Assessment and Curriculum

The National Curriculum

English, Maths and Science are considered the core subjects in primary education. The National Curriculum sets out, in some detail, what must be taught in each of these subjects. They often form the majority of your child’s learning throughout the course of the week. At Crags, we like to spot learning opportunities to incorporate both English and Maths into foundation subjects wherever we can.

These ‘foundation’ subjects include: Art, Computing, Design & Technology, Foreign Languages (age 7+ only), Geography, History, Music, and Physical Education. For these subjects, the details in the curriculum are significantly briefer and schools have much more flexibility regarding what they cover in these subjects.

For children in Year 2 and Year 6, tests are designed to assess work from the National Curriculum.  These are national tests which must be taken by all children in state schools and are informally known as ‘SATs.’ Lots of schools use tests at all stages throughout school and these can form part of a normal classroom routine. They also help to support teachers’ assessment.

Children in these year groups will undertake tests in Reading, Mathematics, and Grammar, Punctuation & Spelling. The tests are marked by teachers in Year2 and will be sent away for marking in Year 6, and results will be reported to schools and parents at the end of the year.

From 2016 the tests will be reported as a scaled score, with a score of 100 representing the expected level for each age group.

Below is a brief guideline to areas covered in the curriculum throughout the school. Whilst these guidelines do not cover all the areas of learning, they may help you see what your child is learning in their year group(s).

Mathematics

Mathematics in Year 1

In Year 1, schools build upon the learning that takes place in the Reception year. Some of the main things your child is likely to be taught during their time in Year 1 include: Counting, both forwards and backwards, from any number, including past 100. They are encouraged to count in 2s, 5s and 10s and to find ‘one more’ or ‘one less’ than a number. They begin to use mathematical language such as ‘more’, ‘less’, ‘most’, ‘least’ and ‘equal’

Children work on adding and subtracting one- and two-digit numbers, up to 20 as well as using Use practical apparatus to explore different lengths, weights and volumes. Teachers build upon their language of time, such as ‘yesterday’, ‘before’, days of the week and months of the year and encourage the children to tell the time to the hour and half-hour, including drawing clock faces.

Parent Tip There are plenty of opportunities for maths practice at home, from counting objects to simple games, such as dominoes and Snakes & Ladders. You can also begin to explore using money and clocks both in play at home and when out and about.

Mathematics in Year 2

During Key Stage 1, there is a big focus on developing basic number skills. That means securing a good understanding of place value, and recognising number bonds to 20. Practising these skills frequently will help children’s mathematical thinking throughout school.

Number bonds are essential to the understanding of maths. Children in Year 2 learn their number bonds to 20, that is being able to quickly recall the total of any two numbers up to 20, e.g. 5 + 9 = 14, rather than having to count on to find the answer.

At the end of Year 2, all children will sit the National Curriculum Tests for Key Stage 1. This will include a short arithmetic test of 15 questions, and a second paper of broader mathematics which will last around 35 minutes.

Mathematics in Year 3

During the lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and Year 4) the focus of mathematics is on the mastery of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) so that children can carry out calculations mentally, and using written methods. In Year 3 your child is likely to be introduced to the standard written column methods of addition and subtraction. Children will also count in multiples of 4, 8, 50 and 100; learn to recognise the place value of digits in three-digit numbers (using 100, 10s and 1s) and read and write numbers up to 1,000.

Children see an improvement in add and subtract numbers mentally as well as learning the 3x, 4x and 8x tables. Equivalent fractions, recognising and showing equivalent fractions with small denominators is included in year 3 as well as the ability to add and subtract simple fractions worth less than one.

Mathematics in Year 4

By the end of Year 4, children will be expected to know all of their times tables up to 12 x 12 by heart. This means not only recalling them in order but also being able to answer any times table question at random, and also knowing the related division facts. For example, in knowing that 6 x 8 = 48, children can also know the related facts that 8 x 6 = 48 and that 48 ÷ 6 = 8 and 48 ÷ 8 = 6. This expertise will be particularly useful when solving larger problems and working with fractions. Pupils will be able to convert between different measures, such as kilometres to metres or hours to minutes as well as calculate the perimeter of shapes - made of squares and rectangles. They can find the area of rectangular shapes by counting squares.

Mathematics in Year 5

During the years of upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 and Year 6), children use their knowledge of number bonds and multiplication tables to tackle more complex problems, including larger multiplication and division, and meeting new material. In Year 5, this includes more work on calculations with fractions and decimals, for example converting between improper fractions and mixed numbers, add and subtract simple fractions with related denominators and converting decimals to fractions.

Mathematics in Year 6

By the end of Year 6, children are expected to be confident with the use of all four standard methods for written calculations, and to have secured their knowledge of the key number facts for the four operations. Their work will focus more on fractions, ratio, proportion and the introduction of algebra.

In May of Year 6, children will take an arithmetic test of thirty minutes, and two broader mathematics tests of forty minutes each. These will be sent away for marking, with the results coming back before the end of the year. Your child’s teacher will also make an assessment of whether or not your child has reached the expected standard by the end of the Key Stage.

Parent Tip Playing traditional games, such as battleships or even draughts and chess, is great way of helping your child think logically or to look at the relationship between shapes, numbers and co-ordinates.

English

English in the EYFS and KS1

During the early years, much of the focus is to develop confident readers: mainly using the phonics approach. Crags follows a programme called: Letters and Sounds which helps pupils see the relationship between printed letters and the sounds they make. Decoding is the ability to read words aloud by identifying the letter patterns and matching them to sounds. Once children are able to ‘decode,’ they can then start to make sense of the words and sentences in context. Watch out for hard-to-decode words such as ‘one’ and ‘the’. These just have to be learned by heart.

As children move into and through Key Stage 1, the curriculum intends that almost all children will secure the basic skills of decoding so that they can become fluent readers. As their reading confidence grows, they can begin to write their own ideas down and infer how characters are feeling and deduce from the text.  In Year 1 children will access a Phonics Screening Check, a National Test that is reported on at the end of the year.

At the end of Year 2, all children will sit the National Curriculum Tests for Key Stage 1. These will include two short reading tests.

Parent Tip: Reading aloud at home continues to be vitally important at this age. You may even get your child to read their own writing aloud, attempting to add expression appropriate to the sentence.

In lower Key Stage 2 – years 3 and 4 - your child will build on their work from the infants to become more independent in both their reading and their writing. Most children will be confident at decoding most words – or will have extra support to help them to do so – and they will be able to use their reading to support their learning about other subjects.

They will begin to meet a wider range of writing contexts, including both fiction and non-fiction styles and genres.

Parent Tip: When children are writing outside of school – or when you are looking at school work with them – why not discuss their choices of vocabulary?

Some common words, such as ‘went’ and ‘said’ can often be replaced by more specific words that give a sense of the action, such as ‘raced’ or ‘yelled’. You can also take opportunities to look at words like this that crop up in books you read with your child, considering how the choice of word affects your understanding of a story.

In upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 and 6 - your child will increasingly meet a wider range of texts and types of writing, and will be encouraged to use their skills in a broader range of contexts. Their knowledge of grammar will also increase as they prepare for the National Curriculum Tests to be taken in the summer term of Year 6. Children will take a reading test of about one hour, a grammar and punctuation test of about forty-five minutes, and a spelling test of twenty words. These will be sent away for marking, with the results coming back before the end of the year. Your child’s teacher will also make an assessment of whether or not your child has reached the expected standard by the end of the Key Stage.

Science

Science in Year 1&2

In the first years of schooling, much of the science curriculum is based around real-life experiences for children. This includes everyday plants and animals, as well as finding out about different materials and the four seasons. There are likely to be lots of opportunities for exploring scientific ideas both in the classroom and the local surroundings.

Science in Year 3

The strands of science begin to become more recognisable as biology, chemistry and physics, although they will usually be grouped together. Children will continue to carry out their own experiments to find out about the world around them, and to test their own hypotheses about how things work.

During Year 4, children begin to use more scientific vocabulary to describe objects and processes, such as describing solids, liquids and gases, or erosion. Vocabulary is a key part of any area of study, and particularly in science. Learning new words – and their spellings – can often be fun when they relate to experiments and science investigations.

Science in Year 5

As children get older, they begin to meet more abstract concepts in science – things which are not so easily tested in the classroom, such as the bodies of the solar system, or changes of state. They will continue to carry out experiments but may also use more secondary resources for research or investigation.

Again in Year 6, many of the scientific concepts that children meet are more abstract, such as the study of evolution, or the behaviour of light. There are still plenty of opportunities for investigation, and also to find out about the work of some great scientists of today and the past. There are no statutory tests for students in Science at Key Stage 2, although a very small number of children from any given school may be selected to be part of the bi-annual science sample testing. This involves taking three short tests of about twenty-five minutes each. The results of these tests are not shared with parents or schools, but are used to get a sense of the national picture.

The Foundation Subjects

Art

Children will explore a range of different techniques such as drawing, painting and sculpture, and will use a variety of materials, from pencil and paint to charcoal and clay, to create their own art pieces. In addition, during Key Stage 2, children will study the works of some great artists, architects and designers from history.

Computing

There are three main strands of the new Computing curriculum: information technology, digital literacy and computer science.

Information technology is about the use of computers for functional purposes, such as collecting and presenting information, or using search technology. Digital literacy is about the safe and responsible use of technology, including recognising its advantages for collaboration or communication. Finally, computer science will introduce children of all ages to understanding how computers and networks work. It will also give all children the opportunity to learn basic computer programming, from simple floor robots in Years 1 and 2, right up to creating on-screen computer games and programmes by Year 6. Many schools will use programming software which is freely available online, such as Scratch or Kodu.

We also include the regular teaching of e-safety to ensure that children feel confident when using computers and the Internet, and know what to do if they come across something either inappropriate or uncomfortable.

Design and Technology

This subject includes cooking where children find out about a healthy diet and preparing simple meals. It also includes the more traditional design elements in which children will design, make and evaluate products while learning to use a range of tools and techniques for construction. There may also be some cross-over with Science here as children incorporate levers, pulleys or electrical circuits into their designs for finished products.

Geography

Children will find out about different places in the UK, Europe and the Americas through studying small regions in each, and comparing these to other areas, including their own locality. In Key Stage 1, children will learn the names of the continents and oceans as well as the names of the four home nations and their respective capital cities. They will use the four main compass directions and simple maps and photographs to explore the local area.

In Key Stage 2, the children will locate the countries of the world, focussing particularly on Europe and the Americas, as well as naming the counties, regions and major cities of the United Kingdom. They will begin to explore geographical features such as volcanoes and tectonic plates, as well as features of human geography such as trade links and land use. They will also learn to use grid references on Ordnance Survey maps to describe locations.

History

In Key Stage 1, the focus of history is very much on locally significant events or events within their own memories, as well as key events of great significance such as Bonfire Night. In addition, children will find out about important historical people and events, such as Florence Nightingale or The Great Fire of London.

In Key Stage 2, there are nine main areas of study that are required, some of which have optional strands. The first four are units relating to British history and are intended to begin the development of a clear chronological understanding. In many schools these will be taught in chronological order. For example: Britain in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages moving on to Roman Britain; Anglo-Saxons and Scots in Britain to the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. Schools often incorporate a local history as well as a study of a period after 1066 of the school’s choice. History outside of Britain includes: Ancient Greece and a choice from Ancient Egypt, Ancient Sumer, or the Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.  A choice from 10th-century early Islamic civilisation, Mayan civilisation or Benin in West Africa is encouraged.

Languages

Schools can choose any language to study and encourage pupils to ask and answer questions in the chosen language of study. Children feel more confident to present ideas, both in speaking and writing and to read a range of words, phrases and sentences in this language.

Music

Children will listen to and perform a range of music. In the first years of schooling this will often include singing songs and rhymes, and playing instruments. In Key Stage 2, children will perform pieces both alone and as part of a group using their own voice and a range of musical instruments.

Physical Education

Physical Education lessons include a range of disciplines such as dance and athletics, with team sports and games. Through these sports, children learn the skills of both cooperation and competition. During Key Stage 2, the range of games and sports taught will be broader, and the children will also take part in outdoor and adventurous activities such as orienteering. They perform dances, take part in athletics and gymnastics, and attempt to achieve personal bests in various activities. In addition, all children should learn to swim at some point during their primary school career. This currently takes place in Year 4.

 

  1. FS Curriculum Overview
  2. Year 1 Curriculum Overview
  3. Year 2 Curriculum Overview
  4. Year 3 Curriculum Overview
  5. Year 4 Curriculum Overview
  6. Year 5 Curriculum Overview
  7. Year 6 Curriculum Overview
  8. 2 Year Provision Curriculum Overview