The curriculum at Morley Primary is designed to provide children with the knowledge and skill-set to succeed in their primary education, prepare them for their future educational steps and to fully equip them for life’s unknown adventures.
Key government curricula-knowledge is learnt to an in-depth understanding, alongside a fundamental set of core skills that are taught with the aim of mastering these skills for our twenty-first century learners. We want our children to know about their local area, and how it fits into the world; to understand the effect we have on our planet, and how we interact with each other; and to have a wide range of creative skills. Our children have high academic standards, but we aim to give them aspirations and possibilities well beyond the classroom. We aim to excite them into learning by providing a rich and varied curriculum which enables them to see beyond their horizons.
All pupils in school are taught in mixed age classes, and study the National Curriculum. The staff plan exciting themes which incorporate all aspects of the National Curriculum within a programme of cross-curricular activities, as well as discrete teaching where appropriate. OfSTED (2012) said that our curriculum was incredibly rich and that children had a ‘magical experience’ in lessons where ‘the atmosphere is electric’.
Our curriculum themes
Staff base the learning around half term, or termly, themes. These are enriched by a range of external visits and visitors, for example Class 2 visit the Bagshaw Museum for their Egyptians theme, Class 3 put Scrooge on trial in the Courts of Justice, and Class 1 enjoy a day at Warwick Castle. We have had owls in school, and a variety of rainforest creepy crawlies. Class 3 take part in the Spires project as part of their design and technology work, and we have welcomed several authors and illustrators. We have worked with the RSPB and have spent a day learning circus skills. Many of these themes incorporate a book study which links a quality text to the term's theme, for example Street Child by Berlie Doherty, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson or Stig of the Dump by Clive King.
The learning is based on a two or three year cycle, due to our mixed age classes. Here is a flavour of what we learn.
|Term 1||Term 2||Term 3|
|Autumn 1||Autumn 2||Spring 1||Spring 2||Summer 1||Summer 2|
|All About Me||The Polar Regions||Space is Ace!||Dinosaurs||Fairytales and Superheroes||Where I live|
Kings, Queens, Castles and
|Julia Donaldson||Under the Sea||Ahoy There!||Food, Glorious Food||Rainforests|
|Stone Age v Egyptians||Inventions||Greece and the Olympics|
|Rotation 2||What did the Romans do For Us?||Light and Dark||Morley, Derby, Derbyshire, the World|
|Trip Round the World||Significant Moments of the Twentieth Century||This is England!|
|Rotation 2||Are We Looking After Our World?||Do We Take Care of Our Health in the Right Way?||Who are the Greatest Artists?|
In addition, all pupils in Class 2 take part in the Wider Opportunities in music scheme, so far learning violin, flute, samba, clarinet, steel drum and singing. All pupils in Class 3 learn ukulele, and Key Stage 2 pupils also have opportunities to learn drumming and handbells. All pupils in school have weekly French lessons where we benefit greatly from the support of Mrs Cloherty who comes in to work with the children (and staff).
All children in school have daily access to ipads and laptops, and these are used seamlessly in most lessons. Older pupils take part in a monthly photography competition, and correspond with our sister school in Western Australia.
As we have no school hall, we hire a local sports centre for one day each week during the Spring term so that the children can have specific teaching in dance and gymnastics. All pupils in Years 3-5 have weekly swimming lessons.
Our curriculum planning was revised in accordance with the new Primary Curriculum for September 2014. This is reviewed annually to ensure coverage and progression; a broad and balanced curriculum underpinned by rich and exciting learning opportunities; and to ensure that it provides children with opportunities to develop an understanding of life in Modern Britain.
Approach to phonics and reading schemes
From the Early Years, phonics is taught to all pupils, and may continue into Key Stage 2 where appropriate. We use the Letters and Sounds programme, incorporating oral, written and interactive elements each day. Phonics is taught every morning from 9.10 - 9.30.
Phonics within the Gigantic Triathlon
Our main reading scheme is Oxford Reading Tree, which runs throughout school. The main reading scheme is supplemented by a wide range of other reading material, both fiction and non-fiction. The reading scheme is organised into colour bands through which children progress at their own speed. School staff will move children through the bands when both their decoding and comprehension skills show they are ready.