At Jubilee, we use exciting and engaging topics as the basis for rigorous development of key knowledge and skills in a range of curriculum areas.
3 principles help inform our curriculum design:
Each curriculum subject is described by several key ‘Big Ideas’, or threshold concepts, which define the discipline. These are outlined in a child-friendly way with progression in each from nursery to Year 6 mapped systematically by subject leaders. This clear sequencing ensures that the big ideas are returned to throughout the curriculum with pupils being supported to make links as they build their schemas of knowledge.
In order for children to develop a deep understanding, we focus on topics for longer, rather than skating over many different areas at a superficial level: children study whole novels in Key Stage 2; our Maths curriculum is blocked with each area being studied in detail for several weeks; and History and Geography topics contain a ‘Key Learning Question’ which runs through a half-term. Vocabulary is also taught in a focused, explicit way across the curriculum.
Learning is sequenced methodically. In order to help children remember what has been taught, spaced repetition of key knowledge is built in. Regular retrieval practice helps build fluency and confidence. This begins with the systematic learning of phonics sounds and number facts in Early Years, through to revision of Spanish, Maths fluency starters and quizzing on History and Geography knowledge in Key Stage 2. Teachers pace the learning carefully to ensure pupils are secure before moving on to new content.
We follow the Read, Write Inc. phonics programme closely from Reception through Key Stage 1 until children are assessed as being secure enough to move onto Destination Reader, a programme developed in Hackney to support reading comprehension and reading for enjoyment. Reading is taught using the Destination Reader programme throughout Key Stage 2.
Most English learning uses the main half-termly topic as a stimulus, often with a high quality linked text as a basis. A range of text types are taught, matched to the topic and children’s needs, with appropriate writing skills planned in carefully to support this. In Early Years and Key Stage 1, the school follows the ‘Talk for Writing‘ approach.
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Spelling is taught as part of Read, Write, Inc. phonics in KS1. In KS2 we use the Read, Write, Inc. spelling programme. Handwriting is taught using the Nelson scheme throughout the school. All of these elements of writing are also addressed in context during English lessons and where children apply what they have learned discretely.
Children’s speaking is promoted throughout the curriculum with the use of language stems, structured partner talk and discussion guidelines. Opportunities for discussion, debate, questioning and performance are built into lesson structures across curriculum areas and including English and Reading.
The school has adopted the White Rose Schemes of Learning which sequence learning carefully across the year and block key concepts for several weeks to ensure children have time to rehearse and apply key knowledge and skills. We have developed our own compatible calculation policy which ensures consistent progression in calculation fluency across year groups using concrete, pictorial and abstract modelling.
We follow the National Curriculum closely and a different topic is covered each half-term. Links to other curriculum areas are exploited where relevant to deepen children’s understanding. The school has developed eight working scientifically skills which are covered across a year’s topics from Year 1 onwards and returned to each year as children move through the school.
Computing: Children develop their knowledge and skills in coding, internet safety, connecting and communicating. Beebots, Code.org and Discovery coding provide clear progression in coding skills, and elements of the Switched On Computing scheme are used to deliver other Curriculum objectives.
Art: Children develop their knowledge and skills with materials, painting, sculpting and drawing through a range of topic-linked projects in weekly art lessons. Drawing skills are further developed through ‘sketch book’ activities in the warm up of lessons. Half-termly projects often have an artist focus as a stimulus, and during one half-term ‘Authors and Artists’ are the main topic focus with other curriculum areas linking closely.
DT: Each year group completes two topic-linked Design Technology projects, with additional DT skills woven through the curriculum, for example food technology promoted through our gardening project each half-term.
PSHE: The school follows the Jigsaw scheme of work, a mindful approach to Personal, Social and Health Education which has a different theme each half-term but is the same across the whole school. The Headteacher leads linked assemblies and certificates are given out to children demonstrating the qualities promoted in lessons. The scheme includes a unit on Relationships, Health and Sex Education which is delivered in the summer term.
Spanish: All children in Key Stage 2 have a weekly Spanish lesson, which is delivered using Primary Language Network’s high quality scheme of work including video resources featuring a native speaker. The lessons are fun and interactive, with games, songs and a range of speaking, listening, reading and writing activities as well as activities to develop children’s cultural awareness. Systematic revision and rehearsal are built into the scheme.
PE: Weekly PE lessons have a focus on careful progression in coordination and key skills, developing children’s understanding of team games as they grow older as well as issues around keeping healthy and how sport impacts on their body. Children in Year 3 and Year 5 also spend half a year going swimming at a local pool, and in Year 6 pupils have a course of sailing sessions at the West Reservoir.
Music: Every child has a weekly music lesson, with children’s skills and knowledge being nurtured carefully using topic-linked projects developed by the school including class ukulele collectives and composition using Chrome Music Labs. All children in Year 3 learn the recorder before being given the chance to learn other instruments from Year 4 upwards, and weekly singing assemblies take place from Year 1 to Year 6.
RE: The school’s RE programme of study covers all the major religions several times, with units of work exploring different aspects and marking important festivals at different times of year. Visits to places of worship which deepen children’s understanding are built into the curriculum.
History & Geography: Our History and Geography topics are drawn from the National Curriculum and tailored to our school context and community. Our School, Istanbul, Canal Life, The Romans in London, the Islamic Golden Age and Immigration through time are all learned about as children move through the school. The subjects are alternated each half-term and taught distinctly. A Key Learning Question is posed at the start of a topic which is discussed as knowledge is accumulated, and children respond to the question in writing at the end to demonstrate what they have learned.
SMSC: We promote the children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development through a huge array of curricular and extra-curricular activities in the school. These include, but are not limited to, elements of the RE, PSHE and wider curriculum, assemblies, visitors from the local community, trips, current affairs discussions, celebrations of significant events, our school values and other school systems such as Year 6 prefects and our Eco-focused School Council.