Palace Fields Primary School aims to provide excellent learning opportunities; enabling all children to achieve success and become active citizens.
Our School Values
Our core values lie at the heart of our curriculum. We seek to ensure that children continually develop their understanding and demonstration of our 5 core values alongside the British Values of Democracy, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect, Tolerance and Rule of Law.
Developing positive learning behaviours
Our School Learning Behaviours
Teach and Support
Explain and Elaborate
We teach our 5 learning behaviours across the school enabling children to understand how they can successful learners.
Our curriculum aim is to provide a broad and balanced curriculum; driven by our core values that:
Inspires and develops a lifelong love of learning in our children.
Using the National Curriculum guidelines, is a progressive curriculum, that builds on prior knowledge.
Provides all the children with a broad range of experiences and opportunities that are relevant to them and tailored to their needs.
Provides appropriate challenge for all children; enabling them to learn at a level of depth.
Prepares our children to be active and respectful citizens for the diverse world in which they live.
Reading is at the heart of our whole curriculum. We strongly believe that the ability to read opens up the world to a child and so we are passionate and committed to enabling children to become confident and fluent readers. As well as this we are committed to developing children’s comprehension knowledge and skills in understanding the impact that an author has on their readers.
For Literacy, we use the McKie Mastery 'Power' approach. From EYFS, children are set in groups based on their reading fluency ability to ensure they are receiving the provision that they need to make strong progress. Across the groups children will have the opportunity to practice their reading fluency as well as develop their comprehension knowledge and skills.
At Palace Fields Primary School we aim to teach children to:-
- Read with fluency, accuracy and understanding.
- Develop an understanding and appreciation of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
- Develop a love of reading, stretching their imagination.
- Use texts as a source to enhance knowledge and understanding of vocabulary.
In addition to Literacy lessons, we employ a team of reading assistants who aim to ensure that all children in EYFS and KS1 are heard read every day as well as those children in KS2 who are not yet fluent readers. We also ask that parents/carers support their child at home by hearing their child read daily.
Phonics is taught daily from EYFS as part of our Power English lessons/provision. All children, regardless of age, are receiving daily phonics teaching appropriate to their ability. We currently use a lot of Read Write Inc resources and tools to support this.
Children in Year 1 are required to take a statutory check to assess their understanding of phonics. These results are shared with parents as part of our end of year reports.
Palace Fields Primary School uses books from a variety of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Tree Tops and Read Write Inc to support the children to develop their reading skills. Children are given books appropriate to their reading ability.
Once children have progressed on to 'free readers' there is a large selection of books for the children to choose from and they are encouraged to read a variety of text types and books by different authors.
We aim for our children to be immersed into the books that they read. Our children delve deep into a variety of high quality authors so that they can begin to develop an understanding of the key writing structures, grammatical rules and a significant range of ambitious, varied vocabulary. In addition to being aspirational authors, we want our children to understand that writing is a process whereby they exercise the tools they have at their disposal to inform, entertain, argue and persuade other readers. In order to achieve this, our timetable is significantly focused on vocabulary development, inference and an understanding and appreciation of the reader. Children are supported through the whole of the writing process, as they are given opportunities to plan, draft, edit and redraft their writing. They are then able to take pride in their work, presenting their writing to their peers and celebrating their achievements.
We have a passion for high standards in mathematics and believe that all pupils can become excellent mathematicians.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
In order to provide our children with the opportunities to meet these aims, we use a rigorous teaching cycle in which children have the opportunity to observe, practise, reason and apply key mathematical concepts.
We use the McKie Mastery ‘Power’ approach from EYFS to Year 6, and alongside others, utilise the White Rose Maths key resource. This ensures that our children are taught the key concepts and skills in sequential steps. We believe that this systematic approach to mathematical learning embeds knowledge and understanding and creates meaningful changes to the long-term memory of our children.
We ensure children across the school have the opportunity to learn using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, believing that moving between these approaches enables children to connect abstract symbols with familiar concepts, supporting pupil’s mathematics sense.
PSHE (inc. RSE)
We teach PSHE at Palace Fields Primary School using the Jigsaw scheme of work, which places a strong emphasis on holding children at the heart of the curriculum. As a school, each year group progresses through each of the six half-termly units of work (puzzles), each of which contain six lessons (pieces). Furthermore, through creative teaching approaches, which nurture children’s development as mindful and versatile human beings, Jigsaw PSHE brings together: PSHE education, Relationships and Health education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development, whilst promoting the British Values and fostering learning around necessary safeguarding issues. Every Piece has two Learning Intentions, one specific to Relationships and Health Education (PSHE) and the other designed to develop emotional literacy and social skills. By implementing a scheme of work that covers a wide range of social and emotional aspects of learning, it is intended that all of our children will develop their self-esteem and an understanding of their identity, whilst learning to value how they fit into, and contribute to the world in which they live. Through the purposeful, progressive and sequential learning experiences that Jigsaw offers, each of our children will be provided with an abundance of opportunities to apply their acquisitions, not only in PSHE but across the curriculum and (when necessary) to their own lives with increasing confidence over time. Following school closure, PSHE has been a key focus of our curriculum and we have been using Jigsaw with and in addition to Thrive in order to support children in their return to school.
Each of the puzzles and their overarching themes can be seen below:
Puzzle 1. Being Me in My World
Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters.
Puzzle 2. Celebrating Difference
Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work.
Puzzle 3. Dreams and Goals
Includes goal-setting, aspirations for yourself and the world and working together.
Puzzle 4. Healthy Me
Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices.
Puzzle 5. Relationships
Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills.
Puzzle 6. Changing Me
This puzzle includes sex and relationships education in the context of coping positively with change. (includes age-appropriate sex education).
Science (Trust Curriculum)
We believe that children should be encouraged to be inquisitive throughout their time at the school and beyond. Our science curriculum fosters a curiosity about our universe and promotes respect for the living and non-living. Our science curriculum encompasses the acquisition of knowledge, concepts, skills and positive attitudes. In accordance with the national curriculum we develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Our curriculum develops the understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiry that enables children to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Through this, children are equipped with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future. Our curriculum gives children the opportunity to study the work of famous scientists and their contributions to the modern world. Along with this, we develop an understanding of environmental sciences to enable our children to be global citizens. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically planned so that children will acquire and develop the key knowledge that has been identified within each unit and across each year group, as well as the application of scientific skills. We ensure that the skills for ‘working scientifically’ are progressive and developed throughout children’s time at the school so that they can apply their knowledge of science when using equipment, conducting experiments, building arguments and explaining concepts confidently and continue to ask questions and be curious about their surroundings.
Geography (Trust curriculum)
We believe that children should develop a good understanding of their local area, the UK, Europe and the wider world. Children are encouraged to develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of the world, as well as their roles and responsibilities as global citizens both now and in the future. In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention, when teaching geography, is to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and the people within it. We promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding of the United Kingdom and the world’s countries and continents. We provide all children with a broad range of relevant geographical experiences and fieldwork opportunities that takes into account each school’s individual location. Overall, children are provided with opportunity to think geographically relating the near and far, the physical and the human, people and environments, the economic and the social.
History (Trust curriculum)
We believe that children should develop a love of history and experience a sense of awe and wonder when learning about the past. Children are encouraged to develop knowledge of the lasting legacy of significant local, British and world history, as well as their role in learning from the past in order to influence the future. In accordance with the national curriculum our intention, when teaching history, is to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about how the past has influenced and shaped the modern world we live in. We encourage pupils to develop key historical skills such as asking perceptive questions, thinking critically, weighing evidence, sifting arguments, and developing perspective and judgement. Our key historical concepts of Chronology, Empire, Conquest and Invasion and Legacy enable pupils to understand the process of change over time, their own identity and the relationships between different periods of history. Our curriculum is sequential and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding of the narratives of local, British and world history. We provide all children with a broad range of relevant historical experiences that take into account each school’s individual location and identity. Overall, children are provided with the opportunity to gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and world history.
Art (Trust curriculum)
We believe that art and design have a significant role in promoting the well-being of all children. It is a vital part of children’s education and that all children should be inspired and enthused about art. All children will be given the opportunity to express themselves in an imaginative way, allowing their creativity and individuality to flourish through every art experience.
In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention when teaching Art and Design is to ensure that all children develop the necessary knowledge and skills so that they are confident and independent when producing their own art work using a range of media.
We will provide an art curriculum that includes a diverse knowledge of a range of artists, cultures and that children will understand the historical development of different art forms. Children will have the opportunity to analyse and respond critically to their own work. Our curriculum is carefully sequenced so that knowledge and skills are progressively built upon and that children will revisit and develop them further over time.
Overall, children will have the opportunity to understand and respond to the world in a unique way and develop their own interpretations. Children will develop an awareness of the key elements of art: line, shape, colour, texture, form, space and value and become proficient in drawing, painting, sculpture, and other art, craft and design techniques.
Design Technology (Trust curriculum)
We believe that our children should develop creativity and imagination as well as the technical and practical expertise needed to participate successfully in a rapidly changing world. Our aim is to provide children with a high-quality education in design technology which will enable them to make a positive contribution to the creativity, culture and well-being of society. Children will develop their skills in problem solving and become confident in performing individual tasks and collaborating with others.
In accordance with the national curriculum, our intention when teaching Design Technology is to inspire all children to design and make purposeful products that solve real life problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. Children will develop their resilience and ownership as they learn to critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others in a practical, constructive and respectful manner.
Our curriculum is sequential, progressive and systematically deepens children’s growing knowledge and understanding by drawing on subjects such as mathematics, science, computing and art. We use the teaching sequence recommended by the DT association to deliver progressive and well sequenced sessions. Children are given the opportunity to develop and master new skills, designing and making high-quality prototypes and products through a range of diverse and meaningful topics. Children will also develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the principles of nutrition and sustainability of food. They will learn how to cook a range of dishes from different cultures and develop their understanding of where and how food is sourced.
Overall, children are provided with opportunity to become resourceful, innovative and enterprising citizens who learn how to take risks. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they will develop a critical understanding of the significance of design and technology and its impact on daily life and the wider world.
We deliver an inclusive, challenging curriculum that aims to build children’s self-esteem and confidence while inspiring them to lead healthy, active lives. All children currently receive 2 hours of physical education a week, through the use of GetSet4PE we aim to develop children’s physical, social, emotional and mental help. GetSet4PE is used to support teachers planning and assess physical education. Our curriculum allows pupils to explore a range of sports autonomously and co-operatively. Based within values of responsibility and respect, we want to stimulate children to engage and excel in competitive sport. Activities cover the breadth of the curriculum and include gymnastics, dance and yoga, as well as more traditional games such as football, cricket and tennis. In addition, during lunch time, children have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills through creative and supportive play. We work alongside community partners to offer extra-curricular sessions, through this we aim to provide children with new and exciting experiences to further develop their love of physical activity and sport.
We use the expertise of our specialist Music teacher to deliver a progressive and well sequenced music curriculum. Using Charanga, the lessons carefully follow the national curriculum and ensures that children are provided with a variety of musical experiences and instrument tuition. The scheme has been adapted to ensure it meets Covid-19 guidance and risk assessments. In addition, pupils all across KS2 have weekly guitar, drumming and woodwind lessons from our specialist Music teacher, Miss Dale.
RE (Discovery RE)
The principal aim of RE is to engage pupils in systematic inquiry into significant human questions which religion and worldviews address, so that they can develop the understanding and skills needed to appreciate and appraise varied responses to these questions, as well as develop responses of their own.
The curriculum for RE aims to ensure that all pupils:
1. Know about and understand a range of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
- describe, explain and analyse beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity which exists within and between communities and amongst individuals
- identify, investigate and respond to questions posed, and responses offered by some of the sources of wisdom found in religions and worldviews
- appreciate and appraise the nature, significance and impact of different ways of life and ways of expressing meaning.
2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of religions and worldviews, so that they can:
- explain reasonably their ideas about how beliefs, practices and forms of expression influence individuals and communities
- express with increasing discernment their personal reflections and critical responses to questions and teachings about identity, diversity, meaning and value, including ethical issues
- appreciate and appraise varied dimensions of religion.
3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to engage seriously with religions and worldviews, so that they can:
- find out about and investigate key concepts and questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth, responding creatively
- inquire into what enables different individuals and communities to live together respectfully for the wellbeing of all
- articulate beliefs, values and commitments clearly in order to explain why they may be important in their own and other people’s lives.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Palace Fields Primary School, we have chosen to study French and use Primary Languages Network to support our implementation of a progressive and well-sequenced languages curriculum. Every other week, our children receive a French lesson, which is delivered by a specialist languages teacher. These lessons are then followed up by class teachers. As pupils should be taught to listen attentively to spoken language – therefore enabling their development of accurate pronunciation and intonation - it is therefore incredibly important that our children are given as many meaningful and authentic language learning experiences as possible, which is partly why our children are able to experience the French language spoken by our specialist teacher, who is native to France. Although Modern Foreign Languages are only compulsory at Key Stage 2, at Palace Fields, we believe that our children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 should be pre-exposed to foreign language learning in order to nurture their curiosity about the world in which they live, in addition to fostering their social and emotional development.
Thrive was introduced at Palace Fields in June 2019 and has gone from strength to strength. We have been working hard at creating and implanting a whole school approach. This means every child at Palace Fields has their social and emotional needs addressed and nurtured whether that be within their class setting, small groups or during a 1:1 session.
What is Thrive? Thrive is a social and emotion intervention that helps with the early identification of any emotional development needs in children. When this happens, a differentiated provision can be put into place. Thrive uses six developmental strands (five are used by primary schools), these translate into six fundamental aspects of learning for emotional and social development.
Why Palace Fields use Thrive? Addressing emotional development needs builds resilience and resourcefulness, decreases the risk of mental illness and helps those children who may be at risk of underachieving re-engage with learning.
The whole school approach was implemented and is currently led by our specialist Thrive practitioner Ms. Victoria McCaffrey. You can find more information at: www.thethriveapproach.com