Curriculum

The Wider Curriculum

At Broomfield, we have a proven track record of teaching English and Maths to the highest of standards. However, there is much more to a Broomfield education than these core subjects. We provide our children with a wide, rich and stimulating curriculum that also includes Art, Drama, Computing, the Humanities, Music, Science, Spanish and Sports.

We believe every child can shine in at least one area of this curriculum and it is our mission to help them discover their aptitudes and provide them with the learning experiences to enable them to develop their abilities to their full potential. Whether they show scientific thinking when carrying out experiments; perform with poise and stage presence in a school play; score the winning goal in an Inter-schools’ football or netball tournament; play a captivating instrumental solo in the school concert; express their inner Picasso in an Art lesson on abstract paintings, or demonstrate their abilities in any number of other activities, each child will grow in confidence in what they can achieve, through their hard work, resilience and perseverance, together with the support of their teachers and parents.

Mathematics

We place great emphasis on developing children’s numerical skills right from Early Years onwards. For children to realise their potential, it is essential that they have a firm foundation of place value, number bonds, times tables and division facts, upon which their knowledge, understanding and application of much of the Maths curriculum is built. Over time, your child will become more fluent with their mental maths skills; while regular homework and testing develops their speed and accuracy of recall of number facts which, in turn, enables them to work on increasingly more sophisticated and demanding mathematics as they move up the school.

Problem solving

Alongside the main Maths curriculum areas of numeracy, shape and space, data handling and measures, we have established a culture of Maths problem solving. In weekly timetabled lessons, children learn and develop a wide range of strategies and methods to enable them to solve increasingly more complex problems. This special area of mathematics provides opportunities for children to also develop more generic skills that will serve them well in secondary and further education, not to mention the workplace. These skills include working collaboratively in groups, thinking creatively, showing resilience and perseverance, and communicating their ideas and solutions effectively to their peers.

Prep for senior schools

By the end of Year 5 your child will have already covered about 90% of the Maths curriculum taught by the end of Year 6 in many other primary schools. This is achieved gently, by advancing the curriculum little by little in each of the years they are with us. So in the autumn term of Year 6 we can work with the children to consolidate their Maths learning and extend it where possible, thus giving them confidence and putting them in a strong position as they go into their 11+ exams. We prepare our Year 6 pupils, both academically and pastorally, for their senior school exams and interviews.

English

Reading

We want children to enjoy their reading so that they will become lifelong readers of fiction and non-fiction in all its different formats. To encourage this love of books, we work hard to develop a ‘reading for pleasure’ culture in our school. Our ERIC (everybody reading in class) sessions are an enjoyable way to start the week where children get the chance to read books to each other as well as discuss their books with the whole class.

The class novel forms a key part of the weekly reading activity in Key Stages 1 and 2 when children read with their class teacher as a whole class, discussing the story’s events, plot and characters, as well as the author’s use of language. Each child also reads one-to-one with a teacher or teaching assistant once a week, while children in need of extra support are included in a weekly guided reading group.

Writing

Broomfield children are encouraged to develop ideas and opinions and learn to express themselves effectively. The emphasis at the start of this journey is on developing a fluent handwriting style, accurate basic punctuation and spelling skills based on knowledge of phonics, an understanding of basic grammar, retelling traditional stories in their own words and using vocabulary for effect. As children progress through the school, they become more experienced and proficient at writing in a wide variety of genres and formats for different purposes and audiences.

By the time the children reach Year 6, they are ready for the final preparations for their 11+ English exams at the start of the spring term.

Children’s creative writing is celebrated in our Wednesday morning assemblies where they have the opportunity to read aloud one of their best pieces of work.

In addition to weekly spelling homework and tests, this technical skill is recognised once a year with our Spelling Bee Week. Each class in Years 1-5 runs its own Spelling Bee contest while Year 6 participate in an Inter-house Spelling Bee competition in front of the whole school. Excellent handwriting is also highlighted in our end-of-year class handwriting competitions.

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening is a fundamental component of all Broomfield lessons. The children develop effective communications skills and essential self-confidence when sharing their thoughts and ideas with their teachers and peers. In upper Key Stage 2, they also learn and practise important debating skills that they will need in secondary school and beyond. Performance skills are taught during weekly drama lessons and every child participates in an annual class play, culminating in the ‘jewel in the crown’ Year 6 summer term performance. Children can also attend weekly extra-curricular speech and drama sessions where they are prepared for their annual English Speaking Board exams. In Key Stage 2, children from each class have the opportunity to stand for election to the school’s popular Pupil Council where they can speak on behalf of their peers on a whole host of school matters and influence decisions that have an effect on their school environment, education and wellbeing.

History

At the start of Key Stage 1 the children embark on an exciting historical adventure. As they move up through the school, they learn about the Stone Age in Year 1 and the Iron and Bronze Ages in Year 2. In Year 3, they study Ancient Egypt, the Celts and the Romans, while in Year 4, it’s the Vikings and Normans that take to the stage. The larger-than-life Tudor dynasty is the main Year 5 History topic and Year 6 focus on the Victorian Age and the many advances in science, medicine and technology that emerged from this period of time.

Over the course of these topics, the children develop a greater understanding of chronology.  They become ever more skilled at using historical sources to carry out enquiries and analyses of key events, as well as the roles played by kings, queens and other people in positions of power. The children love participating in creative activities, such as re-enacting the Battle of Hastings; doing archaeological digs for ancient Roman coins and role-playing pupils and teachers in a strict Victorian classroom. The children’s history education is further enriched by school trips to places such as The Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and the National Archives.

Geography

In their Geography lessons, the children develop a sense of place in the world, starting with their own town and local community and then expanding out across the continents and oceans. In Key Stage 1 they learn about hot and cold places in the world and the main differences between the UK and an African country. In Year 3, the children switch their attentions to Europe, in particular Italy with its links to their history topic on the Romans. The main Year 4 Geography topic is India, including corresponding with children of the same age living in a small rural Indian village. Year 5 children explore the hot deserts of the world and tropical rainforests, while Year 6 study South America. Through studying these and other topics, the children acquire important place, human and physical geographical knowledge and develop essential practical fieldwork skills, including reading maps and atlases and using 4 and 6-figure grid references.

Computing

With the digital age constantly evolving and with the ability to use technology effectively now a fundamental requirement within many industries, computing is an important and infinitely valuable part of the curriculum.  Within computing, pupils are introduced to a wide range of programming projects and design challenges that are underpinned with a real focus on online safety throughout. Pupils are encouraged to evaluate the world around them and use these insights when inventing and designing their own solutions to modern day challenges.

Computing is the study of principles and practices that underpin an understanding and modelling of computation, and of their application within the real world.

At its heart lies the notion of computational thinking: a mode of thought that goes well beyond software and hardware, providing a framework within which to reason about systems and problems. This focuses on analysing, modelling and solving problems, skills which are applied cross-curricular and that support pupils’ ability to use computers effectively. Children are taught how computers and computer systems work, and how they are designed and programmed. They gain insight into computational systems of all kinds, whether or not they include computers. Lessons use real life examples to evidence the importance of computers within the modern world.

Computational thinking influences fields such as biology, chemistry, medicine engineering, linguistics, psychology, economics and statistics. It equips pupils with the skills to solve problems, design systems and understand the power and limits of human and machine intelligence. It is a skill that empowers, and one that all pupils should be aware of and have some competence in. Pupils who can think computationally are often better able to conceptualise and understand computer-based technology, and so are better equipped to function in modern society.   Computing here is a practical subject, where invention and resourcefulness are encouraged. Pupils use a wide range of industry standard software on modern devices when bringing their ideas to life. The curriculum has elements of physical computing which requires pupils to use devices such the Micro:Bit along with text based code in order to solve some often complex problems.

Each half-term pupils take part in an online safety lesson dedicated to covering the important topics of safe use of the internet and devices, with a focus on respect, kindness and responsibility.

Pupils are expected to apply the academic principles they have learned to the understanding of real-world systems and to the creation of purposeful artefacts. This combination of principles, practice and invention makes it an extraordinarily useful and an intensely creative subject, with an aim to suffuse with excitement, both visceral (“it works!”) and intellectual (“that is so beautiful”).

Science

Children love the adventure of Science, especially exciting experiments, and we plan and teach our science lessons to harness their enthusiasm for this major subject.

Our Science curriculum is a spiral one: it builds progressively on the children’s knowledge and understanding of key concepts and processes. Each topic is revisited at least once as they move up through the school.  Important enquiry and practical skills are continuously developed, alongside the expansion and deepening of their scientific knowledge. Biology topics include ‘animal habitats’, ‘classification’ and ‘adaptation’, physics is represented by ‘light and sound’, ‘forces’ and ‘electricity’, while chemistry is covered by ‘separating mixtures’, ‘chemical changes’ and ‘states of matter’. Wherever possible, we provide the children with ‘hands-on’ learning activities to encourage them to think scientifically and develop skills needed for secondary school science, including planning and carrying out ‘fair test’ investigations involving describing their observations, measuring and recording data, representing it graphically and drawing logical conclusions based on scientific evidence. Our annual whole school Science day further enriches the children’s Science education. Previous science days have included forensics, fossils, the solar system, robotics and exotic insects.

Year 1 welcome living eggs into school in the Spring term and love to see the little, yellow, wriggling creatures peck their way into the world.  Seeing ducklings first take to the water is a magical experience and generates enthusiastic writing in their Duckling Diaries.

Spanish

At Broomfield, our children are very enthusiastic about their weekly Spanish lessons with our specialist languages teacher who makes these sessions highly interactive and fun. In Key Stage 1, the emphasis is very much on learning key vocabulary through stories, songs and games. Lessons are conducted primarily in Spanish and the children very quickly pick up on pronunciations and simple grammar. In Key Stage 2, the children are able to speak, read and write in Spanish with increasing accuracy and confidence. A highlight of the school’s calendar is our Spanish Day when the whole school celebrates the richness of Spanish culture, including delicious tapas cooked by our school chef. Year 4 also enjoy an annual trip to a local Spanish restaurant where they have the opportunity to use their Spanish to order lunch and converse with the waiters and waitresses, themselves and their teachers over tapas, paella and other signature Spanish dishes.

Excellent in all areas: ISI Inspection Report

We are delighted to share the findings of the recent ISI Inspection which rated Broomfield excellent across all areas, both in the academic and other achievements of the pupils and in their personal development.

Here is the link to the report itself so you can read the inspectors’ wonderfully positive comments for yourself.