Alfred Street Junior
ALFRED STREET
Junior School

Telephone: 01933 353762

Curriculum Intent Statement

Curriculum Aims:

  • To provide a happy, caring and secure learning environment in which each child and member of staff may develop to their full potential
  • All children to believe and value the characteristics of R.E.S.P.E.C.T and become confident and resilient children
  • To ensure all children are ambitious, have a Growth Mind-set and a determination to succeed
  • To enable the children to be good citizens , who make positive contributions to their communities
  • To develop cultural capital to give our children the vital background knowledge required to learn about and understand the world they live in, so they can flourish and reach their potential
  • To ensure children are healthy, safe and have positive well-being
  • To foster, nurture and develop all talents
  • To ensure children are engaged, inquisitive and inspired to learn
  • To ensure our curriculum is broad, balanced, progressive and ambitious for all learners
  • To have a curriculum that is designed with an understanding of the working memory, making links to learning and building and deepening knowledge and skills through inclusive practice for all learners
  • To put reading at the heart of our curriculum
  • To close the vocabulary gap
  • To encourage parental engagement

Curriculum Drivers:

The following areas drive and shape the breadth of our curriculum. They are derived from an exploration of the backgrounds of our students, our beliefs about high quality education and our values. 

  • Teaching of Values
  • Cultural Enrichment
  • Engagement
  • Mastery of Skills
  • Vocabulary and Reading Development

 At Alfred Street Junior School, our curriculum is designed to inspire enthusiasm for learning, to ensure high achievement for all and to support pupil well-being and character development. We aim to play a valuable role in helping to shape rounded, determined young people who can face the challenges of the modern world with confidence.

 We achieve this by providing opportunities and encouraging pupils to develop a wider set of skills and qualities such as resilience, leadership, communication, empathy and perseverance, which are vital for each pupil’s successful learning. We acknowledge successes for all children, in all aspects of their development and recognise, encourage and celebrates all types of talents, cultures and individual differences.

We aim to provide a curriculum that can be personalised to the needs of children, whatever their background or circumstance - encouraging our children to think critically and develop a Mindset that thrives on looking at themselves and others from different perspectives.

Teamwork and responsibility are an essential part of our curriculum and we enable children to take on key roles such as School Councillors and Student Leadership, as well as becoming involved in the community, through celebrating local traditions, by learning new skills and enabling them to take an active part in events throughout the year.

The school’s curriculum follows the National Curriculum 2014 but has been designed to fit our local context and focuses upon our school identity – its history, tradition, links with the local community and vision for the future. It is designed to teach knowledge, vocabulary, basic skills, concepts, values and to equip the children with the skills to keep safe in society and maintain positive well-being. As they progress through the school, we aim to apply the principles of mastery creating breadth and depth in their learning and back filling any gaps or misconceptions. We recognise that for our children to become creative thinkers or to have a greater depth of understanding, they first must master the basics which provide foundations and knowledge of application and problem solving.

We aim to create rich and memorable thematic learning where possible, by providing first hand learning experiences, trips, visits and visitors in school, to enhance the learning. Our thematic approach builds on prior learning and enables links in learning to be made, so that the knowledge and skills transfer to the children’s long term memory.  We also hope to inspire the children to carry on their research and learning at home through the ‘Takeaway’ homework option.

We place a balanced emphasis across the curriculum, valuing all subjects and we are a school that enjoys its music, sports and arts along with its core subjects. We also aim to inspire the children to identify with the subjects and develop their strengths and interests, preparing them for their future occupations and interests. We are developing a rich and varied menu of enhancement opportunities to recognise and encourage talents. This is achieved through holding themed events such as Art days where we celebrate an artist, science week, making available a variety of clubs and sports at a low cost to the children, and inviting musicians and theatre groups into school, in addition to holding our own concerts and clubs. Through our charity events, awareness days, diversity events and cultural experiences, we also celebrate diversity, differences and community.

We know how vital working in partnership with parents really is in order for children to find school a positive and rewarding experience, and we strongly believe achievement and enjoyment go hand in hand to ensure each child’s excellent progress. Each half term we share with parents the topics and breadth of learning that will be taking place so that they can encourage and explore further at home. Furthermore, we hold curriculum and information evenings where we can share information. There are also many opportunities for parents to come into school. Throughout the year we update parents on the progress that their children are making in our parents’ evenings and provide opportunities for children to share their work in our ‘Come and See’ events. We also invite parents to take part in some of our curriculum enrichment and diversity events. We showcase our children’s talents to our parents through our website and Facebook page and by performing to them in events such as sports day, dance day, Christmas Medley’s and through our musical and dramatized productions.

Implementation

Rolling Programme

Due to the number of children in our cohorts, we have mixed year group classes. In order to ensure that the children get the breadth of coverage, we operate on a 4 year rolling programme

Curriculum Overview - under development

Our curriculum distinguishes between subject ‘breadth’ - the specific aspects of the subjects that are studied and ‘concepts’. These ‘concepts’ are explored in a wide breadth of topics and students return to the same concepts over and over and gradually build their understanding of them. For each of the ‘concepts’ taught there are Milestones, each of which includes the procedural and semantic knowledge students need to understand the threshold concepts, which provide a progression model. 

Within each ‘Milestone’ students gradually progress in their procedural fluency and semantic strength through three cognitive domains: basic, advancing and deep. The goal for students is to display sustained mastery at the ‘advancing’ stage of understanding by the end of each milestone, and for the most able to have a greater depth of understanding at the ‘deep’ stage.  This is based on the Chris Quigley model

 

Progression Mapping

Values Based Learning:

We use values based learning, which is a rolling programme of focus values. These are introduced in assemblies, discussed in class and promoted through activities and actions. Our values form the acronym R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Respect for Website

Recognition boards within each classroom, recognise children’s achievements within these areas, and our weekly celebration assembly provides the opportunity for the children who have demonstrated values that week, to place a stone in our Values jars. Our COJO Curriculum which we develop through our termly ‘Missions’ week and weekly mission tasks also teaches the children about our values and provides them with opportunities to put them into practice.

British Values

The definition of British Values was set out by the government in the 2011 Prevent Strategy and determined that “schools should promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”

 At Alfred Street Junior School, we believe it to be an essential part of our duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain. Children are taught about British Values through PSHE and RE and these are examined and discussed through our delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum, allowing children to develop a secure understanding of these through application to their own lives and those of others. British Values are promoted through assemblies, our whole school values system and structures such as our School Council. We recognise that promoting British Values also carries with it a responsibility to challenge pupils, staff or parents who express opinions or behaviours in school that are contrary to fundamental British values. 

We look to provide children with opportunities to gain experience beyond their local community, welcoming a range of visitors into school as well as class visits to promote children’s understanding of British Values outside of their own experience.

Please click here to view British Values Overview

As part of our push to instil the British Values in our pupils, we also aim to increase tolerance and understanding of those with different faiths and beliefs. 

In order to do this, assemblies and diversity days will be held throughout the school year.  This will give the children the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understand their place in today’s culturally diverse society.  As well as delivering the teaching ourselves, we will also invite visitors from different cultures and faiths to lead assemblies or within class lessons. Children may also have the opportunity to visit or experience a range of religious centres of worship.

Diversity Map - under development

The COJO Curriculum

As a school we are using aspects of the Commando Joe (COJO) Character Curriculum alongside our Connected Curriculum.  The programme focuses upon developing 7 key character traits of Resilience, Empathy, Self-awareness, Passion, Excellence, Communication, and Team work which link to the central character trait of RESPECT.

The design of the Character Curriculum embeds these behaviour traits within a number of exciting

topics based on amazing characters and aspects of their life stories. Significant heroes/heroines, explorers and adventurers such as Ed Stafford, Tim Peake, Ranulph Fiennes and Nancy Wake, have been identified to support children’s understanding of the character traits needed to be successful, as well as create opportunity and integration into classroom cross curricular work.

Please click here to view Commando Joe Character Curriculum Long Term Plan and Breadth Map

Each term we hold a Mission week where we introduce the key character topic through a series of cross curricular lessons. Each topic is kick started with a hook into learning, to engage learners from the start. Each week the children then take part in a ‘Mission’ lesson linked to the character and topic they studied during ‘Mission’ week. The 7 core character traits are tried and tested throughout the missions, giving opportunities to practice and understand them, whilst providing strategies for children to self-regulate their own behaviours.

Central to the success of the COJO Character Curriculum is the effective use of relevant military ethos and values – where commitment, honesty, adaptability and courage are a pre requisite for the quality and success of all teams and people within them. The programme will contribute to cultural, physical, spiritual, moral and social wellbeing and play a part in extending each child’s understanding of British values.

PSHE

Each Puzzle has six lessons (Pieces) which work towards an ‘end product’, for example, The School Learning Charter or The Garden of Dreams and Goals. Each lesson has two ‘Learning Intentions’: one is based on specific PSHE learning (covering the non-statutory national framework for PSHE Education but enhanced to address children’s needs today); and one is based on emotional literacy and social skills (covering the SEAL learning intentions but also enhanced). The enhancements mean that Jigsaw is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand and be equipped to cope with issues like body image, cyber bullying, and internet safety.  An element of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) development is incorporated in every lesson and contributes to these aspects of children’s development. This is mapped on each lesson and balanced across each year group.

Please click here to view the PSHE Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Progression of Concepts

Maths

Our aim at Alfred Street Junior School, is for all children to enjoy mathematics and have a secure and deep understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and procedures when they leave us to go to Secondary school. We want children to see the mathematics that surrounds them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject.

In September 2019, Alfred Street Junior School began transitioning towards a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. The principles of Mastery are in line with our views of how we want our children to learn: high expectations for all children, well planned and structured lessons, leading to the development of fluent and able users of mathematics.

 As a school, we follow the blocking sequence from the White Rose Hub, to build children's depth of understanding when teaching each mathematical skill.

Please click here to view Year 3 Maths Long Term Plan

Please click here to view Year 4 Maths Long Term Plan

Please click here to view Year 5 Maths Long Term Plan

Please click here to view Year 6 Maths Long Term Plan

At the beginning of a Maths lesson, our children are exposed to a mental oral starter, which consolidates previously taught learning. This is to ensure prior knowledge is consistently drawn upon. In addition to this, teachers use the White Rose Maths Hub Mastery documents to ensure that we have both breadth and depth across our Maths curriculum.

 We understand that this needs to be a gradual process and will take several years to embed. The rationale behind changing our approach to teaching mathematics lay within the NCETM Maths Hub Programme. We joined the East Midlands South branch of the Maths Hub in 2019.

English 

At Alfred Street Junior School, we believe that a quality english curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire our children to develop an appreciation of the varied literary resources available to them and to develop a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately, have an interest in vocabulary and word meanings, and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening so that they can communicate effectively in order to further their learning. 

We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society so that they are not disadvantaged in their future lives.

We base our English curriculum around Talk for Writing which meets our aims as we believe it provides children with more memorable learning experiences and provides opportunities for children to revisit the skills used in the process in other areas of the curriculum; ensuring that skills are built upon.

Please click here to view English Coverage, Breadth and Progression

Please click here to view Grammer, Punctuation Coverage, Breadth and Progression

Reading

As a school, we believe that it is our job to promote a love of reading in our pupils. The intention is that every pupil at Alfred Street Junior School will learn to read through a systematic and comprehensive approach, engage with and enjoy reading across a range of subjects and for a range of purpose and be curious and eager to read in order to build the capacity for life-long learning and preparation for the next steps in education.

Reading is taught within an English lesson (one session per week) and skills sessions (at least twice per week) which develops either a fluency or a comprehension skill. Children are exposed to a range of texts. Children have access to a wide range of ability banded reading books from a range of well-established schemes. ‘Free reader’ books are available to pupils who have completed the reading scheme. Free reading books have been differentiated to meet the needs of younger and older pupils.

Children are encouraged to read their school book daily at home, to enable pupils to receive additional practice of reading skills taught at school. Children have access to the school library at least once per week and have the opportunity to borrow a school library book to read at home, in addition to our reading scheme books. Our website offers a range of resources to help parents support their children’s reading at home.

We have also, improved our library provision by making it an inviting environment where children can select an area to read in: be it on the sofa, in the garden area, in the armchair or even in the tent. Within the library, we promote our 100 Reads Challenge, where we are encouraging our pupils to access a variety of literary gems from our selection to read. These titles are aimed at broadening our pupils’ horizons when it comes to reading, thus stepping away from their much loved authors, to find new and exciting opportunities in reading. The 100 titles highlighted for our upper and lower key stage 2 pupils, which have been bought specifically by the school, ensure they have access to different fiction texts that cover ‘The 5 Plagues of Reading’ by Doug Lemov - these titles may demand more from the reader in terms of archaic language, non-linear time sequences, narrator complexity, plot complexity or be resistant texts where children have to assemble meaning through clues and hints – as well as good quality non-fiction texts.

Our reading book exchange is another way that we encourage our pupils to try something new, especially if they do not have access to a wealth of reading material at home. Displays around the school also demonstrate that we value reading highly and that we recognize the importance of reading as an essential skill that can provide immense enjoyment and life-long learning.

We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities within our curriculum to inspire creativity and give memorable experiences that they can draw on both in the short and long-term.

Phonics and Spelling

Phonics intervention is taught four times per week to those pupils who do not have a secure phonic knowledge. Phonics teaching follows the Read, Write, Inc programme and this is taught by teachers who are fully trained to deliver this programme. Key resources include RWI flashcards for speed sounds, red and green words and a wall chart which is placed in all classrooms and intervention rooms so that pupils can refer to them to support their reading (and writing).

In order to improve spelling, we have now bought into the PiXL vocabulary app and Spelling Shed. These provide children with online materials that can be accessed at home and resources for teachers that they can use to address key elements of the spelling curriculum. In addition, we provide children with access to dictionaries on their tables and iPads in every classroom, to help improve spelling accuracy.

Science

Science will be taught as a separate discrete lesson but will be linked to our Connected Curriculum topic work where appropriate. We will encourage our children to be curious about natural phenomena and be excited by the process of understanding the world around them. Key scientific terminology and concepts will be in introduced and built upon across the school. Pupils will be encouraged to work scientifically and will be able to carry out simple tests and experiments using equipment to gather and record data. Children will learn about plants, animals including humans, materials, habitats, rocks and soils, light, forces, states of matter, sounds, electricity, earth and space and evolution and inheritance. Visits such as the Planetarium and Bugtopia and dedicated science days will enhance the delivery of our curriculum.

Please click here to view Science Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

RE

Religious Education (RE) is taught as a discrete subject using the Northamptonshire Agreed Syllabus. RE is taught to all children except those who are taken out by their parents. Our teaching promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. It reflects the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are in the main Christian, whilst taking account the teaching and practices of other principal religions represented in Great Britain. Once a week, a visitor from one of the local churches will deliver an assembly to the children based on Christian values.  Children are taught knowledge and understanding around a range of religious and worldwide views so that they can: describe, explain, analyse and investigate - allowing them to appreciate beliefs and practices, recognising the diversity, meanings and values within and between communities (including their own) and amongst individuals. We will not convert or steer children towards a particular religious belief.

Please click here to view RE Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

Computing

We have discreet timetable time for the development of ICT skills but our approach is also to integrate ICT into all lessons: the use of laptops and iPads is an integral aspect of our learning tools. Our computing curriculum is designed to equip children with the skills and understanding to live in a technical world, this includes being able to use a variety of computer software and coding programmes. The children develop and progress the concepts of text and multimedia, digital images, electronic communication, research and control. There is also an emphasis on the importance of Online Safety for all year groups.

Please click here to see Computing Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

Creative Curriculum

Our creative curriculum is driven through our thematic ‘topic’ based learning where teachers plan a series of lessons. These are based on accumulating the knowledge and concepts of the foundation subjects and at times Science. The curriculum distinguishes between subject topics. Our cross curricular approach enables our children to make meaningful links with their learning so that schemas can be built and connections between neural pathways are strengthened. The core subjects may be woven through - where it enhances the learning - or may otherwise be discrete. Our topics have a history and geography base so that we teach location and place, weather, knowledge and climate skills and about significant historical events, people and places in our own locality.

Please click here to see History Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Progression of Concepts

Please click here to see Geography Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Progression of Concepts

It is important to us that Art, Design and Technology and where appropriate English, Maths and Science are linked in topic teaching. Topic also provides further opportunities to learn about values, people and cultures.

 We also plan using milestones to ensure progression of key concepts through Key Stage 2. Our pedagogical approach is that of mastery – which focuses upon deep understanding and questioning – avoiding cognitive overload.

 Art and Design

We see art as a vehicle for creativity and individual expression. It is an important form of cultural expression and therefore has significance and meaning for all our children. Our teaching provides an understanding of all the diverse art forms so that the children experience drawing, painting, collage, textiles, 3D designs, print making and digital media. We have Art days with a whole school focus on an artist or work of art and we include art in our themed connected curriculum weeks.

Our Design and Technology lessons encourage the designing and making of products to solve real and relevant problems. Our pupils learn to select from and use a wide range of materials and components including construction materials, textiles and ingredients according to their characteristics.

Please click here to see Art Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

Please click here to see Design and Technology Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

French

Our MFL curriculum using the ‘Salut’ scheme, is designed to progressively develop the concepts of listening, speaking, reading and writing in French. Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around topics.

Please click here to see French Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

Music

We teach Music using the ‘Charanga’ scheme of work which is designed to progressively develop concepts in the areas of perform, compose, transcribe and describe through a variety of different music genres. We also offer a range of lessons with experienced peripatetic teachers and children have an opportunity to perform to an audience. Throughout the course of their time at Alfred Street, they also have the opportunity to watch a range of recitals and one year group will learn to play an instrument during their time at Alfred Street.

Please click here to see Music Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Progression of Concepts

PE

Children receive a minimum of 2 hours of PE per week. The majority of our PE curriculum is based upon the Real PE scheme of work which develops the whole child, working on the key abilities to be successful in PE: creativity, cognition, knowledge of health and fitness, fitness, physicality, social ability and personality. By following this whole child centred approach we can engage and challenge every child.

Furthermore, we also develop children’s skills in athletics, gymnastics, dance (modern and traditional country), games and swimming. In the latter, we work towards awards as well as developing knowledge of water safety.

Outdoor Adventurous Activities are delivered through our COJO programme in addition to our PE lessons.

Children take part in inter-school competitions through our own cluster and district sporting competitions. Intra-school competitions are delivered by our Sports Crew and play leader at lunchtimes, as well as in lessons and as part of our own house competitions.

Please click here to see PE Long Term Plan, Breadth Map and Coverage

Enrichment

In order to provide children with first hand experiences and engage them further in their learning we provide a range of memorable enrichment activities such as experience days, trips and visitors to the school, linked to their Connected Curriculum. In addition, to develop cultural capital, we aim to ensure that our children experience the arts and cultural traditions and through their time at Alfred Street we intend for them to visit a museum, a range of religious buildings, a gallery, a zoo and a theatre.

In order to foster all talents we also have special subject specific days such as Art, DT and Science days where children can explore the subjects more fully. Throughout the course of the year we also provide a range of affordable clubs that consist of sports, dance, choir, journalism, crafts, knitting, art and cooking so that a range of interests are developed. We hold in school sporting competitions at lunch times and take part in a wide range of sporting events within our local cluster and at a District level. Throughout the course of the year the children also have the opportunity to show case their acting, singing and performing talents in our Harvest, Christmas, choir concerts and end of year productions.

Furthermore we often come off timetable and hold special days/events to raise awareness of diversity through supporting charities and taking part in activities to raise awareness of different cultures such as celebrating Diwali and Chinese New Year.

Please click here to see Charity/Awareness Day Event Cycle

Supporting Children’s Wider Needs

As a school we have close communication with parents and carers and liaise with outside agencies. We have a dedicated Family Support Worker to support our families and vulnerable children, and a Behaviour Support Assistant to support children with emotional regulation and to develop a restorative approach across the school. We also use Boxall Profiling to identify SEMH needs and put a range of pastoral interventions in place to help children manage their needs. These interventions include Counselling, Drawing and Talking, Social Stories, Anxiety Gremlins, Volcano in my Tummy, Super Flex and ELSA.

 Intervention

Individual and groups who are not making enough progress, are identified and provision is mapped according to pastoral and academic need. We use Pixl as a way of identifying academic gaps in learning and put therapies in place to address gaps. We also use a variety of intervention programmes such as Catch Up, Toe by Toe reading and RWI phonics.

 Inclusion

We acknowledge that children learn in different ways and we recognise the need to develop pedagogies that enable all children to learn in ways which suit them. All of our classrooms have regulation stations to support children with SEMH needs and SEND toolkits to support children with additional needs. Teachers expect everyone to succeed at their learning by offering higher levels of support or extra challenge for those who need it so that all pupils can access the learning at the expected standard. This support might be in the form of ICT, scaffolds, prompts or adult support. Our curriculum offers a variety of ways for children to learn which includes: open ended tasks, investigations and problem solving, reasoning, research and drama and presentation.

Impact

We strive to ensure that the majority of our children make good progress by the end of Key Stage 2 and that their attainment in core and foundation subjects is in line with or exceeding their age related expectation. We measure this carefully using a range of assessment materials to support teacher assessment. The majority of the assessment we carry out at ASJS is ‘formative assessment’. This is the ongoing assessment of how children are learning, undertaken by the teacher and supporting adults during the course of the learning process in each lesson and unit of work. This is an assessment for learning approach. We also carry out a ‘Cold Writing’ task in English and a ‘Check-in’ in Maths, early on in the unit, to ascertain prior knowledge and where to pitch our teaching. At the end of a unit, children complete a ‘Hot Writing’ task in English and a ‘Check-out’ in Maths, to show their new learning and enable the teacher to identify any current gaps or misconceptions that may need addressing. In our connected curriculum, we are moving towards using ‘Proof of Progress’ tasks (Pop) and quizzes in order to enable children to demonstrate what they have learnt at the end of a unit.

 As learning is a change to the long term memory, it can be difficult to see impact in the short term but we do however use probabilistic assessment based on deliberate practice. This means that we look at the practices taking place to determine whether they are appropriate, related to our goals and likely to produce results in the long term. We use comparative judgement in two ways: in the tasks we set and in comparing a student’s work over time. We use monitoring to see if the pedagogical style matches our depth expectations. In addition, we carry out summative assessments, that take place less frequently and measures how effective the learning has been. This is an assessment of  learning approach. We currently use White Rose, Headstart and Pixl Assessments to assess knowledge in Reading, Maths and Spag. We also assess times tables knowledge and reading ages throughout the course of the year. Teacher Assessment information for English and Maths is collated 3 times a year.

Our children will also leave Alfred Street as rounded individuals with a sense of belonging and will have developed the confidence, knowledge and skills to make decisions, self-evaluate, make connections, be resilient and become lifelong learners. We measure this not just by the work that our children produce, but in the behaviours we see each and every day within school and in their daily lives.