To complement this, we give our pupils the best possible opportunities through drawing on outside expertise such as sports coaches and professional dance teachers.
Children in KS2 attend Richmond Swimming Pool, weekly, during the Autumn term, where they work towards the goal to swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.
At Melsonby, we aim to deliver a high-quality music curriculum which inspires and enriches pupils to fulfil their musical potential. This begins at their first exploration of sounds at a young age and develops through singing, playing, listening and composing. We want our children to develop a lifelong appreciation for a wide range of high-quality live and recorded music drawn from a range of different cultures. We believe all children deserve to be given the chance to explore and compose music from a rich variety of cultures.
- To teach the skills needed in order for children to play a wide range of musical instruments and explore the way their voice can be used as an instrument.
- To promote children’s ability to compose music for a purpose, drawing on their knowledge of the inter-related dimensions of
- To listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions and appreciate the diversity of cultures around them
Children are able to express themselves through a variety of musical channels and are confident in their ability. When performing, children understand the importance of accuracy, fluency, control and expression. They are able to ask relevant questions and critically analyse the intentions of composers using key vocabulary.
French has been selected as our modern foreign language at The Federation of North and South Cowton Community Primary School and Melsonby Methodist Primary School.
At The Federation, our aim for teaching French is:
- To develop practical communication in French by providing opportunities to respond to spoken and written language in different ways, to express ideas and opinions, and ask questions about familiar
- To encourage children to listen attentively and read in French for personal interest, enjoyment, information, to develop an appreciation for stories, songs, poems from another culture
- To promote links across the curriculum to enable learning to be exciting, creative, fun and to encourage an awareness of the wider world through authentic
Children engage in their learning and become confident and independent to communicate in another language, discussing a new culture and history. In addition to strengthening students’ ability to communicate, learning French develops their awareness of how language and culture interconnect, helping them appreciate and respect the diversity of British society as well as fostering the enjoyment and pleasure of learning an alternative language.
Computing at Melsonby Methodist Primary School aims to equip children to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing has cross-curricular links and can be embedded into many areas of learning and in our creative curriculum themes.
Children will be taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Children learn to use technology purposefully and evaluate and apply skills to solve problems. Children will also be taught how to use technology safely and respectfully in this ever-changing world. Computing also ensures that children at Melsonby Methodist Primary School will develop the skills to become digitally literate- expressing themselves through information and communication technology- ready for them to become active participants in the digital world.
The school has a Christian tradition and Religious Education is taught in stages according to the age of the children, in accordance with the North Yorkshire Agreed Syllabus. Religious Education is statutory and includes finding out about world religions, relationships with other people and the life of Jesus. The learning is inextricably linked with other aspects of our classroom learning, as well as being taught in stories and assemblies. It forms an integral part of the child’s moral education, in helping him/her to be aware of and sensitive to his/her own feelings and those of others. Collective Worship takes place daily. The Minister of the Methodist Church or the Rector of St. James’ Parish Church from time to time takes part in our assemblies. The school recognises the right of the parent to withdraw their child from collective worship.
As a Federation of schools, we are committed to ensuring that all children succeed in reaching their full potential. Through a rich curriculum, children’s curiosity will be nurtured, their knowledge deepened and their horizons broadened. Empowering children to have their voices heard and change the world for the better is key to all we do.
Our curriculum is underpinned by core values which we believe are essential to children’s success in becoming respectful and responsible citizens. These are:
Through PSHE and RSE teaching, we aim to:
- Develop children’s knowledge and understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
- Make children aware of dangerous situations and how to keep themselves safe
- Explore how to develop and maintain healthy and positive relationships with others both online and offline
- Ensure children have respect for others and understand that they have rights
- Encourage children to be independent and responsible members of the school community
- Be positive and active members of a democratic society
- Promote mental health and develop self-confidence and self-esteem
- Make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
- Acquire British values and attitudes, which are necessary if they are to make sense of their experiences within school and life itself
- Value themselves, respect others, appreciate differences and diversity and feel confident and informed as a British Citizen
We use the ‘Kapow scheme of work’ to teach PSHE and RSE which fulfils the statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education set out by the Department for Education. It also fulfils the National Curriculum requirement to teach PSHE (‘All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education) and goes beyond the statutory requirements by referring to the PSHE Association Programme of Study (recommended by the Department for Education.)
Kapow Primary’s RSE and PSHE scheme of work has been designed as a spiral curriculum with the following key principles in mind:
- ✓ Cyclical: Pupils revisit the five key areas throughout KS1 and KS2.
- ✓ Increasing depth: Each time a key area is revisited, it is covered with greater depth and increasing maturity.
- ✓ Prior knowledge: Upon returning to each key area, prior knowledge is utilised so pupils can build on previous foundations, rather than starting again.