At Lime Tree our curriculum is innovative, rich and varied. It celebrates all skills and subjects. We focus on English and Mathematics as the foundations for all learning and our academic enrichment activities such as our specialist music and instrumental lessons give our pupils life-changing opportunities. Our curriculum immerses children in first and second hand experience that enables them to draw on prior learning to consolidate and expand their conceptual thinking.
English ‘The art of reading, the craft of writing’
English teaching and learning at Lime Tree seeks to ignite a passion for the written and spoken language in all children. It believes that the children should read and write creatively, studying and using the individual word, the phrase, the sentence, the paragraph and the chapter.
We believe that pupil’s text development is enhanced through an active, direct and challenging approach to texts of all kinds. This involves texts from a range of authors. All books, texts and extracts are read by staff to ensure that they are appropriate for the year group. Many writing journeys may also follow the children’s own interests if they are particularly excited by a film, book or clip that they have seen recently.
Our learning structure seeks to combine a variety of creative, stimulating opportunities with access to visual tools and various different stimuli which seek to engage and enthral pupils to become inspired writers. This may include images, music, stimulus clips and creative tasks.
We use a timeline approach to structure stories and fiction – from story maps and story strings down in Early Years and Key Stage 1, to complex timelines in Years 5 and 6. This allows children to structures stories appropriately, and map out the story from the beginning to the end.
Children have numerous opportunities to read as writers in order to gather and organise the best ideas. We investigate why authors write what they do, and study the grammar and literary devices that they use so we can learn from them. Children across the school interrogate texts at their own level to learn and forward their developing skills and knowledge.
Throughout the process, children plan, draft and write their ideas, with the teacher being integral parts to the assessment for learning and improvement process. Children also share their writing with others and are encouraged to actively reflect on what may improve their writing. Teachers facilitate and challenge by teaching at the point of learning, pinpointing key skills and knowledge which will move that child’s learning forward.
Teachers are passionate about the writing process, and model key parts of the story through modelled writing, explicitly modelling the thoughts and decisions that writers have to make when completing a piece.
Final pieces of writing are celebrated and communicated across classes, with children reflecting on their writing journey and how they have improved throughout it.
Mathematics ‘The art of becoming a mathematician – creating passion for contextualised maths through real life problem solving’
At Lime Tree we believe that to become true mathematicians children need to be actively involved in the process of mathematical enquiry. We seek to develop young mathematicians through a skills and application approach to maths, covering topics including: number, calculating, money and measure, shape, position and movement and information handling.
Providing a problem or challenge presents children with numerous opportunities to discuss and learn, identifying the key terminology and mathematical concepts required in order to solve it. This learning process continues through teacher led skills whereby the children develop clearer knowledge and understanding throughout, in order to arm themselves with the skills required to complete the challenge successfully.
All children are immersed in hands on practical experiences in problem solving. They learn to ask questions, work collaboratively, apply basic skills and participate in real life projects, improving ways of thinking mathematically from Early Years to Year 6.
We are developing a Mathematics Curriculum that delivers engaging, challenging and enjoyable activities based on recent research including the work of Guy Claxton’s ‘Learning Powered School’ and Jo Boaler’s, ‘Elephant in the Classroom’.
Science ‘How to become a scientist’
At Lime Tree our aim is to develop children’s natural curiosity through practical, engaging and real life scenarios within science. We begin science by giving the children a real life stimulus to get them talking and asking questions, whilst immersing them in the important scientific knowledge and skills. The children are actively involved through scientific enquiry and we go with the children’s curiosity to help plan exciting experiments and investigations.
From the initial stimulus, the children embark upon a scientific journey using the TASC wheel, which allows the children to become scientists!
The children are taught scientific skills which are embedded through investigations. They are encouraged to ask questions, predict, work collaboratively, measure, record, interpret their results and evaluate scientific evidence whilst being completely engrossed in hands on, practical and exciting experiments.
With an ever-evolving modern society, the ability to use computing effectively is an essential life skill for our pupils. As computing is continually developing and new technologies are emerging, we as a school will strive to give all pupils the skills needed to prepare them for the future.
The Computing Curriculum is embedded into all other subject areas and is used to enhance and compliment many different areas of learning. Children have access to ICT equipment throughout the whole school day and we encourage children to be independent and use their initiative to support their own leaning through the use of computing. We offer all pupils a huge variety of software and apps that allow for children to use their own creativity.
All children are given the opportunity to develop skills in digital literacy (e-safety), computer science (coding) and IT (eg. word processing, presenting data).
Digital Leaders are elected from Key Stage 2 classes at the start of every academic year, and they attend Coding Club after school, which equips them with different skills which they can pass on to their peers. We encourage the children to take responsibility for the equipment and look after it, and a huge part of our Curriculum is children understanding that E-Safety is an essential part of our modern society. We talk to the children and hold meetings for parents on how to protect themselves online and ensure that they are being a safe, vigilant, responsible user of the internet.