How we teach and learn
Our staff are committed to providing high quality learning experiences for all of our children. Expectations of all staff are high with regard to children’s behaviour, ability and attitude to their learning.
We understand the necessity of empowering children and fostering high self esteem so that our children can flourish. We provide a safe environment where children can take risks and challenge themselves.
There is a shared understanding among staff that high quality first wave teaching is a must and so all lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of children . Lessons are planned with the aim of enabling children to make rapid progress and reach their full potential .
We know that children have differing abilities and learn in different ways so within lessons the children are grouped in a variety of ways and teachers teach using a variety of styles in order to motivate and inspire the children.
The classroom is viewed as a learning environment and the expectation is that children’s work is displayed on the walls to celebrate their success, information posters, key vocabulary and models of high quality writing are also on display to motivate the children. The school also uses other means to celebrate and promote learning such as staff and child book picks dotted around the school, Golden Learner of the Week displays for each year group and our Writing Gallery. We also have a weekly celebration assembly that highlights and celebrates successful learning.
Our Curriculum Areas
The ability to communicate is key to leading a fulfilled life and being an effective learner. Developing children communication skills is a key focus at Carlton and is part of every lesson, every day.
Children are discreetly taught discussion skills in lessons and are provided with the opportunity to practice them.
At the planning stage, teachers plan questions so that pupils will have the opportunity to develop their reasoning skills and justify their opinions and thoughts. A wide range of vocabulary (both subject specific and general) is necessary to be an effective communicator. Within each unit, pupils are taught subject specific vocabulary through processes known as Concept Cat (EYFS/Yr1) and Start Words (Year 2-6). There is a rich calendar of events throughout the school year so that the children can sing, recite poetry and speeches to an audience.
The school also encourages the children to have the experiences of communicating in a more formal setting, through the completion of the English Speaking Board Exams in year 6 and Carlton’s exam in year 4.
Carlton’s vision for Literacy is that each child will be able to effectively communicate (both orally and in writing) their ideas and emotions to others. Through reading and listening to others will be able to communicate with them.
Carlton is a “Power of Reading School” – each unit that the children experience is based on a high quality text. All learning comes from this text.
Reading for enjoyment is key to motivating children in their own use of language and writing. Together we share many inspiring stories by authors such as Julia Donaldson ,Michael Morpurgo and Beverly Naidoo. We make real books from our writing, making it purposeful and enjoying the experience of being authors ourselves. The Power of Reading text provide each child with continual access to high quality texts.
In Key Stage 2 the children have the opportunity to become a Reading Gladiator. This a weekly Book Club that allows them to discuss the book they are reading and explore areas such as authorial intent, themes and imagery.
The guided reading lesson is the formal opportunity where children are taught to become fluent and independent. These lessons happen daily. The school has a wide range of banded books and chapter books that are stocked up regularly. In these sessions the children are taught the skills to decode and comprehend what they are reading.
Phonics is a part of the way we teach children to read. From nursery to year 3 the children have daily phonics teaching at their level. At Carlton, we use the programme “Letters and Sounds”.
Spellings are set home weekly. Children begin by learning to spell the most common words we read and write. For example: look, going, went. After they have learnt to spell these words they move on to learning spelling patterns and rules.
The structure of the curriculum allows the children to write often and for different purposes. We provide children with examples of high quality pieces and with support help them to develop an awareness of their audience when they are writing .We encourage the children to develop their own style and become independent writers who can express their ideas effectively. The children are taught the features of different genres and with the support produce their own.
During this process they will develop their editing skills and ability to use subject-specific vocabulary.
The vision for Science at Carlton is to foster a sense of excitement and curiosity about science whilst increasing children’s awareness and understanding of the world around them. We believe that most successful way to develop the pupil’s scientific skills is through first-hand experiences.
They cover a range of early physics (e.g forces) chemistry (e.g reversible and irreversible changes) and biology (e.g growing plants) through practical work, observation and problem solving in classrooms, our outdoor classroom and the local area. A wide range of areas of scientific knowledge are taught to give a deeper understanding of the world.
Pupils are encouraged to ask questions, use new vocabulary and solve problems by making close observations, planning, predicting, fair testing and recording their findings in a systematic way. We also aim to foster responsible attitudes towards the environment and all living things.
The school has achieved good standard Healthy Schools Status; a quality standard relating to pupils healthy lifestyles.
Our links with the Crick Institute allows us to ensure that the children have access to a wide range of high quality scientific experiences.
The school hosts an annual science week that encourages the children to further develop their scientific skills and knowledge through a wide range of interesting and engaging activities.
Carlton’s vision for Mathematics is that each child will possess a confidence and positive attitude to the subject regardless of their gender or background. Each child will move onto the next stage in their learning with a secure base of fluency and knowledge of key number facts. This knowledge will allow them to explore and solve mathematical challenges in everyday situations as maths is seen as an integral part of life.
At Carlton the teaching of Maths is based on a mastery approach. The approach ensures that children learn the strategies and concepts on a deeper level rather that rushing through the objectives. Attention is paid to reinforcing their knowledge.
Lessons are planned from a balance mathematics curriculum based on the National Curriculum with a strong emphasis both on fluency in number facts, calculations and place value and applying all areas through reasoning and problem solving. Teachers are expected to use precise explanations in order for children to clearly understand key concepts and strategies and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils are supported in keeping up – diminishing differences and disadvantages. Specific, differentiated and deep questioning in lessons are key in order to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, as well as supporting and stretching pupils according to their needs.
The curriculum is planned so that children have regular opportunities to embed their understanding of key maths skills as number bonds, knowledge of +, -, x and division/multiplication tables.
At Carlton Primary School we embrace current and emerging technologies to facilitate the learning experience of the whole school community.
We aim for our children to be confident, competent and discerning users of digital technology which will prepare them for participation in a rapidly changing world.
Our city, and increasingly our more immediate local area, offers many opportunities to pursue careers or studies in technology-related fields and at Carlton we aim to equip children to achieve this in the best way possible.
Through well trained, skilled and motivated staff, as well as parental and external support, we encourage children to develop initiative, independent learning skills and celebrate success.
All members of the school community model how to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly.
Through our curriculum, we aim for our children to confidently and independently use and apply skills in both Digital Literacy and Computing to support and extend their learning. We develop a culture where the use of technology becomes second nature to our pupils, thus ensuring they are ready and able to embrace the technological advances of the future. Digital Literacy is a key component of the wider curriculum, with children learning how to use technology safely – at regular points throughout the year children undertake online safety sessions and assemblies on topics such as cyberbullying or keeping information safe. There is a key emphasis on learning skills in Computing; these will including programming, debugging and exchanging information. Our children are taught how to access information, evaluate its suitability, store it, share it with others and tailor it to meet their own needs.
The school is well resourced with Interactive Whiteboards and visualisers in all teaching rooms, which allows us to create visually stimulating lessons and greater opportunities for interactive learning. In addition the school has laptops, iPads, Samsung tablets and Chromebooks for the children to use in their learning.
We are proud to be a part of Samsung Digital Classroom project, where one classroom is fully equipped with Samsung equipment which is for the use of that class, but is also available for other classes to use.
We are constantly looking to improve and develop our Computing and use of technology and ensuring the children have access to the most up to date packages. We hope that our use of technology grows with and for our children, equipping them for successful futures as digital citizens.
The aims of the History Curriculum is to help children learn about Britain’s past. The aim is to ensure that all pupils understand the history of the British Isles from earliest times until the present day and how people’s lives have shaped the nation. They will also know and understand significant aspects of the History of the wider world.
Carlton our approach is that children cover the curriculum content through cross curricular planned units that have strong links to other subjects. Each teacher maps out and learning journey that takes into account previous knowledge, links to other subjects, planned off site trips or visitors all culminating in a meaningful outcome. This allows children to use and apply knowledge and skills from other subjects.
The aim of the Geography curriculum is to inspire curiosity is the children about the world they live in. We aim to ensure that our pupils of significant places/ landmarks in the world and understand the processes that give rise to physical and human geographical features.
Through the delivery of our curriculum we aim to ensure that the children begin by developing their knowledge of the world, United Kingdom and the locality. As the move into Key Stage 2, they will extend their knowledge beyond the local area to North and South America and Europe.
As part of the curriculum, the children will develop their locational knowledge (locating countries, counties and cities of the United Kingdom). They will also develop their fieldwork skills and effectively use maps, globes and atlases.
At Carlton our approach is that children cover the curriculum content through cross curricular planned units that have strong links to other subjects. Each teacher maps out and learning journey that takes into account previous knowledge, links to other subjects, planned off site trips or visitors all culminating in a meaningful outcome. This allows children to use and apply knowledge and skills from other subjects.
At Carlton our religious education syllabus is based on the Camden Scheme – Living Differences. Through the scheme, the children develop their understanding of why we have different beliefs, attitudes and practises. We deliver the curriculum through designed R.E Days and weekly assemblies. Through each unit we encourage the children to make links between their beliefs and these of the world religion that they are studying.
We view this this s being a key component of promoting tolerance and respect among our community.
At Carlton, French is our chosen language. We follow Camden’s Scheme. Our approach is to teach the language in a fun and interactive way.
In KS2 there are designated French lessons but further down the school, we take the opportunity to encourage children to begin developing the understanding of the language and vocabulary through, for example greeting each other in French or answering the register in French.
As a part of our creative curriculum we recognise the importance if inspiring and engaging the children to be curious about art and design. Our aim is to support our children in developing their talents in drawing, painting and other techniques. They also learn about great artists and designers – exploring their works and understand the meaning behind them.
Our approach is that the children are provided with many opportunities to develop these skills in a cross curricular way. They also learn how to evaluate their work and skills that they have learnt. Each child has a sketch book that they use as the move through the school to showcase their developing skills.
We take every opportunity possible to showcase children’s work and have strong links with the Rankin Gallery where we exhibit our Year 1 portraits each year.
At Carlton we recognise the importance of Music as a form of creativity and ensure that it is firmly embedded in our creative curriculum. Our aims are that our children have access to range of music, explore how it is created. A key part of the curriculum is that they have the opportunity to create their own music, learn to sing and play musical instruments.
Carlton is really proud of its two choirs who have performed on many occasions at the Royal Albert Hall and of course at school recitals and rehearsals. As a part of the EYFS curriculum, parents and families are invited into stay and sing sessions with their child. Music is a subject that is enjoyed by all children across the school.
Our on-site music specialist delivers high quality music lessons but also enables the children to peruse their own talents through learning how to play a musical instrument. At Carlton the children have the opportunity to play the Ukulele, recorder, keyboard, piano, violin and drums. We also welcome Apollo Music in on a termly basis. As part of the Wider Opportunities Fund, each child in year 4 learns the violin. Through the schools links with Camden, children can be sign posted to opportunities beyond the school that they can persue to develop their talents further.
The purpose of design technology is to teach children to develop the skills to design and make products to solve problems. To do this the children need to draw on their knowledge of other subjects such as maths and science.
At Carlton we teach D.T. in a cross curricular way so that children will find it easier to draw on their knowledge in other subjects. We ensure that each project has a planned realistic outcome so that it is a meaningful experience for each child.
As part of this curriculum the children also understand and apply the principles of nutrition and learn how to cook. We understand the importance of this skill in making healthy life choices. Each child is taught key skills and where possible, ingredients are taking from the garden when making dishes.
At minimum, children receive 2 hours of direct PE teaching each week. This is additionally supplemented by extended provision (After-school clubs), in-class physical activity (such as our 5-a-Day fitness DVD), and organised games on the playground.
We have two specifically trained PE coaches that deliver the curriculum, which includes: Dance, Gymnastics, OAA, Athletics, and the three strands of games: (Invasion, Net/Wall, and Striking/Fielding). All units are tailored to the age group being taught.
In addition, our Year 4 children receive one year of weekly swimming lessons held at the Kentish Town Sports Centre, and each year group participates in a unit around disability sports (linked to the Paralympics).
At Carlton through PSHE and Citizenship we support children to be healthy and safe, make good friendships, be responsible citizens and prepare themselves for the next stage in their education and their role within society as responsible adults. The British values are interwoven into the curriculum.
At Carlton we use the Camden Scheme for the teaching of PSHE and Citizenship. Activities taught encourage children to make informed choices about a healthier and safer lifestyle: we prepare them to play an active role as a citizen, to forge good relationships and respect each other. The Camden Scheme also incorporates SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).
Through assemblies a new SEAL theme is introduced and explored every half term across the school both in the class and at assemblies. These are:
- New Beginnings
- Getting On And Falling Out
- Going For Goals
- Good To Be Me
We use drama/role play, stories and visual to support teaching of PSHE/Citizenship and to simulate relevant discussions and to encourage children to understand and think from different people’s perspectives as well as their own.
Click here to view the National Curriculum programme that we follow.
As part of our Creative Curriculum, we are keen to take learning outside the classroom and we know that the experience will benefit the child enormously. We make regular use of local places such as Hampstead Heath and Kentish Town City Farm. Each class have the opportunity to visit both formally and informally to enhance their learning experiences.
There is a trained Forest School Teacher who works offsite with identified groups of children in Nursery and Reception to provide a more holistic approach to their learning using Forest School. We also use this opportunity to welcome parents/carers to come along and support their child’s learning.
Carlton has an on-site thriving garden that is used by each class. There are planned links to the rest of the curriculum but the space is also used during breaks so that our children can develop their knowledge of growing plants and have the experiences of life cycles of plants.
As part of our engaging EYFS curriculum our children have access to both indoor and outdoor provision. We have also recently moved year 1 to the ground floor to enable those children to continue to benefit from outdoor provision.