We truly believe in providing children with a broad and rich curriculum which delivers an engaging and exciting education for all pupils. At the same time as promoting high standards in core subjects we proudly maintain the breadth of our curriculum so that it appeals to all learners. Each class and every child will therefore have lessons across the range of the Primary curriculum, from art to technology.
Our curriculum priorities reflect the interests and abilities of our children and our ethic of equipping all our children with the skills needed to be rights respecting 21st century learners.
As a school we are constantly looking to develop a curriculum that promotes opportunities for independent learning, whilst engaging and developing children’s potential through first-hand learning experiences; we aim to offer a wide range of special events and memorable experiences that bring learning to life.
We review our curriculum annually and additionally if required, perhaps to respond to changes in statutory curriculum requirements.
Curriculum Topics ListsParents can find out more about the curriculum in school by contacting the relevant class teacher.
The teaching of English is structured from the National Curriculum and we use a wide range of materials to enhance the delivery of quality teaching: reading and writing is central to what we do.
We adopt a cross curricular approach to English, which means that we take opportunities to make meaningful links with other curriculum areas and purposefully create reasons, motivations and audiences for writing. We prioritise speaking and listening opportunities and use drama to allow children to practically engage and reflect first hand on their learning.
Reading for pleasure is an integral part of our curriculum. We actively seek out quality texts to stimulate creativity and curiosity. We aim to use a variety of reading experiences and opportunities every day, including: individual personal reading time (children engrossed in a text of their choice); reading buddies; guided reading sessions, where reading strategies are specifically taught; whole class book study; and class novel. Our children are enthusiastic readers and we encourage them, during their time at our school and outside, to read widely and adventurously across a variety of genres and authors. Children who require additional support with different elements of reading may access small group or 1:1 reading support or work on individualised Lexia programmes.
Our English curriculum is driven by our Key Skills Policy which is a progressive set of basic skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar linked to the statutory requirements from the 2014 curriculum.
Across the school we teach spelling, using the age related expected outcomes of the National Curriculum. We have a school-wide system of teaching spellings, introducing spellings each week and working on them little and often in daily spelling sessions. Children who require additional support with spelling are taught in small group interventions, for example, Wordshark and the Rapid Phonics Programme.
‘Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.’ –The National Curriculum, 2014.
Mathematics equips pupils with a powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. It is a way of communicating – a language through which ideas can be explained, explored and developed, relationships expressed, hypotheses made and tested, and pattern identified. It is also a creative activity involving imagination, intuition and discovery. Through mathematics, children can learn to explore, discover, investigate and make sense of the real world. At Lydgate Junior School, we aim to develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about mathematics through problem solving, discussion, practical investigations and making connections between representations of mathematical ideas. We encourage children to reason mathematically and discover solutions, alongside learning the facts that they need in order to become fluent in working with numbers. Our Calculation Progressions for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division set out the steps that the children will follow in order to develop their conceptual understanding of the written calculation procedures that they learn. By the end of Key Stage 2, we aim for our children to be confident mathematicians with the knowledge and skills required in their everyday life and prepared for further study at Key Stage 3.
We are working towards a ‘mastery curriculum’ in mathematics using a framework from White Rose Maths Hub which we adapt to suit the needs of our children. We also use published materials called 'Power Maths'. The intention is to ensure that every child has mastered the core learning in each unit of work. We use visual and other representations of calculations as a key feature, helping children to understand mathematical concepts rather than simply carry out a successful calculation procedure. Lessons are planned in small steps to enable all children to keep up, with built in challenges designed to encourage higher attainers to think deeply about the maths they are learning.
We begin all maths lessons with rehearsal of key facts and skills to aid fluency. We have created a list of fluency key skills for each year group. We believe that quick recall of these essential facts will enable children to progress further as it frees up their working memory to solve more complex problems. As well as quick recall, we aim for the children to use the skills flexibly to solve a range of problems.
We ask the children to rehearse times tables facts as often as possible, including at home. The whole school use the Times Tables Rock Stars website to motivate them to practise (your child will have a personal log in). You can find further activities and games to play at home here.
A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. At Lydgate Junior School, we teach a range of science topics across all year groups (please click here to see long-term plans, which show which topics are taught in which year group). Science is taught discretely, with cross-curricular links included where possible.
We aim to make our science curriculum stimulating and engaging. We encourage our pupils to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Science has changed our society and is vital to the world’s future prosperity so our pupils are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science to prepare them for life in an ever more scientific and technological world. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. We also ensure that the children understand and use the five different types of scientific enquiry:
- Observing over time
- Comparative and fair testing
- Identifying, classifying and grouping
- Pattern seeking
- Researching and using secondary sources
We believe that it is important to increase our pupils’ science capital (read more about science capital here so we have enhanced and expanded teaching and learning in science by including a ‘Science Week’ in the Spring term. These weeks follow a particular theme and are very practical. The use of specific visits and visitors also adds to the engagement in science.
Computing education should equip pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and change the world. Computing at Lydgate Junior School is taught through three key strands: computer science; information technology and digital literacy. The core of computing is computer science, in which pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. Information technology builds on this knowledge and understanding and equips pupils to create programs, systems and a range of content. The teaching of digital literacy through computing also ensures that pupils become digitally literate – able to use, and express themselves and develop their ideas through, information and communication technology – at a level suitable for the future workplace and as active participants in a digital world.
The introduction of the Computing curriculum in England aims to equip pupils with the knowledge, understanding and skills to use information and communication technology creatively and purposefully. A key aspect of this lies in being digitally literate. Online technologies play a huge role and so providing a broad and balanced e-safety education is vital to ensuring that pupils can navigate the online world safely and positively. Pupils will be taught to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content or contact. It is important to educate pupils on how online searches work and how to get the best out of searching online reliably and safely.
At Lydgate Junior School, we believe that History will help pupils to gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. We encourage our pupils to develop historical skills such as asking perceptive questions, evaluating evidence and speculating on the cause and effect of major historical events. We teach a range of topics from both British and World history and challenge the children to make comparisons between people’s lives through the ages. We also aim to develop children’s sense of chronology and their understanding of how the key historical periods fit together. As a school, we firmly believe that children should understand how key historical events have impacted on our society today and what lessons we can learn from the successes and failures of past civilisations.
For further information on which particular periods of history your child will cover, please see the Curriculum Planning links at the top of the page specific for your child’s year group.
At Lydgate Junior School we aim to inspire in pupils a curiosity and fascination about their surroundings, the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. As well as equipping children with the knowledge of the characteristics of various countries and the people who live there, we cover a wide range of geographical skills to better enable our children to understand the world in which they live. As well as this, we provide ample opportunities for children to undertake fieldwork to observe, measure, record and present the human and physical features in the local area. As the children move through school, we aim to broaden their understanding of their surroundings beyond the local area to include the United Kingdom and Europe, North and South America.
As we are a Rights Respecting School, we feel that it is important that as part of our geography curriculum we ensure our pupils become aware of their position in the wider world and how the decisions they take can have an impact.
For further information on which particular periods of geography your child will cover, please see the Curriculum Planning links at the top of the page specific for your child’s year group.
The Rights Respecting School curriculum and PSHCE is taught through our Global Citizenship lessons which help children learn respect for self, others, critical thinking skills and informed decision-making. We include a global dimension to this work so that our children are gaining an understanding of the wider world and the issues faced by children in countries which are quite different from our own. We base our planning on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This means that we empower children to relate to each other and to share responsibility for making the big decisions about their learning and their school. Children learn to associate rights with needs and distinguish between their rights and ‘wants’. They learn that if they have rights, they need to respect the rights of others.
Art, craft and design embody some of the highest forms of human creativity. A high-quality art and design education should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. As pupils progress, they should be able to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design. They should also know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, and contribute to the culture, creativity and wealth of our nation.
In our school, we work on a skills based curriculum which progresses over the key stage. Key skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and textiles are taught every year through art and design work which is closely linked to other subject areas. Children are encouraged to develop their visual literacy and knowledge of the world of art throughout these carefully planned units of work.
Twice a year, all classes work on a chosen theme, resulting in every child (all 484 of them!) having a piece of work proudly displayed in the public areas around school. These huge exhibitions are a real celebration of the creative souls we have here at Lydgate Junior School.
D & T
Design and technology is an inspiring, rigorous and practical subject. Using creativity and imagination, pupils at Lydgate Junior School design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs, wants and values. They acquire a broad range of subject knowledge and draw on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. Pupils learn how to take risks, becoming resourceful, innovative, enterprising and capable citizens. Through the evaluation of past and present design and technology, they develop a critical understanding of its impact on daily life and the wider world. High-quality design and technology education makes an essential contribution to the creativity, culture, wealth and well-being of the nation.
Modern Foreign Languages
We believe that learning a modern foreign language is an important part of our varied curriculum. Learning a foreign language helps children to gain an understanding of and respect for other countries and cultures. It also teaches children language learning skills and fosters an enjoyment of language that is a foundation for their future learning.
There are five main strands to the teaching of MFL at Lydgate:
- Oracy-listening and speaking skills
- Literacy-reading and writing skills
- Intercultural understanding
- Knowledge about language
- Language learning strategies
- MFL is taught by:
- Exploring the patterns and sounds of the language through songs and rhymes
- Engaging in conversations, asking and answering questions, expressing opinions
- Speaking in sentences using familiar vocabulary, phrases and language structures
- Presenting ideas and information orally
- Developing reading skills by looking at familiar language and cognates
- Developing their vocabulary, including through using a dictionary
- Writing phrases from memory and adapting them to create new sentences
- Developing an understanding of basic grammar
In year 3 and 4, children learn Spanish by learning and practising basic vocabulary and holding simple conversations.
In year 5, children apply their Spanish learning through topics that explore the culture of Spanish speaking countries.
For the first time this year, year 6 children have been given the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese. This is delivered by a native language teacher from Tapton School.
Lydgate Junior School is well known in the local community and beyond for its excellence in music teaching and learning; at our heart, we are a musical school.
We provide a high-quality music education through lessons within class, singing assemblies, group performances and a range of high calibre extra-curricular activities. We aim to engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. In a world where emphasis is placed ever more heavily on children's success in literacy and mathematics, we believe our music teaching complements and enhances the learning of core academic skills, whilst also helping to produce well-rounded individuals. Curriculum music lessons are taught in our purpose-built music room and children have access to a range of quality percussion instruments, including djembe drums, a full drum kit, keyboards and piano. Schemes of work include Charanga which is an interactive programme to develop practical music making skills as well as listening skills.
The vast majority of curriculum music lessons are taught by the class teacher. Many of our class teachers have a musical background and their skills enhance the lessons they teach. Mrs Ridsdale, Mrs Jones and Mrs Smith (class teachers in Y4 and 5) are our music specialists with responsibility for leading music across the school. They have been trained by Sheffield Music Hub to deliver percussion performance based projects in Year 4 and 5. This is based around classical music adapted for tuned percussion (glockenspiels and xylophones).
All children participate in a weekly singing assembly where they develop their vocal skills through singing rounds and songs. In Year 5, children have the opportunity to visit Sheffield City Hall to hear the Halle Orchestra.
Not many junior schools support a 60-piece orchestra but Lydgate Junior School has just that. All our children progress to join the orchestra after they have reached a basic standard on one of the orchestral instruments taught by our peripatetic teachers. These currently include violin, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, cornet, tenor horn and euphonium. We highly value this activity and so run it during lesson times, releasing staff to lead.
We have a hand bells group and wind band which rehearse at a lunchtime or after school.
Many children enjoy singing in our large choir which has performed in charity concerts around the city as well as our own Christmas Carol Concert at Ranmoor Church and our summer concert at St. Mark’s , Broomhill.
Many of our pupils build on their progress by becoming dedicated members of Sheffield Music Hub ensembles and even eminent groups across Yorkshire such as the Grimethorpe Colliery Youth Band.
Extra Curricular Music Activities
Our choir is open to all children from Y4-Y6. No audition is needed. Some Y3 children may be invited to join on occasion when there is space and staff feel they are ready. Choir takes place after school on Thursdays. It performs regularly in the community, at school music events and at wider events across Sheffield. The singing is to a high standard with children being taught to sing harmonies in several parts.
Windband is open to children in Y4-Y6 who have been learning a wind or brass instrument (flute, oboe, clarinet, cornet, tenor horn, euphonium) for at least 6 months. Windband takes place after school on Fridays. It performs regularly in school music events.
School owns a set of quality brass handbells. The weekly handbells group is currently open to all children in Y5 and it takes place on Wednesday lunchtime. Children are given the opportunity to perform in either the Christmas or Summer concert. Handbells is suitable for all children and no previous instrumental experience is required.
We have an excellent team of Sheffield Music Hub staff and private teachers who offer instrument lessons. These lessons do incur a cost to parents but bursaries are available from school and the Music Hub on application. Instrument lessons take place during school hours. Children in any year group can learn an instrument and they are first invited to do so in the autumn term of Y3. The Sheffield Music Hub and school office can provide further information about pricing and lessons arrangements, and teaching staff can discuss which instrument might be suitable for your child. Our current instrumental teachers are:
Brass (cornet, tenor horn)
Sheffield Music Hub teacher
Sheffield Music Hub teacher
Sheffield Music Hub teacher
We aim to provide a high-quality Physical Education curriculum which inspires all our pupils to reach their individual potential in competitive sport and other physically-demanding activities. We hold the School Games Gold Award for the second consecutive year. This award recognises the high standard of provision offered and we are extremely proud that our sporting activities and inclusivity have been acknowledged and celebrated. We provide opportunities for all our children to engage in a range of sporting and physical activities, such as athletics, a wide range of competitive games, dance and gymnastics to name but a few. We encourage all of our children to be physically confident in a way which supports their health and fitness now and in the future. Physical Education at Lydgate Junior School also aims to build character and embed values of fairness, respect and team work.
Each class has two PE lessons a week – one indoor and one outdoor. All children are expected to change into a PE kit for these lessons (please see the uniform policy). All of our lessons promote inclusivity so that each child can access the activities on offer and strive to reach their full potential. Our lessons are planned to ensure that the children are engaged, active and having fun!
Opportunities to compete in sports are provided within our broad curriculum through intra-school competitions and as part of our extra-curricular provision. We use the Sports and PE Premium to support these activities and to develop the quality of our PE teaching on a day to day basis. During the summer term we hold a School Games event where every child has the opportunity to participate in a range of field and track events to gain points for their house team.
Each year, a number of Year 5 children are given the opportunity to train to become a Play Maker. This training enables them to lead physical activities for younger children during lunchtimes as well as facilitating events, such as Key Stage 1 School Games day and inter-school competitions.
During Year 4, pupils attend swimming lessons once a week over a 9 week period. This helps to ensure that, when the children reach year 6, they can;
- Swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres (2018/19 – 94%)
- Use a range of strokes effectively (2018/19 – 81%)
- Have a good understanding of Water Safety (2018-19 – 96%)
We want children to leave Lydgate Junior School with a positive enjoyment of physical and sporting activity which stays with them throughout their lives.
At Lydgate Junior School, we follow the Sheffield ‘Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education’. For more information on the Agreed Syllabus, please click here. Our Assemblies for Autumn 2019-20 are based on these themes.
As a school, we have subscribed to Education City. Currently all children have access to this excellent resource during the school day however many parents and carers have opted to purchase home access logins which provide children with access away from school. If you would like to sign up for home access then please contact Mrs Cooke in the school office who will be able to add you to our waiting list.
You can visit the Education City site by clicking here.