What does your child learn at school each day? Find information about our curriculum subjects here.
The Academy Curriculum
The underpinning principles of our curriculum are committed to providing quality and excellence through an exciting, stimulating environment that stretches and develops the child as a whole. We believe that every child in our academy will be able to develop the necessary skills needed to progress to Secondary school and the skills they need to succeed as learners in life. Our creative curriculum rests on a firm foundation of encouraging children to experiment, explore and pursue their own interests. Instead of only a knowledge and content driven curriculum, our approach is academy based, in which the curriculum is used to help children develop along a skills and attitude continuum. Although content is important and is taught according to National Curriculum requirements, skills and attitudes can be developed whatever the content and the development of skills is our focus.
Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation stage at Bishop Lonsdale we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Activities areplanned and implemented from this framework to support children’s development and help them learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. The framework is taught through 7 areas of learning, these are split into prime areas and specific areas.
• Communication and Language
• Physical development
• Personal, social and emotional development
Children should mostly develop in these prime areas first which are essential for their healthy development andfuture learning. As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in the specific areas.
• Understanding the World
• Expressive arts and design.
These 7 areas are used to plan children’s learning and activities. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and out. It is important to remember that Foundation Stage means just that; building the foundations. By embedding key skills early, it will ensure success as they move through the academy.
Teaching of this subject is based upon the National Curriculum, with an emphasis on practical mathematical investigations, through which the children’s knowledge and skills can develop. Opportunities to apply their skills to real-life situations are provided through problem solving activities, often linked to current themes and topics. All pupils are taught the importance of mental calculations and emphasis is placed on teaching children strategies and skills to support this work.
All aspects of language work – reading, writing, speaking and listening – help children to develop as competent communicators. Children are encouraged to communicate in a wide variety of written forms, given opportunities to express themselves orally in a range of contexts and helped to develop their ability to listen attentively and to appreciate the views and opinions of others. These skills can be developed in all areas of the curriculum.
Modern Foreign Languages
Modern Foreign Language (MFL) teaching takes place in Key Stage 2, but children across the academy are encouraged to take an interest in other languages and to learn simple phrases. For example, most children enjoy answering the register in another language. Spanish is the main language taught and the focus is on the spoken language, with pupils involved in songs, games, pair and group work and role play activities. As the children’s skills and confidence grow, they have opportunities to develop their reading and writing skills in MFL, as well as gaining an understanding of the life and culture of another country.
Religious Education plays an important part in the development of pupils to become aware, informed and responsible adults. We teach RE in accordance with the locally Agreed Syllabus and all pupils are entitled to RE as part of the basic curriculum. As a Church Academy, we have very close links with Holy Trinity Church in Eccleshall and our ethos is based upon Christian beliefs. We hold daily acts of collective worship, with whole school or class assemblies. Rev Jules Walker, the vicar of Holy Trinity, leads our worship once a week and each term the children walk down to church and take part in an informal service, to which parents and members of the church community are also invited.
How we teach reading at Bishop Lonsdale Primary School
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. For this reason, your child is now able to choose for themselves the individual reading book they take home.
In the Foundation Stage reading skills are taught using a wide range of reading materials. Our school follows the Letters and Sounds programme. In Nursery children are taught how to handle books. They learn that all print carries meaning and begin to develop an understanding of story structure and characters through adults sharing and discussing books. We teach discrete phonics sessions daily, using Letters and Sounds. Children are taught listening skills from Nursery and the skill of segmenting and blending orally. In Reception, children build on these skills and develop new phonic skills. The children also practise reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
In Reception children are taught reading skills through sharing big books and sound bags. Children are given opportunities for individual reading with an adult, and guided reading sessions. Children are given further opportunities to develop an enjoyment of reading through the use of story sacks, listening to rhymes, jingles and stories. Our reading scheme is comprised of many schemes but the main being Oxford Reading Tree. They are given opportunities to apply these in the context of reading and writing. Teachers regularly read to the children, too, during whole class or small group reading so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing and not forgetting speaking and listening.
In Key Stage One we ensure systematic, daily, discrete teaching with opportunities to practice and apply in the context of reading, individual and guided reading and all areas of writing. We continue to teach to phase 6 of the letters and sounds scheme into Year 2 and beyond.
In Key Stage 2 we teach spelling groups and families within English lessons, where children are then given opportunities to apply new skills in a wide range of writing across all subject areas. From Year 1 to Year 6 children have differentiated weekly spellings and are tested weekly too. The most important thing teachers and parents can then do is ensure children apply these spellings in their writing (and reading).
In addition to class based reading, children can also develop their enjoyment for reading throughout school. They have the opportunity to access the school library to choose from a wider range of books on a weekly basis. There are reading areas around school which children can access freely and every classroom has a reading area which further promotes and encourages reading for pleasure.
How long will it take to learn to read well?
Every child is different and children will learn to read at different speeds. By the end of Year 2, most children will be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 and beyond, we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on.
What can parents/carers do to help?
Your support really does get your child off to a flying start and encourages them to make great progress! You can help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘blend’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly by using the letters and sounds phonics cards that are sent home during the foundation stage.
Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.
Make reading fun! Remember to keep reading to your child. They will come across far more adventurous words than they will in their early reading books. You will be helping them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of different stories etc. It will also encourage them to love books and want to read more!
Computing Mission Statement
Through computing, our aim is for children to become, first and foremost, problem solvers while developing computational thinking so as to enable them to be as fully equipped as possible to engage with current and emerging technologies.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.
This has been a great year for physical education in Bishop Lonsdale. We are fortunate to work alongside a sporting company ‘Sports Plus Scheme’ who deliver a range of exciting PE sessions as well as clubs available to the children. This year the children have been developing their physical skills in a range of areas such as gymnastics, dance, dodge ball, hockey and as we enter into the summer are looking at rounders and crickets. We have had an exciting range of lunchtime and afterschool clubs developing team building skills as well as sport skills. We have been involved in several tournaments outside of school to develop our skills in a competition and we look forward to many more events in the coming future.
During Key Stages 1 and 2, PSHE education offers both explicit and implicit learning opportunities and experiences which reflect pupils’ increasing independence and physical and social awareness as they move through the primary phase. It builds on the skills that pupils started to acquire during the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) to develop effective relationships, assume greater personal responsibility and manage personal safety, including online. PSHE education helps pupils to cope with the changes at puberty, introduces them to a wider world and enables them to make an active contribution to their communities.
Over the half terms and throughout the school, we look at 6 different topics:
-Me and My school
-Happy and Healthy Me
-Me in the World
-Me and My Safety
-Me and My Relationships
-Me and Other People
Each class has a Class Book where the children record all of the discussions and activities that took place during that lesson. Where possible, we have guest speakers come into school and talk to the children about a specific topic.
Geography at Bishop Lonsdale
The geography curriculum at Bishop Lonsdale is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a board framework and outlines the knowledge, skills and understanding taught in each key stage. This framework is then carefully tailored within the academy’s scheme of work to suit the children.
Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in their locality with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are used in our geography lessons. We believe in whole class teaching methods and we combine these with enquiry-based research activities. Children are encouraged to ask, as well as answer, geographical questions. They are given the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures and aerial photographs, and use computing in geography lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in role play and discussion and engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, we involve the children in ‘real’ geographical situations.
We recognise the fact that there are children of widely different geographical abilities in all classes and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task with the ability of the child.
History at Bishop Lonsdale
The history curriculum at Bishop Lonsdale CE Academy is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England, which provides a board framework and outlines the knowledge, skills and understanding taught in each key stage. The framework is carefully tailored within the school’s scheme of work to suit the children in the school.
The children at Bishop Lonsdale are given access to the past through structured teaching of important events in the history of Britain, Europe and other parts of the world. They are helped to build a clear chronological framework of the development of societies from ancient to modern times by making links across the different study units. They are given opportunities to investigate local history and to learn about and interpret the past from a range of primary sources. The children study different themes and issues across time and develop their understanding of chronological events which are combined with well-planned in-depth studies, to ensure that they develop a sophisticated and wide-ranging understanding of history and why studying it matters.
A variety of teaching approaches are used:
Children are encouraged to ask, as well as answer, historical questions. They are given the opportunity to use a variety of data, such as maps, statistics, graphs, pictures and aerial photographs, and encouraged to use computing in history lessons where this serves to enhance their learning. Children take part in role play and discussion and they present reports to the rest of the class. They engage in a wide variety of problem-solving activities. Wherever possible, children are involved in ‘real’ historical situations and relevant educational visits are organised to reinforce the learning that has taken place in the classroom.
Periods in history/subjects covered
Marvellous Me (Family history),
Once Upon a Time (Traditional tales)
Me and My Town (Local Study – Eccleshall in the past), Castles, Days Gone By
Fire! Fire! (Great Fire of London), Extreme Explorers
Ancient Egyptians, Stone Age
Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings
Step in Time(Space), The Unsinkable (Titanic),
Greeks v Mayans
Local Study – Eccleshall, Victorian Reformers, World War 2