Marsden Junior School follows the National Curriculum 2014 Programmes of Study that can be accessed via the following link.
Our curriculum has been developed to include the statutory requirements of the subjects within the new curriculum, which are English, Maths, Science, PE. Computing, History, Geography, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Music and Languages (KS2). Children’s learning is enhanced and broadened with additional opportunities and experiences that make up the wider school curriculum.
Children are taught to read through daily, differentiated synthetic phonics sessions using initially the ‘Ruth Miskin Read, write, Inc’ scheme and then the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme. We teach reading based on the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ scheme, but this is supplemented from a range of reading books, matched to their ability and interest, drawn from a variety of authors and themes.
We aim to make learning exciting and meaningful for children. Where links exists between subjects and aspects of learning, teachers will adopt a cross-curricular approach. Where this is not applicable subjects are taught discretely. The acquisition and application of basic skills in English and Maths underpins our entire curriculum.
We teach French to children in KS2. Children are introduced to French through stories, games and other activities.
Personal Development is taught within, and, in addition to the statutory subjects within the National Curriculum in order to enhance children’s Social, Moral, Cultural and Spiritual understanding and knowledge of British Values.
Religious Education is delivered through the agreed Kirklees and Calderdale RE syllabus.
Experience, talented staff, allow us to respond to the needs of a child’s individual needs. We benefit from a number of well-qualified support staff, who are able to extend and support the teaching and learning opportunities within each classroom.
Each half term we produce a Curriculum Newsletter for each class to let you know in more detail what your child will be studying. These can be found on the Class pages.
Expectations for the end of each year can be found below.
The study of English develops pupil’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and to communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables pupils to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Pupils gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Pupils use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking, listening, reading and writing across a broad range of opportunities.
At MJS we want to develop pupils’ knowledge, skills and understanding and love and appreciation of different genres and multi-cultural texts. Pupils have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources such as dictionaries, thesauruses, phonics and SPAG materials and activities to support their learning; to develop confident, independent readers across a wide range of text types; to encourage pupils to become enthusiastic and reflective readers.
Your child will benefit from opportunities to share their reading with you whether it be stories, poems, information books or a favourite comic. Reading should be, above all, enjoyable and have a level of difficulty which allows your child to be fluent and successful.
All children read books from the school reading scheme which is made up of a selection of material from various published reading schemes which have been organised and levelled using book banding.
All classes incorporate 'Narrative Immersion' into their lessons to create narratives that hook the audience in and immerse them in the story world.
At MJS, children are actively encouraged to enjoy mathematics! In KS2, mathematics teaching follows the National Curriculum and is based on seven 'strands': using and applying mathematics; counting and understanding number; knowing and using number facts; calculating; understanding shape; measuring and handling data. At MJS, our teaching is lively, engaging and involves a carefully planned blend of approaches (including the use of 'concrete' materials) that direct children’s learning. Teachers provide pupils with good support but require independence, as and when appropriate. The pitch and pace of our work is sensitive to the rate at which the children learn whilst ensuring that expectations are kept high and that progress is made by all children. Children are challenged to think and reason mathematically through a variety of problem-solving activities and participation in a whole school maths challenge and the national (including the Primary Mathematics Challenge) competitions.
Each year groups’ lessons include topics from all of the three main science areas: biology, chemistry & physics.The new primary science curriculum (KS2) has introduced many new subjects, including: genetics, evolution and palaeontology (study of fossils)! The children also get the opportunity to learn about the lives and achievements of some of the ‘great’ scientists. In lessons, there is an emphasis on ‘hands-on’ investigation to promote knowledge and learning, develop independent thinking skills and encourage the idea that ‘science is fun!’. In addition, the collaborative nature of practical science helps our children to learn to work co-operatively. Our children have access to a wide-range of scientific resources and equipment, which are regularly replaced and/or updated. The ‘Rising Stars: Switched on Science’ scheme of work is used throughout school to support the planning and implementation of science lessons, but staff are encouraged to adapt and/or change these plans to accommodate personal strengths in science teaching, and to include any relevant, topical scientific events. Cross-curricular science learning is actively encouraged – the close links with maths, D.& T., computing and geography are particularly evident throughout school. The result is a rich, engaging science curriculum, which the children find exciting and fun!
Computing is concerned with how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. Computing is taught discretely as well as in a cross-curricular manner. Largely, the Rising Stars ‘Switched on Computing’ scheme is used throughout the school but teaching staff can change and adapt units to suit topics and pupils. Units like ‘We are game testers’ and ‘We are bug fixers’ ensure children are introduced to the world of ‘coding’ – this is not just about playing games but making them! Children also get to use on-line software such as Scratch and Google Docs. Typing skills are essential throughout the key stages and a necessary life-skill.
We follow the Kirklees and Calderdale agreed syllabus in Religious Education, which is based mainly on Christianity. We include teaching about Judaism, Islam, Sikhism and festivals from other faiths. Parents have a right to withdraw their child from Religious Education. All requests should be made in writing to the Principal. Pupils withdrawn from Religious Education will have supervised private study.
History is taught throughout school and involves a wide range of exciting topics covering many years of History. As part of the development of their Knowledge and Understanding of the World pupils. As pupils progress through school they develop an understanding of important periods in History; the Stone Age, the Mayan civilisation, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Vikings. Local History is also explored as well as the history behind significant topical issues throughout the year.
The children begin to develop a deeper understanding of how to improve the environment. They study specific interesting aspects of Geography in more detail too; in particular Water, Coasts, Mountains and also Rainforests. Across school the children benefit from cross curricular activities; linking their learning in the Humanities to other areas of learning. Again, exciting practical activities and educational visits throughout school help the children develop their understanding of these topics.
We provide a range of opportunities in the following art forms (as developed in our school but not limited to) gives children avenues for creating and presenting artwork and self-expression. At MJS we identify with the following statements:
- Music: - Develops group identity and performance opportunities, assists memory and is a cross-curricular tool for learning, aids communication, supports creativity and playfulness
- Visual Art and Design: - Develops visual expression and communication of ideas allowing individual and group responses to creative experience. Making art involves the creation and presentation (within and outside school) of two and three- dimensional works in a range of media. Appreciating promotes understanding of the inherent qualities in art works, aesthetic enjoyment and cultural contexts
- Drama: - Provides the child with a unique and potent means of learning, enables the creation of a narrative through enactment, involves every aspect of a child’s personality: spiritual, moral, emotional, physical and intellectual. Fosters self-esteem and the exploration of issues, consequences and attitudes that is important to them and the world around them.
- Dance: - Enables opportunities for pupils to organise and develop enjoyment of expressive movement in dance forms through exploration and experimentation. Assists creativity through communication and presentation of arrangements, imagery, moods and feelings, to each other and wider audiences.
All classes have timetabled sessions to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. In addition we provide a rich stream of opportunities for pupils enriching our curriculum and community, lunchtime clubs, after school projects and productions.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is now more linked to science and ICT and put simply it comprises designing and making something for somebody for some purpose. It has two strands, Designing and Making and Cooking and Nutrition.
Designing and making: At KS2, children have started using annotated sketches, cross section and exploded diagrams. The children in KS2 investigate the key events in design development and look at individual designers. The children also use computer aided design to understand the concept of a system.
Cooking and nutrition: Throughout the school we look at the principles of a healthy and varied diet. In KS2 we look at seasonality and how ingredients are grown, reared, caught and processed. Throughout school we get the children involved in cooking various healthy dishes and using utensils.
Children are actively encouraged to sing, and to learn about rhythm and melody using tuned and un-tuned instruments. In addition, we have Mrs Baker come in to help support the teachers during their music lessons on a Friday afternoon. Children are also encouraged to enjoy and evaluate a wide range of musical types during assemblies and to learn both religious and secular songs during a weekly, whole-school singing session. Extra-curricular music includes: Choir, rock guitar.
There is the opportunity for children to learn various musical instruments (e.g. brass, strings, woodwind, piano, percussion) depending on their age and aptitude, through Kirklees Music School and is arranged with them directly by calling 01484 426426.
MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)
At MJS, we value all foreign languages and celebrate our ability to converse in them.We follow the criteria for French in order that children can progress into Year 7 with confidence at spoken, written, listening and reading levels.
Through a balance of individual and team, co-operative, competitive and creative activities, we aim to extend our pupil's abilities and opportunities. All pupils are taught a variety of sporting skills during their P.E. lessons and there are plenty of sports-based after school clubs for pupils to access.In all our sporting activities we instil in children a sense of fair play, sporting behaviour, a positive attitude to competition and above all a sense of fun and enjoyment. Pupils in Year 4 take part in swimming lessons once a week throughout the year. Pupils in Year 6 travel to Robinwood Activity Centre for a residential visit where they experience a range of more adventurous outdoor pursuits.
PSHE – Sex education
At MJS, we teach Sex education in accordance with the Kirklees Toolkit, which is taught across schools in Kirklees. This ensures a graduated, age-appropriate programme of sex and relationship education as your child moves up the school. This is taught in Year 6.
We also teach drug education in accordance with the Kirklees Toolkit, which is taught across schools in Kirklees. This ensures a graduated, age-appropriate programme of drug education as your child moves up the school.
How to keep safe at home and school. How to keep their bodies safe. Deals with the issues of children being able to say no when put in pressurised situations.
We expect pupils to work very hard during every lesson, to listen intently, to question, to reason, to reflect and to respond appropriately. It is this interaction with the teacher that helps to produce good progress in learning. We know that many parents share our view about the importance of developing ‘the whole child’ through extra-curricular activities and out of school pursuits. We believe that it is important to ensure that any additional academic work from school should not prevent pupils from widening their interests into sport, music and clubs. However, regular, additional work at home can reinforce skills through short, regular ‘bursts’ of practice, usually with an adult.
Key Stage 2 pupils have a homework diary/planner, in order that they can take ownership of their school work and to allow parents/pupils/Teachers an ongoing dialogue. A homework club also operates one lunchtime a week in school, with Teachers available to provide assistance. Parents are encouraged to contact school if they have any concerns or questions about the work given to be done at home either personally or by telephone.