Alfred Street Junior
ALFRED STREET
Junior School

Telephone: 01933 353762

We are extremely excited to be able to introduce to you our overview of the new connected curriculum, which the whole school will be embracing this year. It has personally been designed by staff at our school, so links can be made between subjects wherever possible. This will allow learning to be seamless and connect together. Our afternoon sessions will be topic based, however links within English and Maths will also be made. Thorough planning of the themed approach has ensured 'The Primary National Curriculum objectives' are all incorporated. Click here to view

During each topic, children will have the opportunity for ‘Super Starts’, ‘Marvellous Middles’ and ‘Fabulous Finishes’. These include visitors, trips and a range of enrichment opportunities. Parental engagement is high on our priority, so we hope you will be able to join us for the many extraordinary events we have planned.

Each time a year group starts a new topic, you will receive a ‘Curriculum Newsletter for Parents’ outlining the learning that will be covered, so that you can support them to continue their learning at home. This will be sent home as a paper copy, emailed out and can always be found on our website. Please ask your child about their new lessons and topic.

We believe Alfred Street Junior School should be a wonderful place where children want to be and learning takes place both in and out of the classroom. Learning will be through a mixture of exploration, discovery, creativity and a variety of sensory experiences, which encourage learners to want to explore more in a journey of lifelong learning. Children will be encouraged to be curious and use thinking skills to innovate, be creative and problem solve. We aim to set learners up for life, with the knowledge and skills to be well-rounded individuals, mentally and physically healthy, with an appreciation for and a generosity towards people, the world and the universe around them.

  • You can read more about each curriculum area by using the links in the side menu.
  • Long Term Maps for each year group can be seen and downloaded from 'Curriculum Information' section at the side of this page.
  • Termly Curriculum Newsletters for each year group can also be seen and downloaded from the 'Curriculum Information' section at the side of this page.

For more information on the curriculum we teach here at Alfred Street, please contact the year group teachers or the school office using the contact page on our website.

CORE SUBJECTS

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Computing

FOUNDATION SUBJECTS

  • Art
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Music

OTHERS

  • Religious Education and Collective Worship
  • Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship
  • Modern Foreign Languages - French

 

Reading at ALFO

At Alfred Street Junior School, we recognise how crucial reading is in enabling pupils to make the most of learning, not just in English, but across the curriculum.  In order for our pupils to become good readers and comprehenders, they need to be read to, have opportunities to read in a range of contexts and be taught what "good readers" do to gain understanding from texts.  Our teaching, therefore, develops these elements to ensure that pupils develop decoding and fluency skills as well as the ability to predict, question, summarise, visualise and interpret.  To support this further, children need to broaden their vocabulary and we are constantly striving to develop our pupils' knowledge of words and their meanings.

Children choose books from our range of reading scheme titles or, when deemed appropriate, become free readers and can make their own selections.  Children also have access to our library where they can choose an additional book of their choice, which they can regularly change.

We hold a weekly class competition to encourage children to read at home.  The class with the highest weekly average wins the Reading Cup.

Also, we have introduced a Reading Challenge - children have been given a list of 100 book titles to read by the end of Year 4 or by the end of Year 6.  This encourages children to broaden their reading experiences and provides them with age appropriate titles that will be challenging, yet enjoyable.

Fundamentally, if children are going to get the most out of reading, they need to see it as a pleasurable experience and we will always strive to model this to our pupils. 

 

Talk for Writing

At Alfred Street from January 2019, we have implemented the Talk for Writing approach to teaching English. Below are more details about what this approach entails and why we adopted it.

Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased their children’s progress but have found that both children and teachers love it.

Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.  It build on three stages of teaching:

1) Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need

2) Innovation - the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own

3) Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.

The Talk for Writing approach was develop by Pie Corbett, an educational writer and poet.  He is well known for promoting creativity in the classroom and has experience as a teacher, head teacher and OFSTED inspector.  He regularly lectures on education around the world and the UK government consult with him as an educational advisor. 

The video link below is of Pie Corbett explaining more about Talk for Writing.

https://youtu.be/Ej-UHjxmHC8

 

Mathematics

At Alfred Street Junior School we want every child to reach their full potential. Maths is everywhere outside the classroom - in their ‘real life’ - and this is what we are preparing our children for. We endeavor to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.

We believe that number and calculation skills are the foundations of confident mathematicians. If children are not secure when using the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, they are unable to conquer many other skills that rely on a strong calculation understanding, therefore this is the area in which we put the most learning time. Children complete daily arithmetic questions to help them develop and maintain fluency in both written and mental calculations. In addition to the daily one hour maths lesson, the children have two extra weekly skills lesson throughout the year which focus on arithmetic to keep the children up to speed with number facts, in particular the recall of times table facts and also problem solving.

A key element of the National Curriculum in maths is Problem Solving and Reasoning. Children are encouraged to use their knowledge of number skills to solve problems and discuss using ‘Maths Talk’ how they know it is the correct answer, how this relates to other problems and how they worked it out.

Children are encouraged to test out ideas, to make conjectures, to use trial and error and adjust their thinking in the light of what they learn from this, discuss their ideas with others and be comfortable to take risks. We believe when children are confident to behave in these ways they are then able to step into and solve problems independently.

Through embedded assessments (Check ins) at the beginning of each new unit of work, teachers are able to shape their teaching to match children’s next steps. We aim to develop children’s independence with flexible differentiation; they therefore select their own level of challenge with work pitched at Prime, Advanced and Deep (PAD) the aim being that children progress through the tasks at their own pace and therefore develop independence.

Marking Stations are set up in each classroom to enable children to check their work and assess their own learning. This allows the children who grasp concepts rapidly to be challenged through working on greater depth, mastery tasks.  We then check that children have retained their knowledge with a ‘Check out’ at the end of the unit. Children who are not secure in concepts taught are given extra ‘Mind the Gap’ sessions in order for them to catch up.

See our addition approach, subtraction approach, multiplication approach and division approach for the methods of teaching.

 

Growth Mindset

At Alfred Street we are working hard to promote a Growth Mindset ethos within the children, the staff, the parents/carers and the local community. 

The children have listened to assemblies, took part in Growth Mindset lessons and workshops, and tried to mirror a Growth Mindset attitude which is being cultivated around the school. We also have Growth Mindset displays in all our classrooms.

 

 

Pupils with a growth mindset

  • Believe that talents can be developed and great abilities can be built over time
  • View mistakes as a learning experience
  • Are resilient
  • Believe that effort creates success
  • Think about how they learn

Pupils with a fixed mindset

  • Believe that talent alone creates success
  • Are reluctant to take on challenges
  • Prefer to stay in their comfort zone 
  • Are fearful of making mistakes
  • Think it is important to 'look smart' in front of others
  • Believe that talents and abilities are set in stone, you either have them or you don't

Growth Mindset was designed by Carol Dweck in the U.S.  Some of its key messages are not unique but when coupled together they represent a very powerful way of thinking which lends itself to not just school, but life in general.  For example, the notion of effort is paramount and someone with a growth mindset is able to broaden their understanding, their knowledge and their expertise through effort.  Intelligence is not a fixed trait and the more we move away from this idea the more learning becomes part of a journey rather than having a fixed end point.  Indeed, we encourage the children to say ‘I can’t do something…YET’.

By clicking on the weblink below you can watch a series of videos produced by the Class Dojo Team all about Growth Mindset and understand what it means. 

https://ideas.classdojo.com/b/growth-mindset

See also our Mindset Intro to Parents guidance

Resilience

As part of our Growth Mindset work, we have also been teaching and developing the skills of resilience.

Part of learning to be resilient is recognising that there will be times when things get tough. We are committed at promoting positive mental health and well-being at Alfred Street Junior School, and therefore, through our PSHE, Growth Mindset, Restorative Justice and Wellbeing initiatives, we also aim to help our children develop the capacity to work through difficult times by becoming more resilient.

See our Resilience Information for parents

Diversity

As part of our push to instil the British Values in our pupils, we aim to increase tolerance and understanding of those with different faiths and beliefs. 

In order to do this, assemblies and diversity days will be held throughout the school year.  This will give the children the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understand their place in today’s culturally diverse society.  As well as delivering the teaching ourselves, we will also invite visitors from different cultures and faiths to lead assemblies or within class lessons. Children may also have the opportunity to visit or experience a range of religious centre of worship.