School Curriculum

(This page is under construction)

Tipton St John Reading and Phonics

Tipton St John Curriculum

We have invested a great amount of time in ensuring the curriculum at Tipton is outstanding; that it is broad, balanced and inspires all children to learn and show mastery of different subjects.

We aim to foster a life-long love of learning, through delivering a twenty first century education which is relevant to the children and which interests them so they want to keep asking questions and explore subjects in greater depth. A practical and cross-curricular approach to learning encourages the children to be independent, reflective learners and responsible citizens. We work together with parents and children to identify children’s individual needs, providing additional support and new challenges to help every child be ‘stretched’ in their learning and fulfil their potential.

Our Intent towards a Relevant Curriculum 

Our curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the children in the context of our locality, for example: 

  • We make cross curricular links with aspects of learning about Solomon Islands and teach about the historic links and host regular visitors at the school. 
  • Living close to the coast and to local rivers we ensure all children can swim by the end of KS2 with swimming lessons in Y3 and Y4, plus a top-up option in Y6. 
  • As a Christian School we root our learning in our Christian values and expect attitudes to learning and behaviour to reflect these at all times. 
  • Year 6 children participate in the Torbay and Devon Civic Award to raise their awareness of others and develop a sense of courageous advocacy. 
  • As a rural school, where walking is not safe along the narrow lanes, we operate a Bikeability Scheme where KS2 children learn how to cycle safely in their local area.
  • Financial Education objectives have been integrated into the curriculum to ensure the children are financially literate. 
  • Residential visits are an integrated part of the curriculum throughout all KS2 year groups and enable children to grow in self-confidence and independence away from familiar surroundings.
  • Aware that are children experience less diversity in the community than in other parts of the UK, in RE lessons and across the curriculum we regularly plan to make specific links between the learning that is being explored and wider current affairs. 
  • Our PSHE Curriculum is informed by Church of England documentation including Valuing All God’s Children and Mental Health and Wellbeing 2018.  
  • As a rural school we seek opportunities with local organisations, such as the Devon Wildlife Trust to promote a love of the environment and a respect for all living things and help the children understand how they can make a positive difference to the natural world. 
  • Aware again that our children can be less ‘streetwise’ than their peers than in other areas of Britain, we raise the profile of internet safety through PSHE and Computing. 

Progress for All 

Tipton St John Primary School is committed to equal opportunities and has the same academic and social ambitions for all learners. However, where this is not practical, for example for some learners with high levels of special educational needs and/or disabilities – their curriculum is designed to be ambitious and to meet their individual needs and individual progress is tracked. There is an expectation that all learners will access a full curriculum and exceptions will only be made when a child’s needs deem it appropriate and all opportunities and provision have been explored. 

It is our aim that children with SEND will develop their knowledge and skills to apply what they know with increasing fluency and independence and resources and learning support are utilise to meet this objective. 

Our Implementation of an Effective Curriculum

We achieve this through:

  • effective planning that takes account of the learning needs of all pupils;
  • effective teaching that motivates and inspires all pupils to achieve their best work;
  • relevant opportunities for pupils to engage in a wide range of challenging learning experiences;
  • appropriate continuity and progression in the learning of all pupils from Early Years to Year 6;
  • a combination of the best features of educational practice whilst implementing the National Curriculum 2014 as part of our wider school curriculum.

We have school specific curriculum progression documents for each subject area, which document the significant knowledge and skills which children are expected to acquire in each year group. These progression documents are reviewed annually to ensure they are ambitious in our expectations. 

From Reception through to Year 6 opportunities will be taken to extend the curriculum beyond the statutory requirements through: 

– visitors, including artists, craftspeople, actors, musicians; 

– the use of the school grounds, the locality and the wider environment; 

– educational visits; 

– support of parents. 

Our Teaching

  • Lessons are enquiry based and begin with a key question to be explored: Can I…? Children are encouraged to answer the question and reflect on how they achieved progress in each lesson.
  • Lesson activities should focus thinking on the key learning goals / key question and avoid overloading the working memory. 
  • Teaching strategies should take account of children’s different learning styles to enable every child to show maximum engagement, concentration, application and productivity and the capacity to work independently and collaboratively. 
  • Fluency or automaticity requires ‘over learning’ through repeated recall. This may be achieved through pre-teach sessions / fast brain episodes.
  • Learning is about the learning goal rather than the isolated activity and may need to be evaluated over time rather than in isolation during a lesson.
  • Teachers are expected to create and maintain an attractive and organised environment that allows the learner to focus on learning. Resources displayed in the classroom should be relevant to current learning and should not overload, but should consolidate recall of knowledge and encourage children to think about the application of their learning in different contexts.  
  • Reading is at the heart of our curriculum and we apply a rigorous approach to the teaching of reading to develop learners’ confidence and enjoyment in reading. At the early stages of learning to read, reading materials are closely matched to learners’ phonics knowledge and as progress is made, children are expected to apply their reading skills with purpose and understanding across the curriculum. 
  • Vocabulary development is essential for high quality learning and work. Key vocabulary is planned into units of work across the curriculum, and explicitly taught within the lessons. 
  • All opportunities should be taken to make teaching exciting; offering children firsthand experience to reinforce their learning and to underpin their growing knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. 
  • Learning should open their eyes to the wonders of creation and cause them to marvel at the incredible and fantastic world in which we live; 

Our Parents

We provide parents with up to date termly information about the curriculum for their child’s year group.

Three times a year parents are invited to meet with the class teacher to discuss their child’s achievements and progress in learning. An interim report is published in March and an end of year report is sent home in July.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural 

There are numerous opportunities for supporting the pupils’ SMSC development through all areas of the curriculum. Spiritual development is promoted through RE sessions, a range of Collective Worships and  Collective Worship themes. We use a “Wow Moments” system to highlight moments of spiritual reflection for the pupils.  Each child in KS2 is given a small notebook for personal reflections, thoughts or prayers as moments of reflection arise in class.  These books are given to the children to take away at the end of Year 6. 

Moral development is promoted through class Circle Times, discussions about class and school rules, and Collective Worship themes based around our Core Values. There are also elements considered within PSHE. Our Ethos Committee regularly discuss moral issues and lead collective worships. 

 Social development is promoted through a wide range of collaborative learning experiences and opportunities for play, PSHE, Sports Council, Ethos Team, community events and Collective Worship themes such as “Harvest” or “Open Doors” 

Cultural development is promoted through specific projects such as our links with the Solomon Islands. We encourage all classes to be aware of current affairs and these are interwoven into the curriculum as appropriate. 

British Values plays a big role in the structure of Citizenship education and at Tipton St John are taught through a vertically streamed approach, allowing children to develop their understanding of community. We have separate guidance for British Values to ensure thorough coverage.  

Smooth Transition 

Learners will be ready for the next stage of education. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension. They will have developed a sense of responsibility and resilience which will stand them well in their secondary education. We will be able to evaluate our impact through parent and pupil questionnaires and through feedback from our secondary providers. 

Transition arrangements to secondary school are well established and thoroughly planned to ensure that pupils needs are met. Activities are incorporated into our curriculum to meet these needs and include the following: 

  • Church School Transition morning 
  • Project Week at King’s School
  • Life-skills at the Donkey Sanctuary
  • Torbay and Devon Civic Award 
  • Year 6  Leavers’ Service.