At the Fountains Federation the curriculum has been designed to promote and sustain a thirst for knowledge and understanding, whilst ensuring that all learners are promoted to be as independent as possible.
As well as covering a wide range of subjects, we also provide opportunities for creativity, enterprise and sporting excellence. That said, wherever appropriate, emphasis is also placed on acquiring, developing and applying core skills in English and Maths. Our excellence is reflected by quality marks gained by the school, which subject leaders use to guide improvement work and evaluate the impact of their actions.
Our Values-based education philosophy underpins our work to actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures. A rounded programme of assemblies and events promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.
Pupil progress and attainment is tracked through the progression they make in the P levels and National Curriculum levels. In addition to this, pupils are given Individual Target Plans. Homework is also set regularly in school and at a level which meets the needs of a diverse range of pupils, in line with our Homework Policy.
Throughout the curriculum there is a running theme of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS). This provides a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life.
Please read our school curriculum statements below. To find out more about our programs and curriculum, please contact us.
All pupils between 2-5years old are taught within the Early Years Centre. The curriculum offer within this centre is an adapted Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, which ensures that all of the needs of the pupils are met. The Curriculum focuses on the prime areas of learning which are: Communication and Language; Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, alongside which are the specific areas of:
Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. Pupils are given a firm foundation of understanding in their early years in school, upon which they can build and develop their own particular skills, talents and self-confidence. Progress is assessed through Development Matters and Characteristics of Effective Learning.
YEAR 1 - 6 PRIMARY CURRICULUM
All pupils between 5-11 years old are educated within one of two departments: the Complex Learning Needs department (learners who are working from very low starting points and require a more specialist curriculum) or the KS1/2 Generic department (learners who are able to access a more subject based curriculum).
KS1 & 2 GENERIC CURRICULUM
Pupils who are educated within this department follow an adapted National Curriculum, which is broad, balanced, inclusive and differentiated. It is our aim to provide a challenging and active environment which involves all of our pupils and awakens them into the love of learning. The curriculum offered to all pupils comprises the core subjects of English, Maths and Science, all of which are taught discretely alongside Computing, Modern Foreign Languages, PSHE, Physical Education and Religious Education.
Other subjects (Music, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology) are taught through a creative curriculum. Progression is assessed through the P Levels and National Curriculum Levels. Enrichment activities also take place and include visits from members of the community, theme days and educational visits outside of school.
KS1 & 2 COMPLEX CURRICULUM
Pupils who are educated within this department follow a bespoke curriculum which has been devised by the Complex Learning Needs lead teacher. Within this curriculum pupils are taught a range of subjects at a level appropriate to their individual needs. The curriculum has been split into 6 six core areas:
* Communication, Language and Literacy
* Independence, citizenship and social development.
* Physical Skills and Sensory Development
* Mathematics and Computing
* Science and the Wider World (This comprises History, Geography, RE and Languages)
* Creative Development (This comprises Art, Music, Design and Technology)
A pupil may be taught more specifically on an individual basis with time for reflection, consolidation and generalisation of skills during pupil initiated opportunities. Pupils may also be encouraged to work within a small group directed by an adult. This curriculum is extensively supported by: Sensory Integration Therapy; Rebound Therapy; TEACCH, PECS (The Picture Exchange Communication System); Physical Opportunities; Makaton and Intensive Interaction.
Therefore, the classroom is organised in a highly structured way through a visual learning environment. This enables communication interventions to be consistently and widely used, promoting independent learning. Enhanced staffing ratios ensure intensive individual support and personalised learning takes place. All of the pupils's progression is assessed through the recording of small steps which feed into the P Levels and National Curriculum Levels.
ENGLISH / PHONICS (Primary School)
We are very keen for all pupils to enjoy books and to progress as far as they are able to with independent reading. We teach reading using phonics and Book Banded books. We also have large, well-stocked libraries with a wide range of books for pupils to browse and choose themselves, with support from staff.
At Fountains Primary, the phonics scheme we use is called ‘Read Write Inc’ (RWI), a structured synthetic phonics programme that teaches both reading and spelling. The pupils progress through the scheme according to their individual needs. A lot of revision and repetition is built in, as well as the application of phonic skills in all reading and writing.
Due to the needs of the pupils in our school, we run RWI alongside Book Banding. This is a finely graded approach to the teaching of the wider skills of reading and enables pupils to apply what they have learned in phonics lessons. These books also give the pupils a very meaningful approach to reading, using pictures, whole words and their own experiences. The books have been banded together by the Lead Teacher for English, using a range of books from various reading schemes. This ensures that we have our own bespoke reading scheme in school enabling all needs to be met.
Every pupil, even ‘non-readers’, have a Reading Record Book which goes home so that parents/carers can support reading at home at the level appropriate to their pupil. This includes sharing self-chosen library books which encourage the enjoyment of reading. Reading is regularly assessed and monitored by class teachers and the Lead Teacher for English.
Parent Workshops on reading are offered at least every year, so that parents/carers can learn more about how to support their pupil with reading.
ENGLISH / PHONICS (High School)
At The Fountains High school we are very keen for all pupils to enjoy books and to progress as far as they are able to with independent reading. We teach reading using phonics and we also encourage pupils to engage with books of their own choice, this allows students to pick books which meet their interests and supports pupils to gain enjoyment from reading.
Phonics is taught through the Dockside Reading Scheme. Dockside is a synthetic phonic reading scheme for readers who are aged ten and above. This reading scheme engages learners through books which are designed for the 21st-century. Storylines are age appropriate for our learners: the characters, stories and settings have been created specifically for older learners, using photo-real graphic novel-style artwork and storylines which include humour and references to everyday life. Elements of social and emotional aspects of learning are embedded within the stories to encourage discussion. A synthetic phonics approach to learning to read allows pupils to progress through a sequence of letters and sounds and develop their ability to blend and segment words for effective reading and spelling. This provides students with the base that they need to be able to cope with the demands of the secondary curriculum, functional literacy and to access a greater range of books and texts.
All pupils are assessed to determine a reading age. This provides the basis for then grouping students appropriately for reading groups and interventions so that reading sessions are effectively targeting the specific needs of each learner. Students are then assessed at the end of each stage to determine next steps.
Phonics lessons have three key parts:
a skills-based session which focuses on practising and embedding known phonics, introducing new phonics and rehearsing high frequency decodable and tricky words
a guided reading session which encourages pupils to read more each session and gradually become more independent in reading. These sessions explore vocabulary and encourage personal response
a guided writing session which develops talk for writing before using writing frames to scaffold and support the development of writing skills
Staff are creative in their approach to teaching phonics sessions to ensure that sessions are adapted to the needs of pupil. Students working below the first stage of the Dockside Reading Scheme are taught using the initial phases of Letters and Sounds, adapted accordingly.
We encourage pupils to develop their understanding of mathematical concepts through practical, experiential learning. We use 'Numicon' to support this. Numicon is a visual and tactile learning resource which enables children to understand number relationships, spots patterns and make generalisations. It also supports the communication of mathematical thinking, working together and solving problems. The children enjoy working with Numicon and feel successful in maths, which helps them to develop a positive attitude to numbers and learning.
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