Simon Marks Jewish Primary School has adopted a range of resources to stimulate, inspire and motivate children to enjoy learning while achieving their full potential, within and beyond the legal requirements of the National Curriculum.
- promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
- prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
In addition to the National Curriculum subjects, children engage in Hebrew, Jewish Studies and ‘creative links’ lessons which enable children to learn from Jewish values and experience our heritage. Further information on this aspect of the curriculum can be found here.
We use The Literacy Tree to support planning and teaching of English. Units of work focus on a particular book and include a range of genres. Where possible the units have been organised to complement the topic based approach of the non-core ‘Dimensions’ curriculum (see below).
The Literacy Tree grew from a passion for quality children’s literature and a belief that if children engage in these books early on not only will their lives be enriched but they will also develop that same passion and, through excellent teaching, become critical thinkers, readers and writers, enjoying the process at every stage (as learning should be an exciting and creative process).
The Primary Advantage Maths Programme (PA Maths) provides the ethos and planning cycle in teaching and learning maths at Simon Marks. The new National Curriculum shifted the focus in all subjects from a ‘coverage’ of themes to a deep understanding of concepts, and this deep understanding, or ‘mastery’ lies at the heart of PA Maths. Concepts are organised into linked units which are re-visited every term.
In addition to this, PA Maths promotes the ‘CPA’ (concrete/pictorial/abstract) model of teaching and learning, which is based on the work of Jerome Bruner. Teachers and children are encouraged to manipulate concrete materials when developing their understanding of concepts. These are then linked to pictorial representations of the materials, and later to fluent, abstract approaches as exemplified in formal, standard calculation methods. It is important to note that progression through CPA should not be rushed and that it will often be of benefit to return to previous phases to address new concepts, deal with misconceptions or to deepen understanding.
We also use resources from Abacus maths to support teaching and learning.
Science, History and Geography are taught through a themed approach which aims to make creative but logical links between subjects. The creative curriculum is therefore a carefully planned thematic approach which is designed to support children’s enquiring minds and stimulate and nurture their creativity. Because learning is linked under a theme, it gives children the opportunities to work in greater depth, with more time to reflect, consolidate and transfer knowledge, skills and understanding across the learning experience as a whole.
Where possible we have also tried to link genres and books from the Literacy Tree to the Dimensions curriculum to further enhance the children’s’ experiences.