Subject Intent Statements
At Roecroft Lower School we believe that art stimulates creativity and imagination and we aim to enrich current and future art experiences through an irresistible curriculum. Art is taught for an hour each week and we alternate between art and Design and Technology each half term. We strive to teach art in an exciting and imaginative way, to enable pupils to gain the key skills, concepts and subject knowledge necessary for them to express what they see, feel and think. To ensure that we meet all National Curriculum objectives, we teach these strands: painting, collage, sculpture, drawing, printing and taking inspiration from artists.
We have a list of artists to study, chosen because their work is a key example of one or more of the key skills each year group is learning. Once each year group has studied the artist’s work, our pupils are given the chance to replicate the artwork and the skills demonstrated. They are then encouraged to experiment with their ideas and with their use of colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes and apply the knowledge and skills they have gained. Where appropriate, our art curriculum makes links with history, music, computing and RE. We use the Kapow Primary Art and Design scheme of work to support our art planning, but we do not use this exclusively and teachers have the autonomy to plan engaging, inspiring and challenging art lessons. More information about our art curriculum for each year group can be found under the curriculum tab.
All pupils have access to a wide range of good quality art resources. These are updated regularly, and each year group orders the specific art materials they need for each term, based on their topic. This enables the children to explore a range of different resources and materials as they progress through each group and build on their skills.
At Roecroft, we strive to equip all pupils with the computing skills to support them in becoming digitally literate and an active participant within the ever evolving digital world.
Computing is taught for an hour each week through progressive strands which cover all key computing elements: information technology, digital literacy and computer science. Our lessons include written, practical and technology based tasks to fully explore computational thinking and make learning engaging for all. The units we follow are carefully mapped out and are supported by the Twinkl computing schemes of work, please click here for an overview of units covered.
Teaching of online safety is also of high importance and is regularly addressed with the children throughout the whole year to ensure children understand and know how to deal with the diverse issues they may encounter online. More information on online safety and the progression of teaching can be found within our safeguarding tab.
We are also very well equipped with the resources we have available to support our learning; Roecroft has a computing suite which children use on a weekly basis and differentiated banks of IPads for EYFS, KS1/KS2 and staff. IPads are used within computing units to support creative teaching, but also other curriculum areas to thread IT throughout our whole curriculum.
Design and Technology is an important part of the curriculum as it develops a child’s knowledge and skills, preparing them for the future. At Roecroft Lower school, we aim to provide a safe and stimulating environment where the children can encounter challenging and inspiring learning experiences. Where possible these are linked to other areas of the curriculum. Pupils are able to work independently and as part of a team, helping them to develop confidence in activities that will involve them in the iterative design and make process. Through this they will become more aware of the way in which everyday objects are designed and manufactured.
Design and technology is alternated each term with art, allowing each year group to be given the opportunity to cover the key skills required to enable them to have a solid understanding of mechanisms, mechanical and electrical and construction. Every year group is given a six week block where they concentrate on the food and nutrition aspect of the curriculum.
Through design and technology lessons children are taught to use a range of appropriate tools safely and accurately, whilst using many different mediums to create their products and systems.
We use ‘Projects on a Plate’ which is a publication produced by the Design and Technology Association to support our planning. However, teachers are encouraged to incorporate challenging contexts of their own.
At Roecroft, we aim to enhance the children’s learning experiences of geography, by developing their appreciation of the local area and the wider world.
Geography is taught for an hour each week through progressive strands which cover all key geography elements: Locational Knowledge, Place Knowledge, Human and Physical Geography, Geographical Skills and Fieldwork
The areas of learning are carefully planned out and are complemented with the use of the Twinkl geography schemes of work, as well as a range of resources to enhance their learning experience. This is to ensure that our practical and written lessons are engaging for all children.
As a school, it is important that we use our local connections, such as our nature reserve, to help with bringing the children’s learning experiences alive as they are able to learn about the local geology and carry out various fieldwork activities.
Within our history learning at Roecroft, we aim to stimulate our children’s interest by exploring the life of people who lived in the past and also by investigating how history compares to our present day, in turn influencing our own future. We believe that it is important for the children to develop an appreciation of their own and other people’s cultures in modern multicultural Britain and the wider world, consequently providing them with a diverse and rich history curriculum.
Our history topics are carefully chosen to inspire our children, foster passion for their learning of history and cover a wide array of historical periods. Our planning carefully weaves disciplinary concepts into our learning to ensure historical enquiry and key history skills are fully embedded and continually applied. We refer to these as our 'Key Pillars of History', take a look at the link below:
Alongside these key pillars, we have also mapped out substantive concepts. These concepts highlight key themes that are repeatedly taught within the different contexts of our history units, allowing the children to gain a historical perspective and make connections to gain a coherent narrative of the past. This allows our children to frequently consolidate their understanding of the building blocks of history, whilst gaining new historical knowledge and a greater understanding of historical terms. At Roecroft, we have identified our substantive concepts as Military, Political, Social and Cultural and Economic. We felt it was important to have four main concepts to ensure they are memorable for our teachers and children, but as you will see from the linked diagram, each concept encompasses a range of focus areas.
We also provide our children with hands-on practical experiences through external visitors, technology and artefact resources to bring history to life and enhance their cultural capital. This includes exploring history in our local area to ensure our children have an awareness of their own locality and historical events that may have affected their own identity.
We believe all of the above gives our children the opportunity to think critically, express curiosity through questioning, work independently and collaboratively and show respect for other’s opinions and viewpoints. These are important skills and ones that we strive to achieve as Roecroft learners and as a Values based school.
Modern Foreign Languages
At Roecroft Lower School we believe that the learning of a foreign language provides a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for our pupils. It helps them to develop practical communication skills, including speaking and listening, and extends their knowledge of how language works. Learning another language gives children a new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.
French is taught weekly in 30min whole class lessons. French is taught through stories, songs, poems, and rhymes following the objectives of the National Curriculum KS2 languages programme of study. Each lesson builds on high-frequency grammatical structures learned in the previous lessons
In KS2, our approach to teaching French becomes phonics-based. We teach sound by sound and we repeatedly focus upon the common letter combinations in French. This focus helps pupils to quickly master correct pronunciation. All lessons provide opportunities for speaking and listening, with writing and some reading where relevant. Lessons are interactive and French is spoken as much as possible.
At Roecroft, we believe the opportunity to engage in musical experiences is crucial for the development of the whole child. Through playing, singing, creating and performing, children will develop communication, thinking and creative skills and improve their emotional well-being. We aim to make music an enjoyable learning experience so we encourage the children to work co-operatively to make music together, participate in a variety of musical experiences which we aim to build the children’s confidence.
Music is taught once a week, following the Kapow Primary scheme of work (click here for an insight into Kapow). Our lessons include listening and appraising activities, performing, compositing and improvising. The children are guided through a sequence of units, each focusing on a different genre or style of music which links to the children’s learning in other lessons across the curriculum. Within school, the children have access to a range of high-quality resources and instruments which are maintained regularly.
We believe that music plays an important role in helping children to feel part of a community. Therefore, we organise and collaborate in projects to enable children to share their musical skills at different events both inside and outside of school. The children are encouraged to participate in these events as well as extra-curricular clubs such as a recorder club and the school choir who rehearse weekly during term-time.
We work closely with Inspiring Music who provide quality teaching to each year group, teaching them a range of skills, songs and games. We also have a variety of skilled peripatetic teachers available within the school that offer 1:1 or small group lessons. Pupils who receive these lessons have opportunities to perform in class, assemblies and concerts throughout the year if they wish to.
At Roecroft we believe that P.E. is an integral part of the curriculum, allowing children to experience various sporting activities and compete at different levels and abilities both in and outside the school. We inspire our children through both lessons and events which offer a range of activities to suit all abilities and a variety of interests. The school also holds different after-school sporting clubs across the year including Netball, Football and Gymnastics; some clubs are open to all children and others are for children that have demonstrated they are particularly skilled in that sport.
Each week, we encourage and motivate all children to participate in one hour of indoor PE and one hour of outdoor PE through a broad curriculum. Children enjoy taking part in dance, gymnastics, core skills and a range of sports, with a continued focus on coordination, teamwork and great sportsmanship skills. Swimming is also an important part of our curriculum for year 4 and this is taught during the spring term at a local pool. These lessons are once a week for 6 weeks where the children are split into groups to build on their swimming skills. To support our teaching and learning, we use ‘PE Passport’ - an app based portal which allows teachers to follow and adapt lessons accordingly, as well as collect evidence. Please click here for an overview of units covered.
Pupils also have a wide range of opportunities to attend competitive events and tournaments outside of school through the Redborne School Sports Partnership. This is a brilliant opportunity to compete with other local schools and further foster our sportsmanship skills. Additionally, we are also very well equipped with the resources we have available to support our learning; Roecroft has two outdoor playgrounds, a sports hall, a sports field, outdoor gym equipment and a trim trail.
At Roecroft, we teach PSHE through a whole school approach to underpin children's development as people, because we believe that this also supports their learning capacity. It is an approach that builds all elements of social skills, emotional literacy and mindfulness.
We hugely value the importance of pupil’s social and emotional development and aim to inspire our pupils to be active citizens who contribute positively to society. Our PSHE teaching is hugely underpinned by our Values ethos, which is weaved throughout our curriculum and into everyday school life.
To ensure progression and a spiral curriculum, we use Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, as our chosen teaching and learning programme and tailor it to our children’s needs. The scheme of work brings consistency and progression to our children’s learning in this vital curriculum area.
We allocate an hour to PSHE each week in order to teach the PSHE knowledge and skills in a developmental and age-appropriate way, across 6 key units:
Being Me in My World
Dreams and Goals
Each lesson follows the same structure, with each element of the lesson allowing pupils to:
Connect Us - Build social skills
Calm Me - Take part in mindfulness which improves their capacity to learn and develops inner resilience
Open My Mind - Make their mind receptive to specific learning in a lesson
Tell Me or Show Me - Learn new skills and acquire new knowledge
Let Me learn - Take part in a range of activities, games, role play, debate and more to internalise learning
Help Me Reflect - Reflect on their progress perhaps in their attitudes and values, not just in their knowledge acquisition
JIGSAW is mapped to the DfE guidance for Relationships and Health Education, The PSHE Association’s Programmes of Study and Education for a Connected World. It provides opportunities for children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and this is clearly mapped out and balanced across each year group. JIGSAW also contributes to the Government's British Values agenda which includes Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.
Centred on a values-based and ‘Growth Mindset’ approach our PSHE curriculum promotes positive behaviour, mental health, wellbeing, resilience and achievement.
There is now a proven link between pupils' health and wellbeing, and their academic progress. (The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment Public Health England 2014). Crucial skills and positive attitudes developed through comprehensive Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) are critical to ensuring children are effective learners.
Our curriculum provides a whole-school approach to building these essential foundations – crucial for children to achieve their best, academically and socially.
Our society is wonderfully becoming more diverse and we recognise that religion and belief forms a crucial part of people’s culture and identity. At Roecroft, we strive to equip all pupils with the values of tolerance and respect towards different religious and non-religious beliefs. This is to ensure that our pupils are taught key knowledge to equip them with the skills to talk about Religious Education in a sensitive and respectful way. It is important for us as a school to incorporate our Roecroft Values, Fundamental British Values and Religious Education together.
Religious Education is taught for an hour each week through three progressive strands:
- Making sense of beliefs.
- Understanding the impact of beliefs.
- Making personal connections.
Our lessons include written, practical and creative based tasks to fully explore all religious/non-religious beliefs and make learning engaging for all. The units we follow are carefully mapped out and are supported by the Identities, meaning, values RE agreed syllabus 2018-2023 for Central Bedfordshire, Luton and Bedford. This syllabus allows each year group to explore a ‘Big Question’ each half term. Over the course of the year the children will learn about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism. For more details of what each year group is taught please click here for agreed syllabus.
At Roecroft we pride ourselves on being inclusive, charitable and having strong community links. As part of Religious Education we give our pupils opportunities to help and give back to others throughout the course of the academic year. Examples of this include: raising money for various charitable organisations, donating food to The NEED Project, hosting and attending community coffee mornings and having strong links with members of the community. Our pupils attend a weekly worship assembly which has a range of different speakers including: Reverends, parents, staff, local community groups and charitable organisations. We ensure that we cover a range of religious/non-religious beliefs in these assemblies with parents, pupils and staff having the opportunity to share their cultures and beliefs.
RE Key Skills