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
Our vision for Literacy.
Well developed and embedded reading and writing skills are key to all our learning at school. From spelling tests to story time, all these different elements help to improve the children’s skills and understanding in English.
An overview of the Literacy Curriculum.
Each unit is planned to ensure that there are regular opportunities for pupils to write for different purposes. Carlton is a “Power of Reading School” – which means that each unit that the children work through is based on a high quality key text. All learning comes from this text and each teacher plans from carefully structured units of work that are reviewed on an annual basis.
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 texts provide each child access to high quality texts that form the basis of their work.
Spellings are sent 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.
Guided Reading with the teacher or teaching assistant takes place in class every day. The children read a carefully chosen book at their level within a group; the teacher listens and talks to them about what they did well and how they can improve. In KeyStage 2 children have the opportunity to read whole chapter books and take part in a weekly book club.
Phonics is part of the way we teach children to read. From nursery to year 3 the children have daily phonics teaching at their level. At the end of year 1 the children take part in a national check to see how they are getting on. When we are planning phonics, we use the program called “Letters and Sounds”.
All the children have book bags. They are encouraged to make their own book choices from the class book corner and year 1-4 also take home a book at their own level.
Children love to share their learning at home, so please read with your child as often as you can!
Here are some examples of the literacy units we cover across the school:
Nursery: Literacy unit -Nursery – Owl Babies
Reception: Literacy unit – Reception – So Much Biscuit Bear
Year 1: Literacy unit – Year 1 – Bog Baby
Year 2: Literacy unit – Year 2 – The Story Tree
Year 3: Literacy unit – Year 3 – Into the Woods
Year 4: Literacy unit – Year 4 – Krindlekrax
Year 5: Literacy unit – Year 5 – Billy the Kid
Year 6: Literacy unit – Year 6 – Floodlands
Our Vision for Maths.
At Carlton the teaching of mathematics is based on a mastery approach; where teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics. We aim to foster a confidence and excitement in maths, so all children move to the next stage of their lives with the skills they need and a positive attitude towards maths, regardless of their gender or background. A secure base of fluency and knowledge of key number facts should instil the confidence for children to be able to play with, explore and solve mathematical problems. With a strong focus on oracy across the whole school, being able to reason and explain in maths is also a key priority.
Maths lessons are planned from a balanced 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.
An overview of our Maths Curriculum.
At Carlton, Mathematics teaching and learning is a key part of our curriculum. By encouraging our children to be confident mathematicians, we are making sure they are ready for the next step in their education. As well as ensuring our children have strong key skills in Maths, we make sure children have the chance to use and apply their understanding. We believe in giving the children ‘rich’ tasks that challenge them and deepen their understanding.
Problem solving and reasoning are also parts of the Maths experience we offer our students. Alongside daily Maths lessons, children have additional sessions to work on the basics of mental arithmetic, for example, their times tables.
The curriculum is planned so that children have regular opportunities to embed their understanding of key maths skills such as number bonds, knowledge of +,-,x and ÷, and multiplication/division tables.
Here are this year’s Maths curriculum maps:
Our aim 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 the most successful way to develop the pupils’ 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 school garden 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 Enhanced Healthy Schools Status; a quality standard relating to pupils’ healthy lifestyles.
Click here to view our Curriculum Map Science 18 – 19
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).
Click here to view the Carlton Primary School PE Yearly Curriculum Map 2018-19
Our vision of Humanities and the Arts.
Humanities and the Arts at Carlton is the teaching and learning of the Foundation subjects (the Arts, the Humanities and Design & Technology) through cross-curricular topics linked, when appropriate, to the high quality texts used in the Literacy Curriculum and the Sciences, ICT and Citizenship. Developing creativity is profoundly important, not only in the arts, but in all areas of the curriculum. The Curriculum is comprehensive and thematic, a clear process of learning with a progression of skills, knowledge and understanding for each subject. It has been designed to ensure rigorous learning but also to make all learning exciting, active and meaningful for children. The curriculum will meet the cultural, spiritual, moral, physical needs of every child.
An overview of Humanities and the Arts
- The curriculum offers a wide range of opportunities for children to develop skills, knowledge and understanding. It will enable every child to achieve their potential and release their talents.
- In order to improve children’s creativity teachers will set open tasks and projects. They provide children opportunities to give their own interpretation.
- Children undertake Learning Journeys which link all learning, building towards one or more final products/events.
- Deep learning is facilitated through opportunities for children to be independent and creative. Learning becomes more meaningful and provides children with the interest and skills to become lifelong learners.
- Lessons will develop children’s skills as well as their understanding and knowledge of the world. Each subject area has a progression of skills document that teachers use to ensure learning is appropriately pitched and differentiated.
- The scope and focus of each journey is mapped centrally. This enables the leadership team and subject leaders to check that the National Curriculum is fully covered and that pupils have opportunities to grasp the essential features of each subject, as well as to make connections between them.
- Learning of Science and Foundation Subjects National Curriculum objectives may take place in discreet units if they do not link with topics appropriately.
- The Humanities and the Arts Curriculum combines subjects in cross-curricular topics that run for either half a term or a full term.
- Religious Education, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Emotional Education) and other areas of the curriculum may also be linked to the topic.
- Topics provide opportunities for children to use and apply knowledge and skills from other subjects.
- Pupils use a range and progression of mind maps to collect and organise their previous knowledge on the topic and consider questions they would like answered. This is then used by the teacher to move the Learning Journey in a direction that meets the needs and interests of the class. Children will have ownership of the content and outcomes of a topic.
- Learning takes a global approach, helping children to connect their learning to where they live now as well as looking at the perspective of other people in other countries. Children make links with schools and communities, nationally and internationally.
- Children solve problems and create products that are relevant to them with opportunities for real life application. Children create products/outcomes both individually and in teams.
- Topics allow children to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, philosophy and BLP skills. Planning for higher order questioning encourages children’s creative and divergent thinking . P4C – teachers plan for two explicit sessions per term linked to topic.
- Topics will develop children’s communication (speaking & listening skills) through specific teaching/modelling of skills and the use of drama, debating and presenting.
- Celebration of children’s learning will involve assemblies, mixed year group collaborations, exhibitions, the school website, debate, public speaking, published writing, storytelling, performance, whole school collaboration, film (news reports, documentaries, narrative), podcasts/radio, public events and opportunities to look through the class Floor Book.
Click here to view the Humanities and Arts Curriculum by Year Group 2017-18
At Carlton, all children in key stage 2 learn French once a week. We teach this in a very fun and interactive way, with speaking and listening lessons which involve games, practicing words and phrases in a variety of voices, and doing an action for every new word. We also have a range of ICT resources for the children to use- from visuals, video-clips and activities on the interactive whiteboards in class, to games which they can access on the school laptops.
This highly engaging way of teaching French ensures that all children access the learning effectively, and most importantly, begin a lifelong enjoyment of languages.
Our vision for Digital Literacy and Computing.
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.
An overview of the DLC Curriculum.
At Carlton Primary School, 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 big part of the 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 50 laptops, 35 iPads, 30 Samsung tablets and 10 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, whether that’s through looking at new equipment, like Micro:bits or Raspberry Pi, or through embracing whole new ways of learning through platforms like Google Apps for Education and Purple Mash.
We hope that our use of technology grows with and for our children, equipping them for successful futures as digital citizens.
Our vision for PSHE.
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. PSHE and Citizenship is linked, where possible, with other curriculum topics.
An overview of PSHE and Citizenship 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:
•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.
Learn more about our PSHE curriculum here: The Curriculum Map Review 2017
The Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) development of each child is key to preparing a child for their future. In Carlton, we do not “teach” SMSC in isolation – rather it is entertwined into everyday school life, our expectations of the children and our provision.
The table below gives examples of the many opportunities our children have to develop their SMSC skills and attitudes.
The aim at Carlton is to prepare the children to grow up as responsible and informed adults. The curriculum we deliver is the curriculum agreed by the local authority. There are clear lesson plans and resources that can be viewed by any parent or carer on request.
Parents and carers are invited to workshops prior to its teaching to sample the activities their children will do.
Sometimes parents/carers wish to withdraw their child from lessons – it is advisable to make an appointment to meet the head teacher to discuss this as much of the curriculum content is statutory.
At Carlton, we follow the local authority scheme for Religious Education (R.E.).
The approach of the school is to explore themes through a big question that encourages the pupils to consider the points of view of others. Teachers also are trained to utilise the principles of Philosophy for children to enhance their lessons.
To ensure that each pupil has the opportunity to fully explore the concepts offered, the curriculum is structured so that one day at the beginning of each term is a designated R.E. day that begins or ends with a whole school assembly.
The other main religions such as Islam and Christianity are explored through assemblies and performances.
As part of the curriculum provided by the school, each child has regular access to high quality music lessons. The school also views it as an opportunity to forge partnerships with outside agencies.
There is an on-site music specialist who is at the school 2 days per week. As well as delivering the national curriculum there is organised singing and a school choir where children can pursue the development of their talent. As part of the curriculum the following also happens:
- in the EYFS & Year 1 the children are supported in developing their knowledge of rhythm and ability to sing. They also explore tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments.
- in Year 2 the children have the opportunity to learn to play the recorder.
- in Year 3 the children have the opportunity to learn the ukulele.
- in Year 4 are part of the Wider Opportunity Initiative. Each child learns to play the violin. They have been visited by the Royal Academy of Music who perform classical pieces for them and who will play their own compositions in a live performance.
- Year 5 have access to classical music through the school’s links with Apollo Music Projects and are encouraged to develop their knowledge of a range of instruments and experience live classical music.
In year 5 & 6 each pupil has the opportunity to continue to develop their music skills beyond the curriculum through small group or individual lessons.
The school also accessed the Camden Music department so that children can be sign-posted to musical events/opportunities borough-wide and have access to music tutors. The school also takes part in the bi-annual Camden Music festival at the Royal Albert Hall and music jams that happen cross-borough.
You can find out more about the National Curriculum Music Programmes of Study
Off site educational visits are a key part of the curriculum and all classes are encouraged to take a visit termly as part of their topic. We are very fortunate to be located within easy travelling distance to many of the best museums and sights that London has to offer and so we make as much use of them as possible to enhance children’s education. All trips are linked to the units covered in class.