Botwell House Catholic Primary School Curriculum:
At Botwell House we offer an exciting, engaging and varied curriculum to ensure your children are actively involved in their learning and progress. Religious Education and our Mission Statement underpin everything we do. The promotion of our children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is excellent and is reflected both across the curriculum, through behaviour and our excellent ethos.
During the year we organise a wide variety of visits, visitors, themed weeks and dress up/charity days. These enhance the learning outside of normal classroom practice and develop our Catholic mission of helping others. Our children thoroughly enjoy these events and participate with amazing enthusiasm. Our pupils are very imaginative, creative and reflective, developing a very good understanding of right and wrong. They develop and apply a wide range of social skills and respond positively to the many sporting, cultural and artistic opportunities that we provide.
We offer the full range of National Curriculum subjects. We teach using a variety of teaching styles and activities; including specialist teachers for French, Music and PE from Year 1 – Year 6. Enhanced cross curricular links enable our children to learn in context resulting in raised standards and improved engagement.
Our talented staff work extremely hard to ensure there are rich learning experiences for all, which develop the core skills of English, Maths and Computing. Subject leaders ensure high quality resources are available to enrich the learning, teaching and progress of all our children.
We support our parents through information meetings and we provide curriculum overviews and information at the beginning of each academic year. Workshops are also provided to enhance parental support for their children.
Our curriculum is adapted to ensure that all children, regardless of ability or disability, are able to access an enriching curriculum appropriate for their needs which in turn results in excellent progress.
Art and Design
Art and Design is an important part of our weekly timetable. Children have the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings through a variety of interesting topics. These topics can be linked to other subjects and can help to consolidate their learning. Children are taught about different artists throughout the year and are encouraged to try the different styles and favoured media of that artist. Through Art and Design children are exposed to a variety of media to experiment with and use to produce their art work. In Key Stage 1 children use different materials and paper sizes to produce their work. Key Stage 2 children use sketch books to develop their ideas. Art and Design is taught in a fun and inspiring way throughout the school to engage the children.
Technology is essential to our lives at home and at work. Our aim through Computing is to empower children to safely access information using a variety of modern devices and commonly used computers, applying these skills across the entire curriculum.
Geography teaches an understanding of places and environments. Through their work in Geography, children learn about their local area and compare their life in this area with that in other regions in the United Kingdom and in the rest of the world. They learn how to draw and interpret maps and they develop the skills of research, investigation, analysis and problem-solving. Through their growing knowledge and understanding of human geography, children gain an appreciation of life in other cultures. Geography teaching also motivates children to find out about the physical world and enables them to recognise the importance of sustainable development for the future of mankind.
History is about real people who lived and real events which happened in the past. It is concerned with sequence, time and chronology and is the study of evidence about the past. The study of History makes a valuable contribution to our children’s understanding of all aspects of life giving a sense of identity and heritage.
What is Maths Mastery?
Over recent years research studies have been carried out to look at the ways in which highly successful countries teach their pupils Maths. These high performing countries are often in the Far East such as China and Singapore. The Department for Education (DfE) is bringing together a programme based on what has been learned from these countries, along with excellent practice in the UK. This programme is known as Teaching for Mastery. The key concepts that underpin teaching for mastery are explained in the attached document “The Essence of Teaching for Mastery.” You can read more about the DfE’s plans for the rollout of the programme here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/south-asian-method-of-teaching-maths-to-be-rolled-out-in-schools
Mastery at Botwell House School
Following lots of discussion and research, we decided at Botwell House that the principles of Mastery are in line with our views of how we want our children to learn: high expectations for all children, well planned and structured lessons, leading to the development of fluent and able users of mathematics.
In September 2015 we joined the Bucks, Berks and Oxon (BBO) Maths Hub as part of a Teacher Research Group. In September 2016 Mrs Forde, our Maths Lead, joined the national project put together to train Mastery Specialist Teachers across the UK. Botwell House School were selected to be part of the China/UK primary Maths teaching exchange programme which meant that in the current academic year (2017/18) Mrs Forde spent two weeks in Shanghai visiting schools. This was followed with the exciting opportunity to host the return leg of the exchange here at Botwell House.
All year groups now follow this approach, with key elements of a Mastery style of teaching evident in all lessons. We are continuing to grow and develop our approach in line with current research. Our practice is constantly evolving through our collaborative approach to developing opportunities for high-quality Maths lessons and teaching for all children.
If you would like to know more about the Teaching for Mastery programme please take a look at these websites:
The NCETM are working with the government on the training of teachers and development of mastery in schools. The Maths Hubs provide central support for groups of schools involved in the programme.
Please see the links below to the online maths programmes we are using in school. All children can access these from home with their own login.
Botwell House Catholic Primary School believes that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a child’s physical literacy and well-being. A broad and balanced Physical Education Curriculum is intended to provide for children's increasing self-confidence in their ability to manage themselves and their bodies within a variety of movement situations. Progressive learning objectives, combined with sympathetic and varied teaching approaches, endeavour to provide stimulating, enjoyable, satisfying and appropriately challenging learning experiences for all children. Through the selection of suitably differentiated and logically developed tasks, it is intended that children, irrespective of their innate ability, will enjoy success, and be motivated to further develop their individual potential.
Phonics: Read Write Inc
We are proud of our phonics teaching in our school and our phonics screening results have been consistently above national average. To help support and develop phonics, reading and writing further in the Early Years and KS1, we have adopted a new approach using the Read Write Inc scheme. The scheme provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. Read Write Inc is a method of learning around letter sounds and phonics, blending them together to read and write words and using these sounds in their reading and writing. In EYFS and KS1, children follow a daily phonics centred programme to create fluent, expressive readers, confident speakers and creative writers.
Our ambition at Botwell House Catholic School is to encourage and guide our students towards becoming confident, inquisitive and independent readers who can challenge themselves. We teach them to read with accuracy, fluency and understanding whilst embedding a love of books and reading in each child. The reading programme at Botwell House is broad and balanced. It is well planned and taught through various means, including but not limited to, shared and guided reading, home reading, individualised and independent reading. When reading with the children we use different reading strategies to check understanding and encourage critical thinking, such as decoding, predicting, retelling, inferencing and questioning. In Early Years and Infants, our reading programme is heavily supported by Read Write Inc phonics, as the children use the learned sounds and skills to help decode new words. In KS2 the children are encouraged to read a wide variety of genres to broaden their understanding. Reading progress is assessed regularly, mainly through the PM scheme, and our teaching then adapted to suit the needs of the children based on our findings.
For our children, Science is the exploration of the world around them through investigations. At Botwell School, we aim to nurture the natural curiosity of the children by:
- engendering a sense of awe and wonder in Science
- developing enquiring minds through a range of enjoyable and interesting practical activities
- encouraging them to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding through a variety of high quality teaching and learning strategies
- meeting the needs of each child so that all children are encouraged to reach their full potential
Spelling, Grammar and Writing
Spelling, Grammar and Writing have a high priority on our timetable and standards are good. We work hard to ensure all children develop excellent literacy skills as they are the key to children succeeding in so many other areas of the curriculum.
All children are taught English every day which includes speaking and listening activities and opportunities, and reading and writing to develop their communication skills. Children write for real audiences and have a purpose to inspire their writing which covers a variety of genres. Phonics is an important and enjoyable part of our English teaching and we are very proud of our phonics standards which are particularly high. We are currently researching a new spelling programme (Read, Write, Inc) which will make our spelling results even better. Grammar and spelling activities are taught in a fun way and children have said how much they enjoy their lessons.
If you need any further information, please look on the DFE website