Burchetts Green School is proud of the rich curriculum it offers its pupils. Teaching is based around core learning in English and Maths. Other subjects, including Science, History, Geography, Religious Education, IT are taught throughout the school, and complement these core subjects.
We take a thematic topic based approach to learning with a chosen theme each term used to explore different subject areas. Topics range from Narnia to The Beatles from Dragons to Space! Our inventive and imaginative approach to the curriculum ensures all children are engaged and enthused by what they are doing. We believe children should be outside and our aim is to ensure that 80% of the week is spent outside.
All teachers are trained to recognise the abilities of each child and to ensure that, through differentiated teaching, the range of abilities within the class group is catered for and that as a result every child meets its full potential.
Below is information regarding the subjects covered in our long term, three year, curriculum plan. Please look at individual years - A to C, for more detail.
All classes have a weekly Religious Education lesson. Occasionally a class will block together two or three lessons so that a project can be carried through to its conclusion – for example, this year the children in year one learnt about ‘Places of Worship’. This was linked to the global dimension of Christianity. Therefore the children looked at Christchurch New Zealand following the fall of the cathedral during the earthquakes. They became engaged with the idea of a building built with sustainable materials (this sat comfortably with the Church of England’s Lent plastic challenge). As a response the children made their own ‘cardboard cathedral’ from plastic bottles and cardboard carpet tubes. this was then furnished and used as a place of prayer and quiet reflection throughout the rest of the term. The activities took most of a day but over a few weeks however every stage of the sharing, preparing, planning, building and painting taught about the values Christians share worldwide.
Whilst worship at the school is based on Christian traditions, Religious Education teaches children about the similarities and differences between other major world faiths. Developing an understanding of how religious beliefs are reflected in the attitudes, ethics, morals and lifestyle of people, both in Britain and across the world.
The school’s vision, that we should live life in all its fullness, relies on the promotion of tolerance, respect, love, forgiveness of self and others as well as a desire for working for the greater good of the community. Therefore RE lessons are not just about factual knowledge rather, using philosophy style RE lessons, children learn the language of questioning and debating; they learn to respect the views of others even when they disagree and they learn to formulate their own opinions rather than just accepting what they are told. Some topics lend themselves to times of personal reflection and, as children mature, they are encouraged to apply concept learned in lessons to their own situations.
At Burchetts Green CE Infant School, we want to inspire our pupils to be curious and ask questions about the past. We believe that learning about History helps pupils develop a better understanding of themselves and the world in which they live. Pupils learn about key events and significant famous people, using our local environment and history as much as possible. Trips to local historical places of interest, such as Windsor Castle, Eton College or Taplow Court or Henley River and Rowing museum, help to bring learning to life. Comparisons are made between life in the past and live now. Pupils are encouraged to question how we know about events from the past.
We want our children to develop an awareness of where the people and events they study fit within a chronological framework. We want them to be able to identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods. To be able to use a wide vocabulary of everyday historical terms, common words and phrases relating to the passing of time. We want them to ask and answer questions; to choose and use parts of stories and other sources to show that they know and understand key features of events.
We ensure the progress, as describe above, through teaching about the people, events and changes outlined below.
Changes within living memory and beyond living memory.
Where appropriate, our curriculum uses significant aspects of change within and beyond living memory, that are significant nationally or globally. For example, the Great Fire of London, early space travel or events commemorated through festivals or anniversaries.
The lives of significant individuals
We look at individuals who have contributed to national and international achievements. Some are used to compare aspects of life in different periods. For example, Queen Victoria, Christopher Columbus and Neil Armstrong, Florence Nightingale and Guy Fawkes.
We introduce pupils to historical periods that they will study more fully at key stages 2.
We believe our high-quality geography education inspires in pupils a curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Our teaching equips pupils with 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. We want our children to develop knowledge about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality. We want them to understand basic subject-specific vocabulary relating to human and physical geography and begin to use geographical skills, including first-hand observation, to enhance their locational awareness.
Pupils should be taught:
Name and locate the world’s seven continents and five oceans name, locate and identify characteristics of the four countries and capital cities of the United Kingdom and its surrounding seas.
Understand geographical similarities and differences through studying the human and physical geography of a small area of the United Kingdom, and of a small area in a contrasting non-European country.
Human and Physical Geography
Identify seasonal and daily weather patterns in the United Kingdom and the location of hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the Equator and the North and South Poles use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to: key physical features, including: beach, cliff, coast, forest, hill, mountain, sea, ocean, river, soil, valley, vegetation, season and weather key human features, including: city, town, village, factory, farm, house, office, port, harbour and shop
Geographical skills and fieldwork
Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify the United Kingdom and its countries, as well as the countries, continents and oceans studied at this key stage. Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language (for example, near and far, left and right) To describe the location of features and routes on a map. Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features. Devise a simple map and use and construct basic symbols in a key use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of the school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
This will be achieve by providing a wide variety of learning experiences. Including daily literacy lessons which encompass the National Curriculum 2014 Programmes of Study. Phonics are taught using the Letters and Sounds Programme, using the Phonics Play scheme of work together with a wider variety of teaching resources including Floppy Phonics and Bug Club.
Throughout the school children are encouraged to choose books independently. Each classroom has its own designated reading area which includes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books many of which are linked to current topics. All children have one to one reading as well as guided group reading sessions. These reading books are colour banded to match children’s word level and comprehension skills. Each class is provided with the opportunity to visit the school library to exchange books and develop library skills.
Children are taught handwriting from the time they start school using cursive handwriting font. Formal handwriting sessions are taught throughout the school and children also have plenty of opportunity to develop hand control and form their letters correctly. Cursive handwriting is started early in Reception. At the end of their final year all children are expected to write a reasonable amount using clear, joined correctly formed handwriting. Links to topics are made with literacy in all year groups to provide children with an interesting and relevant focus to apply their reading, writing and oral literacy skills.
Our approach to phonics/reading can be found on our 'School Policies' page
The principle focus of our maths teaching is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources; eg, concrete objects and measuring tools. We want children to develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and to use the related vocabulary. Our teaching also involves a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities, such as length, mass, capacity, time and money.
Using the national curriculum for mathematics we aim to ensure children at Burchetts Green become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. we want them to develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They should be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
We want them to 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.
Our approach to mathematical calculation can be found on our 'School Policies' page
The national curriculum for Science aims to ensure that all pupils:
At Burchetts Green Infant School, we give our children practical, investigative opportunities which encourage children to become independent learners with enquiring minds. During key stage one children at Burchetts Green Infants will be taught to use practical scientific methods, processes and skills through
The children will learn about Plants, Animals (including Humans), Uses of Everyday Materials and Seasonal Changes. They will also be investigating Living Things and their Habitats using the school’s environmental garden and visiting our woodlands and trim track trail.
Science will be taught through our topics and will involve investigations such as choosing the best material for making a model of a castle. Alongside our topics, we are always focusing on ‘Working Scientifically’ – where children are using their investigative skills to question, test, observe and explain.
We employ a computing specialist to work with our key stage one children. This promotes a high-quality computing education which, in turn, equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world.
The national curriculum for computing aims to ensure that all pupils:
Pupils should be taught to:
Some Additional Information:
The Arts are very important to us at Burchetts Green and the school achieved the Artsmark Gold award. The children take part in music from the very start of Reception right the way through the school. The range of exposure is diverse and engaging, with music workshops, weekly recorder lessons in year one, and weekly ukulele lessons for all year two children. The children perform to parents at termly recitals, at the fete, the Nativity and during times of collective worship.
We have an outstanding Art Specialist working in year two and the children learn about artists and their lives as well as producing their own exceptional artwork. The children excel at art and this is evident through the displays at the school.
All children are involved in our 'renowned' Nativity production and, through our topic-based curriculum, drama has become part of life at Burchetts Green. We regularly take part in Maidenhead's Got Talent and the inter schools' dance festival.
Every child takes part in a range of sport activities as part of their PE curriculum including, weekly swimming for all KS1 children and team sports including gymnastics and football. These activities are all taught by professional PE specialists. We also have sports clubs during lunchtime and after school.
The children enjoy their learning environment and come to respect it and the things within it. They spend as much time outside as possible throughout the year both during play time and teaching time.
We think Science is really exciting and good fun and we provide children with first-hand experiences and opportunities to work scientifically.
Science is, where possible, taught through our creative topic-based work and linked to our outdoor environment.
The National Curriculum for Science states that:
National Curriculum for Science
At Burchetts Green, Science is taught following the aims and content of the revised National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their scientific skills through careful observations, investigations, experimenting, measuring, comparing and questioning. It is our aim to cultivate a hands-on curiosity for exploration of the world which feeds into the children’s skills for enquiry further on in their education. We provide children with a range of opportunities where they are encouraged to make predictions, carry out fair tests, use scientific vocabulary, and technology. Through these fabulous experiences, children learn the skills needed in order to present their ideas and evidence in appropriate ways and to make links with cause and effect.
Our pedagogy is underpinned by Guy Claxton's '4Rs of learning power'
-Resilience - Being ready, willing and able to lock onto learning
-Resourcefulness - Being ready, willing and able to learn in different ways
-Reflectiveness - Being ready, willing and able to become more strategic about learning
-Reciprocity - Being ready, willing and able to learn alone and with others