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.
Annual Curriculum Overviews
Subject Leadership at Rockingham Primary School
All the areas of the curriculum are looked after by different subject leaders within the school. Each subject has an individual action plan and impact plan to drive improvements. To ensure a balanced and reflective team, our school is split into four key areas:
Phase Lead: Miss D Holmes
Our curriculum is designed using the interest of our children whilst also meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory framework. We use a combination of direct teaching inputs and child-initiated activities to ensure that children can thrive and become confident and happy learners.
There are seven areas of learning and development that 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 underpin the other four specific areas of learning.
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.
Personal, social and emotional development involves children gaining self-awareness and self-confidence, turn-taking, learning to manage their feelings and behaviour and forming relationships with adults and children. These skills are essential for children to be able to learn and be successful at school.
Subject Lead: Miss A Harper
We expect the children to read at least 3 times per week at home and this is celebrated back in school and monitored through our online reading log, which allows pupils and their families to record their independent reading via a QR code.
Read Write Inc
Subject Lead: Miss D Holmes
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.
Subject Lead: Miss A Harper
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.
To enable our children to work on developing their ability to spell, we have a school subscription to Spelling Shed. This enables children to access a range of age-appropriate games-based activities to build up their recall speed. As children's speed increases, they attain a higher rank which is then rewarded. Each child’s score goes onto our pupil league table and the whole school league tables so we can see where our top performing class is. To view the current league tables, follow the link below.
Subject Lead: Miss R Harman
Mathematics is essential to everyday life and necessary for financial literacy. It is also critical to science, technology, engineering, and most career paths, for example: medicine, business, architecture and many more. We aim to provide a high-quality mathematics education which will provide a foundation for understanding the world, to develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics. We want to instil a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject whilst improving our pupil’s social mobility opportunities. Our pupils will leave our primary academies as confident, resilient mathematicians, demonstrating conceptual and procedural fluency, with the ability to reason mathematically and efficiently solve problems
The mastery approach focuses on depth rather than breadth from early on. Children, from the earliest opportunity are given a comprehensive diet of core number facts and concepts. Mastering these early on means that other concepts can be taught quickly in other year groups.
To enable our children to work on developing their ability to recall times tables facts fluently, we have a school subscription to TimesTables Rockstars. This not only supports the children to being successful in their Year 4 MTC but also to apply this learning to other areas of the maths curriculum. This enables children to access a range of age-appropriate timestables activities to build up their recall speed. As children's speed increases, they attain a higher rank which is then rewarded. Our new badge system provides rewards to children who are fluent in each group of timestables.
- EYFS Maths at Rockingham
- Maths Curriculum Intent
- Our Approach to Teaching Mathematics
- Rockingham EYFS Reception Maths Curriculum Guidance and Termly Overviews
- Rockingham Primary Maths Long Term Overview
Subject Lead: Mrs D Emerton
Geography plays a central role within the curriculum at DRET and is fundamental to our wider Trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich children. Our knowledge-rich Geography curriculum is finely sequenced, cohesive and progressive which ensures that knowledge builds on knowledge. The DRET Geography curriculum has six unifying themes; Location, Place, Human/ Environment, Interactions, Movement and Regions. Pupils will secure a range of geography skills such as enquiry-based fieldwork and using maps, graphs and compasses. Our Geography curriculum ensures that children learn how to ask and answer geographical enquiry questions, know the connections between locations and understand human and physical features of these places.
Throughout the school, children's learning includes curiosity provoking ideas such as how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time. This understanding of the world in a physical sense, in combination with an awareness of societies, cultures and environmental issues around the world, enables children at DRET to become true global citizens. These different strands of Geography are in constant interplay and are synthesised together within Geography lessons. Children present their knowledge through geographical enquiry, interpretation and communication. As a result of the accumulation of rich knowledge, which connects children’s substantive knowledge and geographical disciplinary skills, children secure an unwavering foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.
Subject Lead: Mrs D Emerton and Mrs G Dowsing-Toye
History plays a central role within the curriculum at Rockingham and is fundamental to our wider Trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils. Our knowledge-rich history curriculum is finely sequenced, cohesive and progressive which ensures that knowledge builds on knowledge. Children will secure a significant historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understand connections between local, regional, national and international history. It ensures that children learn how to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Then, begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
As a result of the accumulation of rich knowledge, which connects pupils’ substantive knowledge and historical disciplinary concepts, children secure an unwavering foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.
Subject Lead: Mrs D Emerton
"I enjoy learning about being safe on the internet. I share my knowledge with my family." KS2 pupil
"I enjoy using scratch to code characters." KS2 pupil
At Rockingham, we aim to prepare our learners for their future by giving them the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills that will equip them for an ever-changing digital world. Computing plays a central role within the curriculum and is fundamental to our wider trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils. 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 and focuses on a progression of skills in Digital Literacy, Information Technology, and Computer Science with E-Safety underpinning these to ensure that children become competent in safely using, as well as understanding technology. These strands are revisited repeatedly through themes during the children's time in school to ensure the learning is embedded and skills are successfully developed. These strands enable pupils to accumulate essential knowledge and cultural capital. Our intention is that Computing also supports children's creativity and cross-curricular learning to engage and enrich their experiences in school.
Subject Lead: Miss R Harman
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.
We are delighted to announce that we have successfully passed and been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark in September 2021. This award celebrates our commitment to excellence in science teaching and learning.
Science - Vision and Principals
Subject Lead: Mrs A Stonehouse
"I love how I can express myself without writing anything down." KS2 pupil
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 school’s 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 evaluate their own work as well as the work of others. Children will learn about 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.
Subject Lead: Mrs A Stonehouse
Children have planned opportunities to 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, history, 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.
Subject Leads: Mrs S Taylor and Mrs Y Want
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.
Subject Lead: Miss R Harman
" PSHE helps us keep safe by helping us to talk through things which are sad or worrying. We have talked about how and why it is important to be kind to others." KS2 pupil
At Rockingham Primary, we value PSHE as one way to support children’s development as human beings, to enable them to understand and respect who they are, to empower them with a voice and to equip them for life and learning. We teach Personal, Social, Health Education as a whole-school approach to underpin children’s development as people and because we believe that this also supports their learning capacity.
The Jigsaw Programme forms the foundation of our PSHE curriculum. This offers us a comprehensive, carefully thought-through Scheme of Work which brings consistency and progression to our children’s learning in this vital curriculum area.
Subject Lead: Miss L Casswell and Miss R Harding
"I love doing the daily mile. I can now run further without stopping." KS1 pupil
"I've really enjoyed rugby. My technique for kicking the ball has improved and I am better at intercepting passes." KS2 pupil
Physical Education (PE) and sport play an important role within the curriculum at Rockingham Primary School. This subject is one of the main areas that helps us to fulfil the wider David Ross Education Trust (DRET) mission of encouraging pupils to succeed and excel. Our extensive PE and school sport curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to become physically confident in a way which supports their mental and physical well-being. Children of all sporting ability have the opportunity to compete in a wide range of activities, which helps them to build their characters and resilience, along with embedding values such as fairness and respect.
To achieve our desired outcomes, we deliver the unique Horizon PE Curriculum, which encompasses PE teaching, assessment and learning. In EYFS and KS1 we look at units in Stability, Locomotor, Throwing and Catching and Dribbling and Striking. We understand how important it is to develop those key fundamental movements at an early age in order for our pupils to have a strong foundation to build more complex skills upon.
These more complex skills can be found in the sporting units of KS2, where we focus on team sports such as football, hockey, netball/basketball, rugby and athletics, along with other units in dance, gymnastics, orienteering, tennis and cricket. The curriculum is progressively sequenced so that each unit is built upon in complexity. This allows teachers to move between linked skills in order to be adaptable so that every pupil can be included within PE lessons.
Our overall aim at Rockingham Primary School is to give all of our pupils an ‘Active Start’ with the aspiration that by the time they leave us at the end of KS2, our pupils are able to engage in PE in KS3 and move towards being able to be ‘Active for Life’.
Subject Lead: Mrs Y Want and Miss N Robinson
"I really enjoyed debating the creation story." KS2 pupil
RE at Rockingham follows the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education for Northamptonshire. It is rooted in three key disciplines: theology, philosophy and human and social sciences. These develop 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 as well as their understanding and sensitivity to the needs and contributions of all citizens; 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.
Subject Lead: Miss A Harper
Languages plays a vital role within the curriculum at Rockingham Primary. We believe that learning an ancient language allows the children to immerse themselves in the history of language, applying this to the wider curriculum. Our curriculum promotes curiosity and deepens understanding of the world. Learning Latin enables pupils to both communicate their ideas in another language and discover the origins of many words we use today. We also strive, through our Latin curriculum, to increase self-confidence and enable social mobility through wider opportunities in the future.
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