Southminster’s Curriculum is underpinned by our Values and has been designed with our Christian ethos embedded into all that we do.
The Curriculum has been created so that children are educated in the knowledge and understanding that they need in order to lead fulfilling lives. It is a progressive curriculum which builds on experiences and sets ambitious goals to encourage children for later life, irrespective of starting points.
The area surrounding Southminster is socially diverse and rural, with ongoing residential developments. Children enter our school, with limited social and cultural experiences. Therefore, within our school, our curriculum aims to promote and broaden children’s knowledge of the world around them. We put a focus on ensuring children acquire a base for lifelong learning, through extra-curricular activities, such as Forest Schools. Children apply this learning to their schooling; their home lives and the wider community.
Children enter Southminster with limited knowledge of the wider world or areas outside of their local area. We recognise the importance of developing children’s cultural awareness through our Curriculum. This includes topics based on cities, such as London and areas around the world, such as the Rainforest.
At the heart of our curriculum, we want to enrich children’s lives to promote learning and personal growth. Our vision and values underpin every interaction of school life; everyone has a role in modelling, showing and sharing them. These values are intended to include every aspect of school life, so that we develop children’s spiritual and Christian believes. We aim to teach children how to grow into positive, responsible people, who can work and co-operate with others, so that they can achieve their full potential.
At Southminster, we have Termly Overviews for our Core Curriculum and Curriculum Maps for our Foundation subjects which deliver a progressive learning and skills from EYFS through the Year 6. This is based on Development Matters for EYFS and the National Curriculum and Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum for Years 1-6.
Our curriculum uses a cross-curricular approach with themed units of learning. This results in the development of knowledge and subject specific skills, which are built on, explored and applied to new learning each year.
Teachers use medium and short-term plans to deliver lessons and opportunities tailored to the needs of their class and the school community. Lessons develop children’s knowledge of the world around them, our Christian Values and provide opportunities for children to celebrate success.
Early Reading skills are of high importance at Southminster and Phonics is delivered through the Read, Write, Ink programme. Children access this curriculum from EYFS upwards to support life-long engaged readers, as well as fostering a love and passion for reading.
Maths skills are highly valued at Southminster and use White Rose as a supportive resource to embed children’s mathematical understanding and problem-solving skills.
At Southminster, we use Learning Ladders as an ongoing assessment system to track all children’s progress and ensure that we are continuously providing an accurately pitched and challenging curriculum. We consider the needs of all our learners and these assessments are used by both SLT and teachers to provide an effective curriculum for all.
The impact of Southminster’s curriculum is demonstrated both within our academic achievements and children’s own personal developments. This can be seen in pupil’s work and outcomes, as well as their social and emotional development.
SLT and stakeholders regularly monitor the impact of the learning. We evaluate the progress and action next steps on our school improvement journey
Effective Phonics teaching and learning is essential for high attainment in reading and writing. Additionally, confidence with phonics is integral across the curriculum and used in all subjects. Achievement in this area benefits every area of pupils’ development and the school as a whole. In order to move Southminster’s phonics teaching forwards, it has been necessary to implement a clear and consistent inclusive teaching scheme.
Read Write Inc is a literacy programme that helps children learn synthetic phonics. The scheme includes both a phonics and reading focus. The sessions happen every day as the continuity and pace of the programme is essential to increasing the speed of children’s reading development.
Teaching & Learning Style
Read Write Inc is based on 5 Ps.
Praise – Children learn quickly in a positive climate.
Pace – Good pace is essential to the lesson.
Purpose – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.
Passion – this is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that brings the teaching and learning to life.
Participation – A strong feature of Read Write Inc lessons is partner work and the partners ‘teaching’ each other.
Key Stage 1
Phonics sessions take place from 9:00 – 10:00. Children are streamed into attainment groups to make sure teaching and learning is at the correct level for their current achievement. Some groups will contain a mix of year groups. In the afternoon, Phonics is taught in class and not streamed – this session is to fill any gaps and consolidate learning for rapid improvement. Where necessary KS2 children will join a group to meet their needs. KS1 children are assessed at least once per half term. Teachers use Read Write Inc reading books during Phonics sessions.
Key Stage 2
Children identified as being below national averages for phonics and reading receive additional support through targeted Read Write Inc sessions or by joining KS1 phonics sessions where necessary. For those pupils in KS2 who are meeting ARE, reading is taught in daily reading lessons.
Special Educational Needs
SEN pupils are fully involved in Read Write Inc lessons as children work in groups with others who are at their level.
Teaching is geared to the speed of progress of each group. Additional 1:1 tuition may take place, but this will be identified by teachers in conjunction with the Phonics Lead.
The Phonics Lead identifies children who are below expected attainment for their age. These children will receive additional one-to-one or small group phonics teaching from support staff in class, timings at teacher discretion. Children significantly below expected attainment are regularly assessed to support progression.