We want our children to be prepared for the next stage of their education. We aspire for every child to love reading and to engage frequently in reading for pleasure. Research links reading for pleasure to wellbeing and attainment. Where we can, we make links within specific subjects to books, both non-fiction and fiction to further engage children in their learning. We want reading to expose children to vocabulary, particularly what are known as 'tier 2' words, words that are not used commonly in spoken vocabulary. Higher levels of vocabulary are linked to higher attainment. At Micklem, we have planned and sequenced our foundation subject curriculum to give children opportunities to investigate and make meaning of the world around them and to gain the skills, knowledge and vocabulary for this in each subject. We weave in to our curriculum purposeful opportunities to build up to meaningful end points. For instance our year 6 school journey enables our pupils to demonstrate design technology skills through the preparation and cooking of their own meals. We want our children to appreciate our cultural heritage and opportunities for visits and trips are built in to ensure, overtime, children have accessed our rich local area rich in resources such as Roman St Albans, Tudor Hemel Hempstead, the Forest of Ashridge and the chalk escarpments of Dunstable Downs, our national museums and at least one contrasting locality further afield in the United Kingdom. We ensure that we give children the experiences and language necessary for different subjects, and meaningful opportunities to use the skills and knowledge they have gained.
Each subject has clearly mapped the skills, knowledge and vocabulary that different year groups are expected to develop. Learning sequences are planned to revisit and build on previous learning so that it can be recalled and then developed.
Learning sequences ordinarily last half a term and start by introducing the context for a particular piece of learning, then develop key subject specific skills, vocabulary and knowledge, and finally provide a Proof of Progress task for children to use and show what they have learnt. For example a history learning sequence might start with key chronological knowledge, and then mix development of skills (investigating artefacts) and knowledge (key dates and events), before offering the children an opportunity to discuss or write about a key question.
We use trips, immersive experiences or focus events (e.g. ‘meeting Henry VIII’ at a Living History Day) to support children to engage with a topic and to ensure that all children are enabled to access the learning and any gaps in cultural capital and previous experiences are addressed. Vocabulary is explicitly taught, modelled and used to support children’s ability to share their ideas. Literacy skills are embedded as children have opportunities to read and research for themselves, discuss, present and write about their learning. Where children find literacy skills challenging, support and scaffolds are given so that they can show the skills and knowledge they do have in the foundation subjects. Varied assessment opportunities are offered so children have a range of different opportunities to show their abilities and skills across different subjects.
As children continue their journey through our foundation curriculum, they build up a bank of knowledge, skills and vocabulary and can start to show greater independence and proactiveness in their learning e.g. choosing how to answer questions, approach creative tasks or work together in a team sport.
Our approach to assessment tracks how children have used Proof of Progress tasks to show their learning. We also use Pupil Voice (talking with the children about their learning) to gather further information about the impact of our teaching. We use both of these to identify next steps for children in their learning and any particular support or challenge different children may need next. Subject leaders support teachers in thinking this through.
To find out more information about a particular subject, please follow the links below, or, if you would like more information about what your child is learning, please speak with their class teacher.