As an inclusive community built on friendship and love, Christian values inspire us through faith in God and hope for the future. Everyone is empowered to recognize their God-given potential and to become lifelong learners. We work together to ensure we achieve our aspirations and encourage independence.
Our Christian values of love, hope, truth, friendship and kindness underpin everything we do at our school. We work together as a community, within Aquila the Canterbury Diocese Multi Academy Trust.
- We believe our school plays a significant part in a pupil’s childhood providing a safe and nurturing environment. A place a child can enjoy being an individual and develop as a well-nurtured human being.
- Our curriculum is broad and balanced. It builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points. We want our children to experience a wider curriculum in abundance, ready to embrace the next chapter in their learning journey.
- The outdoor environment and the local community are considered an opportunity for active learning for all pupils. We will fully embrace the surrounding resources and utilize our vast outdoor space.
- We aim to educate our children for the present and also for the future: giving them an understanding of the world, everlasting experiences and life skills that they will take forward.
- We celebrate the diversity and cultural wealth of the wider community, specific to Charing.
- We will engage parents in supporting pupil’s achievement, behavior and safety and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The creative curriculum at Charing was designed during the academic year of 2018/2019 for it to begin at the start of the 2019/2020 academic year. The main purpose of ‘The Charing Curriculum ‘is to provide a broad and balanced education that meets the needs of all pupils. It aims to give all children the rich knowledge and understanding together with essential skills to prepare them for future learning. The curriculum is aimed to meet the particular needs of the children at Charing and familiarise them with the local setting and all it has to offer.
Aims for the Charing Curriculum 2019-2020
Charing as a school wants to grow and be the school of choice whilst still having its diverse intake which makes the school unique. Our unique curriculum will define Charing as a school along with clear Christian values and character. We aim for every child to see school as a safe sanctuary, that they enjoy attending and have a love for learning; feel motivated to achieve; taking pride in everything they do; showing respect to everybody.
As a result of observations; monitoring in the classes and books; pupil, parental and staff voice and outcomes in the last academic year we knew we had to change the curriculum to meet the needs of our school community. The following aims were put into the new curriculum at Charing that would drive it forward –
- Ensure the children enjoy learning and are proud to be a member of Charing Primary School
- Ensure the curriculum is relevant and promotes the school’s distinct Christian character
- Close the gaps, especially in the core subjects, to ensure achievement for all
- To have a curriculum that promotes resilience, physical development, mental health and well-being to support and develop the whole child
- To have a curriculum that supports and actively develops the pupils’ cultural, spiritual, moral and social development which allows children to collaborate and have mutual respect for all
- To promote the school within the local community and gain a knowledge of the history of Charing whilst working alongside members of the community
We believe that this school will play a significant part in the lives of the children and the community. As a result of this there will be more of a desire to come to school and attendance will significantly rise.
We understand at Charing that the curriculum is in its infancy and we are always looking to develop it and improve it anyway we can. The curriculum meets the needs for our current group of pupils; these needs will change year on year and it will continue to evolve.
How we aim to achieve this – the Curriculum
The time table has been restructured to meet the needs of the children to ensure they reach their potential. The final week of a term is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate, reflect and consolidate their learning journey.
In Key Stage 2, the English Writing lessons will be an hour and ten minutes from Monday to Thursday. In these writing lessons children will be taught basic English grammar and punctuation to help improve their writing, as well as the skills needed to help meet the success criteria for particular writing genres. Writing tasks will mostly be based around a class text. The text will be age appropriate and challenge the children’s understanding and be based on the class’ topic for the term. This increases the children’s understanding of the topic and can lead to further thinking on the issue. The text does not just create stimulus for the writing task, it has many other benefits: language enrichment, shared and modelled; it enhances a love of books and reading; it supports children’s understanding of texts through teacher led questions. Pupil voice came back at the end of last year very favourable on the text based writing lessons and the books chosen were very popular. There will also be non-fiction writing linked to the class topic.
There will be a maths lesson Monday to Thursday that teaches, practises and embeds particular areas of mathematics for an hour and 5 minutes. Teachers are encouraged not to race through areas of learning but instead ensure children have an understanding of the area before moving on. Each lesson starts with a 5 to 10 minute daily practise which revisits previous learning. On a Friday morning there will be a 45-minute arithmetic lesson. For KS1 and years 3 and 4 this lesson will focus on number recall and improving the speed of mental calculations. For years 5 and 6 this will be arithmetic based questions, again to help improve each child’s speed and confidence. This had a positive impact on last year’s Year 6 and the arithmetic test scores were much improved.
From Y2 onwards there will be four focussed reading lessons a week which will be text based work. This will be an opportunity for pupils to become immersed in a text, to foster a love of reading through reading aloud and delving deeper into the reading material.
Class texts will be chosen carefully to match class learning and engage pupils in literature and language. Sometimes these texts will be the same as the class book in the English Writing lesson. Texts will embed children’s knowledge but also challenge them in terms of language acquisition and promote a literary language rich environment in the classroom.
Although reading results improved significantly in the last year it is still one of the key priorities of the school. To help with this the school has introduced the Read, Write inc phonic programme to the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. This forms the basis of the English lesson in EYFS and KS1 for up to an hour, four days a week. Children in Year 2 should make rapid progress and complete the RWI programme then move onto English lessons which use a class text to inspire writing opportunities.
There is an expectation for every child to be heard read in school at least once a week (with vulnerable children to be heard even more) and incentives to read at home regularly including dojos and Buster’s book club. In EYFS and KS1 children will be regularly immersed in favourite and classic children’s picture books, through story times.
There are 4 twenty-five minute slots for Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation lessons in Key Stage 2 a week. With grammar and punctuation teaching happening in the writing lessons as well, this is an opportunity to consolidate what has already been taught but most of the lessons will be spelling based with a new approach to spelling being designed for Key Stage 2 by the English team which will start running from the beginning of term 2. Looking at the books spelling is a particular weakness that needs to be focussed on this year.
At the end of last year, writing books across the school were becoming a strength with the quality of writing on the whole being strong. This year, at Charing, these high standards of writing are expected in all subjects and books. To support this both Science and RE have been moved to a Friday morning as it was found that the children at Charing are more motivated in the morning than the afternoon. RE and Science, despite not being subjects that children have to undertake statutory testing for, are key subjects that should hold the same importance and have the same high outcomes as English and Maths. The Science areas of learning are planned out by the Science subject leader and are linked to the national curriculum. Wherever possible links will be made between Science and the class’ general topic to broaden and deepen understanding. RE is taught specifically on a Friday morning across the school because that is the day our Christian Distinctiveness leader works and her presence will help develop the teaching of RE across the school as well as continuing to help the school create its own distinct Christian character.
Teaching and learning in the afternoons will be approached using a model adapted to suit the school community. Previously, at Charing, the children were disengaged in the afternoon and behaviour for learning suffered as a result.
Every afternoon will start with five minutes of Mindfulness. This will give children an opportunity to manage their thoughts and pause, reflect and be present in the moment. They will be guided by their class teacher. This mindfulness approach is designed to feed into lessons where children are reflective and open and can approach the curriculum with broadmindedness and a natural curiosity for new experiences.
We aim for the children to be inspired through creative and practical approaches to learning which not only embed knowledge and skills but gives children the opportunity to develop as an individual and celebrate a diverse range of talents.
Geography, History, Art and DT and Music will become part of our ‘Topic’ lessons and link to this immersive style of learning. These curriculum areas will form a sequence of lessons building on knowledge and acquiring new skills rather than distinct unconnected subjects. However, we do recognise that on occasion there will need to be stand-alone lessons to develop an area. We allow our teachers to develop this according to the needs of their pupils.
Reception – Magical Me! Once Upon a Time, Amazing Animals, How Does Your Garden Grow?, Aargh Spider (Minibeasts), Under the Sea
Year 1 and 2 – Our Wonderful World, Fire! Fire! Creatures of the Night, Where the Wild Things Are, Life on the Ocean Waves, Journeys
Years 3 and 4 – Globetrotters; Stone Age; Going Wild; Romans; Once Upon a Time; Tudors
Years 5 – Home Sweet Home (looking at homelessness as well); Operation Nice (which ties into Anti-bullying week); The Power of Nature; Ancient Greece; Space; Victorians
Year 6 – World War 1; World War 2; Creature Features (evolution); What’s mine is yours (migration); Optical Illusions; Changes.
The remaining afternoon sessions will used to teach P.E., Spanish in KS2 and PSHE.
In the current climate and issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing, we recognise that PSHE is hugely important. Teachers can adapt our PSHE Curriculum to fit the needs of the pupils at any particular time. After PSHE, the children will be given ‘Team Building’ time to work together rationally and problem solve. We believe this will build children’s resilience and develop their thinking and will include ‘Building Learning Power’. At least once a term, each class will have a Philosophy for Children lesson, giving them the opportunity to think deeply about an issue. This will help develop the children’s empathy and listening skills. This may link to issues arising from a class’ topic or a current political debate which the children feel passionate about.
This year we have introduced a ‘Life Skills’ lesson once a week in Key Stage 2 led by the HLTA. We believe that at Charing our children should not just be equipped for their educational journey but also their journey in life; teaching them skills that they may need in their everyday life even into their adulthood. The Life Skills lessons for this academic year are Gardening; First Aid; Cooking for decoration; Cooking to be healthy; Textiles (this includes sewing) and Careers. Each Life Skills lessons will have links to the national curriculum but not in one particular subject, instead in a variety. The ‘Careers’ topic is for children to broaden their horizons and see what job prospects are there for them after school life. When looking into careers we will be looking into the cultural background and life experiences of our children. We want to celebrate every child’s heritage and culture at Charing.
The ten minutes at the end of each day is used by teachers in KS2 to revisit past and present learning thorough class quiz time or to engage in current local, national and global news. In EYFS and KS1 this will be story time with books reflecting the interests of the children and the topic they are learning about.
Through the Charing Curriculum we want every child to grow in confidence and excel according to their abilities. Even if they might find Maths challenging, they are still able to show skills and expertise in another area of learning. The aim is to give them a love of learning that they will use outside the school environment.
Beyond the curriculum
At Charing we want every child to feel safe, be happy and strive to be the best that they can be. We encourage this by following and living by our Christian values of love, friendship, kindness, truth and hope. Every member of staff is committed to the school and to the children: supporting, teaching and nurturing. Above all we hold the children’s’ best interests at the centre of all we do. Since September 2019, the school has implemented a new curriculum but has also strived to offer pupils experiences beyond the classroom. Along with the regular after school clubs, this academic year alone, the children have been to the pantomime, attended a whole school singing workshop, held a mock general election, represented the school in the local church’s memorial service, regular trips out, raised money for different charities, archaeological digs and many more. The school will be working closely alongside the local community in the summer celebration of ‘The Cloth of Gold’. Although we value our new curriculum the school believes that should not limit the children’s experiences.
The curriculum beyond 2019-20
Continue to develop the curriculum
This new curriculum is a work in progress and it must continue to grow. As a school, we will constantly evaluate the curriculum and listen to staff, pupils and parents to improve it and when necessary adapt it to suit the need of our school community.
Forest school and make even more use of the facilities
With the life skills lessons being in their infancy, we will aim to adapt and improve them to meet the needs of all individuals. With a fantastic outdoor environment at Charing, we must aim to use it to enhance the curriculum further. Although Forest School will be introduced in term 3 for the rest of this academic year, we will aim to make this a regular occurrence within our curriculum. We will research and explore this avenue seeing how this would work for Charing and ensure it is cost effective for a sustained period.
School to grow into a single form entry school
The long term aim for the school is to grow to be two form entry. A single form entry within the next 3 years will be the first target. To do this the school’s profile needs to continue to grow and become the school of choice in the local area.
For us to be judged as the school of choice we believe it will be our own unique curriculum that defines Charing as a school, along with its clear Christian values that will be embedded into practice.