At Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School, we recognise our school context and have designed our curriculum with the intent that pupils build the secure foundations required to become successful and aspirational adults who seek opportunities, take responsibilities as moral citizens and gain life experiences that extend their horizons. We want children to leave school as ‘well rounded’ individuals.
The school vision ‘Learn, Love, Live: Without Limits’ is interwoven within our curriculum intent and design. The breadth of our curriculum is designed with three goals in mind:
- To give pupils rich and appropriate experiences to develop into confident and responsible citizens;
- To provide a rich ‘cultural capital’ to provide them with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for life within and beyond Leigh;
- To provide a coherent, structured and progressive curriculum that leads to sustained mastery for all and a greater depth of understanding for those who are capable.
We have developed three curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and to respond to the particular needs of our community:
Culture – which helps children develop a wider and deeper knowledge of the locality, society and the world around them, promoting a sense of awe and wonder.
Possibilities – which helps children to build aspirations and know available possibilities for the future lives, so they can live life in its all its fullness.
Diversity – which helps children recognise differences are positive and that individual characteristics make people unique and everyone should love and be loved without limits.
High quality phonics teaching secures the crucial skill of word recognition that, once mastered, enable children to read fluently and automatically thus freeing them to concentrate on the meaning of the text. As a school we follow the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme. From Nursery to Year 2, Read, Write, Inc is taught discretely every day. In Key Stage 2, phonics interventions take place to enable all children to be fluent readers.
The following link demonstrates correct pronunciation of all phonics sounds and is linked to our teaching of phonics.
English in Early Years Foundation Stage
The Early Years Profile is followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage.
In the Foundation Stage communication, language and literacy is taught as one of the six areas of learning covering children’s physical, emotional and social development and is incorporated in each area of learning as set out in the ‘Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage.’ We know that children learn best when activities engage many senses, when they are happy and confident. A love of books, rhymes and poems, sounds and words is developed through planned and incidental work. Structured play activities provide valuable opportunities for children to:
- Engage in conversation with other children and adults
- Share music, songs, poetry, stories and non–fiction
- Experiment with writing for themselves through making marks, personal writing symbols and conventional script
- Apply phonics knowledge and skills within all aspects of learning
English in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
English is delivered using a personalised English Curriculum based on the National Curriculum. This was devised in partnership with Chris Quigley (Specialist in Primary Education) , Mrs Ganley (Assistant Headteacher) and Mrs Burkes (Head Teacher).
English is based on books to expose children to a wide range of texts, genres, authors and poets, developing their cultural capital. The book itself, or themes from the book, are used to drive activities where objectives from the curriculum are met in composition, spelling, grammar and punctuation. ‘Books as Hooks’ captures the children’s imagination and encourages them to become fluent, thoughtful and creative writers. Each unit starts with a ‘hook’ and then the children journey through the book completing different genres of writing with specific audiences and purposes. Teachers use milestones 1, 2 and 3 to ensure objectives are taught and revisited on a two-year cycle.
Approaches to Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening permeates the whole curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Children are encouraged to speak in a range of contexts and as they grow older, adapt their style of speak appropriately. Children have regular opportunities to debate, discuss and present to an audience, both formally and informally.
A Communication lesson is taught each week from Year 1 to Year 6 where the teacher reads a text, which may not otherwise be accessible to the children as readers. As well as introducing children to a variety of genres; shared reading enhances the teaching of comprehension skills and challenges children to explore a text on a variety of levels. This is used as platform to encourage wider reading, discuss themes, broaden vocabulary and ask and answer relevant questions.
The other part of the lesson is focused on speaking and listening. The teacher will use a real life event (current news) or a fictional event (possibly from a class book) to allow for the opportunity to reflect, debate and discuss a key question which is based on a spiritual, moral, social or cultural angle.
This lesson, along with English lessons, enables children to immerse themselves in language whilst extending their knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
Approaches to Reading
Shared Reading takes place regularly during English and Communication lessons.
Discrete comprehension lessons take place each week. A teacher-led taught comprehension lesson takes place in which the 7 strands of reading are covered. This lesson is followed up by an application session. In this session, children apply the taught skills they have learnt.
Children are given the opportunity to read every day and to share books within whole class story time, and at home. Individual reading books are provided to all children. For children accessing Read, Write, Inc Phonics, their reading book will link to the current sounds they are learning. Teachers ensure children can confidently read 95% of the text to build fluency. Once children have a sound phonetical knowledge, they access banded books leading on to free readers. In addition to these books, children take home a book from the school library to share with an adult. The purpose of this book is to promote a love of reading and exposure to a wider range of text types and vocabulary. Home-school liaison is achieved by having regular parental contact through the child's reading diary.
Teachers or teaching assistants will regularly read one-one with children, across school. Where required, children are given additional opportunities to read and share a story with an adult or older child.
Each year Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School has a book fair from which children and parents are invited to buy new reading materials to develop an interest in reading.
Please click the link below for Oxford Owl advice for parents reading:
For Ebooks that can be read at home:
Approaches to Writing
All children have the opportunity to take part in shared, guided and independent writing tasks during English sessions. Guided writing is teacher-led and is an essential component of a balanced writing curriculum, providing an additional supported step towards independent writing. Guided writing is planned in regularly and is targeted towards groups of children according to their individual needs. It is used to support children during the different stages of the writing process.
In the Foundation Stage, children are encouraged to use emergent writing and phonics knowledge to write freely. The children see writing modelled by the teacher in shared writing sessions and phonics lessons. By the end of Reception, most children should be confident with their phonetical knowledge and apply this to spell simple words and write simple sentences.
Within Key Stage 1 and 2, children are taught to write in a variety of genres, for a variety of audiences.
Punctuation, grammar and spelling are taught discretely within English lessons and link to the text being studied at the time. Additional grammar and punctuation sessions are planned in each week to reinforce learning and address any misconceptions.
The Nelson Handwriting Scheme is used across school.
Spelling strategies are taught twice a week across school focusing on a weekly spelling pattern. These sessions are followed by a spelling test at the end of the week. The National Curriculum Spelling Bank and Babcock scheme is used as a resource for this.
During English (and phonics lessons in Key Stage 1) all children learn the sounds of letters and letter patterns. Children use word banks and dictionaries to support them when spelling unfamiliar words.
For Mathematics, we have developed a bespoke curriculum to meet the needs of our children. This incorporates whole class problem solving, investigating and mathematical talk, based on the Singaporean approach to mathematics. Progression and coverage links to the White Rose Scheme of Learning from Reception to Year 6. Each class has dedicated curriculum time to develop their number sense and skills in fluency so they are able to apply their learning in a wide range of contexts. Skills and knowledge are revised and revisited daily through 'Fluent in Five' practice from Year 1 to Year 6. Each child also accesses Times Tables Rockstars. Click the link to play! https://play.ttrockstars.com/
If your child would like further practise applying the key skills and knowledge they have been taught in English and Mathematics, you may find the following link useful: https://uk.ixl.com
Our Science curriculum gives children opportunities to think independently and raise questions about working scientifically. Our curriculum design ensures children have the ability to undertake practical work in a variety of contexts, including fieldwork. Our curriculum is specifically designed to develop children’s investigative skills, written and verbal explanations, problem solving and the ability to report scientific findings in a variety of ways.
Every investigation develops key scientific knowledge, understanding and application of scientific terminology, encouraging children to think and behave as a scientist. Teachers use Chris Quigley's milestones to ensure KS1 and KS2 statutory requirements for Science are met.
Through this ambitious curriculum, we aim to instil a passion for Science and its application in past, present and future technologies.
Statutory Guidance KS1 and KS2 Science Curriculum
KEY STAGE 1
KEY STAGE 2
We are continuing to base our class topics around the ‘Cornerstones’ curriculum. Each topic is personalised to capture the interest of our children and develop their cultural capital. The curriculum is enhanced by a range of non-fiction texts and resources. Teachers use Chris Quigley's milestones to ensure National Curriculum coverage, progression and clear end points in each individual subject (History, Geography, Art and Design, Design Technology and Music). Our children learn better when their interests and fascinations are allowed to flourish, where they are encouraged to explore subjects in a variety of ways and are viewed in terms of their strengths. Using this approach, Cornerstones developed the four-stage teaching philosophy: Engage, Develop, Innovate, Express. Each stage provides opportunities for our children to learn and respond in a variety of ways, keeping projects flexible and able to follow our children’s interests and needs.
Start with a memorable first-hand experience
Begin observations, research and setting questions
Fully engage with the new topic
Improve knowledge and understanding
Develop and practise new skills
Explore, make and do
Apply skills and knowledge in real-life contexts
Solve real or imagined problems through learning
Gain inspiration from creative activities
Become performers, experts and informers
Link learning back to starting points
Share and celebrate achievements
At Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School, we follow the 2017 Wigan Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education. In conjunction with this, the Methodist Church Guidance of the teaching of Christianity is used in Years 2, 4 and 6. These planned units of work relate to: Belonging Together; Warm Hearts and Commitment to Christianity.
Visits to places of worship and museums are encouraged as a way of bringing RE to life and deepen children's understanding of faith. Visitors of other faiths, cultures and backgrounds are regularly invited into school to contribute to the school's aim to 'love without limits.'
At Bedford Hall Methodist Primary School, we value the contribution that technology makes to the lives of all pupils, staff, parents and governors. We believe that high-quality computing education equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and prepare them for a future in an ever-changing technological world.
All staff use the Rising Stars Switched on Computing Curriculum and follow Chris Quigley’s milestones to ensure National Curriculum coverage and clear progression. We utilise a number of learning platforms such as Scratch, RockStar Maths, Purple Mash and Discovery Education and use innovative technologies such as Sphero Balls, online Lego Education, Beebots and Botleys (coding robots) in addition to laptops and ipads to provide extended and personalised learning opportunities within the computing curriculum and beyond.
Online safety is promoted throughout the curriculum but in particular through computing, PSHE/RSE and communication lessons. This ensures that children of all ages are aware of how to use technology safely and sensibly. Teachers use Class Dojo and Twitter to communicate with parents. This allows children to learn about closed and open social media accounts in a safe way. E-safety displays around school and within class remind pupils of our rules and E-Safety week serves as an additional reminder. Specialist agencies such as HH Kids and NSPCC deliver workshops to our pupils on staying safe online and our Computing lead offers regular workshops for parents. Additional guidance is shared at Parents’ Evenings about how to ensure your child is staying safe at home as well as at school, but as always you can ask your child’s teacher or the Pastoral Manager for advice at any time.
At Bedford Hall, we study French as our Modern Foreign Language (MFL). Please see French Overview for a breakdown in the areas covered for each year group. (Link here)
We follow Chris Quigley subject specific essentials for French. This gives us three milestones for Year 3 to Year 6 to cover. This ensures we have progression and coverage for a curriculum that meets the needs of our children.
We have had a ‘French Day’ in school where all children participated in activities that built on skills and knowledge of the country and its customs. The children dressed up and enjoyed a taste of all things French while learning key essentials, for example writing short sentences and phrases, using dictionaries, making comparisons and taking part in conversations.
We strive to ensure all children have the opportunity to learn about another country while increasing their linguistic skills.
P.E, School Sport and Physical Activity
We value the contribution of physical activity in leading a healthy lifestyle and endeavour to promote active living throughout school. Each week, children in nursery and Reception enjoy an hour's PE lesson, delivered jointly between the class teacher and a specialist sports provider from Wigan Athletic. From Year 1 to Year 6, all children have two weekly lessons - one led by Wigan Athletic and another led by their class teacher. Throughout the units, children have the opportunity to develop their personal best and revisit previous skills. Our Spirit of the Games values are central to our PE lessons and each lesson, a child will be acknowledged for showing these values by being awarded the class trophy. The values we promote are Determination, Honesty, Respect, Self-Belief, Passion and Teamwork. Through these values, every child can be successful in PE.
Throughout the year, children are given opportunities to participate in competitive school sport. This includes tournaments and games within class, School Games Day, local tournaments through the LLG (Leigh, Lowton and Golborne) consortium and competitions organised through Wigan School Games. These competitions are split in to three categories: elite (for children who attend clubs outside of school) ; beginner (for B and C teams to compete) and inclusive (for children with SEND / SMSC needs to compete). We are proud to enter competitions at all levels. In addition, we play in the KS2 Leigh Rugby League, where fixtures are played weekly.
From Year 3, children learn to swim. Any children who need further lessons after the block has finished, will continue to attend. This is because we value swimming and water safety as a life skill we want all children to gain by the time they leave in Year 6.
Daily physical activity is important for healthy lifestyles and mental wellbeing. For this reason, our School Sports Crew and our Mental Health Ambassadors work together to ensure children have opportunities to be physically active at break and lunchtimes. These include a large number of Play Leaders who have been trained to deliver games with KS1 children, a rota to ensure daily use of the outdoor gym equipment for each child in KS2, active games and equipment such as hockey, football and basketball out every lunchtime, and a personal best station ensuring children can practise skills daily and try to improve.
It is important to us that children understand why being healthy is important. Some of our PE lessons are half theory based where children learn about diet, vaccinations, hygiene and the impact of these on our bodies. All children will have acquired basic first aid and CPR skills by the time they leave in Year 6.
PSHE and SRE
Our bespoke PSHE curriculum is a spiral curriculum that allows children to revisit learning concepts in a range of contexts. In addition to learning personal and social skills, children will be taught about British Values, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Citizenship, SMSC, Relationships, Financial Education, Health Education and Careers and Aspirations. The majority of lessons are delivered by the class teacher or PSHE lead, though specialist support is also utilised. Regular visitors that enhance our PSHE curriculum are HH Kids, the PSCO, Road Safety Officers, Building Better Communities, Wigan Athletic Community Trust, Wigan Healthy Lifestyles Team, SCARF Life Caravan and Bolton Fire and Rescue Team. Our school council is actively involved in shaping our curriculum and further enhances lessons through Rights Respecting Activities. In December 2019, school achieved the Bronze Rights Respecting School's accreditation.
Relationships Education is taught throughout school. In Year 5 and Year 6, children also receive Sex Education. Parents are consulted before lessons take place and you have the right to request to withdraw your child from this element of the curriculum. During these lessons, Year 5 children will learn about preparing for puberty. Year 6 children will build on this knowledge to learn about the changes that will happen to their body during puberty, in same-gender classes. Year 6 children will also learn about conception and pregnancy, from a scientific perspective.