At Brentfield, we put learning at the heart of everything we do. We support our children in gaining both the academic and the life skills needed to become effective communicators and successful global citizens.
We believe that language and communication is at the root of all learning and is something to be fostered and developed at all stages. ‘When we change the way we communicate, we change society.’ Clay Shirky
We intend for our children to be confident, passionate writers who are able to write articulately and clearly for a range of purposes: to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss. We intend for our children to express their voice through a range of mediums to share their thoughts and ideas with a variety of audiences.
The development of children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum. To facilitate our children’s language and communication skills, at Brentfield we aim to teach them key English skills – Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing – across all areas of the curriculum.
We aim to do this through the use of the ‘Art of Teaching Writing’ model. The process consists of each year group starting with a high quality core text to engage the children. The texts are explored in detail using a range of techniques from video excerpts; drama and role-play to language and character analysis. Exemplar texts of the writing outcome are then deconstructed in order for children to understand the structure, language and grammar devices used in that text type. This is followed by modelled and shared writing, which helps to nurture the children’s awareness of grammar, fluency and creativity. Children finally create their own independent pieces of writing by applying what they have learnt. The pieces are finally edited and improved by the children.
Later in each half term, children are expected to apply the skills they have learnt in English to help them produce a cross-curricular piece of writing which is as high in standard as the work produced in their English lessons. Throughout the process, the children are taught to read as writers and write as readers.
In addition, we provide the children with as many enrichment opportunities as we can in order to inspire the learning. A few of the opportunities, which are promoted through the English curriculum, are:
- Book week
- Poetry week
- National writing competitions
- Theatre trips funded by The Royal Shakespeare Company and John Lyon Charity
- Celebrations of Learning
The development of children’s reading is crucial to their success across the curriculum and beyond therefore at Brentfield Primary School we intend for all of our children to leave the school as confident and evaluative readers. We want to ensure that all our children become lifelong passionate readers who read a range of different content for a variety of purposes: pleasure, research, developing their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, entertainment etc.
Reading begins in the Early Years through Read Write Inc. and continues into Key Stage 1 with Daily Supported Reader. Children progress through the reading bands, with each book level introducing new reading and comprehension skills. There is an emphasis on children learning to decode through daily phonics teaching and developing their sight vocabulary for common exception words.
At Brentfield Primary School, we use the lively synthetic phonics programme ‘Read, Write, Inc. Phonics’ to ensure we get our children reading and writing quickly. RWI supports children’s reading as they learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words (set 1 and 2 sounds), then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes (set 3 sounds).
Phonic books are matched to their phonics knowledge so they can apply their phonics to help them read the words and improve their fluency.
When using RWI Phonics to read the children will:
- Learn that sounds are represented by written letters
- Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- Learn how to blend sounds
- Learn to read using Fred Talk
- Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
What is RWI?
How to say sounds
Reading the stretchy sounds with your child.
Reading the bouncy sounds with your child.
Reading the diagraphs with your child
Red Ditty Books
The phonics screening check
In Nursery, Reception Year 1 and Year 2, when children are ready, they take part in the Daily Supported Reading (DSR) programme. DSR is a quality first teaching programme that ensures sustained independent reading opportunities for children in EYFS and KS1.
Each child in the programme receives a daily 25-minute reading lesson at their instructional level, taught by a teacher or trained adult. Children are grouped by reading attainment level using PM Benchmarks, and there are no more than six children in each group.
In Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6, we use Destination Reader (DR) to teach reading to our pupils. DR builds on the skills that children have learnt in DSR. It is an approach to teaching reading in KS2 that involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying a series of strategies they have learnt through partner work and independent reading using language stems to help them articulate their ideas clearly.
Firstly, children are introduced to three key learning behaviours, which foster both engagement and independence.
Support and actively listen to others
Discuss and explain their ideas
Take responsibility for their own and their groups learning
Once these learning behaviours have been embedded, the children learn seven key reading strategies in turn which help them deepen their understanding of texts.
Predicting, Inferring, Asking questions, Evaluating, Clarifying, Making connections and Summarising
Mathematics is one of the core subjects and is taught explicitly every day from EYFS to Year 6.
Mathematics is a key skill which children will use all their lives. At Brentfield Primary School we aim to deliver a high-quality Mathematics curriculum that provides a foundation for understanding the world, an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment about the subject. We place great emphasis on deepening conceptual understanding and mastery of number, application of skills, problem-solving and practical tasks coupled with learning and memorising key number facts such as multiplication and division tables as soon as possible. Mathematical concepts are further enhanced by using and applying these skills across other areas of the curriculum. We want pupils to be able to not only recall and use the maths taught but to also be able to transfer and apply it in different contexts, being able to reason and problem solve. This deep learning is what we are aiming for by teaching maths using some aspects of the mastery approach.
At Brentfield, we follow the White Rose scheme of learning that is carefully designed to match the national curriculum objectives by splitting them into different units. Each unit is then designed in small, carefully sequenced steps that pupils should aim to master before moving on to the next stage. When designing these small steps, the concepts of mastery underpin the lesson planning to ensure children have a deep conceptual understanding of what is being taught. The objective is explored using a range of representations and structures; fluency is developed as well as the flexibility to move between different contexts; variation is used to develop deep and holistic understanding where children are encouraged to think mathematically throughout.
A typical lesson begins with a Do Now task which activates prior knowledge that children may need to access from their long-term memory to help them learn the new concept of the day. The lesson will then progress through a number of small steps to develop understanding of what is being taught. These small steps may introduce the concept using a range of representations, may use conceptual and procedural variation to explore the concept further and will encourage the children to respond in complete sentences using the correct mathematical vocabulary.
Progression of Skills
Alongside Mathematics Mastery Brentfield Primary use Times Table Rockstars. Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so. Children play a timed game on the website, answering multiplication and division questions. At the end of the session, the children will see how many questions they answered and their average speed for answering.
Times Tables Rockstars Rewards
Times Tables Rockstars offers many rewards and certificates.
- After each game, the children will awarded a ‘Rock Status’ based on their speed.
- When children move on to the next ‘Rock Status’, they will be awarded with a certificate to recognise this.
- Pupils will often be set a ‘Rock Battle’ where children work in allocated teams to compete to answer the most questions correctly over a period of time. The three children who scored the highest amount of points in each team by the end of the ‘Battle’ will receive a certificate.
- At the end of each term the five children across the school who answer questions with the fastest speed will receive a certificate in assembly.
All children from Year 2-6 have logins and we encourage them to use the website at home every day for at least 10 minutes.
Alongside Times Table Rockstars, we also use NumBots. NumBots is created by the same company as Times Table Rockstars. It has been designed with the Mastery approach in mind. It is aimed at boosting addition and subtraction skills for all ages of children. The login is exacly the same as the one for Times Table Rockstars.
At Brentfield Primary, we believe that Science is a body of knowledge built up through experimental testing of ideas and a practical way of finding answers to questions we may ask about the world around us.
We aim to develop children’s ideas and ways of working that enable them to make sense of the world around them through practical tasks and investigations.
All children are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science in order to prepare them for the unknown yet exciting future ahead of them.
We encourage curiosity in children so that they ask questions that fuel explorations and investigations about the world that we live in.
In line with the National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study for Key stage 1 and Key stage 2, the school aims to ensure that all children:
-develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
-develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world
-are equipped with the scientific knowledge they require to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
At Brentfield Primary School, we believe that Art should be accessible to all children. They participate in projects throughout the year, which enables them to develop their creativity and increase risk taking. The creative curriculum taught in our school, exposes and encourages our children to explore their own and others’ cultural heritages. Studying a range of male and female artists from different social and cultural backgrounds inspires children to be resilient, determined and driven. At Brentfield Primary, we want our children to understand that Art is a subject that should be learnt, practised and celebrated. Our mission is to train our children in giving and receiving constructive criticism- a vital life skill. Being criticised should not be something to dread but rather welcomed and be seen as a chance to improve to achieve ones best.
We aim to do this by exposing our children to creative learning experiences, which will develop their cultural capital. Working with secondary schools, attending class trips, workshops and theatre productions will show our children that the world they live in offers them wide-ranging opportunities. Our goal is to create global citizens who constantly strive to achieve personal goals regardless any obstacles that can come their way.
Technology is changing the lives of everyone. Through teaching computing, we hope to equip our children to participate in a rapidly changing world, where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology.
At Brentfield Primary School, we believe that we must enable all our children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information using a variety of digital devices. We focus on developing the skills necessary for our children to be able to use information in an effective way.
Computing skills are a major factor in enabling our children to be confident, creative and independent learners while not only staying safe online but also within their local communities.It is our aim that our children have every opportunity available to allow them to achieve this through using computing within all subjects of the National Curriculum, preparing them for an exciting and unknown future.
Teachers use the ‘Switched On: Computing’ scheme, published by Rising Stars, as a starting point for the planning of their computing lessons, which are often richly linked to engaging contexts in other subjects and topics. Employing cross-curricular links motivates pupils and supports them to make connections and remember the steps they have been taught.
Keeping children safe online
We take online safety very seriously and ensure that all our children are equipped to deal with issues that may arise in the digital world. In Computing lessons we discuss an aspect of online safety to ensure that children are aware of potential dangers, where to go for help and support as well as ensuring they are accessing age-appropriate material.
We have clear links with our PSHE curriculum to develop our children’s understanding of what it means to be safe online. Through assemblies, workshops, coffee mornings and visitors, we reinforce the importance of staying safe online, giving children the tools to enable them to work and communicate safely.
The Childnet Digital Leaders Programme is a youth leadership training programme empowering young people to educate their peers about online safety. Our digital leaders, pupils from Key Stage 2, are trained to support their peers stay safe online and lead whole school events such as assemblies for Safer Internet Day.
The biggest impact we want for our children is that they understand the consequences of using the internet and that they are also aware of how to keep themselves safe online.
We believe that Design Technology should improve children’s understanding of how the world around them is built and how it functions. We understand that children need to have hands on activities to explore, plan, make and improve their designs. We also know that resilience and the inquisitive nature of each child needs to be developed and valued. Creating a range of structures, mechanisms or electrical systems with their peers, will develop crucial life skills such as teamwork, self- reflection, responsibility and accountability.
We aim to do this by exposing our children to creative learning experiences, which will develop their cultural capital. Working with secondary schools and attending class trips and workshops will show our children that the world they live in offers them plenty of opportunities. We are dedicated to showing children that in the future, they will have the power and courage to design, re- design or rebuild the world they live in.
Through the geography curriculum, children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people is developed. They investigate a range of places – both in Britain and abroad – to help develop their knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s physical and human processes.
As children progress, we believe that their growing knowledge about the world should help them to deepen their understanding of the interaction between physical and human processes, and of the formation and use of landscapes and environments. Their geographical knowledge, understanding and skills will help them to understand how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time.
We aim to do this by providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of Brent and London so that they can develop of real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special. They study communities across the world to gain an understanding of how countries and regions are different yet inter-connected.
Our key aims are for pupils to:
Through trips and visits, children are given the opportunity to put their learning into real life contexts.
We believe that history stimulates the children’s interests and understanding about the life of people who lived in the past. History enables children to develop a sense of identity and a cultural understanding based on their historical heritage. They learn to value their own and other people’s cultures in modern, multicultural Britain and, by considering how people lived in the past, they are better able to make their own life choices today.
We aim to do this by ensuring that our children are able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, evaluate evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. This will help them to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups.
Our key aims are for children to:
-investigate and interpret the past
-build an overview of British and World history
In addition to the themes and topics taught in the classroom, children experience a wide range of trips and visits to develop their knowledge and understanding whilst giving them first hand experience of the topics taught.
Learning a foreign language is a necessary part of being a member of a multi-cultural society and provides an opening to other cultures.
At Brentfield Primary School, our children are introduced to Spanish from year 3 onward.
When children enter Key Stage 2, every class has a timetabled lesson slot each week, which is taught by a Spanish language specialist. The lessons encourage children’s understanding and knowledge of the Spanish language, as well as the cultures and traditions of Spain.
We believe that lessons should enable children to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It provides opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes and learn new ways of thinking. Language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping children to study and work in other countries, giving them the transferable skills necessary for them to access the wealth of opportunities open to them.
At Brentfield Primary School, we believe that music creates a sense of belonging and pride. Through singing assemblies, children are given the chance to practise togetherness preparing them for the day ahead. Our teaching focuses on developing our children’s ability to understand rhythm and follow a beat. Children learn, create and perform their own compositions. They discover and learn how to appreciate different forms of music, therefore, it is important for us that our children understand the structure and organisation of music and can voice their opinions about different styles of music from across the world.
We aim to do this by giving our children opportunities in taking part in singing assemblies, music lessons, class trips, musical projects, school choirs and 1:1 instrumental lessons. Our mission is to create global citizens who know that music can sound different in other countries or periods of history but that it must be appreciated and listened to with equal respect. We want our children to understand that music can be a powerful tool used to assist their well- being in the future, making them well-rounded individuals who appreciate and celebrate difference.
All classes from nursery to Year 6 have weekly music lessons delivered by Brent Music Service as part of their Music’s Cool scheme of work.
Pupils in Key Stage 2 also have the opportunity to learn an instrument: guitar, keyboard, violin and cello as instrumental lessons as well as recorder and ukulele, which is taught through the Music’s Cool programme.
If you are interested in your child learning a musical instrument, please contact the school office for further details.
Through the teaching of PE, we believe that our children will develop knowledge, skills and vocabulary in a broad range of sporting activities, as well as developing values and transferable life skills such as fairness and respect. We aim to develop children who will be physically active and can flourish in a range of different physical activities.
The aims of our PE curriculum are to develop children who:
-Are willing to practise skills in a range of different activities and situations, alone, in small groups and in teams, and to apply these skills in chosen activities to achieve high levels of performance;
-Have and maintain high levels physical fitness.
-Lead a healthy lifestyle, which is achieved by eating sensibly, being aware of the dangers of drugs, smoking and alcohol and exercising regularly.
-Employ imagination and creativity in their techniques, tactics and choreography.
-Have a keen interest in PE – a willingness to participate eagerly in every lesson, highly positive attitudes and the ability to make informed choices about engaging fully in extracurricular sport.
-Can swim at least 25 metres before the end of Year 6 and know how to remain safe in and around water.
Our PE curriculum from Year 2-Year 6 is taught by specialist sports coaches, with class teachers teaching PE in EYFS and Year 1.
All children are provided with the skills and given opportunities to demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best. Our pupils are physically active and this has positive implications on their learning in the classroom. Children understand how to lead a healthy lifestyle and understand the importance of exercise. We hope children enjoy PE and develop a love of sport, and physical activity, that they pursue outside of school and in future life outside of primary school.
We believe that our children have an entitlement to be safe, well, and healthy. At Brentfield, we aspire for all of our children to embody our B.R.A.V.E. values. Additionally, we understand that in order to ensure the highest standards of academic achievement, children need to have strong foundations in personal wellbeing, high aspirations, an ability to get on with others, tolerance of differences, as we live in a multi-cultural society and finally, but possibly of most importance – an understanding of what to do when things get difficult.
We aim to do this through our PSHE and iSpace programmes of study. These are uniquely designed to equip our children with the skills they need to support their own wellbeing for the range of experiences they will face growing up. They promote the children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe and healthy; how to contribute positively to society and how to form and maintain healthy relationships built on respect for themselves and others in a variety of settings for an unknown future.
We run additional assemblies, special events and curriculum days to teach other areas for PSHE such as Anti-Bullying week, Harvest Festival, Fund raising days, Money week, Drugs education, Sex Education, Internet awareness, Healthy Eating etc. The variety of approaches used in PSHE help to keep the subject alive and vibrant for the children. We also discuss local and international topical issues, which are relevant to children, where possible. This not only promotes their oracy skills, but also enables them to explore and appreciate a diversity of perspectives while also increasing their engagement and connectivity to a topic.
Our school council empowers the children, develop their understanding of democracy and build on their self-confidence and belonging to their school and we are working towards achieving the Silver Award for both Healthy Schools and TfL Stars Travel Plan.
As part of our PSHE curriculum, we deliver the iSpace Wellbeing programme. It offers the language and tools to help children, teachers and parents start the conversation about children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. The programme also satisfies the government’s statutory requirement for Relationships and Health Education.
iSpace aims to enhance confidence, capability and creativity and to boost emotional intelligence, resilience and self-worth. The framework helps to prepare our children to live life ready.
Through visiting different “planets of emotion” over the course of the year, children will be exposed to different strategies and tools to help them overcome changes and thrive despite failure. These planets are shared with children as part of launch assemblies and developed within lessons. It is also embedded into the daily routine for all children from Reception to Y6.
Please see below for examples of visuals and language we promote and encourage our children to use to discuss their emotions:
Has your rocket launched or is it on the ground?
How can you flip that around?
What do you want to stick with and what do you want to flip?
Check in with your backpack. How are you feeling?
Ask for help
For further information, please visit the iSpace website https://ispacewellbeing.com/
Religious Education forms part of the basic curriculum in accordance with the Education Reform Act of 1988 and is taught using the Brent Agreed Syllabus.
Religious Education allows the children to learn about the major religions of the world and reflects the wide range of religions that are found in our diverse school and local community, as well as society as a whole. It stresses the importance of religion in the lives of those who believe and teaches children to respect and value the beliefs of others. This knowledge and understanding helps our children to live, grow up and participate in our diverse society with an understanding, caring attitude towards others.
Through Religious Education lessons, we aim that children will:
-understand the beliefs and teachings of the major world religions
-understand how beliefs are conveyed
-understand lifestyles and practices
-be able to reflect.
Learning is enhanced by visits to places of worship in our community and further afield.