Handbook for parents & carers

2. School Life

Curriculum

The children at Lindal and Marton Primary School are taught in mixed classes.

The school is currently orgainsed into four classes.  Specific curriculum content for each class can be found on their page:

Class 1:     Reception and Year 1

Class 2:     Year 2 and Year 3

Class 3:     Year 4

Class 4:     Year 5 and Year 6

 

As with many small schools, fluctuating numbers and small cohorts may mean that this organisation changes from year to year.  For this reason the school's long term planning is reviewed on an annual basis.  The curriculum content will also be communicated each term to parents through the class newsletters which are written by class teachers and also on each class' webpage. 

Reading and Spelling

Early reading and spelling skills are taught using the Letters and Sounds programme.  The Letter and Sounds programme consists of 6 phases which the children progress through and often the children will be grouped according to the phase they are on.  This may involve children form different classes working together at different points throughout the week.

Once children have completed Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds, they move onto the Read Write Inc Spelling Programme.  Read Write Inc is a systematic spellng programme used for Years 2-6. 

At Lindal and Marton Primary School, the children's reading is developed through the use of the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme, chosen because the books are written with a mix of high-frequency and decodable words to develop a range of reading strategies and they support the teaching of synthetic phonics. Our children learn to read at their own pace, but as a guide the stages can be broken down as follows:

Although Oxford Reading Tree is the main reading scheme used initially, we supplement it with books from other schemes to ensure the children are reading a wide variety of books.  We also believe that children should become free and independent readers as soon as possible and they are quickly encouraged to make their own choices. 

Writing

In order to systematically assess and develop children's writing skills we adopt a programme from Andrell Education called Big Writing.  Big Writing provides us with a definitive, comprehensive model that ensures both teachers and children know what they can and can’t do, identifying any gaps to accurately inform the next steps in teaching and learning.

Teachers deliver a 'Big Write' lesson every week where, after a series of games and activties that develop the children's use of vocabulary, punctuation and more advanced sentence structures, they are encouraged to write independently for between 20 and 45 minutes depending on their year group. Our pupils love writing and thoroughly enjoy their Big Write lessons.

Big Maths

Because of the success of Big Writing, we have also chosen to adopt Andrell Education's Big Maths curriculum.  Big Maths splits the maths curriculum into two parts; Core Knowledge and Wider Maths.

Children always acquire Core Knowledge before applying it to Wider Maths. This ensures children approach all problems with the skills and confidence needed to succeed. Gradually, teachers build up a child’s knowledge through the 'Learning Steps', challenging them with wider and deeper problems.

We assess the children weekly.  Core Knowledge is assessed using 'Beat Its' and 'Learn Its'.  These are timed activities to assess the children's numeracy and rapid recall of number facts.  Wider Maths is assessed using SAFE tests.  These are activity sheets which assess the childen's knowledge of wider aspects of maths such as measures, shapes and statistics.  Teachers collect data from these weekly assessment to plan subsequent lessons and identify children who are excelling or need further support.

Sex Education

At LAMPS, children participate in an on-going health education programme mainly taught within science lessons, which gives the children opportunities to explore issues such as growth, relationships, personal safety and the need for hygiene and respect for themselves and for others. As a parent you are the key figure in helping your child to cope with the physical and emotional aspects of growing up. As a school we play a supportive role in providing a caring environment where the emphasis is placed on the development and acquisition of skills.

We encourage open and honest questions and answers in order to satisfy, at the appropriate level, a child's curiosity.  Either through topic/science/themed work or through specific interests, opportunities will be taken to discuss seeds, growing, embryos, birth and bodies relating to the general cycle of plant, human and animal life.

Sex education is taught in Years 5 and 6.  The class teacher and the school nurse teach sessions relating to different aspects of sex education including puberty and relationships.  Parents are informed when sex education will take place and can view any of the materials that are used.

Religious Education

Lindal & Marton Primary School is a non-denominational school and all pupils receive Religious Education in line with the Cumbria Agreed Syllabus for RE, a copy of which is held in school. Religious Education is defined as a part of the core curriculum which all maintained schools must provide.

It is an important part of the curriculum that extends the children’s understanding of the world in which they live. As well as Christianity our children learn about a variety of religions and the values of different communities and faiths.

Regular collective acts of worship bring the children together most days of the week. These assemblies reflect the traditions of Christian belief and promote shared values, tolerance and respect for others.

Parents have the right to withdraw their child(ren) from Religious Education and collective worship if they wish. Any wishes must be discussed with the Headteacher.