'Learning Together, Success Forever'
At Lakeside, we believe that children’s early learning experiences deeply affect their future physical, cognitive, emotional and social development. We are fully committed to taking the time to understand and follow children’s interests and provide a rich curriculum that supports learning, consolidates and deepens knowledge and ensures that children achieve their next steps. Both our indoor and outdoor provision is carefully planned and demonstrates a thorough knowledge and understanding of the way in which our children learn.
We understand that building secure relationships with children and their families is key to understanding how we can maximise learning opportunities for every child in our setting. Regular parent’s meetings, stay and play sessions and workshops ensure that parents are kept up to date with their children’s development and progress and are aware of how they can continue to support their children’s learning outside of school.
At Lakeside we follow the EYFS curriculum and ensure that the learning opportunities and experiences we provide are clearly linked to both the Prime (Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development) and Specific (Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts) areas of learning. We begin each year by assessing our children’s starting points and with this information in mind, we are then able to plan a range of broad and balanced learning experiences. We place huge importance on the development of children’s vocabulary and ensure that staff are skilled in assessing early speech and language development and have the expertise to support children in being able to communicate their thoughts and ideas and explore the meaning of new words. Staff are able to support children’s communication through a range of strategies including Makaton, PECS and visual resources. Our emphasis on the importance of early reading skills also supports our children’s speech and language skills by introducing our children to high quality language in a fun and engaging way.
Staff use their knowledge of the Characteristics of Effective Learning to ensure that they plan appropriate activities and organise their provision in a way that demonstrates a clear understanding of the way in which our children are motivated to learn. We know that all children are unique, with their own individual fascinations and it is for this reason that we believe a balance of child and teacher led activities is crucial in order for our children to become fully engaged and excited by their learning. We want our children to be independent in accessing quality play-based experiences that encourage them to notice, question and wonder. We use learning journals to celebrate children’s achievements, record observations, assess and track children’s progress and to identify their next steps.
We aim to prepare our children to achieve the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception and ensure that all children have made good or better progress from their individual starting points. We understand that when assessing children against Development Matters, there will be many children who are awarded the same level but may be working at differing levels within this range. Effective communication between staff is therefore crucial to achieve an effective transition for children and to plan accordingly for the next stage of their learning journey. As a team, we carry out regular internal moderation sessions and also ensure that staff attend external meetings and training to ensure that we feel confident with our judgements and that these judgements are consistent with a range of other settings. Our ultimate goal is to prepare our children with the knowledge and skills needed for the next stage of their learning journey in KS1 and that optimising children’s early education is the best investment we can make in ensuring their future success.
At Mercia Primary Academy Trust, everyone is valued and takes responsibility for the challenging learning that takes place.
At Lakeside we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We believe that our children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear journey of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly, accurately, and coherently, and adapt their language and style for a range of audiences and purposes whilst developing their own flair. We want our pupils to acquire a rich vocabulary bank, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want our children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, and to feel confident in editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at Lakeside, all children should be able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving real life contexts to their learning, children at Lakeside understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
At Lakeside, we recognise reading as a key life skill, which underpins access to the rest of the curriculum. Our phonics teaching intends to not only provide children with opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding essential for reading and writing, but also, to develop each child’s confidence, resilience and engagement in a broad and balanced curriculum.
Early reading is considered an essential part of our Early Year’s classrooms, therefore text-rich environments and meaningful opportunities to share stories are provided. This enables children to become more aware of the importance in text for reading and writing, whilst also allowing them to reflect in their independent play.
The systematic teaching of synthetic phonics at Lakeside, is given a high priority throughout Early Years and KS1. Our phonics curriculum, aims for children to be able to read words and simple sentences by the end of EYFS, become fluent readers by the end of KS1 and to develop a lifelong love of reading as they progress through the school.
Why the Twinkl Phonics Programme?
In September 2021, we made the decision to invest in the DfE verified ‘Twinkl Phonics Programme’. The transition was easily achievable due to the similar teaching sequences compared to our previous schemes followed; ‘Letters and Sounds’ and ‘Jolly Phonics’. The Twinkl programme uses stories as an engaging stimulus for their phonics lessons, which we felt could further encourage a love of reading in our school.
By following one scheme as a whole school, instead of multiple schemes previously, we have established a progressive, consistent phonics curriculum, where children progress and succeed. The coherently planned sequence of lessons, supports the effective rigorous teaching of phonics within EYFS, KS1 and, where appropriate, KS2, as it continuously builds on prior learning.
The programme provides opportunities for the four key elements that children need to master in order to read and write fluently;
- Rapid recall of GPCs
- Rapid recall of tricky/common exception words
- Efficient blending skills
- Efficient segmenting skills.
These four skills represent the cornerstones of phonics and are practised every day to ensure children make the expected progress.
The easy access to quality, editable resources allow each teacher to differentiate according to ability, whilst also providing opportunities for a mix of visual, auditory and kinesthetic cues. This ensures pupils are engaged and lessons are exciting whilst still providing continuity, progression and coverage. Twinkl Phonics lessons are also supported by follow-up activities that the children can complete independently, in pairs or groups, so they can apply the skills they have learnt in their phonics lessons.
Phonics Curriculum Map
At Mercia Primary Academy Trust, everyone is valued and takes responsibility for the challenging learning that takes place.
At Lakeside, our main aim is for children to leave Key Stage 2 as confident mathematicians, equipped with the skills and knowledge to apply in everyday life. Not only do we endeavour to ensure they are mathematically fluent, we also aim for children to think outside the box and use their skills to solve problems and assess risk in a range of contexts.
We teach and apply mathematical skills not only in Maths lessons, but throughout the curriculum. Children have the opportunity to learn new skills and concepts in mathematics lessons using a wide range of resources. We follow a CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach, where children are introduced to concepts practically in the first instance using manipulatives (such as counters and cubes) and we have also adapted the White Rose Scheme of learning to fit our children’s needs. This in turn, along with a daily ’Flashback 4’, helps to embed the method in children’s long-term memory which results in children becoming ready to apply skills in a problem solving situations. We encourage children to make continuous links in Maths, between both various concepts and their everyday life.
At Mercia Primary Academy Trust, everyone is valued and takes responsibility for the challenging learning that takes place.
At Lakeside Community Primary School, we recognise the importance of science in every aspect of daily life. Science fosters a healthy curiosity in children and our curriculum is designed to ensure that our pupils are inquisitive and excited about understanding the universe, natural phenomena and the world around them. Through utilising the school grounds, the local environment and resources further afield, we promote respect for living organisms and the physical environment.
Science involves the acquisition of knowledge, concepts and skills and our curriculum is planned so learning is sequential, encouraging our children to become independent learners. The science curriculum at Lakeside is designed to build on prior understanding, providing accessibility while creating challenge, allowing all children to progress and fulfil their potential. We engage children in science lessons through a variety of meaningful experiences, encouraging them to relate their own ideas to the world around them. Lessons are question led and knowledge based, while developing key scientific skills and reasoning. We provide cross-curricular links, using English and Maths skills within science lessons and links to class topics where possible.
Our aim is to cultivate an enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery so children become independent, enquiry-based learners. They will acquire skills to develop the knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science today and for the future. We endeavour to ensure that the science curriculum we deliver, provides children with the confidence and motivation to continue further learning into the next stage of their education and beyond.
At lakeside Community Primary School, the RE and PSHCE curriculum is designed to ensure that all pupils become religiously literate and globally tolerant individuals. It plays a vital role in the School’s wider programmes of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education. Through our RE curriculum provision, we aim to ensure that fundamental British values are a core part of our teaching and learning opportunities. We believe that RE provides an opportunity to celebrate and foster awareness of differences within our school, community and the wider world as stated within the DfE Equality Act. RE is a subject that celebrates diversity and challenges stereotypes.
RE is taught in accordance with the aims of the agreed syllabus produced by the Staffordshire SACRE and follows a progressive scheme, building upon prior skills, knowledge and understanding. At the core of our RE teaching and learning is the belief that all learners are equal; we therefore ensure that the needs of all learners are taken into account and catered for. It is integral that alongside quality RE teaching and learning, a well-balanced PSHCE curriculum is delivered through meaningful discussions and well thought out questioning.
It is our aim that through an ambitious and creative RE curriculum, children will develop cultural capital and leave Lakeside Community Primary School as well-rounded, broad-minded individuals.
The Geography curriculum at Lakeside Primary School, intends to inspire our pupils to be curious and fascinated about the world around them. We want our children to aspire to be Geographers; where they provoke inquisitive questions about the Earth’s key physical and human processes, develop contextual knowledge and understanding of Tamworth as their local area, as well as other locations of globally significant places, and show respect for their local, national and international environment.
The content of our curriculum, as outlined by the National Curriculum, allows for a broader, deeper understanding of the four areas of Geography; Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, and Geographical Skills and Fieldwork. It aims to improve children’s geographical vocabulary, map skills and geographical facts and provide opportunities for consolidation, challenge and variety.
As pupils progress through the school and increase their Geographical knowledge and understanding, they gain confidence and use the naturally investigative subject to develop skills which will remain with them for their lifetime.
At Lakeside Community Primary School, it is our intention that the history element of our curriculum will help pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding, including chronology, of the local area, Britain’s past and that of the wider world.
As our pupils progress, they will become equipped with the historical enquiry, historical interpretational and communication skills needed to; ask thoughtful questions , think critically , weigh evidence, construct arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
We want pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time and the time before them.
The history curriculum guarantees that the physical and mental wellbeing of all children are at the forefront of learning. It gives children the opportunity to exhibit spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding in a safe learning environment. The history curriculum ensures that all children, including those with SEND and disadvantaged pupils, make progress.
The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:
- understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
At Lakeside, we aim to ensure that all pupils leave at the end of Key Stage 2 with the skills to not only begin to communicate in a foreign language, but to also have the passion and desire to continue learning a language later on into their education. The skills the pupils will develop from learning a language should be transferrable, so that in later life pupils can learn a second or even third foreign language much quicker due to the skills that they already have.
At Lakeside, we have previously taught French, but from September 2019, we have opted to teach Spanish. With Spanish being the fourth most commonly used language across the world, we felt it was important to make this change, as it is more likely that our pupils will use Spanish later in life compared to French. Furthermore, the secondary schools in our local area also teach Spanish, meaning that our pupils will have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills before starting secondary school.
At Lakeside Community Primary School, we believe that Art and Design stimulates creativity, imagination and helps to nurture a sensitivity to both the natural and man-made world. It should give them knowledge and confidence to communicate what they see, feel and think.
“Children who learn to look, learn to question, to discover and to understand.” – Rubens and Newland, A Tool for Learning.
At Lakeside, Art skills are taught in dedicated lessons but wherever appropriate, are also used to enhance the wider curriculum and bring topics to life.
Progression is ensured through a structured plan where children build on skills year by year. This plan aims to: -
- develop and extend pupils’ curiosity
- encourage pupils’ enjoyment of Art
- enable pupils to become proficient in drawing, painting, printing and sculpture, as well as other craft techniques.
- expose pupils to a wide variety of mediums and work on a variety of scales.
- develop an understanding and appreciation of established artists and crafts people
Creative activities in Early Years Foundation Stage give the children opportunities to explore, express, communicate their ideas and use their imagination. Creativity is fundamental to successful learning.
The teaching of Art and Design provides all children with opportunities to express themselves freely and also helps them to develop an appreciation and respect for the work of others. Art and design engages, inspires and challenges pupils to invent and create their own works of art, craft and design.
Our aim is to provide a high-quality computing education which will equip children to use computational thinking, have basic computer skills and creativity to be able to understand and work in today’s world.
Computing skills are a major factor in enabling children to be confident, creative independent learners, have the skills required to identify problems and subsequently be problem solvers. It is our intention that children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve these skills. The curriculum is designed so that it is ambitious for all learners and provides learners with the skills to be successful in a digital world. Knowledge, skills and concepts are clearly outlined in an age-appropriate and progressive way, so that the children’s understanding is extended, year upon year.
The computing curriculum guarantees that the physical and mental wellbeing of all children are at the forefront of learning. It gives children the opportunity to exhibit spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding in a safe learning environment. The computing curriculum ensures that all children, including those with SEND and disadvantaged pupils, make progress.
Finally, we believe that it is vital that all children are taught about online safety and how to stay safe online.
Design and Technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils design and make products that solve real and relevant problems, within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values.
At Lakeside Community Primary School, children are encouraged to think of solutions to problems posed and make designs of the products that could solve these problems. They are then taught to select and use appropriate tools safely and effectively to make a product. In all areas of Design and Technology the children are encouraged to consider the effectiveness of their designs and requirements of the product. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. Every child will have the opportunity to learn and extend their understanding, experience and application in the use of technology, in as wide a variety of situations as possible. Each year group also completes a ‘Practical Action’ project which demonstrates how Design and Technology is used to solve real problems globally and improve peoples’ lives.
Aims and Objectives
- to develop imaginative thinking in children and to enable them to talk about what they like and dislike when designing and making;
- to enable children to talk about how things work, and to draw and model their ideas;
- to encourage children to select appropriate tools and techniques for making a product, whilst following safe procedures;
- to explore attitudes towards the made world and how we live and work within it;
- to develop an understanding of technological processes, products, and their manufacture, and their contribution to our society;
- to foster enjoyment, satisfaction and purpose in designing and making:
- to evaluate the effectiveness of their designs and products and suggest ways of improvement.
Early Years Foundation Stage
We encourage the development of skills, knowledge and understanding that help reception children make sense of their world. This learning forms the foundations for later work in design and technology. These early experiences include asking questions about how things work, investigating and using a variety of construction kits, materials, tools and products, developing making skills and handling appropriate tools and construction materials safely and with increasing control.
We provide a range of experiences that encourage exploration, observation, problem solving, critical thinking and discussion. These activities, indoors and outdoors, attract the children’s interest and curiosity
At Lakeside, children’s creativity is used alongside their developing technical and practical expertise in the Design Technology curriculum so that they design, make and evaluate a range of products, including edible ones!
The national curriculum for PE aims to ensure that all pupils:
- develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities
- are physically active for sustained periods of time
- engage in competitive sports and activities
- lead healthy, active lives.
At Lakeside, we aim to ensure that all of these are met, not only during the allocated times for PE, but at various points throughout the school day. The fundamental skills of agility, balance and coordination are taught in isolation, to ensure then that pupils can transfer these skills into any sport they wish to partake in. We follow a heavily skills based curriculum to allow pupils to embed their skills. In turn, their skills should be embedded well enough that they can be adapted to suit the needs of each individual sport, and the rules of the game can then be the key focus.
We endeavor to teach a wide range of sports to all pupils, to allow them to discover their own preferences and talents. We also expose our pupils to inclusive sports, to give a better understanding of how physical activity can be enjoyable for all.
We encourage pupils to take part in sports outside of school, but ensure that opportunities are provided within school for those who may not be able to access them elsewhere. Regular competitions are held which we take part in to allow pupils to apply their skills and take part in a competition environment.
Here at Lakeside, we are committed to developing pupils’ confidence and abilities through quality music teaching. Music is taught not only in discrete lessons, but forms part of a more holistic approach to learning. Pupils are given the opportunity to compose and perform music in a wide range of subjects as a way of demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of a subject. It is important that children are exposed to music from a wide range of genres and time periods, which allows children to access music across the curriculum, including during quiet learning time and assemblies.
We are a school which enjoys music and aim to provide as many opportunities as possible for pupils to perform, on both a small and large scale. Within these performances, we ensure that music from a range of genres and time periods are taught, to give our pupils a more well-rounded music curriculum.
Children in Year 4 have access to instrumental tuition which is taught by a specialist teacher and also have the opportunity to continue with their tuition in small groups if they wish to do so. In addition to instrumental learning, singing forms a large part of the curriculum at Lakeside. Children have the opportunity to sing as part of a choir at Young Voices, and perform to family members in our annual concerts.
Music Curriculum Map
At Lakeside, the intent of our PSHE curriculum is to recognise that children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. In a world where there are more challenges and risks, our children will be taught how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way. PSHE is taught in a sensitive and inclusive way, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of our pupils and parents, and with the aim of providing pupils with the knowledge they need of the law. All our PSHE curriculum supports the wider work of our school in helping to foster pupil wellbeing and develop resilience and character that we know are fundamental to pupils being happy, successful and productive members of society. Central to this is our children’s ability to believe that they can achieve goals, both academic and personal; to stick to tasks that will help them achieve those goals, even when the reward may be distant or uncertain; and to recover from knocks and challenging periods in their lives. This is complemented at our school, by the development of personal attributes including kindness, integrity, generosity, and honesty. Our PSHE curriculum is part of, and runs in conjunction with, policies on safeguarding / child protection, extremism, equality and diversity, relationships (including bullying and behaviour), online safety and confidentiality. A commitment to equality or diversity runs through the life of our school rather than being viewed as a ‘topic’ to be covered in PSHE alone.
The structure of our PHSE curriculum identifies learning opportunities based on three core themes: Health and Wellbeing; Relationships; and Living in the Wider World.
Your child’s learning and development are closely monitored by a range of teaching and support staff throughout their life at the Academy. We do this to ensure they’re working at the expected level for their age and that their understanding and attainment of the curriculum is constantly improving.
As your child progresses through their primary education they will be required to take 2 SATs (Standard Attainment Tests), once at the end of Year 2 and once at the end of Year 6. These aren’t pass or fail examinations, instead, their aim is to test the current attainment level your child is working to along with the effectiveness of the teaching your child receives.
Year 6 SATs
The next official testing your child will complete is the SAT in May at the end of Year 6. This test is more formal and your child will have 45 minutes to complete the test which will include questions on core subject areas including English, Mathematics and Science. The Year 6 SATs papers are marked externally and you’ll learn the results of the test before your child leaves the Academy in July.