Our school’s bible story and how it links to our curriculum?
Through our Christian faith, we recognise our responsibility to all children and staff, to enrich lives and show respect within our school family and the wider community. We believe in building confident learners who show resilience and determination in their learning today and ready for their tomorrow. Our school values are intertwined throughout the curriculum we provide and are seen at several points in the scriptures. In particular, our chosen Bible story, Creation (Genesis 1) shows how these five values shown throughout the story, can be combined to give the awesome outcomes that we strive for our children to achieve. Our curriculum aims to allow children the opportunity to ‘live and learn with faith, friendship and fun’.
The Charing Curriculum
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 and cultural capital 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.
Knowledge and skills in each subject area are carefully sequenced and structured so that children are able to build and develop their understanding as they move through the school.
Aims for the Charing Curriculum 2021-2022
Charing as a school wants to grow and be the school of choice whilst still having its diverse intake which makes the school unique. We plan to have a curriculum for pupils which is a knowledge rich base using the foundation of core skills so children become successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education.
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.
To ensure the best outcomes for all children, we aim to :-
- 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
- To have a curriculum that is designed to give all pupils, including children that are disadvantaged and/or with SEND, the knowledge, skills and cultural capital they need to succeed in life
- To build children’s knowledge in a wide range of curriculum subjects
- To build and reinforce pupils’ long-term memories, application of skills and knowledge
- Identify and close the gaps (particularly due to school closures in 2020 and 2021), 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 working alongside members of the parish
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 around the units of study in other subjects that term (such as in History, Geography, RE or PSHE). This increases the children’s understanding of that unit of study 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 has come back 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’s unit of study in Geography or History.
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.
In Key Stage 2 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 recent years, 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 runs in parallel to the English lessons 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 is more in line to the Focussed Reading lessons in Key Stage 2.
In Key Stage 2, 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 and be heard read at least 3 times a week.
Each class has an ‘Everybody Read In Class’ session daily. Our lower achieving children are given the opportunity to read aloud to an adult each day.In Key Stage 2, 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 by term 2.
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 and History will be taught as separate distinctive subjects on a term on, term off basis. There will be two lessons a week, with the second lesson ensuring there is time for children to show their understanding with a more in depth piece of writing. Art and DT and Music will be taught every Friday across the school by the subject leaders, along with PE and Life Skills. These curriculum areas will form a sequence of lessons building on knowledge and acquiring new skills. We allow our teachers to develop this according to the needs of their pupils.
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 ‘Life Skills’ will be introduced across Key Stage as well as Key Stage 2. 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
- First Aid;
- Cooking for decoration;
- Cooking to be healthy;
- Textiles (this includes sewing) and
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. 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 confidence, determination, faith friendship and respect. 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 have recently worked closely alongside the local community, producing a mosaic of King Henry VIII, in celebration of ‘The Cloth of Gold’.
Although we value our new curriculum the school believes that should not limit the children’s experiences.
Charing – our unique village and its history
Charing is a large, mostly agricultural village; it includes the settlements of Charing Heath and Westwell Leacon. We are located at the foot of the North Downs and reaches up to the escarpment. The Pilgrims’ Way, the M20 motorway and Charing railway station (between London Victoria and Ashford International via Maidstone) serve the parish.
Charing village also is home to Charing Racecourse, which hosts the point-to-point season.The name Charing first appears in 799 as Ciorrincg. The name probably comes from the Anglo-Saxon word cerring, which means a bend in the road, or it may be from Ceorra-ingas, which is Anglo-Saxon, meaning people of Ceorra.
The village is sited on the Pilgrims’ Way from London to Canterbury, and is one day’s walk from Canterbury. There are a number of old manors located around the village, such as Newlands (now a horse stud) and Pett Place. The village had a market recorded in 1285, and a fair recorded in the fifteenth century.
The Church of St Peter and St Paul, the parish church of Charing, is situated next to the remains of the Archbishop’s Palace, just off the High Street. The school has close connections with the church and visits the church on a regular basis. The church’s west tower was built in the 14th century, though most of the rest of the building was reconstructed following a catastrophic fire in the 16th century. The church is said to contain the stone on which John the Baptist was beheaded.
The village’s most famous building is the Archbishop’s Palace, which lies by the church and was an ancient possession of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The palace was an important building in the diocese of Canterbury, and counted amongst its guests King Henry VIII, who took it for himself. Henry VIII, stopped and stayed at the Archbishop’s Palace on his way to the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. In the summer of the 2020, there was meant to be a weekend celebration of this but unfortunately, due to Covid-19 the event was postponed. The school was to be involved in this event.
Charing railway station was opened on 1 July 1884, as part of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) extension to Ashford West of the 1874 line to Maidstone, which itself was a branch off the LCDR’s Sevenoaks branch of 1862, which joined the LCDR mainline of 1840 at Swanley. In the wake of 1955 British Rail Modernisation plan, the “Kent Coast Electrification” scheme saw the suburban electrification of the previous Southern Railway extended from Maidstone East through to Ashford. The only line to stop in Charing is the London Victoria line. The station featured heavily in the television series ‘The Darling Buds of May’.
Charing has had four mills over the centuries, serving the needs of the villagers. There were two watermills on the Upper Great Stour and two windmills.Watermills – Burnt Mill, a corn mill working until the 1950s, now derelict; Field Mill, a corn mill, the building of which survives retaining its waterwheel.
Windmills – Charing Mill, also known as Field Mill on the Downs above the village is a smock mill which was built in the early nineteenth century and last worked in 1891 (it stands today as a house conversion); Charing Heath Mill was a smock mill that was demolished c.1878.
Charing High Street is, in itself, full of historic buildings and houses dating back to Tudor times. It continues to provide residents with local shops, including a butchers, two hairdressers, a post office and a has thriving and engaged community.
The school has been involved in many Charing events including the Christmas lights parade, Remembrance Day celebrations, the Parish Council and Summer Fete. We continue to build on this relationship with the community.