Proud of where we’re from… Excited about where we’ll go…
Barnard Grove Primary School endeavours to create, develop and inspire our learners with connected (telescopic) threads of learning that are sewn into every aspect of our curriculum. Like the bridge sewn onto our school badge we see BGPS as a bridge to learning, to success and to limitless potential in an ever-changing world. We aim to have a broad and balanced curriculum that intends to encourage enquiry, curiosity and questioning; skills and knowledge go hand in hand – it should be thought provoking, challenging and enjoyable. Our intention is to forge independent, resilient thinkers and problem solvers; skills that will enable future innovators. We encourage pride in our town but positively encourage aspirational thinking – the world is out there! There are no barriers to learning at BGPS; we believe that anything is possible for our children. Our curriculum is the very beginning of a long and exciting journey.
The Telescopic Curriculum
We describe our curriculum as being telescopic in nature. Each individual phase of learning encompassing the one before, each phase as intrinsic as the next, each feeding into the next, each phase building on the previous.
Broadly, it looks like this:
Early Years – The BIG questions of life
KS1 – The familiar but exciting
LKS2 – Proud to be a Poolie; applying our knowledge to our roots
UKS2 – The wider world is out there waiting for you….
In order to do this, we use the Cornerstones Maestro Curriculum supplemented by Primary Science. A thematic approach to ensure connections are made, strengthened and built upon. The program ensures that coverage and progression are clear, considered and careful. Each phases’ Long-Term Plans have been expertly tailored by the team of skilled teachers teaching it – with their knowledge of the children and what is needed in their area of learning. As classes are mixed year in each phase, we use a rolling two-year program of themes to ensure coverage and progression.
Early Years – The BIG questions of life!
Why? Why? Why?! When you’re 3, 4 and 5, finding out about your world and your place in it is what life is all about. This is the first stage of our telescopic approach – the eye piece – opening our smallest learners’ minds to enquiry, questions and investigating their big, wide world through play and learning. A Long Term Plan for Early Years Learning is in place, which you can see on the link below, but we also have the freedom to swap our questions for the very important things that interest our children… The idea? To open our youngest learners’ eyes, engage and set up for the learning years ahead.
Key Stage One – The familiar but the ever-so exciting…!
Dinosaurs, Superheroes, pets, messiness, pirates, big bands and Kings and Queens. All things our KS1 learners will have encountered before; familiar, exciting things that spark imagination. The next essential section of our telescope, leaning on, and needing the eye piece formed through the work completed in the Early Years. Key Stage One is the foundation of more formal learning. Our learners in this phase become historians, geographers, musicians and artists exploring what these and other subjects are – the basics and beginnings of each subject; doing this through what they know, what excites them and what is familiar.
Lower Key Stage Two – Proud to be a Poolie!
Imagine you have a telescope in your hand… The first piece – the eye piece is everything you have experienced and learned in Early Years – this section neatly fits into the second section where we built on those experiences and added to them in Key Stage One – each part, each bit of learning is absolutely intrinsic – the telescope won’t work without its component parts. The third section is what we do in Lower Key Stage Two – building on the work done in the past, adding to it and developing it, nearly completing our telescope and offering a view out into the world and the many adventures it offers.
All this new-found knowledge needs applying and where better to apply it? Barnard Grove are proud to be in Hartlepool – proud of the rich heritage we have. We want our children to feel the same way; be proud of where you’re from – Proud to be a Poolie! Over the two years our learners spend in Lower Key Stage Two, children will thoroughly explore the local area; learn about the fish in the North Sea and explore the River Tees, its origins and the sea beyond. They’ll discover the Little Terns at our most local beach and how Predators affect them. Going further back into History, they’ll learn how Anglo-Saxon settlers came here alongside Romans and Vikings; back further still, finding fossils at beaches close to us. Although far from Hartlepool, they’ll learn how the Ancient Greeks shaped the lives we lead now. Wherever possible, we’ll visit our locality, making connections in our learning. Wherever possible, we’ll connect our learning to our lives in Hartlepool. Proud to be a Poolie? You bet we are.
Upper Key Stage Two – A big, wide world of adventure is out there…
The final piece of the telescope – the magnifier – the bit that focuses and looks out onto the world and beyond to the universe. This final piece of the Barnard Grove telescope lets you see what is out there clearly – bringing the wider world closer. This is the bit that makes all past learning real, makes it all make sense and ultimately inspires us. You can’t support the magnifying final part of the telescope without the first three parts. – you can’t fold that telescope up and take it with you without all of the composite parts, and so we build on the learning from Early Years, from Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2 and we apply it to the wider world out there in Upper Key Stage 2. Leaving our children with a telescope of learning to take with them into their futures – whatever they may be.
We’ll always be, ‘Proud to be Poolies’ but at Barnard Grove we also know that there’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Our principle aim is to raise aspirations in our learners, to show them that nothing is impossible; everything and anything is out there waiting for them. A whole wide world to explore. With this in mind, we come to the final part of our telescope, building on and encapsulating the first three sections, we now magnify our view – we see what’s ahead. Within that, our learning travels the world – going to the Arctic Circles and to Mexico, exploring Ancient Egypt and discovering how History has shaped our futures. All with a respectful ‘nod’ to our Poolie heritage. We look ahead. We see what we can be. We expand our horizon.
Phonics & Word Reading
Learning to read is at the heart of our curriculum at Barnard Grove. We use the synthetic phonics scheme, ‘Read, Write, Inc.’ to get children off to a flying start with their literacy in Early Years and Key Stage 1. RWI is a method of learning centred around letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their word reading.
Using RWI, the children learn to read fluently and effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell easily so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.
When using RWI to read the children will:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts;
- learn to read words using ‘Fred Talk’;
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out; and
- show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
When using RWI to write the children will:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds;
- learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk;
- write simple sentences and increasingly more complex sentences;
- compose stories based on picture strips; and
- compose a range of stories.
Children read books that are matched to their phonic knowledge. Each book is read three times: one for decoding, two for fluency and three for comprehension. As well as their decodable book, children also take home a reading for pleasure book to share and enjoy with their parent/caraer.
Once children are confident, fluent readers, they then progress to library books, which are banded based on the Accelerated Reader ZPD (Zone of Proximal development) system. These bands are allocated in relation to children’s reading ages, which are assessed termly. However, teachers have the flexibility to change children’s bands during the term based on progress they have made.
We also use the Lexia and Reading Plus reading programmes in Lower Key Stage 2 to ensure children’s fluency continues to develop as they move through school. Please see links below for more information:
In Early Years, we use the 3-a-day approach to immersing children in books and texts, meaning they experience at least three sessions every day with a story, poem or non-fiction text as the focus. Key Stage 1 children use RWI storybooks to develop comprehension alongside whole class shared reading sessions to focussing on vocabulary, fluency strategies and comprehension (retrieval, inference and prediction).
In Key Stage 2, all classes have at least four whole class reading lessons per week using challenging texts (across different genres and text types) to develop and improve children’s comprehension strategies. These sessions are teacher-led but encourage lots of verbal discussion, fluency practice and written responses from the children across the National Curriculum reading domains: meaning of words, retrieval, inference, prediction and summary.
In Y5/6, children use Accelerated Reader to improve reading stamina and also comprehension by reading age-related texts and taking short, low stakes quizzes to check understanding.
All Key Stage 2 children have two library books to read independently and their reading is recorded on the Go Read app by adults in school so their progress can be monitored. We also encourage parents to use the app so home reading can be recorded as well.
Science is a core subject, and as such, we think that Science is at the heart of all learning. We took the decision to follow the Primary Science program to ensure these essential skills are taught clearly, explicitly and progressively, providing the foundations of other learning. Where possible, we connect Primary Science learning to our themed approach by either pre-empting knowledge and skills or building on the theme. This again reflects on our telescopic approach building on and applying each layer of knowledge. Primary Science uses the same four models throughout the Key Stages in order to constantly revise and consolidate.
Barnard Grove use the SACRE scheme of work for our RE teaching; a balanced approach to different faiths and cultures found within our town. It is essential that our children see the bigger picture of life, races and cultures and have some understanding of the diverse and fascinating world in which they live.
We’re lucky at Barnard Grove to have specialized PE teachers pushing our children to achieve their sporting potential and to be the healthiest they can be. With a strong focus on individual achievement as well as sporting, town-wide success, children cover a huge range of sports throughout their time at Barnard Grove. We are very proud holders of the Gold Sports Mark Award.
All children are given the opportunity to represent the school in a variety of sports from athletics to tag rugby to skipping!
Raising aspirations? We try to do that? Recognising talent? We aim to push and see the potential in all. Promoting a healthy lifestyle? Yes. Celebrating skills and success? Absolutely.
Personal Development Curriculum
Inspiring minds, building futures
Personal development is both a subject and a school ethos. It is reflected in our school motto of ‘Work hard, play fair, aim high’ and in our school expectations:
- Ready (to learn)
At Barnard Grove we value, seek to understand, and identify the potential in everyone. We encourage our wider community to engage in school life. We aim to
- promote a range of values which include British democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs (and no faith).
- give our children an appreciation of diversity. We promote rights but try to make children understand that with rights come responsibility.
- ensure that pupils gain the skills knowledge and understanding they need to lead healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens.
- break the barriers and cycle of multigenerational apathy.
We follow SCARF (Safety, Caring, Achievement, Resilience), which provides us with a PSHE and wellbeing long term plan, meeting the expectations for SMSC, British Values and the statutory RSHE guidance.
Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural Development
The spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils is defined in relation to pupils’ ability and willingness to do the following:
- Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
- Moral: Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offered reasoned views.
- Social: Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
- Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept, respect, and celebrate diversity.
So how do we promote the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of pupils at Barnard Grove?
Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural (SMSC) development underpins all aspects of our broad and balanced curriculum, therefore, enabling children to develop the skills and attitudes encapsulated in our rules.
Our intent for SMSC is to raise the aspirations of our children by nurturing a passion for learning, enriching their learning experiences, providing the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in adult life, and enabling them to secure outcomes which exceed their expectations.
We want to create confident, resilient, and well-rounded adults who have an aspiration for self-improvement and are able to compete equally with their peers in a world beyond school life. We recognise that all children need to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. This development allows them to make sense of their world. Our highly engaging curriculum helps students develop an informed and balanced view on world events, beliefs and values of others. We endeavour to prepare our children for their future when becoming respectful individuals, life-long learners and active citizens in a modern British society.