Our Curriculum Contentinspiring learning for life
What are we studying?
We offer a broad and diverse curriculum to meet the needs of all our pupils which aspires for excellence in every area.
The content of the curriculum can be seen in the link below:
READING & PHONICS
Phonics and Spelling
At Tinsley we follow the ‘Read Write Inc.’ scheme in FS, KS1 & the New to English classes.This scheme aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
In FS1 children start working on learning phonics by playing various games where they have to listen for and identify sounds. By the end of FS1 those children who are ready are taught specific sounds using cued articulation.
Children are assessed at the end of every half term and placed in a group according to their phonic knowledge/ability.
From Year 2 onwards we also use the ‘Read Write Inc.’ spelling programme. This contains a range of materials and resources including:
- knowledge of the history of spelling and the English language
- a range of suggested strategies, approaches, and activities to help improve and practise spelling
- a collection of spelling learning objectives and teaching focuses
- programmes for Years 1 to 6 which draw on the learning objectives and teaching focuses.
In addition, in Key Stage 2 we have Read, Write Inc phonics intervention sessions to help any children who need further support in this area.
We are passionate about reading at Tinsley and our children develop their skills from a very early age. Reading development is a core focus in everything we do and we have purchased online schemes such as ‘Bug Club’ in order to help to encourage children to read in and out of school by competing to win book prizes.
We also have a number of volunteers who regularly come in to school to listen to children read. Every year we celebrate World Book Day whereby a famous author visits school to share a book with the children. As part of this, children also come dressed as their favourite book character.
During the week, children have an independent reading book which they can read at home and to their class teacher or teaching assistant. Any reading they do with an adult is recorded in their reading diary and once the book is finished they complete a reading journal activity in order to demonstrate how well they’ve understood the text.
They also take part in whole class and small group reciprocal reading sessions where as a class they study a novel developing their skills in predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising.
Our approach to writing is based on Talk for Writing which supports children to explore, through talk and guided practice, the thinking and creative processes involved in being a writer. It is embedded at every phase of the teaching sequence which is structured to include teacher talk, supported pupil talk and independent pupil talk. We believe that Talk for Writing is an approach that goes beyond the development of children’s general speaking and listening skills – it allows children to explore the processes involved in being a writer, and extends oral rehearsal so that it becomes a draft for their written pieces. The approach supports the children to move from talk into writing.
The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Tinsley Meadows reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.
Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
- Maths Mobs sessions throughout the week ensure concepts and skills are revisited on an on-going basis to further develop fluency and help our pupils commit key facts to their long term memory.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
To ensure whole school consistency, progression and sound teacher subject knowledge, we use the Inspire Maths scheme and further supplement the teaching and learning with resources from White Rose Maths, iSeeMaths and the NCETM (National Centre for the Excellence of the Teaching of Mathematics). The school is also engaged on an on-going basis with the DFE funded Maths Hubs programme which continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach.
In line with the mastery approach, we follow the mastery 6-part-lesson-structure model across both KS1 and KS2. Lessons begin with ‘Review and Do’ where a review of prior learning on the concept taught takes place and key vocabulary is reviewed/introduced for the concept. A ‘Hook’ is then introduced, which is a question that all children can access and discuss with their Kagan partners to stimulate their thinking about the concept and learning that will take place in the lesson. ‘Initial Practice’ then takes place, which involves teaching through the children’s work or looking at a worked example with the children (miming or another technique can be used here). The session then moves onto ‘Refining of the Technique’ which is a mixture of teacher taught and child-led discussion where ping-pong style activities take place. Here children will use their concrete resources and pictorial representations to develop their fluency and understanding while drawing on and making connections with prior learning. ‘Practice’ then takes place where children complete independent tasks (variation). Learning is monitored closely and children are moved on to differentiated, deepening tasks where appropriate. Finally a ‘Review’ briefly summarises the learning that has taken place and children will have the opportunity to demonstrate progress made.
Mathematical topics are taught in sequential, progressive blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it; however, our curriculum addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a good proportion of children demonstrating greater depth.
We have adopted the White Rose Calculation policy to develop progression in calculation strategies.
HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
The school’s history curriculum is based upon the primary National Curriculum. Long term planning aims for history topics to be taught in a chronological order so the children understand the chronological narrative of Britain. History is the focus for a number of topics taught in each Year Group, with our pupils developing their knowledge, skills and understanding through the study of at least two history-focused topics in each academic year. In topics that are not history-focused, history is still integrated into several lesson plans and it is taught discreetly in other subjects, such as literacy. A history skills progression grid, developed collaboratively with staff from across different year groups and phases, is used to ensure history skills are being developed. Visits are considered of very high importance throughout school so children experience learning outside of the classroom.
Geography is split into two main categories: Physical Geography and Human Geography. It teaches an understanding of places, environments and the factors that affect them. Through their work in geography, children learn about their local area, they compare their life in this area with other places in the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps, and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world, and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
At Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy science lessons provide an opportunity for children to work practically through investigations and experiments. Across each year group we cover a variety of topics ranging from plants and animals to discoveries in space. Practical investigations are a priority as this type of work enables the children to develop their critical thinking and teamwork skills.
As a school, we are keen to integrate the use of ICT into our science lessons and will often use laptops or ipads to record the findings from our experiments in a range of different ways.
During science week (9th – 13th March 2020) we hold a science fair where children from each class showcase a project which they have been working on. This also gives children the chance to experience the variety of career options that science has to offer as we aim to invite several visitors into the fair with expertise in different areas.
ART AND DESIGN
In teaching Art at Tinsley our principle aim is to ensure that all children will build upon their natural enjoyment in visual communication and to see themselves as artists while finding a sense of purpose, achievement and fulfilment in artistic expression within a multicultural society.
At Tinsley Meadows Primary Academy, we teach Design and Technology to equip our pupils with practical understanding to enable them to become future citizens in an increasingly technological and complex world. Our curriculum offers the opportunity to experience the processes and materials of technology and to enable pupils to appreciate quality and gain insight into the technology, which surrounds them.
At Tinsley Meadows, we highly value physical education and sports as one of the ways of learning about teamwork, the importance of competition and how to enjoy physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Every child at Tinsley Meadows receives 2 hours of high quality PE lessons a week, with at least one hour being taught by a specialist PE teacher. Throughout the year each year group is given the opportunity to experience a specialist sport through either curriculum lessons or lunchtime / after-school clubs. Some of the sports and physical activities children are introduced to, during their time at our school, include: athletics, team games, cricket, dodgeball, dance, boxing and football.
To further enhance and widen pupils’ sporting opportunities, we have forged links with many external sporting organisations. Here are just a few examples:
- Coaches from Sheffield United visit the school to run the Learn and Move project with KS2 children.
- We have close links with the Sheffield & Phoenix Cricket Club as well as the Yorkshire Cricket Board so children can receive high quality cricket coaching. This has been a sport in which the school has achieved a lot of success in recent years and we hope to further build on this success in the years to come.
- Our children have also had the opportunity of working alongside an Olympic Taekwondo champion to find out more about the sport.
- As members of the Arches School Sports Partnership, the school receives access to city-wide competitions for children, a range of coaching activities and specialist training for staff.
- Y4 children take part in swimming lessons booked through the Sheffield LA which take place every week at Ponds Forge. Tinsley staff support the swimming instructors so the children can work towards achieving National Curriculum levels and developing their understanding of water safety.
Our school is fortunate to have a dedicated sports hall as well as a large outdoor playing area. The sports hall is always occupied with sporting activities and clubs every lunchtime and after school. This year we have 7 multi-sport clubs, 2 fitness clubs, a Kickboxing club, cricket club and a ‘This Girl Can club’ which are run after-school.
Like last year, we will be holding whole school sports activities in the summer term (17th – 30th June 2020) so every child in school can take part in various different sporting activities. This was a success last year at raising awareness of how to lead a healthy lifestyle and in celebrating PE & Sports at Tinsley Meadows.
Furthermore our commitment to PE and Sports has been recognised through achieving the Silver Sports Award and our cricket team received the ‘Arches Sports Team of Year’ award in 2017.
SOCIAL, MORAL, SPIRITUAL & CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
The school believes that Religious Education should provide a contemporary study of religion, preparing children for later life. The school bears in mind that Christianity is the largest faith within the UK, however we value and celebrate all other religions. We enjoy celebrating significant religious events, such as Eid and Christmas. Respect, tolerance and understanding for the beliefs of others is promoted as part of the curriculum.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES
At Tinsley Meadows Primary School over 90% of the pupils are learning English as an additional language. Pupils are from a variety of minority ethnic groups including Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Yemini, Malaysian, Caribbean, African, Slovakian, Hungarian, Roma, Polish and Czech. Learning a foreign language allows pupils to develop transferable skills and language learning skills whilst also increasing awareness of different countries and cultures.
In our school, children have the opportunity to learn French as part of the school curriculum from Year 3 through to Year 6. During Year 5 children study France as one of their topics.
Computing has become part of the way in which we all work and entertain ourselves. Almost everything we do at school now involves the use of Computing. Thus, through teaching Computing, we equip our children to participate in a world of rapidly changing technology. We enable them to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also help them to develop the necessary skills for using information in a discriminating and effective way. This is a major part of enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners.
“The school’s exceedingly well-planned curriculum is structured to build sequentially on pupils’ prior learning.”
“high outcomes at the end of key stage 2 reflect the pupils’ successful progress”