Our aim at Fairfields Primary School, is to ensure that within all of our English lessons we are developing our pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, spelling, grammar and vocabulary. We are also ambitious in striving for the skills and knowledge gained in English lessons to be embedded in a cross-curricular way within our ILP lessons. We do this by linking our writing to our ILP project, by choosing a text or a stimulus that fits with our topic. As reading is important to us here at Fairfields, we also ensure that within classrooms and shared areas a variety of books related to ILP projects our accessible for all pupils at all times.
As a school, we use Read, Write, Inc. as our approach to teaching early reading. Read, Write, Inc. is a ambitious systematic synthetic phonics program which enables all children to read accurately and fluently whilst developing and supporting their comprehension. Throughout the programme, children learn the English alphabetic code along with the letter-sound correspondences at a rapid pace with the help of simple and enjoyable mnemonics. Once the children have grasped the alphabetic code, they continue accessing Read, Write, Inc. however more time is dedicated to further developing their fluency and comprehension skills until they become the fluent and confident readers that we aspire them to become.
When children become fluent and confident readers, they are then taught the six main reading skills (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation, retrieval and sequencing/summarising). These skills are taught in two ways on a two-week rotation. In one week the children will read a text as a whole class, where together they will read the text and unpick any unfamiliar vocabulary. After that, the class will focus on a different reading skill each day where the children will then have the opportunity to apply what they have learnt. During the second week on the two-week timetable, the class will be set up in a carousel. The children are grouped based on the colour of their book band that they are able to fluently decode, throughout the week they will work on a selection of different activities linked to the reading vipers. This will provide them with the opportunity to independently showcase the knowledge they have gained in both their whole class and carousel reading lessons.
As previously mentioned, as a school we endeavour to ensure that the writing genres chosen link to each classes imaginative learning project (ILP). This cross-curricular creative approach ‘hooks’ children into their writing and ensures that they have opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in their ILP lessons within their writing. Teachers follow the ‘Write Stuff’ framework, which enables them to model to pupils how to construct ambitious, highly effective sentences based on the skills (lenses from the writing rainbow) being taught within that lesson though sentence stacking. Pupils are then given the opportunity to have a go at using the skill before using their creativity to independently plan, write and draft their own piece of writing based on the same genre, in a similar style.
In EYFS, children have opportunities to practice their spelling as they learn a new phoneme-grapheme correspondence. They do this through spelling orally using ‘Fred fingers’ whereby they have to decide how many sounds they need to spell a word, say the sounds and pinch their fingers as they do so. Children are also given the opportunity within their phonics lessons to use Fred fingers to help them write words they are spelling. As well as this, once children have learnt the set 1 sounds, they move onto doing a spell review activity as part of their phonics lesson. Within this, they have to spell two or three other words containing sounds that they have been taught previously, this helps to ensure that their knowledge of each phoneme-grapheme correspondence is further embedded.
Children in years 2-6, follow the Read, Write, Inc. spelling programme. Two of their SPaG lessons a week are dedicated to just spelling. Each week, teachers select a spelling unit (based upon a spelling rule) which is introduced to the children through a video with child friendly characters who explain how to use the spelling rule. Children then complete activities within both lessons, with teachers assessing the knowledge they have retained at the end of the week.
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation –
Teachers use the vocabulary, grammar and punctuation progression grid to help them plan their lessons ensuring the children develop the skills and knowledge needed within their year groups across the three vocabulary, grammar and punctuation lessons a week. As we use the Write Stuff approach within our writing lessons, many of the lenses focus on vocabulary, grammar and punctuation so children frequently have the knowledge to apply what they have learnt within their SPaG lessons in context within their writing lessons.
The 2014 National Curriculum for maths aims for all pupils to:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
Here at Fairfields Primary we teach mathematics for mastery, an approach that has been inspired by countries such as Singapore. This is an engaging style of maths teaching that enhances mathematical understanding and increases enjoyment for all children.
What is teaching for mastery?
Being taught to master maths means that children are able to develop their mathematical fluency without needing to resort to strategies such as rote learning. They are able to solve non-routine maths problems without the need to memorise procedures.
Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to demonstrate, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.
Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material.
What will you see in lessons at Fairfields?
Concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA)
Maths can often be seen as difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach builds knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete way. It involves moving from using concrete materials, to pictorial representations and then on to abstract symbols and problems.
- Concrete – Concrete is the ‘doing stage’. During this stage, children will use concrete objects to model problems and brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical objects. Every abstract concept is first introduced using interactive concrete materials. For example, if a problem involves adding pieces of fruit, children will first handle actual fruit and then will progress to handling resources such as counters or cubes to represent the fruit.
- Pictorial – Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage. This is where children will see visual representations of concrete objects to model problems. This encourages children to make the mental connection between the physical object that they have already handled with the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem. Building or drawing a model makes grasping difficult abstract concepts easier for children as they are able to visualise problems to make them more accessible.
- Abstract – This is the ‘Symbolic’ stage. This is where children will use abstract symbols to model problems. Students only progress on to this stage once they have demonstrated a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages. Children are introduced to concepts at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation and mathematical symbols.
The structure of lessons
As a school, we follow ‘Maths No Problem’ which allows us to follow four steps in every lesson:
We begin every lesson with an ‘In focus’ task linked to the learning of that lesson. This is an opportunity for children to put their previous knowledge and skills into practise and to explore a problem creatively through discussion, partner work, the use of concrete resources and jottings in order to reach a solution. Children are then given the opportunity to feedback the ways in which they approached this task and will be challenged to reason their thinking and to deepen their understanding through questioning led by the teacher.
The next step in our lesson is Let’s Learn. This is where the children will be exposed to new knowledge and skills and the teacher will scaffold and model the new knowledge to the children. The children will be have opportunities to discuss their new learning and see it in action. Problems will often be rooted in real life contexts so that children can see how maths is used in the real world.
The children then move on to the guided practice section of the lesson. This is where children have the opportunity to put into practise the new knowledge and skills that they have acquired and to ‘have a go’ whilst being guided by the teacher. Children will move through this section at a pace that is right for them and are able to practise what they have been taught using concrete resources and pictorial representations. Teachers will question in order to guide children and to direct their thinking to reach a solution but with a deeper understanding of the concept.
This is final stage of the lesson where children are able to practise and show what they have learnt in that lesson. Children have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning creativity through continuous provision and high-quality independent work. They then can move on to the challenges called ‘chilli challenges’ which have 3 levels of difficulty.
- Mild – The mild challenge gives children to opportunity to practise their new skills in similar ways to their workbooks but in different contexts.
- Hot – The hot challenge gives children the opportunity to think a little deeper about their new knowledge and skills and to use reasoning in order to explain concepts in more detail.
- Spicy – The spicy challenge allows children to really deepen their thinking and to explain, prove and justify concepts.
We are encouraging the children to be independent, ambitious learners and self-select the correct level of challenge for them based on their understanding of the concept taught in the lesson.
At Fairfields we are committed to teaching multiplication tables in a fun, engaging and systematic way. We introduce each times table with specific lessons involving varied fluency and reasoning activities and then continue to embed them across the year by using rolling number songs and Times Table Rockstars. Learning and becoming fluent with times tables is one of the bedrock skills that will enable children to access and explore all other areas of maths, from fractions to volume. If you would like to support your child further with their times tables journey, we have some fun, age appropriate activities you can do at home as well as Rolling numbers and Times Table Rockstars!
Useful Websites to support and engage:
At Fairfields Primary School, we recognise the significance of Science in our everyday lives and, as a core subject within the primary curriculum, ensure that it is given the appropriate prominence that it deserves. Across the school, we aim to develop a sense of awe, wonder, excitement and curiosity towards science and the role it plays in helping us understand the wider world around us. We ensure enquiry skills are embedded within each science topic and place great value in promoting each child’s ability to question what they see, learn and understand. Our units of work are designed so that topics are revisited, consolidated and built upon to ensure key vocabulary, concepts and scientific understanding are rooted into children’s long-term memories.
The processes of ‘Working Scientifically’ – questioning, comparative and fair testing, sorting and grouping, identifying and classifying, observing and measuring, experimenting, analysing, explaining and evaluating - underpin our entire curriculum and permeate all science teaching across the school. As a school, we have a clear vision that science should be independent from themes and topics to ensure that children develop a secure understanding of each concept and key block of knowledge. We encourage our children to be ambitious and place great importance on opening their eyes to the endless possibilities of STEM driven careers. We believe that this will lead children to develop a genuine love of science and a thirst for future learning, ensuring that all children leave Fairfields Primary School with a solid foundation to continue their scientific journey.
At Fairfields Primary School, we ensure that our teaching of history is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. Our history curriculum is taught through our broad and inspiring Imaginative Learning Projects by teaching a range of creative and engaging activities. We offer a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We also focus on how we belong to our local area with the new development of Fairfields, the historic town of Stony Stratford and the evolution of Milton Keynes over time. History also helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups and communities. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. We encourage children to become ambitious, curious and critical learners as they follow lines of enquiry and use various sources to interpret the past in order to prepare them to be life-long learners.
At Fairfields Primary School, we believe that Geography helps to provoke and provide answers to questions about the natural and human aspects of the world. Children are encouraged to develop a greater understanding and knowledge of the world, as well as their place in it. Our curriculum is taught through our Imaginative Learning Projects with a focus on knowledge about diverse places, people, resources and natural and human environments, together with a deep understanding of the Earth’s key physical and human processes. Geography is, by nature, an investigative subject, which develops an understanding of concepts, knowledge and skills. We seek to inspire in children a curiosity about the world and to promote the children’s interest as well as offer children a range of practical educational experiences. We aim for children to build on prior knowledge and promote a love of learning that will stay with them for the future.
Design and Technology is an inspiring and practical subject that encourages children to think creatively, both as individuals and as members of a team. At Fairfields Primary, we encourage children to use their imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art, through our learning projects. The children are also given opportunities to reflect upon and evaluate past and present design technology, its uses and its effectiveness as well as being encouraged to become innovators and risk-takers. Children are taught to understand how following design brief ensures product made are fit for a purpose and evaluate the effectiveness of their creations. Through this they become better prepared for the world of constantly evolving innovation and engineering, in which they live.
At Fairfields Primary School, we believe Art and Design should be fully inclusive to every child. We value Art and Design as an important part of the children’s entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum
PE Intent Statement
At Fairfields, we strive to create a culture which aims to inspire an active generation to enjoy PE, encourage each other and achieve. We provide a safe and supportive environment for children to flourish in a range of different physical activities which is essential in supporting their physical, emotional, spiritual, social and moral development.
At Fairfields we offer a dynamic, varied and stimulating program of activity to ensure that all children progress physically through an inspirational, unique and fully inclusive PE curriculum. We encourage the children to develop their understanding of the way in which they can use their body, equipment and apparatus safely yet creatively to achieve their personal goals. All children have the opportunity to enjoy being physically, active, maintain a healthy lifestyle and using the medium of sport, increase their self-esteem. We aspire for children to adopt a positive mind-set and believe that anything can be achieved with determination and resilience.
The aim of Physical Education is to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles. Children are taught to observe and produce the conventions of fair play, honest competition and good sporting behaviour as individual participants, team members and spectators. Thus embedding life-long values such as co-operation, collaboration and equity of play.
We provide opportunities for children to learn how to stay safe by providing swimming lessons so children know how to keep safe and mee the National Curriculum requirement of swimming 25m by the end of Year 6.
Our PE curriculum, along with PSHE an d Science, teaches children about the importance of healthy living and learning about the need for good nutrition. At Fairfields, we aim for children to develop the necessary knowledge and skills which will have a positive impact on their future by becoming physically active citizens to benefit their long-term health and well-being.
We want all children to be masters of technology here at Fairfields Primary School, not slaves to it! Technology is everywhere and is used daily, therefore we want to model and educate all children on how to be creative when using technology positively and safely.
We learn how to code, create and debug algorithms, program, sequence, and use tools provided to research, create, save, edit and present using digital literacy. These skills enable learners to participate more readily in the rapidly changing world we live in today. From using devices in a variety of lessons, to making and editing their own creations, we do it all! We have a particular focus on internet safety and take part in the Safer Internet’s Internet safety week each February. We show benefits and drawbacks of screen time and teach children to take responsibility for their own learning both in school and at home when using computers.
Our aim is to build confident, competent learners with the ability to use technology purposefully and respectfully to further their learning, whilst developing logical reasoning which can be applied to every-day life. Our knowledge rich curriculum has to be balanced with the opportunity
for children to apply their knowledge creatively which will in turn help our pupils become skilful computer scientists. Finding the right balance with technology if a difficult task, one which we take seriously. We understand that having that balance will enable confident, ambitious learners with a unique, creative flare.
As a school, we participate in computing lessons, implement and use devices and aspects of computing within all of the curriculum, and we are working on building up clubs outside of school for more specific functions of computing. We want learners to discuss and reflect on the impact computing has in their lessons and outside lessons, looking at well-being and development.
As the UK has a rich heritage of culture and diversity, religion and belief for many people, Religious Education (RE) forms a crucial part of their culture and diversity.
Here at Fairfields, we celebrate our diverse community and feel it is important that our teaching and learning of RE provokes challenging questioning about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and nature of reality, issues of right and wrong, belonging, and what it means to be human. We aim to develop our children’s knowledge and understanding of principal religions, religious traditions and worldviews. RE also contributes to our childrens’ personal development and wellbeing and we aim to promote to our children mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society, thus resulting in community cohesion.
Our key properties in the teaching and learning of RE are to:
- Provoke challenging and aspirational questions;
- Encourage children to explore their own beliefs;
- Encourage children to build on their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within the Fairfields community and wider diverse society;
- Develop respect for others including people with different faiths and beliefs, and help challenge prejudice;
- Promote children to consider their responsibilities to themselves and others, exploring how they might contribute to the wider Fairfields society and beyond in creative ways.
Our lessons follow a set progression of not only skills and knowledge, but we have designed our curriculum to build on learning of different faiths, so children have a good understanding of a number of principal faiths throughout their learning journey through Fairfields School. We encourage our teachers to organise visits and visitors to develop an enriched learning experience for the children and promote cross-curricular approaches when possible.
Language is all around us. We experience it every day, with every human interaction. It is a vital means of communication with the world. Our language gives us a sense of pride and belonging.
At Fairfields Primary School, we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable, educational, social and cultural experience for all pupils in our care. Pupils develop communication and literacy skills that lay the foundation for future language learning. They develop linguistic competence, extend their knowledge of how language works and explore differences and similarities between the foreign language and English. Learning another language raises awareness of the multi-lingual and multi-cultural world and introduces an international dimension to pupils’ learning, giving them an insight into their own culture and those of others. The learning of a foreign language provides a medium for cross-curricular learning and for the reinforcement of knowledge, skills and understanding developed in other subjects.
The intention of our MFL curriculum is to promote and develop an interest in, and thirst for learning other languages. To introduce the learning of a different language and the understanding of its culture and to embed the essential skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. This will support the building of our children’s ‘culture capital’ so that they are aware of similarities and differences between cultures. We aim to lay the foundations for future language learning so that our children are opened up to a world of adventure, possibility and ambition.
At Fairfields Primary School we recognise that music is a universal language that expresses one of the highest forms of creativity. We believe that a high-quality music education should be available to every child, and should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement.
The music curriculum will be taught alongside the ILP for each year group, teachers will make links into these ILP’s where possible, whilst also making sure the music lessons follow the National Curriculum.
Fairfields Primary School will ensure that all pupils; perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. They will learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Our children will learn to understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions; pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.
The intent of our PSHE curriculum is to deliver a curriculum which is accessible to all and that will maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more. As a result of this they will become healthy, independent and responsible members of a society who understand how they are developing personally and socially, and give them confidence to tackle many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community. Our vision is that our children become pivotal members of the developing community of Fairfields School, Fairfields Estate and Milton Keynes as a wider community.
Knowledge and skills are carefully mapped and planned for, using Jigsaw, a programme of study that ensures developmental progression from Nursery to Year 6. Through our ‘Big Buddy Little Buddy’ sessions and weekly PSHE lessons, the children have numerous opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions, present them in their own unique ways, learn about others and become well-rounded, successful citizens of the future.