Overview of Themes
At Fordham All Saints CE Primary School we teach the National Curriculum 2014 and have planned our foundation subjects around whole school themes taught over 4 years, however our science objectives are taught in year groups across the school; with Year 1-3 Science on a Tuesday and Year 4-6 Science on a Monday. The children benefit from working in smaller year group lessons for these sessions with additional teachers used. The focus every Autumn term is a geography theme and the focus for the Spring term is history based. The focus each Summer term is on a film or a story that is linked to values and 'global issues'.
The start of each theme begins with a hook starter to engage the children and give them a purpose for learning and an enthusiasm to find out more. Visits, links with other schools around the world and theme days are built into each unit and planned for at the start of each theme. Each term ends with a celebration of learning; for example class exhibitions or a drama of film production for the community to come and see. Enterprise projects are embedded into the themes and progressive skills are included using Chris Quigley's milestones for the foundation subjects in an outstanding curriculum.
Art, Music, Design Technology, Computing, PSHE, PE, Science, Literacy and Maths are applied in these themes where this enhances the learning experiences but some areas may also be taught discreetly also such as maths, PE and RE.
Outdoor learning is extremely important to us here at Fordham and we have recently developed an on site wildlife and forest school area in the grounds. Our creative curriculum takes us both inside and outside the classroom.
Values Education | Growth Mindset | British Values
At Fordham All Saints CE we have a focus on a Christian Value each half term. Through collective worship and in our day to day learning and teaching we learn more about these values and practise showing them in and out of the classroom. We currently have 8 key values:
Friendship, Respect, Trust, Honesty, Responsibility,
Perseverance, Compassion and Hope
We have looked at how we are addressing the 'British Values' through our existing values
and other curriculum learning through SMSC.
We have a Values Tree in school which children can write on when they see others showing one of our Fordham Values. We also believe all of our children 'can do it' and follow a Growth Mindset culture across our school and celebrate each and every child's achievements and believe every child can achieve and be the best. We have a weekly Gold Book Assembly where we celebrate learning across the school.
Our Challenge Curriculum
In core subjects our children choose their own tasks and challenges based on their understanding of the whole class teaching from a lesson. We believe children should be given every opportunity to take ownership over their own learning and can choose tasks that they feel will challenge them while also ensuring they are constantly making progress. Staff help encourage children to look at more challenging tasks when they feel it is appropriate and move children onto these as soon as possible in agreement with the child.
Phonics and Reading
How we learn to read at Fordham!
At Fordham All Saints CE we want our children to have a love of reading and all classes share class texts. We have a ‘FAB’ sets of books for each classroom. These are key texts which are read and shared in each year group and children gain a special school bookmark on completion of the texts over the year. Guided reading happens across the school and takes many forms, from children reading independently and then discussing texts to answering written comprehension questions about the books they are reading. We promote a great reading culture, where EVERYONE in school can enjoy reading for pleasure!
We have a 'Reading Buddy' scheme with trained parents and people in the community coming into school to hear our children read. We also have a school 'reading and wellbeing dog' named Albus, who visits school every Friday and listens to members of our school read!
At Fordham we believe high quality teaching and learning is achieved by:
Setting high expectations for all, which take account of varied life experiences and needs, different starting points and factors such as gender, ethnicity, culture, age and ability, giving every learner confidence and belief that they can succeed and raising their aspirations.
Establishing what learners already know and setting clear and appropriate learning goals which create secure foundations for subsequent learning.
Structuring and pacing the learning experience to make it challenging and enjoyable, matching teaching techniques and strategies to a range of learning styles.
Inspiring learning through passion for the subject, bringing it alive and making it relevant to the learner’s experience and needs.
Making individuals active partners in their own learning, helping them to assess their work and reflect on how they learn.
Developing learning skills and the necessary personal qualities to become a successful learner such as; self-discipline, confidence, determination and resilience.
Promoting learning through cooperation with others.
Establishing effective links between the school, the learner’s home and the community.
Assessments & Testing
The school operates thorough systems of assessment which enable us to track all children’s progress very closely throughout the school. Assessment is a daily activity and part of day to day teaching through high quality questioning and marking and feedback also. Formal assessments are also used with warm piece writing, half termly tests in maths as well as weekly 'Big Maths' assessments and assessments in Science through concept mapping.
At Fordham we hold termly learning conferences with each and every child to assess progress, celebrate achievements and agree next steps to focus on. Parents attend 3 learning conferences throughout the year and will receive a one page summary of the conference each term.
Towards the end of their time in Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and in Key Stage 2 (Year 6) children are assessed in the ‘core’ subjects of English and Mathematics, through nationally applied and standardised tests. These, together with the results of continuous teacher assessment, will be formally reported to parents in July. Key Stage 2 tests for the school are reported nationally. Children in Year 1 also take the national phonics check in June annually.
These are a planned feature of our work programmes across the school. There are a variety of day visits to places of specific interest, which directly relate to work that the children are undertaking and our whole school themes.
Children also experience outdoor learning around the school grounds and the village itself, including use of our forest school area. The safety of the children on such visits is our paramount concern and the arrangements always meet or exceed the requirements of the Local Education Authority. There is also a biannual residential visit for Year 5 and 6 to Hilltop Outdoor Centre in North Norfolk.
We value every pupil within an environment which supports the growth of self-confidence and self esteem. We endeavour to maximise each child’s opportunities, regardless of race, gender, language, culture, religion or disability.
We believe all children have the same entitlement to a broadly based challenging curriculum, experiencing success in learning. We make every effort to ensure that the multicultural nature of our society is reflected in the curriculum. We will seek to avoid reinforcing stereotypes of role by carefully selecting and examining all books and materials used with the children.
Our goal is to develop in all children positive social and learning attitudes to prepare them for life ahead.
The nature and amount of home learning will vary according to the age of your child. In the early years it is focused on phonics support and early reading and basic numeracy. In later years your child may have maths skills, spelling and grammar skills to practise, a mathematical investigation or some research relating to a class project or assembly. Home learning is not always written; sometimes the teacher may ask the children to find out some information to report verbally to the class. Children are given a home learning book, which enables parents to see that set home learning is being done on a regular basis. Every half term we will set a 'creative home learning challenge' that is intentionally open ended for children to show their creativity and imagination. If your child does have a task to do at home it is hoped that you will get involved and offer your help in steering them in the right direction, we encourage parental involvement fully. There are many ways in which parents can help their children: researching with them, checking presentation, handwriting and spelling, listening to them, reading what they have written and generally showing an interest in what they are doing in their studies. It is vital that you are positive when working alongside your child as learning requires patience and encouragement. Class teachers are pleased to offer additional advice.
A diverse and changing variety of activities are available for the children during the lunch hour and after school. There are clubs open to all the children as well as those designed for specific age ranges, including music, sports, drama and crafts- as well as clubs run by members of our local community, such as Jesus in school club and a History of Fordham club, run by members of the local History society.
A full list of clubs is on the parents tab of the website. The majority of our school clubs have been accredited by the Children's University and hours can be earned towards an annual graduation ceremony at Essex University.