Our curriculum ensures learning is effective, exciting and above all, relevant to the needs of our children.
All pupils will secure firm foundations in English and Mathematics and this underpins a growing excellence in other subjects. Our broad, varied and knowledge-based curriculum offers a diverse range of subjects from Early Years through to Key Stage 2 (KS2). We believe in bringing learning to life, both indoors and out, with an emphasis on engaging and purposeful learning.
Ryefield Primary aims to provide a curriculum that is engaging, balanced and relevant. While emphasis is placed on pupils learning core skills of English and Maths, we place great value on developing the ‘whole child’ and provide an engaging programme of study in all curriculum areas.
Our high expectation of children begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Children begin Ryefield Primary in Reception and are regularly assessed throughout the year using Development Matters, with the aim of meeting the Early Learning Goals by the end of the Reception year. These assessments are used to identify key subject areas to inform planning and focus pupils who need to be targeted for specific activities. Pupils begin phonics lessons in Reception, and these continue through into Key Stage 1 (KS1) and sometimes KS2. There is a focus on exploratory play in Reception based around topics and core texts, which pupils access both on a morning and an afternoon.
In KS1, pupils continue their learning journey, taking part in early bird maths, reading and writing lessons every morning. In Year 1 (Yr1), pupils continue to have daily phonics lessons, and for some pupils this will continue into Yr2. Children in Yr2 will also have access to regular Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons, which are linked to their learning in writing, to allow them to apply and deepen their basic skills. In the afternoon, pupils access the wider curriculum via carefully planned topics. The foundation subjects are delivered as concrete subjects.
Speaking and listening skills are also enhanced in Reception and Yr1 through the school’s oracy programme. Where possible, this is linked to the current topic being taught.
In KS2, pupils again continue their daily diet of rigorous teaching, taking part in early bird maths, reading and writing lessons every morning. In Yr5 and Yr6, focus gradually shifts to the end of Key Stage assessments as pupils are prepared for these tests and the transition into Yr7.
In the afternoon, pupils access the wider curriculum through carefully planned topics and subjects that are taught as concrete subjects.
AREAS OF THE CURRICULUM
At Ryefield we place reading at the heart of our curriculum. We aim to deliver a curriculum that enables our pupils to be ready for every stage of their primary education and to be ‘secondary ready’ by the time they leave us in Year 6. We believe that reading is a key tool for life and teaching pupils to become fluent readers is a large part of what we do at Ryefield.
During the reading sessions, there is an emphasis on vocabulary, the retrieval of facts and inference. Novels are used to teach reading as well as a range of non-fiction texts. These texts are carefully chosen to ensure that there is progression and challenge across the school. Ryefield aims to develop a love of reading, so pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure at home and school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the pupils on a regular basis.
The school currently uses a range of different reading schemes to meet the interests and individual needs of each and every child. The Read Write Inc scheme ensures pupils in EYFS and KS1 are reading the appropriate levelled books ensuring steady progression. Other schemes, such as Collins Big Cat, are used for those who have completed the Read Write Inc programme and continue throughout KS2. Children also have access to Collins e-books both at home and through devices at school.
We have two members of staff who monitor delivery, support staff and deliver training in Reading and the use of Read Write Inc.
Our school is committed to using work with external advisers and experts who have proven records in developing pupils’ learning in writing. We use this valuable resource to finely tune our provision, share good practice and offer whole school staff continuing professional development (CPD). The school is currently working closely with both Bob Cox and Let’s Think in English.
Our Writer of the Week and our Speller of the Week are awarded high quality books that are made available to the school via Ryefield’s close working relationship with the Children’s Book Project. This brings around 750 books a year into school. These are then gifted to the pupils to promote a love of reading.
Writing is celebrated at Ryefield, we regularly showcase high quality work, and utilise local authors to inspire pupils.
At Ryefield, in Early Years and Key Stage 1, we incorporate both CLPE’s Power of Reading and Bob Cox’s Opening Doors on Quality Texts into the teaching of writing. Children are taught writing skills through studying a range of both fiction and non-fiction texts including teacher produced models. Children are encouraged and supported to tackle challenging texts, before trying to innovate them and gradually apply more independent changes to the model until they can write freely with confidence. All of their writing is inspired by novels and they study three novels per academic year. Challenging texts are chosen to ensure that pupils not only have an excellent model for their own writing, but also aide our pupils in accessing the texts they will be prevented with at KS3 literacy.
During their time at Ryefield, pupils are exposed to a range of classic and contemporary poetry. They have the opportunity to use these poems as a model for their own writing.
The school believes spoken language to be fundamental to the achievement of the pupils at Ryefield Primary School. Ryefield strives to develop spoken language skills through the taught curriculum, playtimes and lunchtimes, extra-curricular activities and the whole ethos of the school. Staff therefore foster good communication amongst themselves and with their pupils, their parents and carers, and with the wider community. The school places a high priority on supporting the development of good speaking and listening skills amongst their pupils.
Ryefield approaches Oracy in two different ways: learning through talk and learning to talk. A discrete scheme of work is used in Key Stage 2, this teaches pupils the craft of writing, editing and delivering a public speech on a subject they are passionate about. Throughout the whole school, Oracy techniques are used to engage and motivate all learners and allow all pupils to feedback and discuss ideas with their peers.
Teaching a child to read is vital. We use a range of strategies, in addition to phonics, such as a variety of decoding methods, teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and either small group, or 1:1, interventions.
At Ryefield Primary, we follow the Read Write Inc. scheme of phonics teaching. Each child in Reception, Yr1 and Yr2 has a daily Read Write Inc. lesson, following the teaching sequence of revisit/ review – teach – practise - apply. We start by teaching phonics to the pupils in the Reception class. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps pupils learn to spell well. We teach the pupils simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters:
1. The pupils also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
2. The pupils practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
3. The teachers read to the children, too, so the pupils get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
In Yr2, pupils access a balance of both phonic and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) lessons based on their individual needs and attainment. Reception and KS1 pupils are either taught as a whole class or sometimes put into small groups, based on regular assessments so that children’s learning needs are accurately matched to the correct provision. Small phonic sessions or interventions are delivered by teaching assistants and overseen by the class teacher, to provide complimentary teaching.
Sessions are lively, fast-paced and fun. In a session, pupils are taught either phonemes/ digraphs/ trigraphs, high frequency and/or tricky words and these are consolidated through reading and writing. There are many opportunities to speak and listen, as well as to read and write the sounds.
At the end of Year 1 pupils have to take the national Phonics Test which tests children’s phonic knowledge. Here, they are required to read real and nonsense words, applying the skills they have learnt. Ideally, pupils will have completed the three sets of the RWI programme by the end of Yr 2 Autumn Term, so that they can focus more on higher-level comprehension using increasingly challenging texts. Any child that does not complete the phonics programme will continue learning phonics throughout Year 3/4 during interventions
At Ryefield, we believe that mathematics should be fun and rewarding for all children. As such we endeavour to make our work in mathematics engaging for all learners.
We start every day with early bird maths. For twenty minutes, we focus on a number of arithmetic questions to reinforce and consolidate the arithmetic skills that have been previously taught. We believe that this plays an important role in the pupils becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and develops the children’s ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. This has the potential to make a significant impact on math outcomes: 20 minutes a day, for 5 days a week, 39 weeks a year equates to 65 hours extra maths done outside the Maths sessions.
Our curriculum is mapped by the White Rose Maths Hub scheme of work. We focus on a progression from concrete resources, to pictorial representations and finally into the numerical abstract to aid our children’s conceptual understanding. As a result, we are seeing a growth in confidence in all our learners, especially in areas of problem solving and reasoning.
Times Tables Rockstars is used from Y2 to Y6 with pupils taking part and competing in Regional and Local Times Table competitions. We want the pupils at Ryefield are amongst the quickest in the country with their X Tables.
We follow the National Curriculum for science ensuring all pupils develop their scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science is hands on where possible; pupils are given the opportunities to experience science in the real world. Having a conservation area on site is an invaluable resource available to all Year groups, ensuring they have a real world setting in which to base their investigations. We have secured links with the secondary science department, using labs, teaching expertise and resources enhancing teaching and learning for our pupils in science. The school has introduced a dedicated space for the teaching of Science.
The school hosts Coram Life Education’s ‘Life Base’. Their inspirational life skills workshops, are delivered using a three-strand approach, addressing children’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. All workshops support the new DfE statutory requirements for RSHE and are aligned with the National Curriculum. The children's experience of Coram Life Education’s workshops is fun, engaging and memorable. Children meet Healthy Harold, their giraffe puppet mascot, and his friends, have discussions and watch short films about healthy eating, legal and illegal drugs and their effects, the body and how it works, friendships and their influence, and how choices and behaviours can affect dreams and aspirations. The workshops also explore looking after our mental health and pupils discuss strategies for self-care.
Our computing curriculum comprises a number of different strands: digital literacy, coding, data handling and using technology in the wider world. Each year group builds on the skills taught during the previous year, to ensure that by Yr6 students are confident using technology, including a range of different programs, apps and websites.
The school has invested in a range of devices and platforms to integrate computing into the school day. This includes the 1:2 provision of iPads for pupils in KS1, 1:2 provision of Chromebooks for pupils in lower KS2 and the 1:1 provision of Chromebooks for pupils across upper KS2. Purple Mash and Google Classroom are used across the curriculum.
Personal, Social Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)
Here at Ryefield, we use the ‘Jigsaw’ scheme throughout the school. This is divided into the following topics:
Autumn 1: Being Me in My World Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters
Autumn 2: Celebrating Difference Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work
Spring 1: Dreams and Goals Includes goal-setting, aspirations, working together to design and organise fund-raising events
Spring 2: Healthy Me Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices
Summer 1: Relationships Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills in Relationship Education
Summer 2: Changing Me Includes Relationships and Sex Education in the context of looking at change
We also cover safeguarding themes through the following:
• anti-bullying week takes place in the Autumn Term;
• NOW>PRESS>PLAY resources for Bullying, Mental Health and crimes (Yrs 5 and 6);
• annual visits from Life Base:
• participation in Hillingdon’s Citizenship Day (incl. drugs awareness for Yr6 classes);
• the ‘Alright Charlie?’ resource for C.S.E (Yr6);
• Relationships and Sex Education is included in the scheme that we follow across the school;
• E Safety week and a constant reminder through weekly assemblies the importance of staying safe on line.
• NSPCC Number Day (PANTS) and Speak Out, Stay Safe.
Regular assemblies, covering elements of current topics in the news or celebrations. In addition, the teaching of the core British Values and School Rules outline how these are exemplified in our own school values.
Religious Education (RE)
Here at Ryefield, we follow the Hillingdon agreed syllabus scheme throughout the school. This provides a broad and balanced programme of RE which reflects three key areas. It will,
• include a study of the key beliefs and practices of religions and other world views, including those represented in Hillingdon.
• provide opportunities to explore key religious concepts and common human questions of meaning, purpose and value, often called ‘ultimate’ questions.
• enable pupils to investigate how beliefs affect moral decisions and identity, exploring both diversity and shared human values. These three areas together will nurture pupils’ religious literacy and may be called phenomenology, philosophy and ethics.
They are reflected in the aims here.
The Local Agreed Syllabus for RE requires all pupils to investigate,
• the beliefs and practices of religions and other world views, including:
o Beliefs and authority: core beliefs and concepts; sources of authority including written traditions and leaders
o Worship and spirituality: how individuals and communities express belief, commitment and emotion.
• how religions and other world views address questions of meaning, purpose and value, including:
o The nature of religion and belief and its key concepts
o Ultimate questions of belonging, meaning, purpose and truth.
• how religions and other world views influence morality, identity and diversity, including:
o Moral decisions: teachings of religions and other world views on moral and ethical questions, evaluation, reflection and critical responses
o Identity and diversity: diversity among and within religions and other world views; individual and community responses to difference and shared human values.
History and Geography
History and Geography form an important part of our curriculum. We follow the National curriculum and embrace a broad-spectrum of stimulating topics. As a school, we aim to develop each child's geographical and historical skills, understanding and knowledge. Consequently, our lessons are well planned, highly engaging and challenge all abilities. Where appropriate, other curriculum areas are incorporated into learning to ensure high levels of motivation and interest from the children.
We teach a knowledge rich curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all learners the skills needed to succeed in life. We teach through Topics (through Literacy where links can be made) as opposed to themes. If a subject does not link it is taught as a standalone.
The following subjects are taught by specific teachers across the school:
PE: taught weekly by fully qualified teacher and P.E. specialists in addition to having outside coaches and inspirers such as the British Cycling Team, The Brownlee Brothers, Thames Valley Basketball and participating in the Long Lane Olympic Festival.
Dance and Drama: pupils across KS2 benefit from regular dance and drama sessions. These sessions provide pupils with the opportunity to create, perform and respond to drama. Pupils are provided with regular opportunities to perform in front of a live audience, this can be their peers, parents or the whole school.
Modern Foreign Languages (MfL): pupils across Key Stage 2 will study two of the most common modern foreign languages taught by our local secondary schools: French and Spanish. From September 2021, pupils in Yr 3 and Yr 4 will study French, whilst, from Yr 5 and Yr 6 pupils will study Spanish. The MfL programme is delivered by the platform Duolingo; it provides pupils with the basics of a modern foreign language and acts as a foundation for further learning at KS3.
Art and DT: as well as being taught through topics, are also celebrated through specific Art/DT weeks.
Music: pupils learn to develop their musicality and sense of vocal control across the phases using the Voices Foundation curriculum.
Additional Curriculum Content
The school offers two residential trips. One to the pupils in Yr5 (camping with a woodland and local study focus) and another in Yr6 (YHA: coastal). This compliments the termly experiences that all pupils experience at Ryefield. Hands on learning and experiences are key to pupils being able to write with meaning.
The school celebrates the richness and diversity of our local community, these include assemblies, workshops and themed weeks. The school is part of the Vanguard Learning Trust’s diversity working party, which provides a wealth of resources and opportunities to ensure that pupils feel that – at Ryefield - their background and lived experiences are represented. We ensure all pupils are provided with the opportunity of visiting a place of worship, visit to study a new faith practically.
We enrich our pupils with a wide range of before school, lunchtime and after school clubs. These clubs celebrate a variety of sports and fitness; the arts – singing, dancing, drama, speaking and listening. Homework and ICT clubs including TT Rockstars. We also run successful lunchtime clubs including Lego club and …There are opportunities for all pupils to participate in team events and make a positive contribution to the school.
The school also seeks to broaden the cultural capital of its pupils. This includes trips to museums, farms, experiencing the thrill of live theatre and ballet. Furthermore through the school’s teaching of oracy pupils have the confidence and speed of thought to participate in the Urban Debate league. Since 2017, Ryefield has been the undefeated champions of Hillingdon’s debating completion, hosted at Swakeley’s School for Girls. Furthermore, in 2018 the school was crowned the Noisy Classroom Pan London Debate Champions. The organisation Voice 21, in their recently published Oracv Benchmarks, highlighted the school as an example of high expectations for oracy.
Moments of Triumph: A character development programme.
Emotional resilience, emotional literacy (communication), emotional initiative and leadership are key in terms of developing an emotionally secure and adaptable child.
Children have two minds: one that thinks and one that feels. Both determine how children function each day and throughout life.
Rational intelligence cannot perform well without emotional intelligence and emotional intelligence benefits from cool cognitive judgements of the rational mind. When the two perform together smoothly and efficiently, emotional intelligence rises and so does intellectual ability.
At Ryefield we believe that an excellent school is one that develops the whole child. Our job is to make people the best that they can be, ready to realise their potential and face the challenges of secondary school and beyond.
Working in partnership with Ryefield’s Educational Psychologist – Jane Hayward, the school has established 6 categories vital in developing emotionally well-rounded children.
Over the course of the academic year, pupils are challenged to complete 10 Moments of Triumph. Over time, these triumphs will develop the requisite traits necessary for Ryefield’s pupils to be ready for the challenges that lay ahead.
For a full analysis of our curriculum and a breakdown of each year group’s curriculum, please download our Curriculum Overview.
If you have any further questions, please speak to your child's class teacher or their phase leader.