Wickhambreaux is a Church of England Primary school. Love, trust and Community is at the heart of all we do. These are the values voted for by the staff and parents who completed the questionnaires given to them in 2016. Our curriculum is fully inclusive and actively promotes equality for all.
At Wickhambreaux we follow a Creative Curriculum approach for cross curricular topics, alongside discrete subject teaching, which is supported by specialists, in Music, Maths, French and Science. Our specialist Music and French teachers teach all year groups, including year R and run Gifted and Talented groups.
Musical instrumental tuition is offered and coordinated by the Music specialist and children are currently learning piano, brass instruments, guitar, drums, violins, flutes and voice. Our music teacher works 3 days a week at Wickhambreaux and 2 days at a local grammar school. She is a lead music teacher for Kent and spreads her expertise around the county. She also leads and coordinates the Christmas concert at the Gulbenkian theatre for our local schools’ partners. Core curriculum music is delivered with enthusiasm and the full participation of staff and parents at certain events. The teacher ensures wider musical opportunities for the pupils and arranges for them to take part in events such as the O2 Sing Up, the cathedral services such as St. Nicholas Day Parade and performances for local groups including our church and the local retirement home. Our pupils take external examinations and have been successful at grade 4, many with merits and distinctions; this is helped by our before school more able music theory sessions for those who wish to take this subject further.
The children follow a full programme of physical education and sporting activities, enhanced in after school clubs, tournaments and competitions. Some of the competitions are held at external venues. The school employs a dance teacher and games coaches provided by a local sports group. The school also uses its sports grant to buy into Canterbury High School SSCO, this enables our children to participate in leagues and competitions aimed at all pupils at all levels. The school holds a current gold quality kite mark for sport.
As a voluntary controlled school, RE is taught through “understanding Christianity” and is monitored and supported by the school’s RE coordinator, the local church and the Diocese. The RE curriculum is monitored by the school’s RE specialist and foundation governor. We hold a daily act of Christian worship and hold service at St. Andrew’s church on a regular basis. All staff lead worship and encourage the children to lead worship on occasions.
Social and moral education is enhanced by the running of circle time when appropriate and P4C (philosophy for children) in upper key stage 2.
Within our broad and balanced, creative curriculum some termly topics are identified for study on the school’s long term plan, which is arranged as a two year rolling programme to avoid duplication. These topics are cross-curricular and are used to deliver aspects of the National Curriculum for Key stages 1 and 2. .
The school is developing a mastery approach to its core curriculum in order to deepen the learning of its pupils.
The school has an innovative approach to Science, and it’s Science coordinator (who holds a biochemistry degree) teaches Science in both key stage 1 and 2 using a hands on, active Science programme “Empiribox.” The school is moving towards an amalgamation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics (STEM) subjects. As a part of this the schools has trialed the running of a robotics club which has evolved into a STEM club. The schience coordinator attends the BETT schow each year to keep up with current resources, this has resulted in the school purchasing “alphaboards” (interactive technology) for all classes. IT is integral to all subjects at Wickhambreaux.
The schools is fortunate in having an advanced skills mathematics teacher who is completing an MA this term. She coordinates maths throughout the school and has trained teachers and TAs in using the Singapore Bar method and some parents in the principles of mastery. The school’s more able mathematicians also have an opportunity to extend their knowledge beyond national curriculum provision out of school hours in sessions run by the AST (advanced skills teacher). All children from year 2 onwards have the opportunity to work with our maths booster teacher who runs session s every morning. The aim of these sessions is multifunctional; they are set up by class teachers to close gaps, boost mobile pupils and accelerate learning for all groups when necessary. The maths coordinator makes use of IT for homework through the MangaHigh website and for dyscalculic children through the specialist Dynammo maths site which is an intervention run in school and at home.
The school’s literacy coordinator is active in the CTA (Canterbury teaching alliance) and has organised master classes for local schools in conjunction with Simon Langton Girls’ School. She monitors and oversees the progress and achievement of Literacy in the school and has introduced a systematic SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) programme which includes the Babcock spelling and grammar schemes. Key stage 2 pupils have logins to SPaG.com, an online programme that enhances teaching by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the pupils technical English; SPaG.com is an integral part of homework at Wickhambreaux.
All teaching staff are trained in the ‘Soundswrite’ programme and effective elements of this and the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme are combined to provide a high quality level of systematic, synthetic phonics teaching.
The school has a non-classroom based reading manager who is qualified in Reading Recovery and holds an MA in dyslexia assessment. She assesses and benchmarks pupils and resources in order to maximise targeted support and interventions. She manages a team of volunteers whom she trains in the administration and implementation of BRP (Building Reading Partnerships). She offers this service to other schools in the wider area; she slao runs literacy circles for upper key stage 2 pupils to extend their higher order reading skills and comprehension. Reading is taught and supported in many different ways throughout the day and throughout the school – along with discrete daily guided reading lessons in each class.
In the Foundation Stage, the children’s individual reading books are all phonetically de-codable – taken from a variety of publishers and schemes – to support the very strong emphasis upon the introduction to phonics teaching in Year R.
In KS1 the individual reading books (challenge books) are carefully catalogued by book bands which ensure the children are experiencing a wide variety of text types and vocabulary whilst not slavishly following one particular scheme. These books are matched to each child’s level of reading ability, which is regularly ‘benchmarked’ to ensure the level of texts they are given to read offer the appropriate level of challenge to ensure good progress is made.
In KS2 the vast majority of children are ‘free choice readers’ with individual reading and it is in Guided Reading lessons that the texts are selected from a wide range of schemes and non-scheme books whilst still being matched to offer the correct level of challenge required to ensure good progress is made.
Humanities is a combination of History, Geography and other subjects depending on the topic being studied and makes full use of visits to make the subject come alive. An example of this would be a collaboration visit to Walmer castle for key stage 1 pupils studying the Duke of Wellington. Other visits have included class and key stage outings to the Natural History Museum, local beaches and museums. Careful attention is paid to timelines and artefacts used in lessons and pupils have been immersed in theme days such as Victorian day and being evacuated as a child in World War II. Wickhambreaux provides experiences to prepare its pupils in a global and diverse society by raising areas of concern with regards to the environment and news. Upper key stage 2 pupils have a school newspaper delivered “First News” which forms the basis of discussion and debate in Literacy. The school has also Skyped pupils in other countries (e.g. Florida, Abu Dhabi and Kenya) during book week in order to discuss what books they read and enjoy. The school offers residential weeks in years 5 and 6 that are linked to the humanities curriculum and in recent years have studied the coast of North Devon and Norfolk, rivers on the River Dart and islands on the Isle of Wight. These are run by outdoor activity centres and therefore also link to the PHSE and sports curriculum.
Wickhambreaux pupils have many opportunities to integrate Art and Design into all aspects of their school life. Examples of the pupils work can be seen in the news section and the Art and Design page.
Themed weeks are also planned to enhance the curriculum and motivate pupils; examples of the work carried out in these weeks is available on the website in the News section. Visits are planned and visitors invited to theme weeks to enthuse and motivate the children and extend their knowledge and participation; examples are theatre visits, magicians, creating art in the natural environment, visiting chef who has helped the children understand nutrition and diet including that of religious faiths and historical civilisations and many others.
The school is arranged in mixed age groups after the Foundation Stage and the topics therefore rotate on a two year cycle.
Year R follow the Foundation Stage Curriculum.
The following topics are studied:
Term 1 -We are special.
Term 2- Special Times.
Term 5- Special Places.
Term 6- Special Objects.
Year 1 and 2 mixed age class:
Topic cycle A
Term 1- Vikings
Term 3- Saxons.
Term 5- Our Local Environment.
Topic Cycle B
Term 1- Special events.
Term 3- Great Fire of London.
Term 4- Local History.
Term 6- Seaside.
Year 3 and 4 mixed age class.
Topic cycle A
Term 1- India.
Term 3- Romans
Term 5- Weather
Topic Cycle B
Term 1- Ancient Egypt
Term 3- Local Geographical Studies-contrast local environments.
Year 5 and 6 mixed age class.
Topic cycle A
Term 1- World War 2
Term 3- Incas/ Aztecs
Term 5- Mountains or Islands.
Topic Cycle B
Term 1- Victorians
Term 3- Greeks
Term 5- Coasts and Rivers