Children are always at the heart of our curriculum. We believe here at Bowerham Primary and Nursery School that learning should never stop- from the moment a child joins us to the moment they leave, inside the classroom and out in the real world, in formal lessons or with informal groups, as a class or working alone, on the playground or online.

We believe in providing an exciting, challenging and stimulating learning journey that is personalised for every child – our outstanding staff ensure all our children are motivated, engaged and inspired to fulfil their potential by removing barriers to learning and ensuring teaching is rich, diverse and innovative.

We believe all children thrive by learning in a safe and supportive environment – we encourage our children to reflect honestly on their performance, question their next steps and be prepared to take risks in and responsibility for their own learning.

We believe that every moment is a chance to learn and that no moment should be lost – by focusing on our unique ‘Bowerham Family’ we provide countless opportunities to grow and develop the ‘whole’ child; forming a range of relationships across school, celebrating personal achievements and building independence, resilience and self-esteem.

We believe in collaborative learning – that working together with shared interests ignites children’s learning, promotes tolerance and mutual respect, celebrates differences and prepares our children for the challenges of  life after primary school.

We believe talent should be nurtured and challenged to grow – we work tirelessly with our local community to create novel and meaningful experiences to stretch our more able children, from succeeding in sports and shining in science to powerful performances in drama and music – ability is cherished and celebrated.

We believe in children.

We believe children should laugh and learn.

We believe children should play and progress.

We believe all children should stand tall, reach high and love learning.

Curriculum Statement

We pride ourselves on a carefully thought-out key skills curriculum that encourage pupils to be curious and interested learners who seek out and use new information to develop, consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Our school curriculum centres around exciting topic themes. Each topic theme has one or two lead subjects and also involves a number of subject areas from the National Curriculum, which link to the topic. This ensures that the curriculum has breadth and depth with clear progression. We do this through a question and themed approach to learning. The development of a question to answer over the term hooks the children into a topic through a focus on enquiry and enables pupils to guide their own learning through pupil led questioning- what they want to learn. Weekly learning logs and half-termly curriculum reviews ensure that teachers and pupils discuss “how” they want to learn and what they need to do to improve or consolidate. Subsequently, the outcomes of this review are applied in the approach to the curriculum the following half term.

Children are also taught Religious Education, which follows the Lancashire Agreed Syllabus. Some subjects are taught discretely alongside the topics.

At Bowerham we have developed a unique teaching approach that focuses on corrective teaching and mastery through challenge. This ensures ALL the learning needs of our children are addressed. The use of regular mastery checks and effective questioning techniques allows teachers to plan for misconceptions and to provide corrective teaching and interventions; whilst at the same time ensuring children have a deeper understanding of the expected skills through a range of challenges that develop mastery; ‘the same thing but different’.  Pupil’s assess themselves through these mastery checks, self-led questioning and challenges and are aware of their achievements and next steps: a key element of developing their independence and resilience.

The “Bowerham Family” is always prominent through our approach to learning. Every term, each year group works collectively towards an outcome that combines and celebrates all of their learning that term. This collective approach enables children to work together and feel part of a larger purpose to learning. It also allows pupils to reflect on their achievements and share these with family or friends: building self-esteem and self-confidence.

We believe that, through our commitment to achievement and personal development, our children have access to an outstanding curriculum that gives our children the best possible learning journey throughout their early years and primary education. Staff work hard to build on the curriculum every year to ensure, in addition to a key skills and challenging curriculum, that our children have access to wide range of opportunities that enrich their learning journey. These enrichment opportunities are assessed and developed every year, to guarantee children have access to trips, visitors, events and opportunities to learn through experiences.

It is testament to our curriculum and teaching that children leave Bowerham having all the skills needed to prepare them for their next stage in learning.

National Curriculum

You can find out more about the National Curriculum which we follow at the Department of Education’s website here.

Literacy at Bowerham

At Bowerham Primary and Nursery School we believe that literacy is a strand that runs throughout the curriculum. We endeavour to provide a pupil led, exciting and enriched curriculum, whilst developing the key literacy skills children need to succeed. This area outlines the various schemes and approaches we use to ensure children make good progress in English.

The Golden Purple Pen Award

This is awarded weekly to children in each class who show great progress in their writing.

The Golden Purple Pen winners receive a certificate and they are able to use the Golden Purple Pen in all their work for the rest of the following week.

Just Write and Just Talk

Each week your child will be sent home with their ‘Just talk’ homework. We ask that you talk through the topic with your child over the weekend so that they are ready for their ‘Just write’ the following week. Each half term we invite parents/carers to come and join us for the ‘Just Write’ launch.

Reading Schemes

We use a wide range reading schemes to ensure breadth and depth in the early stages of reading.  Our schemes include The Oxford Reading Tree, Collins and Heinemann.

Spelling

We send out words each week as part of your child’s homework ready for their weekly spelling test on Friday, and every half term we will have a ‘big spell’ test.

Jolly Phonics

At Bowerham, we teach the children the sounds of the letters of the alphabet using the scheme ‘Jolly Phonics’. Each sound is taught using a picture, an action, a basic story and a song to help the child to remember it. Some sounds are written with just one letter, but others are written with two letters, such as ee and or. When we teach the children the sounds, we say the sounds as they are in words.

The sounds are not introduced in alphabetical order. The first sounds introduced are s, a, t, p, i and n. This is because they make more three letter words than any other set of six letters, and once the children know these they can start learning to blend the sounds together in order to read words.

Please click on the attachment to find a list of the sounds in the order that they will be taught and the corresponding actions – Jolly_Phonics_actions

You can also read the Bowerham guide to phonics here – Phonics booklet

Letter Formation

At Bowerham we teach correct letter formation alongside the sounds.

Before putting pen to paper, look at the letter with your child and encourage them to trace it on the page with their finger. Have a go at finger-writing it in the air, on the table, the page, and even on each-other’s back! In the sand on the beach when on holiday is a great time to practise! Let your child see you ‘modelling’ the letter formation in this way. When they feel confident that they know the formation, try using a pencil to get the letter down on the page.

Encourage your child to hold their pencil correctly (putting it down in front of them with the point facing towards them encourages them to pick it up with the correct grip).

Try to let your child see you writing whenever possible, whether it be a shopping list, birthday card, or even a note on the calendar – they love to copy grown ups, and again you are modelling the skill for them.

Finally, allow your child time to experiment with different pens, pencils, paintbrushes and crayons independently, so that they have time to try ideas and skills out for themselves. Give them lots of praise when they attempt to write for themselves – they will be encouraged to try it more often if they know their efforts are appreciated!

Note: When your child is writing their name please encourage your child to only use a capital letter for the beginning of their name and use lower case letters for the remaining part of their name.