The School Curriculum
Once our children are working in the upper stages of Ruth Miskin Phonics and are increasingly competent readers, they join the Accelerated Reader program. Initially the children all take a reading test to determine their reading ability. They are then given a ‘reading range’ and this tells them the area of the library that they can borrow special ‘star reader’ books from. The range given is matched to their reading ability so that they choose books that they can read comfortably or provide more of a challenge.
After they have read a star reader book, the children take a quiz to ensure they are comprehending what they are reading. The scores children receive from the quizes they take are monitored by class teachers. When they are regularly passing quizes for the level they are on, they will be given permission to move up a level.
The most fundamental part of Accelerated Reader is that the children are given daily reading time in school. Any extra reading that they do at home is a brilliant bonus!
In school, there are reward system for children who achieve 100% on their quiz and who gain the most AR points termly. Prizes even include books signed by the authors that wrote them!
Renaissance Home Connect is a tool that connects the school and home to keep parents informed of their child’s progress toward Accelerated Reader and encourages the child to practice reading at home. By linking to Home Connect:
- You can view your child’s progress toward reading goals and reader certification, and view all books that your child has read and quizzes your child has taken.
- You can access an online search tool, AR BookFinder, to search for books using various criteria, including author, subject, or reading level.
- You can also sign up to receive emails that reveal results for Reading Practice Quizzes and provide links to the Web site where you can check progress.
At Boston Pioneers we truly want all children to develop a love for reading because once they have achieved that we believe they can go on to achieve anything!
As a school, we are delighted to offer our pupils the Cornerstones Curriculum. This curriculum is based on inspirational learning projects which allow children to learn in a way that motivates and interests them. Cornerstones provides our children with a good level of challenge, giving them opportunities to solve problems, apply themselves creatively and express their knowledge and understanding across the curriculum.
Every year group will experience 6 Imaginative Learning Projects in a year. Each individual project is split into sections, which see children progress through four stages of learning: Engage, Develop, Innovate and Express.
At the ‘Engage’ stage, children:
- Gain memorable first-hand experiences, such as going on a visit or inviting a special visitor into school
- Enjoy ‘WOW’ experiences
- Get an exciting introduction to a topic or theme
- Begin researching and setting enquiry questions
- Get lots of opportunities to make observations
- Develop spoken language skills
- Take part in sensory activities
- Have lots of fun to fully ‘engage’ with their new topic.
At the ‘Develop’ stage, children:
- Improve their knowledge and understanding of the topic
- Develop and practise their new skills
- Compose, make, do, build, investigate, explore, write for different purposes and read across the curriculum
- Research their own questions and those set by others
- Follow new pathways of enquiry based on their interests
- Complete homework activities that support their learning.
At the ‘Innovate’ stage, children:
- Apply skills, knowledge and understanding in real-life contexts
- Solve real or imagined problems using everything they’ve learnt
- Get inspired by imaginative and creative opportunities
- Revisit anything not fully grasped at the ‘Develop’ stage.
At the ‘Express’ stage, children:
- Become the performers, experts and informers
- Share their achievements with parents, classmates and the community
- Evaluate finished products and processes
- Link what they have learnt to where they started
- Celebrate their achievements!
If you would like to find out more about the Cornerstones Curriculum, please visit their website at www.cornerstoneseducation.co.uk
Below are the Cornerstone topics each age group will enjoy throughout the year:
Literacy Curriculum Statement
At Boston Pioneers we work really hard to ensure that every child will be able to speak confidently, read fluently with understanding and be able to express their ideas clearly in a variety of written forms. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework in our Reception Classes and the National Curriculum 2014in Y1-Y6. Above all, we wish to instil in our pupils a love of reading and writing which will give them pleasure and support them throughout their future lives.
It is vital that children have good speaking skills, as oracy underpins all literacy skills. We start in Reception with specially planned Talk Time groups to develop vocabulary and use lots of different ways to encourage good quality conversations, for example, Chatta. All classes benefit from our exciting 4D immersive learning room, affectionately known as, ‘The Magic Room’, where children can be taken to different geographical places and historical times to encourage their use of adventurous vocabulary. Oracy is also highly embedded in the way we approach reading, through our ‘Talk for Reading’ in our Guided Reading sessions. Moreover, we ensure there is ample opportunity of ‘speaking before writing’ with techniques such as Alan Peat’s ‘Boxing Clever’ for story structure and Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ being used across all phases to improve sentence construction.
At Pioneers, we aim to develop a love reading and have lots of events to promote the joy of books. We were one of the first schools in Lincolnshire to have a Patron of Reading in our wonderful children’s author, James Nicol. He has visited us on many occasions giving exciting storytelling sessions and even launched his new novel at Pioneers on World Book Day.
We teach reading through the Ruth Miskin synthetic phonics programme, where children are taught to say the sounds for individual letters and then blend them together to read words. By having daily dedicated lessons, we aim to have all children reading by the end of Reception and by the end of Year 1 to read fluently with a developing understanding of different texts. From Year 2, our children are then free to concentrate on improving their comprehension for a variety of purposes. We also have excellent support for those children who find reading more challenging, with a rigorous system of intervention run by highly qualified staff to ensure all pupils reach their full potential.
Throughout the school, we provide opportunities for the children to read and listen to books with adults. There are daily small group Guided Reading sessions led by teaching staff and we are fortunate to have many parents who listen to children regularly as well. We even have a specialist reading volunteer from the Pets as Therapy service who brings in their dog Jess to encourage our shyer readers. Every year group has an allocated time for the daily sharing of a class story to ensure that the printed word is something that is threaded through the school day.
We firmly believe that reading does not only happen at school, and therefore, have an extensive range of books that can be taken home for whatever stage your child is at. In addition, we subscribe to Renaissance Learning’s reading programme, Star Reader, where children can take an extra book home and then when they have finished can take a small comprehensive quiz in school. The children collect points, which then are celebrated with certificates and prizes in our awards assembly. It gets very competitive! Parents and carers are a vital part of the reading partnership, and we actively encourage and reward daily home reading in special Home Reader Award assemblies.
At Pioneers, all our home reading books are colour banded. Colour bands are linked to your child’s ability in reading. Your child will be placed in a colour band as this will help to ensure that the book they read will be the right reading level for them. Every colour band includes books from a range of reading schemes; this ensures that children will experience a range of stories, genres and authors. The majority of books within the early book bands can be decoded using phonics skills and phonic knowledge. Our reading scheme books include Read, Write Home Readers, Big Cat and Project X to name but a few. A home school record book system operates to enable a dialogue with parents and monitor progress.
Each book band has its own colour. These are shown below:
As you will see from the chart there are general guidelines about which book bands should be covered at each age group. However, please remember that children learn in different ways and make progress at different times. It is possible that there may be seven year olds on book band red and five year olds on book band turquoise.
As a rough guide, children are expected to reach band 11 (lime) at seven or eight years old. Children who read above lime level are reading fairly fluently and although there are still banded books above this level, children are reading such a wide range of material that the banding becomes not so important. Children working above Lime level are deemed to be ‘Free Readers’. Every child’s book level is checked each term.
We recognise that the effective teaching and development of oracy and phonics, underpins the development of successful writers. From the first days in Reception, children are encouraged to mark make daily in a variety of ways and as soon as they learn their sounds, practise writing their letters. By the end of the first year of school, we aim to have the children writing simple sentences to express their ideas. As they progress through the year groups, pupils will be challenged to write more complex sentences in different genres, with a strong emphasis on correct grammar and spelling. Children are given a weekly opportunity to write independently at length and not just in their dedicated Literacy lessons but through topic sessions as well.
There are many aspects to writing successfully and we aim to give equal measure to each constituent. Grammar is taught in discrete lessons, but at the same time is linked to the current writing purposes in the classroom. For spelling, appropriate National Curriculum statutory spelling lists and guidelines are used for each year group. Home support may be requested to help with the learning of these. To assist children remember the many different types of punctuation, we use actions and specific language in a whole school approach. When writing at length, we use ‘Talk for Writing’ and Alan Peat’s techniques such as ‘Boxing Clever’ to support children to give clarity to their sentence and compositional structure.
In order for their work to be enjoyed, we believe legible and neat handwriting is essential. The children have the opportunity to write in pen once they have achieved a good standard, which encourages pride in the presentation of their writing. For all these stages, the teacher models good examples of writing, through whole class shared writing, or in small guided groups to scaffold the children’s learning.
Above all, we want the children to enjoy their writing, so their tasks are often linked to their exciting Cornerstones topics or real life experiences to give a purpose for their written pieces.
Please click here for LTP.
From Years 1 to 4, Maths is planned from the National Curriculum objectives 2014. In Reception, The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum. We follow the ‘Mastery’ approach to Maths and believe that every child ‘can’ achieve.
At the heart of our maths teaching, we take the 3 aims of the National Curriculum
- Conceptual understanding
In developing children’s skills through enhancing their factual, conceptual and procedural knowledge, we allow them to deepen their mathematical understanding and be able to apply what they know to help them to solve problems.
- Mathematical reasoning
The progression and development of mental calculations and efficiency in strategies will provide children with the skills which will allow them to communicate and present their findings effectively using appropriate mathematical language.
- Problem solving
By providing opportunities to apply their mathematical skills in different contexts and across a range of subject areas, children will be able to work systematically to organise information, find patterns and ultimately solutions through independent and collaborative learning.
At Pioneers, we aim to provide all pupils with direct maths teaching every day, which is oral, interactive and stimulating. Teaching styles and lesson structure provide opportunities for pupils to consolidate their previous learning, use and apply their knowledge, understanding and skills, pose and ask questions, investigate mathematical ideas, reflect on their own learning and make links with other work. Our learning environments are all focussed on modelling and geared to the current learning that is happening within the Maths classroom. In addition to this, the children have a wealth of equipment to use as they go through the concrete, pictorial and abstract processes for each concept. Teachers regularly assess children’s understanding. This ensures that planning and teaching is aimed towards deepening and developing mathematical understanding. Activities can then be differentiated in a manageable way so that all pupils are engaged in mathematics.
This year, we have introduced Times Table Targets for each year group and children from year 1 upwards have an account on Times Table Rockstars. This is a fun, interactive and engaging website which allows children to practise their times table and division facts. Having a good understanding of the times tables up to 12×12 and the corresponding division facts will ensure the children have a sound mathematical grounding for life. We ask for support from parents in helping the children learn their times tables.
We are also fortunate to have our own highly-skilled Numbers Counts Teacher: Mrs Lilley. Numbers Count is an intensive intervention for learners who have the greatest difficulties with mathematics. It is delivered by a specially trained teacher who also supports other staff in school with the teaching of maths. Other interventions that we offer to those who need them include First Class @ Number 1 & 2 as well as Success@Arithmetic. All of these are especially designed support programmes that have been developed by Edge Hill University.
- In the EYFS, children’s achievements are on-going and are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.
- In KS1 and KS2 will make judgements about the children’s mathematics in relation to age related expectations as set out in the new curriculum.
- Our judgements are based on a variety of different evidence sources. These are as follows: questioning, observations and marking will continue to be key parts of formative assessment.
- Statutory assessments take place at the end of EYFS, Year 2 and Year 6.
Please click here for LTP
At Pioneers, we have a clear and simple vision: our students should be confident users of technology who are independent digital learners, e-safe and inspired.
We believe in ICT’s key role in the future and if one does not utilise this to its full extent we are doing an injustice to our pupils when it comes to preparing them for future careers and skills. We aim to provide technology-enabled learning for a technology-driven generation and are proud of our state of the art facilities, including Lincolnshire’s first 4d immersive learning classroom!
For us, ICT is an integral and seamless part of our curriculum. ICT can be found not only in computing lessons but is woven through every subject we teach. We use a range of technology to enhance learning experiences. At Pioneers, technology is not a substitution for pencil or paper but is used to help deliver rich, multi media ideas in a creative and innovative way. From basic word processing and paint programs, to mastering presentations, all the basics are covered. However, the children’s experience soon develops and children are coding, using apps, making games, movies and animations and using green screens. As they go through the school, they begin to use coding languages such as Scratch and experiment with other applications to develop their ideas digitally. In doing so, we aim to give them all the experiences they need to prepare them for 21st century lifestyles.
Skills for Life
Being ‘technologically able and literate’ is as much of a life skill in the 21 st century as learning times tables. As a result, every child at pioneers will be taught a variety of computing skills each term in line with the 2014 National Curriculum. In addition to a weekly computing ‘core skills’ lesson, children are encouraged to develop / practice their skills across the curriculum. Over time, these skills will build to provide our pupils with a strong toolkit upon which to draw upon in later life.
At Boston Pioneers we are committed to raising the profile of E-Safety within our school. We are currently living in an increasingly technological age and many children are now far some advanced than their parents in the field of expertise. Technology brings with it obvious advantages but there are also disadvantages if the correct security measures are not taken. We are an e-safe school and are committed to ensuring that all our pupils know how to be safe online. All children are required to sign the school’s e-safety and user agreement policy.
RE Long Term Planning 2018-19
Please click here to download the RE Long Term Planning 2018-19
For the teaching of RE in our Academy we use the ‘Love to Celebrate’ Imaginative Learning Projects. These projects are matched to the requirements of ‘A Curriculum Framework for Religious Education in England’ (2013).
We generally deliver weekly RE lessons, yet some terms, the units (ILPs) will be taught in a block lasting about a week near to the date of the actual celebration to give context to the children’s learning and opportunities to visit places of worship that are actually celebrating the festival the children are studying.
Basing learning around festivals gives a real-life context and structure to our children’s learning. However, the celebration itself is only a small part of each unit and each set of units (which run from Y1-Y6) cover all major aspects of each religion including worship, belief, leadership and belonging.
The religions we cover in school are: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.
All the lessons taught are designed to help children learn about religion and learn from religion, helping them to gain a better understanding of the beliefs and motivations behind the actions of others. Our curriculum is not designed to deliver a certain doctrine (as we are a non-denominational school), but rather, to help children learn more about the world they live in today.
At Boston Pioneers our PE Curriculum is designed to enable our children to:
- Develop physical competence, so that our children are able to move efficiently, effectively and safely, and understand what they are doing, through action, awareness and observation.
- Provide a broad and balanced programme, involving a wide range of activities in line with National Curriculum guide-lines, which is differentiated to meet individual needs and which coincides with children’s interests.
- Involve the development of qualities such as fairness, enthusiasm, integrity and concern for quality as well as success.
- Combine physical activity with the mental processes of making decisions, such as selecting, refining, judging, shaping and adapting.
The PE curriculum we offer covers:
|In Key Stage 1:||In Key Stage 2:|
Our Core PE is delivered by specialist sports coaches employed by the Trust and the long term planning for PE is accessible by following the link below:
At Pioneers School, we believe in the importance of education for the development of the whole child. Weeky Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education (PSHEE) sessions help to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. PSHEE contributes significantly across the whole curriculum to our responsibility to help prepare our pupils for the opportunities and challenges of life.
In PSHEE we aim to provide opportunities for pupils to:
- Develop their personal, social and life skills.
- Acquire knowledge and understanding of important issues that may affect their lives and the lives of others.
- Reflect on their experiences and learn from them.
- Develop their own attitudes and values.
- Engage in active participation in the school and local community.
- Understand basic principles of Citizenship issues.
- Develop their skills of enquiry and communication.
The Early Years Foundation stage is the statutory framework for children’s development from birth to the end of their first (reception) year in school.
What do they learn in Early Years?
The curriculum is divided into PRIME and SPECIFIC areas of learning. The early learning goals in the prime areas of learning cover personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language. The early learning goals in the specific areas cover mathematics and literacy. Each of these areas are taught through cross curricular, play based learning both indoors and out and experiences and all are equally important.
What is a learning Journey?
We use a range of observations and assessments to plan for children’s next steps of learning and provide children with play based purposeful learning experiences. It is important for the Early Years teachers to gain knowledge of children’s individual interests so that these can be incorporated in the planning of relevant learning experiences. An essential element of this process however is the link between home and school.
The Early Years Foundation Stage recognises that you, the parent, know your child better than anyone else. It is recognised that when parents and teachers work together the child is provided with opportunities that are both purposeful and meaningful. As a result, the parents at Boston Pioneers are encouraged to contribute to their child’s learning journey.
How can I see what my child has been learning at school?
Every child at Pioneers has their own individual learning journal in which key aspects of their learning are recorded. These journals are always available to view, simply ask your child’s class teacher. In these journals, we also reference your child’s learning to the EYFS profile which links their learning in different areas to key ages and stages in their development. This will keep you informed of the areas of learning in which your child is achieving, and also, the age band they were working in for the observed activity.
We actively encourage all parents and carers to add observations and comments to their child’s journal. Afterall, we love to hear about learning and WOW moments from home.
How do I know if my child is making good progress?
When your child first comes to use we observe them in a variety of activities to get a clear picture of what they can do in each area of learning. This forms a baseline from which we measure their progress. Every six weeks we use the evidence in their learning journal and our knowledge as practitioners to ‘capture’ their attainment in each area and this is reported to you at termly parent consultation evenings.
A final thought to leave you with about the importance and value of play in the Foundation Stage
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing”.
The Academy recognises the valuable contribution that the wide range of additional activities, including clubs, trips, visitors and residential experiences can make towards children’s personal and social education. The Academy aims to promote and provide such activities, both as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for the children and as additional optional activities.
We wish to instil in our pupils high levels of ambition. To this end we actively seek opportunities to help our children to practice leadership. These include children serving on the Academy Council; working as Junior Playground Leaders or ‘Little Lunchies’ in our Dining Hall; or even being members of our Eco Council – ‘Team Green’