It is an exciting time to be in education as we are experiencing an era of fundamental changes in learning. The provision of a broad and balanced curriculum alone, is no longer enough to equip pupils for their future lives. It is now essential to provide pupils of all abilities with the habits, skills and confidence to learn, constructively question and relearn, throughout their lives.
We need to encourage and enable our pupils to play a much greater role in their own learning and to teach them how to learn. The Globalisation of today’s society brings advantages and disadvantages to those who live and work in it. Future societies are going to need informed, independent, highly skilled, flexible learners, employees, employers and citizens. All pupils who come to Sheerness West Federation, whether they choose to remain in Sheerness for the rest of their lives or whether they move further afield, will be part of that society. We therefore have a clear duty and responsibility to meet the needs of all pupils to prepare them not just for their own futures, but for their role in becoming the caretakers of the World for the generations that follow them.
I am confident that with the support and help of staff, pupils, parents and the wider Sheerness West Federation Community, we can continue to make great strides towards achieving the highest possible standards of teaching, learning and care to best equip our pupils for their current and future lives. Our mission statement at Sheerness West is “Dreams can come true if you have a positive view” and we will therefore strive to provide the very best provision and curriculum offer for all to ensure that their dreams do actually become a reality.
English is a vital tool for communicating with others in school, in the wider world and for adult life. It is fundamental to learning in all other curriculum subjects. Whilst studying English, pupils will develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils will learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, whilst also learning to communicate with others confidently and effectively.
At Sheerness West Federation, it is our aim to allow all pupils to develop Literacy skills through a rich and varied selection of Units of study. These units have been created to reflect different learning styles, involve challenge and thought, to embrace new technology and follow National Strategies therefore ensuring progression across our School.
It is our aim to offer a range of non-fiction themes, fiction texts, plays and poetry that appeal to pupils, allowing all to share and access skills at an age-appropriate level.
There are many things that Parents can do at home to support this learning. Please encourage a regular, daily reading habit, assist and support in developing independent homework strategies plus discuss local and national issues with your children.
At Sheerness West Federation, we use a two-week writing cycle, which has been developed with the help of a writing consultant. The first week is about exploring a text and the second week gives opportunities for practising skills – leading to an extended piece of writing at the end of the cycle, linked to the current text.
Year group teachers plan together across the Federation, ensuring a complete coverage of genre and clear outcomes. Teachers consistently deliver developmental marking to give your child the tools to progress.
Both schools are now using Accelerated Reader. This system assesses the children’s reading age and tracks their progress as well as highlights those children not making progress. This is a valuable tool for teachers, but also lends itself to parental involvement at home as the children can read at home and then take a quiz when they are back in school.
We also have a band of parent volunteers coming in to read with our children across both schools. If you would like to be part of our Reading Dream Team, then please contact Mrs Miller or Mrs Bower at Rose Street School.
We follow the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme.
This year at Sheerness West Federation, we are introducing a new maths scheme. This is called ‘Inspire’ and tracks the Singaporian system; it follows a more rounded approach to teaching maths. Inspire Maths concentrates on the more basic skills of addition, subtraction and number bonds in greater detail, so that pupils have a deepened knowledge and understanding before moving onto more complex topics. Each section of maths covered is taught like this – building on previous knowledge and covering topics in depth. This may mean that pupils spend a longer time on one topic in the term than they would have done previously, but they will come away with a deep knowledge of it – which will help them more in their future learning.
New curriculum objectives introduced this year, leading to the new SATS exams, are more challenging and Sheerness West Federation’s investment in Inspire and training in the Singapore method are some of the ways we are trying to meet these new challenges.
Understanding of mathematical ideas, rather than just the ability to complete repetitive questions successfully, is seen as the most important principle of the Singapore approach. This is aimed for through the use of hands-on resources to show answers and ideas, rather than just picture and number methods. These include linking coloured cubes, two sided counters and many other simple but adaptable classroom tools. Approaching difficult topics like fractions in this way is already starting to show good results.
The ‘Inspire’ system is being rolled out across the school, with Year 1 completing it in the most detail. They are using both traditional maths books and Inspire workbooks to record all the work they are doing, so you will see their work is split between the two. As they continue through the school, this will be the norm.
At the moment, older year groups are using the Inspire maths where it ties in with their current learning objectives. Over time we will see an increase in pupils’ maths understanding and abilities, as each child will have a greater and deeper understanding of how to apply their knowledge.
As always, we enjoy seeing your support and if you have any further questions about ‘Inspire Maths’ then please come and see me. If you wish to help your child develop their understanding further at home KS2 Bitesize Maths and Maths Playground are both relevant, free websites that can be easily accessed through the links below
Science at Sheerness West Federation is about sparking children’s interest and love of science, and the environment, through hands-on discovery. We develop children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world in which they live through investigation, as well as using and applying process skills. We believe that a broad and balanced science education is the entitlement of all children, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, class, aptitude or disability.
We aim to prepare our children for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world and to foster concern about our environment. We help develop and extend our children’s scientific concept of their world and build on their natural curiosity whilst developing a scientific approach to problems. The Federation provides our children with an enjoyable experience of science, so that they will develop a deep and lasting interest and may be motivated to study science further. Through our teaching we give our children an understanding of scientific processes and developing the skills of investigation which enables our children to become effective communicators of scientific ideas, facts and data.
- Through our teaching of geography the Federation aims to:
- Stimulate pupil’s enthusiasm and interest in their own surroundings and other localities, both in Kent, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.
- Teach a respect and understanding of different communities and cultures.
- Develop an awareness and appreciation of cultural and economic diversity.
- Increase pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the changing world, encouraging them to know and understand environmental problems within the school, local area and the wider world.
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between people and the environment and how actions can affect the quality of the environment.
- Understand how physical features such as climate, rivers and mountains (for example) affect the lifestyles of different peoples throughout the world.
- Acquire and develop the skills necessary for making geographical enquiries.
At Sheerness West Federation we seek to develop children who can be independent thinkers and who can share their thoughts and ideas with each other. This strengthens their communication skills and builds confidence in understanding and justifying opinions not only in history but across the curriculum.
We teach history to:
- Engage pupils’ curiosity about the past in Britain and the wider world
- Encourage thinking about how the past influences the present
- Help students develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events and people
- Foster a sense of identity and an increased understanding of pupils’ own position in their own community and the world
- Develop a range of skills and abilities – particularly those related to finding out about the past, explaining what happened and what people then and now think about what happened.
History in the early years is taught in Understanding the World and involves looking back at events in their young lives so far.
Key Stage 1
To be a historian in KS1 children use common words and phrases relating to the passing of time, for example, ‘A long time ago’ and ‘In the past’. Children learn to compare similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods and ask and answer questions relating to them. They also learn how we find out about the past and identify ways in which it can be represented.
KS1 areas of learning include changes within living memory, significant events beyond living memory eg The Great Fire of London and the lives of significant individuals eg Neil Armstrong, Grace Darling.
Key Stage 2
To be a historian in KS2 children continue to develop their chronological understanding of British, local and world history across the periods they study. We ask them to question why things happened and the effect they had on future lives and events. KS2 areas of learning include prehistoric Britain, the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain and the struggle for power between the Vikings and Anglo Saxons. In the wider world topics include the Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greece.
Both Key Stages include a local history study. The Isle of Sheppey has a fascinating and varied past which we encourage our pupils to be proud of. One of our targets at Sheerness West Federation is for all pupils to “have the opportunity to learn about their local environment and community and celebrate its proud heritage” because it is important for children to have a pride in their past and be able to understand they are part of its future.
To find out more Just Google ‘Sheppey Website’ for lots of interesting facts and information!
At Sheerness West Federation we embrace the digital era and offer a rich and varied curriculum covering all aspects of modern computing. As a Federation we are well equipped, with every child having access to their own computer to ensure full participation in every aspect of learning; not just in terms of covering a broad computing curriculum, but using technology across the curriculum for research, presentations and general use to develop every day skills.
We are passionate about technology in the classroom, every classroom is equipped with Interactive Whiteboard technology to enhance the learning experience for all pupils. This helps to deliver an audio visual experience to enhance the learning of all subjects.
We have embraced the new national curriculum for Computing and have made a number of investments in resources to ensure that what we teach not only provides a solid foundation of general computer skills in all key areas, but over and above these key skills particularly in the new area of coding. Our pupils leave Sheerness West Federation with significant coding skills, far exceeding the entry requirements of the majority of Secondary Schools.
The IT world is constantly evolving. As a Federation we are aware of this and have a rolling programme of investment to ensure that we stay on top of the latest technology. Over the next few years we will be switching from laptops to tablets, enabling even the youngest children in our schools to enter formal education using technology that most of them are familiar with. We believe this is the way forward and will enable us to integrate teaching and learning further as we are also investing in technology to enable work on tablets to be shared with the class via the latest WiFi technology.
- Our curriculum is based on 6 main areas;
- Computational Thinking
- Computer Networks
- Communication / Collaboration
Each unit is taught as a mini-project, with skills being taught, used and then built upon throughout each lesson. Our curriculum is progressive, ensuring that as children move through the school their skills are built upon each year, culminating in Year 6 where the children participate in a year-long project to research the app market, design an app, project manage, program and market their app – fantastic skills for the future!
At Sheerness West Federation we take e-Safety very seriously. The units that we teach make specific reference to key e-Safety principles when they need to be addressed to ensure that all of our children remain safe at all times.
At Sheerness West Federation a positive attitude and self-belief is vital to achieving goals and prospering to be independent in their own learning.
Within the PE curriculum there is particular emphasis on the development of a wide range of skills, including motor skills, hand eye coordination and teamwork. All these fundamental skills are taken from experiencing a wealth of sports activities not just within their PE lessons but also within healthy competition.
Here at SWF we promote healthy competition across the school and encourage and support when others prosper, therefore resulting in good sportsmanship. We urge children to make informed decisions independently about how to apply skills learnt into game scenarios. The children are supported to aspire to local sporting heroes and worldwide sporting competitors as well as celebrate each other’s successes and achievements within the school community. It is our aim for all children at SWF to compete and represent the school in either sporting or a creative event at some point in their career.
We also have opportunities for children to develop, explore and share their creativity through all aspects of physical education for example; through designing their own dance and gymnastic sequences. Skills in working collaboratively are achieved in improvisation within group tasks and through team sports both within the lesson and within our school representative teams in the wider community.
Another aim of ours is to see our children through their cycling proficiency to ensure they are safe when cycling to and from school and when they are out in the wider community. It is required for all children to be able to swim at least 25meters and is therefore a whole school aim to see our children reach this target by the time they leave SWF.
Our staff within SWF effectively differentiate to enable all children to excel no matter what their sporting capabilities are. It allows them to discover their own gifts and talents across the Physical Education curriculum.
Children at SWF receive two hours of PE (1 indoor and 1 outdoor) and the option to attend a variety of after school sports clubs throughout the week.
(as part of Modern Foreign Languages)
Learning a foreign language provides students with the opportunity to expand their appreciation of other cultures. It is a chance to discover that despite differences we are all similar.
The language itself helps deepen their understanding of English grammar and with pattern recognition. It improves all four communication skills and can help overcome linguistic barriers, because the writing system has ideographs and is based on a syllabic structure, aiding access for children with language impediments, particularly dyslexia.
Recognition of the characters improves employability because the writing system means that children can recognise text in Japanese, Chinese and some old Korean text.
In particular Japanese develops students understanding of social structures and their changing position within them as individuals in a global society.
At Sheerness West Federation, we aim to provide a relevant PSHE curriculum to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and prepare them for the opportunities and responsibilities of life.
These aims ensure that the curriculum enables pupils to develop the knowledge and understanding of their own and different beliefs. Pupils will be able to understand their rights and responsibilities and develop integrity and independence in building respect for their environments and communities. We aim to promote self-esteem and emotional development and to help our pupils to form and maintain satisfying relationships.
- At Sheerness West Federation we want children to:
- Have respect for themselves and others, valuing the differences and similarities between people;
- Develop good relationships with other members of the school and wider community;
- Be independent, self-disciplined and responsible members of society;
- Develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues;
- Know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle;
- Be aware of safety issues and manage risk in their own lives.
Our belief is that the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each student, given that they will come from different backgrounds and will also encompass a range of age, abilities, cultures and experiences. As many of our students may be vulnerable, we will be particularly sensitive, empathetic and accommodating in our delivery of the programmes, taking advice and support from our wonderful pastoral support teams who are able to provide ideas, resources and services from outside agencies when required.
At SWF, RE is an important subject because it helps the children to understand about different religions and their beliefs and practices. The children’s morals and own views can be considered and through RE the children understand that there is no one religion that is the most important or that they should follow. It is down to an individual’s own personal choice as to whether they are going to follow or believe in the practices of a Religion. It is a relevant, exciting and accessible subject for all. In RE we also try, where possible, to make links with other subjects such as English, Drama, ICT and Art; offering pupils a variety of choices when expressing their understanding of this subject while also improving important skills in other areas.
Throughout their time at SWF the children will learn about all the main world religions – Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Judaism. These will be covered at different levels and different year groups. When studying all of these religions the children will develop their knowledge and understanding of each religion, learning about the different symbols, beliefs and traditions of the religion and their main festivals and Gods.
Year 1 – Christianity and Judaism
Year 2 – Christianity and Hinduism
Year 3 – Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Year 4 – Christianity, Judaism and Islam
Year 5 – Christianity and Judasim – comparing and recognising the links between these religions
Year 6 – Christianity, Buddhism and Sikhism
At SWF we encourage all children to have an appreciation for music. By using the term appreciate, it is implied that children should not only value and enjoy music but should be able to discuss and recognise its quality*. The process of discernment requires experience of any knowledge about the music under discussion, therefore music in education should be developed through a range of experiences and the knowledge gained through them.
Music is intrinsically gratifying in itself, it should not always have a purpose but, on occasions, be aesthetically appreciated for its own merits. Although the performing of music in concerts and other additional curricular activities is important, it is not the most important aspect of music education at SWF. The child who really has begun to value music will be the one who, out of choice, will listen to music at home to broaden his / her listening repertoire as experience is gained. We aim to achieve this by challenging all children – including both the children receiving specialist input (through instrumental lessons or music clubs) i.e. those who hold more specialist knowledge and the other children who only encounter practical music experience as part of their general education.
*quality: distinctive character apart from pitch and loudness, timbre (Oxford Dictionary)
Across the Federation, teachers will be largely free to design their own curriculum within Art, which will provide a broad experience for each individual child, and will be linked to the wider curriculum. Children will explore and use a variety of different techniques such as drawing, painting and sculpture, and will use a variety of materials, from pencils and paint to charcoal and clay, to create their own art pieces. In addition to this, during Key Stage 2, children will study the works of some great artists and designers from history, and have the opportunity to join in with whole school Art days and projects. Children across the Federation will participate in a weekly Art lesson, but also at times it will be taught through other foundation subjects.
Children within Sheerness West Federation will have the opportunity to cook within Design Technology, which should be taught in all primary schools from 2014. Children will find out about a healthy diet and prepare simple meals. This subject will also include the more traditional design elements in which children will design, make and evaluate products, while learning to use a variety of tools and techniques for construction. There may also be some cross-over with Science here as children will incorporate levers, pulleys or electrical circuits into their designs for finished products. Children across the Federation will participate in either individual Design Technology lessons, or it shall be taught through various Foundation subjects.
Within the Sheerness West Federation we aim to recognise, celebrate and nurture the unique gifts and talents of all students. We provide a differentiated and relevant curriculum which meets the needs of all and allows each individual to achieve the highest standards of which he or she is capable. The Federation enables each student to participate in challenging, stimulating, worthwhile and enjoyable learning experiences and to recognise their personal strengths. They are supported in setting appropriate personal targets for improvement within a culture of learning which celebrates personal development and growth, hard work, commitment and independence as well as success and achievement.
DEFINITION OF MORE ABLE
In our federation we use the term ‘more able’ for those children that are significantly above the ability of the other children (exceeding national expectations).
- Physical talent
- Academic achievements
- Visual/performing abilities
- Mechanical ingenuity
- Outstanding leadership and social awareness
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
- Ensure that we recognise and support the needs of our children
- Enable children to develop their full potential
- Offer children opportunities to generate their own learning
- Ensure that we challenge and extend the children through the work that we set them.
- Encourage children to think and work independently
IF YOU WISH TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM THAT GUIDES THE CURRICULUM THAT WE OFFER PLEASE CLICK HERE.