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Teaching and learning
A shared approach
We follow a shared curriculum based on both the English and French national curriculums. This is colour coded and enables staff to identify shared objectives and those which must be taught in each language discreetly.
Each week, year group partners have PPA (planning, preparation and assessment). This is time out of class to work together, ensuring there is a shared, collaborative approach to the class and not teaching the two curriculums parallel. This shared approach also enables the teachers to plan and teach the whole curriculum throughout the year. For non core subjects (Humanities, Science and the Arts) class teachers create shared topics and trips with the assistance of specialist teachers.
We teach the following subjects:
- English and French
- Discovering the world (Humanities, Science, DT and Computing)
- The Arts (Music, Art and Drama)
- We believe in pair, group work and independent learning.
- We believe that learning should be fun and provide children with real-life contexts.
- We believe that every child should feel challenged yet supported in each lesson.
- Staff should be aware of teaching different learning styles.
- We believe in talking through ideas, hence why Bilingual classrooms can be noisy!
- We firmly believe that there isn’t a French or an English way of doing things; we take the best from both curriculums to create shared best practice. This means our children become open-minded and resilient learners.
The English approach
Marking and feedback:
Teachers provide feedback throughout lessons to ensure it has an impact on pupil progress. We assess the children daily – informally during lessons and at the end of the day when marking their learning. This useful information has a direct impact on the next days teaching. At the end of the week, the teachers check over the weeks learning and decide if the children have met the curriculum objective. This has a direct impact on making a judgement about whether the objective needs to be revisited later in the term and/or taught in a different way. When marking, the teachers highlight the children’s successes in green and identify their next step. Incorrect spellings are identified and the pupils copy out the correction three times.
We do not believe in teaching to a test. The staff are clear about end of year expectations and plan accordingly to ensure that they cover each objective more than once as we believe in “a tally not a tick”. We believe in retrieval practice. This is giving the children multiple opportunities to practise the skill to ensure that it is firmly embedded into their long term memory. The children are tested via low stakes quizzes on these skills at various times throughout the year - not straight after the unit of work is completed. This provides staff with an understanding if the skill has been embedded into their long term memory or if it needs to be revisited.
Retrieval practice ensures:
- Sustained mastery
- A shift in teacher’s thinking - journey
- Trying to get it embedded as daily practice
- Can be used in any subject
We do not put the children into ability groups as this can have a detrimental effect on their self esteem. Instead, after the teacher input the children choose their activity and corresponding level of challenge: red (easier), blue (standard) and green (more challenging). This is to foster independence and a growth mindset. For children who require extra support, we have small group or 1:1 interventions.
We value knowledge and hard work to build confidence, self-esteem and long term memory. Different ways of testing and assessing are used to ensure that the children succeed. At our school, they learn independently, in pairs and group work. In all subjects, we are looking for progress, not perfection.