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Curriculum

English

At Burman we believe that one of our most important tasks is to equip children with the skills to be good communicators.  We aim to do this through teaching them to speak, listen, read and write with skill and independence.  Language is incorporated into all areas of the curriculum and is a key aspect of all children’s learning and development.

Speaking and listening

Language is a vital part of learning and spoken language in particular has a key role in children’s learning.  We provide many varied opportunities within our teaching and learning to encourage children’s language development, such as through drama and role play, problem solving activities, class discussions and visits.  Within school our children use speaking and listening to share ideas, speculate, make decisions, solve problems, enjoy listening to music or poetry and to reflect upon different ideas.  At Burman we value the importance of children being able to develop good social relationships and this depends on them being able to speak and listen effectively.  It is very important that children at an early stage learn to express themselves and can communicate their ideas, feelings and knowledge with increasing confidence.

Phonics

At Burman we use Bug Club Phonics – a systematic synthetic approach to Phonics, which provides a solid foundation in Reading for all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dCRWLLNXPo

Reading

The skill and enjoyment of reading benefits children greatly throughout their lives.  It is therefore important that children acquire the basic skills that will enable them to become confident and fluent readers that engage with enjoyment.

Reading is an integral part of all learning that takes place at Burman every day.  Children are involved in reading for many different purposes such as; following written instructions, gathering information and for interest and enjoyment, whilst developing and extending their vocabulary, skills and confidence.  They are exposed to a wide range of texts from different cultures and genres including fiction, non-fiction and poetry.  Our arrangement of reading books complies with the National Reading Book Band levels.  The structure is based on careful research into the kinds of words used in each book, linking directly with phonetical knowledge and understanding.  Each ‘band’ is represented by a colour and supports the development of progressive reading strategies and subsequently promotes reading for enjoyment.

Writing

Throughout our curriculum at Burman we provide opportunities and experiences that will interest and stimulate children and give them different purposes for which they need to write.  We value children’s early attempts at writing and work to develop their ability to express themselves through the written word.  It is important that children learn to write in different ways such as; in recording factual information, writing letters or invitations and writing stories for pleasure.  We aim to gradually develop children’s ability to spell a variety of words and teach them how to use dictionaries to enable them to look up more difficult words.

Handwriting skills are taught from an early stage and children are encouraged to write letters based on a cursive script, enabling them to join letters naturally as they progress further throughout the school.  Children are encouraged to ensure their writing is legible and to take pride in the presentation of their written work.

Mathematics

At Burman Infant School, the aim is to ensure that children become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, are able to reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their Mathematical knowledge.

Children’s knowledge of Number, Measure and Geometry are embedded over time through the use of a spiral curriculum. There is a focus first on ensuring children are secure in the mental and written calculation strategies appropriate to their age, before then providing children with opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of Maths through reasoning and problem solving.

In Nursery and Reception, the learning environment also provides children with the opportunities to begin problem solving through both adult led questioning and independent investigation. In Year 1 and Year 2 Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to give children the opportunity to demonstrate and build upon prior knowledge and enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time.

A ‘Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract’ approach is applied throughout school which develops a deep and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts. Teachers and children will move fluidly between each approach to reinforce concepts. Children are encouraged to illustrate Maths problems in a variety of ways, for example, drawing an array or jottings representing dienes. Varying the apparatus and methods they use to solve a problem helps children to make quicker mental connections between the concrete, pictorial and abstract phases.

Nursery and Reception follow the Solihull Six Term plan to ensure all children are taught the required knowledge and skills by the end of Reception; with a key focus on Mathematical vocabulary. Children’s Maths is assessed through teacher assessment against Development Matters and Early Learning Goals. Maths has an adult led focus once a week, with independent Maths activities available throughout the week to enable children to consolidate their learning. Practical Maths Activity sheets are sent home throughout the year to support parents in consolidating children’s learning.

In Year 1 and Year 2, we use a range of planning resources and guidance including those provided by Power Maths, the White Rose Hubs and NCETM. The School Jam app is used to consolidate learning at home through practical activities, games and instructional videos. Through our teaching we continuously monitor pupils’ progress against expected attainment for their age, making formative assessment notes on planning that is used to inform future lessons. Where needed children are given extra support through immediate intervention or a more structured Maths intervention programs.

Throughout school, all adults reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics and that making mistakes plays a key role in our learning.

Science

Young children are natural scientists. They ask questions and are eager to find out about the world in which they were growing up.  At Burman, we want children to be engaged from a young age, enjoying finding out how and why things work in the natural world. Science vocabulary can empower children to explain their thinking succinctly and accurately.

In a technological world, it is vital to inspire children to a possible future in Science. We want to learn about and share all the good that science and scientists have provided over many years.

We need children to build up a bank of useful and accurate vocabulary which will equip them beyond the Key Stage so they are confident reporters on the world around them.

We want children to reflect on the fragility of the Earth and its resources so as they mature, they can make informed decisions about the Earth and its future.

How do we do this?

FKS

Children observe the world around them and talk about changes they see, such as animals and plant growing and changing, focusing on key vocabulary to describe these changes.

Year 1

Children follow a weekly plan of Science lessons focusing on building up interest and excitement in investigative Science, broadly based on ‘Engaging Science’ (Solihull’s own Science curriculum).

Their school visit is to Brandon Marsh, focusing on natural habitats.

Year 2

Children follow a weekly plan of science lessons, broadly based on broadly based on ‘Engaging Science’ (Solihull’s own Science curriculum), which is used to support the school’s own medium term plan for Science. In each unit there are investigations and skills linked to the topic being studied, ensuring that children can meet the expectations for the end of the Key Stage.

Teachers use evaluations of lessons to monitor the development of children’s knowledge and skills and within a framework to plan the next lessons.

Please refer to our curriculum overviews to learn the content of our science topics.

Design technology

Children love to build and create and it is a fantastic way to generate confidence, resilience and self-esteem.

In designing, we want children to think logically and clearly with a growing understanding of the properties if materials in their product.

We want them to plan carefully and design products that are appealing and fit for the purpose for which they are made.

In making, we want our children to select and use a wide range of materials and tools, learning to use them sensibly and to assess their own risk when using them.

We want them to construct carefully and to persevere to overcome problems. We take part in lots of designing and making projects, from’ pop up’ cards to ‘alien’ puppets which link closely to our termly topics and allow the children to explore, design and make building on previous knowledge and skills.

Information computing technology (ICT)

At Burman we aim to develop each child’s ICT capabilities to support and enhance their learning across other areas of the curriculum. Computing has become part of the way we all work and integral to our daily lives and to the future of our children. We have a computer suite which is used by the children from Reception to Year 2.

In Foundation Key Stage children have the opportunity to use digital props within the role-play e.g. talking telephones, shop tills and computers. The children are introduced to a range of technology within the classroom setting: remote control toys, talking butterflies and Beebots. The children explore the class computer and there are planned activities in order to develop their skills throughout Nursery and Reception. The interactive whiteboard and the class iPad provide children with a range of activities to explore.

In Year 1 the children are provided with their own log on cards and taught how to log onto the computer. Children are taught the importance of keeping personal information private and therefore understand why they have their own usernames and password to log on.

The children are taught control and monitoring, through the program ‘Terry the Turtle’. The children are given an introduction to animation using the software Scratch, using basic skills. The children use ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ in order to word process and adding images to text using copying and paste.

In Year 2 the children continue to develop their animation skills using the software Scratch. The children are taught to use their transferable skills across both Pivot and Scratch in order to use technology purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.

Internet Safety  

At Burman we take our duty to prepare our children, and their families, with the knowledge to use the internet, and other devices safely and therefore that remains an integral part of our planning. We discuss with the children the technology used both at home and at school. Activities are sent home for parents to fill out with the children about the use of technology.

Online safety is taught half termly in in online safety sessions computing lessons. It is also embedded across the curriculum to enable children to become safe users of the internet. The acronym ‘SMART’ is displayed throughout the school to ensure the children are aware of how they can build on their skills in order to be SMART users now and in the future.

‘Safer Internet Day’ is covered throughout the whole school, informing the children where to go for help and support when they have concernsEach year we follow a new theme, for example our theme for our 2020 was ‘Free to be me. Exploring Online Identity.’ We also send home ‘Our Parents and Carer Guide’ for Keeping Safe Online; alongside supportive resources from ‘Think U Know’.  

By the end of their time at Burman the children will be able to use technology safely and purposefully to create, organise, store, manipulate and retrieve digital content.

Humanities (geography and history)

Humanities at Burman enables the children to investigate their local community, country and other parts of the world.  We undertake local walks and educational visits enabling the children to have ‘hands on’ experiences.

Children also access information about a topic through the use of ICT.  Humanities provides many cross curricular opportunities and is a very important part of our curriculum.

Educational visits are organised for each year group to enhance and support the school curriculum.  Parents are given plenty of notice and may be requested to make a voluntary contribution.

Music

At Burman we aim to give the children, rich and varied musical experiences as both listeners and performers. Singing and the making of music is an integral feature of everyday school life and is enjoyed by staff and children alike. All Year 2 children are given the opportunity to learn to play the recorder and the chance to take part in the residential Dunfield House course.

Physical education

Children engage in various physical activities where they can develop   co-ordination, agility and confidence.  Activities  include dance these are taught using a variety of approaches including Top Dance cards and music DVDs and support from Miss Laura our dance teacher.  Gym is taught using large and small apparatus using the Val Sabin gym programme and multi-skills programme.

Games are usually planned for the Summer Term so children and staff can use our playing fields to play team games, using bats, balls, ropes, hoops etc to build on developing races for Sports Day activities.

Creative Art

In a rapidly changing world, it is vital to anchor children in their wide reaching culture and to develop their passions for subjects such as Art.

We want to children enjoy art and view themselves as ‘artists’.

We want them to be able to use a wide range of skills and techniques so that they can express themselves creatively and imaginatively.

We need children to build up a bank of descriptive vocabulary which will equip them beyond the Key Stage so they are confident when discussing art.

We want children to appreciate art work produced by themselves, others in school and great artists, and to be able to use a range of vocabulary to describe their preferences.

We hope that as children move on to Year Three and continue their education and learning that their love and skill base for creating art continues, allowing them to develop a life-long love of the subject, being able to appreciate high quality art work and to be able to contemplate a career within the art world.

Religious education

In Religious Education the children have opportunities to learn about and share knowledge of their own faith and to experience elements of the faiths of others.  We also encourage the children to learn from their knowledge and relate it to their own personal experience, as they develop spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.

At Burman we use an enquiry-based approach to RE. We use the Discovery RE scheme which encourages children to be reflective of their own and others experiences and religions. We explore a range of world-wide religions.

Each half-term begins with a key question to engage our young children. Together, we then investigate the theme whilst evaluating and encouraging personal expression. We believe this will enable our young learners to continue their knowledge in this subject as they move onto Key Stage 2 and beyond.