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Art

We believe that creativity, challenge and inspiration are fundamental to the development of every child. 

Children develop an understanding and appreciation of key artists through time  and how they have developed high quality art through a variety of media and styles:  drawing, painting and sculpture. We provide opportunities for children to invent and create their own works of art, craft and design and time to evaluate and analyse creative works using the language of art, craft and design.  

Our curriculum promotes the development of progressive art skills through the National Curriculum;  these skills will underpin the lessons delivered. Where possible (but not exclusively) art will be linked with curricula themes.  

We believe that  all children have an entitlement to a range of high quality arts experiences, whatever their background and ability.  We also believe that high quality resources are essential to our art provision and we invest considerably in a wide range of art materials and equipment.  

To ensure a broad range of art materials are used and experienced, each key stage will plan their units of work using the following media:  printing, painting, drawing, textiles and clay.

Computing

Technology is changing the lives of everyone. Through teaching Computing we equip children to participate in a rapidly-changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology.

It is our intention to enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information. We also focus on developing the skills necessary for children to be able to use information in a discriminating and effective way.

Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative and independent learners and it is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this.

The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation

  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems

  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems

  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication

Teachers and children use the Purple Mash platform as our principle computing teaching resource.  Purple Mash hosts a mix of curriculum focused activities, creative tools, programs and games to support and creative learning. Purple Mash is online, children can save their work on the cloud.  Each user receives an individual login to save and retrieve their work.

Design

Design and Technology (D/T) forms an important part of the curriculum. We believe D/T education stimulates creativity and imagination through problem solving and the production of quality products. Therefore, we believe that it should be taught as an individual subject as well as incorporated into other curriculum themes  where appropriate. 

In Key Stage 1 the children will learn to design purposeful, functional and appealing products that are based on design criteria. They will learn how to join materials.They will make products by using a wide range of materials and develop the use of tools to cut, shape, join and finish. They will learn to evaluate products and suggest how it could be improved to be stronger, stiffer and more stable. They will learn to cook simple food;  sweet and savoury dishes.

In Key Stage 2 the children will learn to design purposeful products that are aimed at particular individuals or groups. They will develop their ideas through detailed planning, evaluating product design, observational drawings and making prototypes. They will learn how to use different joining techniques. They will make products and learn how to use a wide variety of tools, equipment, materials and components. They will learn how to include mechanical, electrical and computer control into products. They will learn to design and cook food with an emphasis on savoury dishes.
 

English

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. We ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding.  Our use of the Monster Phonics programme ensures that children have a strong grasp of phonics as soon as they start school.

  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.  Whole class reading further celebrates a passion for reading, modelling reading from a variety of texts as well as focussing on a variety of reading skills - from summarising, retrieval, inference to prediction. 

  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.

  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. 

  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Forest School

At Benenden we believe that Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland environment. The children  will engage in motivating and achievable tasks and activities throughout the year and in almost all weathers. Children will work with tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation whilst developing an understanding of the natural world. The Forest School concept originated in Denmark, originally aimed at pre-school children, where it was found that children who had attended forest school then arrived at school with strong social and communication skills, having the ability to work in groups effectively, generally had high self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities. These foundations helped them to raise their academic achievements.

Geography

Our Geography curriculum helps prepare young people with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make sense of their world and to face the challenges that will shape our societies and environments at the local, national and global scales.’  (Gardner, 2009)

A spiral progression of skills (based on the national curriculum)  allow children 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

  • are 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.

In its implementation through KS1 and KS2, geography will often be linked through a theme.  Children will also be given opportunities to consider ‘deeper thinking questions’ where often knowledge is further contextualised.  Full details about our knowledge and skills taught are on our Curriculum Matrix. 

Reference:  Dr Rita Gardner, Director, Royal Geographical Society,quoted in A Different View (2009)

History

Our history curriculum aims to inspire our pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. History helps pupils to understand the process of change, the diversity of societies as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.  Our history curriculum will equip the children to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments and develop perspective and judgment.
 

In both KS1 and KS2, History will be linked to a theme. In KS1, themes will run for a shorter period to retain engagement and interest whilst allowing children to see shifts in chronology and gain sense of the past, comparisons to be made and lots of practice using historical language.   In KS2, themes will typically run for a term and focus on longer historical periods in greater depth. They are planned sequentially to allow for pupil to gain a sense of comparing different civilations or same periods. In both KS1 and KS2 children will develop a sense of history of their own locality.  

Children will also be given opportunities to consider about ‘deeper thinking questions’ where often knowledge is further contextualised.  Full details about our knowledge curriculum at on our Curriculum Matrix.

Maths

Our mathematics teaching follows the White Rose Maths programme for children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The White Rose scheme of learning supports a mastery approach and has been developed by teachers ensuring practical coverage of the National Curriculum. Teachers use various resources to teach the learning objectives and use their professional judgement to decide which are most suitable for their class. 

We believe that all children, who are introduced to a concept, should have the opportunity to build on their abilities by following a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.

  • Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects to help them understand what they are doing.

  • Pictorial – alongside this children should use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.

  • Abstract – both concrete and pictorial representations should support children’s understanding of abstract methods.

We also have a ‘Magic Maths’ session at least 3 times per week in all classes. This is a quick fire session where children practice numberbonds, tables and key concepts are reinforced outside the maths lesson. 

At Benenden, we are passionate about children enjoying their maths and games to reinforce concepts are also widely used. 

Each child from year 1 upwards has a Sumdog login. This is a secure, fun website where children practise their number facts and knowledge and can also practice spelling!

MFL

At Benenden Primary School we focus on French in both KS1 and KS2. We believe that it is important that the children gain experiences of other languages and particularly French,  given our proximity to France.  

We use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond Key Stage 2.

All content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements. 

The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas. In addition, the children will be taught how to look up and research language they are unsure of and they will have a bank of reference materials to help them with their spoken and written tasks going forward. This bank of reference materials will develop into a reference library to help pupils recall and build on previous knowledge throughout their primary school language learning journey.

The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.

Music

We make music a fun and engaging learning experience. We encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences that builds up the confidence of all children. Our teaching focuses on developing the children’s ability to sing in tune and with other people, particularly during Collective Worship, choir and termly in church service. Through singing songs, children learn about the structure and organisation of music.

We use the Charanga scheme of work and associated resources as a starting point to structure and implement progression of skills and music knowledge.  We incrementally expect children to maintain their concentration for longer and to listen to more extended pieces of music. Children develop descriptive skills in music lessons when learning about how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach them the disciplined skills of recognising pulse and pitch. Also, we teach the children how to work with others to compose music and perform for an audience.

Finally, we ensure every child will have the opportunity to learn the Djembe drum during KS1 and latterly in KS2 (Year 5) a brass instrument, currently the trumpet.  Children will learn both of these instruments over an extended period of time, because we want to give children a strong sense of progression learning the instrument with potentially the ability to play more advanced pieces during a performance at the end.  Instruments are taught by a music specialist; pupils learn to read music and play as part of the process. Currently children also have the opportunity to learn a plethora of other instruments individually and the school encourage peripatetic teachers to come and teach during curriculum time. Currently, the following are taught; singing, guitar and brass. 

Our main priority at BenendenPrimary School is that all children have the opportunity to be adventurous through music and ultimately the potential to perform.  Annually a variety of children perform at our Arts’ Festival, the Young Voices concert at the O2, Year 5 at the National Schools Shakespeare Festival as well as partaking in the annual Kidenza Orchestra performance and associated workshops. 

More details about the knowledge and skills are on our Curriculum Matrix.

PSHE

At Benenden we follow the PSHE Association’s PSHE Programme of Study.  It strongly meets the needs of today’s pupils and is regularly updated to meet these changing needs.  It also covers 2020 statutory requirements to teach Relationships and Health Education

The programme of study includes three core themes:

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Relationships

  • Living in the Wider World

Our curriculum aims to give our pupils the knowledge to understand the choices they face as they grow up and the skills to make safe choices as they prepare to become adults.  Pupils learn to recognise, name, express and manage a range of emotions. They learn about healthy lifestyles, personal safety, managing money, relationships and preparing for work.   Healthy lifestyles includes being prepared for puberty, drugs education (especially smoking and alcohol) and sexual health. We learn about developing positive friendships and also explore bullying / controlling behaviour and what to do if they are being treated in a way they do not like.

Topics and lesson content are adapted to the needs of each group and school staff are adept at making sensitive issues accessible to pupils in a safe and supportive environment. 

Finally, we strongly believe that consultation and partnership with parents is an essential part of educating children across the core themes.  We therefore provide advice and information to our parents that have been created through a DfE, NAHT, NGA and ASCL.collaboration.  We continue to offer an open door policy to all families who wish to discuss any queries and concerns they have.

RE

We aim to help all pupils understand the importance of religious beliefs and practices through theological enquiry in order to be religiously literate and reflect on their own place in the world. 

As a church school, RE is at the heart of our broad curriculum. Through rich and varied lessons and experiences, children and their families can expect to acquire a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and make links with other belief systems and world views. Through an enquiry approach based on ‘Big Questions’ and exploration of resources, learners develop their religious literacy alongside their own beliefs and values. Our programmes of study known as ‘Understanding Christianity’ are taught based on the revised Canterbury Diocese Schemes of Work, which have been designed based on the revised Kent Agreed Syllabus.   The school’s Christian values of Love, Community, Friendship, Trust, Peace and Joy and spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is intrinsic to the RE curriculum and should have a significant impact on learners. We provide a wide range of opportunities for learners to understand and to make links between the beliefs, practices and value systems of the range of faiths and world views studied.

Religious Education at Benenden Primary will:

  • enable pupils to know about and understand Christianity as a living faith that influences the lives of people worldwide and as the religion that has most shaped British culture and heritage.  

  • enable pupils to know and understand about other major world religions and world views, their impact on society, culture and the wider world, enabling pupils to express ideas and insights.  

  • contribute to the development of pupils’ own spiritual/philosophical convictions, exploring and enriching their own beliefs and values.

Science

Since September 2019, we base our science teaching on a curriculum provided by ‘Empiribox’ (www.empiribox.org).  The Empiribox curriculum closely follows and meets all of the expectations of the National Curriculum over a four year rolling plan. Every two terms, children in each key stage will undertake the same science topics, based on discrete subject areas of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, with different age appropriate teaching delivered in each of the four year groups. Progressive, specific skills, sets of planning, data collection and analysis feature and are focussed upon each term. This hands on, practical enquiry based approach ensures children are more than secondary ready by the time they leave in Year 6. 
 

Sport

At Benenden  we aim to create a culture that encourages all our children to be active and have positive attitudes towards physical activity and healthy lifestyles.  

We believe high quality physical education, school sport and a sense of competition will contribute to a range of positive outcomes for our children. Not only does it equip children with the skills to talk about the effects of physical activity, it also supports their physical development, movement skills and body confidence whilst contributing to their physical, mental and social well-being.

High quality physical education forms part of the curriculum. There is a myriad of competitive school sport opportunities for those children who want to take part, led by our own specialist PE teacher. We are part of the Weald of Kent School Sport Association and partake in all sporting discipline, the Julie Rose Athletic championships, Orchard Run cross country competition as well as playing sport against neighbouring schools.    Through competition children experience what both success and failure ‘feels like’; both important in terms of developing children’s reflective practice and sense of resilience. A vast array of after school sporting opportunities across all ages. increase  children’s understanding of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, prioritising the benefits of physical activity and healthy eating.

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