We believe the primary school should be a safe and wonderful place where children want to be: where learning happens both within and outside of the classroom. Children will be encouraged to enjoy life whilst at school and discover their fascinations.
Whatever their background they will learn how to shape their own futures and develop their unique capacities and skills rooted in their own interests. They will learn the literacy and numeracy skills needed for life and necessary to progress in their education. They will be encouraged to be curious and use thinking skills to innovate, be creative and problem solve. They will develop their first understandings of employment and entrepreneurship.
A primary education should set up learners for life, with the knowledge and skills to be well rounded individuals, mentally and physically healthy, with an appreciation for and a generosity toward the people, the world and the universe around them.
Each term, teachers use their knowledge of their children's learning needs and interests to choose an enquiry-based question from which to plan their work. The children then take control of the enquiry through their further questions. This is guided by the national curriculum objectives that need to be met and the Bridge Schools skills progression ladders.
The progression ladders form the basis of our coverage of objectives and allow teachers to monitor and ensure a broad, rich content that builds progressively year on year. You can find our progression ladders attached below. Once the children have generated the further questions which will shape the enquiry, teachers use the ladders to guide their planning.
Pupils' ongoing progress is recorded alongside these ladders and passed on to the next class teacher at the end of the summer term. Pupil’s self-assessment through referring to the learning journey adds another dimension to the learning. They are asked the enquiry question before the topic begins and again at the end to show the extent of their understanding and learning.
Visitors and trips enhance the curriculum and are used to provide first hand experiences which help support real life outcomes.
Children will feedback on their Learning Journeys to staff, guardians and Governors; ensuring that they are key drivers for improvement.
Leaders review the curriculum regularly using pupil’s work, progression ladders and pupil conferencing to ensure it remains language rich, diverse and develops the whole child
In support of the Creative Curriculum, we have successfully incorporated Forest School teaching to enhance learning.
A forest school is a type of outdoor education where children use the woods and forests (including the outdoor playing field) as a means to develop personal learning, social and technical skills. It has been defined as an inspirational process that offers children regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment and is considered highly valuable in terms of teamwork and problem solving.
Outdoor learning enables children to build independence and self esteem and topics are cross-curriculum, and can especially support learning about more abstract concepts such as mathematics, communication and the natural environment. For example, the role of trees in society, the complex ecosystem supported by a wilderness and recognition of specific plants and animals.
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English teaches pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Polperro Primary Academy aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
• Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
• Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
• Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
The National Curriculum programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
• Word reading
• Comprehension (both listening and reading).
The teaching at Polperro Primary Academy focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each.
Pupils are taught reading in a variety of ways, which include:
• Sharing texts, both literacy based and cross curricular - pupils experience challenging texts through shared reading
• Being taught a sight vocabulary of high frequency words
• Phonics - learning letter sounds and names and the skills of segmenting and blending.
• Group reading - guided reading takes place out of the Literacy lesson.
• The emphasis of teaching shifts from word level to text level skills as reading ability develops.
All pupils have a reading book which they are able to take home. Pupils progress through colour coded books following the book banding scheme, only moving on to the next level when judged ready by their teacher. Having progressed through the colour coded system, children will then have access to a wide variety of more challenging texts. Their selections are closely monitored by their teachers. There is a range of published schemes giving variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Each child has a reading diary where reading progress is recorded both in school and for parents to record at home. Children in the infants are regularly heard individually by an adult and each child takes part in guided reading weekly. In KS2 each child participates in guided reading weekly, and is heard by an adult at least once per week depending on the needs of the child.
Parents are encouraged to participate in their child’s reading and receive regular information through parent’s evenings and informal meetings. There is two way communication between parents and teachers through the child’s Reading Record book. Reading records are kept by each individual teacher and are accessible to the subject leader.
In all classes children have the opportunity to listen to their teachers reading quality texts. These are a variety of short texts and longer more challenging stories. Wherever possible the choice of text is linked across other areas of the curriculum.
The application of reading is positively encouraged throughout our daily activities. We aim to create a stimulating reading environment and to encourage children to value their own reading at whatever level and in whatever context. We promote the love of books through our school library and our close links with the local library. Book fairs and a book club are also run, through which parents may purchase books at reasonable prices.
Children are assessed half termly in both reading and writing in order to monitor progress.
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics and spelling are taught through a daily whole school session, where children work in small ability groups to target their specific needs.
Children are taught to listen to the sounds, to blend for reading and to segment for spelling. Games and activities are shared with parents and reinforcement is positively encouraged at home.
Once children are working confidently within Phase 5 and are ready for a more structured, paper based approach to learning, they progress to Read, Write Inc spelling.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
• Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
• Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
The teaching at Polperro Primary Academy develops pupils’ competence in these two dimensions. In addition, pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing are incorporated into the National Curriculum programmes of study for composition.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary
The two statutory appendices in the National Curriculum – on spelling and on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation – which provide an overview of the specific features that should be included in teaching the programmes of study, inform our teaching at Polperro Primary Academy.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance pupils’ vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, teachers show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. They also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning.
Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
The National Curriculum order for mathematics describes in detail what pupils must learn in each year group. Combined with Polperro School Calculation Policy, this ensures continuity and progression and high expectations for attainment in mathematics.
It is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our pupils in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society. At Polperro Primary School we use the new National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme and use Hamilton Mathematics to support continuity and progression. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through education. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving and the development of mathematical thinking and a rigorous approach to the development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of our approach to this subject.
Through the daily maths lessons we aim to teach children to be able to:
• Use the appropriate mathematical language;
• Manipulate numbers mentally;
• Encourage logical thinking and reasoning;
• Apply the appropriate maths to a practical situation;
• Recognise a variety of ways to solve a mathematical problem;
• Identify when to use a mental or written strategy;
• Use their own informal jottings and to develop a written method;
• See maths as a creative activity that can be enjoyed.
Mathematics is taught during a daily session where each lesson consists of:
• Oral and mental work;
• Main teaching input through direct teaching of the whole class or groups.
The structure is flexible to incorporate topic based maths.
We run a parent session annually on how we teach calculations in each year group and you should also receive a booklet at the beginning of every year on to help your child with mathematics. This includes some simple games you can play to develop their knowledge and skills in a fun way.
The School Calculation Policy - which details how we teach children to calculate for each year group - is available at the office. The children should also be able to talk to you about the strategies they have been taught at school.
If you require any additional information on how we teach mathematics, or how you can support your children at home, please contact Mrs Gilbert, Mrs Mays (Maths Leader) or your child's class teacher at any time.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)
At Polperro Primary Academy we understand that a child’s social and emotional development is central to all aspects of their well-being and learning. It is our strong belief that in order for a child to reach their full educational potential they must first feel happy, safe and secure in their learning environment. We deliver our PHSE curriculum – Personal, Health, Social, Economic education – through a mixture of assemblies, lessons, circle time sessions, activities and as part of our cross-curricular topics.
There are three core themes that run throughtout the PSHE programme and these are:
1. Health and Wellbeing
3. Living in the Wider World
We follow the government’s SEAL programme (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) which works through a series of 6 themes throughout the year. These 6 themes are the same in every year group allowing children to make continual progress throughout their time in school. The SEAL themes are ‘New Beginnings’ ‘Getting On and Falling Out’ ‘Going for Goals’ ‘Good to be me’ ‘Relationships’ and finishing with ‘Changes.’
The majority of PHSE curriculum is taught through SEAL. PSHE activities can include children taking part in whole class or small group discussions, listening to stories, watching film clips and completing pieces of work. Through SEAL children learn to recognise, name, describe and control feelings. They have time to reflect on the choices, actions and words of themselves and others; thinking about the consequences for all. Children think about friendship and looking after themselves and others. They celebrate similarities and differences, learning from and supporting one another.
We also have a regular programme of visits and events to enhance the PSHE experience such as visits to Hazard Alley where children are taught to identify and manage risks such as household dangers, a smoke filled room and train lines. Assemblies and lessons can be delivered by outside organisations such as the RNLI and the Coastguard and the economic aspects of PSHE are taught via maths lessons or by practical activities such as role play shopping and costing and making products.
Of course PSHE issues are also dealt with by everyday natural conversations that occur between adults and children and when dealing with any incidents that may arise.
It is our aim at Polperro School to teach and support children to be sensible and resilient in their daily lives and to develop social and emotional maturity.
The purpose of teaching Religious Education
Religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human. It develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Christianity, other principal religions, other religious traditions and other world views that offer answers to questions such as these. It offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. It enhances pupils’ awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs, teachings, practices and forms of expression, as well as of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures. Religious education encourages pupils to learn from different religions, beliefs, values and traditions while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth, belief, faith and ethics and to communicate their responses. Religious education encourages pupils to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a pluralistic society and global community. Religious education has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning. It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice. (The National Framework for Religious Education 2004)
Religious Education forms part of the Basic Curriculum of every maintained school. As such RE holds a unique place within the curriculum and within Education Law. The Agreed Syllabus is the statutory mechanism by which RE is delivered in a Local Authorities community and controlled schools. Our R.E scheme of work is based on the Cornwall SACRE Agreed Syllabus and a rolling programme has been created to ensure full coverage.
PE at Polperro Primary Academy
At Polperro Primary Academy we believe that the Physical Development which we provide forms an essential foundation for the growth of the whole child through the teaching of PE and Dance. As well as academic learning, pupils will be provided with the opportunity to develop their personal and social skills by promoting character building, co-operation, teamwork and self esteem. In addition to this, spiritual and cultural understanding will also be developed. Emphasis is also placed upon leading a healthy lifestyle. We value Physical Education and the sporting activities we as a school provide during lessons, school clubs, break times and lunch times. We are committed to quality PE provision.
PE at Polperro Primary Academy embraces the primary PE entitlement as defined in the National Curriculum 2014. P.E. lessons offer opportunities for children to:
• Acquire and develop skills: explore basic skills, actions and ideas with increasing understanding; remember and repeat simple skills and actions with increasing control and coordination.
• Learn how to select and apply skills, tactics and compositional ideas: explore how to choose and apply skills and actions in sequence and in combination; vary the way they perform skills by using simple tactics and movement phrases; apply rules and conventions for different activities;
• Take the initiative, lead activity and focus on improving aspects of their own performance: describe what they have done; observe, describe and copy what others have done; use what they have learnt to improve the quality and control of their work;
• Develop a knowledge and understanding of fitness and health: how important it is to be active; to recognise and describe how their bodies feel during different activities;
• Receive teaching which ensures that when 'evaluating and improving performance', connections are made between 'developing, selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional ideas', and 'fitness and health'.
At Polperro, we also feel that our Physical Education lessons allow our children to:
• Undertake activities which need a different approach and way of thinking;
• Develop their ideas in a creative way;
• Set targets for themselves and compete against others, individually and as team members;
• Understand what it takes to persevere, succeed and acknowledge others' success;
• Respond to a variety of challenges in a range of physical contexts and environments;
• Become skilful and intelligent performers;
• Discover their own aptitudes and preferences for different activities;
• Make informed decisions about the importance of exercise in their lives; and develop positive attitudes to participation in physical activity
All children from Reception to Year 6 receive two hours of PE per week following our 2 year rolling programme. In addition children participate in a daily wake and shake activity prior to registration at the start of each day.
PE provision is lead by Mrs Anthea Hillman and reviewed by PE Governor Mrs Simon White
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We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.
We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.
We are the best we can be.
We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.
We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.
We are passionate about learning.
We are ALL looking forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday 8th March. Please see the Head's blog for further information.
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