Geography at Lakenheath provokes and answers questions about the natural and human world in which we live. It develops knowledge of places and environments throughout the world, an understanding of maps, and a range of problem solving and investigative skills both inside and outside the classroom. Geography is the link between the natural and social sciences and helps pupils to understand and solve problems facing the environment and the future state of the planet. We have several key stage topic themes linked to the geography curriculum at our school looking at both our local environment and the wider world.
History fires pupil’s curiosity about the past in both Britain and the wider world. Pupils will have the opportunity to consider how the past has shaped and influenced the present and compare past and present. As they learn and investigate pupils will develop a chronological framework for their knowledge of significant events of the past. Pupils will develop skills, through research using a variety of sources of information to find clues and evidence and by engaging in active discussion.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE)
Children explore topics such as empathy, managing feelings, self-awareness, social skills and motivation. They are encouraged to see themselves as valued individuals within a community and to contribute to shaping a welcoming, safe and fair learning community for all. PSHE helps children develop as confident, responsible citizens and helps to promote good self-esteem. Children explore feelings of happiness and excitement, sadness, anxiety and fearfulness, while learning (and putting into practice) shared models for ‘calming down’ and ‘problem solving’. They learn skills of cooperation, tolerance, valuing diversity and working in groups, managing anger and resolving conflict. They develop a greater understanding of friendships, their own strengths and weaknesses and personal goal-setting.
We use a range of teaching and learning styles. Group work, ‘circle time’ discussion, role-play, and debates form a central part of our classroom PSHE teaching, but there are also opportunities for quiet reflection time. We encourage the children to take part in a range of whole school activities that promote active citizenship and healthy lifestyles, e.g. charity fundraising (Children in Need, Comic Relief, Christmas shoebox appeal etc.), participation in school events such as themed colour days and assemblies, local sports and arts events, pupil questionnaires, School and Eco-council activities and healthy living competitions (e.g. walk to school days, lunchbox awards, design a school dinner challenges, sleep, diet and exercise diary projects). We offer children the opportunity to hear visiting speakers, such as members of the police or fire service, and representatives from the local church or charities, whom we invite to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community. A culture of achievement is promoted within the school through the celebration of pupils’ accomplishments in lessons and Collective Worship. Year 5 and 6 children are encouraged to undertake special tasks and duties throughout the school, e.g. as colour team captains and ambassadors, and collective worship team members.
We teach PSHE and citizenship as a discrete subject with discrete curriculum time, as well as it being an integral part of many aspects of school life, including establishing class rules, settling disputes, and play during break times. We also introduce PSHE and citizenship through other subjects, e.g. discussion of issues in story time or Philosophy sessions, and studying health issues in Science and PE. As there is a large overlap between the programme of study for Religious Education and the aims of PSHE and citizenship, we teach a considerable amount of the PSHE and citizenship through our Beliefs and Values lessons. There is also a significant overlap between PSHE and our ‘Building Learning Power’ approach, which has a high profile across the school and forms the focus of Friday celebration assemblies. This adds great strength to our teaching of five key learning dispositions, or skills: the emotional aspect of learning, resilience (perseverance, absorption, managing distractions etc.); the cognitive element, resourcefulness (questioning, organising, reasoning, predicting, capitalising, imagining, making links); the strategic aspect of learning, reflectiveness (planning, revising, distilling, flexibility, self-awareness etc.); the importance of risk takingand knowing thatto take our learning to the next level, we need to take risks. We don’t worry about making mistakes because we know that we can learn from these for nexttime;and the social aspect of learning, relationships (respect, sharing, listening, empathy, imitation, interdependence, collaboration, and expression). We also develop PSHE and citizenship through whole-school learning opportunities across the curriculum, including daily assemblies, and special days or weeks planned into the school calendar.
We now use the 2011 PSHE Association approved Cambridgeshire ‘Primary Personal Development Programme’ (PDP) as a framework when planning PSHE provision in Key Stages 1 and 2. This covers all recommended aspects of PSHE and incorporates statutory guidance on drug, financial, and sex and relationship education, and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. It categorises units under four main ‘strands’: myself and my relationships, citizenship, healthy and safer lifestyles, and economic well-being. Provision in the Early Years is ensured through the statutory requirements of PSED in the EYFS Curriculum and is taught according to three early learning goals in self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour, and making relationships.
Music is an important part of everyday life here at Lakenheath. Music is at the heart of our assemblies each morning, as children and staff come together to celebrate. Music also has a vital role within our creative curriculum. As the children move through the school, they learn many important skills through composing, analysing, listening, responding and performing. We are fortunate enough to have aperipateticmusic teacher who teaches the pupils in key stage two each week. Every child in Year 3/4 learns a new instrument for a year (violin or percussion) and then has the opportunity to continue with this the following year.
Each year, events such as our Christmas and Easter services, Christmas Nativities and Summer Productions and school talent shows provide great opportunities to meet together with parents and friends from the local community and showcase these musical talents.
Art is considered an important part of our curriculum as it contributes to essential aspects of a child’s personal development such as creativity, independence, judgement and self-reflection. Projects are often related to topics being studied but are modelled to progress from first-hand experimentation and the acquisition of skills and technical knowledge to applying what has been learned with new independence and purpose, enabling pupils to become self-aware and confident learners. All work is enriched by the study of artists and craftsman from a variety of times and cultures. In 2016 we held an ‘art week’ and each class chose a famous artist to inspire some amazing artwork from the pupils. These were showcased in our very own art expedition and parents were invited to purchase framed artwork.
In an increasingly technological world it is important that children are aware of how design and technology can affect and influence their lives and that they develop the capability to solve problems in this field of study. This is essentially a practical subject where children learn to use simple tools and to understand properties of materials so that they may choose the most appropriate one for a particular task. The children will be helped to develop an increasingly independent approach to working. Many of our ‘sparkling starts’ to new topics begin with some extensive DT work in the classroom, based on a " Tascwheel " approach to learning. Pupils enjoy junk modelling from an early age and well into Key stage two. In Spring 2017 our key stage two pupils have designed and made their own Anderson shelters (to scale) as part of their KS2 theme, World War Two. This was an invaluable maths learning opportunity as well as history and DT. Pupils are regularly given opportunities to learn through DT as part of the wider curriculum.
Religious Education (RE):
RE lessons at Lakenheath primary school follow the Suffolk R.E. Syllabus, using the 'Learning About Religion and Belief' and 'Learning From Religion and Belief' aims, to help understand and reflect upon the beliefs of those from different cultures and faiths.
All children are invited to reflect upon their own beliefs and values in this context, asking 'I wonder' questions. This is encouraged through hands-on activities and reflective opportunities in school and in the local community. The children also have opportunity to explore RE as a whole school during special assemblies which link to religious festivals from across the world.