There is always something in the curriculum to challenge everybody
At Pickhurst, we implement The Power of Reading created by CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education). The Power of Reading enables all the teaching and learning, in English, to be centred around one core text either per half term. This allows the children to enjoy reading and be fully immersed into a high-quality and purposeful text. This enables the children to have a deeper understanding of the variety of texts, author’s language, the impact of illustrations and opens the discussion of life experiences.
The Power of Reading at Pickhurst allows us to emphasise the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers, with all the benefits this brings. Within the classroom literacy environment, pupils learn the importance of reading aloud, booktalk, role play and drama, readers theatre and story-telling.
The main focus for the direct teaching of English is the Literacy Hour during which the skills of spelling, reading, letter formation, text type, format, grammar and punctuation are taught at the appropriate level of development.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Please review the suggested reading books for Years 3 – 6 below.
Pickhurst Mathematicians are curious, flexible learners who are confident, adventurous, resilient and risk-taking in their approach. Through practical activity, exploration and discussion, at Pickhurst Academy we aim for all children to be mentally fluent, able to see patterns and connections within the number system. Children are focused on how they got to their answers and encouraged to make their own discoveries. Pickhurst children will be competent at dealing with number and its application to real life contexts, able to use appropriate terminology. They will develop their own reliable, effective strategies for calculating, reasoning and problem solving through logical, systematic approaches. We set aspirational goals for our children so that they become confident in their everyday lives and promote enjoyment and enthusiasm through maths.
In 2014 a new mathematics curriculum was introduced which become statutory for all pupils from September 2015.
“A high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.”
(National Curriculum 2014)
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
All children, at Pickhurst Academy, study maths 4 times a week. Teachers use the ‘Busy Ants Maths‘ scheme (Collins) in order to ensure every learning objective from the National Curriculum is taught.
End of Year Expections (Maths) Y1-Y6
If a child does not complete their homework by the given deadline, they will be expected to attend a lunchtime homework club on a Thursday. They will then have time to complete any missing homework with a teacher. If there is a valid reason as to why your child has not completed their homework, please do contact your child’s teachers to inform them as soon as possible.
Our Science Vision and principles
Our curriculum vision has been developed from a range of educational research and draws upon leading practice to ensure that all children experience a world-class science curriculum.
Our vision and principles for science teaching and learning are built upon and developed from:
Our Curriculum Provision:
At Pickhurst, we follow the National Curriculum (2013) for Key Stage 2. Our curriculum is mapped using the KENT scheme of work; however, this is a framework for teachers to use as a baseline to personalise the science learning in response to the children’s needs, experiences and prior knowledge. We believe that through allowing a more flexible approach to the teaching and learning of science, all children will achieve well and maintain a positive attitude towards science.
From 2019, we are also embracing sustainability and environmental education, predominantly through the Eco-Schools programme, and in partnership with our parents, to reflect the growing global focus on climate change. Our priorities for 2019-2020 are:
Furthermore, we have enriched our science curriculum through experience days with local secondary schools and engage with annual events, such as British Science Week and the Great Science Share for Schools.
Our assessment is formative, to ensure that teachers are aware of the children who need support and challenge in their science education. To stretch and challenge children, we use a range of resources, such as ‘Explorify’ from the. Wellcome trust. We use the ASE PLAN and the PSTT TAPS resources to benchmark and moderate our assessment data and ensure that children’s attainment is in line with national expectations.
Further to our curriculum provision, Pickhurst are proud to be a Primary Hub school with STEM Learning. Through this, we organise and lead regular subject leader network meetings and Teachmeets to share good practice throughout the local area.
Please click on the link to view Pickhurst Academy’s Science Curriculum Long Term Plan.
At Pickhurst Academy we use technology in most subjects and allow the children the opportunity to develop their skills in a variety of different ways, including the use of Google Apps throughout the Lower and Upper School.
Children use a mixture of laptops and ipads to both develop an understanding of computer science and support learning across the curriculum.
In all year groups we aim to develop ICT skills, building upon previous experiences and developing them further. In year 3 the focus is on safety and security, in year 4 it’s all about data, in year 5 children explore programming and in year 6 it’s all about computer science and tech to support SATs preparation.
At Pickhurst Academy we really value the need for physical education and try to get all children involved in sport. It is important to us that children do at least 2 hours of physical education a week, which includes 1 hour of indoor PE with the class teacher and 1 hour of games with our specialist sport teacher.
We also try to encourage all children to join as many extra-curricular sports activities as they can. Outdoor games are taught on the field or the playground depending on weather conditions.
‘Sport is for life and is also a great deal of fun, and in this fast changing world that we live in, it is important that children are given the opportunity to enjoy sporting activities which we hope will continue into adulthood.’
At Pickhurst Academy we compliment our creative curriculum with the International Primary Curriculum.
The International Primary Curriculum is a curriculum that is being used in 600 schools in 51 countries around the world. It was launched in 2000 having taken three years to create by a group of leading experts in education from around the world.
The goal of the International Primary Curriculum is for children to focus on a combination of academic, personal and international learning. We want children to enjoy their learning; develop enquiring minds, develop the personal qualities they need to be good citizens of the world, and develop a sense of their own nationality and culture, at the same time developing a profound respect for nationalities and cultures of others. Most of all, we want children to develop all the skills they will need in order to confidently face the world of tomorrow.
“I like that I can do a mindmap about anything all on my own now. We always do mindmaps with the IPC. They help you think.” – Year 4 child at Pickhurst Academy.
We introduced Philosophy for Children (P4C) in 2008 and it has had a huge impact on the children’s learning.
“In P4C children respond readily with comments and probing question. The emphasis is placed on pupils thinking and speaking for themselves at all times, but particularly through P4C sessions, enables them to make good progress in speaking and listening!”
P4C aims to encourage children to think critically, caringly, creatively and collaboratively. The children build a “community of enquiry” where the children create and enquire into their own questions. The questions raised come from a stimulus that is shared with the children. The stimulus can take the form of objects, artefacts, pictures, photographs and videos. The children can even bring in their own stimulus to share with the class.
P4C has become incredibly popular and the children enjoy their weekly P4C enquiry.
“P4C is good because there is no right or wrong”
“It is time to learn how to be independent”
“There are no boundaries, you can have unlimited answers”
“When deciding on what questions to enquire you have to work as a team”
“You learn about other people’s opinions”
The children will tell you that P4C develops the following skills:
At Pickhurst Academy we provide teaching of Religious Education for all pupils, in accordance with the Bromley syllabus. Children learn about the six major faiths of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism and Hinduism.
We encourage children to discuss their views and often incorporate Philosophy for Children into our teaching approach.
We also hold collective worship on a daily basis. Assemblies are broadly Christian, exploring themes such as friendship, perseverance and tolerance. We learn about famous people and traditions from around the world. In our assemblies we celebrate the achievements of those within our own and our wider community. It is your right to withdraw your child from Religious Education lesson or collective worship. If you wish to do so, you should speak to the Principal of the Academy, in confidence, who will make the necessary arrangements.
Design and Technology (D&T) involves designing, making and evaluating items for a specific purpose.
Cooking, including all aspects of health and safety, is now a focal point and as such, both subjects are taught in conjunction with the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). This allows pupils to benefit from topic based learning and to ensure a balanced coverage across the school.
Staff and children from all year groups are able to access the wide ranging D&T resources to enhance learning and promote creativity.
D&T is also becoming more and more prominent in our ‘Libertas’ and ‘Maths Challenge’ days where the emphasis is on working systematically and creatively. During these sessions, children are encouraged to solve design problems and produce an outcome based on thinking, discussion, planning and, above all, trial and improvement!
At Pickhurst Academy all children have the opportunity to learn French at Key Stage 2. Lessons are taught by their own teachers once a week, using interactive resources and program recorded by native speakers. Our lessons are planned to cover the 4 essential skills of learning a new language:
Listening – activities where children listen and repeat/listen and write down.
Speaking – when they practise short conversations/sentences related to the new learning.
Writing – translating from English to French and vice-versa, forming sentences building up to forming paragraphs.
Reading – comprehensions aiming to answer questions related to a piece of text using dictionary to support vocabulary.
Below is a brief summary of the topics we teach in each year group:
In year 3 we recap on the learning from KS1, focusing on colours, numbers up to 20, months of the year and days of the week, family members and parts of the body.
It is time for children to start telling the time and using a dictionary in year 4. They will be taught to talk about the weather and to count up to 40. Writing in full sentences will start to come on when describing people, objects and animals.
In year 5 children will be introduced to some grammatical structure of French language. They will start to understand the differences in syntax between English and French languages, as well as show understanding of gender (feminine, masculine and neutral). Children are encouraged to start reading longer passages out loud and to appreciate reading French literature.
For the last year of primary French, all children will be exposed to a range of different genres to widen their vocabulary and pronunciation, as well as the love for the language. More complex grammar (including conjugation of some high frequency verbs) and syntax will be taught and by the end of year 6 most children will be able to write short paragraphs to a good standard.
Here at Pickhurst we celebrate all the different languages spoken by our pupils and staff, as well as their culture. We are very proud to be a school that embrace diversity and has RESPECT as one of its core values.
At Pickhurst Academy, Geography is taught through the International Primary Curriculum. We encourage children to develop their knowledge of people and places by looking at the local areas and issues as well as those in the wider world. Maps, atlases, photos and the Internet are common sights in geography-based lessons. They use them to find out about cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers seas and oceans. Children use their skills that they have developed in ICT, literacy and numeracy to present their findings. First hand experiences of geography are also encouraged. This year children have visited High Elms and the River Darent.
In the summer term children will be experiencing ‘International Day’ where they will be researching and ‘travelling’ to (via the airport in the school hall!) a chosen destination. Children must know what they expect to see in their chosen country in case they are questioned by ‘immigration’ and of course they will look the part – the plan is for children to look the part. Keep checking the website for photos and information about this day!
At Pickhurst Academy, History is taught through the International Primary Curriculum. We encourage children to develop their knowledge of the past by exploring a wide range of sources such as artefacts, photographs, books and the internet. Through history, children learn to compare and contrast, find out why things have changed as well as research historical characters and places.
History will also feature heavily throughout our ‘International Day’ Keep checking the website for photos and information about this day!
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) are separate areas of the curriculum; however they have many overlapping areas and are therefore managed by one person at Pickhurst Academy.
Children need support in developing emotionally and socially so that they are able to use their thoughts and feelings to guide their behaviour positively and develop personal awareness, emotional resilience and social skills. This is developed through their PSHE/SEAL lessons and assemblies.
The main aspects of PSHE are taught through the Life Education Mobile Classroom and a comprehensive sex education programme. Other areas are covered through the science curriculum and SEAL work, examples of topics are ‘Going for Goals’ and ‘Getting On and Falling Out’ in weekly assemblies and lessons.
Children at Pickhurst Academy are also encouraged to develop their social awareness through a variety of charity days throughout the year. These occur at least once every half term and vary from local/school charities to international help and are always well supported.
At Pickhurst we are lucky to have good Forest School sites within our grounds.
The aim of Forest School is to provide children with opportunities to learn through exploring the environment in a way that is both fun and meaningful.
Through a range of activities children are encouraged to take risks in a safe environment and to develop skills in the following areas:
• Social skills
• Problem solving
• Awareness of the natural world
Over a series of Forest School sessions a number of activities are introduced. Children lead their own learning. They can choose which activities to do and who they work with. The activities offered include:
• Investigating plants and animals
• Painting with mud
• Making sculptures from natural materials
• Using string for knots and lashing sticks together
• Building dens
• Toasting marshmallows on a bonfire
Children often use their imagination and creativity to make up their own activities.