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At St John's, we follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics. We use planning from the 'Abacus' scheme of work (online resource) to create fun, interactive lessons which cater to the needs of every child. Within the teaching of Maths, we aim to ensure that the children at St Johns:
1) 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;
2) can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language; and
3) 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.
At St John's we place an huge emphasis on mental maths (mental arithmetic). Arithmetic is a the heart of Maths. KS2 start every Maths lessons with five Fluent in Five questions. These questions focus on maths fluency through arithmetic question. We use Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS), which is on fun, interactive online resource is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Each week concentrates on a different times table or multiple times tables. Using TTRS will successfully boost times tables recall speed and understanding.
Every year at St John's, we hold a Maths themed week. During this week, Maths is weaved into every element in the curriculum. It is a fun, jam-packed week which the children really enjoy!
Please click on the link below to access the Programme of Study for Mathematics taught in each year.
Follow the link to find the calculations used in Maths for KS1 - KS1 Overview of Maths Calculations.pdf
Follow the link to find the calculations used in Maths for KS2 - KS2 Overview of Maths Calculations.pdf
Our approach to teaching English develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. We nurture our pupils’ progress to help them communicate their ideas, feelings and views effectively to others. Children are encouraged to express their creativity and develop their imaginations, drawing on high quality texts.
Teachers plan according to the National Curriculum objectives using a range of resources from The Power of Reading; Talk for Writing and Hamilton Trust. Planning also makes creative and relevant links to class topics as a vehicle for writing. Where possible, teachers also provide the opportunity to write for real audiences, providing purpose and motivation for pupils, whilst making links with the world around them. We carefully structure the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar to ensure all pupils are able to communicate effectively.
At St John’s, we place reading at the heart of the curriculum. Our pupils are encouraged to become critical readers of stories, poetry and drama; develop their own preferences and have a life-long love of reading.
We follow the National Curriculum for Science and use both the Kent scheme of work and Science Bug as a starting point for our planning across the school. We aim to develop both scientific knowledge and pupil's ability to work scientifically through an emphasis on investigative work during Science lessons. The school takes part in activities relating to British Science Week each year and enters national competitions, which help to give context to the work carried out in class. We maintain links with the warden of our local nature reserve and arrange visits where children are able to explore the natural world on their doorstep.
Using the National Curriculum as a guide, we teach History through our topic work. To ensure the coverage of historical skills and knowledge, we use additional planning material from a variety of sources including Twinkl, the BBC and TES. All classes in KS1 and KS2 hold a 'Living History Day' where the children dress up and immerse themselves in life from long ago. Many of our school trips are History based and in the past we have visited Lullingstone Castle, Hever Castle, Dover Castle, Horton Kirby Environmental Centre and Maidstone Museum. To enhance History learning, we have made good use of the iPads in lessons for research purposes, green screening, drama and photography. Displays in classrooms and around the school showcase our children's work.
At St John's, we aim to provide pupils with the knowledge and understanding of geographical processes, structures, places and peoples whilst developing the skills required for geographical investigations. The study of places begins with the immediate school locality and is later extended to a comparison of an economically developing country and a contrasting area in the UK. There are also thematic topics based on rivers, weather, settlements and environmental change. Children will develop and acquire a variety of skills to investigate places and themes including map-reading, the use of simple instruments, observation and identification. Using the National Curriculum as a guide, we teach Geography through a topic approach and is the main focus for some topics. To ensure the coverage of geographical skills and knowledge, we use additional planning material from Scholastic’s New Curriculum for Geography and a variety of other sources including Twinkl and Oddizzi.
To see curriculum progression in Geography across the school please click here.
At St Johns, every member of KS2 learns to speak French and develops this skill higher up the school to include writing. We draw from a range of resources, including the Twinkl plans. We have very popular French and Italian clubs which children love to attend! Our study of French extends to cultural understanding and lower KS2 brings it to life through a 'French afternoon', during which children experience food, music and games.
We believe that Physical Education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is vital and unique in its contribution to a pupil’s physical and emotional development and health. The Physical Education curriculum aims to provide, for all pupils, increasing self-confidence through an ability to manage themselves successfully in a variety of situations. The scheme of work is based on progressive learning objectives which, combined with varied and flexible teaching styles, endeavour to provide appropriate, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable learning situations for all pupils.
All pupils in Year 3 go swimming at Maidstone Leisure Centre to fulfil the National Curriculum objectives to:
- Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- Use a range of strokes effectively
- Perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.
We make use of outside specialists whenever possible; for example, football, cricket, rugby and tennis coaches. We endeavour to introduce our children to a number of different sports and activities through these specialists.
We are fortunate to have extensive playing fields for both winter and summer sporting activities.
We have endeavoured to continually increase the level of extra-curricular physical activity provision available to our pupils. These opportunities aim to further develop children’s skills and talents. We aim to offer as many opportunities as possible for our children to participate in the School Games at levels 1 & 2 (intra and inter school competition).
All year groups follow the Kent Agreed Sylabus for RE and follow revised schemes of work from the Canterbury diocese website. Skills from both AT1 and AT2 are covered through these plans.
ART AND DESIGN
We follow the national curriculum for art and design and use Art Express as our main resource of planning. As well as teaching traditional areas of art including drawing, painting, printing, collage and sculpture, we teach the children to use iPads apps to enhance their experience in art. This year the children have used a 'Paper' app to draw their impression of buildings in and around Maidstone.
We have close links with the ceramics department at Valley Park secondary school and are able to use their facilities to enrich the art curriculum.
Every year we enter art competitions. This year we have participated in the 'Take One Picture' project. The artwork we have submitted has been selected for display in the National Gallery.
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
We follow the national curriculum for design and technology. A new national scheme of work ‘Projects on a Page’ is used to plan design and technology lessons. The cooking and nutrition aspect of DT is based on lesson plans on www.foodafactoflife.org.uk.
We follow the national curriculum for Computing. We use the Switched On scheme of work as our main resource but do not necessarily follow this exactly as listed. In addition, we also provide cross curricular units of study.
The younger children at St John's enjoy undertaking the beginning steps of programming by using programmable floor robots such as Beebots. They then move on to using more complex programming apps, such as Lightbot and Cargobot. These apps allow the children to write, test and debug programs.
In Key Stage Two the children advance on to writing code using the MIT developed program, Scratch. The older children also have the opportunity to take part in a weekly Coding Club, where they can program and use our school robots; Sphero and Dash & Dot.
As well as programming, the children at St John’s enjoy using our iPads across the whole curriculum. This could be anything from conducting research in a History lesson, taking pictures of a science experiment or using a musical composition app.