Beecroft Garden Curriculum Information

Literacy

At Beecroft Garden, we recognise that language is a key building block in child development and we aim to equip each and every pupil with the literacy skills they need. This will allow them to enjoy reading for knowledge, as well as pleasure and enjoyment, and to write with a sense of purpose and audience. We also encourage our children to express themselves effectively and to listen and learn from each other.

As well as a school library, each class has an inviting book corner and the school has reading schemes for beginning readers. Guided reading takes place on a regular basis; for the children, these sessions include a mixture of teacher-led group work, follow up activities linked to the current group read, phonics work, independent reading and even some time to simply immerse themselves in books.

In KS1, we are very excited about our new reading scheme called The Bug Club (http://www.bugclub.co.uk/) and, in KS2, we have the ‘Project X Code’ series of books to support and encourage struggling or reluctant readers (http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/projectx/code).

In Reception and Key Stage 1, parents are invited to take part in workshops to learn how we teach phonics in order for them to support and help their child at home with their reading. Reading with your child every day hugely improves their reading success and this is something we actively encourage at Beecroft.

Through daily lessons, children learn the essentials of the English language such as phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence construction, together with the skills to help shape and organise texts. However, English is not just taught as discrete lessons but as part of our creative curriculum approach. We try to make learning fun and relevant by linking activities and experiences to other areas of the curriculum such as history, geography or science. Each year group has a different topic for each term and, wherever possible, teachers are encouraged to find fiction and non-fiction work linked to their topic area. We also use paintings as a stimulus for storytelling, writing and performance which, again, we try to link to our termly topic.

At Beecroft Garden, children are taught to listen well, speak clearly, read enthusiastically and write effectively for a wide range of purposes and audience. Children are supported and encouraged as they learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively on their way to becoming enthusiastic and independent learners.

Maths

At Beecroft Garden Primary School mathematics is taught in a daily lesson. Aspects of numeracy such as number and algebra, shape and space and measures, handling data and applying maths are covered each term. Wherever possible mathematics is taught as a practical and “hands-on” experience where real-life problem solving, puzzles, and more complex strategies are taught side-by-side. Cross-curricula links to other subjects are an important feature of numeracy and mathematics, not just through the use of ICT, science and technology, but also through literacy and humanities. From Nursery to Year 6, we strive to develop an imaginative and creative approach to all forms of mathematics. Please look out for future mathematic curriculum events.

Science

At Beecroft Garden we teach science in very hands-on way, allowing the children to explore the wonders of the world around them through investigation. We foster open minded thinking and encourage the children to make links in their knowledge and understanding, we do this by the use of mind maps and concept maps at the beginning and end of each topic where children can express their knowledge and understanding in words and/or pictures. This promotes discussion and allows children to express their reasoning to the rest of the class.

Wherever possible the children learn from first-hand experience and develop the ability to design an investigation and predict its outcome; to interpret the results; to become aware of making a test “fair”; to sort, group and describe objects according to their similarities and differences. The children are given opportunities to develop their skills in measurement and to record their results systematically.

We are well resourced and are fortunate that our playground has an allotment and a wilderness walk which we are developing.

ICT

The ICT in Beecroft Garden covers a wide range of disciplines from basic word processing to creating simple computer games and apps. The children have access to personal laptops and Sony PSP’s.

There is an Interactive whiteboards in each classroom. ICT is taught discretely, with opportunities for integrating those skills in all subjects across the curriculum.

Children have the opportunity to make podcasts and films.

History

History is planned and taught as part of our creative, cross curricular approach to learning. During their work in history, children develop, use and apply the national curriculum key skills across a range of contexts. During their time here, they will have the opportunity to learn about people, places and key events at different times in the past, from The Ancient Egyptians to The Victorians and what life was like for children during World War Two. Every October we celebrate Black History Month, inviting parents/carers to special sharing assemblies at the beginning of November, where we showcase the children’s work. Our Black History Month theme for 2012 is ‘Journeys’.

Educational visits form a vital part of engaging children in History and examples of visits and workshops include The Museum of Childhood, story telling at The Museum of London and The National Transport Museum, a Mary Seacole workshop at The National Army Museum, object handling at The British Museum, unpacking evacuee suitcases at The Imperial War Museum, a day in role at a Victorian school in The Ragged Museum and special visitors coming in to share personal histories of the local area or events such as the second world war.

Geography

Geography is planned and taught as part of our creative, cross curricular approach to learning. During their work in geography, children develop, use and apply the National Curriculum key skills across a range of contexts. They are also given opportunities to carry out surveys and fieldwork. In line with our International Policy, children learn about and compare features of different localities, collaborating with partner schools through the British Council Global Gateway and E Twinning services. We encourage our pupils to think as global citizens and to take responsibility for their impact on the environment through reducing waste, reusing and recycling.

Many field work opportunities take place in the local area but the children also have regular opportunities to work with experts at Horton Kirby. The rivers workshops are a highlight for children in Year 4 and they return again to look at Climate Change in Year 6. Children in Year 1 enjoy a Science based workshop on plants, animals and minibeasts in the Horton Kirby environment.

Music

At Beecroft Garden, Music has an important part to play in giving children opportunities to express themselves and develop new skills.

In years 1-6, children have a weekly singing sessions. Children in years 4-6 who want to sing even more are welome to join the choir, and we already have several performance opportunities planned for this term.

Children from nursery to year 3 have weekly class music lessons , where we use rhythm games and rhymes and a range of percussion instruments to learn about different musical elements and styles.

Children in year 4 who started to play the recorder last year will be able to continue with weekly lessons. Year 4 children will also be learning the guitar.

Year 3 children will have weekly class Samba percussion lessons.

Design Technology

DT allows us to use our creative and scientific mind to produce pieces of art that have a purpose. We learn through experimenting, designing, drawing and testing to make fantastic working end products.

At Beecroft we use DT throughout the curriculum and we make and design products such as Shadow puppets with moving mechanisms (year3 ‘Light and Shadows’), bags made out of recycled materials (year 6 ‘Save our Planet’), jumping Jack in the Boxes!(Year1 ‘TOYSRUS’) and much more!

Art

Art is an integral part of our curriculum and underpins much of our cross curriculum. The children are taught a wide range of skills and techniques with a variety of media. Through art our children gain an understanding and appreciation of the art forms and styles from other cultures and times. We encourage our children to develop their skills of observation and self -expression. The children’s art work is displayed prominently within the school and we seek out opportunities, within the local community to exhibit our children’s art. Our children regularly visit local and London galleries and make full use of the local environment to foster an awareness and stimulate an eye for the art around us. We take part in the National Gallery ‘Take One Picture’ every year.

Religious Education

We are proud of the diversity that makes up Beecroft Garden. Our school reflects the multi-cultural community of Brockley.

We teach the world’s major religions: Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism. Our aim is that cour children develop a respect for other people’s beliefs and gain a broad understanding of the world’s religions.

RE is taught in class and assemblies. RE is a compulsory subject, but parents have the right to withdraw their child and should see the Head of School to discuss the issue.

Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship

A strong emphasis is placed in developing children’s personal and social skills and promoting safety. This is done through aspects of topic work, visiting speakers, circle time in class and assemblies. In circle time we encourage children to listen to each other and respect each others point of view. We teach a range of topics, smoking, legal and illegal substances and sex education through a structured programme and in specific year groups.

PSHE Yearly overview

Autumn Term Theme
1, New Beginnings
2, Getting on and falling out

Spring Term
1, Say no to bullying
2, Going for goals

Summer Term
1, Good to be me
2, Relationships

Beecroft Garden has a very active School Council who play an important role in the school.

Physical Education and Games

We aim to give our children a varied programme of athletics, dance, netball, cricket, football and tag rugby. We have visiting coaches who teach the children specific skills. PE helps to show children how to maintain a healthy lifestyle alongside of having a healthy diet.

Children in KS2 have the opportunity to go swimming. We have a successful annual school sports day to which parents are invited. Our new playground with our climbing equipment also offers challenge to develop agility skills.