At Stoneraise School, our vision statement is, ‘Living and learning together to care for each other and our world.’ Our curriculum has been designed to focus the children’s learning on this statement. We are based on the rural outskirts of the historic city of Carlisle and the majority of our pupils travel from local housing estates within the city. We try to make the very most of our beautiful surroundings at every opportunity. From Hadrian’s Wall to the mountains of the Lake District, we ensure that our children gain an awe of the majestic landscape on our doorstep. Developing friendships, keeping ourselves safe and preparing our children to be the ‘citizens of tomorrow’ are all on the same journey on our Pathway to Success.
Our curriculum ensures excellent coverage of the National Curriculum (Years 1-6) and Foundation Stage Early Years Curriculum (Reception Children). We have fully embraced the higher expectations set out in both curriculums and have devised our own units of work for each subject area so that we can ensure a sound progression of learning. We also have a core team of specialist teachers who are passionate about their curriculum area; these teachers work with different groups of children each year. Our team includes PE, music, art and computing specialists.
As a teaching team, working alongside our dedicated team of governors, we have designed our curriculum so that we meet the children ‘where they are’; we seek to truly ‘learn together’ by gaining an understanding of what we know already, what we need/want to find out, how we are going to get there and how we know we’ve succeeded. Pupils share their views through a variety of pupil voice activities and our School Council actively works to improve our learning environment and develop teaching and learning through school. Our award-winning school garden is a haven for all pupils to become green-fingered and have an appreciation for nature.
Our ‘Sticky Knowledge’ approach is used to help children to be aware of what they will learn through each unit or topic and help staff and pupils to make an assessment of what has been learned. We share key knowledge that we would like to ‘stick’ in the children’s long term memory, present vital vocabulary they will come across to encourage the children to expand and develop their use of a wide range of words. Sticky notes (which include word banks, diagrams and other important information) are often used to support the children in the short term in their learning. Our curriculum in EYFS is on a rolling year plan, KS1 across two years and KS2 across their four years in the juniors (we have some mixed-age classes).
To ensure clear, cyclical, coherent and strategic curriculum progression, we have set out our curriculum with key learning and skills that will be revisited as the children move through Stoneraise School. Topics have been carefully selected to take into account our surroundings. An enquiry question is usually presented at the start of a topic then the children will begin to ask their own questions as we move through the sequence of learning. For instance, in History, we have a focus on the Romans. Our key question is, “What impact do the ancient Romans still have on us today?” Through this topic we explore the impact of the Romans on our society by exploring evidence from the past (using a wide range of artefacts and other primary and secondary sources). Taking this further, to help contextualisation, we visit local museums e.g. Senhouse Roman Museum and take the children to ‘touch the wall’ at Housesteads Fort. Meeting a Roman soldier on the wall is always a key highlight and this helps the children to literally ‘get their hands on’ the fantastic history of our nation. English Heritage even used our school in a promotional video for their website, interviewing our pupils about their learning on Romans. Although we have a topic-based approach, we do not want the study of history, geography, French etc, to be lost so we have maintained discrete lessons where the key driver for the lesson remains. We aim to tie our learning together, linking back to what we know already and exploring how what we are learning links to our historical timeline.
Through our assemblies, we explore key questions which link to our vision. For instance, “How can I achieve a growth mindset?”, “Where do people go to worship?”, “What do charities do?” and, “How can I help the environment?” Beginning each assembly with a piece from our ‘Composer of the Week’ gives the children the chance to experience a wide range of classical music, exploring the style, orchestral instruments involved and history of the composer. We welcome visitors from the community and further afield into school on a regular basis. Regular fundraising events for charities are commonplace and we act as a drop-off point of Carlisle Foodbank.
As we reside in such a rural location, we aspire to teach our children about the wider world. Giving the children opportunities to learn about others from different faiths, cultures, ethnicities and other life experiences is key to helping our children prepare for life in modern-day Britain. A biennial visit to London gives our children the chance to see a multicultural metropolis and also helps to tie learning together through their time in Key Stage 2. Visiting the Tower London and seeing King Henry VIII’s armour, exploring the Houses of Parliament during a guided tour and even speaking to Nick Gibb (Schools Minister), helps our children to see first hand the importance of our British values. Other educational visits, residential and trips are all planned to take into account key learning that the children can acquire.
The Government introduced a new National Curriculum, which started in September 2014. Stoneraise School follows this to ensure that all our pupils have a broad and balanced curriculum. We have divided each topic into a four-year cycle to ensure that by the time a child leaves our school in Year 6, they will have covered all of the programmes of study.
Sometimes a child may do a topic in Year 1/2, then repeat the topic in later years. This is not just a repeat of the topic, but a more in-depth study. This type of cyclical learning experience is vital to ensure children learn all of the objectives for each topic.
More in-depth curriculum coverage can be found by clicking on the images below:
How to find out more
The National Curriculum outlines what each child should be able to achieve by the end of every year during their time in school. Although the document is over 200 pages long, we have tried to produce a simplified version of what is expected by the end of each year group in reading, writing and maths. Parents must remember that this is not the whole curriculum, but the minimum expectation of what should be known and understood by your child as they progress through school.
To view the guides, please click the relevant link below:
The best way to see what we have been doing is to scroll through our Twitter feed (see right) to see how many brilliant learning opportunities we create. You can also read your child's class newsletter for each half term or speak to your child's class teacher.
At Stoneraise School we use small steps to help the children bite off manageable chunks in their mathematical learning. As the children progress through school we build on prior knowledge, introduce new concepts and give the children as many experiences as possible to deepen their learning and understanding. We follow the small steps progression which has been outlined by the White Rose MathsHub.
Right from Reception, the children are given the opportunity to develop their mathematics through a variety of concrete (hands-on), pictorial (using pictures) and abstract activities. As the children move through into Key Stage 1, they can they draw on this solid understanding of number and place value and build up their knowledge further. Through Key Stage 2 the children continue to use a variety of models and representations to assist them in complex calculations. Problem solving and reasoning activities are used alongside a variety of fluency activities on a day-to-day basis to help all children make rapid progress.
To keep concepts ‘on the boil’ we have employed a regular ‘Stoneraise Six’ challenge into our mathematics lessons. The children answer six questions in six minutes which recap previous learning.
Please click on the following image to download the small steps progression that we follow:
To ensure that parents know how their children are progressing with their mathematics, there are several ways we aim to keep parents informed:
Three parents’ evenings where parents can chat to their child’s class teacher and look through their maths books;
Weekly homework tasks set through our online learning platform (Mathletics) enables parents to see what their children have been working on through the week;
Our half-termly newsletters outline the key learning that will take place in mathematics;
We have created two guides (see below) for parents to help when calculating with whole numbers and fractions using all operations (+ - x ÷);
An annual school report which includes details of assessments taken, overall successes in their learning and an area to develop.
We have created our own Mathematics Calculation Policy which several schools have adopted as their own. The methods progressively build up to the most formal method for each operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). We've also produced a Fraction Calculation Method booklet. Please download a copy of our policies by clicking on the images below:
Phonics and Reading
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1, children learn to read using synthetic phonics. As a school we have begun to use the Read Write Inc. Phonics Scheme.
Read Write Inc. Phonics is a whole-school approach to teaching literacy for 4 to 9-year olds that creates fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. It integrates phonics with comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling and handwriting using engaging partner work and drama.
As the children move towards the end of Year 1 and into Year 2, they move onto Read Write Inc. Spelling. This uses a proven phonics approach and uses engaging lessons beamed straight into the classroom by aliens from an exciting online spelling planet, to prepare children for the higher demands of the spelling requirements in the National Curriculum.
For more information about Read Write Inc. please click on the image below:
For further information on learning to read, please click here:
Slides from Parents Meeting on Read Write Inc are here:
Our broad and balanced curriculum
At Stoneraise School, we enrich our curriculum at every opportunity. We regularly go out of school on educational visits to bring the curriculum to life. Wherever possible, we bring experts into school so that the children can see how what they've been learning links to the real world.
This is a pictorial representation of our school curriculum:
As a school we aim to provide a high-quality music education which engages and inspires all pupils. Pupils will develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As pupils progress, they should develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
Music will be delivered through curriculum lessons, assemblies, class projects (e.g. end of year show, Cathedral Outreach, djembe workshops) and extra-curricular activities. This multi-faceted approach will enable all children to discover and develop their musical interests and skills whilst gaining the basic knowledge required to engage successfully in musical activities.
Stoneraise School seeks to provide a rich Religious Education (RE) Curriculum which prepares our children for life in modern Britain.
RE is key to helping young people grow up in today's multi-faith, diverse and connected world. RE aims to give pupils opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of religion and beliefs and to contribute to the development of their own beliefs and values. Everyone has their unique view of the world and RE is about exploring these views.
We use Cumbria's Agreed Syllabus as the basis for our RE teaching and learning. You can download a copy here.
We are constantly seeking to teach our children about how to stay safe Online. As so much of 21st Century life is spent on the Internet, our children need to learn the skills to protect themselves when web browsing, using social media or playing games. During Computing lessons, circle times and during our annual Internet Safety Day, we two programmes called, ‘Be Internet Legends’ which has been designed by Google and another called eAware.
eAWARE offers a unique online safety programme for both schools and families, designed by a team of educational psychologists, teachers and child protection experts.
To find out more about 'Be Internet Legends' click here.
To explore the fantastic parent resources by eAware, click here. We also regularly tweet parent safety advice.
Recent Curriculum Activities: