The English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
The Four Strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading are as follows:
• Shared reading; incorporating Book club- an opportunity for a class or group to share a common text together with an adult
• Guided reading; where children work in a small group with an adult on specific reading objectives
• Independent reading; children have an individual reading book. In Key Stage 1 we use Oxford reading tree as a basis for acquiring the skills of a reader which progresses into independent reading as and when children are ready. We value the input of parents both at home and in school as reading volunteers to help our children in their reading development.
• Phonics is taught through the letters and sounds structured phonic acquisition approach.
Teachers also take time to read class novels and model reading for pleasure. It is important that children enjoy reading and also have the opportunity to experience books from classic and modern classic authors.
• Resources – A book banded reading scheme operates across the school which comprises of a range of different schemes. Children work their way through the Key Stage One and Two schemes and then become independent readers.
• Links to parents – Each child has a reading record book which logs books they have read and comments about their reading. Parents and teaching staff write in this book.
• Class books: Stories are read to the children regularly throughout the school.
• Reading at home: Children are encouraged to read at home every day.
Opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:
• Phonics and spelling: Daily Phonic sessions in Key stage 1 and Reception. This is used flexibly in year 3 where children may still need support in phonics acquisition.
• Emergent writing: In Reception and Key Stage 1 children are given regular opportunities to write freely within a particular genre and across the curriculum. This gives them the opportunity to become emergent writers.
• Guided Writing/Independent Writing: Each teaching sequence builds towards sustained narrative/non-narrative writing where children can show the skills they are acquiring in their independent work. It is important that children have a regular opportunity
• Extended writing: Throughout the term there are opportunities for extended writing. On a termly basis samples of these extended writing outcomes are used for assessment purposes. Children are immersed in high quality stimuli; books, film, pictures, sounds, in order to ensure they are truly inspired to write.
• Handwriting: The school has adopted a cursive handwriting script ( Penpals ) and this is taught and reinforced regularly in Key Stage 1. As children move through the school opportunities to practice handwriting continue and when the class teacher feels a child is able to join fluently they are encouraged to write in pen though the awarding of a pen licence.
• Spelling: Children from Years 1 to 6 are given lists of spellings each week to learn at home. Children are tested on these words weekly. Throughout the school we use Oxford spelling as a core spelling spine, which allows children to develop as confident and accurate spellers.
• Grammar and reading comprehension are taught on a weekly basis through the Oxford scheme. Children are then encouraged to show their emerging skills through their independent writing
Teachers provide personalised targets for reading and writing and the children work to achieve these over the course of a term. These targets are shared with parents on a regular basis and are available to the children in their classrooms.
Work is marked and assessed in line with the marking and Assessment policies and work is regularly moderated either in phase groups or as a whole school. We are supported in our moderation by our academy trust, University of Wolverhampton Multi Academy Trust (UWMAT) where teacher and subject leaders regularly meet with other professionals to moderate our work and set next steps improvement targets.
Work is assessed, using South Gloucestershire assessment grids based on the National Curriculum Age Related expectations criteria. The findings of the assessment are used to inform planning to help the teaching and learning process. In line with the New National curriculum requirements and the raised expectations that this document requires teachers also assess half termly whether a child is working at/below or above the level expected for their age.
The Teaching of Phonics
At Albert Bradbeer Primary we teach phonics using 'Read Write Inc (RWI)'. Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is an inclusive literacy programme for all children learning to read. It teaches synthetic phonics. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. Our two main aims of our phonics sessions are to:
- decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.
- spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing.
Our approach to teaching phonics is based on the 5 P’s:
Praise – Children learn quickly in a positive climate.
Pace – Good pace is essential to the lesson.
Purpose – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.
Passion – This is a very prescriptive programme. It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers put into the lesson that bring the teaching and learning to life!
Participation – A strong feature of R.W.I. lessons is partner work and the partners ‘teaching’ each other (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner and 90% of what we teach).
Our children begin the RWI programme in Nursery. Children from Reception to Year 2 have a daily phonics lesson and some children in KS2 have a phonics intervention if their phonic knowledge is not yet secure.
If you would like to learn more about RWI, please have a look at this website:
or come and speak to your child’s class teacher.
We believe that mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing a child's ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. In our school we want to help children to understand and appreciate the pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives in and out of school. We encourage the children to develop these key and fundamental skills through their growing knowledge and understanding of the world. The Maths Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014 and the Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
Maths is taught using concrete apparatus (including Numicon and Dienes), pictorial representations and using numbers. This ensures that children have the opportunity to gain a firm understanding conceptually before moving on to more abstract concepts. In developing children's skills through enhancing their factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge, we allow them to deepen their mathematical understanding and be able to apply what they know to help them to solve problems. The use of mathematical equipment is used throughout the school across the Maths curriculum, helping our children develop into confident mathematicians.
Maths is taught across a range of areas including but not limited to: Data Handling; Shape, Space and Measure; Number; Calculation and Using and Applying. We provide a daily maths sessions that seeks to reinforce previous learning and allow children to take on new skills and apply these in a range of contexts. The progression and development of mental calculations and efficiency in strategies will provide children with the skills which will allow them to communicate and present their findings effectively using appropriate mathematical language. Each class also has a daily arithmetic session focusing upon fluency and accuracy of key maths skills focused around the four operations.
It is crucial in a child’s maths development that they are able to manipulate number through reasoning and problem solving activities which are integral to every maths lesson. Children represent problems using bar models so they can identify what they already know and what their next step should be. We use a range of resources, including White Rose maths hub to help us achieve this aim.
Teachers work collaboratively with the children to help them identify their strengths and areas of improvement. In each lesson child will help create Step to Success so they have both ownership of their learning and a route to support them being successful. Long-term assessments are undertaken through a combination of ongoing teacher assessments, half termly pupil progress meetings and end of year tests. The tests used are the national tests at the end of Year 2 and 6 and the optional tests for Years 3, 4 and 5. A yearly overview, supported by medium term plans, is created for maths; this ensures continuity and progression throughout the school. Maths in led by a maths led who regularly supports staff in the planning, delivery and assessment of maths.
Science stimulates and excites pupils’ curiosity about the world around them. The practical nature of science engages learners at many levels. At Fairway children are encouraged to work scientifically by observing, asking questions, classifying, noticing patterns, gathering data and testing. Pupils discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, for example, ocean pollution and climate change.
At Key Stage 1 pupils observe, explore and ask questions about animals, plants and everyday materials. They collect evidence to help them answer questions and develop simple scientific ideas. They use books and the internet to research their topics. They share ideas and communicate them using scientific language, drawings, charts, tables and ICT.
At Key Stage 2 pupils learn about a wider range of subjects and broaden their understanding within the subject areas of living things, materials and physical processes. Practical activities continue to develop skills of enquiry and prediction and pupils learn to plan simple tests and comparisons to answer questions. Accurate measurement and more systematic recording is developed, using conventional diagrams, charts, graphs and ICT. In Upper Key Stage 2 children understand more abstract concepts and later find out about evolution and inheritance. Children learn about the work and significance of famous historical and modern day scientists.
Lessons make effective links with other curriculum areas and subjects, especially literacy, art, numeracy and ICT.
Fairway takes part in British Science Week and currently hosts ‘Mad Science’ an after school science club.
Religious Education is a curriculum entitlement for all children and the school follows the Birmingham Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education, supported by the teaching resource ‘Faith makes a Difference’.
Our aim at Fairway is to develop an understanding and respect for the beliefs, values and practices of other people and for pupils to reflect upon their own beliefs, values and developing spirituality.
Religious Education does not seek to urge religious beliefs on children or to compromise the integrity of beliefs by promoting one religion over another. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons and assemblies and school will provide alternative provision. We celebrate the different faith backgrounds of our pupils and encourage confidence and affirmation of these beliefs in all areas of school life.
A key part of our SMSC teaching at Fairway is to use PSHE lessons, circle time and restorative justice, to develop our children’s understanding of themselves and the world around them. The restorative justice approach enables the children to be confident within themselves and respectful of others. It also helps to develop an understanding of right and wrong, how to keep themselves safe both in the real and virtual worlds, and how to engage in restorative conversations through a developing emotional literacy.
As a school we welcome children from all backgrounds and are proud of how children and their families from other cultures are welcomed by our children and the rest of the school community.
In all teaching the teachers look to inspire and enthuse children. Teachers look to develop a love of learning and a working atmosphere where children enjoy learning.
Children are given opportunities to take on responsibility around the school. These roles and responsibilities include: school council, librarians, peer mediators, gardening projects, playground leaders and participate in a range of lunch time clubs.
The school has a clear behaviour policy that sets high expectations and promotes a good moral understanding, mutual respect, and understanding.
Fairway also works towards children developing an understanding of the key British Values: Democracy, Rule of Law, Mutual Respect, Personal Liberty and Tolerance of other faiths and cultures.
In the most part, History and Geography are the key drivers behind termly topics, where our curriculum coverage is grouped thematically across year groups. For example, in Year 3, topics of Stone, Bronze and Iron, support our pupils in exploring and understanding early history through a solid grasp that technology and the materials we use are key to how societies develop. Further on in Year 5, topics of Mountains, Rivers and Sea, help our children to see how geographical features and location drove the development of cultures as diverse as the Indus Valley, Ancient Egypt and the Vikings.
We are keen to provide children with opportunities to experience geography and history first hand and as such teachers organise regular school trips to help inspire the children. We choose to explore Birmingham as our home city; the canals, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, the MAC, the Thinktank and the wealth of other cultural and historical venues and parks, in order that our children have a sense of belonging and an understanding of Britain’s Second City.
At Fairway we support children to understand where they sit in time and space, developing in them a strong chronological understanding of human history, basing their understanding first in their homes and families, their community and city and then further to understand the place of Britain today and how its history has shaped it.
We explore the history of diverse countries and cultures in the world, spanning a spread from the earliest peoples, to ancient civilisations in Europe and beyond, to Modern Britain and its challenges today. We help children to understand the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, and to examine cause and effect, making links across eras and civilisations.
In Key Stage 1 children learn about the lives and lifestyles of familiar people in the recent past and about famous people and events in the more distant past, including those from British history. We learn about the history of toys, of our relationship with animals, and of early explorers pushing boundaries across oceans and ice-caps.
In Key Stage 2 children learn about people and important events and developments from recent and more distant times in the locality, in Britain and in other parts of the world. They deepen their understanding of chronological timelines, seeing larger patterns in human development and finally exploring social and political developments.
At Fairway, in our geography and wider curriculum, we seek to inspire in children a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people which will remain with them for the rest of their lives. We plan creatively to offer opportunities to promote the children’s interest and understanding of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, we empower them by helping them to develop a strong locational knowledge of our world, whilst also developing a thorough understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes.
We encourage children to ask questions of themselves and others about the world, their place in it and their responsibility for it, opening our children up to both the wonders of our planet and its fragility. We are developing knowledgeable, passionate individuals, who can investigate, question, examine cause and effect and reason outcomes. They will be the future guardians of our planet.
We support all pupils to become fully rounded global citizens and see learning foreign languages as a doorway into other cultures and experiences. Our language curriculum seeks to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, and we aim to provide a language curriculum that prepares our pupils for accelerated progress at KS3. We offer a carefully sequenced grounding in Spanish, with additional units in Latin. We support our pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. Through our language curriculum, pupils are given opportunities to make links and comparisons between languages - understanding the role of Latin in the development of other languages, they enhance their proficiency in applying the rules and structures of language and they develop their English vocabulary through a deeper understanding of its roots.
We enhance our statutory language curriculum with learning around the peoples and cultures of other countries, both today and in the past, offering authentic first-hand and memorable experiences to our pupils, using community and professional expertise to augment our pupils’ learning.
As an Artsmark Gold School, our commitment to the arts at Fairway is grounded in the belief that experience and engagement with a wide range of art forms is crucial to the development of fully rounded, confident, creative and happy individuals. We offer high-quality, authentic art experiences to our pupils, through partnerships with both local artists and national organisations, seeking to develop our pupils as visual artists, sculptors, designers and performers.
We explore the lives of great artists, designers, architects and major art movements, exposing the children to thousands of years of art and design history across a range of cultures, developing not only their own cultural capital, but their understanding of what this means throughout the world. Children have the chance to explore and develop expertise, through carefully planned progression, in a variety of media such as charcoals, soft and oil pastels, clay, textiles and digital art forms.
It is paramount that art work be purposeful, be this as a means of expression or to explore the styles of other artists that inspire our own work. Our pupils are encouraged to be clear about what they are aiming for and are given opportunities to be reflective and evaluate their work, thinking about how they can make changes and keep improving.
We take advantage of the wealth of artistic heritage on our doorstep, looking at local exhibitions, visiting galleries and using creative talents within our wider community. We also give opportunities for families to be creative together, running workshops and after-school clubs at different times in the year and organising projects to encourage everyone to get creative together at home.
Fairway is a musical school. Teachers deliver lively music lessons supported by the Charanga music program. Children are taught the elements of music, and are encouraged to compose and perform, as well as to listen to and comment on different styles of music.
Throughout the year children are given opportunities to perform in front of an audience through class assemblies and key stage productions. Weekly singing practice offers children the opportunity to learn new songs and enjoy singing together.
The school is developing links with the Birmingham School Music service who provide specialist music teaching in Key Stage 1.
Visiting peripatetic teachers for guitar, violin and piano offer the opportunity to work towards music accreditation and these children proudly give musical performances for parents and pupils.
DT’ incorporates many traditional skills – cooking, model making, drawing and sketching, problem solving, observation and discussion – putting them together in an approach which encourages the children to become designers and inventors.
The children are taught how to use tools and materials safely and economically.
The aim of physical education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children are taught to observe the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators.
Children take part in games, gymnastic movement, dance and athletic activities using indoor and outdoor environments where appropriate. Children can take part in after school clubs and have the opportunity to compete against other schools.
In Year 4/5/6, children go on a residential course for outdoor activities.
Children have swimming lessons in in year 3,4,5 and 6. It is our aim that all children are abel to swim 25m by the time they leave Fairway, and so we target those children who are weaker swimmers with extra swimming sessions. These sessions are delivered in Linden Road Pool by our teachers and other accredited swimming staff.
We welcome sporting groups into Fairway and have links to Aston Villa, Kings Norton Tennis and Rugby clubs.
Extra Curricular Activities
We provide a large range of activities including: art and craft, cooking, football and gardening. Such activities are run by the staff and are dependent, at any time, on the interests and enthusiasm of individual teachers with the co-operation and assistance of parents and the availability of outside providers. We are accredited as level 5 gardening school by RHS; the children are very proid of their gardening skills which we see as crucial to the engagement and development of many of our children. They grow and sell flowers and vegetables at events such as the Christmas and Summer Fairs.
Meeting together to share as a community is very important to us. We have whole school assemblies on Mondays and Fridays where we celebrate achievements and welcome visitors into Fairway.
We have a variety of people come and share with us from local and faith communities. All visitors are DBS checked and adhere to our ethos and values.
Children also have a time of Collective worship in their classrooms where they have space and time to reflect on current thoughts and issues.