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The Downs CE
Primary School

In this section...

Curriculum, Assessment & Learning

Our role as a Federation is to give all of our pupils the best possible education, to raise standards and improve learning for all our pupils regardless of ability, ethnicity, gender or disability.

Core Values

Our most important job is to teach and improve English and Maths and to ensure that children leave us as good readers, writers and mathematicians. However, we are also committed in developing the “whole” child so our teaching and learning are underpinned by our Curriculum and Christian Values as listed in the table below:
 
We want to develop learners
who are:
As Christians we want to develop learners
who are:
Communicative Respectful
Independent Loving
Collaborative Faithful
Inquisitive Compassionate
Resilient Kind
Emotionally Intelligent Forgiving

What do we teach?

The Federation of The Downs and Northbourne CEP Schools follows the National Curriculum. We have a theme based approach to teaching. This means that we can provide many opportunities for cross curricular links increasing children’s understanding of the theme material.
There will be some subjects that may be taught independent of the current theme such as Maths, RE and some science investigations in order to embed the key skills. However, we try to encompass as much as we can within the main theme.

The curriculum for all ages is organised into six termly themes. All classes from Reception to Year 6 study the same theme at the same time at their own level. This allows for a Federation wide sharing of learning and means pupils in different year groups can discuss their work and learning.
There are also opportunities for cross year group mini projects (or rotations) within the theme.
 
Our four year planned themes can be found on this page. We are in year 3 of the cycle so at the beginning of Term One 2017 our first theme is “Eureka”. The curriculum overview for Year 1-6 can also be found on this page and teachers plan the content of the themes from this document.

Swimming takes place in an identified year group for approximately 4 terms with top up swimming in Year 6. All pupils in Years 1-6 have a weekly music session. Computers and ICT are used in all subjects of the curriculum.

How do we teach?

All our teachers in the Federation teach in a way which is clear and focussed and aimed at best meeting the needs of all our pupils. We take full advantage of living in an historical seaside town and our proximity to many other towns and cities of interest. Effort is made to link these localities into our themes as much as possible. We encourage the children to help plan the theme. All of this helps to make our learning real and relevant to all our pupils.

How are reading and phonics taught?

Phonics is the system of learning to read by sounds. Across the Federation we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics. Children learn all the sounds and then how to blend them to make words. Children read from books at their own level on a daily basis both at home and in school. Guided reading sessions help with comprehension and allow children to be exposed to literature that will help improve their writing.

We are a Reading Recovery and Better Reading Partnership Federation. Both of these programmes are short term catch up interventions to support those children who struggle with their reading and writing.

How do we assess?

Read our separate document on this page.
 
Our four-year plan is also available, giving an overview of the themes that we use.

The Federation of The Downs and Northbourne is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all Governors, staff, volunteers, parents and carers to share this commitment.