At Rode and Norton School Federation (RNSF) we believe every child should have a chance to be a scientist, a writer, a performer, an engineer, a maker, an athlete…. Indeed, childhood is the time to dream big and we have the responsibility to ‘light the spark’ and give children a taste of all possibilities imaginable – even if these possibilities don’t yet exist!
With this in mind we aim every day for children at RNSF…….
Learning at RNSF is an adventure! We provide a highly enjoyable, creative curriculum which not only incorporates the National Curriculum but the needs, thoughts and ideas of every learner in our school. Our creative curriculum ensures that all of our pupils are motivated, engaged and enthused about their learning experiences, inspiring them to become lifelong learners and to live their dreams of being inventors, designers, authors….
At RNSF teaching and learning takes place within a creative and collaborative approach with shared themes across our two sites. The learning is always shaped by the children’s fascinations and kicks off with one of our ‘Inspirational Starters’, for example, the discovery of a dragon’s egg in the school grounds or a Facetime with a frazzled archaeologist in search of the Olympic Rings. Throughout each theme children and adults have many opportunities to explore, discover and create. A final end point for each theme is the creation of our ‘Product ‘, for example a performance, a festival, a film or an exhibition to share with parents and our communities. The outcome is that children flourish! In a nutshell our Curriculum can be described in these words….
Inspire, Explore, Discover, Create, Flourish
The curriculum we have developed is based on a two-yearly cycle where each curriculum year is divided into five distinct topics. All topics are linked to a whole school theme creating a focal point for everyone’s learning. In addition, we provide other essential experiences we believe every child should encounter before they leave our First School for the big, wide world!
At RNSF our aim is for children to be confident to ‘play’ with numbers, to become critical thinkers and independent problem solvers. Mathematics is part of our everyday lives and we believe it is essential to engage children in a curriculum where they absorb new skills, make connections and solve mathematical problems independently. We inspire the children with a hands-on approach to mathematics in which children are given varied opportunities to explore and make connections with real life situations. Every day children practise their fluency in a mathematical context through recalling information, identifying numbers and describing patterns. They learn to recall number facts, make predications, interpret data and become confident when explaining about their reasoning. They discover problems, analyse data, evaluate their findings, create their own mathematical mysteries and flourish in a wealth of rich mathematical opportunities.
Maths resources for Parents and Carers:
In our schools we are powered by stories! Many of our topics are based around key fiction books or particular authors such as Lauren Child, Roald Dahl, Julia Donaldson. Our teachers really know and love books and writing. We have recently adopted ‘Helicopter Stories’, scribing and telling stories, we have had a Creative Writing Club, had poems and stories published and are planning our own magazine. Drama plays an important part in the writing process and we believe you need to ‘speak it’ before you write it. The children often write parts of our theatre shows.
We have recently invested thousands of pounds in new books on both sites and a fantastic funky library at Rode. Our libraries stock the latest fiction titles and we challenge the children to read the ‘100 best books’ list before they leave in Year Four.
In the classrooms, children in Reception Year One and Two take part in a daily Phonics Session. This becomes a spelling, punctuation and grammar focus in Years Three and Four. We have a mixture of reading schemes across the schools including Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree, Big Cat Phonics and Songbirds. We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics teaching programme, using a mixture of the Phonics Bug software, Jolly Phonics hand actions and Read Write Inc. flashcards. Our philosophy is to take the best bits wherever we find them and put them together with our unique school style. Our Reading results are very good across our Federation.
We have recently begun following the PenPals Handwriting Scheme which introduces joined handwriting in Year 2. We use non-cursive script in Reception and Year One, focusing on correct letter formation and size. Our SEN team support children where needed with Talk Boost, Time to Talk , Write From the Start and ILI intervention programmes.
In RNSF we are going full STEAM ahead with an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points to inspire enquiry, communication, and critical thinking
STEAM gives children the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing technology-based economy, providing a platform to explore learning in a fun, engaging, child led way.
For example in a Fairy Tale or Plants unit we may ask the question….
Can you create a catapult to help Jack get up the Beanstalk quicker?
How can you make him go higher? Further?
How far did he travel?
Can you make his journey safer?
What could you do to improve your catapult?
Which material would make the best landing?
How can we record what we have done?
Can you share what you have discovered?
With questions as a starting point and no right or wrong answer children flourish, feeling in control of their curriculum and enthused and empowered to launch into their learning.
Other areas of the curriculum
As our new website develops we will add more detail to this page including our Curriculum Maps, details of how and why we learn about The Arts, Our approach to Languages and PE. Please contact the following people for more information: –
Head teacher and Curriculum Lead: Carolyn Tommey
Assistant Head teacher and Numeracy Coordinator: Kim Slade
Early Years/Y1 Lead, Literacy Coordinator and 15 Things creator: Georgina Muxworthy
Performing Arts Coordinator: Zoe Manifold
STEAM Coordinator: Claire Vowell
Visual Arts Coordinator: Natalie Duncan
French Coordinator: Stephanie Fabre
PE Coordinator: Sarah Davis
ICT Coordinator: Julie Morgan