Curriculum and Experience
Our Multi Academy Trust Primary Schools offer our children a huge range of experiences within school time and outside the school day. This is down to the dedication and commitment of our excellent staff and Governing Body and the strong relationship that we nurture between staff, children, and their families, as well as our wider local community.
Our staff team is fantastic – nurturing and inspirational. We work together to ensure children feel safe. We know our children are capable of achieving great things and we help them to believe this too. We do this by embedding high-quality and contextualised learning within meaningful, challenging and exciting topics which are led by the children e.g. Antarctica, Inventions, Remembrance.
The curriculum is ambitious, broad and balanced with an academic focus on mastering the key skills of literacy and numeracy, whilst emphasising creative and expressive learning. There is a theme of adventurous learning which runs throughout the school.
We expect our pupils to challenge what they think they are capable of and exceed these expectations. We set clear and ambitious targets for children to achieve; these are set in a way that clearly demonstrates the path of achievement that a child is on. Progress is assessed against this trajectory throughout the year. It will be reported throughout the year and this information will be shared with parents who are partners in their children’s education.
Building in opportunities to explore, experience and enrich learning underpins the development of cultural capital. This is a core part of our school ethos. Coupled with our Curriculum and the high quality collaborations that we have locally, regionally, nationally and globally, we can offer our pupils the opportunity to learn without limits.
Early Years and Foundation Stage (EYFS)
At Altarnun Primary School, we greatly value the importance of the early years foundation stage (EYFS) in providing a secure foundation for future learning and development.
Our approach has been developed in conjunction with the relevant DfE guidance and legislation to ensure that each child has a happy and positive start to their school life in which they can build a foundation for a love of learning.
We ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. We promote teaching and learning to ensure children’s ‘school readiness’ and give children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life. This encompasses four themes; A Unique Child, Learning and Development, Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments.
We seek to provide:
- Quality and consistency, so that every child makes good progress and no child gets left behind.
- A secure foundation through learning and development opportunities which are planned around the needs and interests of each child and are assessed and reviewed regularly.
- Partnership working between practitioners and parents.
- Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice, ensuring that every child is included and supported.
English, Communication and Languages
Communication lies at the heart of our capacity to imagine, think and create and makes a crucial contribution to children’s development as successful learners. Language underpins children’s achievement across the curriculum and lays the foundations for active involvement in cultural life, society, work and lifelong learning.
Talk for Writing is an approach to teaching writing that encompasses a three-stage pedagogy: ‘imitation’ (where pupils learn and internalise texts, to identify transferrable ideas and structures), ‘innovation’ (where pupils use these ideas and structures to co-construct new versions with their teachers), and ‘invention’ (where teachers help pupils to create original texts independently). These tasks aim to improve writing ability by giving pupils an understanding of the structure and elements of written language using high quality texts as a model.
We use Read Write Inc Phonics. A parent guide can be found here
Mathematics introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and support learning across the curriculum. It helps children make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world around them, offers ways of handling data in an increasingly digital world and makes a crucial contribution to their development as successful learners.
At Altarnun School, we embrace maths through contextual learning, putting our new mathematical skills to the test in "real world" problems.
Scientific and Technological Understanding
Our children live in a fast-moving world and science and technology are fundamental to exploring, understanding and influencing the natural and made worlds in which we live. They encourage children’s natural curiosity and creativity, inspiring awe and wonder.
Historical, Geographical and Social Understanding
This encourages pupils to investigate the world around them, from the local to the global. They learn about the impact of their actions on the planet and understand the importance of developing a sustainable future. Through exploring cultures, belief, values, human rights and responsibilities, children develop a deeper understanding of themselves and others, and a sense of belonging.
Children participate in art and design, drama, music and dance, helping them to become responsive, critical and appreciative. They discover the value of discipline and practice and, in responding to the work of others, they gain insights to the different viewpoints, identities, tradition and cultures.
Physical Development, Health and Well-being
To enjoy healthy, active and fulfilling lives, children must learn to respond positively to challenges to develop self-confidence and physical capabilities. This area of learning lays the foundations for long term well-being and contributes to children’s mental, social, emotional and physical development.
Sport and PE
We are very fortunate to have a very large playing field and sports area within the school grounds. Football and netball are our main winter sports and we play competitively against other schools.
Athletics, rounders and tennis are the main summer sports and our teams have a good reputation for both the quality of their performance and the spirit in which they play.
We have regular trips to the leisure centre in Launceston with whole school swimming lessons and children receive expert tuition from visiting coaches in a variety of sports.
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education
At Altarnun Primary school we teach the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.
This starts with pupils being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them. From the beginning of primary school, building on early education, pupils are taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy.
Relationships and Sex Education: We have an established RSE and relationships curriculum in line with DfE guidance and the context of our school. It is not statutory for all children to partake in relationships education throughout their time in KS1 and KS2. However, parents have the right to withdraw their children from RSE education that involves information beyond what is taught in the Science curriculum within that Key Stage. Teachers will be aware of what has been taught and have an understanding of what parents can and cannot withdraw their child/ren from. A letter will be sent out the half term prior to RSE and relationships being taught to allow sufficient time for parents to ask any questions they may have as well as submit their consent.
At Altarnun Primary School the principal aim of religious education is to explore what people believe and what difference this makes to how they live, so that pupils can gain the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.
Every child has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and lessons are organised in the school by the Cornwall Music Service Trust. Pupils have to provide their own instrument and a standard charge for the tuition is made at the beginning of each term.
Outside the Classroom
To ensure that our pupils are prepared for learning and their learning prepares them for life, there is a spiral skills development programme which develops the essential skills of: Creativity, team work, resilience, independence, communication and self-reflection. This will permeate throughout pupils' learning and develop as they progress through the stages of education.
With state of the art technology provisions equally matched by the carefully planned outdoor environment, Altarnun Primary School children are innovators of the future whilst having the freedom to explore and connect with nature. Immersive learning and play are at the heart of our pedagogy and our learning environments have been developed to reflect this.
Our children in early years foundation stage (EYFS) learn in an interconnected classroom with direct access to the outdoors; rich in opportunities to explore, play, problem solve and self-initiate learning and discovery. This is a deliberate continuation of their educational journey from feeder nurseries; a development underpinned by the Reggio Emilia philosophy of early childhood education.
As children progress through the school their social, emotional, physical and educational skills are developed by a great range of space and equipment, including a nature area and a grass playing field.
If you require further information on our curriculum, please contact Christina Medland