At Orsett C.E. Primary School we aim to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, which develops the ability of the individual child according to their age and ability, allowing them to shine and flourish in all they do. The school has implemented the National Curriculum alongside the Chris Quigely skills to ensure that all children cover the National Curriculum requirements and skills during their time with us.
Teachers use a wide variety of teaching methods and adapt their teaching methods according to the subject, age and ability of the children. At Orsett we place great emphasis on giving children hands-on experiences in learning, as we believe that it is only by actually doing something that true understanding of a specific area and its relevance to real-life can be gained.
The structure of the curriculum varies during the primary phase of education. It can be broadly sub-divided into three main areas: Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.
Please see our Curriculum of Intent and curriculum content for all year groups in the tabs.
We follow the White Rose Maths scheme for mathematics and the National Curriculum for English.
Our Whole School Foundation Curriculum “LOTS” (Learning at Orsett Through Skills) is underpinned by the Chris Quigley schemes.
Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Key Stage One encompasses all children who are either Year 1 or Year 2 whilst Key Stage Two includes all children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. During these years the children’s processes and strategies for learning will vary according to their age, ability or the area that they are studying.
At Orsett C.E. Primary School we follow the National Curriculum in all subjects and have schemes of work for English, mathematics, science, R.E. and Learning at Orsett Through Skills (LOTS) for the whole school to ensure that all children are taught the national requirements.
The curriculum comprises of the following subjects:
Core subjects – English, Mathematics, Science, Religious Education
Foundation subjects – Art & Design, I.C.T. (Information & Communication Technology), P.E. (Physical Education), Music, History, Geography, Design Technology, RSE (Relationship and Sex Education) Modern Foreign Languages
Whilst the majority of morning sessions will be mainly English and Mathematics, the afternoons are linked through what we call LOTS (Learning at Orsett Through Skills) where the children study the different foundation subjects through a theme each half term, thus not only making it more relevant for them but also encouraging creativity. For example, the theme ‘Egypt’ may link learning about rivers, Islam, designing jewellery and looking at Ancient Egyptian history etc. Use of ICT as a learning tool also takes place across the curriculum again linking areas of knowledge and understanding with new ideas. In this way our children will develop an understanding of the way in which different areas overlap and will therefore become more confident in using their prior knowledge and applying this to new ideas.
We are totally committed to providing the best possible education for each and every child in such a way that children actively look forward to learning new things and will embrace each new idea with enthusiasm and a keenness to explore all aspects of the area that they are being taught.
The Foundation Stage starts from the age of three, when a child could be in pre-school, and continues in
school until the child enters Year 1. The Foundation Stage builds on children’s pre-school experiences and
extends these further.
Until a child starts at either school, playgroup or nursery the child’s main educator is likely to be the parent
and, in fact a child generally learns more in these first years e.g. to walk, speak, listen, eat, dress,
understand instructions etc. than they will learn throughout the remainder of their life. This is one of the
reasons why we encourage and aim to achieve close links with parents, as by working in partnership the
child’s education will be far more successful.
At Orsett, our Foundation Stage children will follow a scheme of work based on seven areas of learning:
- communication and language.
- physical development.
- personal, social and emotional development.
- understanding the world.
- expressive arts and design.
These areas form the basis of the Foundation curriculum and are delivered through a variety of teaching
methods e.g. structured play (continuous provision) and focused activities either as a whole class, a group or individually. There are also many opportunities for child initiated learning as we believe that if a child shows curiosity about an
area and wishes to investigate it further then, where possible, this should be encouraged.
During this Foundation Year we aim to ensure that the children feel safe, happy and integrated into the life of
the school. Our aim is for them to become independent, confident learners who are at the beginning of a
lifetime of learning opportunities. We also aim to maximise children’s natural curiosity about the world
around them thus enthusing them towards learning as a means for discovering the answers to their
Our Reception Classroom
At Orsett C of E Primary School we believe Literacy underpins all learning in every curriculum area. It is the basis through which children access and enjoy a wide curriculum. We strongly believe English is key to empowering independence and is a skill that is essential to everyday living. Reading and writing is a necessary skill to access all areas of the curriculum and allows children to fulfill and achieve their full potential in all subjects at Orsett.
At Orsett, we follow the National Curriculum (2014), as set out by the Department of Education in order to plan our English lessons.
Early Reading and Reading at Orsett.
At Orsett there is a school-wide aim to inspire a genuine, lifelong love of reading. This starts with our very youngest children in Reception
We encourage our children to read for pleasure and knowledge. We aim to model the importance and fun of reading and the idea that being a good reader will allow everyone to access more learning opportunities.
Children at Orsett learn to read through a combination of:
- Synthetic phonics, using these to blend and segment words.
- Recognising high frequency words by sight
- Using pictures, contextual and sense clues.
The school use the letters and sounds structure and guidance to deliver early reading teaching through the LCPG scheme of work. Children have a daily phonics session from Reception to Year 2. The school uses setting across EYFS and KS1 to ensure children access learning that suits their individual needs. At present this is not possible but once Covid restrictions allow, the school will return to this format. When children are ready they master their knowledge of phonics and more onto spelling and GPS tasks. Where children in KS2 need phonic support they have individual interventions to support this.
In Years 1-6 children take part in a daily focused guided reading sessions in order to develop comprehension skills namely understanding vocabulary, inference, predicting, explaining, retrieval, summarising and sequencing. During this time staff deliver new learning, check on children’s progress and assess learning to inform future planning.
What reading scheme do we follow?
At Orsett we use a range of reading books to help support the children’s reading including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat Reading scheme and Pearson’s Bug Club reading scheme is coming soon to the school. All children have access to Oxford eading Owls and will soon have an Online Bug Club subscription which they can read at home.
Early Books are organised so they follow our phonic scheme so all children have access to phonetically decodable books. Children will move up the colours at their own pace as advised by staff. Beyond this children will become a free reader and may choose from either the classroom or school library.
At Orsett we celebrate reading in many ways. Children are rewarded for their reading through certificates and praise. We celebrate literary events such as World Book day.
How can you be involved?
We ask that all children in KS1 spend at least 5 minutes a night reading at home and in KS2 spend at least 10 minutes. All children are expected to read 4 times a week and record this in their reading record books which are provided for all children in school.
These are a great way for parents and teachers to liaise about a child’s reading.
Reading to your child at home has so many benefits – no matter how old they are. Many of our Year 6 children comment on how they love it when parents read to them.
Writing at Orsett.
At Orsett we believe writing is an essential skill not only for further learning but in later life. We aim to ensure all children reach their full potential in writing, enabling them to become confident, fluent and imaginative writers.
At Orsett writing is taught in many different ways from the moment a child begins in Reception. Teachers follow
the 2014 National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum in order to plan exciting and engaging English lessons where the skill of writing is specifically taught.
This happens every day and time to rehearse writing skills is provided in other areas of the curriculum. The children are taught in units, meaning they will look at a particular genre of writing i.e. narrative (story writing) over a period of time. This enables children to fully immerse themselves in the techniques needed for each type of writing.
Where children need more support in writing, interventions are used such as colourful semantics, Toe by Toe and precision teaching as well as bespoke support for individuals.
At Orsett, we believe that Maths is a vital life skill. Our Maths Curriculum provides opportunities for children to have the skills required to flourish and shine as a mathematician and prepare them for their future. We strongly believe that in order for a child to be a well-rounded mathematician, we must develop children who are confident with number, shape and measure.
We follow the National Curriculum (2014), as set out by the Department of Education in order to plan our Maths lessons and follow the White Rose scheme of work. We have developed progression statements in the form of Learning Ladders from Year 1-6, to ensure that each year previous knowledge is built upon with new learning. Through using all these planning tools, our Maths Curriculum ensures the development of a pupils’ arithmetic, reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Calculation policy – our Calculation Policy outlines some of the visualisations and methods the children may come across for each operation. Please speak to the class teacher if any further clarification is needed.
For children to be capable mathematicians, it is important that children have a secure gasp of mental maths skills and are fluent in these. This includes their knowledge of multiplication tables and formal written methods.
At Orsett, we aim to model the importance of mental maths skills and knowledge of number, through the teaching strategies we use. Children have access to Numbots and Times Table Rockstars to support with this.
Children have a daily Maths lessons from Reception to Year 6. During this time staff deliver new learning, check on children’s progress and assess learning to inform future planning.
At Orsett we recognise that mathematical language is a is a key aspect of the Maths Curriculum as it provides children with the language needed to reason mathematically.
Staff at Orsett model accurate use and application of mathematical language and provide a vocabulary rich Maths Curriculum. We immerse children within this language so that they have the tools needed to make links between mathematical concepts and patterns, become more critical thinkers and build resilience.
We do this through;
- Maths vocabulary displayed
- Daily application
- Discussion rich reasoning questions
How can you be involved?
These are a great way for parents to support their child’s mental maths and reasoning skills. Playing these games at home with your child has so many benefits including; building their confidence, supporting to make links between mathematical concepts and developing fluency.
Explore Maths in the real word. For example, ask your child to work out the coins needed for a purchase, work out the percentage of an amount, weigh ingredients for a recipe or work out the area when completing DIY jobs!
Our RE curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be a Theologian’. We do this through enabling all pupils to:
- know about and understand a range of religious and non-religious worldviews.
- learn to see beliefs through a theological, philosophical and human/social science lens.
- express ideas and insights about nature, significance and impact of religious and non-religious world views.
- to gain and deploy skills rooted in theology, philosophy, and human and social sciences engaging critically with religious and non-religious worldviews.
- to become ‘religiously literate’ meaning that pupils will have the ability to hold balanced and well-informed conversations about religions and worldviews.
- to develop their own beliefs and spirituality and be confident to share and discuss this.
The school uses Understanding Christianity and the Norfolk Agreed Syllabus alongside the Chris Quigley milestones to deliver its curriculum.
To enhance our RE curriculum we use a range of resources, artefacts, religious texts and visitors of other faiths in and out of school. The school have good links with the church community.
Our Art curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be an artist’. We do this through enabling all pupils to develop:
- The skills required to be an artist in order to immerse themselves in and enjoy art
- A curiosity and respect for art that spans a range of genres, forms and cultures specifically
- Creativity! Enabling learners to access a range of artistic skills and techniques
- A critical eye: providing opportunities to create and evaluate artistically
- An understanding of art, which is steeped in history and tradition, how it has evolved over time and is central to many people’s lives in a wider community today
- Art specific vocabulary (through their emotional responses to art work)
The school uses the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum and milestones alongside the National Curriculum to deliver its curriculum.
To enhance our Art curriculum, we aim to use a range of real- life experiences such as extra-curricular clubs, visits from professionals and whole school art competitions to enrich the children’s enjoyment and experiences enabling them to flourish and shine in the subject.
Being computing savvy is a fundamental life skill and at Orsett Primary School, we encourage children to develop a positive, knowledgeable and a safe view towards Computing and the Digital World. We aim to provide the pupils with a Computing curriculum that promotes online safety and teach the computing skills needed so that we develop individuals who are digitally savvy, well-informed and confident.
It is important that Computing is purposeful and we develop children’s critical thinking skills to help build their understanding of the online world and prepare them for future lives in Modern Britain. To provide this computing ethos, we have a skills-based Computing Curriculum. These skills are shared with the children and are used to teach the National Curriculum (2014) using Chris Quigley Milestones.
Within Computing sessions we aim:
- To ensure children are taught the importance of online safety and how to protect themselves online
- For Computing lessons to teach a range of technical skills and how these translate into the real world
- To build links between Computing and other curriculum areas.
- For each child to leave Orsett school being able to be able to apply these skills at an appropriate level to their ability in the real world.
- For children to have open and honest discussions about the online world.
- To prepare children for digital Modern Britain
Our DT curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be a designer’. We do this through enabling all pupils to develop:
- The skills required to be a successful designer
- An interest in design technology, construction and architecture
- A critical and reflective eye – engaging with design
- Opportunities to create and evaluate a range of products
- An understanding of a range of materials and their properties
- A wider vocabulary including technical language
- engagement with products, considering their purpose and practically
The school use the Chris Quigley milestones to deliver its curriculum. Our Intent for the DT curriculum is outlined in our subject on a page.
Our Geography curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘Be a Geographer’. We will do this through enabling all pupils to:
- discover an interest in geography and to develop their understanding of the world
- understand more about their local community and the wider world
- access a range of geographical resources
- complete a range of practical activities
- widen their vocabulary in terms of geographical and descriptive language
The school uses the Chris Quigley milestones to deliver its curriculum as stated in our curriculum intent.
To enhance our Geography curriculum we use a range of practical resources and real- life experiences such as trips where possible.
Our History curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be a historian’. We do this through
enabling all pupils:
- to develop the skills needed to be a historian and encourage enthusiasm for history by inspiring pupil’s curiosity
about the past.
- to gain an understanding of Britain’s past and the wider world.
- to have opportunities to enhance pupil’s understanding of the past through visits and visitors.
- to have opportunities for pupils to develop history skills, key knowledge and core concepts to be able to
understand and question sources and events of the past.
- to widen historic vocabulary and share good quality texts to enhance history topics.
Our Music curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be a musician’. We will do this through enabling all pupils to develop:
- a rapidly widening repertoire which they use to create original, imaginative, fluent and distinctive composing and performance work.
- a musical understanding underpinned by high levels of aural perception, internalisation and knowledge of music, including high or rapidly developing levels of technical expertise.
- a good awareness and appreciation of different musical traditions and genres.
- the ability to give precise written and verbal explanations, using musical terminology effectively, accurately and appropriately.
- a passion for and commitment to a diverse range of musical activities.
The school will begin to use Charanga in the new academic year alongside the Chris Quigley milestones to deliver its curriculum.
To enhance our music curriculum we use a range of real- life experiences such as Young Voices, Music Festivals and performances in and out of school.
Our Science curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be a scientist’. We will do this through enabling all pupils to develop:
- a curiosity and interest in science.
- skills in scientific problem solving.
- scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
- their use of scientific vocabulary, enabling them to talk confidently about a range of scientists and scientific discoveries.
- a love or appreciation of science.
To enhance our science curriculum we try to offer enrichment opportunities such as visits out of school and visitors in school who demonstrate scientific concepts through motivating activities.
Science is a fantastic opportunity for children to explore the world around them and ask challenging and thought-provoking questions. It gives them the chance to learn and develop a range of skills which they can use throughout their life. The subject has natural links with many other subjects including Maths and English which ensures that all learning is purposeful.
Look at our documents on Science for more information:
Science at Orsett on a page
Our PE curriculum is designed to ensure that pupils know how to ‘be an sports person’.
The school uses the Chris Quigley milestones to deliver its curriculum which is outlined in the PE subject on a page.
To enhance our PE curriculum and offer, the school has a sports coach and PE specialist in both KS1 and KS2 who delivers lessons alongside class teachers. Orsett takes part in a range of competitions to enrich the children’s enjoyment and experience of PE through our sports partnership with Thurrock School Sports Partnership
Relationships and Sex Education will be a statutory part of primary teaching from September 2020. Due to Covid-19 schools have been given more time to finalise their offer and train staff.
On 29th March the following documents were sent to parents for their consultation. The letter and documents below outlines the school’s intention for our Relationships and Sex Education offer. The consultation remains open until 12th April and a parents meeting will be held on Monday 19th April if necessary following the consultation.
More information about Jigsaw, the school’s chosen scheme for delivering the RSE curriculum, can be found on their website including some guides for parents. Please follow the below link to access these:
Jigsaw Curriculum – Frequently asked questions for parents