To support our children’s learning, each year group will study a range of topics throughout the school year. We work very hard to make these topics engaging and innovative and all of our children find them great fun to be involved with. Each of the topics is closely linked with the National Curriculum to ensure that the children leave the school with a solid foundation for further study.
Our Curriculum – All Change!
In September 2014 the New National Curriculum became statutory for most year groups. For years 1, 3, 4 and 5 it has been statutory for us to implement the new curriculum fully in every subject that we teach. However because years 2 and 6 will be sitting SATs papers, based on previous curriculum, in the Summer term we are still required to teach Literacy, Numeracy and Science from the previous National Curriculum but all other subjects are being taught from the New Curriculum. The New National Curriculum for these year groups for Literacy, Numeracy and Science will be implemented in September 2015.
The implementation of this has been a long process but we are excited about the new curriculum we have in place! The expectations of the curriculum are high but we are looking forward to rising to the challenge. To help you as parents with the increased expectations for Grammar please click here for the Grammar Appendix of the New Curriculum. It is a really useful document explaining the meaning of the technical terms we will be introducing to the children.
We pride ourselves on being a thinking school where the children are encouraged to think out of the box and ask lots of questions so our new curriculum is based on the principles of ‘The Learning Challenge’ Curriculum which promotes the same ethos.
Every year group has a theme question for the term which is based on their Geography or History learning, although it is explored in any other subject where it fits! This question is shared with the children before the new term of learning in a ‘wow’ moment to excite them about the topic. During this time the teacher will gauge what the children already know and what they would like to know about. This means that the unit of work is personalised to our children. The unit then ends with a post learning challenge to see how much the children have learnt.
A whole school overview of theme questions can be seen by clicking here but for more specific information for year group topics please see the individual year group page.
As we have in previous years in years 1 to 6 we organise our curriculum into Core weeks and Wow Weeks;this ensures all subjects have quality time within the curriculum and our children receive an innovative balanced and broad curriculum.
Within our Core Weeks the children receive their literacy, numeracy, science, ICT, RE, PE, Philosophy/PSHE, topic and brain boost lessons. Each year group covers six topics within the year. These are either of a history focus or geography focus. We try to make interesting and relevant links from these topics into other areas of the curriculum. You can find out all about these on our year group pages!
In our Wow Weeks the children have the opportunity to develop their Art/DT skills, music, PE and Philosophy/PSHE skills. During this week the children absorb themselves in their topic through creative and engaging activities.
As well as learning within our classes we love coming together as a whole school and last year was no exception…
Grandparents Day December 2013
On Friday 13th December we invited our grandparents to be part of some Christmas festivities for the morning with their grandchildren – we were inundated! Throughout the morning nearly 200 grandparents joined us in a variety of activities and had the opportunity to see our children in action.
The morning started with breakfast in the classroom. Children were asked to bring in contributions that could be shared and as Christmas music played all enjoyed croissants, pain au chocolat, toast and jam to mention just a few things! After stomachs were full the grandparents were treated to performances in the hall from our children. Each year group entered the hall and shared a festive performance and then moved round to the key stage 1 area to perform again in our second performance area. It was a great opportunity to see how the children mature through the school.
After a quick break, with our wonderful FOMS supplying teas and coffees for our visiting grandparents, we moved on to Christmas activities. Each class had a craft activity out for their grandparents to carry out with the children as well as many classes taking the opportunity to ask their visiting Grandparents what Christmas was like when they were younger.
It was a busy, busy morning but it was fantastic to share it with so many grandparents.
Why did Humpty Dumpty fall? February 2014
Why did Humpty Dumpty fall? Was the question the whole school investigated during our Writing day in February. The day started with our choir singing ‘Was he pushed or did he fall?’ as the children entered the hall for a whole school assembly. A brick wall and Humpty had sat on the playground as the children arrived in the morning with clues surrounding them as the assembly started our Literacy Leader set the scene for the day including asking if the children had seen anything unusual on their way into school that day. Suspects were introduced via video (some very suspicious looking characters) and each year group were given one to investigate. The day ended with each year group presenting their evidence but will we ever be sure if Humpty was pushed or just fell? The range of writing produced across the school formed a display showing the progression of writing from YR to Y6.
Community Arts Exhibition May 2014
The Community Arts Exhibition was an example of when an event surpasses all your expectations! Our dream was for every year group to work with an artist and display their work alongside each other – it became a reality!
Seven local artists offered to give up their time for free to work with our children in the Summer term on the theme ‘ Earth, Wind, Fire, Water’. Each specialised in a different media and led our children in the completion of some fantastic pieces of artwork. The celebration of our artwork came together in a Community Arts Exhibition. The hall was transformed into a gallery where our children’s work sat alongside that of the local artist they had worked with. After the Grand opening by the Kettering Mayor visitors to the exhibition could win raffle prizes donated by local businesses, buy cakes donated by staff and enjoy the amazing art work whilst listening to some of our talented teachers singing and playing musical instruments. It was a truly memorable event.
When the exhibition was over the artwork was moved to a local gallery and was entered into a Young Artists competition. We were lucky enough to be crowned winners and the artwork is now proudly displayed back at school. Whilst we have many talented staff at school being taught by a professional in the field brings a different excitement to the learning. We thank them all for giving up their time to work with our wonderful children.
As you can see last year was a great year for our whole school days and this years programme of days started with a reflective Remembrance day.
Remembrance Day November 2014
Our whole school days run on a three year timetable and Remembrance Day couldn’t have fallen in a better year as the whole country was thinking about the 100 year centenary.
Our grandparents were invited in to share in our day of reflections through the invitation to watch an assembly entitled ‘Thank you – Our Gratitude.’ Each year group took it in turns to share their performances; poems, songs and letters were shared ending with mature and thought provoking writing by our year 6s. We joined together in our friendship circles on the playground for the national 2 minute silence. Following this a poem was read to the children.
Throughout the day children took part in creative remembrance activities with Key Stage 1 creating class wreaths and Key stage 2 making clay poppies to rival those displayed at the Tower of London. These were laid and planted in an afternoon ceremony, which our grandparents were invited to attend, where more poignant poetry was shared and musical performances.
How could maths help us travel around the world? is the theme of our next whole school day, keep a look out!
Within the year group ‘Big Write’ days or ‘Big Maths’ days are also timetabled to learn in a different context. We love coming together as a whole school please find below a couple of the activities that took place previously…
Our Writing Day in December 2012 saw a Wizard visit our Key Stage 1 assembly, whose magic recipes to transport himself to different settings had disappeared! With the help of a magic cauldron and the imagination of our children his spellbook was full by the end of the day. Luckily for us, he lent it to us to keep in our library! Through the magic of ICT Key Stage 2 had a visit from Dumbledore who set them the mission of creating new places! Thank goodness for the cauldron of nouns and abstract verbs that set our Key Stage 2 children on the road to the creation of their imaginary settings!
In February 2013 a MART day combined the work of Jackson Pollock with the application of maths skills. The day started with an exciting and messy assembly where a whole school masterpiece was created through the throwing of paint and smiling children (although the same could not be said for our Site Supervisor!!). The children explored art and investigated different aspects of maths.
In March 2013 we found out why accidents can actually be great through our science and DT days focusing on Accidental Discoveries! A philosophical discovery kicked off the week with the children discussing ‘How do accidents affect life?’ The work of the focus days gave children opportunities to challenge their views which were revisited at the end of the week.
In July 2013 our Mawsley Family was the focus of our learning. Within our school community we are represented by 22 different countries – how amazing! Each year group picked just one of these and produced passports and maps of their studied country. All of which are on display in our hall – a celebration of our Mawsley family!
We have some exciting whole school events planned for the coming year, watch this space…
Thinking is integral to learning at Mawsley C.P School and the introduction of Philosophy for Children and our Maths thinking pedagogies have empowered our children to question each other, agree and disagree with each other and push themselves in their thinking. It is reflected in our school motto of ‘Think it, learn it, believe it, ACHIEVE IT!’
Brainboost – Our Extended Curriuclum
Brain Boost provides us with an opportunity to do something different and extend the children’s learning in a new and exciting way! Every year we review what projects to plan taking into account any national or international events that are happening, the children’s interests and areas we as staff think the children could develop further.
Our Autumn term kicked off with a writing based project during which the children were encouraged to try different activities that would enthuse them to write.
Whilst our Key stage 1 children have been preparing for their Christmas productions Key stage 2 have been exploring financial capability. Sessions have covered:
- Recognising how we get money and how we can pay for the things we buy with our money. (including exploring words such as spend, save, inflation, deflation, debit card, credit card, interest,debt)
- Learning what a charity is and why we give as well as how we might give.
- Learning how much things are worth and what is value for money.
- Learning to identify whether it is more important to spend our money on what we need or what we want.
- Learning to recognise how having and not having money might affect people’s lives.
There have been some very philosophical discussions in many classrooms, disagreements about how much things cost in some but a positive learning experience for all.
Our Spring term sees us focus on the theme of Animals. Whenever we ask the children to evaluate Brain Boost and tell us what they have enjoyed and what they would like as a future project animals comes up! So this term animals it is!
One of the things we like to offer during Brain Boost is the opportunity for children to work with adults other than their own class teacher and this project will provide them with that opportunity. As a class they will move around to different teachers to learn about prehistoric animals, jungle animals, Antarctic animals and how to look after animals.
In the summer term we are busy planning a Community Work Project where volunteers from the community come and share their work skills with our children. The year will end with a look at music through the decades preparing for performances at our summer Prom in the Park!
Four years ago we introduced Brainboost Friday to our curriculum to provide more opportunities for children to develop these key skills. The projects have been wide ranging and enabled children to work in groups that include children from all age groups in our school on skills that are exciting and innovative! They have had the opportunity to work with a range of adults in school as well as lots of community volunteers! (For example on our fantastic Careers Morning!)
The inclusion of Brainboost in our timetable enables us to offer our children another creative way of learning through topics they might not normally cover whilst practicing and developing the key skills of the National Curriculum; Communication; Application of number; Information Technology; Working with others; Improving own performance and Problem Solving.
In previous years each year group explored an artist and musician from another culture. Later in the autumn term whilst Key Stage 1 took to the stage for their Christmas productions the children in Key Stage 2 selected a project based on their gifts and talents. One of the projects was providing the opportunity to run their own masterclass for other children for example in Maths and Speed Stacking. These ran successfully last year with speed stacking being so popular that 3 of our Year 5 pupils currently run a lunchtime club for Key Stage 1. Demand is great and if you can cope with the noise when you enter the room you would see smiles on faces and bucket loads of skill development!
The spring term saw us delve into the Gruesome Guides of Cities to learn more about the UK! Did you know Micklegate Bar, the entrance to York, used to display the heads of traitors? Year 3 were busy recounting historical facts such as this whilst imagining they have been on an historical tour of York. Whilst Year 3 were thinking about the historical secrets of York, Year 5 were exploring the magic of Stratford-upon-Avon leading them to write a biography of William Shakespeare! The ghastly looking books that Year 2 created show that learning about Oxford was as exciting and thrilling as we thought it would be!
The summer saw us taking to the stage and getting to grips with running a business. For the half the project the children entered the boardroom taking roles such as Managing Director and Sales Manager to undertake tasks linked to the financial skills of managing a pop band! For the other half of the project each team of children, in mixed groups from Years 2 to 5, turned themselves into a pop group to compete for the opportunity to perform at our M Factor Final! Over 4 weeks they ‘magpied’ the tune of a current pop song and rewrote the lyrics about Mawsley School. We were so proud of the children with how hard they worked with a difficult concept to produce songs Simon Cowell would be proud of! Semi-finals were held with 8 teams making it to the stage for the final. We had judges, we had presenters and we had an amazing crowd and eventually (after a tense sing off ! ) we had winners! Keep checking our website to hear the winner’s song!
A great new addition to last year’s brainboost was our paired reading and sketching time. During paired reading each pupil in Key Stage 2 was paired with a child from Key Stage 1 and the pair read together every Friday for 3 terms. Watching the children develop as individuals in this time was a favourite part of the week for many adults. During sketching the children had the opportunity to listen to music and develop their skills.
After evaluating last year the children told us they wanted to learn about key inventors, musicians and such so in the second half of the autumn term we will see the arrival of our ‘ British Icons’ project! Watch this space!