We teach the National Curriculum and the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. We make sure that children have lots of opportunities to “bring the curriculum to life” with special events and educational visitors. As a city Sheffield has a wonderful range of experiences to offer – in music, drama, theatre, museums and galleries. We use our pupil premium money to make sure that every child is able to take full advantage of these opportunities. We want children to leave primary school inspired and interested to carry on learning throughout their lives.
We pride ourselves on the standard of music and drama in school. We also use lots of drama, discussion and role play in our teaching – not just in English, but for example in geography and history.
Here at Norfolk Community Primary School we provide a creative curriculum based around the Cornerstones Curriculum, a nationally recognised approach for delivering outstanding learning opportunities for children.
What is the Cornerstones Curriculum?
The Cornerstones Curriculum is a creative and thematic approach to learning that is mapped to the 2014 Primary National Curriculum to ensure comprehensive coverage of national expectations. Our new curriculum will be delivered through Imaginative Learning Projects (ILPs) which will provide a rich menu of exciting and motivating learning activities that make creative links between all aspects of our children’s learning.
We believe children learn better when they are encouraged to use their imagination and apply their learning to engaging contexts. Our new curriculum will provide lots of learning challenges throughout the academic year that will require children to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding effectively across the curriculum.
Cornerstones also provide a rigorous essential skills framework that outlines the end of year expectations in all subjects. These essential skills are tied to activities and are age related so that staff can track children’s progress and identify their individual learning needs.
How it Works?
Children will progress through four stages of learning in each ILP – Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express. To find out more about these stages please click on the link through to Cornerstones website:
How do we teach reading at Norfolk Community Primary School?
We love reading at Norfolk! Children are taught the very basics of reading at a very early age – you are never too young to enjoy a good story, and even our two year olds have books, toys, teddies. puppets and puzzles that will help them to love stories and language. Our nursery children are also taught to recognise sounds in words and around them through games, songs and rhymes.
In nursery, as children are ready they start some more formal sessions where they learn to recognise letters and the sounds that they make. Throughout nursery, reception, KS1 and lower KS2 we use a programme called Read Write Inc. to teach children phonics (learning all the different letter combinations and the sounds that they make.) This ensures that children can become fluent readers.
Alongside the phonics teaching we encourage children to love stories, books, authors, poetry and plays. We have lots of ways that parents and children can borrow books and story sacks to share at home. We have a beautiful library which children can visit, as well as lovely books in the classroom for them to read. We have had plenty of writers visiting our school, people such as “The Two Steves,” David Harmer, Paul Cookson and Berlie Doherty have talked to the children about their work, and have inspired children to have a go at writing themselves. We have strong links with our local library and we take children to the library as well as promoting their events, in particular the annual Summer Reading campaign.
Children are encouraged to read at home through our “Five a Week” campaign. We want children to read at home at least five times a week to help them become good readers who enjoy a wide range of books. DON’T FORGET, you can e-mail a photo of you and your child reading to our special e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org. We will put the photos on our displays around school. Parents and carers are encouraged to support children’s reading, and we run regular events for parents.
Maths Makes Sense is a learning programme used at Norfolk Community Primary School. It is a clear curriculum that helps children to become confident mathematicians and progress quickly in maths.
Maths Makes Sense identifies the key concepts that children need to learn to achieve success in Maths. These are known as the ’10 Big Ideas’ – addition, subtraction, equals, multiplication, division, denomination, ratio, infinity, the symbols speak to you and the language tells you the answer. Children are taught these concepts and use them consistently so that their understanding grows over time and they are able to apply Maths successfully to real life examples.
Each day has a different focus or strand; these are Arithmetic, Geometry, Data and Measure and Reasoning. Each of the strands emphasises consistent use of language and actions builds on each lesson is built upon throughout the block.
The MMS approach to teaching mathematics engages learners through the systematic use of concrete objects- the cups, the big actions and special vocabulary. These make the abstract, symbolic language of mathematics accessible and enjoyable. They are enthusiastic about maths and enjoy making sense of concepts and ideas. Our children are now talking about, and responding to maths in a much more engaged manner. They are able to use the concrete objects to support their abstract development of mathematical understanding.
‘Everything that is taught earlier paves the way for everything that comes later… and everything that comes later is made accessible to all children by what has been taught already.’
As this was a new programme in school, we have completed introductory parents sessions for parents to become familiar with Maths Makes Sense (MMS) by using the cups and the language. There was also an additional hour long session for parents and carers to sign up to for further support. These sessions introduced how each calculation is taught using objects and then focusing on the written methods. Children came into the sessions to teach the parents. Feedback from these sessions has been positive and parents now have a clearer understanding of MMS and how children are taught. Examples of parent feedback:
“I learnt how maths is made easier to understand with maths makes sense”.
“It is visual learning and makes sense.”
“… maths isn’t easy but can be fun and easy to learn.”
Further sessions will take place soon.
More information can be found on the Maths Makes Sense website at:
The MMS principle objectives and strategies are in line and support the new National Curriculum. The challenges of the new National Curriculum are ‘made sense of’ through consistent teaching of the MMS strands. Lessons provide clear learning for all pupils whatever stage of their mathematical development with the help of progress ladders (which can be found on the website), these map each aspect of Maths Makes Sense across the primary age-range. MMS supports the new National Curriculum’s concept of ‘Mastery’ and the teaching cycle upholds the approach with a focus on fluency and reasoning skills.
In addition to Maths Makes Sense we also provide a range of opportunities for children to apply their knowledge and understanding of maths, these can include investigations, challenges and problem solving activities within the classroom setting. We also plan termly whole school events, for example ‘The Happy Puzzle Company’ days where children have completed problem solving activities working in teams in the hall.
After school we invited our parents to come and along with their children to solve problems and play maths games. Everybody involved thoroughly enjoyed these activities but also found them fun and challenging.
During one of our ‘Maths’ days, every child in school was given a maths bag to take home. Inside there were lots of resources such as dominoes, maths game & a dice, maths resources which included; a whiteboard and whiteboard pen, ruler, times table fact sheet and lots more! This was to encourage children and parents to play maths games at home. To help children and parents develop their understanding of maths we also included our maths calculation policy which has been developed by one of our maths leaders and leaders from other schools in our locality. This was a booklet which shows each stage of calculation from nursery to Y7.
Half Term Maths Challenge
During the holidays in February each class teacher set their students a practical maths challenge to complete at home. Pupils from Nursery all the way up to Year 6 joined in with the challenge and 1 child from each class won a maths prize.
Thank you to all the children that joined in with the challenge! All the class teachers could see how hard children worked to complete their interesting challenges.
Here are a few pictures of the children’s entries.
Every lunchtime children have the opportunity to go and practice maths skills in the maths zone. This is a chance to play games and carry out puzzles and problem solving activities with their friends. The Maths Champions, who have been chosen by their class, go along to help run the sessions.