The main aim of Literacy teaching at Brunton is to promote high standards of language and literacy as well as developing a love of reading. All year groups have a daily literacy session.
We aim to ensure that all children at Brunton:
- Are fluent readers with a good understanding of what they have read.
- Read widely for both pleasure and to find things out.
- Develop a wide vocabulary and a solid understanding of grammar.
- Appreciate a wide variety of literature.
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently in different styles, for different purposes and audiences
- Use a joined handwriting style from the end of reception.
- Can explain their understanding and ideas to others through discussion.
We use ‘The Power of Reading’ approach to teach writing for a range of purposes. Teachers use a chosen text as the stimulus for writing. This writing is developed through drama activities, including debate, to explore themes and develop children’s speaking and listening skills throughout the school. Children are given the opportunity to write for a range of purposes in meaningful contexts, paying attention to handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
Once children are confident with their phonics we then focus on the spelling rules and common exception words. In Key Stage One and Two teachers use dictated sentences to assess spelling. There are no formal spelling tests. The grammar requirements for each year group are taught through the Power of Reading approach and integrated into the daily literacy lesson. Teachers choose which Power of Reading texts lend themselves to the teaching of particular grammatical features, and use examples from the text to model these features to the children.
We use the ‘Power of Reading’ approach to raise engagement and attainment in reading across the school and to encourage a whole school culture of reading for pleasure. Reading skills are explicitly taught during whole class teaching to equip children with the strategies they need to read unfamiliar words. Phonics is taught in Reception and Year One to introduce children to the different sounds needed for reading. Reading skills are further developed through whole class reading, guided reading and individual reading. Comprehension skills such as inference and understanding of the text are developed during whole class reading and guided writing. Children are given access to a wide range of high quality texts within their classroom, but are also encouraged to make weekly visits to the school library. Children are encouraged to read their school reading books regularly with an adult at home.
Oxford Reading Buddy is a programme designed to support your child with their reading at home. Your child can access it via their tablet or home PC using a unique username and password which has been given to them by their class teacher. Children can access a range of reading materials appropriate to their reading stage, and can take a fun quiz after completion to check their comprehension. This programme is intended to support and supplement your child’s reading at home, not to replace it, and we still wish for pupils to continue reading their weekly books.
Please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher if you need a new log in, and if you are experiencing any difficulties in using the programme please follow this link for helpful suggestions:
The National Curriculum for primary mathematics has three aims that are at the heart of how we deliver the content of the curriculum at Brunton First School.
In developing children's skills through enhancing their factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge, we allow them to deepen their mathematical understanding.
- Mathematical reasoning
The progression and development of written and mental calculations. Efficiency in these strategies provide children with the skills that allow them to communicate and present their findings effectively using appropriate mathematical language.
- Problem solving
We provide opportunities for children to apply their mathematical skills in different contexts and across a range of subject areas. Children are able to work systematically to organise information, find patterns and ultimately solutions through independent and collaborative learning.
Children in Years 1 to 4 work through the programmes of study of Mathematics:-
- Number and Place Value
- Number – Addition and Subtraction
- Number – Multiplication and Division
- Number – Fractions
- Geometry – Properties of Shape and Position and Direction
To ensure continuity and progression throughout the school, we follow our yearly overview for each year group. Our maths curriculum is recurrent and each of the strands are revisited throughout the year so children gain confidence and fluency.
At Brunton First School we provide daily maths session that seeks to reinforce previous learning and allow children to take on new skills and apply these in a range of contexts. Children are grouped according to ability that allows teachers to target individual needs.
We deliver daily mental maths sessions as these skills are key to allowing children to access the more complex calculation and number objectives set out in the National Curriculum.
Teachers provide personalised targets for maths and the children work to achieve these over the course of a term. We share targets with parents at termly parent evenings and in the end of year report.
Each year we provide parents with information about the methods of calculation, which we use in class and how parents can support their child’s learning at home.
Science at Brunton First School is about exploring the children’s natural curiosity as well as developing their scientific ideas though practical, engaging lessons. Our curriculum allows us to plan and deliver fun and creative lessons in which the children lead through their questions. The children are provided with many opportunities to develop their working scientifically skills through the following areas.
The main areas of investigation in KS1 are:
- Living things and their habitats
- Animals, including humans
- Seasonal changes
The main areas of investigation in KS2 are:
- Animals, including humans
- Living things and their habitats
- Forces and magnets
- States of matter
“Technology is everywhere in our world and can impact how we live, work, play and most importantly- learn.”
Our children embrace and enjoy technology, whilst having a secure understanding of how to keep happy and safe whilst using it. From coding, to collaborating, our aim is that technology empowers our children to be creative and innovative in their learning. We welcome Computing as a means of successfully preparing our children for their future, which will undoubtedly involve technology.
At Brunton we use the National Curriculum to guide our Computing planning across the key stages. We teach Computing as a discrete subject and the children are also provided with opportunities to apply these skills across the curriculum. We often link learning to class topics to give a context for our learning.
We focus on three areas within Computing: Coding, Digital Literacy (E-safety) and Information Technology. The children also learn about E-safety within our PSHE lessons, where we teach the importance of using technology safely and respectfully and discuss strategies that we can use to do so.
We aim to keep our technology fun and exciting by keeping our resources fresh and current, giving computing a meaningful context that the children feel enthused to access at home too. Our resources include smartboards in each classroom, ipads, a computer suite with 30 touch-screen desktops, Beebots and Bluebots.
We have a Computing and an E-safety policy, which are reviewed annually and can be accessed in the policy section of the website.
Place and Time
At Brunton, the geography and history curriculum is taught within ‘Place and Time’ lessons. Where possible, history and geography skills are covered within the contexts set by each year group’s topics.
The geography curriculum aims to inspire children to develop a curiosity with the world and its people around them, both local and far. Within their journey at Brunton, children will learn about a diverse range of places and explore the features and processes that make up and impact on the physical and human environment.
The history curriculum equips children with the skills required to investigate and develop an understanding of the past, using a range of sources. We look at the chronology of past events and the consequences of moments in history through The Romans, Egyptians, Great Fire of London and many more.
Art and Design
At Brunton the arts are highly valued and we are proud to be an Artsmark Gold school. Art and design lessons are designed to challenge, enthuse and inspire children, whilst deepening the learning in cross-curricular studies. Children develop confidence in drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and textiles as they build and develop these skills through the key stages. They develop their own unique styles by making individual art as well as collaborate to make larger scale group pieces. Furthermore, they develop key life skills of creative and personal expression; communicating ideas; the ability to visualise and imagine; and to critically observe and interpret the visual world around them. Authentic opportunities to engage in the arts are provided through visits to museums and galleries; work with real artists and participation in community arts.
Design and Technology
At Brunton we aim to develop the creative, technical and practical skills through an engaging design and technology curriculum.
We teach the children to:
- Develop their knowledge and understanding of how products are used and how to improve them.
- Design purposeful products, make and evaluate them using their own initiative
- Develop their practical skills such as cutting, shaping and joining using the appropriate tools.
- Investigate relevant designers and use them as inspiration
- Learn the basics of cooking, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle
- Talk about their likes and dislikes confidently
At Brunton, we encourage children to think like designers, be imaginative and decisive. As they progress through the school, our curriculum will enable them to become more confident and independent designers.
Our music lessons cover the four main aspects of music; performance, composition, notation, and listening to music and history of music. Teaching in all four areas ensures that the children learn a variety of skills, which are built on and developed as they move up through the school. We pride ourselves in giving the children plenty of opportunities to perform for others. Children in all year groups are taught how to play tuned instruments, including the glockenspiel and the recorder, and here they develop their reading and recording of music. They learn how they can change sounds for effect and how to compose their own pieces with focus on pitch, volume and tempo. Furthermore, the children listen to a range of music and are then given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.
We work very closely with Newcastle Music Service and therefore each week, children in Early Years and Key Stage 1 take part in singing sessions. In Key Stage 2, all children learn to play African drums and Bamboo Tamboo, and then perform for the rest of the school. They also have the opportunity to learn guitar, violin or keyboard in school at a group rate.
Brunton First School believe a high quality PE programme develops knowledge skills and understanding so that pupils can perform with increasing competence and confidence in a range of physical activities. The PE programme at Brunton First School aims to contribute to the personal development, health and well-being, enjoyment, success and achievement of all pupils across the curriculum and beyond. The PE programme will allow pupils to learn, think and make decisions in different ways in response to creative, competitive and challenging activities. PE will also help pupils to develop personally and socially through working in teams and undertaking different roles and responsibilities. To ensure that all the key skills are covered we teach dance, gymnastics, athletics and a range of net, wall and invasion games.
At Brunton we also encourage children to take part in a variety of sporting competitions and we participate frequently in Schools Games and Gosforth Schools’ Trust competitions.
At Brunton First School, we believe that RE has a unique part to play in promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children and in helping them to gain a greater understanding of themselves and a more sympathetic awareness of the needs of others. Children learn to understand the world and their place in it, know that all members of the school community show respect and tolerance for others and develop their awareness of the culture of others. Religious Education contributes dynamically to children’s education by provoking challenging questions about meaning and purpose in life.
In Reception, children listen to and talk about stories. They use their imagination and curiosity to develop their appreciation of and wonder of the world in which they live. At Brunton Key Stage 1 children develop basic subject-specific vocabulary. They raise questions and begin to express their own views in response to their learning and ideas. As our children progress into Key Stage 2, they extend their knowledge and are encouraged to be curious and to ask increasingly challenging questions. Children learn to express their own ideas and responses, identifying relevant information, selecting examples and giving reasons to support their ideas and views.
RE is a legal requirement for all children on the school roll, including all those in Reception year. We follow Newcastle’s Locally Agreed Syllabus for R.E.
Parents have the right to withdraw their children from RE lessons. All requests should be made in person to the Headteacher.
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
At the heart of teaching and learning at Brunton, we aim to provide a rich and stimulating curriculum filled with anticipation, excitement, challenge, fun and memorable learning experiences for all. We pride ourselves by working with the children to lead their own learning creating an ethos where children can dream, believe, strive, succeed and be reflective. The staff at Brunton ensure that they deliver the objectives from the National Curriculum in a multitude of ways, which engage and enthuse all children in their learning journey. PSHE, SMSC, British Values, No Outsiders and our ‘Successful Lifelong Learning’ initiative are fully embedded in every aspect of our creative curriculum. We teach PSHE in a variety of ways: as a discrete subject or through assemblies and other subjects such as RE, History, Geography, Literacy, Maths and Science, as well as through outdoor educational visits, community work and activities. We aim to promote healthy, independent and responsible members of society.
At Brunton we encourage all our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community through class and school councils, fundraising events, supporting nominated charities and involvement in community activities.
“Come as you are and grow with us” - Our children become confident learners displaying perseverance, resilience and an excellent work ethic in all aspects of school life. We strive to create an atmosphere of mutual respect where children thrive and become thoughtful caring members of our community.