All National curriculum subjects are organised within the 6 curriculum areas:
- Understanding of the World
- Communication and Language
- Expressive Arts
- Mental and Physical Well Being
In some cases there are elements of a subject within more than one curriculum area e.g. the content of writing is in English, however, the mechanics of it (fine motor skills) can be found in Mental and Physical Wellbeing.
Elements of reading can be seen across the whole curriculum.
Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 children are exposed to a range of high-quality texts which they listen to, share and discuss with their teachers and peers. Texts are primarily chosen from The Power of Reading. These are a selection of quality texts for each primary year group carefully selected by the Centre for Literature in Primary Education. Poetry is hugely valued at Kilmorie and children are exposed to an exciting range of quality poetry both within lessons, in assemblies and at daily reading times. Throughout the school, on each floor, we have special reading nooks and corridor libraries for children to enjoy during break and lunch times. Children are reading all of the time within all of their lessons to develop their subject knowledge, their vocabulary and their comprehension. They are encouraged to read for pleasure, be it from fiction or non-fiction, as well as for information. Time is allocated every day for them to get lost in a book and really develop their love for the written word. Groups of children read daily with the class teacher or a teaching assistant. At least thrice weekly each class from Lower Phase upwards enjoys a whole class reading session. This is where the whole class will read and investigate the same quality text in depth. They will learn how authors create suspense and excitement, hook the reader in and describe characters. They will re-enact scenes, become the characters, rehearse and perform phrases. Throughout all of their reading they will learn the skills to clarify, predict, retrieve information, infer and summarise.
Elements of writing can be seen across the whole curriculum.
Children explore ideas to enrich their writing through drama, art, music and educational visits. Children participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates. These areas of learning develop our children into confident speakers and listeners as well as confident writers. Early writers will call on their own experiences and, as children progress through the school they are developed further by exploring a range of text types. These include extended stories, poetry, diary entries, reports, discussion and many more. As part of the writing process children are taught to reflect on, edit and improve their writing and its presentation.
In Year 1 and 2 children are taught according to the Letters and Sounds programme. Daily phonics lessons, which begin in Reception, last for 15-20 minutes and directly follow the phases and teaching programmes detailed in Letters and Sounds. All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/tricky words, and application of new skills. It is an active, multi-sensory session and in the early phases Jolly Phonics actions are used to help children remember the sounds. It is essential that each phonics lesson includes the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing. Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and apply these skills to their independent reading and writing. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.
Maths can be applied across other curriculum areas e.g. data handling is a key element of scientific enquiry.
At Kilmorie we want our children to be confident mathematicians who are able to use and apply their learning and, to understand that it is fine to make mistakes along the way. They are given lots of opportunities to discuss, explore, practice and apply mathematical concepts using hands on resources and IT as well as the more traditional paper and pen methods.
The maths curriculum contains a number of areas which include: number, measures, geometry and statistics. We believe these areas are not mutually exclusive and teach maths in a cross curricular context. This equips our children with the skills they need to solve real life problems. We broaden our children’s understanding of concepts by building on previous learning and ensuring fluency, and link this learning to reasoning. This ensures a solid understanding of number skills which lay the foundation for all further mathematical development.
Teachers use curriculum guidance from the NCETM – the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths and we subscribe to White Rose Maths for resources. We are members of the South London Maths Hub where teachers attend Professional Development.
We also want parents to feel confident supporting their children’s learning. Teachers will always find time to explain methods they are teaching.
Understanding of the world
Elements of science can be seen in other curriculum areas e.g. links are made to Mental and Physical Wellbeing as well as Sex and Relationships Education.
Our science curriculum encourages children to grow into independent and inquisitive thinkers who have the skills to ask questions, research answers, observe closely, present findings, suggest hypotheses for testing and record data. Our science learning is safe, practical and hands on. We focus on using correct technical vocabulary and explore a range of information from a variety of different sources.
We take every opportunity to give our learning a real-life context by using our Wild and Time Gardens as well as when possible, visiting local woods, local and national museums and rivers. In Year 2 each class adopts a tree in the school grounds and carries out a year long nature study focussed around their chosen tree. They use the specially planted hedgerow, the shrubs, vegetables and flowers growing in the grounds to investigate smells, make potions and turn into soups and other foods.
We explore scientific concepts through cross-curricular themes. The children draw on the skills learnt in other subjects when presenting their findings and recording their results. Examples of this include; scientific observational drawing; creating bar charts and graphs; using language and oracy skills to describe and illustrate investigations. Their speaking and listening skills are developed through collaboration and team work.
New this year is our Science Workshop on the top floor. Our existing DT and Art workshop space has been amalgamated with this to provide a multi-purpose and investigative learning environment.
There is a link between Geography and Maths e.g. map reading and understanding coordinates.
Geography is at the forefront of our understanding of place, difference, culture and societies. It boosts our understanding of our place in our world and the places our friends have come from. It develops our understanding of our responsibility for our world and what we can do to ensure its longevity. Children build a thorough knowledge of the world map, its continents and oceans. Atlas and map skills are a focus throughout all of our cross curricular topic learning. When we study Ancient Egypt for instance, we begin by building our locational knowledge of this country within its continent and the world. We learn about its physical environments; the River Nile and its climate. Human Geography teaches us about its people and its towns, villages, cities and trade both in the past and now. In Year 1 children begin their understanding of their local environment, their home and school. As they progress through the year groups, this understanding widens to encompass learning about the UK, Europe and the wider world.
Links are easily made between History and English e.g. using reading and inference skills when looking at historical artefacts.
Our history curriculum enables children to understand the chronological development of our society from the Stone Age to the present day. The children learn about the nature of ancient civilisations such as the Egyptians and Romans. They learn about the British Empire with a particular focus on migration and immigration. Our immersive cross-curricular learning sees the Great Fire of London re-enacted around our school. It sees Tudor style houses made in Maths and later dramatically set ablaze in the playground. It has Stone Age tribes people building shelters in our Wild Garden and the dramatisation of Shackleton’s ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic. Through the studying of contrasting viewpoints, confidence in critical thinking and questioning skills is built. Real historical documents such as films, photographs and diary entries are studied and scrutinised to understand viewpoints of the day and any biases that may have existed. For example, during our Year 6 topic based around the arrival of The Empire Windrush, children learn that it is only through evidence that we can truly know the past. Educational visits, when possible, are key to this learning.
Elements of Religious Education are covered in Mental and Physical Wellbeing
We understand that religion and belief, for many of our families and the families in the wider community, forms a crucial part of their culture and identity. Therefore, we place emphasis on the need to cover all the major religions and do this in a sensitive manner. Similarly, with other curriculum subjects, we make the learning purposeful by bringing the teachings to life and ensure they are made real by using real-life religious artefacts and visit local places of worship. Children are encouraged to have a broad view of the world and to discuss religious, moral and social questions that are pertinent to our lives today.
Communication and Language
Computer skills are often used in data handling in maths, for publishing texts and for research across the curriculum areas.
There’s so much more to computing than computers. From instructions on how to wash our hands properly or a recipe for soup, to designing a fair scientific test or a system to solve basic algebra – algorithms are everywhere at Kilmorie! As a Kilmorie child we are taught to be computational thinkers which means we can apply this skill across the curriculum. Whether tinkering with paint or using scientific logic. From looking for patterns when counting to decomposing more challenging mathematical problems. From abstracting information to help us with our reading comprehension skills to debugging the code in our Scratch program. From reception to Year 6 we are encouraged to be computational thinkers and to always, always evaluate our work.
There are three main strands to the computing curriculum: Computer Science, Information Technology and Digital Literacy. The Computer Science strand encompasses elements of problem solving, programming and logical thinking. The curriculum begins with children understanding what an algorithm is and by Year 6 they are designing, writing and debugging their own programmes. The children learn how to solve a problem by breaking it down into smaller parts; understand how to sequence and repeat patterns as well as how to deal with and include variables. During the Information Technology strand, children learn to use different technological devices; they collect, analyse, evaluate and present data and information and explore the process of search engines. In the Digital Literacy strand children learn all about how to use technology safely and be safe online.
Modern Foreign Language (MFL) – French
When studying another language, much of the learning is based around understanding of the culture, which has links to Understanding of the World.
Children begin to learn French as soon as they arrive at Kilmorie in Reception, in order to maximise both their progress and love of language-learning. As well as being taught in discrete French lessons (with a focus on practical communication), the language is woven into classroom routines, for example the register being taken in French. Cross-curricular links are made wherever possible: in Music children learn traditional French songs, PE instructions are delivered in French. Our classrooms include French displays and book corners are equipped with bilingual books to allow children to explore the links between English and French independently.
Art and Design
Elements of Art and Design are covered in other curriculum areas e.g. practical skills in Mental and Physical Wellbeing and cultural, historical elements will be found in Understanding of the World.
Art and Design is an integral part of our curriculum and underpins much of our cross-curricular work. We strive to equip children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Developing an ability to draw from direct observation is seen as fundamental to pupils’ progression in art. We encourage pupils to think critically and appreciate other art forms including the work of their peers. Holding class critiques is seen as integral to our teaching and helps to develops the children’s oracy skills. The children’s art work is displayed prominently within the school and is highly valued. We take part in the National Gallery ‘Take One Picture’ project every year and this culminates in a whole school art exhibition in July to which the whole community is invited. We are very lucky to have a dedicated Art Studio. Kilmorie School leads the Lewisham Creative Arts Hub in conjunction with two other local primary schools and Forest Hill Secondary School. We support other schools with a programme of Arts CPD for Lewisham teachers.
Design Technology (DT)
Elements of Design and Technology are covered in other curriculum areas e.g. practical skills in Mental and Physical Wellbeing.
Children discuss, evaluate, plan, design and make a range of products from given design briefs. They investigate materials, learn techniques to strengthen them and explore the needs and budget of ‘clients’. Members of our local community who are industry professionals are invited in to work with the children on specific projects. These have included members of the Lewisham Planning Department and Van Dough. Independence, collaboration along with thinking and technical skills are developed in our projects, which might be stand alone or part of our cross curricular learning.
Examples of our DT work include:
In Year 1 the children investigate house designs for The Three Little Pigs. They hold an architect’s lounge where they relax and think about their designs. They also design and make a bag to carry a water bottle when they are learning about explorers in their Deadly 60 topic.
Music and Singing
All classes from Nursery to Year 6 have a weekly music lesson with a specialist music teacher in our purpose-built music block, as well as weekly phase-group singing assemblies.
Singing games, rhymes and movement form the basis of the EYFS and KS1 curriculum, moving into reading rhythm and pitched notation, composition and performance in KS2. In Year 3 all children learn the recorder, and Year 4 the ukulele. In Year 5 steel pans. Year 5 and 6 children use music software for composition (Bandlab, Garageband). There are performance opportunities for all children throughout the academic year.
Listening and music appreciation are also highly valuable skills and the children are exposed to a wide range of music styles of both live and recorded music. Children in classes from Year 2 to Year 5 make an annual visit to either the Barbican or the Royal Festival Hall to see an orchestral concert.
We have an extensive music enrichment programme – please see our dedicated Music page page.
Mental and Physical Wellbeing
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an integral part of life at Kilmorie. PSHE is part of all that we do. Through PSHE we teach the children how to be rounded individuals and how to be successful people within the world. This links with our vision of the Kilmorie child learning to be: innovative, independent, resilient, collaborative, respectful, empathetic, honest and curious.
Each class explores PSHE as a discrete subject, which includes looking at our own places in the world as well as issues surrounding citizenship and has opportunities to have circle time, where teachers and children can discuss issues that are topical to the class, the wider community and the world. In conjunction with this, we use PSHE to help educate children and equip them with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.
The class work is closely tied to the regular assemblies that are held in the school. There are opportunities to come together as a whole school to review and reflect on issues that arise or to share good practice. In addition the Lead Teacher for Mental Health and Wellbeing issues a termly Mental and Physical Wellbeing Newsletter.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
Sex and relationship education (RSE) is an important part of PSHE. It is a statutory part of the curriculum and is taught to varying degrees throughout the school. The purpose of RSE in primary school is to gradually and appropriately prepare children for adult life and positive relationships and to lay the foundations for factual knowledge, which feeds into the work they do later in their school careers. It supports them through their physical, emotional and moral development and helps them to understand themselves, respect others and sustain healthy relationships of all kinds.
Elements of Physical Education are covered in Understanding of the World in both Science and Geography e.g. orienteering and physiology
We ensure a wide variety of games are covered during outdoor PE. Outdoor PE includes sports such as cricket, volleyball, hockey and multi-skills. Indoor PE encompasses dance, gymnastics and yoga. Each of the sports we cover is taught with an outcome in mind, be that a full match or a group performance. We teach children the skills they need to be successful in the sports, but at the same time allow them to be creative in their approaches where appropriate. All children are planned for within the lessons and we place a great emphasis on inclusion. We have both boys’ and girls’ football teams, a hockey team and netball teams amongst other things. The children enjoy competing in inter school tournaments. We also have intra school competitions with come classes competing against one another in outdoor sports.