At Rockingham, we are committed to ensuring that all our children become curious, creative individuals ready for life in the 21st century. This is achieved through the delivery of a carefully sequenced, knowledge rich curriculum that is designed to inspire a life-long love of learning.
Our knowledge-based curriculum is ambitious and places knowledge at its heart. The content is carefully sequenced to ensure that it is progressive in nature from the Early Years through to Year 6. This accumulation of knowledge enables children to build firm foundations from which they can develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific knowledge and skills.
Learning builds upon learning; children and adults gain new knowledge only by building upon what they already know. We are aiming for our children to MASTER the curriculum; we want them to be able to use, apply and reason with their knowledge. Our curriculum content is engaging, fosters an increasing appreciation for subject content specific to each discipline and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning.
Our curriculum prepares our children for life beyond primary school and promotes our core values of ambition, aspiration, respect and courage. It ensures they have transferable skills such as the ability to communicate effectively, think critically, have a broad subject knowledge base and understand the importance of citizenship and their place in the wider community.
Our knowledge-based curriculum goes hand in hand with our English curriculum, with reading central to each programme of study, enabling children to build knowledge and acquire new vocabulary. The vocabulary content for each unit is deliberately ambitious and has been planned with the purpose of addressing the ‘word gap’ for children who enter school with a limited vocabulary.
Our curriculum is inclusive; it allows all children to overcome inequality of opportunity and promotes aspirational outcomes for all learners.
There are seven areas of learning and development that must shape educational programmes in early years settings. All areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected. Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive.
The prime areas are:
• Physical development
• Communication and Language
• Personal, social and emotional development
The specific areas are:
• Understanding the World
• Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves; and to speak and listen in a range of situations.
Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food.
Reading is a fundamental part of our curriculum at Rockingham. Through reading, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading enables children both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. At Rockingham, we highly value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is the bedrock of success in education. We use Talk for Reading as a methodology because it is based on the principles of how individuals learn. The Talk for Reading method enables children to gain a fantastic understanding a text with huge emphasis on vocabulary, reading fluency and the teaching of one specific comprehension focus during each unit although all content domains are touched upon. It is a fully inclusive method of teaching reading with the movement from imitation to investigation to independent application, which can be adapted to suit the needs of learners of any stage. Reading for pleasure is a key driver at our school and all teachers are responsible for promoting this.
Read Write Inc
The Read, Write Inc phonics scheme is used across Early Years and Key Stage 1 to develop the early stages of reading. All children on RWI take home a book which is matched to the level of their phonic ability enabling them to use their decoding skills and to develop fluency and confidence when reading.
Any children who are falling behind receive 1:1 catch up sessions. Parental workshops are offered so that parents can effectively support the learning of letter sounds and blending at home.
We use Talk for Writing as a methodology to teach writing. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how individuals learn. We know that the starting blocks for the effective development of writing are: developing oracy through communication and language skills and excellent reading habits. The T4W approach moves from dependence towards independence with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully. At Rockingham, we underpin our writing curriculum work with an established core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon. The writing curriculum is coherently sequenced so knowledge is revisited and built upon. This is developed across four strands: the composition of writing through ambitious models, grammatical subject knowledge, vocabulary development and awareness of authorial intent. At Rockingham, we intend for our children to leave our setting at year 6, being independent, confident writers, who have the skills to succeed in secondary school and beyond.
At Rockingham, we believe that every child can achieve in mathematics. We follow the ‘Effective Maths’ pro-gramme – a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics that aims to ensure every child reaches their full potential. Mathematics is vital to everyday life as it teaches children how to make sense of the world around them by developing their ability to calculate, reason and problem solve. The ‘Effective Maths’ pro-gramme consists of a number of non-negotiable elements.
• Procedural and conceptual understanding
• Mathematical patterns, relationships and connections
• Clear use of instructional routines to maximise pupil participation
The mastery approach focuses on depth rather than breadth from early on. Children from the earliest oppor-tunity are given a comprehension diet of core number facts and concepts. Mastering these early on means that other concepts can be taught quickly in other year groups.
Following each unit of work, children are tested to assess their knowledge and identify gaps. This helps us to focus on interventions and allows up to keep the learning at the same pace.
Geography plays an important role within the curriculum at Rockingham Primary School and is one of many subjects that help to fulfil our mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich children. Children develop geographical perspective through their growing knowledge of diverse places, people, resources and natural and human processes. Our Geography Curriculum is sequenced coherently so core knowledge builds through two distinct strands; Locational Knowledge and Human and Physical Geography. As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge children are provided with the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time, enabling them to become global citizens with an understanding of and an interest in the subject of Geography.
Our children develop their knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world which helps to stimulate their curiosity to know more about the past and the subject of history. Our History Curriculum is sequenced coherently so knowledge builds through three distinct strands; Ancient and World History, British History and Civil Rights and Equalities. Our children will learn how to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence and develop a sense of perspective enabling them to make links between current world events and those that happened in the past. As a result of the accumulation of core knowledge children’s cultural capital and historical disciplines will be substantial and will provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.
Computing skills are now a necessary part of everyday life. At Rockingham, we appreciate how important it is that our children are digitally literate and knowledgeable about how to use technology across the curriculum to further their knowledge and understanding. Our children will secure an understanding of the use of technology as well as staying safe and making the correct choices. The Computing Curriculum is sequenced coherently so useful knowledge builds through three distinct strands; Programming, Multimedia and technology in our lives with e-safety underpinning each strand.
Children are encouraged to be curious, ask questions about what they observe and will be helped to understand scientific ideas and phenomena by using different types of enquiry to answer their own questions. Our Science Curriculum is sequenced coherently so useful knowledge and skills builds through the three distinct disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge and skills children’s science capital and scientific understanding will be substantial and provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.
In addition, we value the need for our children to experience science through the completion of hands-on investigations which enable them to work scientifically and apply their acquired knowledge of each discipline. We want our children to understand how science continues to help shape the world around us and how it will continue to influence our lives in future.
Art is a subject which we believe is an integral part of our children’s education which engages, challenges and embodies some of the highest forms of human creativity. It unlocks our children’s potential, allowing them to express their creativity and support their mental health, which is key to our school ethos. To tap into our children’s creativity and truly unlock their potential, we strive to provide opportunities which reflect our schools culture and community through the artists we choose.
The focus of our arts curriculum is to develop proficiencies in drawing, painting, colour theory, shade and sculpture, therefore equipping children with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. Alongside these skills we will develop children’s knowledge of a range of artists and designs, their critical awareness and ability to critic their own work as well as the work of others. Children will learn about know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation. The artists chosen provide children with positive role models that they can aspire to emulate, as well as developing their understanding of their own and others’ cultural heritages.
We were delighted to be awarded the Gold Arts Mark in 2019.
Children have planned opportunities to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. The DT Curriculum includes links to designs and designers throughout history, enabling children to critically reflect upon and evaluate their own designs. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. This gives the learning purpose and relevance to the children.
Design technology is an outlet for children to express their creativity and imagination by designing and making products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts.
Pupils will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Pupils will also learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Pupils will understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the inter-related dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
We are proud to be a singing school and work closely with the Voices Foundation. The children’s creative talents are developed and encouraged through their experiences of Music. They compose and create using a wide range of percussion instruments and enjoy listening to and looking at work of composers.
PSHE is delivered at Rockingham through the use of Jigsaw programme and its comprehensive and progressive coverage of key concepts. This gives children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others. Emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, are prioritized through the progressive, well-planned scheme of work ensuring our children develop their emotional awareness, concentration and focus.
The School’s PSHE curriculum aims to ensure that all children learn the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
We are proud to have been awarded the TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health in School Programme) Bronze Award in 2019.
We are aware of the importance of physical activity for the growth and development of children and our P.E. curriculum reflects this. All learners follow the Horizon programme which develops core areas of the PE curriculum. Games, gymnastics and dance form part of the P.E. experiences for the children. In Key Stage 2 the children receive swimming instruction. Our PE Curriculum is sequenced coherently so skills build progressively. In Early Years pupils focus on developing fundamental movement. In KS1 pupils apply skills in a range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and coordination, individually and with others. In KS2 pupils continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learn how to use them in different ways and link them to make actions and sequences of movement.
DRET hold Winter and Summer cup competitions so the children have the opportunity to be part of trials, training sessions and then to represent their school at a high level. Other sporting opportunities also arise throughout the year as part of the DRET enrichment programmes.
RE at Rockingham follows the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education for Northamptonshire. This develops children’s knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes in Religious Education through an enquiry-based approach. These skills are necessary for pupils' self-fulfilment and development as active and responsible citizens. Each of the major world religions are covered within the units for the Agreed Syllabus.
First-hand experiences, the use of artefacts, visits to local places of worship and visits from local religious leaders are all planned to enhance enjoyment and understanding in RE. We also enable pupils to develop their own sense of identity and knowledge, understanding and sensitivity to the needs and contributions of all citizens and to understand that that we live in a diverse society.
Parents have the right to withdraw their child from R.E. lessons or assembly but we ask that they make this request in writing and that they discuss with their child’s teacher alternative activities that can be done during these times.
Modern Foreign Languages
In an increasingly diverse society, it is important that our children are able to express their thoughts and ideas in another language. We aim to ensure that all our children develop the skills of oracy, literacy and intercultural understanding in order to prepare them for further language study in the next phase of their educational journey.
David Ross Education Trust and British Values
The Trust is very supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values and preparing our pupils for success in a modern Britain.
A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each and every child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, resilience and building self esteem. These are all values and qualities that we feel are relevant in order to play a full and meaningful role in society, and are promoted via our extensive house system that lends itself to cultural and sporting competition, democratic principles, social mixing, the development of greater pastoral care and enhanced PSHE