FOundation Subject overviews
At Roecroft Lower School we believe that art stimulates creativity and imagination and we aim to enrich current and future art experiences through an irresistible curriculum. Art is taught for an hour each week and we alternate between art and Design and Technology each half term. We strive to teach art in an exciting and imaginative way, to enable pupils to gain the key skills, concepts and subject knowledge necessary for them to express what they see, feel and think. To ensure that we meet all National Curriculum objectives, we teach these strands: painting, collage, sculpture, drawing, printing and taking inspiration from artists.
We have a list of artists to study, chosen because their work is a key example of one or more of the key skills each year group is learning. Once each year group has studied the artist’s work, our pupils are given the chance to replicate the artwork and the skills demonstrated. They are then encouraged to experiment with their ideas and with their use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes and apply the knowledge and skills they have gained. Where appropriate, our art curriculum makes links with history, music, computing and RE. We use the Kapow Primary Art and Design scheme of work to support our art planning, but we do not use this exclusively and teachers have the autonomy to plan engaging, inspiring and challenging art lessons. More information about our art curriculum for each year group can be found under the curriculum tab.
All pupils have access to a wide range of good quality art resources. These are updated regularly, and each year group orders the specific art materials they need for each term, based on their topic. This enables the children to explore a range of different resources and materials as they progress through each group and build on their skills.
At Roecroft, we strive to equip all pupils with the computing skills to support them in becoming digitally literate and an active participant within the ever evolving digital world.
Computing is taught for an hour each week through progressive strands which cover all key computing elements: information technology, digital literacy and computer science. Our lessons include written, practical and technology based tasks to fully explore computational thinking and make learning engaging for all. The units we follow are carefully mapped out and are supported by the Twinkl computing schemes of work, please click here for an overview of units covered.
Teaching of e-safety is also of high importance and is regularly addressed with the children throughout the whole year to ensure children understand and know how to deal with the diverse issues they may encounter online. More information on e-safety and the scheme we follow can be found within our safeguarding tab.
We are also very well equipped with the resources we have available to support our learning; Roecroft has a computing suite which children use on a weekly basis and differentiated banks of IPads for EYFS, KS1/KS2 and staff. IPads are used within computing units to support creative teaching, but also other curriculum areas to thread IT throughout our whole curriculum.
Design and Technology is an important part of the curriculum as it develops a child’s knowledge and skills, preparing them for the future. At Roecroft Lower school, we aim to provide a safe and stimulating environment where the children can encounter challenging and inspiring learning experiences. Where possible these are linked to other areas of the curriculum. Pupils are able to work independently and as part of a team, helping them to develop confidence in activities that will involve them in the iterative design and make process. Through this they will become more aware of the way in which everyday objects are designed and manufactured.
Design and technology is alternated each term with art, allowing each year group to be given the opportunity to cover the key skills required to enable them to have a solid understanding of mechanisms, mechanical and electrical and construction. Every year group is given a six week block where they concentrate on the food and nutrition aspect of the curriculum.
Through design and technology lessons children are taught to use a range of appropriate tools safely and accurately, whilst using many different mediums to create their products and systems.
We use ‘projects on a plate’ a publication produced by the design and technology association to support our planning, however teachers are encouraged to incorporate challenging contexts of their own. More information about our DT curriculum can be found under the curriculum tab.
At Roecroft, we aim to enhance the children’s learning experiences of Geography, by developing their appreciation of the local area and the wider world.
Geography is taught for an hour each week through progressive strands which cover all key Geography elements: Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, Geographical Skills and Fieldwork
The areas of learning are carefully planned out and are complemented with the use of the Twinkl history schemes of work, as well as, a range of resources to enhance their learning experience. This is to ensure that our practical and written lessons are engaging for all children.
As a school, it is important that we use our local connections e.g. Nature reserve, to help with bringing the children’s learning experiences alive as they are able to learn about the local geology and carry out various fieldwork activities.
At Roecroft, we aim to stimulate the children’s interest and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past, both here in Britain and the wider world.
History is taught for an hour each week through progressive strands which cover all key history elements: Historical Interpretations, Historical Investigations, Chronological Understanding, Knowledge and Understanding of Events, People and Changes in the Past Presenting, Organising and Communicating
The areas of learning are carefully planned out and are complemented with the use of the Twinkl history schemes of work, as well as, a range of resources to enhance the children’s learning experience. This is to ensure that our practical and written lessons are engaging for all children.
Stotfold is steeped in local history, therefore it is important we use our local connections e.g. British Royal legion, Stotfold Mill volunteers, to help bring their learning experiences alive. We also engage with a number of external companies to provide learning experiences which cannot always be recreated within the classroom e.g. Romans, Stone age and Tudor days to name but a few.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Roecroft Lower School we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop practical communication skills, including speaking and listening, and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.
French is taught weekly in 30min whole class lessons. French is taught through stories, songs, poems, and rhymes following the objectives of the National Curriculum KS2 languages programme of study. Each lesson builds on high-frequency grammatical structures learned in the previous lessons
In KS2, our approach to teaching French becomes phonics-based. We teach sound by sound and we repeatedly focus upon the common letter combinations in French. This focus helps pupils to quickly master correct pronunciation. All lessons provide opportunities for speaking and listening, with writing and some reading where relevant. Lessons are interactive and French is spoken as much as possible.
More information about our MFL curriculum can be found under the curriculum tab.
At Roecroft, we value the importance of teaching the arts and recognise their influence on children’s development. We believe that music provides children with a unique way of communicating, inspires their creativity and allows them to express themselves. It also enhances the development of skills used in other subjects such as listening and co-ordination.
Music is taught once a week and lessons follow the Charanga scheme of work (click here for an insight into Charanga). Our lessons include listening and appraising activities, singing, improvising, composing and performing. Children are guided through a sequence of units, each focusing on a different genre or style of music. We recognise that by listening to and learning about music from other cultures, children gain a new appreciation for the world around them. In addition, teachers are encouraged to plan for opportunities within the curriculum for children to explore and create their own music.
Pupils have access to a range of high-quality resources and instruments which are maintained regularly. We also encourage children to participate in a variety of musical experiences, through which we aim to build their skills and confidence. We offer extra-curricular clubs such as recorder club and have a school choir who rehearse weekly during term-time. Children enjoy singing different songs and are given many opportunities to perform to audiences in and out of school.
We have a variety of skilled peripatetic teachers available within school that offer 1:1 or small group lessons. Pupils who receive lessons have opportunities to perform in class, assemblies and concerts throughout the year if they wish to.
At Roecroft we believe that P.E. is an integral part of the curriculum, allowing children to experience various sporting activities and compete at different levels and abilities both in and outside the school. We inspire our children through both lessons and events which offer a range of activities to suit all abilities and a variety of interests. The school also holds different after-school sporting clubs including Netball, Football and Gymnastics; some clubs are open to all children and others are for children that have demonstrated they are particularly skilled in that sport.
Each week, we encourage and motivate all children to participate in one hour of indoor PE and one hour of outdoor PE through a broad curriculum. Children enjoy taking part in dance, gymnastics, ball skills and multi skill activities with a continued focus on coordination, teamwork and great sportsmanship skills. Swimming is also an important part of our curriculum for year 4 and this is taught during the spring term at a local pool. These lessons are once a week for 6 weeks where the children are split into groups to build on their swimming skills. To support our teaching and learning, we follow the Cambridgeshire Scheme of work for Physical Education, LCP and Core Skills programmes.
Pupils also have a wide range of opportunities to attend competitive events and tournaments outside of school through the Redborne School Sports Partnership. This is a brilliant opportunity to compete with other local schools and further foster our sportsmanship skills. Year 4 also take part in an annual residential trip to PGL which includes adventurous outdoor activities and this is always a highly anticipated trip. Additionally, we are also very well equipped with the resources we have available to support our learning; Roecroft has two outdoor playgrounds, a sports hall, a sports field, outdoor gym equipment and a trim trail.
At Roecroft, we teach PSHE through a spiral curriculum approach. We hugely value the importance of pupil’s social and emotional development and aim to inspire our pupils to be active citizens who contribute positively to society. Our PSHE teaching is hugely underpinned by our Values ethos, which is weaved throughout our curriculum and everyday school life.
PSHE is taught for between 30 and 60 minutes each week through progressive strands, which cover all PSHE key elements: Me and My Relationships, Valuing Difference, Keeping Myself Safe, Rights and Responsibilities, Being My Best, Growing and Changing. Our lessons include written and practical based tasks to make learning engaging for all. The units we follow are carefully mapped out by the SCARF scheme of work: Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience, Friendship. SCARF is mapped to the new DfE guidance for Relationships and Health Education, The PSHE Association’s Programmes of Study Learning Opportunities and the National Curriculum for England. Click on the link here for more information on SCARF.
Centred on a values-based and ‘Growth Mindset’ approach our PSHE curriculum promotes positive behaviour, mental health, wellbeing, resilience and achievement.
There is now a proven link between pupils' health and wellbeing, and their academic progress. (The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment Public Health England 2014). Crucial skills and positive attitudes developed through comprehensive Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) are critical to ensuring children are effective learners. Our curriculum provides a whole-school approach to building these essential foundations – crucial for children to achieve their best, academically and socially.
Our society is wonderfully becoming more diverse and we recognise that religion and belief forms a crucial part of people’s culture and identity. At Roecroft, we strive to equip all pupils with the values of tolerance and respect towards different religious and non-religious beliefs. This is to ensure that our pupils are taught key knowledge to equip them with the skills to talk about Religious Education in a sensitive and respectful way. It is important for us as a school to incorporate our Roecroft Values, Fundamental British Values and Religious Education together.
Religious Education is taught for an hour each week through three progressive strands:
- Making sense of beliefs.
- Understanding the impact of beliefs.
- Making personal connections.
Our lessons include written, practical and creative based tasks to fully explore all religious/non-religious beliefs and make learning engaging for all. The units we follow are carefully mapped out and are supported by the Identities, meaning, values RE agreed syllabus 2018-2023 for Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Bedford. This syllabus allows each year group to explore a ‘Big Question’ each half term. Over the course of the year the children will learn about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. For more details of what each year group is taught please click here for agreed syllabus.
At Roecroft we pride ourselves on being inclusive, charitable and having strong community links. As part of Religious Education we give our pupils opportunities to help and give back to others throughout the course of the academic year. Examples of this include: raising money for various charitable organisations, donating food to The NEED Project, hosting and attending community coffee mornings and having strong links with members of the community. Our pupils attend a weekly worship assembly which has a range of different speakers including: Reverends, parents, staff, local community groups and charitable organisations. We ensure that we cover a range of religious/non-religious beliefs in these assemblies with parents, pupils and staff having the opportunity to share their cultures and beliefs.
At Roecroft, we aim to develop children’s natural curiosity; appreciation of the importance of science for understanding the world; and active participation in the acquisition of scientific knowledge, understanding, skills and language. Each year we build on their key skills and knowledge following the Curriculum with a focus on developing their scientific enquiry.
Science is taught weekly across the academic year through a range of disciplines, which covers the areas of biology, chemistry and physics. In our lessons, we encourage children to experience and observe phenomena, looking closely at the natural world around them, making good use of our outdoor learning environment. We encourage the children to be curious and ask questions about what they notice. This helps to develop their understanding of scientific ideas by using different types of scientific enquiry, working towards them developing the skill of answering their own questions. Science lessons will also include practical investigations including observing changes over a period of time, noticing patterns, grouping and classifying things, carrying out simple comparative tests, and finding things out using secondary sources of information. We encourage the use of simple scientific language to talk about what they have found out and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways, which develops as their knowledge evolves.
Most of our learning in science is taught using first-hand practical experiences. We pride ourselves on being able to offer our pupils a wealth of visits and visitors during their time at Roecroft to enhance their understanding in this area of the curriculum. For example, we have had wildlife visits, visits to the local space centre, wild bird visits, parent scientist workshops and taken part in the ‘borrow the moon’ project. Our science curriculum days provide opportunities for each year group to take part in thought provoking activities. Science lessons will also include the use of appropriate secondary sources, such as books, photographs and videos including Tigtag UK to enrich pupils’ development in this area of study.