Our Curriculum Intent
At Castle Primary School, we teach a broad, balanced and engaging curriculum, for all our children. Our curriculum ensures that children are taught the necessary skills and knowledge which build towards their future learning and eventually employment. We want our children to be challenged, supported and inspired to ‘aim high’ and achieve their potential.
The implementation of the revised curriculum in 2014 saw expectations for children raised. For example, all children by year four must know all of their multiplication facts up to 12x12, the expectations for reading and writing have also been raised and there is now a greater focus on grammar.
The National Curriculum sets out the aims of a programme of education. It also sets out the structure for those aims to be implemented, including the knowledge and skills that children should acquire. Therefore, our curriculum ensures these knowledge and skills are taught in a progressive, logical order and builds towards a specific end point for that unit of work, such as an extended piece of writing, a themed day to showcase learning or a final product the children have made.
Alongside teaching the essential skills and knowledge, we plan and teach a creative curriculum. This means making links across a range of subjects. For example, within our foundation subjects we may have one topic, such as ‘Ancient Egyptians’ and from this we will incorporate our art, design technology and English. This helps to bring our curriculum to life for our children and allows us to incorporate many memorable experiences that our children will take with them when they leave us at the end of year six. We also aim to incorporate our school values of: inspiration, friendship, courage, excellence, respect, equality and determination throughout.
We aim through our planning, teaching and feedback to help pupils remember long term the content that has been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas or linked concepts. It is through knowing more and remembering more that our children progress.
So how do we implement our curriculum intent?
English and Maths are taught on a daily basis to ensure that children develop essentials skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Where possible this is linked to other subjects so that children can apply the skills they have learnt in a practical manner. Statutory assessments take place at the end of year 2 and 6 and are published annually. For Maths we use the ‘Inspire’ programme. New areas of Maths are taught by initially incorporating concrete resources such as deines, clocks, money etc, before moving on to pictorial representation and finishing with the abstract (written numbers, calculations and worded problems). Inspire encourages the children to further develop their reasoning skills as well as their use of Mathematical language.
Reading and phonics
Phonics is taught through the Letters and Sounds scheme in years R to 2. When children reach phase 6 of this scheme in year 2, they progress onto ‘Support for Spelling’. In years 3 -6, phonics teaching will underpin spelling provision but children will also be taught spelling strategies. We acknowledge that not all children will confident with phonics by the end of year 2, so provision is made for those children requiring additional support with phonics in key stage 2.
We also endeavour to ensure that children experience a wide ranging curriculum that encompasses the creative arts, sports, humanities, science and computing. Learning is enhanced by the numerous educational visits organised for the children to enjoy, be it local walks around Portchester and the castle, or further afield to Marwell, Old Portsmouth and Southampton.
Children in key stage 2 also enjoy a variety of residential visits. These provide many children with their first experience of staying away from home and are hugely rewarding. Current residential are:
Year 3 The Sustainability Centre where children have the opportunity to learn about living sustainably. This is for one day and one night.
Year 4 Stubbington Study Centre, where the children partake in a range of activities, to develop team work and communication, in a purpose built centre. This is a two night stay.
Year 5 The Eden project, where the children have the opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to be in a rainforest and learn more about the Mayan civilisation. This is also a two night stay.
Year 6 Kingswood on the Isle of Wight. In their final year children spend a week on the Isle of Wight where they enjoy many activities linked to team building to develop their self-confidence and sense of achievement.
Our commitment to providing the very best opportunities for our children has been recognised through a number of awards. These include: the 'Artsmark', for the quality of our performing arts curriculum; the 'Sportsmark' for the level of sporting provision provided; and the FA Charter mark for our football coaching. We have also been accredited by UNICEF as a Rights, Respecting School for the extensive work we do related the Rights of the Child. Castle also has 'Healthy School' status for its promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Below you will find our whole school curriculum maps which identifies what will be taught across the year in each year group. You will notice that often elements are repeated within consecutive years, this allows for depth of learning to take place and encourages the children to become 'lifelong learners'.
To see national curriculum document please go the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-primary-curriculum