Though we teach a connected curriculum, we believe that children have the right to the knowledge, skills and applications in the real world that each subject has to offer. Aspects of different subjects will be taught through specific subject-based learning; in mathematics in particular, children need to learn key concepts in order that they can apply them in problem-solving contexts. When planning units of work we:
- highlight connections between ideas in different subject areas
- incorporate the distinct skills and approaches of different subject areas
- develop awareness of what expertise looks like in each subject area i.e. what it means to be a mathematician, historian etc.
Our curriculum is based on the 2014 National Curriculum which requires all pupils aged between 5 and 11 years to study the following three core subjects:
Eight non-core subjects (known as foundation subjects) must also be studied in this age group. They are:
- Religious Education, in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus
- Art and Design
- Design and Technology
- Physical Education
In KS2, MFL (a modern, foreign language) is also taught.
Each subject has its own objectives that are woven into our curriculum. Where possible, we link objects from more than one subject; for example using the mathematical skill of interpreting data when analysing the results of a science investigation. Children also will learn things that outside the National Curriculum which may come from their own areas of interest.
Here is a brief description of our approach to the different subjects that make up our curriculum (in alphabetical order):
Art and design is the freedom of expression and the freedom to fail without retort.
- Simon Waterfall, Creative Director, Deepend
Art and design is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise: with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.- Quentin Blake, Children’s Laureate
Art is a major path to knowledge.- Leonardo da Vinci
Our pupils learn to develop their observational and imaginative skills through working with a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media. Sketchbooks form an important part of art lessons. They are a place to experiment with different media and techniques and allow children to develop their ideas and practice their skills.
By using different materials and processes, children develop their ability to communicate what they see, feel and think through the elements of line, tone, colour, form, texture and pattern. During their time at Stoneydown, children will be able to explore the visual arts through media such as drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, textiles, collage and animation. Children have the opportunity to work towards high-quality finished pieces of work that we enjoy displaying in school for parents and visitors to see.
At Stoneydown, we think it important that, to complement work done in class, children have the experience of visiting art galleries. We feel that it is the best way of appreciating and learning about artists’ work, looking at art from different periods and places and developing the vocabulary to discuss art and design and express their opinions.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Art Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Computing expands horizons by shrinking worlds.- David Brown, Chairman, Motorola Ltd
‘This is a new age of discovery, and computing is the gateway.’ Douglas Adams, Author
You can email through your TV, surf the internet on your mobile phone, even do the weekly shop from the comfort of your own home via your PC; modern technology is changing the way we live and work. Our children need to learn how to manage it all – to get hold of information, evaluate its suitability, store it, share it with others and tailor it to meet their own needs. Crucially, they also learn how to use computers as a tool for learning and creativity.
Whether they are working in our well-equipped computer suite, at a computer in the classroom, or using a lap-top, children learn how to safely navigate the internet and communicate through emails, develop digital photography skills, use sound and video recording equipment and access a wide variety of software. Interactive whiteboards throughout the school, along with a range of equipment and software, ensure that ICT can be used as a learning tool throughout the curriculum whether it be data handling, controlling computer-operated devices or making a film.
We aspire for our children to confidently and independently use and apply information technology skills to support and extend their learning. We hope to develop a culture where the use of ICT becomes second nature to our pupils, thus ensuring they are ready and able to embrace the technological advances in their futures.
Through our computing curriculum, we aim for our pupils to:
- understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
- analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
- evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
- be responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology
Click here to see the National Curriculum Computing Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Click here to see our yearly Computing Overview.
Design and technology is about making things that people want and that work well. Creating these things is hugely exciting: it is an inventive, fun activity.
James Dyson, Chairman, Dyson Ltd
Tell me and I forget – show me and I may remember – let me do it, and I learn. ‘Learning through making’ works! - Prue Leith, Leith’s School of Food and Wine
Everyone makes technological decisions every day, often without realising it. Design technology helps children to become problem-solvers through practical tasks, using creativity and imagination backed up by the knowledge and understanding of design. It is a subject children can enjoy individually or as part of a team and gives them the opportunity to become innovators. Design technology also encompasses cookery - an essential life-skill.
Our aim is to enable children to develop a wide range of transferable skills such as designing, measuring, predicting, recording and problem solving, as well as the manual skills exercised in making things. We also encourage perseverance and co-operative team-work.
Children work with a range of materials and equipment as they are guided through the designing and making processes necessary to construct their own products. Children are taught the skills necessary for using tools safely. Also, they learn to consider the effectiveness of a variety of manufactured products by looking at objects and investigating how they actually work and who they are aimed at. Working with a variety of materials and through the new skills they learn, children get to make and evaluate a range of different objects themselves, often linked to learning in science or art.
Design technology can be a very powerful tool for reinforcing learning in other subjects - for example, using a range of mathematical skills when measuring and cutting wood or exploring the application of science in a practical context such as designing a lever-controlled mechanism.
Through our DT curriculum, we aim for our pupils to:
- develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world
- build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-‐quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users
- critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others
- understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook
Click here to see the National Curriculum Design and Technology Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
English is the language of the future, the language of the computer. English is the most important tool you’ll ever need, no matter what career you choose. You have the right to English. Make it your right!- Benjamin Zephaniah, Poet, Writer, Actor, TV & Radio Presenter
Studying literature at school was my first, and probably my biggest, step towards mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life. - Ian McEwan, Novelist
We use English to communicate in both written and spoken form. We use language to build our view and opinion of the world and our community. We continue to learn, develop and enhance our knowledge and understanding of English throughout our lives. This subject underpins everything we do so we are committed to doing all we can to ensure that every child makes the best progress they can.
English is taught daily with work appropriately differentiated to match all abilities.
With parental support, we want our children to:
- speak clearly and confidently in any situation
- listen actively and respond appropriately developing knowledge and opinion
- read fluently for both pleasure and information
- write clearly and with confidence in any given genre
- use spelling rules, phonics and grammar accurately
- be able to proof read their own work and make amendments and improvements
Reading spans the curriculum and it is a source of pleasure and discovery as well as a means of instruction. We read stories to and with children, demonstrating that books are a source of enjoyment and a way of connecting to the wider world – both real and imaginary. We encourage children to read a range of books and to talk about them both at home and at school.
However, reading is a skill that needs to be taught well and coherently so we leave nothing to chance. Having begun in Reception, children continue in Years 1 and 2 with a system of ‘Daily Supported Reading’ (DSR) whereby every child reads with a teacher or teaching assistant in a group using books pitched at the right level with short activities designed to reinforce necessary skills. These sessions are carefully planned and evaluated and we know that DSR has had a very positive impact on achievement since we introduced it. In Years 3 to 6, children take part in ‘Guided Reading’ every day. This includes a variety of activities on a rota including reading with the teacher or teaching assistant and other activities such as answering comprehension questions, using laptops for reading research or taking part in ‘Reciprocal Reading’ when children take on different roles to question each other and explore a shared text. See Reading section on the English page in the Curriculum area for more information about how we teach reading.
At Stoneydown, we want all children to see themselves as writers and to have the tools to express their ideas confidently. Our aim is to teach children to write effectively in a variety of styles and for different purposes. Children are motivated to write through purposeful tasks and the expectation of high-quality outcomes linked to all aspects of the curriculum. We expect all our pupils to take a pride in their written.
Children study different types of texts, learning the skill of writing by examining how authors write. Children are shown the processes involved in writing starting with collecting ideas for writing through perhaps drama, reading, note-taking and research. Language that will be used by pupils is considered during the planning stage and words and phrases are collected throughout the unit of work (through shared reading) are displayed on the class ‘working wall’. We teach them different aspects of grammar that will support them in kind of writing they will be doing for example how to vary sentence construction or how to use speech marks accurately. Through careful marking, we show children what they have done well and what aspects of their writing to look at again and redraft in ‘writing improvement’ sessions when children also refer to their targets. See the Writing section on the English page in the Curriculum area for more information about how we teach writing.
Grammar and Punctuation
In addition to their English lessons, all classes from Year 2 to Year 6 have a short session for grammar, punctuation and spelling four times a week in which they can learn and practise key skills such as sentence construction. All children have targets in the English books which encourage children to write accurately and coherently applying knowledge of grammar and punctuation.
Handwriting is an important skill that is carefully taught throughout the school. At first, children concentrate on the correct letter shape and the spacing of words. Cursive handwriting is introduced in Year 2. As children become more experienced writers, regular handwriting practice is still carried out with the aim of producing clear and fluent handwriting.
Phonics and Spelling
Reception and Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions in ability groups. Key stage 2 learn and investigate learn spelling patterns and conventions. Children are supported to monitor their own spelling by correcting key words in their writing books. See Phonics section on the English page in the Curriculum area for more information about how we teach phonics.
Speaking and Listening
We believe that teaching children to articulate their ideas, to express themselves clearly through well- formed speech and to listen attentively so as to understand what is said to them is crucial to their educational success. Although speaking and listening comes under English in the National Curriculum, the entire curriculum is exploited for this purpose because it not only fosters children’s intellectual development and enjoyment of learning but also boosts their self-confidence, social and emotional development and motivation to learn.
Click here to see the National Curriculum English Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Following national requirements, children are formally assessed in English at the end of key stages 1 and 2.
Click on the links below to see the overviews of learning for KS1 and KS2.
Geography makes us aware that we must think globally.- Bill Giles OBE, Head, BBC Weather
What is our knowledge worth if we know nothing about the world that sustains us, nothing about natural systems and climate, nothing about other countries and cultures?- Jonathon Porritt, Forum for the Future
The topics studied throughout the school are designed to enable the children to understand the world and their place in it. We want children to have a clear understanding of where they are in the world and what their local area and the city of London is like. We hope they will be excited to find out about how varied the world’s climates and terrains are, how different parts of the world are connected and how our actions impact on our environment. We want pupils to recognise their contribution to, and responsibilities for, their locality, their country and the global community.
We teach about different places and cultures in a practical, creative way that encompasses geographical enquiry and skills. Our topics cover local areas and issues and extend to the wider world. Wherever possible, we take children on visits to enhance their knowledge and understanding through direct learning experiences. We provide opportunities for fieldwork to enhance motivation and learning. Children also use photos, reading and the internet to explore different environments. They learn to use maps and atlases to locate cities, countries, mountain ranges, rivers, seas and oceans. They use the skills they have developed in literacy, numeracy and ICT to record and present their findings.
Through our geography curriculum, we aim for our pupils to:
- develop contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places – both terrestrial and marine, including their defining physical and human characteristics and how these provide a geographical context for understanding the actions of processes
- understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time
- be competent in the geographical skills needed to:
- collect, analyse and communicate with a range of data gathered through experiences of fieldwork that deepen their understanding of geographical processes
- interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including maps, diagrams, globes, aerial photographs and Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
- communicate geographical information in a variety of ways, including through maps, numerical and quantitative skills and writing at length
Click here to see the National Curriculum Geography Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
How do you know who you are unless you know where you’ve come from? How can you tell what’s going to happen, unless you know what’s happened before? History isn’t just about the past. It’s about why we are who we are – and about what’s next.- Tony Robinson, Actor and Television Presenter
History adds colour to the curriculum. It tells you about how the princes and the people fit together – or fight. That’s life itself. If you miss out on that, you miss out on some of the most exotic, colourful characters you’ll have the chance to learn about at school.- Brian Walden, Author and Television Presenter
At Stoneydown, we don’t view history as simply facts and dates, but as a chance to become a detective and explore the past in an exciting way.
History allows our children to compare and contrast, to examine how and why things have changed, to learn about historical characters and expand their research skills. We want our children to be open-minded and enquiring thinkers understanding cause and effect. We want them to understand how people have lived in the past and begin to make links between the past and modern times. We encourage first hand experience wherever possible and visits play an important role in all year groups including visits in the local area as well as to the many museums in London. History may also be brought alive through special events and drama activities which also act as stimuli for writing.
The curriculum covers a range of topics from local history to ancient times, often through links with literature and art. We encourage children to develop historical understanding from observation of artefacts and original sources from which the past may come alive. As well as developing their understanding of how the past influences the present, children learn to appreciate the diversity of human experience and how changes in the past have affected their own personal choices. They learn to research, sift through evidence, reach their own conclusions and question the interpretations of others - skills necessary throughout life.
Our curriculum is based on the 2014 National Curriculum
Click here to see the National Curriculum History Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Mathematics is not just a collection of skills; it is a way of thinking. It lies at the core of scientific understanding, and of rational and logical argument.- Dr Colin Sparrow, Lecturer in Mathematics, University of Cambridge
At Stoneydown we endeavour to provide quality first education in maths that provides children with the foundation for understanding the world: the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the relevance of mathematics in everyday lives and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. The new curriculum outlines a clear set of end of year expectations for each year group and has three main aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Mathematics programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2.
Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
Following national requirements, children are formally assessed in mathematics at the end of key stages 1 and 2.
Daily Supported Maths (DSM) is a programme devised by the school for use in Year 1. Children receive intensive support in small groups to develop key skills.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart. ‒Nelson Mandela
In KS2, all children learn Spanish (from September 2014). Primary pupils are very receptive to learning a new language. They enjoy playing with the language and practising the pronunciation. Pupils develop communication skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence and explore differences and similarities between Spanish and English. Learning another language raises awareness of the multi- lingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils’ learning so that they can take a place in our global society eg about festivals and traditions from countries where Spanish is spoken helps children appreciate other cultures.
At Stoneydown, our approach is to make language learning enjoyable and rewarding through oral rehearsal, role play and songs. Children are encouraged to practise using their newly acquired vocabulary to communicate with each other. We have established a link with a school in Chile in order enable children to communicate both orally and in writing with native Spanish speakers.
Physical education is about pupils learning about themselves: their capabilities, their potential and their limitations. But it goes beyond the individual and understanding themselves – it’s learning how to work with and to respect others.- Lucy Pearson, England Cricketer
To see young people growing in physical skills, self-confidence and self-worth is a truly enriching experience. - Duncan Goodhew, Swimmer
Physical education is essential to children’s development. We build on the children's natural ability and enthusiasm for movement through experimenting, refining and practising skills. Our PE curriculum promotes healthy physical development, skilfulness in activities, and an understanding of fitness and health. We promote positive attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle and use PE as a way of building self-esteem.
During their time at Stoneydown, we want children to try a range of disciplines including gymnastics, dance (see Performing Arts), swimming, athletics and games so that they discover what they enjoy, learn about team work, and taste competition through matches and tournaments. New skills are taught progressively, and we emphasise participation and enjoyment for all.
Sports coaches from Leyton Orient teach classes each week and we also employ a specialist sports instructor to teach classes, run clubs and support the teaching of P.E throughout the school.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Physical Education programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2.
Performing Arts – Music, Drama and Dance
The performing arts of music, dance and drama form a prominent part of the curriculum at Stoneydown and are supported with specialist teachers. Links are made with other areas of the curriculum but we also teach specific skills within each discipline. We recognise the potential within the performing arts for children to create collective pieces of work that rely on them cooperating as well as each individual doing their best.
Regular opportunities are provided for children to perform in front of an audience and we teach them the necessary skills to do so which helps build confidence and co-operation. It is hugely pleasurable to perform to the best of one’s ability and to be praised for doing so.
We also try to provide children with the opportunity to see professional performances either at the theatre or from visiting performers.
Watch young children. What are they very often doing when left to their own devices? That's right - play-acting. It seems that drama play comes naturally. Tapping into this natural interest in drama play can give educators a way of providing students of any age with an enjoyable learning experience through which they not only gain knowledge but develop many life skills.- Carollyn Rogers
Drama strategies such as role-play and visualisation are used throughout the curriculum for example to help children empathise and understand events in stories and history or to problem-solve dilemmas in PSHE. Drama also enhances children’s language development and enables them to rehearse and hone ideas for writing.
As well as using drama across the curriculum, children may also work on more in-depth drama-led units of work that may result in a finished performance. Developing the acting skills to convey different situations, characters and emotions and working with others to create scenes and simulations helps children to develop confidence, social awareness, sensitivity and teamwork. They are also guided to comment constructively on drama they have watched or in which they have taken part.
In order to set a high standard in drama as well as music, we have a specialist drama teacher working at the school.
Dance activates your brain and gives you energy for everything else, the energy to be enthusiastic about your work. So all your work will gain.-Darcey Bussell, The Royal Ballet.
Although dance comes under the umbrella of P.E, and drama is part of the English curriculum, we value the creative potential of these disciplines and recognize that the specific skills within each are worth learning in their own right.
Dance may be taught as part of the P.E curriculum or within a performing arts sequence of work. Pupils are taught to use movement imaginatively, responding to stimuli - including music. They practice specific skills such as travelling, making a shape, turning and gesturing. Children learn to change the rhythm, speed, level and direction of their movements to create different sequences and patterns. During p.e lessons and dance/drama sessions, children create and perform dances using simple movement patterns, including those they have improvised, to create pictures, tell stories and express ideas and feelings. Children are supported to refine and improve their work to bring it to performance standard.
Ask any person in any city in any country what their favourite music is, and they’ll always have an answer.- John Suchet, Newscaster
Music aids communication with others and ourselves.- Evelyn Glennie OBE, Percussionist.
Music is highly valued at Stoneydown. We aim to give children opportunities to experience music as a fundamental part of the curriculum, developing skills that will enable them to be active and creative musicians.
Music is interwoven through class projects and assemblies with very tangible results. Children are introduced to a range of music from different times and cultures. Parents and visitors are welcome to attend our weekly singing assembly that is led by Rachel and Mauricio as well as other special assemblies and concerts to witness for themselves the spirit, creativity and skill of our pupils. Children develop an inherent musical sense and understanding through singing and this is further developed through instrumental learning either as a whole class or through individual tuition. They experiment with rhythm and sounds to compose their own music from a variety of starting points. Pupils identify and explore the relationship between sounds and how music reflects different intentions. Through performing music by ear and from simple notations, children form an awareness of how different parts fit together and how to achieve an overall effect. They learn how to improvise melodic and rhythmic phrases as part of a group performance and develop ideas within musical structures. Children are taught musical vocabulary to describe and compare different kinds of music, including their own and others’ work.
Click here to see the National Curriculum Music Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.
Click here to see KS1 & 2 progression in skills, knowledge & understanding.
PSCHE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education)
PSHCE is about developing the knowledge, skills and understanding for a healthy and well-balanced life. Our whole-school approach builds on and reflects the school’s aims and ethos - we want all our pupils to become informed, active and responsible citizens who are well-equipped to make good decisions.
Much of the curriculum is delivered through the SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) programme. Other aspects are integrated into topics. Drugs and sex education are taught to specific year groups. There is a whole range of planned opportunities and events throughout the school year that support PSHCE e.g. visitors to school, celebrating diversity, residential visits or learning first aid.
Through these activities, children develop their social skills and discover how to make confident and informed choices.
Sex education lessons form part of our PSHE curriculum (see Sex and Relationship Education Policy). We give children an overview of how their bodies work and change as they grow up and discuss the importance of forming good relationships with others within a values framework. During their time at primary school, children will find out about the physical and emotional changes they will experience in puberty and also learn about reproduction. Parents are invited in each year to see for themselves the materials we use.
Good-quality religious education can transform pupils’ assessment of themselves and others, and their understanding of the wider world in which we live. - Charles Clarke ex Minister for Education
We encourage a tolerant and respectful attitude through R.E. lessons and assemblies as well as during the teaching day, to promote the spiritual, cultural, moral and social development of pupils. Within our multicultural context, we view the teaching of Religious Education as an opportunity to celebrate and foster awareness of the different religious beliefs within our school and the wider world. Religious Education helps pupils to develop a positive attitude towards other people, respecting their right to hold different beliefs from their own, and towards living in a society of many religions and beliefs. Children consider the big questions of life from their individual viewpoint as well as that of different religions.
Through stories, discussion, visits and assemblies, children are given opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of the major world faiths and treating them with equal respect.
Lessons help the children to consider and respond to a range of important questions related to their personal spiritual development, the development of values and attitudes, and fundamental questions concerning the meaning and purpose of life. Visits to places of worship, handling artefacts and visits from practising members of different faiths enhance children’s understanding.
Science is valuable because it meshes with all our lives and allows us to channel and use our spontaneous curiosity.- Professor Susan Greenfield, Director, Royal Institution
Studying science teaches us to be good at analysis. It trains minds.- Brendan O’Neill, Chief Executive, Imperial Chemical Industries PLC
In the teaching of science, it is our aim to help each child develop an enquiring mind and a scientific approach to problems through the development of particular skills, attitudes, knowledge and understanding. Science is concerned with exploration and discovery of the world and excites pupils' curiosity.
Because science links direct practical experience with ideas and knowledge, it can engage learners at many levels. Scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modeling. Practical experiences and scientific investigations are the basis of most of our science work. Children are provided with situations that stimulate them to ask questions. To develop their ability to think scientifically we teach strategies and skills that will enable them to:
- Plan, hypothesise and predict results
- Observe, research and compare
- Design and carry out investigations
- Explain, interpret and evaluate results
- Communicate their findings clearly using appropriate scientific language
Children are taught these skills when gaining important knowledge of key science areas: Life Processes and Living Things, Materials and their Properties and Physical Processes. Pupils also learn to question and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives and contribute to change – for example, impacting on medicine and technology.
Through our science curriculum, we aim for our pupils to:
- develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
- develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
- be equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future
Click here to see the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study: Key Stages 1 and 2.