Curricular Rationale 2014-15

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Leuchars Primary
Curriculum Rationale
At Leuchars Primary School, we believe in the importance of rigorous teaching in the
core subjects of Mathematics/Numeracy and Language/Literacy. We acknowledge
the importance of Health and Well-being as a core subject under Curriculum for
Excellence (CfE). We provide a cohesive Health Education pathway through our
Programme of Study as well as addressing Health and Wellbeing issues through our
work as a Health Promoting School, Eco School and Rights Respecting School. We
use subject based and interdisciplinary learning approaches to the planning and
teaching of Health and Well-being, Technologies, Expressive Arts, Social Subjects,
Sciences and Religious and Moral Education with the aim of building skills as
Responsible Citizens, Confident Individuals, Effective Contributors and Successful
Learners. We acknowledge the importance of all the learning opportunities our pupils
experience through the ethos and life of the school, curriculum areas and subjects,
interdisciplinary learning and opportunities for personal achievement.
Language/Literacy: Content
We teach knowledge, understanding and skills in Literacy and Language through
specific lessons, children then practise and apply these skills in their learning across
the curriculum. Core literacy skills are taught through Workshop for Literacy, a
contextualised learning approach. This is taught from Nursery to P7.
A quality book, rich in vocabulary, is used as a stimulus to teach the literacy skills
from the Literacy Tracking Framework. Books are launched in an exciting way to
make the children excited about reading. This is known as a “Book Blessing”.
The skills cover the three core pathways Semantic, Orthographic and Phonological.
The trackers provide the teacher with the key points for observations in order to
monitor skills development and plan next steps.
School resources – Cambridge Reading Scheme, other reading scheme reading
books and sets of novels are used to practise and assess reading skills.
Comprehension textbooks are available for assessment and practice. Reading areas
within each classroom should have a variety of reading material, not have too many
books and be changed regularly to maintain interest within the classroom.
Phonics and Spelling
There is a clear progression of phonics and spelling within the Workshop for Literacy
manual. Jolly Phonics and Nelson Spelling can be used to supplement this and to
give practice. Children engage in regular phonics activities and begin to learn
spelling patterns when they are ready to do so. Spelling activities should be
practised in class daily if at all possible. These activities should be fun and engaging.
Rainbow words, spellmadoodles, finding words within words, scrambled words are
all examples of short repetitive activities to help learn spelling.
From P2 – P5 “Have a Go” books are used to encourage pupils to try out new words
when they are writing in any area of the curriculum. The child tries out the word twice
and then shows the teacher. The word is ticked if correct with lots of praise, and the
correct word written and discussed if there is a mistake.
P6 and P7 are taught to use self help strategies.
The Big Writing approach is used and every class has VCOP (Vocabulary,
Connectives, Openers and Punctuation) displayed. These should be referred to
during every writing lesson. Pupils at all levels are taught to increase the range and
sophistication of vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation used. Children
can be given talk homework on a weekly basis to prepare for the next writing task.
The Big Writing and Workshop for Literacy approaches complement each other and
sit well together firing pupils’ enthusiasm for literacy. In session 2014-15, we will
explore Big Talk strategies at the early level.
Kung Fu punctuation is used to teach and consolidate punctuation taught through
Workshop for Literacy and Big Writing. All classes have posters as prompts for Kung
Fu punctuation. The vocabulary used on the Kung Fu Punctuation posters should be
used to describe punctuation marks so that there is consistency through the school.
Language/Literacy: Planning and Transition
The Workshop for Literacy Tracking sheets are used throughout the school to plan
Learning in Literacy. Teachers should use one tracker for each BROAD group. It is
not usually the case that more than one tracker would be needed for pupils working
at the same level. The tracker is designed to be used for three years and should be
passed onto the next teacher to ensure tracking across stages. If pupils from two
classes come together in a new academic year, the information on the trackers may
be merged or two trackers used at the teacher’s discretion and with advice from SLT.
If a group of pupils have not moved onto the next level after three years, this should
be discussed with SLT.
Numeracy/Mathematics: Content
We teach knowledge, understanding and skills in Numeracy and Mathematics
through specific lessons, children then practise and apply these skills in their
learning across the curriculum. Textbooks and workbooks are available and should
be used as one of the ways to assess learning but not as a vehicle for teaching a
concept. Textbooks and workbooks can be used flexibly, there is not an expectation
that all pages will be covered nor that pupils will complete one textbook before
making use of the next. An improvement priority in session 2014-15 is to audit maths
resources and invest in suitable, up to date resources to support our delivery of
Maths as well as to develop a shared understanding of a progression within
Numeracy/Mathematics: Planning and Transition
Teachers plan for Numeracy and Mathematics using formats linked to Fife’s
Milestones. It is good practice to plan by looking at the Learning Intention and to plan
taught input and follow up activities which deliver this learning.
Health and Wellbeing: Content and Planning
Health and Wellbeing Outcomes and Experiences are planned and addressed
through the Programme of Study and through the Ethos and Wider Life of the
School. Some aspects of Health and Wellbeing are relevant to specific year groups
rather than whole composite classes. This is made clear in the Programme of Study.
At the present time, the Programme of Study does not make reference to the first 18
Health and Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes - teachers record coverage of all
outcomes on the three year tracker. Some aspects of Health and Wellbeing are
naturally delivered through the Ethos and Life of the School e.g. our policy is to use a
restorative approach which models to pupils skills relating to friendship. It is an
improvement priority in session 2014-15 to audit the coverage of the Health and
Wellbeing Experiences and Outcomes from Nursery-P7 and plan changes to ensure
they are fully addressed.
Health and Wellbeing: Physical Education
All classes should receive three 50 minute periods of PE so that pupils are receiving
the required two hours of PE per week.
Other Curricular Areas: Content
At Leuchars Primary School we do not prescribe topics to be covered at each stage.
Instead, we have a Programme of Study which stipulates the Learning Intentions to
be covered at each stage. This allows teachers to follow their own strengths and
children’s interests while ensuring continuity and progression throughout the school.
The Learning Intentions are delivered through Interdisciplinary Learning Experiences
or through Subject Based Lessons at the teacher’s discretion.
Other Curricular Areas: Planning
Leuchars Primary School has a Programme of Study which allows for planning and
delivery of Health and Well-being, Technologies, Expressive Arts, Social Subjects,
Sciences and Religious and Moral Education. This Programme of Study has a
booklet for use with each class. The booklet contains the following sections:
1. ‘Ongoing Big Picture Targets’ - these are covered throughout the course of
the academic year. They do not need to be highlighted by the teacher.
2. Learning Intentions for each of the four capacities - each term, teachers
highlight the LIs they intend to cover using the highlighting code (Term 1orange, Term 2-blue, Term 3-green, Term 4-yellow). They then write a Big
Picture Target for that term and plan the assessment. The Big Picture Target
should be shared with the pupils. The Big Picture Targets are displayed in the
classroom on the four capacities display sheets. An evaluation against the
Big Picture Target is carried out at the end of the term.
3. Religious and Moral Education Experiences and Outcomes (P2-7 only) – each
term teachers highlight the Experiences and Outcomes they intend to
address and write Big Picture Targets, assessment and evaluations as
A three year tracker is being introduced in session 2014-15 to allow coverage across
each level to be tracked from year to year.
Planning Folders
Planning Folders should reflect the totality of learning experiences of the pupils in the
class. Teachers job sharing should complete a folder together and non class contact
teachers should plan in the class teacher’s folder.
Opportunities for Personal Achievement
At Leuchars Primary School, we believe it is important for us to plan opportunities for
our pupils to experience wider achievement and to celebrate their success. We make
opportunities in school for pupils to experience wider achievement through
Committees, Friday Activities, participation in initiatives such as Rights Respecting
Schools, Health Promoting Schools and Eco Schools, participation in plays and
performances (including class assemblies), attendance at festivals and competitions
and by developing links within the local and wider community. We encourage pupils
to share successes out with school and we celebrate these. During session 2014-15
we are seeking to further develop these opportunities and an improvement priority is
to develop a method of tracking personal achievement in and out of school.
Learning Log
Each child has a Learning Log in which their Big Picture Targets are recorded,
evidence is collected and evaluations are made.
The Learning Log contains:
Front Cover
A Parental Comment Sheet
An explanation note for Parents/Carers
A copy of the school charter
A Big Picture Target Sheet per term
A piece of evaluated work evidencing progress towards each target (unless
impractical to do so)
A reflection sheet for each term
Work may be evaluated using e.g. a teacher comment, peer or self comment/traffic
light, a teacher traffic light or target achieved stamp. It is good practice to use a
range of evaluation methods. Teachers write development comments (as opposed to
critical comments) which are helpful in allowing pupils and parents to see next steps
but this should be balanced with positive comments. The calendar by which Learning
Logs are to be maintained is contained within the collegiate calendar.