At Ashbrook School, we believe that learning should be child-centred, reflecting the individual needs and interests of each child. We believe that infant education should build the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. We believe that every child has the right to a childhood which includes engaging in a range of exciting and memorable experiences, which give them the freedom to explore, take risks and develop resilience; a curriculum that will, “Bring out the best in everyone.”
We plan units of work which are relevant to our pupil's interests and specific learning needs, whilst ensuring coverage of the National Curriculum and statutory Religious Education requirements. The progression of skills and knowledge is clearly mapped out to ensure children are moved onto their next step of learning in all areas.
For more information about each s
Please click here to learn more about our pledge to the children.
Our Childhood Pledge
In our aim to provide child-centred learning which reflects the individual needs and interests of all the children, we believe children should engage in as many ‘childhood’ experiences as possible, which aren’t prescribed within the National Curriculum.
We pledge to all our children, that we will provide specific memorable experiences and opportunities throughout their time here at Ashbrook, which allows them to grow into well rounded citizens, who can succeed as individuals and contribute to their society.
Our maths curriculum is based upon the principles of teaching for mastery. At Ashbrook School, we see teaching for mastery in maths as allowing the pupils to gain a deep understanding of maths, allowing them to acquire a secure and long-term understanding of maths that allows them to make continual progress and be ready to move onto more complex topics.
Influenced, inspired and informed by the work of leading maths researchers and practitioners across the world, we have chosen to follow the schemes of learning produced by ‘White Rose Maths’ https://whiterosemaths.com/
They have brought together a team of highly experienced and passionate maths teaching experts to train, guide, help and support us to be the very best maths teachers.
We believe that everyone can do maths. Maths is a subject that everyone can and should be able to perform confidently and competently. Our expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the schemes of learning at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of the pupil’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems rather than acceleration onto new content. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier materials will consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice and support, before moving on.
For all areas of maths, pupil’s learning will begin with concrete experience, leading onto pictorial representations and ultimately secure mental strategies, which will allow them to solve abstract problems. When appropriate, pupils will be taught formal recording methods.
Please click on the links below to take you to the schemes of learning for each year group:
- For Early Years please click here
- For Key Stage 1 please click here
Please click here to learn more about our calculation policy.
There is more maths around you every day than you probably think!
Here are a few ideas that they could do:
- Going on a number hunt
- Counting objects / animals / stairs
- Cooking / baking
- A visit to the shop to buy some sweets, how much have you spent? How much change?
- Sorting stickers into a repeating pattern
- Organising and classifying toys, books or cars according colour, size, length etc.
- Play I’m thinking of a number, e.g. is it odd? Is it bigger than 20 / less than 50? Write down the questions you asked, how many questions did you need to guess correctly?
- Helping children to learn times tables or division facts
- Learning number bonds
- Finding and identifying 2D and 3D shapes
- Exploring patterns out and about
- Collecting and displaying data, e.g. how many red cars go past in 10 minutes? What is your family’s favourite fruit?
- Playing free Maths games on the computer
- Playing snakes and ladders or other board games
- Exploring number lines, numbered and blank
- Solving word problems
The most important thing to remember is........ to have fun!
English and Phonics
At Ashbrook School, it is our intent to ensure that, by the end of Key Stage 1, all pupils are able to read with fluency, confidence and enjoyment. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to support the systematic, synthetic teaching of phonics. Children begin the Letters and Sounds programme at the start of Reception and continue across Key Stage 1.
Phonics lessons take place daily and each lesson follows the same structure:
Revisit/ Review – Teach – Practice – Apply – Assess
Following this structure allows children to know what to expect in each session, so they focus on the new learning rather than worrying about what is going to happen next.
The Letters and Sounds programme is separated into different phases. Children are grouped according to their ability, so they only tackle new challenges that are achievable; this makes learning more enjoyable and allows their confidence to grow. Regular assessments take place to ensure children are always working within the correct phase and this ensures children make good progress in Phonics.
Here is a link to how sounds should be correctly articulated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqhXUW_v-1s
Early reading skills are embedded through the use of phonics, as well as discussions around books and comprehension in whole class reading sessions. Sharing stories, information texts and poetry with the whole class or small groups is also used widely to develop a love for reading. We promote learning in the wider curriculum through reading a wide range of texts that enable our children to access and acquire knowledge using their comprehension skills, so they are ready to move on to Junior School.
Children and staff are encouraged to read for pleasure and we promote a love of reading through daily class story time, regular visits to our library, reading displays in classrooms, dedicated reading areas and through events such as World Book Day.
Reading at Home
To continue to develop their love of reading, we expect our children to be practising their reading skills at home as well as at school. Children will bring home a colour banded book that is aligned with the phonics phase they are currently working at. This means children will be able to use and apply their current phonic knowledge to decode words to develop their fluency. Children are encouraged to read and re-read their book as well as discussing it with an adult afterwards.
Children also have their own personal log in details to Bug Club where they are able to read a wide variety of rich texts in the form of eBooks. Your child will be allocated five eBooks every two weeks by their class teacher. These eBooks come with fun and engaging quizzes for the children to complete, which will help to develop their comprehension skills. On successful completion of these quizzes, children are able to earn virtual rewards which they can then ‘spend’ in their Bug Club World.
Your child can log in here: www.activelearnprimary.co.uk
If your child does not know their log in details, please speak to their class teacher.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling is taught alongside phonics through learning to sound out words by segmenting them into the different sounds. In KS1, weekly spellings are sent home to practice and learn. These spellings will relate to the phonics sounds the children have learnt. Weekly spellings can also contain tricky words and common exception words. Once in Year 2, children will begin learning a variety of spelling patterns. They will develop their knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words and learn different strategies for remembering the trickiest spellings.
Grammar is taught discretely each week, with the opportunity to consolidate skills through a variety of engaging games and activities. Children are provided with opportunities to apply their new learning in the context of their writing.
At Ashbrook School, we believe having a high level of vocabulary knowledge and being able to confidently read texts, unlocks the ability to access the wider curriculum This enables children to have a richer understanding and knowledge of all subjects and develop the skills within them. Alongside core vocabulary, we aim to broaden children’s vocabulary by teaching them new adventurous and subject-specific words each week, ensuring children can recognise, pronounce and say what the word means. We encourage children to apply the new vocabulary they have acquired across all areas of the curriculum.
At Ashbrook School, we want our children to become confident, creative and expressive writers. We want them to develop a love of writing, building on their starting points and developing a wide range of skills. We use the programme ‘Wordsmith’ from Active Learn as a planning tool to ensure all lessons are carefully sequenced so that children build on their knowledge, understanding and skills. We ensure children have the opportunity to write a range of genres and for different purposes. Children have the opportunity to embed their learning through applying their writing skills across other curriculum areas.
At Ashbrook School, we teach handwriting using the PenPals handwriting programme which supports the National Curriculum 2014 requirements for handwriting.
In Reception, pattern practice and ‘play’ writing are an important part of handwriting development. Your child will be practising letter formation in a number of exciting ways; in sand, using paint, in the air, on the interactive whiteboard as well as on paper with a pencil. Lower case letters are introduced in ‘families’ (i.e. letters that are formed in similar ways).
Statutory requirements for Year One:
- sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly
- begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place
- form capital letters
- form digits 0-9
- understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ and to practise these
Statutory requirements for Year Two:
- Pupils should be taught to:
- form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another
- start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined
- write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower case letters
- use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letter
Art and Design
Art and Design Vision
At Ashbrook School, we believe that Art stimulates creativity, imagination and inventiveness. We believe that through the teaching of Art, our pupils are given the skills and knowledge necessary for them to express responses to ideas and experiences. It fires their imagination, whilst instilling a sense of calm and positive wellbeing, making Art and Design a fundamental area of our curriculum.
We strive for our children to be excited, inspired and passionate about Art and Design. We strive to ensure that all children are given opportunities to explore a range of media, and experiment with colour, texture, form, pattern and different materials and processes. Self-evaluation of work is encouraged and children are taught how to develop and critique their own work. From Reception, we provide children with a broad and exciting Art curriculum which allows them to develop their artistic skill, gain knowledge and develop confidence when using subject specific vocabulary, which continues progressively until the end of KS1.
Our teaching of Art and Design follows three main strands: drawing (using a range of media such as pencil, charcoal, oil pastels and chalk), painting (to explore colour) and sculpture. Children are also provided with a wealth of additional art experiences such as collage and printing. This enables the children to leave our school at the end of KS1 with a range of different Art experiences, skills, knowledge and a love of Art. We ensure that children explore a diverse range of artists and sculptors from various cultures and periods of time, and we encourage our children to form opinions of their work.
“Art is not just a subject to learn, but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.”
We strive for our children to become Artists; creators, critics and lovers of Art and Design.
Art and Design Progression Plan - September 2020
Our aim at Ashbrook School is to encourage pupils to develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in Britain. We actively promote the fundamental British Values and this forms part of our wider work in school with children in relation to their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC).
The British Values, as defined by the government, are :
- The Rule of Law
- Individual Liberty
- Mutual Respect
- Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs.
We teach a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of different faiths. Actively promoting British Values also refers to the challenging of pupils, staff or parents who express opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. At Ashbrook, values of tolerance and respect permeate all areas of school life. This creates a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and therefore allows them to learn and develop. Pupil voice plays an integral part in driving the school forward.
These British Values are promoted throughout the curriculum, across the whole school. They are also seen in the school ethos, policies, assemblies, special events and cultural celebrations. The following are a selection of activities that are evidence of our commitment to British Values.
We teach children about Democracy through:
- Children being involved in democratic processes e.g. voting for pupil councillors, rewards and incentives.
- School council
- Check in / check out – discussing issues and forming opinions.
We teach children about Rule of Law through:
- School behaviour policy
- Golden Rule assemblies
- Golden Rules – in class
- Wow board for behaviour
- Kings and Queens – keeping the Golden Rules
- Reflecting of behaviour and learning during lessons
- Parent/carer questionnaires about behaviour
- Jewels in the jar – promoting keeping the Golden Rules
- Visits from Police.
We teach children about Individual Liberty through:
- Understanding responsibility in school in terms of behaviour and learning attitudes (well-being and learning zones)
- Pupil roles in school – monitors/helpers
- School Values
- Local and national fundraising
- Community links – residential home, food bank
- Assembly – school council / people who help us
- Well-being, learning zones
- Restorative practise
- Challenging stereotyping and bias
- Sports values
- Star charts for learning.
We teach children about Mutual Respect through:
- PSHE and SEAL curriculum and assemblies
- Positive relationships encouraged and modelled
- Inclusive ethos
- RE curriculum
- Antibullying assembly
- School Council
- MK Fitness Festival
- Language of the Month (foundation)
- Grandparents Day
- Sports Day
- TMA links with sport
- Big Summer Sing
- Trips – wider community
- Peer assessment
- Collaboration with other schools – Holmwood, Ashbrook and Two Mile Ash
- Restorative practise
- Golden Rules
- PE values
- Check-in, check-out
- Sharing well-being scales and learning zones.
We teach children about Tolerance through:
- Links with other schools
- Assemblies – stories from world faiths and cultures
- RE curriculum
- Reflection opportunities in assemblies
- School curriculum
- Inclusive school
- Special assemblies – Harvest, Christingle, Remembrance Day,
- Restorative practise
- Golden Rules.
Children at Ashbrook School learn about Computing and Internet Safety through structured, developed lessons. Computing capability is an essential skill for life and enables our learners to participate more readily in a rapidly changing world. Using the internet and email, for example, gives them rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures.
The children will learn to experience and develop skills that will help them make the most of adult life. Information Technology isn't simply about computers, it includes anything that requires the input of instructions to produce specific outcomes e.g. cameras, calculators, CD players. The children have opportunities to program floor robots, write their own algorithms and codes, and problem solve when they don’t go according to plan.
Learning about Internet Safety is vital and every year we set aside a week to ensure this is embedded appropriately for their age, as well as how to be a SMART learner.
Computing Progression Plan - September 2020
Design and Technology (DT)
Design and Technology Vision
At Ashbrook School we strive to provide all children with an exciting, broad curriculum which will prepare them for life beyond the Primary Education setting. It is our mission to provide our children with experiences and opportunities within our Design and Technology curriculum which will promote creativity and imagination, allow the children to think critically to solve problems within a range of contexts and provide opportunities for children to design, make and evaluate products for purpose.
Design and Technology is an exciting and inspiring subject which requires children to develop their practical skills and knowledge when working creatively. It allows children to consider real problems and think critically about solutions. Our Design and Technology curriculum is covered across the strands: structures, mechanisms, textiles and cooking. Within each area, children will receive high level teaching and learning with the opportunity to design, make and evaluate. Our Design and Technology journey begins immediately, from Reception, and continues all the way through to the end of KS1, ensuring a clear progression with regards to experiences, skills, progression and key vocabulary. We aim to link our learning, where possible, to other areas of the curriculum to allow the children to fully immerse themselves in their learning experience.
At our school, we encourage the children to take risks, become innovators and think outside of the box. Our Design and Technology curriculum allows children to:
- Experience and develop technical skills with growing confidence
- Develop a repertoire of knowledge to aid their understanding of key concepts, understanding of product design and knowledge of relevant tools and equipment
- Immerse themselves in key vocabulary linked to their learning
- Design, make and evaluate products within a range of contexts for a range of audiences
- Provide the children with knowledge of nutrition, cooking and healthy living.
Design and Technology Progression Plan - September 2020
Our intent is that our teaching of Geography will help pupils gain knowledge of human and physical features as well as place and location.
We aim for children to confidently know that a geographer is a type of scientist who studies the earth, land and people. Geography lessons focus on developing observational skills, geographical skills and fieldwork through the themes as children work as geographers.
Whilst children work as geographers they will develop their knowledge of using and making maps as well as using aerial photographs. They will also learn to use their observational skills and use positional and directional language.
Geography Progression Plan - September 2020
Our intent is that our teaching of History will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain and of the wider world.
We aim for children to confidently know that a historian is a person who studies and writes about the past. History lessons focus on developing historical skills and children working as historians. We intend for children to learn skills and gain knowledge which will enable them to learn about changes within their own living memory and gain knowledge and understanding of significant historical people places and events in their own locality.
As well as events from beyond living memory which are significant nationally or globally and learn about the lives of significant individuals who have contributed to National or International achievements.
History Progression Plan - September 2020
Children at Ashbrook School learn about music through listening, singing, playing, evaluating, analysing and basic composing.
Children develop a curiosity for the subject as we expose them to many different genres of music. We encourage children to express their feelings about different types of music and be able to share their opinions and preferences whilst also having respect for, and seeing the importance of, all genres.
Through the ‘Music Express’ program, we teach structured music lessons and also have a ‘Musician of the Month’ where children learn about, and hear the music of, different artists.
Music Progression Plan - September 2020
Physical Education (PE)
At Ashbrook School, our curriculum is inclusive and allows all pupils to access a range of physical activities. We ensure all pupils are willing to practise and take part in different activities, alone, in small groups and in teams, applying skills to achieve high levels of performance. Physical Education at Ashbrook School will develop pupil’s physical literacy and allows them to learn about themselves, the importance of healthy lifestyles, self-expression, decision making and social skills. We encourage pupils to be active throughout the PE lesson and employ creativity and imagination in their techniques, tactics and choreography. Our pupils will know how to collaborate and cooperate as part of an effective team, understanding fairness and equality of play to embed life-long values.
Ashbrook School provides a PE curriculum which carefully plans for progression and depth of skills through a series of lessons. In KS1, pupils take part in two sessions of physical activity each week, which provide challenge and enjoyable learning by using a range of sporting activities, such as: games, gymnastics and dance. Where possible children will make cross curricular links to other subjects, for example exploring themes and rhythm of music within dance. The EYFS has one formal PE session a week alongside the environmental physical environment of the Early Years curriculum. This focuses on fundamental movement skills, whereas KS1 move into more specific skills for sports and apply these in game situations.
Pupils are taught about how to handle equipment and move safely within gymnastics and games. Within lessons there is an emphasis on pupils being able to achieve their personal best and building resilience. Pupils are taught how to play fairly, creating a sense of teamwork, friendship and respect.
Staff are regularly given opportunities to take part in internal and external CPD opportunities (using a sports coach) to ensure that quality provision is continuous. Long term plans are used to set out units that are to be taught and ensure that the National Curriculum objectives and EYFS Goals are fully met. Within individual lessons the learning is differentiated in order to meet the needs of all pupils.
Pupils are given opportunities to take part in activities outside of their normal physical education lessons. There are extra-curricular clubs for pupils to attend which have a focus on Brazilian Football, gymnastics and dance. Our midday supervisors also support the pupils to be physical and provide the pupils with guided games and resources during the lunchtime play.
We are ‘PE Ready’ at Ashbrook School, meaning that we attend school in our PE kits ready to start each PE lesson.
PE Progression Plan - September 2020
Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
At Ashbrook School we believe that PSHE helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. PSHE helps pupils to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up.
Our PSHE curriculum is based around three core themes:
- Living in the wider world
- Health and wellbeing
At Ashbrook School we recognise that happy relationships are key to children’s wellbeing. In PSHE we learn about families and friendships and the different roles we have to play. We will encourage the children to recognise and celebrate diversity between families and individuals, while also identifying the many things we have in common. In PSHE and throughout the school day children will be encouraged to co-operate when playing and working and treat both others and themselves with respect.
Living in the Wider World
At Ashbrook School we want to prepare and enable our children to be responsible members of the community. In PSHE children will consider the rules we have and why these are necessary. They will be encouraged to think about how we can look after people, animals and the environment. As a school, we recognise that the internet is now a big part of people’s everyday life and will learn how we can use this safely.
Health and Wellbeing
The health and wellbeing of our pupils is our first priority at Ashbrook and is at the heart of everything we do. Specific PSHE sessions are set aside to focus on things such as exercise, healthy eating, and mental health, but there are many other things we do to ensure the wellbeing of our children is high.
Sex and relationships education (SRE) became compulsory for all schools as of September 2020. This aspect of PSHE is woven into the Relationships and Health and wellbeing sessions.
PSHE Progression Plan - September 2020
Religious Education (RE)
At Ashbrook School we follow the Milton Keynes syllabus for teaching Religious Education.
In Reception, Religious Education is taught throughout the year. We encourage families to share their own traditions, festivals and experiences and we learn about these in school. We use photos, stories and resources to let children explore and learn about these special times in the school year. Children begin to recognise that different families have different traditions, festivals and beliefs.
In Key Stage 1 Religious Education is taught in half-termly units. The children primarily learn about Christianity and Judaism, however we also look for opportunities to learn about festivals and traditions from different faiths if they are celebrated by children within our school. When teaching Religious Education we use stories, photos, artefacts and resources. We also sometimes invite parents or visitors into school to talk to the children about their own experiences.
When children leave our school we hope they will have a good understanding that lots of families choose to belong to a faith. The children understand that different families may visit a place which is special to them and they may celebrate different festivals or have different traditions.
Religious Education Progression Plan - September 2020
At Ashbrook School our Science teaching follows a progression of skills and knowledge, from Early Years to Year 2. Early Years follow the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS). The science element of this curriculum is called 'The World' and it is ongoing throughout the year. The children are encouraged to observe and explore the natural environment around our school, looking out for the plants and animals that live there and for signs of growth and change throughout the seasons. We provide opportunities for the children to explore and compare different materials; to take part in cooking activities and see how ingredients change as they are mixed and cooked and then eaten, and to grow and look after plants and bulbs. The children also begin to develop an understanding of healthy foods and how they can keep themselves healthy and safe too.
In Key Stage 1, Science teaching follows the requirements of the National Curriculum and is taught in half termly units. The children learn about animals, (including humans), living things and their habitats, materials, plants and seasonal changes. Through all of these units, the children are introduced to a variety of different ways of working scientifically, in order to develop their ability to observe and ask questions, investigate, perform simple tests, identify and classify, and gather and record data.
Each year we join in with National Science week, which is always a really fun week, full of scientific enquiry. We often have visiting scientists too, who add an extra layer of fizz and crackle to this exciting week.
Science Progression Plan - September 2020
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Education
SMSC is a very important part of every child’s education. It is taught all through their school day, from the moment they are greeted at the school door, through their lessons, during playtime and lunchtimes to the moment they leave us at the end of the school day. All members of staff support children with SMSC.
Please click here for examples of the opportunities we provide to help to support and develop SMSC within our school. Some of these happen once a year, or maybe once every two years, others happen more regularly.
Each class contributes to an enrichment book. This shows lots of ways in which we demonstrate SMSC taking place in class. Photos, drawings, writing, quotes from children and staff are included which show events / activities the children have been doing. Children talk enthusiastically about these books and will always be to recall the learning which has been taking place.
Home Learning at Ashbrook School
At Ashbrook School we follow restorative principles. This is a whole school learning approach where the focus is on building relationships with, and between children and encouraging supportive and respectful behaviour. Through this approach, we aim to build and maintain a healthy school community where children can thrive.
Conflict between children is dealt with restoratively. Discussion between the children is encouraged and all sides of the story are heard. The focus is always on repairing the relationship.
‘Check ins’ and ‘check outs’ support our restorative principles at Ashbrook. Each morning and afternoon, all members of the class sit in a circle, a question is asked and children take it in turns to answer. Questions can be anything from ‘What is your wellbeing number today?’ to ‘What’s your favourite ice-cream flavour?’ Members of the class learn how others are feeling and get to know each other better. This all helps the children to build positive relationships.
Wellbeing and Learning Zones
At Ashbrook School, our children’s wellbeing is our number one priority. We use wellbeing zones to help the children share their moods and feelings which help inform us of how best to support them.
The wellbeing zones range from numbers one to five, with a number 1 being very low and 5 being high. During their time at Ashbrook children become familiar with the language used to describe the wellbeing zones and this helps them to consider and articulate how they are feeling.
As a school we hope to instil a love of learning into our pupils and we encourage children to take responsibility for their learning. We use our ‘learning zones’ to help children identify their level of concentration.