The aim of our curriculum
At Birchanger C of E Primary School we have developed a curriculum which is based around:
What we want our curriculum to do
(this is called our Intent)
The intent is reflected throughout the curriculum with 'Life in all its fullness' (John 10:10) at its heart.
The school’s Christian values, and British values, are threaded throughout the whole curriculum. Underpinning it is the development of excellence through tenacity and the five ways to well-being. This is supported by a broad and balanced curriculum, through a programme of enrichment, to enable our children to become happy, healthy, life-long learners who take an active role in the development of our modern society.
How we will teach our curriculum
(this is called the Implementation)
At Birchanger C of E Primary School our curriculum has been designed to optimise every learning experience that we give our children - it is implemented with our intentions as the drivers behind our actions. The school’s population is monocultural with few EAL children, hence our curriculum is broad, balanced and values-based and provides children with the opportunity to form links, embed Christian values, and cultivate experiences with the church, local community and wider-ranging society. The curriculum design has focused around the culture of the school and reflects the need to: develop children’s cultural capital, provide a nurturing environment, develop the children’s stamina (particularly in test situations), increase confidence, ensure good health and mental wellbeing as well as equipping them with ‘tools for life’. Our implementation of the curriculum is based on our curriculum intent.
Reading and Phonics
At Birchanger C of E Primary we aim for all children to become competent, fluent readers so that they can access the rest of the curriculum, develop key reading skills and make the best possible progress. In line with our vision 'Life in all its fullness' we aim for children to have an interest in a wide range of literature in order to increase their cultural capital and provide them with a foundation upon which they can build their next stage of learning. We aim for the children to leave with a passion for reading, so they go through life broadening their experiences and being equipped with the values important in our society.
The children in Reception and Key Stage 1 (and some in Key Stage 2) follow the DfE Letters and Sounds Phonics Programme and our sequence of reading books is arranged in phonic phases to reflect the programme taught in school. Please click on the link below for further details on phonics at Birchanger.
In order to support children in their love of reading our children have a daily 'Book Share' where members of staff read stories from our reading spine. This spine brings together high quality books that reflect British Values and allow staff to share engaging story lines that the children can discuss and enjoy.
Our intent for writing is to ensure children become fluent, confident writers who develop stamina for writing and are able to reflect on, and improve, their work to achieve the best possible outcome. Additionally, we aim for the children to be passionate about writing, articulate their thoughts, and be able to speak, write and express themselves creatively, and appropriately, for their intended purpose and audience.
We aim to:
develop, and nurture, their individual writing styles so they are able to write for the purpose and audience for which their writing is intended.
Recognise, and be able to write, across a wide range of genres.
A fluent handwriting style, and pride in the presentation of their work.
An understanding of spelling patterns and morphology.
Develop children's 'Living Libraries' through a Talk4Writing approach.
Geography is about learning about the world as well as the local community
around us from our local environment to an understanding of the world that we live in.
Through our curriuclum children build up an increasing knowldege of physical and human features in thier locality and the wider world. Our children learn to name the countres, capital cities and large rivers in the British Isles as well as leraning about teh continents of the world and discovering different countries in more detail. Learning about the weather is embeded into the topics.
Children learn geographical skills exploring maps and atlases and using apps and website that extend thier knowldege. They take part in trips and carry out field work.
To see what our children are learning this year please loook at our curriuclum page.
History is the study of the past. For our Younger children the recent past is taught. This inlcudes homes in the past and some of the experiences that the grandparents of our children may have had. We use trips, resources and artefacts to help the children to understand the power of the past
When the children come into KS2 there learning strta a chronological journey which takes them from the Caveman to the Normans in 1066.
At our school we work hard to support the children in understanding the chronology of local, national and international events and trips and vistors help with this.
Some of the areas that we are studing in history this year include:
Homes in th past
The kingdom of Benin
The railway revoltion
The Anglo Saxons and Vikings
RE is a subject that covers a wide range of faiths and none. The primary faith that we teach is Christainity as we are a Church of England school.
In every class the children start their learning with a questions and then they spend time developing learning through discussion, research and class teaching. This is called an enquiry approach to RE and the lessons have three foci : philiosphical enquiry, theology and study of human sciences.
In the lessons children are encouraged to think deeply and form their own views.
some of the questions that the children answer include:
What does the word God mean?
What do my senses tell me about worship, religion and belief?
What does it mean to be human?
How do Hindus make sense of the world?
Is saving the world up to us?
How do religious groups contribute to society?
We are very fortuane to have a wide range of clubs that the children can access. Clubs are either run by a member of staff from the school or by a couple of outside providers who are well-known to us. The clubs for 22 23 include choir, coding,dodgeball,gardening, homework, orienteering, times tables, touchtyping and story telling club. The hcildren laso run some of thier own clubs such as dance club thorugh teh year. We try to keep costs to a minimum so most of the clubs are free or are funded by the school.
In order to show 'life in all its fullness' we are keen to invite visitors to our shcool and we go on trips to venues that support and extend the learning of our children. Information about these experiences can be seen on our Buzz Newsletters.
Music lessons continue to be offered this year and it is an integral part of our school life. Pupils are offered individual music tuition from Essex Music Services and our children have the opportunity to choose from a range of musical instruments.
This year we have continued the class music lessons for KS2 where children are taught music by a specailist from a member of the Essex Music Team. This includes an opportunity to play the ukelele.
Young Voices 2022
At the start of last year, the Years 5 & 6 children travelled to London to take part in the Young Voices Concert at the O2 Arena. This event involved thousands of children forming a mass choir, conducted and accompanied by professional musician and dance groups. This event gave our children a super memory of a being part of a large choir.